Does the Ford C-Max Have a Spare Tire?

C-Max Energi Driver-Side Tire, Disc Brake and Radar Sensor

Ford C-Max Energi Driver-Side Michelin Energy Saver A/S Tire, Disc Brake and Radar Sensor

Answer: No.  The Ford C-Max joins many cars that are being sold without spare tires (“Automakers leave nothing to spare” in the LA Times).  It has what Ford calls a “Temporary Mobility Kit”.  This kit includes a compressor and canister with latex sealant.  The kit is stored under the front passenger seat.  Ford recommends a maximum speed of 50 mph and driving no more than 120 miles when a tire is repaired with the kit.  Ford also warns users that the kit cannot repair punctures on the sidewall and is limited to 1/4 inch or smaller holes.  The tire sealant has an expiration date and must be replaced after storing the canister four years.  After using the sealant, the tire pressure monitor sensor and the valve stem must be replaced for the tire.  The sealant canister is for one-time use on one tire only.  The kit description and use is explained in the C-Max manual on pages 335-343.

Update: 9 September 2016

Most of the time, I carry a tire repair/patch kit with me rather than a full-size spare.  However, I did purchase a C-MAX rim and full size tire for those trips when I travel far from available roadside assistance.

Andy Konyha, a C-MaxChat reader, purchased a C-MAX compatible wheel, tire jack from a pre 2006 Ford Taurus, two tire covers, a fold up lug wrench and a tire tote.  The tire covers wrap around the tire/jack/wrench.  The covered tire was then placed within a tire tote.  I’ve included photos of his spare tire below.

I’ve stored my spare in the luggage area behind the rear seat (as shown in the photo below) and at other times strapped to the child seat hooks on the rear seat, with the seat lowered (see photo below for the location).

C-MAX Rim, Tire, Jack & Wrench

C-MAX rim and tire with a Taurus jack and collapsible lug wrench wrapped in a towel. Photo by Andy Konyha.

Wheel with tire covers on each side

Two vinyl tire covers placed on each side of the tire.  Photo by Andy Konyha.

Tire Tote

BMW Tire Tote.  Photo by Andy Konyha.

Child seat anchors on rear seat.

A tire could be strapped to the child seat anchors on the back of the rear seat.

Tire stored behind rear seat.

C-MAX tire stored behind the rear seat. Wrench stored beneath the tire.  Jack also stored behind seats.  A tire repair kit is on top of the tire.  Most often, I only have the tire patch kit in the C-MAX.

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64 thoughts on “Does the Ford C-Max Have a Spare Tire?

    • Yes. It is on page 331 of the manual. “As an added safety feature, your vehicle has been equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that illuminates a low tire pressure telltale when one or more of your tires is significantly under-inflated.”

  1. A good quality tire repair kit, e.g., Safety Seal, is an alternative to using the sealant. I keep one of these with my Jeep at all times when off-roading. There are also inexpensive compressors that work quite well if you’re not satisfied with the one that is included with the C-Max.

  2. Looking for new hybrid. Excited to read about Cmax…sold on it…that is, until I found out that they do not come with a spare tire. “Tire repair kit” is a “no go” for me. Had several flats last year–including one sidewall situation-“repair kit” would not repair these. So glad I had the spare. Please Ford reconsider! You are losing customers like me.

    • I hear you (maybe Ford doesn’t). This is getting much more common. The Nissan Leaf has a similar compressor/sealant combo kit. Someone punched a whole in the sidewall of our Nissan Leaf. It wasn’t possible to repair it. The tire had to be replaced. There wasn’t an identical tire available that I could find in the state of Utah. The Nissan dealer was fastest (24 hrs if I ordered by noon). Discount Tire took about 5 days (they had to get it from California). We decided we could get by without the Leaf for 5 days to save about $45 on the tire (Discount Tire was also much closer to home). However, I really only like full size tires and it’s rare to see those anymore.

      The problem is what car has a spare of comparable size (an older model RAV4)?

