One of the most important steps when replacing a flat tire is how to get the spare tire out of the trunk.
Without being able to do this, you’ll get stuck, and replacing it will be impossible.
In this article, we’ll be showing the basic principle which can, more or less, be applied to every car. If you’re not in the mood for reading, you can watch a video tutorial at the end of the article or on our YouTube channel.
Also, if you have a fix-a-flat system, then you don’t have a spare tire and the problem is solved differently.
LOCATION OF THE SPARE TIRE
If you want to learn how to get the spare tire out of the trunk, the first thing you have to know is where it’s located.
Different cars have different locations but the most common location is:
Inside the trunk (boot)
In this case, the spare tire is usually located underneath the trunk floorboard, in a compartment made especially for it.
Alongside the spare tire, there may be other compartments made for keeping the usual necessary things like spare bulbs, first aid kits, towing cable perhaps, and so on.
Most cars also have a convenient plastic tool kit molded to fit inside the tire rim. The kit contains the car jack, tool wrench, tow hook, etc.
Underneath the trunk
If the spare tire isn’t inside the trunk, this is the next place to look.
When it’s located under the trunk, it’s usually held in place by a hoist mechanism which, when operated, lowers the tire down.
It’s lowered by using the tire wrench in a combination with another lever. So, first, you assemble the lever and then lower the tire down.
Other less common places
For cars that have engines in the rear, the tire is usually located in the front compartment (front trunk).
The spare tire might also be located inside the side panel of the trunk. It can even be located in the engine bay.
Of course, for pick-ups and terrain vehicles, the tire may be attached to the back door or even the hood (bonnet).
In this article, we’ll be focusing on the first location (in the trunk) as it’s the most common.
HOW TO GET THE SPARE TIRE OUT OF THE TRUNK?
1. RAISE THE FLOORBOARD AND SECURE IT
On most floorboards, you’ll find a handle of some sort for pulling it up.
Also, there will likely be a system for keeping it in place so it doesn’t fall on you when working around the spare tire.
Some boards are foldable or retractable and stay that way in place. But in this case, the handle also serves as a plastic hook. One side of the handle, when unlatched, reveals a hook.
It’s intended to be hooked on a convenient place on the car. Here, it’s on the upper part of the trunk.
Make sure to secure the floorboard properly so it doesn’t fall on you while you’re taking out and returning the spare tire.
2. OPEN THE TOOL KIT LOCATED INSIDE THE SPARE TIRE (OPTIONAL)
If your car doesn’t have a tool kit inside the spare tire, then skip this step.
But if it does, you’ll have to remove it to gain access to the spare tire. The tool kit is usually a plastic container molded specifically to hold the car jack, tire wrench, towing hook, or other useful things regarding a tire change.
In this example, the tool kit has a plastic lid that you have to raise. After that, the car jack has to be removed for the next step to be possible.
Worth mentioning is that these tool kits were, in most cases, logically made. When you have to change the tire, you first have to take out the car jack. After that, you can take out the whole tool kit for more practical usage. This also reduces the possibility of leaving tools behind when you’re finished.
3. TAKE OFF THE SCREW HOLDING BOTH THE SPARE TIRE AND TOOL KIT
Even if there isn’t any tool kit, the tire will probably be held in place with a screw.
The point of the screw is to tighten the spare tire in place so it doesn’t move and thump while driving.
When you have a tool kit inside the rim, the screw usually holds both the tool kit and tire in place.
The screw is easily recognized as it has, in most cases, a big plastic handle on top of it, suitable for taking off by hand.
Grab the screw and turn counterclockwise. It may take some time to remove it because of the long thread.
4. TAKE OUT THE TOOL KIT
Best put the tool kit aside for further usage if you need to change the spare tire.
5. TAKE OUT THE SPARE TIRE
You can grab the spare tire at a place best suitable for you. The only thing you should take care of at this point is to avoid damaging any of the trunk interior (like the holders, plastic trim panels, or else).
Perhaps the best holding place is the middle hole, where the lug nuts are supposed to be. Here the balance is best and if the tire is smaller, you can do it with one hand.
Another option is to grab it by the side with two hands and then pull it out.
Whatever you choose, try to pull out the spare tire in one sweep. From the compartment directly to the ground.
This is perhaps the heaviest part of learning how to get the spare tire out of the trunk. Especially if the spare tire is bigger and the trunk is deeper. But with some average strength, it can be done.
If you have problems replacing a spare tire, check out this article dedicated solely to that topic.
Once you’ve finished changing, you may want to return the flat tire back into the compartment. If this is so just use the same procedure but in reverse:
- Return the spare tire back into the compartment
- Put the tool kit (with tools inside) back into place
- Insert the screw and tighten it. Make sure the tool kit fits properly into place so it doesn’t rattle while driving.
- If you have to, return the car jack or other tools back into place
- Lower the floorboard (if you need to, return the handle (hook) back into place).
As you’ve hopefully noticed, learning how to get the spare tire out of the trunk is very easy.
It’s considered basic and necessary knowledge for every serious driver.
One more piece of advice for the end: know your car and its basics. The least a driver can do is to know where everything is stored in the car.
Having this knowledge, not only for a spare tire but for other things like the spare bulbs, first aid kit, warning triangle, car jack, and else will enable you to get yourself out of trouble faster and with more ability.
Otherwise, you may get stuck in a serious situation because of a trivial thing.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO GET THE SPARE TIRE OUT OF THE TRUNK-YOUTUBE VIDEO