Space savers/Inflators kits - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-19-2016, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Space savers/Inflators kits

Having recently been in a position to buy spare alloy rims (at an excellent price) for my CX-3 I'm going to dump my temporary spare wheel. It prompted me to look deeper into the increasing practice of car manufactures to supply inflator kits or space saver wheels.

Note: All prices are in a$. I did at least use the "tire" spelling and not the correct "tyre" spelling (no nasty replies now).

In an effort not to be "too long winded" in what I write I've left out many important facts. I hope this article will inspire you to take a closer look yourselves.

Temporary spare wheels are only intended as an emergency replacement to get the vehicle to a place of repair, and the maximum allowable speed of the vehicle when one is fitted is limited to 80 km/h.

This speed limit is not because it’s necessarily the maximum allowable speed the temporary use tire will tolerate, (though in some cases it may be) but because with a mismatched wheel fitted to the vehicle, its handling and dynamics will be compromised, especially at higher speeds.

This can be an issue in outback or country areas where the vehicle may have to be driven several hundred kilometres, at reduced speed, before a suitable repair facility can be found.

While a temporary spare wheel may have practical limitations, it is still a better option than so called inflator or mobility kits. These single use kits are becoming more popular with vehicle manufacturers looking to completely dispense with spare wheels.

Here in Australia we get a temporary spare. If, when I purchased my CX-3 they only provided an inflator kit I would have insisted on a "full spare" or I wouldn't have bought the car.

The inflator kits are generally only capable of temporarily sealing small punctures. In cases where the puncture is large or the wheel or tire is damaged, they offer no assistance and the vehicle will most likely have to be towed to a place of repair. Ultimately though, it may not be possible to determine if the kit will reinflate the tire without actually trying it.

In some cases the tire will have to be replaced after sealant is used, regardless of whether it would ordinarily have been repairable. Replacement kits can be in the order of several hundred dollars and the sealants used often have a shelf life and need to be replaced after a certain period, regardless of whether or not they have been used.

Braking and Handling

In a series of comparative tests (by one of our motoring organisations) on four vehicles fitted with the standard wheel/tire combination and then again when fitted with three standard wheels and one space-saver on the driving axle, the following was observed.

The tests show that braking and handling can be adversely affected by using these different forms of temporary spare tyres."

In the emergency brake test in which the car was braked suddenly from a travelling speed of 80kmh -- the maximum recommended for driving with a space-saver -- the stopping distance increased for all four vehicles.

You can take the following with a grain of salt.

Mazda's public relations manager here in Australia says, the use of space-savers is to provide greater benefits for the customer.

"We fit space-saver spare tires because they give you the benefit of a larger boot and cargo area and that is the reason they are on most of our smaller vehicles. It is nothing to do with saving money," the manager said.

"There is also a safety benefit in using space-saver tire as it does help with rear-end crash protection".

"A space-saver is physically smaller and is therefore a much better proposition than having a full-size spare tire being pushed into the passenger cell."

The manager says Mazda has not been advised of any marked difference in braking performance with space-savers fitted.

"We are quite confident that our cars would perform well but, having said that, a space-saver spare tire is only for temporary use, is only allowed to be driven up to 80 km/h and should be changed as soon as possible."

Apart from the potential reductions in braking and handling performance another other issue is the fact that space-saver tires do not last as long as full-size spares and can be difficult and expensive to find, with prices ranging between $135 and $260.

One tire tested lasted just 450km before it needed to be replaced, which could place someone in a difficult situation if they were to have a flat on a country trip.

A standard tire rolls about 800 times per mile while a spare tire rolls about 850 times per mile (a difference of 50 tire revolutions per mile or about a 6% increase). Driving at higher than recommended speeds or for prolonged periods of time can result in excessive heat leading to driveline noise, wear or failure.

For this reason, many vehicle manufacturers recommend using Temporary/Compact Spare tires only in non-driven-wheel positions.

