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Discussion Starter #1
I am close to pulling the trigger on a Clarity, but I hate the idea of not having a spare, but also hate the idea of it taking up trunk space when I'm packing up for a trip.

Anybody found a way to mount it up anywhere else? Like behind the car or on top or anything? Any other solutions to this problem I'm not thinking of?
 

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Thanks for the link! I was also wondering if anyone has found a way to strap the tire on the outside of the car, e.g. the roof, etc. rather than use trunk space?

I would rather sacrifice my MPG than my trunk space I think.
 

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Thanks for the link! I was also wondering if anyone has found a way to strap the tire on the outside of the car, e.g. the roof, etc. rather than use trunk space?

I would rather sacrifice my MPG than my trunk space I think.
Hmmm. Carrying the tire on the roof would look a little strange. And, most people are buying this car for its higher MPG and efficiency. Putting the tire on the roof would almost surely affect that. But to each his own...
 

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Hmmm. Carrying the tire on the roof would look a little strange. And, most people are buying this car for its higher MPG and efficiency. Putting the tire on the roof would almost surely affect that. But to each his own...
I would look at using a cargo carrier on the roof and keeping the spare in there, as you might get pulled over if driving down the interstate with a spare tire strapped to the roof. And the mpg loss would only be on a trip which is probably the only time they would do this, when closer to home which is probably 99% of the time they could keep the spare in the trunk, or keep it at home and use Uber to go home and get it. It's when you are hundreds of miles away from home and have a flat tire that things can get very unpleasant. Even if you don't change the tire yourself and call AAA or whoever, at least if you have a spare they can put it on for you and you are on your way. But with no spare you will have to be towed somewhere, so depending on time of day where to? Maybe a tire shop and hopefully they can fix the flat, but if not and you need a new tire it is unlikely that the tire shop will have our quirky OEM tire in stock. If you are lucky maybe the dealer does, so then I guess now you see if they can deliver it, or Uber to the dealer to get it and bring it back to the tire shop, or just have the car towed from the tire shop to the dealer. Or maybe get towed to a dealer first if one is nearby and their service department is open, increasing the chances that the first place that you get towed to has a tire in stock in case the flat cannot be fixed. And also from what I hear tow truck drivers are not currently allowing you to ride in the cab with them, in which case you would wind up having to Uber yourself to wherever the car is being towed to. I realize I am painting a worst case scenario but it is by no means far fetched.

Losing a few mpg seems like a decent tradeoff in comparison if storage space in the trunk is an issue.

A donut spare would take up less space in the trunk, and at least allows you to drive to a tire repair shop or dealer. Although if they don't have the OEM tire in stock and it takes two days to order then you are in the same boat because you might be too far from home to safely drive hundreds of miles at highway speeds on a donut spare.

Another option somewhere in the middle, although I have never heard of anyone doing this, would be to purchase a used tire the same size as the OEM tire, but don't mount it on a wheel just carry the tire in the trunk. You would still have to be towed to a tire repair shop but at least if they can't fix the flat you would have a tire that they can mount for you. And also keeping just a tire in the trunk would give you a little bit of storage space in the middle of the tire, or being creative you could even stuff things into the tire itself.
 

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I would look at using a cargo carrier on the roof and keeping the spare in there, as you might get pulled over if driving down the interstate with a spare tire strapped to the roof. And the mpg loss would only be on a trip which is probably the only time they would do this, when closer to home which is probably 99% of the time they could keep the spare in the trunk, or keep it at home and use Uber to go home and get it. It's when you are hundreds of miles away from home and have a flat tire that things can get very unpleasant. Even if you don't change the tire yourself and call AAA or whoever, at least if you have a spare they can put it on for you and you are on your way. But with no spare you will have to be towed somewhere, so depending on time of day where to? Maybe a tire shop and hopefully they can fix the flat, but if not and you need a new tire it is unlikely that the tire shop will have our quirky OEM tire in stock. If you are lucky maybe the dealer does, so then I guess now you see if they can deliver it, or Uber to the dealer to get it and bring it back to the tire shop, or just have the car towed from the tire shop to the dealer. Or maybe get towed to a dealer first if one is nearby and their service department is open, increasing the chances that the first place that you get towed to has a tire in stock in case the flat cannot be fixed. And also from what I hear tow truck drivers are not currently allowing you to ride in the cab with them, in which case you would wind up having to Uber yourself to wherever the car is being towed to. I realize I am painting a worst case scenario but it is by no means far fetched.

Losing a few mpg seems like a decent tradeoff in comparison if storage space in the trunk is an issue.

A donut spare would take up less space in the trunk, and at least allows you to drive to a tire repair shop or dealer. Although if they don't have the OEM tire in stock and it takes two days to order then you are in the same boat because you might be too far from home to safely drive hundreds of miles at highway speeds on a donut spare.

Another option somewhere in the middle, although I have never heard of anyone doing this, would be to purchase a used tire the same size as the OEM tire, but don't mount it on a wheel just carry the tire in the trunk. You would still have to be towed to a tire repair shop but at least if they can't fix the flat you would have a tire that they can mount for you. And also keeping just a tire in the trunk would give you a little bit of storage space in the middle of the tire, or being creative you could even stuff things into the tire itself.
Good points although I have not calculated whether the benefit of having the spare tire along pays back the disadvantage of lost MPG. In my experience, having an emergency tire event on the highway has occurred maybe once every ten years or so. That amounts to maybe once every 180,000 miles. It *is* definitely a hassle, though, when it happens and you don’t have a spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the thoughts-- definitely some great ideas here and a lot to think about!
 

