Does A Fiat 500L Have A Spare Tire?

There are few things worse than getting a flat tire on a remote stretch of road and realizing that you don't have a spare. Many cars and small SUVs now come from the factory without spare tires. Often, owners don't realize this until they have an emergency. If you own a Fiat 500L, you may be wondering whether it has a spare tire. We've done the research, and we have the answer for you!   

The Fiat 500L does not have a spare tire. Instead, it comes with an emergency tire inflation kit. In fact, all Fiat models sold in the United States—500, 500L, 500X, and 500e—as well as the Fiat 124 Spider, include a tire inflation kit instead of a spare tire.

In the remainder of this article, we'll discuss why Fiats come without spare tires and why many auto manufacturers are moving away from including spares with their new vehicles. We will also explain what alternatives you have if your car doesn't have a spare. And we'll give you step-by-step instructions for using a tire inflation kit and tell you where the jack goes on a Fiat 500L. Keep reading to learn more!   

spare wheel of a car and a tire wrench on the asphalt. Does A Fiat 500L Have A Spare Tire

Does A Fiat 500L Have A Spare Tire?

The Fiat 500 series first became available in the United States in 2011, during the merger between Chrysler and Fiat. Chrysler hoped that the Fiat 500 line (500, 500L, 500X, and 500e) would revitalize the company's standing in the SUV market.   

A prime selling point of the Fiat 500 line was the excellent gas mileage of its various models.

 Minivan Fiat 500L parked on a street with light fog and trees. Does A Fiat 500L Have A Spare Tire

And, to get the best possible mileage, Fiat's engineers eliminated all unnecessary weight—including the spare tire and tire changing kit, which together weigh 50 pounds or more. Instead of a spare tire, all Fiat models come with a tire inflation kit.  

The following is a list of all the Fiat models sold in the United States, the years they were/are produced, and the various tire options available on each.

Fiat 500 Subcompact Crossover SUV (2011-2019)

  • Tire inflation kit standard
  • MOPAR Compact Spare Tire Kit available for $275 plus installation, beginning with 2011 model
  • Run-flat tires, not available from the manufacturer

Click here for spare tire rim for Fiat 500 on Amazon.

Fiat 500L Wagon (2011-2020)

  • Tire inflation kit standard
  • MOPAR Compact Spare Tire Kit available for $395, beginning with 2013 model
  • Run-flat tires, not available from the manufacturer

Click here for Fiat 500L compatible run flat tire on Amazon.

Fiat 500X Crossover SUV (2011-Present)

  • Tire inflation kit standard
  • MOPAR Spare Tire Kit available for $358, beginning with 2015 model
  • Run-flat tires, not available from the manufacturer

Click here for 500X compatible Firestone tire on Amazon.

Fiat 500e Electric (2011-2019)

  • Tire inflation kit standard
  • No spare tire kit available
  • Run-flat tires, not available from the manufacturer

Click here for 500e compatible Hankook tire on Amazon.

Fiat 124 Spider Convertible Sportscar (2011-2020)

  • Tire inflation kit standard
  • No spare tire kit available
  • Run-flat tires, not available from the manufacturer

Click here for 124 Spider compatible Hankook tire on Amazon.

Why Do New Cars Not Have Spare Tires?

In 2005, almost all new cars sold in the United States came standard with spare tires. Over the next 10 years, there was a sharp increase in the number of new cars sold without spare tires.

By 2017, AAA reported that nearly one-third of all new cars came from the factory without a spare tire. 

So, why would auto manufacturers suddenly stop including an accessory that drivers take for granted? Why would they risk the ire of car owners left on the side of the road with flat tires and no spare? 

Gas Mileage

As auto manufacturers work to increase their vehicles' gas mileage, a common strategy is decreasing their overall weight. This means scrapping any nonessential accessories.

A spare tire and tire changing kit weigh 50 pounds or more. Eliminating them and replacing them with a tire inflation kit can increase a car's gas mileage by about 1%.

Although this doesn't seem like much, in conjunction with other small changes, it can contribute to a 1 or 2 mpg increase.  

Extra Space 

Particularly in smaller cars and compact SUVs, replacing the spare tire and changing kit with a portable inflator saves considerable space.

In the sporty Fiat 124 Spider, for example, there is no spare tire available, and no place to put one. The same is true for most electric vehicles, including the Fiat 500e, because the batteries take up so much space.

Automakers' Bottom Line

Although vehicle manufacturers don't tout this as a reason for abandoning the spare tire, doing so saves them money. The cost of materials and manufacturing of the spare tire plus its mounting and housing can add up to several hundred dollars per vehicle.

