The Great Toyota Spare Tire Guide: Everything you Need to Know.

At some point or another, we’ve all opened the back of our rig to see the spare tire laying in the back. Maybe you’ve never had to use it or perhaps you’ve never even taken it out of its space. Whether or not you’ve had to use yours, this handy guide will help you understand more about the differences between each type of tire, which trims come standard with each type, how to use them and  additional useful tips.

Where is my spare located?

If your vehicle uses a compact temporary spare tire (aka a donut spare) it will most likely be located in the trunk of your vehicle, in a compartment underneath the floorboard. If your vehicle uses a full-sized tire, it will usually be mounted underneath your vehicle on the backend of your SUV or Truck.

What are the different types of spare tires in new Toyotas?

There are several different varieties of spare tires that come standard with your Toyota or may be available for purchase. Here is a list of the most common types of spares you will find with your vehicle.

Full size spare tire: This type of spare is without a doubt the most functional, as it performs as an identical unit of the vehicle’s four wheels. One of the advantages for the full-sized spare is that you can maximize the usage of its rubbers as it is suited for more long-term use than other types of spares. On the contrary, you need to have a decent amount of free space for a spare of this size. Most vehicles do not come standard with a full-sized spare tire, as they are generally reserved for larger SUVs and pickup trucks.
* Here are the Toyota models that come with a full-size spare tire.
2022 & 2023 Toyota Tacoma (Full-size spare, all trims: SR/TRD Off-Road/Limited)
2022 & 2023 Toyota Tundra (Full-size spare, all trims: Limited/TRD Pro/1794 Edition)
2022 & 2023 Sequoia (Full-size spare, all trims: SR5/Limited/Platinum)
2022 & 2023 4Runner (Full-size spare, all trims: SR5 /Limited/ TRD Pro)

Compact temporary spare tire: This is the most common type of spare tire you will find in your vehicle, most often found underneath the carpet inside of your cars’ trunk. While it occupies less space compared with the first of tires, it isn’t as versatile as a full-sized tire. Compact spares shouldn’t be driven at speeds faster than 50 mpg (80 km/h). Commonly called” donut”, they aren’t intended for highway use nor are they intended to carry your vehicle very long distances, so make sure you are taking your vehicle to a place where you can have your regular tire repaired or replaced.
* Here are the Toyota models that come with a compact temporary spare tire.
2023 Toyota Crown (Temporary spare, all trims: XLE/Limited/Platinum)
2022 & 2023 Corolla (Temporary spare, all trims: LE/Hybrid SE/XSE)
2022 & 2023 Corolla (Temporary spare, some trims: LE/XSE)
2022 & 2023 Corolla Hatchback (Temporary spare, some trims: SE/XSE)
2022 & 2023 Camry (Temporary spare, all trims: LE/SE/XSE & hybrid trims)
2022 & 2023 Highlander (Temporary spare, all trims: L, LE/SE/XSE & hybrid trims)
2022 & 2023 Venza (Temporary spare, all trims:  LE/Nightshade/Limited)
2022 & 2023 RAV4 (Temporary spare, all trims:  LE/TRD Off-Road/XSE & Hybrid trims/ Prime)

Folding/Inflatable temporary spare tire: These types of spares are less common than your run of the mill donut spare and take up very little room within your vehicle. Their size makes them a great addition to have on hand, but inflatable tires are undoubtedly the most difficult kind of tire to use when you need it. Like the name suggests, it must be inflated with either an air pump or a canister before you can use it. Much like the compact spare, folding spares are intended for limited and restricted operation on your vehicle to get you to a tire repair shop or dealer. It is also recommended that when using this type of tire your vehicle does not exceed speeds of 50 mpg (80 km/h).

Temporary Tire Repair Kit: To save space in vehicles, some newer models forgo the spare entirely (no pun intended) and instead come with a temporary tire repair kit. Toyota’s repair kit contains a bottle of sealant an air compressor to seal up tiny punctures. When a puncture occurs, the users only need to attach the hose from the sealant bottle to the compressor and tire valve, then voila! It effectively repairs the holes and fills the tire. The repair isn’t intended as a long-term solution, and you should still have your tire replaced as soon as you can.
* Here are the Toyota models that come with a temporary tire repair kit.
2022 & 2023 Prius Prime (Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: LE/XLE/Limited)
2022 & 2023 Prius (Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: LE/XLE/Limited)
2022 & 2023 GR86 (Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: Base/Premium/10th anniversary)
2022 & 2023 Corolla Cross (Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: L/LE/XLE)
2022 & 2023 Sienna (*Temporary spare tire available – Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: LE/XSE/25th anniversary)
2023 bZ4X (Temporary tire repair kit, all trims: XLE/Limited)

Here is how to use your Tire repair kit.

