Ford Authority

2021 Ford Escape Replaces Spare Tire With Repair Kit

With some exceptions, virtually every vehicle on the market comes with at least a small spare wheel and tire in the event that its owner encounters a flat while out on the road. That includes the 2020 Ford Escape, which offered a Mini Spare Wheel and Tire as standard equipment on the S, SE, Sport, and Titanium trims. It was also planned to be offered on the Escape PHEV, but that model was delayed and none were produced for the 2020 model year. However, the 2021 Ford Escape will not come with a spare tire at all.

Instead, the 2021 Ford Escape will come equipped with a Tire Inflator and Sealant kit as standard equipment on all trim levels. However, for those that prefer to have a spare tire on board, it will remain an option on all series of the crossover.

There are a few pros and cons that come with both a spare tire and tire repair kit. Spare tires are great when they’re needed, providing a quick and easy way to get back on the road, no matter how badly the original tire is damaged. This can prevent owners from having to wait around for assistance as well, which can sometimes take a while to arrive.

On the downside, spare tires are heavy, require a decent amount of space to store, and can negatively affect fuel economy. They’re also typically only good for around 50 miles, and must be replaced, like a regular tire, when they’re worn out. Some people aren’t physically able to change a tire as well, as their weight and the act of jacking up a vehicle is oftentimes cumbersome.

On the flip side, tire inflator and sealant kits are convenient, lightweight, and don’t take up much space in a vehicle at all. However, they only work on tires that have incurred minor damage, such as the typical nail puncture, or anything less than 4 millimeters in size. If a tire suffers any other sort of damage, the owner will have to wait around for assistance instead of just installing the spare and going on their merry way.

We’ll have more on the 2021 Escape soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Escape news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Chris

    This is a tough one. But if the fix a flat kit is enough to get you off the road quickly and to a service station, then maybe that’s the way to go. Changing a tire on the interstate is horrific and parked on the side waiting for assistance is almost as bad with cars and big rigs blowing by you at 75MPH.

  2. Motorpsychology

    And for 2022, they replace the tire repair kit with a 5% discount code for a can of Slime at Wal-Mart!

  3. trailhiker

    Another reason to buy a Bronco Sport if you even think you may do any off-road driving!

    With all the equipment deletions, the 2021 should be much cheaper than the 2020!

  4. Raymond Ramirez

    I used Fix-a-Flat several times in my older cars, and it works great for most conditions. Only those who drive in dangerous or severely damaged road should carry the spare. In my two present cars, none have ever needed a spare (one has eleven years of service), and both carry the inflator kits. In one, there is a hard foam filler shaped as a wheel and holding the kit, so swapping a spare in is easy. The space is there.

  5. Chris

    Interesting Raymond. I was thinking if anyone has run the odds of getting a flat tire while on the road? I think most tire issues happen after the car is parked or when a slow leaks develops and then you have the time to get it patched.

    1. Motorpsychology

      The spare tire is a vestige from a hundred years ago. flats or blowouts are rare on light vehicles nowdays. If you are doing frequent towing, especially in hot weather a full-size spare is preferable.
      We used to check the spares in trades we took in when I was in the car biz. Full size or compact, many of the 4 year+ old vehicles were low or flat themselves from non-use. How good is a flat spare after you disgorged all of your vacation gear to get to it?

  6. Snark Twain

    Actually, a spare is not standard on the SE Sport. I know, I own one.

  7. George

    I would never buy a car or truck without a spare tire period. That fix a flat is a joke. First of all some of it is Cancer Causing a lot of tire shops charge extra to clean it out of the tire and it don’t work very well anyway. I live in Montana the nearest Home Depot is a 160 miles away! So how in the hell are you going to get someone to save you when you are out in the middle of nowhere? Think about that!

    1. Bella

      I agree with you 100%. I will never buy one without a spare tire.


    I’ve been tempted to remove my spare. I’ve been able to plug 3 of the 4 flats I’ve gotten over +300,000 miles of driving. The flat I couldn’t patch was on my work van. The tire was shredded and the bottle jack my transit van comes with is really hard to get to a jack point. I had to give up that ride to a co-worker anyway. I almost wish I just got AAA to tow my car 😂

  9. Ford guy for life

    If Ford wants to eliminate spare tires all together, then they should at least offer run flat tires that would get you home or to a service center for a replacement tire. The only problem with that is the initial cost of the tires maybe a deciding factor when purchasing a new Escape. The Bronco Sport would be the better option if you plan to do any off roading .

  10. whypac

    Full size spares for off road vehicles are useful. The donut spares on every other vehicle aren’t, barring the case the tire you are trying to fix is destroyed. The donut spares have limited speed and range. If the tire is not destroyed, a fix-a-flat/repair kit should provide the same functionality as the donut and probably be easier to employ.

