By on May 10, 2016

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TTAC commentator Macca writes:

Sajeev,

This is random, but I was wondering if you could look into an automotive curiosity that has bugged me for some time. Internet searches on the subject have not produced any answers so far, unfortunately.

I do not own a Ram truck, nor do I envision ever purchasing one, but I do often find myself sitting in traffic behind one. I’ve noticed that on recent models, the rear bumper has a slight indentation above and to the right of the license plate area. This indentation appears to coincide with what appears to be a drain hole of some sort for the bed, but the two aren’t ever fully aligned.

It’s probably no shock that I’m a bit OCD about automotive things, and this is the first thing I see as I stare at the rear of any Ram truck in traffic — kinda how I always look for the cracked plastic liftgate panel on third-gen Explorers. I know, it’s a sickness. (You need some Vellum for your Venom, son! – SM) 

Sajeev answers:

There was a time when I didn’t know what that hole was for either. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter!

It was before I changed a flat on a buddy’s truck, which was then my truck. I had to rotate my tires — except not. As if a 24 Hours of LeMons Judge ever rotates his own tires with so many terrible racers just begging for the task.

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Or at least they used to. Sigh, it couldn’t last forever.

Mopar’s own YouTube channel has the best explanation of why that hole exists; it’s so you can lower the full-size spare tire. I appreciate the truck spare tire’s space efficient design, even if it’s fiddly to extract and frustrating to re-install in the best of weather.

Plus, it’s far too easy for thieves to steal your (valuable, full-size) spare.

Between this and tailgate theft, truckers of all sizes got problems. This is somewhat addressed in newer designs: many trucks have (optional) lockable tailgates. For years, both Ford and Chevy use a lock cylinder shared with your ignition key to ensure nobody gets your spare — including you if you forget to re-key the bumper when addressing your ignition.

Suffice to say, truckers got lots of problems with their holes!

[Images: OP, © 2014 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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75 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Little Hole, The Truck Spare Tire...”


  • avatar
    GTL

    To be clear, you insert a rod, included with the jack, through the hole into a square opening above the spare tire. Then, with the handle provided, you lower the spare to the ground.

    I find it to be relatively simple to use, plus you don’t have to physically lift the tire to return it to its stored position. Not sure what could be more convenient for a full-size spare. Ford had a similar arrangement in older models, don’t know about now.

    • 0 avatar
      Sjalabais

      Side walls are not wide enough to hold a full size spare nowadays? What bothers me with “lower your spare from under the vehicle”-solutions is…

      A) They’re always really dirty and Murphy’s law insist you wear a dress and a tie the day you have a flat.

      B) It’s an inconvenient location for regular pressure checks. I’ve checked the tire pressure on my Honda Stream’s similarly located spare tire once in 40 months. It will be useless when I need it.

      Google ‘Volvo 240 spare tire well’ to find a perfect, clean, well-hidden, easily checked location for a spare.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        re: B – you’d think that an internally stored spare would be easy to check the PSI on. Nope, they always seem to face the floor because of the backspacing/offset. So, to just check the pressure I have to take apart the rear of my car and remove the spare.
        Oddly enough I don’t check it as often as I probably should.

        • 0 avatar
          Gardiner Westbound

          Install a Chek-A-Spare valve stem extension, available from http://www.getagauge.com/accessories.cfm

          Attach the 40 inch hose to the spare tire valve and place the other end in a convenient location. Use your tire gauge on this end to check pressure and inflate the tire when needed. US$6 plus shipping.

      • 0 avatar
        Ko1

        Oddly enough, GM already solved the problem with the 1955+ Chevy Cameo pickup. The center section of the rear bumper is hinged and behind that, the spare tire fits into a neat little bin.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          A hinged rear bumper? That was in 1955, before the Insurance Institute and certain gov’mint agencies was taken over by them pinko commie preverts.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “B) It’s an inconvenient location for regular pressure checks. I’ve checked the tire pressure on my Honda Stream’s similarly located spare tire once in 40 months. It will be useless when I need it.”