  3. We have had our C-MaxEnergi for about 3 months.. Never once were we told it did not have a spare tire. Just hit a curb going through a small round-a-bout and blew the side wall of the rear tire. Not that it would help, but there is no “Temporary Mobility Kit” in the car either. What BS!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi. I have a similar issue. I bought a 6 month old ford c-max 1.6 tdci titanium. There components of a trye repair kit in the spare tyre compartment in the boot but I do not know what should be there and if anything is missing. Why do you say it is kept under the front passenger seat? Is this just the case for certain models or will there be something else under the seat as well as in the boot? Thanks in advance for the reply.

    • The compressor is stored under the seat for the US and Canadian C-Max Hybrid and Energi. I don’t know what is used for your C-Max. Sorry.

    • It’s getting pretty rare to have a full-size spare tire though. Trucks and a limited number of SUVs seem to be it. The compressor does work quite well. I keep a tire repair kit with my C-Max Energi, as mentioned above.

  5. When I found out the C-max had no spare, I planned buy my own (full size) spare tire and wheel with the TPS and remote to reset it. I may be doing some distance driving, and like others who have blogged, the Tire Mobility kit seems insufficient to me. Is there any reason I could not use this for a tire change myself? I have been able to locate the OE trie and a 5 bolt wheel.

    • You need the jack and wrench too, but I don’t see why you couldn’t do this. The downside is the loss of space. I’ve noticed it is possible to get the rim on eBay, like at this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111013024341?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 It also may be wise to have a way to anchor the tire (such as to the child seat latches) so it doesn’t fly through the air inside the car in an accident. Personally, I’m just sticking with the patch kit. It’s much less expensive and takes up very little space. Together with the compressor that comes with the car, it’s possible to fix the most common flats, which are not on the side wall of the tire. I did have someone punch a hole in the side of my Nissan Leaf tire though, so it can happen.

  6. I hit a curb on Thursday – it was either that or collide with someone roaring in reverse in a parking lot. My C-Max’s tire sidewall fell apart like a wet tissue, and I doubt that I was going 10mph. The can of Fix-a-flat that came with the car was not going to do squat. I had to be towed to a tire shop and the tire had to be ordered. It’s Monday, and the tire is still not in. Even with a free tow by AAA, this one crappy tire has set me back $300.00. There is no way a sideways should rupture from a low-speed smack on a curb. Ford should be ashamed on so many levels. The no-spare deal is completely unacceptable, too. My C-Max is also the most boring car I’ve ever owned and I’m more sorry than e v error that my husband talked me into it. I am so ready to trade it in on a real car.

    • Full-size spare tires are getting rare. On an upcoming trip, I needed to rent a full-size truck to get a spare tire. The Michelin tires that come standard on the C-Max are not cheap. I’m curious, what car did you want to buy (before your husband convinced you to buy the C-Max)? Or, what car do you plan to trade-in your C-Max for?

    • I’m with you. I got the C-Max hybrid 2 months ago, I had the same problem with the tires, I was going on low speed and hit the sidewalk, both tires passenger side and back tire also the same side blew up like a water balloon, the EV mode on the hybrid version is a joke only last for like 5 minutes or less, and also I’m spending to much money on gas, I used to drive a Toyota Matrix 07 and I can’t believe my old car was better fuel efficient. I did like the car at first, I loved the inside, I was going to get a Nissan Leaf but I don’t know why I got into this deal. :( I’ll trade it for a Leaf in the future

      • I leased a Leaf for two years starting in 2012. We just turned it in. With regard to tires, the Michelin tires on the C-Max are superior to the Bridgestone tires on the Leaf. We have almost as many miles on the Ford now as we had on the Leaf at end of lease. The tire wear is far less on the Michelin tires. The Michelin tires also cost more, if you want to replace them. With regard to the tire repair kit, both Leaf and C-Max have a similar tire repair kit. I preferred the one in the Ford so much though (the pump seemed much superior) that I always used it for both cars.