    In addition, there are situations where having a spare tire will still be useless to you. The last two times I had a flat tire, the spare was useless. The most recent time, the jack included with the vehicle, which is all you have when you are on the side of the road unless you go out an buy an aftermarket jack and carry it with you, deformed and collapsed while removing the tire. Yes, I noticed and got out of the way as the car returned to the ground. But at this point I had to call a tow truck, which upon arrival the driver just shook his head knowingly and said “Those jacks are shit”. And at this point I wasn’t going to waste my time having the tow truck driver jack the car and put the donut on. Just take the car to a tire shop where I can have a real tire put on straight away.

    The time before this, the tire blew out on a highway, where the shoulder was barely wide enough to get car off the road. There was like 2 inches between between the car and the white line of the highway, on a blind curve, with semis barreling by. The blown tire was driver side. No room to work. Had to call a tow truck to get the vehicle out of there, with the choice of towing to a parking lot to put the donut on or tow to a tire store and get a real tire. Again, chose the latter. I needed a real tire. I was 700 miles from and needed a tire. The donut wasn’t going to make that trip.

    In both of these cases there is zero difference between a donut spare, fix-a-flat/repair kit, or even full size spare; barring in the latter case, you don’t have to purchase a full size tire straight away.

  11. Gilles

    Y’a you going for a long trip you got a blowout got to wait for AAA or CAA and oh we don’t have that size of tire on stock okay who’s will pay for my stay at the hotel/motel and my lost time ….to never mind the weight FOMOCO save money $$$$ the guys who’s decided that are flying we should have the option to have the FULL spare tire I’m paying the gas here.

  12. trailhiker

    A can of sealant is going to damage your tire pressure monitor, and the cans do expire 2 years after manufacture. Are you going to remember to swap it out?

  13. trailhiker

    Also, the cans will freeze up in the winter.

  14. Gary

    Yes this is a stuff one. I believe ford should stick with spare or at least a donut spare.

  15. VertigoFox

    Considering you get 5 years roadside service from Ford this is not even an issue. Most insurance companies also have roadside for less than it would be to properly maintain the spare

  16. Bella

    I will never buy one without a spare tire. No way am I going to be able to find an open tire shop in the middle of nowhere in NY or PA on a Sunday morning.

  17. Geoff

    I was once advised at a tire shop that repair kits based on spraying something into the tire could not be used with tire pressure monitor sensors, since the spray substance could ruin the sensor. I wonder how this issue has been solved ?

  18. Jose

    Having to wait two hours to be towed is not fun. Have I’ve known there was no spare and no run flat tires… I would have hesitated to purchase the vehicle.

  19. frank gerardi

    my “service tire mobility kit” dash cluster warning light will not go out even if I set it to 4 years. ford escape is only 1 year old, and sealant kit does’nt expire until 2026. dealer has no idea how to fix. They are bringing out regonal ford techs to investigate as they say they never heard of this problem. EXECPT all ford cars using this kit have had to have the module Flashed and software reinstalled. that’s the only fix??????

  20. frank gerardi

    I mean severarl cars not all. fat fingers

  21. Lisa Zacchio

    Gof help the person stuck at 1 am in the middle of nowhere with a flat that can’t be fixed with a sealant. And what happens if you can’t get phone service?

  22. Mark

    If you have to use the tire sealer, you kill the expensive valve stem sensor. The question is, how much is the cost for a new valve stem sensor installed by Ford? Ford should install new sensors free of charge if you use the fix a flat sealer.

  23. Richard Harwell

    I just bought a 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid with the knowledge that I could never be within a spare since most of my off road adventures are well beyond AAA and cell service. After I got home with the car I immediately went to my favorite tire place to order the correct spare tire configuration for the Escape. When I lifted the spare tire cover, low and behold, I discovered Ford had stuck a battery in the hole making it impossible to carry a spare. You can guess the rest, I have a new Ford Escape Hybrid for sale. My last Ford forever.

  24. Shane Campbell

    Blow outs and debris damage make spares a must….. Why make us all so weak and dependent?

  25. Racho Harris

    I just discovered our 2021 Eco Sport does not have a spare tire but an inflator kit. Not overly pleased about this.
    I have read stories about the inflator kit and they seem fine for a nail or another type of minor puncture.
    How reliable are these kits.

  26. James Cousino

    I just purchased mud guards for my 2022 Ford Escape SEL. In order to install them on the front, the tire has to be removed. To my surprise, when I opened the trunk, there was not a spare tire, or a jack. WTH?

  27. Michael Mallon

    Ok, its Sunday and your tire gets a puncher on the sidewall. It can’t be fixed and you’re out in the middle of nowhere! A spare would be real nice right now, yes?


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