How To Remove A Spare Tire From A Truck – Even Without An Extension Rod

If you're used to having your spare tire on your trunk, it can be quite a daunting task to remove the spare tire under a truck. But don't worry. We got you covered. We've asked automotive experts how this procedure is done so that you can get started on changing your flat tire and be back on the road in a jiffy.

Follow these steps to remove the spare tire from your truck:

  1. Insert the extension rod inside the hole leading to the lowering mechanism of your spare tire.
  2. Turn the handle counterclockwise to lower the tire all the way to the ground.
  3. Pull the tire towards you and remove it from the cable and holder.

Hang on so we can elaborate on the given instructions so you can remove your spare tire from your truck with no hassle. We'll also share with you how to do this task when you don't have your tire removal kit. We'll also have a short discussion on how long you can expect your spare tire to last and how far you can drive using your spare tire.

View from the bottom of a truck with a spare tire, How To Remove A Spare Tire From A Truck - Even Without An Extension Rod

How do you get a spare tire off a truck? 

Unlike regular vehicles that conveniently have their spare tires in their trunks, pickup trucks have theirs underneath the truck bed. This is actually a genius move by manufacturers so that the spare tire won't take up valuable space on the bed of the truck. However, it makes removing the spare tire more challenging. 

Don't worry because there's an efficient way of removing the spare tire without breaking your back or endangering your life. Just follow these steps. You can also watch this YouTube video for the demonstration.

  1. Get your tire-changing tools. They can usually be found at the back of the driver's seat.
  2. Put the extension rods together until you hear them click in place. Attach the handle on the groove near the top.
  3. Go over to the rear bumper side of your vehicle to find the hole. You have to remove the lock using your ignition key to expose the hole.
  4. Insert the extension rod inside the hole and allow it to connect with the tire-lowering mechanism of your truck.
  5. Once they're connected, turn the handle counterclockwise to disengage the tire.
  6. Do this until the tire reaches the ground.
  7. Get the lug wrench from your tool kit and use its hooked end to grab the cable that holds the tire in place. 
  8. Pull the cable towards you. In doing so, the tire will be dragged closer to you.
  9. Remove the spare tire from the cable's tire holder.

Easy, right? You don't have to go under your truck after all! 

What is the tool called that lowers the spare tire?

Lift up the truck and bracing by steel supporter for maintenance in the garage

Brand new vehicles come with a set of factory jack kits or tire removal kits to aid you in getting the spare tire off the truck. You need to familiarize yourself with these tools, so you'll know what they are used for.

The tool that you use to lower the spare tire is called the jack handle. As mentioned above, this is a long piece of tool that you need to assemble so that you can connect it with the vehicle's tire-lowering mechanism. You turn the handle counterclockwise to unfasten the tire until it reaches the ground and you can remove it from the cable and tire holder.

If you don't have this in your tool kit, it's best to buy one as soon as possible. You never know when you're going to need it. Always be prepared for what can happen on the road. 

Check out this spare tire jack handle on Amazon.

How do you get a spare tire off a truck without a tool? 

In case you have a tire blowout and you don't have a jack handle with you, there are other ways for you to remove the spare under your truck. But it would still involve other tools that hopefully you've got in your tool kit.

Method 1

What you need:

  • pliers
  • crank

Steps to lower the tire:

  1. Safety first. Make sure your car is parked properly on flat ground.
  2. Get under your vehicle right where your spare tire is located.
  3. Remove the cover from the guide tube. You will be able to see the drop mechanism.
  4. Use your pliers to pull out the key. This will leave you with a hole to work with.
  5. Insert the crank into the hole to engage with the tire-lowering mechanism.
  6. Turn it counterclockwise to loosen the tire.

Method 2

What you need:

  • 14 mm socket
  • extender (60 to 70 cm in length)
  • hammer
  • wrench
  • flathead screwdriver

Steps to lower the tire:

  1. Always prioritize your safety. Park your truck in a safe location.
  2. Connect the socket to the extender.
  3. Insert the socket on the hole near the license plate of the truck.
  4. When you feel that the socket is already connected to the key, you can gently hit the extender with a hammer so that the socket will have a better grip on the key.
  5. Use a wrench to turn the socket and its extender counterclockwise. This will lower the tire. 
  6. Keep turning until the tire hits the ground.
  7. You can now remove the extender from the hole.
  8. Use a flathead screwdriver to take off the key from the socket.
  9. Disengage the tire from the cable and tire holder. 

These are just two ways for you to remove the spare tire without a jack handle. Basically, you can improvise with the tools that you've got to see which one will work best for you.

How long does a truck spare tire last?

The lifespan of your spare tire will depend on its tire type. There are usually three types of spare tires: a donut, run-flat, and a matching spare tire.

Donut spare tire

A donut is also known as a space-saver or compact spare tire. This is smaller and lighter than a regular tire. In recent years, manufacturers began using donut spare tires on their vehicles to reduce cost and save valuable space since a full-sized tire takes up so much room. 

Since they are more lightweight, they help improve the fuel economy and power consumption of your vehicle. However, this type of tire is made of weaker materials than traditional tires. They have a shallower tread depth which makes them more vulnerable on the road.

As such, a donut spare tire is just meant to be a temporary replacement for your worn-out tire.  It has to be replaced immediately before you get yourself into trouble while using it.

Run-flat spare tire

A run-flat spare tire is more commonly found on newer vehicles. It is also called a zero-pressure tire. It is more durable than a donut tire. It is made of tougher materials that's why it can resist deflation even when it has been punctured.

But still, this is a temporary fix for your vehicle. You're better off having it replaced right away. 

Matching spare tire

This is the most durable among the different spare tire types. It may not be made by the same manufacturer as your regular tires, but it is at par when it comes to performance on the road. As such, you can use it for a longer time after replacing your flat tire with this spare. 

How far can you drive on a spare tire?

A woman with her hands on the steering wheel and driving on the highway, How To Drive On The Highway Without Fear

Again, the distance and speed at which you drive using a spare tire would depend on the type of tire that you have.

Donut tires are not designed to be driven for long distances. You have to maintain a speed of 50 mph or less. This means that you cannot use this on the highway.

Since donut tires are smaller than your other tires, they have to work harder to keep up with the rest. This makes them more susceptible to damages on the road.

With a run-flat tire, you can go beyond 50 mph since it has better endurance on the road. You can drive up to 100 miles with it. This will give you more allowance to find an able auto repair shop.

Lastly, a matching spare tire can be driven similar to a regular tire. You can go at the maximum allowable speed on the road and there's no limit on the distance.   

Take note though that spare tires have different speed ratings so it's best to check yours. Don't go beyond the recommended speed to avoid damaging other components of your vehicle such as the transmission. It's bad enough that you had a flat tire, you don't need the added expense of additional repairs or part replacement.  

Final Thoughts

Make sure you always have your tire removal kit with you so you can take off your spare tire under your vehicle without any hassle. With the right tools, this task doesn't have to be a chore.

Check out these articles for some related reading:

Does Firestone Patch Tires For Free?

20 Types Of Tires You Should Know


Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *