TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE GUIDE (ALL MODEL YEARS)

Having a working spare tire is a critical part of responsible vehicle ownership. A spare allows you to quickly replace a flat tire and continue driving safely. For Toyota RAV4 owners, understanding where the Toyota RAV4 spare tire located and how to access it can prepare you for a flat tire situation. This comprehensive guide will provide everything RAV4 owners need to know about the spare tire across all model years.

Where TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE located?

The spare tire on a Toyota RAV4 is positioned under the rear cargo area, below the vehicle’s floor. By storing it here, the spare tire does not take up valuable cargo space when not in use.

To access the spare, there is a removable panel or carpeted cover in the floor of the cargo area. Typically this is located on the driver’s side in the RAV4, but can vary slightly depending on model year. Behind the cover is the threaded mechanism and cable used to lower the spare tire.

The tools needed to change a tire, including the jack, jack handle, and lug wrench, are also stored in the RAV4’s cargo area. Generally behind side compartments or panels in the floor lining. Owners should locate where these tools are kept before an emergency tire change is needed.

1994-2012 RAV4 SPARE TIRE AND COVER REMOVAL

On 1994-2012 RAV4 models, the spare tire and cover removal process is:

Step 1: Open the rear liftgate and locate the handle to lift up the rear floor carpet or paneling. This exposes the spare tire access hole.

TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE

Step 2: Insert the lug wrench or jack handle into the access hole. You will need to engage it with the bolt head that holds the spare tire cover in place.

TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE

Step 3: Turn the wrench counter-clockwise to loosen the retaining bolt until it is fully loosened and the cover can be removed.

TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE

Step 4: Lift off the spare tire cover to reveal the spare tire underneath, attached by a steel cable to the winch mechanism.

Step 5: You can now proceed to lowering and removing the spare tire.

2013-2023 RAV4 SPARE TIRE REMOVAL

The spare tire removal process on 2013 and newer RAV4 models is:

Step 1: Open the rear liftgate and locate the access hole cover panel on the driver’s side cargo flooring. Remove this cover.

Step 2: Insert the lug wrench or proper jack handle through the access hole so it engages with the winch mechanism.

TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE

Step 3: Turn the wrench counter-clockwise slowly. This will unwind the retaining cable and lower the spare tire until it reaches the ground.

TOYOTA RAV4 SPARE TIRE

Step 4: Once the spare is lowered fully, slide it out from under the rear of the RAV4. If needed, use wire cutters to detach the cable for complete removal.

Step 5: Carefully lift the spare tire out of the storage well and move it near the flat tire for access.

HOW TO REMOVE THE SPARE TIRE

Follow these key steps to safely and effectively remove your Toyota RAV4’s spare tire when needed:

Step 1: Park your RAV4 on level, hard ground. Set the parking brake and turn off the engine. Remove any cargo blocking the access hole.

Step 2: Retrieve the jack handle or lug wrench from the tool kit. Locate the access hole cover panel and remove it.

Step 3: Insert the proper handle through the access hole and engage it with the retaining bolt or winch mechanism.

Step 4: Turn the handle counter-clockwise slowly to release tension on the steel cable. Continue turning until the spare is fully lowered.

Step 5: When the spare reaches the ground, slide it out from under the vehicle. Use wire cutters on the cable if needed.

Step 6: With assistance, carefully lift the spare tire out of the well and place it near the flat tire. Follow the tire change procedure.

Step 7: Reverse steps to raise spare into storage position after changing the flat tire. Ensure it is properly secured.

WHAT SIZE IS THE RAV4’S SPARE TIRE?

All Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with a compact, temporary spare tire. This spare is significantly smaller than the regular tires on the vehicle.

The RAV4 spare tire uses a 16-inch wheel with a T165/90D16 tire. This tire has an overall diameter of around 28.5 inches.

It’s crucial to verify and maintain the recommended air pressure for the compact spare. This information is located on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb on RAV4 models. Driving on an improperly inflated temporary spare can lead to tire damage or failure.

CARING FOR YOUR SPARE TIRE

To ensure your RAV4’s spare tire is operational when you need it, follow these maintenance tips:

CHECK THE AIR PRESSURE

Use an accurate tire pressure gauge to check the inflation of the spare tire every 1-2 months. The recommended PSI will be listed on the door jamb sticker. Add or release air as necessary to match this spec.

Proper inflation prevents uneven wear and damage to the spare. Under-inflation is a leading cause of tire failure.

LOOK FOR SIGNS OF AGING AND DAMAGE

Inspect the spare tire at least once yearly for any signs of cracking, bald spots, rot, and other age-related damage. If the spare tire shows wear, replace it with a new spare. A compromised spare could fail when in use.

STORE THE SPARE PROPERLY

Always return the spare to the storage well underneath the vehicle after use. Ensure it is secured by the winch system cable and cover replaced. Storing it improperly leaves the spare vulnerable to weathering and theft.

REPLACE AFTER 10 YEARS

The rubber compounds in a tire begin deteriorating after about 10 years, regardless of tread wear. For maximum safety, replace the spare tire on your RAV4 when it reaches 10 years old.

RAV4 SPARE TIRE COVER REPLACEMENT

If your RAV4’s spare tire cover is damaged, replace it as soon as possible to prevent debris and moisture from entering the storage well. Here are the replacement steps:

Step 1: Obtain a replacement spare tire cover made specifically for your RAV4 model year. Check with your Toyota dealer or online OEM parts retailers.

Step 2: With the damaged cover removed, fully lower the spare tire using the access hole winch mechanism.

Step 3: Position the new cover into place over the access hole opening. Insert the retaining bolt or mounting studs.

Step 4: Use the lug wrench or socket wrench to tighten the cover back into place securely. Do not overtighten.

Step 5: Carefully winch the spare tire back into the storage position against the vehicle underside until snug.

Step 6: Ensure the cover is aligned properly and closes flush when you replace any cargo floor carpeting.

Conclusion

Equipping your Toyota RAV4 spare tire in good condition provides essential backup in the event of a flat tire or blowout. Check its air pressure and signs of aging regularly. And review the steps for accessing the spare, so you can get back on the road safely. With some basic preventive maintenance, your RAV4 spare tire will be ready to save the day.

FAQs

How much smaller is a RAV4 temporary spare tire compared to a regular tire?

The RAV4 compact spare uses a 16-inch wheel and is around 2-3 inches smaller in diameter than a standard 18-inch RAV4 tire. This significant size difference affects handling.

For how many miles can I drive on my RAV4’s temporary spare?

Toyota only recommends driving on the compact spare until you can have the full-size tire repaired or replaced. Do not exceed 50 mph with the temporary spare installed.