Spare Tire Removal ( Better MPG ) ?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by billy01, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. billy01

    billy01 New Member

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    My local Auto Upholstery shop manager advised if I removed my Spare Tire then I could add space and save gas. He asked me when was the last time I got a flat? I said 1988. With cell phones, I can simply call a tow truck. I live around Jupiter, Florida so I'm not stuck out in the woods.

    Anyone remove their spare tire to gain space, save weight and add miles per gallon?

    Thanks
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Lol, you're not going to gain that much mpg by ditching the spare tire. Just for giggles, are YOU overweight? :D Maybe there's another spare tire to eliminate. ;)

    It's Murphy's Law, but you would probably need your spare tire shortly after you stopped carrying one.

    It's not going to save much gas, or weight. It's a space saver spare tire, not a full size spare on a steel rim.

    If you're feeling lucky, take it out.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    absolutely. i pulled out a lot more than the spare, and my mpg's skyrocketed. so much so, that i've begun a new diet.;) wait, is this tiger woods?
     
    #3 bisco, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  4. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Yup. I removed the spare in my previous car when it was new to save weight (1.4% of the weight of the car) and space, then had a flat that ruined the tire far from home, and needed a spare badly----only 28 years later. So, my new compromise is to leave it out during local trips, but put it back for long trips.

    Incidentally, the Certified used Prius came with 17 psi in the spare. Pressure in the spare was duly checked off on the CarFax list.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Can you ask your upholstery guy what stocks are gonna get hot? ;)
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i consult my upholstery guy before making any decisions. they have seen it all!(y)
     
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  7. billy01

    billy01 New Member

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    I asked a serious question about removing the spare tire for saving weight, creating space and better gas mileage. Those of you who feel like making tasteless comments and snide remarks can stop responding.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sorry, :oops: didn't mean any disrespect.
     
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  9. woodnowin

    woodnowin Junior Member

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    A spare is a form of insurance. You can remove it, but in doing so you are assuming risk for the value of whatever gas you may save. Just make sure you are willing to assume the risk and you feel you are adequately compensated for doing it.
    Personally, I would not. It's nearly free insurance. I don't pay for liability or comprehensive insurance for a car more than 4 years old. I don't pay for towing insurance. I choose the highest deductibles and the least expensive homeowner's insurance and have never filed a claim. Over the decades have saved more than enough to buy a new car should I total one. But, I still would not be without a spare more than walking distance from home.

    If you want to save weight some other ideas I would consider before going without a spare:

    Remove the rear seats - I can think of only having someone ride in the back about once a year and I have an old minivan I could drive then
    Remove everything from the trunk area, carpet, panels, upholstery, etc - everything but the spare, jack, and tools( I fix my own on the road unless it's an engine or transmission failure)
    If you drive conservatively enough, use a smaller width tire when replacing and consider the actual weight of the tire when choosing one - reducing unsprung weight has a noticeable effect on fuel consumption. I would suggest lighter rims but the Prius rims appear to be actual magnesium and I doubt you will find a substantially lighter aftermarket rim.

    Hope this is useful. I rarely post, but the title caught my eye and I see that the fellows were giving you a hard time.
     
  10. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    Nope, flat tire anxiety here!
     
  11. kenoarto

    kenoarto Senior Member

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    [Snideness on] If you remove all that weight from the back of the car aren't you concerned about the danger of your car constantly losing traction? [Snideness off] Some people have removed the rear tires to install giant sound systems. In ten years, I have never used the spare, but I have gotten a couple of flat tires (when the tires got old). I have considered ditching the spare, but don't really need to use that particularly inconvenient space -- nor want the worry. [Snideness on] now go sign up for Weight Watchers, fatso!
     
  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Previously I have posted GM's approx. equation for car weight vs. MPG.
    I try to find it, but If I recall we're talking in the range of 0.5 MPG

     
    #12 wjtracy, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  13. billy01

    billy01 New Member

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    I added a Curt Hitch back in 2009 to accommodate a Hitch mounted bike Rack, but instead I put my bike in the hatch for better security and ease of access to the rear cargo area. I think my Hitch weighs at least 125 pounds. My buddy parks his non Hitch Prius next to mine and my rear hangs almost 1/2 inches down over his. Both vehicles empty of cargo and all stock, same year. When I drive I feel the back is "heavy". 2006 Prius all stock except the Hitch.

    Thank you very much for your response. I would love to remove all the panels, back seat, carpet and upholstery but then will I have noise issues? My buddy tried this and it sounded like a huge tin can, drone, noise, etc and he didn't want to re-upholster the entire back of the vehicle.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I typically ADD weight. Right now there's:

    Child seat (for grand kid)
    Wheel chock pair (used in conjunction with spare install)
    Rags
    Plug repair kit
    Bag of tools
    Jump pack (long trips only, it's about 20 lb)
    Charger kit
    Extension cord
    First Aid Kit
    Some wire, string and twist ties
    Toilet paper (don't leave home without it ;))
     
  15. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    billy01, don't get caught up in Prius mpg fanaticism. Your bragging rights are secure because you already do better than most cars out there.
     
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  16. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    Another great tip, remove the windshield wipers, at least another .001mpg, let the air out of the tires it's heavy.

    Anyway

    Keep the cabin air filter clean, cycle you emergency brake periodically, clean and adjust the brakes also (they bind up and stick) keep the k$n ice filter clean, better mpg's
     
    #16 ursle, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  17. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    It is all friendly banter.
    No need to get your nose all bent out of shape.
    Lighten up a bit.

    The difference in gas mileage will be minuscule and depends in part on whether most of your miles are highway or stop and go.
     
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  18. kenoarto

    kenoarto Senior Member

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    Toilet paper weight can really kill MPGs!!!
     
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  19. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Having had a blowout in one of the worst places in the world, I have gone the other direction and replaced the doughnut with a full sized spare tire. I checked weight difference and was very surprised to find that the OEM magnesium rim plus full sized tire was only 10 or 11 pounds more than the original doughnut (I think because the doughnut's rim is steel and actually quite heavy). I'm also carrying air pumps, Fix-A-Flat, tire plugs, and a full range of emergency gear, so color me super-cautious, but bejasus, I had to depend on that dratted doughnut when we were marooned up on the bloody Arctic tundra (Top of The World Highway) and I would strongly prefer to never, ever be in that situation again. So clearly I would vote to keep at least some kind of spare tire (as well as essential emergency gear, etc.) in the car, but that's just me. Good luck!
     
  20. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    The spare tire's weight as a percentage of the car's is minuscule. Removing it, in theory, will improve fuel economy. In practice, the difference will be lost in all the usual variables. In my experience I have not noticed any effect on fuel economy due to the weight of passengers or cargo.

    Removing all the loose stuff from the back will provide a different driving experience. You'll hear all the sounds of normal operation that can be annoying or distracting at first.

    If you are serious, there are easier ways to increase fuel economy. What's your tp? Soft tires decrease fuel economy.

    Gasoline weighs ~6 pounds per gallon. 30 pounds can be saved by driving around on half a tank of gas.

    You can strip out all the stuff the designers added for comfort & utility saving hundreds of pounds resulting in the race car look.
     
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