        Keeping a $40 air compressor in the vehicle spares you from ever needing to check the spare. If that’s all that you’re going to use it for even the $20 Harbor Freight version would do. Buy the one that clips to your battery in preference to the one that blows the fuses in your cigarette lighter.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Watch out for the 12 dollar “120 PSI” HF air compressor. If you are lucky, it will actually inflate a tire three times before falling apart.
          The air pressure gauge is off by several multitudes, and it’s built so poorly that you will be throwing it into a dumpster in disgust before your next bi-weekly paycheck shows up.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          +1. My full size spare is face down, and I often find a way to injure my back wrestling it out of the trunk. The less I have to do that the better.

          My air compressor has been a fixture in my trunk since I had a bad bead seal causing a wheel to slowly lose pressure. Not worrying about the spare is another advantage.

        • 0 avatar
          JonBoy470

          I have a pair of little Campbell-Hausfld inflators for this task. One in each car. Purchased at Walmart for $10 each probably 15 or 20 years ago, and working great the whole time, though I have replaced the original cigarette lighter plug is on both of them over the years.

          https://campbellhausfeld.com/12-volt-inflator-rp1200.html?category_id=309

      • 0 avatar
        iantg

        My old X3 had a quirky bottom mounted spare. It was in a sleeve that you lowered from inside the trunk and it would slide right out from under the back of the bumper. One neat little thing about it was that the tire faced down and there was a hole near the back of the car that you could align the tire’s valve stem to be accessible from for checking the pressure on. It wasn’t a bad set up. I never once had to use the spare on that car oddly enough.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      To further clarify, the notch is actually aligned with the hole. The crank mechanism for the spare lift cable is centered on the frame. The notch in the bumper has to be off-center to clear the license plate. The hole in the bed below the tailgate is therefore aligned between the centered crank and the offset bumper notch for someone to insert the crank handle.

      In my 2002 Ram the crank for the spare winch is the flattened end of the jack handle. I found this much more useful and less likely to be packed with mulch and/or road grime than the hex socket common on older F150s.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      While not as convenient as attaching an extension, you can install the spare face down, so that the valve stem is accessible from under the vehicle.

  • avatar

    #1 buy a full sized spare with a regular tire like the ones you are already using.

    #2 mount it to your vehicle.

    The problem is that so many of today’s generation has no idea how to do anything pertaining to car maintenance. If they get a flat, they end up waiting for AAA.

    This has allowed the industry to get away with not giving spares – along with their playing into the rice racer’s belief that no spare = less mass = Brilliant mass reduction.

    The vast majority of commuter vehicles – especially SUV and CUV should have a full sized spare with a matching rim.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “especially SUV and CUV should have a full sized spare with a matching rim”

      I can get behind this. One of the most common adaptations for the Russian market that automakers have to make is to add a fullsize spare. On many sedans and crossovers these days, this requires raising the trunk floor slightly in order to accomodate the non-donut-width spare tire. The other most common change is a minor suspension lift (typically 1 inch or so), and optional factory engine skid plate. For reference, a typical FWD Lada will already start with about 185mm of ground clearance (7.3 inches) and a long-travel suspension tuned for compliance while resisting bottoming out. My coworker’s Audi SQ5 on factory 21 inch(!!!) rims already bent a wheel not 3 months into ownership, and he lives in the nice part of town with better road maintenance.

      To be fair, in many parts of the US one can get by with never having to use the spare tire in years of driving.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Not to mention that many drivers can’t change their own tires. Even if my wife could generate enough force to get the wheel lugs off, there’s no way she could wrestle the mini spare out of the vehicle, let alone get the 20 inch rim and tire back into the hatch of her Explorer.

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          My wife changed a tire on her Sienna recently. I was a good 30 minutes away from where she was, and she was under time constraints that wouldn’t allow her to wait that long. The spare is a crank-down type on a cable, under the right (passenger) side. There’s a flap in the carpet that you lift, and use the lug wrench on a bolt, to crank the wheel down.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          I just bought a second lug wrench that extends to double its length to give you the leverage you need to get those over torqued lugs off. Of course the real problem are the tire shops using air impact tools to mount the rims in the first place. I also bought an adapter that allows you to use a standard 1/2″ ratchet on the stock scissor jack to crank it up (or down) with ease.