        With regard to the cost of driving, it sounds like you have the C-Max Hybrid. That is quite a different car than the Leaf. The Energi has much more similarities to the Leaf. It may be that a Leaf is a better choice for you. It depends on driving style, charging locations available to you, whether you have free charging available, distance you need to commute, cost of electricity, etc. If a Leaf was a strong contender in your view, you should have consider the Energi rather than the Hybrid version of the C-Max.

        I hope you get a car that works better for your needs.

  7. I would have been happy with either a donut spare or a better-built tire that did not disintegrate so easily. For just a few hundred buck more a month, I am seriously considering the opposite end of the economy spectrum and getting a Tesla. My house has enough solar panels that electricity would not be a cost factor, and the only reason I didn’t get the electric C-Max is because the closest Ford dealer is over an hour away. With a Tesla, that wouldn’t be an issue, as they come to you. My multiple visits to the Ford dealer for various issues and recalls is also an ongoing sore spot in my life. I seriously dislike my C-Max, but I wanted an American-made car, so I listened to the Hubster and got a pathetic, boring, gutless wonder of a car. The only thing I like about the entire car is the satellite radio. The interface is crap, the HVAC is inconsistent, seats are uncomfortable, and the back hatch is a pain because it inconsistently works with the clicker, and then you never know where it’s going to stop in its travels. Add to that that the car can barely get out of its own way, and it’s a sorry excuse of a car. Then there’s the so-much touted mpg – liar, liar, pants on fire!

    I’m 63 years old. Life’s too short to be stuck with a C-Max.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I have the Energi and enjoy it, as you probably know. I wasn’t interested in the C-Max Hybrid. I took the liberty to make the correction you intended with the second posting and then deleted it.

      • I love my C-max. I am kinda bummed about not having a spare, even a donut. But that isn’t a huge deal to me to just buy one and strap it in the back. I do mainly city driving anyway but we will be driving to California twice this summer, from Colorado. THe gas mileage is awesome. We went over 100 miles in one day and didn’t even use a quarter of a tank. I even had a women run a stop sign and hit the side above the passenger tire, by the gas tank. No tire damage at all. I have had a problem with one of the tires not holding air so I constantly have a low tire pressure light but I think there may be a small hole due to normal wear. I have had my car for half a year now and I still love it. Heated leather seats are a plus during the winter time here. I also find it is comfortable, I sometimes take a nap in it while waiting to pick my boyfriend up from work. Easy to clean the inside when my dog gets car sick. All around great car.

    • I feel like this sort of feedback isn’t really helping anyone . If you are leaving a review to vent you aren’t really reviewing it anymore . Interface is crap , well, how is it crap exactly ? What about the seats was uncomfortable for you ? Could your discomfort be specific to you based on some injury you have had ? HVAC is inconsistent , how exactly do you mean , because I didn’t find it to be so in the June heat of the Ozarks . Crappy tires seem to be the only legitimate complaint I have read here , anything else is highly subjective without more detail offered.

      • Here you go, Thomas – the seats are rock hard with limited adjustment capabilities. My HVAC failed at odd and inconsistent times, and I took it in for service, and of course they said nothing was wrong. Fast forward since my previous comment and, duh, there was a recall needed to fix my exact problem. It’s better, now. The interface has had many, many recalls, including one that required a 3 day stay in the shop. One time, it refused to turn off when I turned the car completely off and even removed the key, which scared the crap out of me. It was like my car was possessed. And it was – Ford had taken control of it and was rebooting and upgrading it with absolutely no warning, no communication, and no way for me to know what was going on. I only figured it out after sitting in my car in the rain in a parking lot and googling with my cell phone. What if I’d not had the time or ability to do that or had called AAA for help and wasted their time because Ford, in their stupidity, did not give me any idea this could happen? I’ve had to reset the entire system half a dozen times because it stopped working. Happy, now?

