What no spare wheel

Just picking up my new (year old approved) Audi A4 Avant this morning.

Much to my surprise, as it was a few years ago when I discovered car tyres no longer had inner tubes!, that the car does not have a spare wheel.

There is a bottle of sealant and a compressor. Anyone had any experience of using this type of breakdown kit?

I see that there is still a space for a spare wheel and it’s possible to buy a spare wheel, moulding and tool kit.

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My understanding is if you use the sealant, thats the end of that tyre….Quickfit etc will just stick a new one on. But if you are in the middle of nowhere….no choice, at home best get a friend to give you a lift to a tyre specialist with your wheel.


Yep - ‘no spare wheel’ seems the standard nowadays, even down to the 'umble Honda Jazz my elderly aunt has.

It’s a case of ensure you have roadside assist cover (more for transport/rescue) and don’t go too far off the beaten track or keep a duvet in the boot :grinning:

I’m staggered by this and would encourage people to buy a spare rim/tyre and keep in the boot/housing (if there is one) wherever possible. This also helps in sorting out any accidental kerbing of a rim i.e. you have a spare for repair.

Also, make sure you have a proper wrench on-board to get the wheel nuts off and these haven’t been over-tightened (which happened to me at a tyre change-over - luckily not an issue while on the road). I use copper grease now when removing wheels for maintenance.

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Hi Andy

Got one with my Mini, a puncture meant using the can - but it got me home

As Gazza says, that’s the end of the tyre - in my case a double blow as the pair were getting towards the end of the day

As someone who is older (knackered knee) I feel it’s a safe, short-term option - nowhere as environmentally friendly as replacing the tyre taking it to the tyre repair shop . I now carry two such tins of sealant , one the BMW approved that came with the Mini and one from Halfords .

I was a Boy Scout and the concept of being prepared is a good one

These days (and especially after Lockdown ) it is the spare tyre round my waist …

Best wishes

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I also keep a small air compressor in the car just in case its a slow puncture and i can limp home, or to the nearest garage and avoid using the can of gunk and losing the tyre.


You know I’m thinking of doing just that - the space is still there in the car.

Audi have quoted me £300 for the spare wheel but on ebay there seems to be a lot available for under £100. The housing and tool/jack would probably be another £100.

Or buying a full sized alloy rim for £150 plus a reasonable tyre for £150 plus fitting and balance is an option.

I made it back from France a few years ago (slowly) on a spare and the thought of a recent trip I made in 2018 to the back of beyond in Portugal with only a bottle of sealant fills me with dread.

FWIW, putting any kind of grease on bolts especially wheel bolts will decrease friction and not allow for proper torque spec. I just wipe the dirt or any crap off make sure the bolts or studs are clean and torque to the specs the manufacturer calls for.

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I have a 2018 Audi A4. It came with a spare, jack, and tools. Maybe it’s a US thing. I remember a few years back Audi included a real alloy wheel for the spare. Problem was folks would get a flat put on the spare and since it looked like the other wheels would forget to replace the flat tire.

Almost every new car except cheaper cars are coming with those horrible Run Flats. BMW started this trend over a decade ago.

Sadly the ‘no spare wheel’ is becoming the norm. Cost, weight, fuel consumption to move the weight, possibly even health and safety as I suspect some people cannot be trusted to change a wheel without risk of injury to themselves. However, the impact on those who are able to sort themselves out is irritating.

I bought a new spare wheel from the dealer for my Toyota, remove a big polystyrene block in the boot/trunk and fix the wheel in its place. I fear that even this option will cease soon.

The chap who sold me the wheel (a steel one) with tyre fitted handed it over at the ‘spares counter’ As I don’t normally have to ‘wave wheels about’ at chest height, it came as a big surprise to me at how heavy it was. Perhaps they are on to something! :0)

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My missus has a Volvo C70 which has one of those sealant / compressor things, but there is no space in the boot for a spare, should she wish to buy one.

Like Gazza, I carry a small cheap electric compressor in the boot for slow punctures etc. and I bought my missus one of these for her Volvo, and indeed, it got her out of trouble on a recent family visit.