          However your right with the second part: the flat OEM rim/tire combo is so heavy storing it is basically impossible.

          My worst spare related problem was the day I realized my trucks lug size was different from my trailer’s lug size.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            If you use the right tire dealer (Discount Tire), they use a torque wrench to finish. They just occasionally cross-thread a nut (I had recently replaced a stud and nut on the wheel she changed).

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I have 16″ wheels on the Taurus (2006 alloys I bought from a BHPH car lot for $100 off craigslist when they put dubs on their lot car), but I have a 15″ full size spare in the trunk. I am certain itll be fine if I ever need it, and it wont be on there for long anyway. I think it beats the hell out of the doughnut that came with the car.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Dubbin’ a DN101? Yo, fo sho dawg.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Yeah, I thought it was weird. I asked why, and he said the last one came in like that and was sold in two days, so he figured what the hell, lol. Not my choice, but whatever floats their boat.

            It actually wasnt as gaudy as youd think, but still, not my cup-o-tea. I was just happy to score a decent set of alloys for super cheap. Ive had a couple of random strangers compliment me on them. They were on so many 04-7 cars, they dont phase you, but they really stand out on my 95.

            By the way, 28, John and I have relocated to Florida, and the plethora of low mileage cream puffs around here is going to make buying a second car a much easier task than it was at my previous location. I found a super clean 1997 Bonnie with 95K on it for less than $2k. Also, 04 Sable LS (Duratec!) With 101k for similar money. Also of interest: 2012 Ford Fiesta hatch (auto -damn it) with light front end damage for under $2k. Driver’s bag popped, and salvage title, but runs/drives perfect. I dont think it even got the radiator, and the hood latches. Just looking at it, you notice the dented hood and missing grille, thats about it. Not bad IMO.

            John is perfectly happy with driving the 95 Taurus, so I might just find myself something wacky to drive. First contender is a 1969 Toyota Corona coupe for $2900.

            I really wanted to find him a mid-90s Accord with a five speed so he can get used to driving a manual. That may still happen. I left quite a lot of stuff at home, so Im also thinking a Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup would make for a decent second vehicle.

            So many choices! We are currently renting a room, so getting our own place will have to happen first. Its nice to know we arent looking at a bunch of 200k-mile Dodge Spirits and Chevy Cavaliers in our price range, though.

      • 0 avatar
        varinki

        I consider a full sized spare an essential piece of equipment for a car.
        Especially as I often end up on some gravel road at the back of beyond.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My Jetta SportWagen had a full-sized spare. It wasn’t pretty like the other four wheels, but it was full-sized and I knew that in an emergency, I wouldn’t be stuck on a donut. The Golf SportWagen, unfortunately, does have a donut…which I had to make use of a couple of weeks ago. There is room for a full-sized spare, but they didn’t include one.

      My X5 had run-flats, which was stupid. Evidently, there was a full-sized spare kit available from the dealership for something like $300. But on X5 examples with the third-row / air-suspension combo, there was no room for a spare at all, so the spare-tire kit was a moot point for those cars.

      Generally, the only plebeian cars that don’t come with spare tires at all are hybrids and sports coupes like the Mustang.

      But I agree; full-sized spare tires should be the norm. Interestingly, Volkswagen’s larger crossovers (Touareg, Cayenne, Q7 and presumably the Bentayga) have a spare that’s deflated, and which may or may not be full-sized. There’s an onboard compressor you use to inflate the wheel before you stick it on. Unfortunately, the wheel tends to be bright orange and an utter eyesore.

      http://2016movie.net/images.php?L=http://doubleclutch.blob.core.windows.net/doubleclutch/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/DSC02296_0.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        never_follow

        They’ve put the build sticker on a removable piece of styrofoam? What an idiotic place, it’ll be lost by the time someone interested in the information actually goes to look for it.