  8. Ditto about tire comments. My C-Max is a little over 1 year old and has 8K miles. Today, as I was turning on to freeway, the back tire went over a curb. Thought nothing of it, but the sign came up: low tire pressure. Decided it best to turn off. That tire went flat. Luckily, I called AAA. Could not locate spare tire, not much of an explanation in manual either. Got towed to the nearest tire shop and had to replace it because it had a gash. What kind of Michelin tires are they? No spare. Horrible manual information. For the amount of money I pay every month to lease this damn car, I could have gotten a BMW!
    Oh yes, central console lock broke last week. Dealer has yet to contact me about replacement part. Two months ago the car alarm system that was installed got stuck and had have it towed for that too. Hybrid Shymbrid. Ford shame on you!

  9. I love my C-Max, however, when I had a blowout it turned into a terrible problem – went looking for the spare – of course, couldn’t find it. The dealership did not tell me there was no spare – I believe this to be unacceptable and irresponsible. I would not have purchased the car if the dealership had been forthcoming. Also, a problem with the Michelin tire, which had the blowout in the inside sidewall with 16K miles. Then I found the tire kit which made me think of bike tire repair.

    • Cars without full-size spare tires are the norm lately. You almost have to buy a truck or off-road vehicle to get them. More manufacturers are going with a pump. I keep a good repair kit in my C-Max (as stated in the comments above) and have liked the pump that comes with the C-Max – I used it on our Nissan Leaf to inflate the tires too (it’s better than the one that came with the Leaf). We went on a very long road trip last summer and I took a full size spare with me, but it did take up plenty of space – and I never used it.

  10. I bought my C-Max Engeri 14 month ago, brand new. Yesterday the “Tire Mobility Light” came on. Today I had to replace the canister. I have never used it. It cost me $118.89 to replace it and have it installed. I think it should have been covered under warranty.

    • That is absolutely terrible. What is wrong with Ford??? It’s bad enough that the tires are complete crap and there’s no spare or donut, but to have to spend $118.89 to replace that unused canister is unconscionable! I hope that someone from Ford reads this and reimburses you for something that should, IMHO, been covered! So, I guess this means that any of us who may have the need to use that kit will not only spend $300.00 to replace their terrible tired, but an additional $118.89 to renew the totally inadequate Fix-A-Flat kit. I will never buy another Ford, and my husband and I are currently contemplating our next auto purchase, as I want to be rid, rid, rid of my C-Max.

      • knitbunnie, I’m curious what tires came with your C-Max (Energi or Hybrid). Our 2013 Energi came with very high quality Michelin tires. Ford may be using other tires. It would be pretty nasty if a dealer took the Michelin’s off the car and sold a C-Max with an inferior tire (I hope this isn’t happening). The Michelin’s are lasting far longer for us than the tires that came on our leased Nissan Leaf.

        • Craig – I have Michelins. If you re-read the thread above, I’m not the only one who has had a problem with the sidewalls of these paper thin tires. Yes, the tread is holding up well on mine, but the tires obviously have thin , inadequate sidewalls, as others besides myself have complained about the very same problem. To get a tire that matched when I had to replace one, it was $300, so I know they are not inexpensive tires, but money does not always buy quality.

      • Umm, why not buy the equivalent Fix A Flat version for around $30 on Amazon? It’s cheaper and doesn’t mess up the tire pressure sensor.

    • Cathy, I think you were scammed by the dealer. If you look on page 122 of the manual (I’m referring to the first printing, later printings may be on different pages), it states that you select a number of years for the Tire Mobility Kit. Then on page 130, it states Service Tire Mobility Kit comes on to see an authorized dealer. For some reason, it appears as though you had a very low setting, like one year, for the setting. I don’t believe there is any way for the car to electronically monitor the kit itself. I don’t believe it was proper to replace the kit for a 14 month old car. I think the dealer should have known this and clearly took advantage of you. I also might note that using a tire repair kit, such as the Safety Seal noted above, is better that using the sealant that comes with the kit. The pump in the kit should last many years, I would guess the life of the car. (The pump with the kit is quite nice.)