How do I change my spare tire?

Here are the steps on how to change your spare tire.

  1. Pull over & secure your vehicle
    • Move to a safe area, as far from other moving vehicles as possible. Keep your hazard lights on so that oncoming traffic is aware that your vehicle is stopped alongside the road.
    • Make sure that you have applied your parking brake so that your vehicle doesn’t roll when you start changing your tire.
    • Place wheel wedges (a large rock or stick will work well) behind the tire opposite of the flat to prevent the car from rolling. If you’re changing a rear tire, place the chock in front of a front tires, and vice versa.
  2. Locate your spare
    • Now that you’ve pulled off the road, take your spare tire out from the trunk, or wherever it is located.
    • Have your car jack ready to go (read “Dude, Where’s My Car Jack?”) and carefully place the spare tire on the ground near the flat tire you’re replacing.
  3. Remove the hubcap & lug nuts
    • If your car has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, you will need to remove it. Car jacks usually have a wedge or lever built into the lug wrench, so use that to loosen the hubcap on the tire that is damaged.
    • After the hubcap has been removed (and before you use the jack to lift the wheel off of the ground) use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel with the flat tire.
    • Place the lug wrench onto each nut and loosen the nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn counterclockwise. Do NOT remove them completely. If you have trouble loosening a lug nut, use your foot or knee to gain a little leverage on the handle of the lug wrench.
  4. Remove the flat
    • Position the car jack underneath a strong part of your vehicle’s frame. (Your vehicle’s owner manual will give specific information about the proper placement.)
    • Crank the car jack in a clockwise fashion until it meets the vehicle, then continue to turn it until the damaged tire is several inches above the ground.
    • Once there is enough room between wheel and ground, place your jack’s handle under the car to hold it there. (Note: Don’t ever put any part of your body under the vehicle when it’s being jacked up.)
    • After the vehicle has been lifted, remove the lug nuts that you loosened prior to using the jack by using the lug wrench. Then, carefully remove the flat tire from under the car. Set it aside somewhere safe.
  5. Change your tire
    • Now, place your spare tire onto the wheel by lining up the holes with the bolts. Make sure that the tire is facing the correct side when you are lining it up.
    • Place the lug nuts back onto the bolts and turn them in a clockwise fashion. Use your hand to ensure the lug nuts are tight enough before you go any further.
    • Use the jack to lower the vehicle by turning the handle counterclockwise, so that the spare tire is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle is still not fully on the tire. Tighten the lug nuts just one more time with the wrench as much as you can to ensure they are tight enough before lowering the jack and removing it from under the car.
    •  Finally, bring the vehicle all the way down to the ground and remove the jack once the spare tire is securely on the ground. After the jack is removed, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts on the spare tire to ensure that it is secure enough to drive.

Is it safe to drive with a spare tire?

As long as your spare is in good condition and has been properly attached to your vehicle, then yes. The first thing you should do to ensure the safety of your spare is to make sure that you inspect the tire for damages or punctures to the tread and sidewall regularly—many people forget to check up on their spare and when they need it the most, it’s deflated. Make sure your spare tire has been properly inflated, as compact temporary spares require a minimum of (420 kPa) of air pressure. Once your spare is on, be sure to watch your speed. Follow the instructions from your vehicle and tire manufacturer regarding your speed as well as driving distance. Remember to keep in mind that a spare tire is a temporary solution that should be used only to get you to a service station safely.

We hope that this guide was able to answer all your questions about Toyota’s spare tires—and if it doesn’t, your friends ­­at Wilsonville Toyota are your local experts here to help you with all of your vehicle’s needs. Just give us a call and we can answer any questions you have about your Toyota’s spare tire. When you’re ready to replace it, you can easily schedule your next appointment here online, and get you back on the road.