I got a flat on my LTZ on New Years Day 2011, it was on the front passenger side. So I replaced the flat with my spare and started to drive, but the car was very sensitive about it. The turning felt funny and with the fragile feeling steering on the car already, the steering felt much worse with the spare on. The spare did clear the calipers, but it dawned on me that it probably isn't a good idea to put a spare tire on one of the driving wheels (for a front wheel drive car - that would be the front). I put it on the front without thinking because I was a little pissed that this happened. So I pulled over, took off a back tire, put it on the front, and put the spare in the back. It drove home much better after that. Needless to say, having that spare tire saved the day. Didn't have to get the car towed, and since it was New Year's Day, most tire shops were closed. Situations like this happen on the worst of days. So... long live the spare!Has anyone else tried there spare on the front to see if it clears the calipers?
I think it is important to have a spare tire on a car. Of course GM will go the cheap route and put it as an option on their newer Malibu's, its typical of them. Plus, if the customer doesn't notice during purchasing that a spare tire is not included (I would think many would just assume that a car will have a spare tire, especially a normal family sedan like the Malibu), the salesman will keep mum about it until after the papers are signed.
Usually the salesman is not your friend, they may seem friendly, but it is all about the money to them. If you notice that there is no spare, the salesman will do his best to sell you on the idea that the fix-a-flat goop is better than having a spare.
-Your car is lighter.
-Its easy to use.
-You have more trunk space, kinda.
-Changing a tire can be messy.
-Onstar will swoop in and save you.
Also, it is just wrong for the dealership to overcharge anyone when if you go back and ask for them to install the spare tire and necessary tools. If dealerships are doing this practice, then to hell with them, that is unacceptable customer service. I don't think they should bend over backwards for you, but they should at least charge you the reasonable 100 bucks (plus taxes I guess), and install it for you. Not the 400-500 bucks as some posters' mentioned.