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If you drive a truck, van, or pickup truck, you likely need to know how to get the spare tire from under your car in a flat tire situation.

Opening the trunk to access the spare tire is the easiest method for most car owners. Unfortunately, it's not an option for all vehicles, and you might need to go under the car to retrieve the spare instead.

You can use a spare tire kit (STK) or the manual approach with pliers and a crank to get a spare tire from under the car. There is a hole near the rear bumper with a lock. You can lower the tire to the ground from under the vehicle by unlocking it and inserting the jack extension rod.

The tools available will significantly affect how you can get a spare tire from under your car. Certain vehicles include unique kits for installing flat tires, jacks for raising the car, and spare tire kits. However, this is not always the case, and you should carry tools like pliers and wrenches with you too.

This guide outlines the easiest methods available to drivers with spare tires stored in their car's undercarriage. Keep reading to learn precisely how to get that spare tire the next time you are stuck with a flat.

Table of Contents

How To Get Spare Tire From Under Car

The spare tire is a vital component of your car that you need to have. Knowing how to get rid of the spare tire under your car or truck is essential, especially if you don’t have the proper tool.

Typically, you will find the tire underneath the car towards the vehicle's back end. Without prior experience, this could be confusing for many vehicle owners.

The first option to get the spare tire from under the car is to use the tool designed for this task. Follow these steps below.

1. Find Your Spare Tire Kit

First, you should locate your spare tire kit and take out all of the required tools. This includes the jack extension rod, jack handle, wrench, sockets, and more.

2. Connect The Extension Rod And Handle

Next, you can take the jack extension rod and handle and connect them together. They should click into place so you can firmly move this rod as one.

3. Locate And Unlock The Rear Tailgate Latch

Go to the rear of your vehicle and find the tailgate latch. On some trucks, it is a hole with a cover and lock. Unlock this latch area, so it is open.

4. Insert The Extension Rod Into The Latch

Now you can put the extension rod into this open latch or hole area. It must connect to the tire lowering mechanism, also known as the fastener or wing-nut on most vehicles.

5. Lower Spare Tire To The Ground

After the connection is made, you can start pulling this extension, lowering the tire to the ground.

6. Remove Spare Tire

Once the tire is completely lowered, you can remove the spare tire from this mechanism to install it.

How To Get Spare Tire From Under Car Without A Kit

If you are without the spare tire kit, getting the spare under your car requires a bit more work. It is especially important you park the car in a safe place and put the emergency brake on before attempting to do this.

1. Get Your Tools

You need to gather all of your tools before getting started. This includes a wrench, socket set, and a reliable pair of pliers.

2. Slide Underneath The Car

Next, you must get underneath the car to locate the spare tire. It is typically located towards the back end of the car.

3. Remove Spare Tire Cover

If your spare tire has a cover, you need to remove this first before continuing.

4. Locate And Rotate The Wing Nut

Once the cover is removed, you will see a wing nut holding the tire into place. You can start rotating this with your wrench or pliers to loosen it.

5. Remove Wing Nut With Pliers

After loosening this wing nut and tire fastener, remove it, so you have complete access to the spare tire.

6. Use A Wrench To Lower Tire To The Ground

Finally, you can use a ratchet or wrench set to rotate the tire so it can get lowered to the ground. Once it is lowered enough, remove it from under the car.

How Are Spare Tires Kept Under The Car?

The spare tire is kept under the vehicle using a durable screw fastener, wing-nut, or a tire winch. All three methods effectively keep the tire secure, but the key difference is how you get the tire down.

For example, vehicles using a tire winch typically have a more efficient tire lowering mechanism towards the car's rear. This allows you to use the extension rod to gradually lower the tire until it reaches the ground in a few simple steps.

If your tire is stored using a screw fastener, this requires a few more tools. For example, you need to completely remove the fastener that is locking the tire into place before it can be lowered to the ground.

The tire winch is considered the most effective way to store a spare tire under the car. It uses a durable cable and a lift plate that works in unison to feed the tire up and down while locking it into place securely in the undercarriage of the car.

Safety Tips To Get Spare Tire From Under Car

Before climbing under your car or using any tools, you must realize the risks associated with getting a spare tire from under the car. Consider these safety tips below to avoid any dangerous situations or injuries.

Put Your Vehicle On A Flat Area

Before you get the spare tire under your car, you should park the car in a flat area with no hills. It is best to pull into a less crowded area if possible too.

Avoiding traffic and hills are the two critical safety factors for vehicle maintenance, including spare tire installations.

Always Put Your Car In Park With Emergency Brake

Once you pull your car into a safer area on a flat surface, put the car in park. We also recommend using the emergency brake to be safe to ensure the car doesn't roll at all.

Going underneath the vehicle can be dangerous if these proper precautions are not taken first.

Put On Your Hazard Lights

Lastly, always remember to put your hazard lights on when doing any type of vehicle repairs. This is necessary when your car is parked off the road in any crowded areas with traffic.

Do All Vehicles Have A Spare Tire Under The Car?

Spare tires can be stored under the car, but not all vehicles have them. Some cars have a tire in the trunk that can be used in an emergency.

Nearly all cars will have some sort of temporary spare tire, but this is a smaller substitute known as a donut. It will only provide temporary road mobility and is not a reliable tire as a permanent solution.

It is also important to note that there is no universal standard for where spare tires should be placed, which can lead to confusion for drivers and passengers alike when it comes to finding an emergency tire replacement.

It is much more common to see a spare under trucks, vans, or pickups instead of smaller sedans too. Some examples include:

  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • GMC Yukon
  • GM Trucks
  • Ford trucks
How To Get Spare Tire From Under Car

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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