Tyre inflation kits are fantastic – in priciple. They eliminate the need to carry a spare wheel, reduce a car’s overall weight and improve economy and emissions – when they when they work, that is. Sadly, not all punctures and blow-outs are repairable with tyre inflation kits, which has led to the RAC introducing a one-size fits all ‘universal’ spare wheel.
The 17-inch lightweight alloy multi-fit universal spare wheel was designed by Dynomec and is designed to fit the majority of cars on the road. Stranded customers can ask the RAC patrol to fit it at a cost, allowing them to drive away to the nearest ATS Euromaster tyre purveyor or book a mobile tyre fitting for a replacement.
The RAC can then retrieve the spare wheel from ATC in preparation for the next breakdown.
“The Dynomec universal spare wheel demonstrates how the RAC is at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to help our individual members and business customers get back on the road as quickly as possible after they break down,” RAC technical operations head Phil Ryan explained.
“We understand why motor manufacturers need to reduce the weight of their vehicles in order to make them more fuel efficient and to meet EU carbon dioxide emissions targets and removal of the spare wheel helps them to achieve this.”
He added: “Drivers should not suffer as a result, and in order to minimise the disruption and inconvenience that punctures can cause, the universal spare wheel provides additional options for patrols to deal with breakdowns more quickly and effectively.”
In the year up to August 2012 the RAC said it responded to 87,000 breakdowns involving a puncture on a vehicle without a spare wheel, with that number rising to approximately 120,000 in the 12 months leading up to August 2013.
Back in 2009 the RAC trialled a universal spare wheel and found over a period of six months it saved its members 10,000 hours of waiting at the roadside.