No More Spare!

 Starting in 2007, Mazda no longer sells spare “donut” tires with your Miata. Instead, you are given an IMS (Instant Mobility System). See figure 1.

This got me to thinking. Let’s say that Barb and I are on a tour, and our trunk is filled with clothing and the like. We get a flat tire. Using the “donut” spare would get us back on the road, but where do you store the flat tire? Obviously, it will not fit were the “donut” tire was. And asking Barb to hold a dirty flat tire in her lap all the way to the gas station is something that I don’t see happening.

The solution is to replace the “donut” spare with a kit. After searching the market place, it appears that the best kit on the market is called “Spare Air”, manufacturer by Slime. It includes a compressor that runs off of your cigarette lighter, and a can of Spare Air to seal the leak. These are both in a very nice zippered plastic case. See figures 2 & 3. This kit is about the same size as the Mazda Miata kit, but at about 1/4 of the cost. Caution! Spare Air makes several kits. Be certain to buy the one that is for automobile tires, not motorcycles. You are looking for part number SS-PDQ/06. The retail price is $24.99, but you can find it discounted if you look around. FYI: their web site is

After removing the “donut” tire from my trunk, and storing the Spare Air kit, I noticed there is a lot more room for stuff. After giving it a little more thought, I figured we should go the extra mile and purchase a jump start unit as well. This unit is fairly small, and can jump start your in a pinch. See figure 4. It also has an emergency light built in, which is pretty darn bright. An alternative would be a small set of jumper cables, but you may not have another car around. Or, you could have both just to play CYA.

Overall, the two kits take up much less more then the “donut” tire, and should work just fine. See figure 5 to see what the trunk looks like without the “donut” tire and the kits installed. You can see the hole that was for the mounting bolt for the spare tire, to give you some idea of the room saved.

Although nothing beats having a bunch of WCMC friends on a tour when you need a little help, these two items could save you in a pinch.

John Semenek

spare 1
spare 2

spare 3
spare 4

spare 5