Preserving Resources 

Another often unrecognized benefit is that going without a spare tire saves resources. Tire manufacturers recommend replacing your spare tire when it is 8-10 years old, even if you've never used it.

The rubber will gradually corrode over time, weakening the tire until it is no longer safe. Experts estimate that about 75% of spare tires are never used, so eliminating them conserves the planet's resources. 

What Can I Use If I Don't Have A Spare Tire?

Automakers argue that spare tires are no longer necessary because of advances in vehicle technology, making flat tires less likely. For example, new cars now come with tire pressure monitoring systems that alert the driver when tire pressure is low.

Keeping the tires properly inflated reduces uneven wear and potential blowouts. The system can also alert the driver to a slow leak to get to a repair shop in time before the tire goes flat.

Another common argument for eliminating spare tires is that most drivers simply call for roadside assistance when they get a flat tire.

However, tow trucks generally do not carry tires with them, so unless you have an easily fixable small puncture, roadside assistance may be able to do nothing more than tow your vehicle to a tire shop.   

If your vehicle didn't come with a spare, here are several things you can do to reduce your chances of being stranded by a flat tire.

Emergency Tire Inflation Kit

Most vehicles that come without a spare tire have an inflation kit instead. This typically consists of a portable inflator, hose, tools, and a can of sealant.

An emergency tire inflation kit allows you to seal punctures in the tread of a tire; however, it does no good if your tire suffers a gash or a blowout. You should replace the sealant every 4-6 years because it will lose its effectiveness.

Click here for an emergency tire inflation kit on Amazon.

Run-Flat Tires

Manufacturers of high-end cars, including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Cadillac, use run-flat tires in lieu of including a spare.

These tires are designed to allow you to continue driving up to 50 miles, at a somewhat reduced speed, if they suffer a puncture. However, like emergency tire inflation kits, run-flat tires are useless if a tire has a gash or other major damage.

Run-flat tires are not available on new Fiats; however, you can purchase them from a tire shop and install them on any Fiat model. 

Spare Tire Kit

The safest option, if your vehicle comes without a spare, is to simply buy one. Most vehicles—including the Fiat 500, 500L, and 500X—have spare tire kits available for purchase, at a cost of $300 - $600 or more.

In many cases, there is already a dedicated spot in the car for storing the spare tire, jack, and tools; if not, you can put them in the vehicle's trunk or cargo area.  

Where Do You Put The Jack On A Fiat 500?

car lifted off the ground using crocodile jack

Where is the safest place to position the jack when you need to change a tire on your Fiat 500? It should lift the vehicle by its frame rather than by the thin, vulnerable sheet metal.

Additionally, the jack needs to be close enough to the flat tire to effectively lift it off the ground, but not so close that you might bump it as you work.

On each model in the Fiat 500 line, a triangular notch is located on the body just behind each front wheel and just ahead of each rear wheel.

Position the jack under the notch nearest the flat tire and slide it slightly under the vehicle so that, when it's fully engaged, the jack will lift the vehicle by its frame.

How Do You Use A Tire Inflation Kit?

If you're stuck with a punctured tire and no spare, you can use your tire inflation kit to seal the hole and inflate the tire enough to enable your vehicle to limp to the nearest service station. Here's how you do it:

  1. Pull off the road at a level spot, safe from traffic.
  2. Remove the flat tire's valve cap.
  3. Screw the nozzle of the sealant can onto the valve.
  4. Depress the trigger on the sealant can; this will release compressed air and sealant into the tire.
  5. Hold the trigger down until the tire has fully reinflated or until the can is empty.
  6. If the tire has successfully sealed and reinflated, you can then drive on the repaired tire. Make sure not to exceed 50 mph in speed.
  7. Get the vehicle to the nearest tire shop for repair or replacement of the damaged tire. 

car owner placing jack under the car for tire removal. Does A Fiat 500L Have A Spare Tire

In Closing

Now that you know your Fiat vehicle comes with a tire inflation kit instead of a spare tire, you can make an informed decision about whether this is okay with you.

You may decide to stick with the inflation kit or spend a few hundred extra dollars to get the peace of mind that comes with having a spare tire in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

You may also enjoy:

Is The Fiat 500L An SUV? [And Is It A 7 Seater?]

How Big Is A Fiat 500L? [Height, Width, Length, And Cargo Space]

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One comment

  1. The last time I had a puncture it was from a bolt off a lorry wheel!!! No way would a can of goo fix that.
    Fortunately I had a full size spare wheel which i changed over and was on my way.
    The goo is a very bad idea. Even if its used on a puncture by nail etc it will ruin the tyre pressure sensor and the tyre and require specialist cleaning of the rim. All this will cost a lot more than a proper spare or space saver kit.

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