Toyota RAV4 Spare Tire Guide (All Model Years)

Everyone knows the importance of a spare tire, but you may want to know more about using and maintaining it. Understanding your spare tire will help you be prepared in case of an emergency.

In this article, I’ll cover the most important things you should know about your RAV4’s spare tire, including:

Where Is the Spare Tire Located on a Toyota RAV4?

It’s important to know where your spare tire is located so you can be fully prepared to use it. It’s also essential to inspect your spare tire regularly to make sure it is in good condition (we’ll talk more about spare tire maintenance towards the end of this article).

There are two different possible locations of your RAV4’s spare tire:

  1. Underneath the rear cargo area (2013-2023 RAV4s)
  2. Attached to the exterior of the rear door (1994-2012 RAV4s)

I’ve written instructions for removing the spare tire for different model years of the RAV4. Keep reading to learn more!

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How to Remove the Spare Tire

You should be familiar with how to remove and install your spare tire in case of an emergency.

The removal process is different depending on how old your RAV4 is, so I’ve written instructions for every model year.

Choose a model year for instructions on removing the spare tire:

1994-2012 RAV4 Spare Tire and Cover Removal

If your RAV4 is 2012 or older, the spare tire is mounted on exterior of the rear door and protected with a cover.

Follow the steps below to remove the spare tire and cover on a 1994-2012 Toyota RAV4.

Step 1

Open the rear door and unlock the latch handle on the bottom of the spare tire cover.

step 1 spare tire removal 1994-2012

Step 2

Close the rear door, then remove the cover by lifting it up and away from the vehicle.

step 2 spare tire removal 1994-2012

Step 3

Loosen and remove the spare tire wheel nuts, then remove the spare tire from the vehicle.

step 3 spare tire removal 1994-2012

2013-2023 RAV4 Spare Tire Removal

If your RAV4 is 2013 or newer, the spare tire is hidden underneth the rear cargo area.

Follow the steps below to remove the spare tire on a 2013-2022Toyota RAV4.

Step 1

Clear items from the rear cargo area.

removing items from the rear cargo area

Step 2

Locate the fabric handle and lift up the rear cargo floor to reveal the spare tire.

rear cargo area floor fabric handle

Step 3

Remove the spare tire from the rear cargo area and replace the rear cargo floor.

rav4 spare tire under rear cargo area

What Size Is the RAV4’s Spare Tire?

Perhaps you’re curious how large the spare tire is or you may even need to order a replacement.

The spare tire sizes on RAV4s will vary. An older RAV4 with a rear-mounted spare will carry a full-size tire, while newer RAV4s will have a small, temporary spare tire.

Here are the spare tire sizes for the Toyota RAV4:

  • 1994-2012 Toyota RAV4:
    The spare tire will match the size of the vehicle’s stock tires.
  • 2013-2023 Toyota RAV4:
    The spare tire size varies slightly depending on the size of your wheels. Common sizes are:
    • T165/80R17 104M
    • T165/80D17 104M
    • T165/90D18 107M

Check your owner’s manual under the “specifications” section to learn more.

If you’re not sure what these numbers and letters mean, read this article explaining tire sizes.

Caring for Your Spare Tire

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that it is important to inspect your spare tire regularly. I recommend doing this every six to twelve months.

If you’re in an emergency situation where you have a flat or damaged tire, you’ll want to be sure that you can rely on the spare tire. This is why spare tire maintenance is so important!

Let’s talk about a few easy measures you can take to make sure your spare tire is in good condition.

1. Check the Air Pressure

The most common problem with the spare tire is low air pressure.

The spare tire may slowly lose air over time. The air pressure will also vary when temperatures change.

If your spare tire does not have the correct air pressure, you won’t be able to use it. This means you may have to call an expensive tow truck instead of simply using the spare tire.

The air pressure can be checked with a tire pressure gauge. A tire pressure gauge is important to have on hand in general. Your RAV4 will also show an indicator light on the dashboard when your tire pressure is critically low.

2. Look for Signs of Aging and Damage

Next, you’ll want to check your spare tire for signs of aging and damage.

This is more of a concern with RAV4s that are 2012 or older since the spare tire is mounted on the exterior of the vehicle and is more susceptible to the elements.

The most common signs of an aged or damaged spare tire include:

  • Cracks
  • Dry, brittle rubber
  • Bubbles

See below for examples:

Be sure to check your spare tire every six to twelve months to make sure it is in operable condition!

RAV4 Spare Tire Cover Replacement

If you’ve broken or lost your spare tire cover, you’ll want to get a replacement. Keep in mind this only applies to 1994-2012 Toyota RAV4s since the spare tire is mounted on the exterior.

The spare tire cover is important to keep your tire in the best possible condition. Without a spare tire cover, your tire will be exposed to the elements and will degrade faster.

Luckily, there are plenty of options for replacing the spare tire cover on your RAV4. You can choose either a hard shell or soft cover to protect your spare tire.

Here are some of the best spare tire cover replacements for the Toyota RAV4:

Boomerang 30″ Color Matched Rigid Tire Cover

Genuine Toyota Spare Tire Cover

Moonet Leather Spare Tire Wheel Cover

Key Points

You should always be prepared to use your spare tire. You never know when you might need it!

So you can be fully prepared, remember:

  1. Practice removing and installing the spare tire
  2. Inspect your spare tire every six to twelve months to ensure good condition

I hope this article helped you learn how to use and maintain your RAV4’s spare tire!

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