      • If that low 1-year parameter was set by Ford, they should be responsible for the replacement. If the dealer was out to scam Cathy, Ford should, again, be responsible, since it’s THEIR dealer.

      • I called my dealer back and told him I found out on Fords site that the canister had a 4 year shelf life so they said they would check it out. The called me back and said they are working with Ford to return my money. I will let everyone know when I receive it.

  11. Latest in the saga of the so-called high-quality Michelin tires. I visited the Ford dealer for an oil change and a recall. On the safety inspection, it was found that yet another one of those crappy Michelins was going bad – bubble in the pristine-looking sidewall. As I drive with some regularity on interstates at 70 mph, I decided that, for my own safety, I’d replace all four tires with something different. The service head, after hearing my minor tirade on the Michelins, recommended a different tire, and I drove home with four new tires.

    Hubby and I keep discussing getting rid of the gutless wonder, but we live in a county with one new car dealer, a Chevy dealer, and we don’t want a Chevrolet, either. The Ford dealer where I bought my C-Max is an hour away over a mountain, in a small town in a different county, and we just haven’t had the time to deal with buying another car, or the desire to have to drive even further to find what we want and then to get it serviced in the future. Other than the lousy tires and the endless recalls, I will admit that my C-Max has been trouble-free, so I just keep putting off getting rid of it.

  12. Hummm…my husband and I just purchased a used 2014 C-Max with only 15K miles on it….have owned it less than one week….he just called me from the freeway where he is stranded on the way to work due to a blow-out. AAA tried using the “spare tire kit” without any luck. They are now awaiting the tow truck to arrive to take C-Max to the nearest Ford dealership which is about 30 minutes away. What a hassle! We were not advised that there was no spare tire when we signed the contract; however, they DID make us sign a disclosure about NOT using regular chains on the tires. We were loving our Ford C-Max up until today….. :-(

  13. I was blown away (no pun intended) to see there is no spare as well. I am not comfortable with this. We often drive to Baja and to be down there with fix a flat seems crazy. I have had many flats in my lifetime that were not repairable. Is there an after market rack for the rear hatch to mount a spare on the outside? Might have to get a rack an put one on the roof.

    • Personally, if I were driving to a location like Baja, I just wouldn’t be taking a C-Max. However, I went on a 5000+ mile road trip to Canada where service was limited. I carried a full size tire (rim bought on eBay) within the car strapped down to the rear-60-side car seat in the down position. Jack and wrench also stored in car.

  14. So nice to find this site! I had a flat tire today and I also found out there was not a spare tire. The road side assistance thru Ford was very helpful and discovered it was a leak and drove me to a place to have it sealed.

    What is funnier is that I have a signed warranty for tire coverage but when I called the warranty company they have no record of my contract. So now need to work with the Finance department to figure out why.

    Has any had a problem with their steering gear going out? I have 16,000 miles on my car when it happened. It took the dealership 1 week to get it back to me. Of course the day I got it back, I get the recall notice on the battery!

    One more strike and your out CMAX!

    • Hello Claudia, I’ve been more fortunate than you. I haven’t had any problems. I checked the fordcmaxenergiforum.com and didn’t find any comments on the steering – I may not have found the thread, it could exist. I’m also not aware of the recall notice for the battery. It isn’t on my 2013. Is it the 12V battery?

      • I got a recall notice on my battery about 2 weeks go. I have a 2013 hybrid. Call the dealer and ask about it. Ford’s so not on the ball. I just talked someone out of buying one of these cars.

        • Which battery? 12V or hybrid high voltage. What’s the recall code? I have an Energi. I checked http://owner.ford.com for my vehicle and it doesn’t list a recall for the battery. It would be interesting to know more.

          • I’m not sure about the code – it could be 15B04 (that’s listed as the Customer Satisfaction program number.) Notice states:

            “The 12 volt battery in your vehicle may become discharged after the vehicle is parked overnight or for a short period of time. This could potentially result in a no-start condition.