The fact that the O.P.'s Audi’s boot allows for a full size spare suggests to me that they are taking the Mickey by not including this in the not insubstantial initial purchase price.

My much older A5 carries a full size spare.


I suspect it is as much about being able to claim an extra 0.5mile/gal and fewer CO’s etc. as much as it is about cost.

My car also came with bottle of gloop and a compressor, I have watched a video on how to use it correctly and I wasn’t terribly convinced, plus i would need to watch it again if i ever needed to use the thing in anger!

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My previous car had one of these, fortunately the replacement at least has a space saver wheel.

I had a flat on the old car and was able to use the compressor that was supplied with the sealant kit to pump the tyre up and drive to the tyre shop which was fortunately only a mile away. The tyre place said that I did the right thing as the sealant normally ruins the tyre.

It’s worth checking the kit that comes with the car as purchasing a separate compressor may not be necessary.


I use the copper grease sparingly or spray with WD-40/other corrosion inhibitor.

I think one issue around the stickiness of the bolts was that the nuts are aluminium (in appearance) and the hub housing is steel - plus there is the obvious micro-corrosion, especially with an elderly jalopy, as mine now is.

The chap in the tyre-bay a few years back snapped 2 socket heads and had to use a much longer bar to free the nuts (not a happy bunny!). He said the service team may have gunned the nuts on but they claim they rarely take the wheels off when servicing and hadn’t prior to the tyre-bay visit - it’s all visual inspections nowadays.

No chance of a spare in my boot (also an Avant A4)… there’s a bloody big 48V battery in there!

My car has had the can of sealant in the boot since I bought it nearly 9 years ago, and has never been used. I don’t even know if it would still work after that long. I don’t particularly care as I carry a spare wheel, most of my driving being long distance where the foam would probably not last. The alternative is run flat tyres, which would be easier than messing about with squirty foam but still not a good solution for a long drive.

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This trend by manufacturers to do away with spare wheels is just a money-saving scam. Early last year I hit a very deep pot hole in my Mercedes CLS and the front near side tyre deflated. I tried the ‘tire-fit’ gloop and it didn’t work. The car had to be recovered and taken to a dealership where it had to have a new tyre. Chatting to the guys at Mercedes who fitted out the new tyre they said most of the recoveries are due to punctures the gloop can’t plug. They also told me that if you use the gloop, the tyre cannot be repaired! To rub slat into the wound, the tire-fit gloop supplied by Mercedes is not only very expensive - over £50 - but it has an expiry date of about 2 years.

Since my unhappy experience I bought mini-wheels and a jack/tool kit for both of my cars. There’s no room in the boot floor for the spares (the Adblue tank has taken that) so I’ve strapped them down. For me knowing that I can actually replace and possibly repair a punctured wheel and won’t need to call out a recovery truck, is worth giving up a bit of space in the boot.

You surprise me … when we bought our Volvo C70 in late 2012 we specified a spare and to this day it sits in the base of the boot together with a jack fitted inside the wheel. I did get it out once just to check but happily have never had need to do so again. Each MOT/service it’s marked as: NEW - SPACE SAVER as it is, of course, not a real wheel/tyre. My wife was adamant that we had the spare for we used to drive almost as much on the Continent as we do in the UK. I’ve not changed a wheel for 20+ years … I have AA and Volvo Assistance.

Having said that, our new V90 purchased last December, has the sealant option (it was a pre-registered car) but we understand we can replace this with a Space Saver wheel/tyre + jack should we wish to do so … perhaps when trips across La Manche :slight_smile: become possible again.

Am I to assume then, heavier car (as they all seem to be nowadays, even sans 48V bat’s) = wider wheels and, thereby, heavier wheels/rims? Kind of self-fulfilling when it comes to carry a spare wheel!

Yes, her C70 was pre-owned when she bought it, so no option for a spare wheel, and I’ve just remembered that it doesn’t have a compressor / gloop combination, rather a pressurised aerosol can, which is not great.

That was why I bought her one of those cheap and cheerful leccy compressors.