        On all Audi/VW I’ve owned or seen, they’re in or around the spare wheel, directly affixed to the body. Or inside the trunklid for my 1990 V8 (But there isn’t even a decoder for old options, sadly)

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      +1 on a matching rim. If you’re going to pay the weight and cost penalty for having a 5th wheel and tire then you really ought to be able to include it in your tire rotation and get your money’s worth out of it. It really pains me to throw out a $150 tire with perfect tread that dry rotted.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Not to mention that you can’t just buy a donut tire – you have to replace the tire and wheel as an assembly (normally a dealer-only thing). And, they can run $400-$600. If you have room to fit in the donut’s location, it’s cheaper to buy a full-size (used or takeoff) wheel and a new tire.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          The answer to this problem is eBay or a junk yard. I run oversized brakes (4 pot Akebonos) on my Z thus the stock donuts doesn’t fit. So I had to source the spare from a different Nissan (actually an Infiniti G35S) to clear the brakes.

          My B5 Passat came with a full size spare on a real rim… I was shocked! All over vehicles I’ve owned just had the donut option.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I have a full sized spare, per the owner’s manual supplement, but it’s a -1 diameter from the factory wheels. It does however match the size of my winter wheels if not the design.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I was pleasantly surprised that my Highlander not only included a full size spare tire but it was mounted on an aluminum wheel that matched the other 4 on the vehicle. That group of engineers definitely wanted you to do a full rotation.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That hole is where the tailgate rust starts on all Rams! It’s there so you know where to look first.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I once heard that the shrinking and disappearing spare tires also had to do with crashworthiness as much as mass reduction. Those full-sized wheels don’t crush very well.

    It makes some sense, in that full-sized truck there is plenty of space for crush zones, but in a smaller car it takes up a good amount of room and flats are pretty rare occurrences these days, anyway. So, do you design around a large heavy solid mass that will rarely be used (and most buyers don’t even know HOW to put use themselves) or provide roadside assistance and a can of fix a flat?

    By the way, are run-flat tires dead on the market these days or have they become more drive-able so that we rarely read complaints about them? I haven’t heard much mention of them recently.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      Full sized trucks have to come with a full sized spare.

      Donuts don’t do so well when you have 4500 pounds over the rear axle hauling a big gooseneck or a load of blocks to the job site.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My X5 had run-flats. I did not appreciate them. The spare-tire kit was a dealer accessory, except for cars which had the third-row / air-suspension combo…because there was no room for a spare.

      As for fix-a-flat, it’s useless if someone cuts you off and you steer into a curb, ripping open your sidewall—as was the case with my car a couple of weeks ago.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        On AWD Siennas, run-flats are standard, because the place where the spare normally goes is partially occupied by the transfer case for the AWD system.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          Runflats are probably standard because a full size spare is likely the only other option on an AWD anything.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            That, too. But, AWD Sienna owners on forums have complained that there’s no room to put the spare underneath, because of the transfer case.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Are you sure about that? I’m genuinely curious. I’ve never seen a transfer case anywhere near the rear of a vehicle, but then again I’ve never been under a Sienna. Most AWD systems found in platforms similar to the Sienna are front wheel drive until traction is needed when the rear end is engaged through a electromagnetic coupling.

            I could see the rear diff being an issue with the configuration of current minivans low floor plans

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Donuts and those inflation kits are an abomination.

      One of the first things I did when I bought my Crown Vic was toss the donut.

      Of course, then you also have to own a vehicle that can accommodate a full-size spare…

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Hey, don’t insult the donuts by connecting them in any way with a can of fix-a-flat! At least it’s a usable tire.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          I stand by my slur. They have no place on lumbering dinosaur cars.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Only time I’ve ever had a flat, I was driving between Detroit and Toledo. I wasn’t as anal about checking my pressures before a long drive, and that coupled with a bad pothole hit earlier in the day caused a loss of pressure, could have even been a blowout because of the damage, even though I heard nothing — the car just got a little skittish after the vibration started.

          Point being that 30 minutes later, I was back on the freeway heading south, crawling along in the right lane at the speed limit of 50mph for the tire, when a camoed prototype car (turned out it was a previous-Gen Mazda 6) went by; never having seen a prototype before, I put the hammer down to 80mph with no problems. (Then slowed down when I caught up and got a look.)

