UPDATE -- We ran into John Smith after he had a flat tire. He hadn't heard one out of every three new cars sold does not come with a spare. "Quite frustrated, especially at my age now I don't have the convenience of getting a tire put back on right away because I don't have one," said Smith. "I think most people just take it (having a spare tire) for granted since every car they've bought before it had one in it and they take for granted that it's back there until we get there and inform them that they don't have a spare," said Shawn Cobble, who has worked for AAA for nearly 15 years. "I would assume it had a spare tire in the trunk," said Smith. So what have car companies been using instead of a full or spare tire? It is a kit that patches or plugs a puncture and then re-inflates the tire. "If the hole is right, it may work or it may not more times than not it doesn't work. The hole and the situation has to be perfect for it to work," said Cobble. That perfect situation Cobble is talking about is a small puncture in the tire's tread. If it's on the sidewall the kit won't work. Even if it does work though, Cobble warns you could be forced to fork over hundreds more. "In most cases, once that's been installed you can't plug a tire. They (service shops) won't patch them because of that stuff being in there because it impedes the adhesion of a patch or a plug so you've essentially kind of ruined your tire," said Cobble. On top of that the fix it kit can also ruin your tire pressure monitor. "They're taking a 50-200 tire replacement and turning it into 00-500 repairs. We try to explain that to them and in most cases we end up getting a tow truck to them and towing it to a tire shop," said Cobble. Plus, Cobble says more and more repair shops are refusing to work on fixed tires. "It makes a mess. It gets down in their machines and gets all over their (service) techs changing the tires. It's just a nasty mess when you get that stuff in there," said Cobble. Back to John, luckily his car has a spare but he says he will be sure to ask if the time comes for a new car. I'm not up on the sensors and gadgets and computers and it's difficult for a senior citizen. We did not live in an era when they had all these computers and systems in the cars they have now so it's going to make it very difficult for us to maneuver around and get this solution in it," said Smith. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MIAMI VALLEY -- The AAA auto club says it's now common practice for automakers to not include spare tires in new cars. In fact, more than one in three new cars is sold without a spare, most often replaced by tire inflator kits. AAA says those are less dependable and more expensive. AAA spokesperson Cindy Antrican said the automakers are now putting drivers and their passengers at risk of being stranded on busy roads and highways. This is more than an inconvenience, its a danger Antrican said. Now, AAA is urging automakers to equip all cars with spare tires. There are many calls that I go on and I find theres no spare, says AAA emergency roadside responder Ryan Candler. But whats really amazing is that most drivers dont even realize it until theyre stuck." Antrican said the inflator kits are useless in many situations of when damage occurs to the tire's sidewall or a blowout. Its not that the kits dont work, its that they only work when a flat is caused by something stuck in the center tread, Antrican says. Automakers started eliminating the spare tire about ten years ago in an effort to lighten the load and improve fuel efficiency. But, AAA says, the elimination of 30 pounds or so offers a negligible increase in mpg but significant increase in cost to motorists. In the meantime, AAA has the following recommendations for drivers: When purchasing a new vehicle, dont assume it comes equipped with a spare. Always ask sales staff for a detailed list of equipment and if a spare tire can be purchased as an option. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire inflator kit in lieu of a spare, read the owners manual and understand system limitations before trouble strikes. If your vehicle has a spare tire, be sure it is properly inflated and stowed. Check tire pressure monthly, as a flat spare tire is of no value in an emergency. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire inflator kit, AAA recommends that you check its expiration date and replace the kit when necessary, typically between 4?8 years. When faced with a flat tire, AAA members can request assistance at (800) AAA?HELP, by visiting AAA.com/RoadsideAssistance or via the AAA Mobile App.