Please note: When Mazda show you how to put on the space saver either in the owners manual or on a video they ONLY SHOW changing the back wheel. That's because they don't want to tell you that if you get a flat on the front it means TWO wheel changes. That's because the space saver has to be put on the back.

Personally I think it's criminal to have to use a temporary spare. Let me know if you disagree AND WHY.

You only have the right of way if the other driver gives it to you

Last edited by Levi3xt; 12-19-2016 at 08:41 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-19-2016, 08:45 AM
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I've been driving for 28 years and have never needed to use a spare tire, thankfully. My last car was a BMW which had no spare, it relied on runflats.

Using your spare tire is an exception and I am totally comfortable having one vs a full size spare as they are intended to limp you along until you get your regular tire replaced. I'd rather reduce weight and increase space. Now if I lived hundreds of miles/kilometers from civilization that would be different - I'd put in a full size spare tire but the vast majority of us live near a population center and can seek replacement with ease.

So many factors decrease safety. The added weight of passengers decreases braking but I'm still going to carry people when needed. You can go on and on with this but I'm not worried about the decreased capacities of a compact spare tire.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-19-2016, 09:23 PM
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I now in Australia on the Mazda 3 it's a 'no cost' option for a full size spare. I wonder if you put your foot down if you would get a 16" steel spare for the CX3 (shame it wouldn't fit in the boot). I'm only in my twenties but have driven across Australia 3 times and had one complete blow out on one trip about 1,000 km from a major town, luckily I had a full size spare. Would have had sweet FA chance of getting a wheel for anything other than Toyota or Nissan 4WD there.

Would allot of the issues be resolved if they provided a full diameter spare to match the regular wheels that would be the same thickness as the space savers?

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-19-2016, 10:24 PM
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I've needed to use the mini spare in my old Nissan Sentra a few times. I hate flats!!!!

It would be nice if a full size spare are avail. for all cars but it is the times we are in. We all want to get the best mileage possible and have space galore in our cars so something has to give. For the rare times when you might get a flat the extra weight and space taken up by a full size spare will hurt the overall mileage of all the cars a manufacturer produces (part of that CAFE standard mandated by governments (mostly the US)) and also make the cars cost more to buy.

For my Aussie friends here I understand the reason why you would want a full size spare if you do not reside near a populated area, for the majority of us it's not a big deal that we only have a mini spare tire if and when we ever get a flat.

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post #5 of 8 Old 12-21-2016, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting reading the replies. I can appreciate those who think that as they live (generally) close to where they can quickly get their full size tire repaired and therefore spend minimum time on the "space saver". Remember thought that the saver tire is not as save and has the potential to do damage to your car.

As pointed out, many factors decrease safety but does safety have to be compromised when you get a puncture?

Oh, and DJ, hope your "I've been driving for 28 years and have never needed to use a spare tire" continues. And, don't blame me if you do get a flat. :-))

The bottom line is "space savers" don't add to your safety they detract from it.

Anyway, thanks for all your replies.

You only have the right of way if the other driver gives it to you

Last edited by Levi3xt; 12-21-2016 at 04:28 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-21-2016, 07:17 AM
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Plus one other thing to remember that is, (those of us that do have these Space Saver Wheels), why would you want to leave one on your car for any length of time, as they look like absolute shite to say the least.
The quicker you can get your original repaired without anyone seeing your pride and joy looking like it has a Pram Wheel on it the better.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-21-2016, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sippffo View Post
Plus one other thing to remember that is, (those of us that do have these Space Saver Wheels), why would you want to leave one on your car for any length of time, as they look like absolute shite to say the least.
The quicker you can get your original repaired without anyone seeing your pride and joy looking like it has a Pram Wheel on it the better.
Ha,ha. My your are a fussy bugger sipp and I agree with you 100%.
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You only have the right of way if the other driver gives it to you
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-21-2016, 10:08 PM
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I've put an 18" alloy spare wheel in the boot (trunk) of mine, the same way that anchorman did in his CX-3 last year.

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