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Not sure about the newer trucks, but on the ’94-02 generation the “hole” is a female hex socket for a drive rod that runs back to the cable reel which raises and lowers the spare.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    While we’re at it, what is the little cutout on so many rear bumpers for? At first I assumed they were for an optional backing camera. But most of those seem to be positioned near the license plate.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Generally, plastic square cutouts on any bumper cover a tow hook. How you pop the painted plug in and out without completely screwing up the paint is beyond me, though.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    You could buy the faux truck called the Honduh Ridgeline that not only features and underbed covered catbox (complete with liquid drain) and then you can then contemplate, with the 100 pounds of cargo you can carry in that thing how to unload that cargo to access the covered catbox so you can slide the spare tire out and then have to reload the cargo.

    Honduh – designed by idiots for idiots – and you then think you are all that and a bag of chips because Honduh once built cars that were better than average and now are ugly and average.

    • 0 avatar
      lot9

      Amen… Getting that spare out.. would give one a heart attack. The Big Boys of Truck making, figured out, long ago…. spares should be easy to get to and to load and unload.

      Honda has lost it’s mojo when coming to autos today.

      The tranny in the new models has laws suits galore being filed against Honda. They sure know how to screw up a good drive train with the odd ball tranny.

      They can not figure out what to call or do with the crossover model of the accord.

      Thought they were going to make a wagon, but not so. Drove one.. not impressed.

      Too much road noise for me in Hondas and no features basically in their autos.
      Better makes and models on the market. The Koreans are eating their lunch, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The “crossover model of the accord” is the Pilot. I think they know exactly what they’re doing with it.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I think he’s referring to the Crosstour.

          Which is sort of fair, even said as someone who likes the Crosstour.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Ah, okay. The use of the present tense (“they can not [sic] figure” vs. the past tense “they could not figure”) threw me off, since the Crosstour is now an ex-CUV.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Even this fanboi agrees with the better moniker for that vehicle: “CrossTurd.”

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “with the 100 pounds of cargo you can carry in that thing”

      You do realize that the Ridgeline has payload numbers equal to much of the halfton pickup field and even exceeding those of many configurations of the Ram?

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      Lazerwizard your contributions would be a better fit over at Motor Trend. Did you learn your craft at the Fox News comment section?

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I think if someone tried to punish me by making me rotate his tires, I’d retaliate by using his oil pan as a jacking point.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Given that I recently had two of the cars I service experience rocker panel damage due to well-intentioned men helping women with flat tires by jacking from the center of the vehicle, I’d rather just avoid having anybody touch my vehicle in any way.

  • avatar
    its me Dave

    The cable holding the spare my S10 rusted out sometime between its 5th and 10th Michigan winter. It was an inconvenient discovery, but I figured it was common. (My sincere apologies to the unfortunate motorist who may have first encountered my unfettered space saver)

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Rusting cables caused a special service campaign and recall on Toyota Siennas. My Tacoma? It uses a chain instead of a cable. Weird.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “My Tacoma? It uses a chain instead of a cable. Weird.”

        Yep and that chain on my ’93 Toyota PU rusted like a mother so the first time I needed my spare I couldn’t get it down. The crank was frozen and I broke the tool trying to turn it. I knew someone that had the same issue with a Toyota PU truck like mine so I had even took the time to lower it when the truck was 2-3 years old and grease everything to keep it from happening. I eventually got it down and fixed but it was no small project.

        Makes me think I should check the spare on my 12 year old Sierra this week to see if it will release or if everything is corroded/rusted solid after 12 salty MN winters.

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          Fortunately, I’m in Texas, where dirt is the only thing that sticks to the chain. I think they should use a cable, and make all the parts out of stainless. But what do I know?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I was driving my cousin’s 97 Grand Caravan (which had never been exposed to salty NE winters) and the spare fell out. I watched it in the mirror as other cars avoided it (which was amazing as this was at night). I went back and got it, threw it in the cargo area and went on about my drive home.