            “In the interest of customer satisfaction, Ford Motor Company has authorized your dealer to perform the following services free of charge (parts and labor) under the terms of this program:

            “1. Check the 12 volt battery and replace it if necessary.

            “2. Update the software in various modules

            “3. Inspect certain wiring and repair as necessary.”

            My letter is dated simply “May 2015” with no day number.

  15. We have had 3 side tire blow outs in the last 3 months. Two by me and one today by my husband. Just a slight bump to the sidewall at under 5 miles an hour going up driveways. Husband is furious and can’t wait to get rid of car as dealership doesn’t care a bit except to sell you another $300 tire. Very frustrated…this is not hitting a curb at high speed but pulling into church parking lot. Bye-bye Ford….sigh….

  16. The tire fix kit didn’t turn on when I tried to use, followed all directions to the T. What a POS, thanks Ford.

  17. I have had no problems with my tires since switching out all four miserable Michelins for a set of Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires. 12,000 miles later and a few brushes with curbs and many potholes, I’ve had no problem with them, unlike the tissue-paper-sidewalled Michelins that came with my C-Max. I’m going to nurse this crappy car along for another year or two. I put down a deposit on a new Tesla Model 3, and I hope I don’t have to buy any more tires unit my Tesla comes.

  18. I was curious about the lack of a spare tire in my C-Max, so I decided to look into whether there was any research that could assign numbers to the costs and benefits of leaving off a spare tire. I did a Google search, and I contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As far as I have been able to tell, nobody has published research on the costs and benefits of leaving out a spare tire. -And there are costs and benefits. Yes, there is a possibility that you could be stranded on the side of the road without a spare, but you could also be killed on the side of the road while fixing a flat. Spares take up luggage space and add weight to a vehicle. What percentage of flat tires can be fixed (at least temporarily) with a can of fix-a-flat? There is a possibility that some manufacturer has tried to quantify this, but they haven’t published the results, and likely wouldn’t even admit to having the research without a subpoena. I wrote more about it in my blog linked below, and if I come up with new information, I will write about it further.

    http://claosb.blogspot.com/2016/04/my-car-didnt-come-with-spare-tire-is.html

  19. my daughter purchased a C Max and what I have done for her is I purchased a spare tire/jack from a pre 2006 Ford Taurus. she is 500 miles away. From what I have read the bolt spacing is correct. I purchased two tire covers and a tire tote. The tire covers go over the tire/jack and the tote over that. I will need to figure a way to secure it in the vehicle

  20. I want to know as I busted a tire two weeks ago and had to wait for a tow truck for 1 1/2 hours to be towed less than 1 mile to have tire replaced. The first person that came wanted to put my spare on even though I told the insurance people I don’t have a spare tire and they want to know why

    • Ignore, I knew there was no spare tire when I bought the car and made a deal that included a spare tire. Would have taken a doughnut tire but they don’t make them for the C-max so am getting a full size tire.

      • Linda, I have some pictures of what I purchased for my daughters car. See the comments I left that followed your post. What I bought worked well. I am guessing a Taurus jack will work but I don’t have the vehicle here to test it.

  21. I just purchased a C Max wheel, tire, TPMS sensor, Two tire covers, a tire tote, a fold up tire lug wrench, and a Taurus vehicle jack. I put the package together and am shipping it UPS to my daughter. I don’t know how to post a picture but I did take pictures of this.

  22. Cathy, it will need to be kept in the car. The tire should be secured if in the car for safety in the case of a sudden stop. I am not sure if it will fit behind one of the front seats or in the back behind the rear seats. I am packaging the tire assembly to ship to my daughter right now. The car is 500 miles away. I will post some pictures later today I hope. Now one other alternative that will take up less space would be a space saver tire from a 2013 and newer Fusion. Again you would need the jack and handle also. When you see the pics you will see how I packaged the tire to keep from damaging the vehicle interior.

  23. I won’t need the jack etc as I will call people to do it for me. I hated being stuck on the side of the road again, as first people the insurance company sent wanted to change my tire s then I had to wait for another 45 minutes for a tow truck.

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