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I'd only carry a spare if I was making a long distance trip.

For everyday, I rely on AAA / Auto Club to rescue me.

Couple of months ago, my tire blew and had to be towed to the dealer.
Luckily, I had purchased the optional Honda Sentinel tire warranty - almost paid for itself since a new tire was $250+....
 

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Wow, carrying a spare on the roof?

I have taken plenty of trips in my Clarity to remote areas to do some hikes. Haven't given it a thought about the vehicle not having a spare. I carry a set of tire plugs to take care of most issues. Guess I have been lucky, but have driven for over 40 years and only had a single blowout back in 1978 for a tire that had severe sidewall damage that I knew about but ignored.
 

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Wow, carrying a spare on the roof?

I have taken plenty of trips in my Clarity to remote areas to do some hikes. Haven't given it a thought about the vehicle not having a spare. I carry a set of tire plugs to take care of most issues. Guess I have been lucky, but have driven for over 40 years and only had a single blowout back in 1978 for a tire that had severe sidewall damage that I knew about but ignored.
If everyone had your experience then I'm sure no one would worry about it. But most people have experienced more flats than that. I think a lot of it depends on where you live and do most of your driving. I have had three flat tires in the past twenty years, all of them punctures. Unfortunately only one of them was repairable, the other two I had to purchase a new tire. In both cases the tire was not in stock and had to be ordered if I wanted an exact match with the other three.

Regardless of how infrequent it happens, in the past we always had a spare tire so at least we knew that the inconvenience would be limited. The Clarity is my first car that I have owned that does not have a spare. That is becoming more common as car makers realize they can get away with it by just providing a cheap can of tire goo with the car.

Some repairs can be done with a plug, although depending on the situation that's not always easy to do if you are out on the highway somewhere, especially if it is dark or raining. The nice thing about a spare is that even if the conditions are not good you can always pay someone to come out and change the tire for you (even if using AAA whoever comes out gets paid).

We also have the complication that the Clarity owners manual states that flat bed towing is required, and depending on where you are stuck it can take longer to get a flatbed truck out there. Of course you could also ignore the advice and go with regular towing since we suspect Honda is just being over cautious.

And yes the other option is to realize that statistically the odds of getting a flat while on a trip are low, and just deal with the consequences if something happens. The problem is that without a spare the consequences can be quite severe depending on the situation. And someone travelling with their family might want a higher degree of assurance that they won't be thrown into a complicated situation getting their car operational again just because they had a simple flat tire. And with a family you might have a lot of luggage to fit in the relatively small Clarity trunk, so using a cargo carrier in that case is not an outlandish idea I don't think. I'm not saying someone is crazy for not having a spare on a road trip, but I also don't think someone is crazy for going to some lengths to have one.
 

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This is the solution I ran with!

Bought it for less than $100 from Ebay 2008 - 2012 Infiniti EX35 Emergency Spare Tire OEM Size T165/80R17 BRIDGESTONE. And it works!

 

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Do any run-flat or self-sealing tires exist that are compatible with the Clarity? I would suggest that as a first option for anyone interested in some extra assurance on the road. It doesn't add any weight to the car, nor does it take up cargo room, unlike carrying a spare.


For me, I'm always in urban or suburban areas, so a breakdown is not a big deal, even if I'm a bit afield from home. Worst case I have to get a rental car unexpectedly. A hassle, but while you're among civilization, you really can't get stranded for long.


I feel like run-flats or self-sealing would be fine for most people who take long road trips in the country, because 99% of the time you have a problem with your tire, it's going to be a puncture from a nail/screw. It's very rare to get the whole tire sliced open in a way that causes a massive blowout -- even rarer than getting a flat in the first place. You're only at serious risk of that kind of thing with REALLY old or REALLY worn tires, which is the owner's fault in either case.


The Clarity's total range is significantly worse than most gas cars, and way worse than the longest-range vehicles, so if it were me, I wouldn't even take the Clarity on trips that far out of civilization. A practical range of about 300 miles is doing pretty good for the Clarity PHEV, but that's just half a tank of gas for many cars and trucks.
 

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The Clarity's total range is significantly worse than most gas cars, and way worse than the longest-range vehicles, so if it were me, I wouldn't even take the Clarity on trips that far out of civilization. A practical range of about 300 miles is doing pretty good for the Clarity PHEV, but that's just half a tank of gas for many cars and trucks.
While I wouldn't take the Clarity up the AlCan highway, as long as you stay on paved roads in the US you'll have no problems with ICE range. My experience is the car has a 250+ mile range on a tank of gas.
 

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I currently drive a '16 Sonata Plug-In (looking at adding a Clarity), and it only comes with a tire patch kit. The only time I needed it was after driving the 16 or so miles down a rough and rutted dirt road into Chaco Canyon (after having driven out from MA). I only realized after I arrived at the camp ground that the tire was punctured and losing air. Having no other options, no cell service, and being 50 miles from the nearest town with service stations, I sprayed the tire patch can into the tire. Luckily, the next morning, the tire held and I was able to drive back out the way I came and got it to someone to be permanently fixed. I thought about having a spare tire in my roof bag for the trip, but decided against it. If I ever do take a non-spare tire car into those conditions, I will bring an extra. Otherwise, I'm happy to not have one for 98% of my daily driving.
 
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