      When it came out, it got wedged between the bottom of the vehicle and the road for a split second, which lifted the back in a most unsettling manner. I hated that thing.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Same thing happened to me on my 99 GMC Sonoma this winter.
      Somewhere on the roads of Indiana there’s a donut spare looking for its little truck.
      Never even noticed until I put it on the lift for maintenance.
      The failure must be right at the end of the cable where some kind of fitting is swedged on. The remaining section of cable looks great.
      Since the whole winch assembly is riveted together, you have to buy the whole thing to replace. I just used some 3/16 inch dia cable clamps to make a new end retention.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    All this talk of spare tires reminds me of years ago in Ecuador. Early 70’s. We were going down a one lane dirt road into an extinct volcano crater in our late 60’s Land Rover 110 and came upon a two axle truck that had been coming up the road. The truck had a flat tire and they had a spare (treadless, but who needs tread at 15 mph?), but no jack. No problem. They had driven the flat tire up onto a soft rock, put a prop under the axle, and were chipping the rock out from under the tire. Since we didn’t feel like waiting three or four more hours, we lent them the tiny hydraulic we carried in the LR.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Plus, it’s far too easy for thieves to steal your (valuable, full-size) spare.”

    When I bought my Tacoma, the first things I bought were wheel locks (McGard), a tailgate lock (also McGard), and a spare tire lock (Toyota/McGard).

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    At lat most of you have a spare. I have a can of goo.

    Anybody know the shelf life of the can of goo?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The propellant will gradually leak out, or go bad, or lose its fizz, or something. I had a can under my sink and it was worthless after two years. Better get a new can every year.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    My F250 doesn’t have an ignition-style keylock protecting the spare.

    It has a Strangely Keyed Insert that you put on the end of the rod when lowering it.

    (So, someone stealing my not-interesting spare could do so by hammering on the socket pretty good, if they were willing to take time and make noise.

    Or climb under and cut the cable.

    All theft prevention in cars is raising the marginal cost, not “stopping” them, after all.

    I also religiously lock the tailgate – AND have hose clamps tightened over the bit where it pops out. Again, raising the marginal cost of stealing it after popping the lock or an accidental unlock state; requires another tool and some fiddling around to get the clamp off.)

  • avatar
    dal20402

    What is happening that you all have to use the spare so often?

    OK, if you’re off-roading where there are sharp rocks, I get it. But I’ve been driving for almost 25 years and had to use a spare exactly once (and that was shortly after I started driving).

    The LS has a full-size spare on an alloy, but it’s not included in the rotation because the previous owner PVD’d only the four non-spare wheels. It’s probably rotten because it’s the original tire from 2008. The Acura has a donut and the C-Max a can of goo and a compressor. Any of those solutions are fine with me because on our acceptable roads I feel the risk of flats is very low.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    My ’94 Ranger has the spare slung under it’s rear end. Since the Splash model has rather nice chromed wheels (just found new faux Ford centers for $60 the set!!)I’m tempted to blow $40 on a bed holder for the spare plus a locking lug and a cover.
    But the bed is small and already has a HD plastic toolbox behind the cab. An upright spare would intrude even more so I’m still prevaricating.

  • avatar
    Macca

    Late to respond to this – but I feel pretty silly for asking about this now! Never owned a truck though, nor have I helped change a tire on a truck, so I’m sticking to that defense.

    I’m still a bit perplexed by how horribly the bumper cutout is aligned with the spare keyhole – you can tell from a Google image search of the Ram that some are aligned well yet on others, the keyhole is almost entirely obscured by the bumper – while the cutout is way off. Seems like a weird QC issue or perhaps even related to some play in bumper alignment?

    But, as to the purpose, the more you know! Thanks Sajeev!

  • avatar
    stevenj

    If you live in a region that uses road salt these mechanisms are pretty much useless after 3 years.

  • avatar
    JonBoy470

    Chrysler Stow and Go vans have an even more interesting variation of this mechanism. The spare lives under the floor under the front seats. You remove a cap from the floor (or the bottom of the center console) then insert the crank rod into the floor to lower the tire. The rod is then reassembled into a different configuration to retrieve the tire from under the van.

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  • -Nate: I owned a ’63, ’64 and ’65 Lincoln and all were stellar cars if not suited for anything I...
  • JMII: Agreed. The stock market made little sense before but these days its way too high given the conditions...
  • Chocolatedeath: Those actually sell rather well, so well in fact Honda, VW and Chevy copied the 5 passenger mid size...

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