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How to Locate and Remove the Spare Tire on a Chevy/GMC Truck

The rear of a Chevy Truck has the tailgate, trailer wires, and spare tire access.

The rear of a Chevy Truck has the tailgate, trailer wires, and spare tire access.

Chevrolet Trucks have been a reliable form of transportation, and a workhorse of many companies and families for many decades. My last Chevy Truck was a 2000 Silverado 1500 LS Model (not the one in the pic.), and it did everything from grocery runs to towing an 8x20 trailer.

The one thing everyone worries about when doing anything with a truck like this is dealing with the fateful flat tire. Having experienced this, I thought I would pass on a little knowledge on gaining access and removing the spare tire.

Tools to Remove a Chevy Spare Tire

  • Ignition key
  • Jack kit (without the jack)

The jack kit is the long pouch under the rear bench seat, which includes a crowbar and several square-shaped rods. (If you don't have this kit, they are readily available everywhere.)

Hopefully, from this short list, you realize how simple the good engineers at Chevy have made it to get to the spare tire. Once you have these items on hand, proceed to the rear of the vehicle and follow these instructions.

Chevy Truck Spare Tire Removal Instructions

  1. Proceed to the rear of the truck.
  2. Acknowledge that the spare tire exists. To do this, drop to one knee, and look up and under the back of the truck, just behind the bumper. If you look in the picture above, you can see it just under the bumper, behind the tow hitch bar. (If you press your nose against the monitor, you'll see the grooves of the tire.)
  3. Once you know that you have a spare tire, return to both feet and locate the rectangular plastic cover that is to the passenger side of the license plate. Remove the plastic cover, which will reveal an opening for a key.
  4. Insert the ignition key, and turn to the right while pulling a little towards you. The lock will separate from the hole, and just set the assembly in the back of the truck.
  5. Open the Tire Changing pouch to reveal the crowbar and the multiple rods. One of the rods will have an end that is open a little wider than the rest, and flanged-out on all sides. This is the female end, that needs to be inserted in the hole revealed by the key lock.
  6. Add another rod to the female end rod, to give enough room to go through the bumper and reach the male end of the pully. (If you look through the hole, you'll see where the female end will match to the male end.)
  7. Insert the rod through the hole and mate up the male and female parts.
  8. Affix the crowbar to the remaining end sticking out of the bumper, and then rotate the crowbar counter-clockwise.
  9. This will turn the pully, and the spare tire will descend towards the ground. Continue rotating until the tire is firmly on the ground, and continue to rotate to give some slack to the wire.
  10. This step is to separate the pulley carrier from the rim, such that you can extract the tire from under the truck. (There's not enough wire to pull the tire from under the truck.) Place your hand through the center hole of the rim and grab one end of the mount. (It is rectangular.) Feed the narrow end of the rectangle through the hole.
  11. At this point, if you don't plan to store a tire underneath, then wind the cable back up, but do not crank it all the way up. I have heard that it will jam. Instead, find somewhere safe to tuck it in, and then wind in the slack.

Tests for Spare Tire Removal

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Is the Spare tire under the truck bed?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. Do you have the Jack kit?
    • Yes
    • No
  3. Do you have the Ignition Key?
    • Yes
    • No

Answer Key

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: What if my spare car key doesn't fit?

Answer: If you purchased your vehicle used, there is always the chance it was once stolen and the ignition changed due to damage. There are plenty of DIY vids on how to pick locks such that you can remove the cap.

Question: Where do I find the tire change crowbar in my truck?

Answer: Tire changing tools, in pickup trucks, are usually stored behind the rear seat, but some have them stored in the engine compartment. Refer to your owner's manual, as that might state where it is, or where it should have been. (Perhaps the previous owner lost them.)

Question: What size of wheel (rim + tire) can I put under the truck?

Answer: I can guarantee that a stock size, or smaller, will fit. Other than that, you'll need to crawl under your vehicle with a tape measure. I don't know that all of the wells are created equal, so your results may vary.

Comments

Greg Bussell on September 08, 2019:

Where is the spare tire on 95 chevy surburban

Shan on August 15, 2019:

I had body work done on the back of my truck and they didn’t install the plastic tube guide correctly so had to cut the tube in order to get rod into the correct guide. Once I did that dropping tire was easy.

Brett on February 20, 2019:

This system is a joke. Whoever designed this has never had to change a tire in 15 degree weather. And btw, the 2 female ends are the exact same size.

John on August 23, 2018:

Thank You!

rich on March 28, 2017:

where is tire changing poach located on 1999 tahoe

ken on March 25, 2017:

i'm unable to get the spare tire to release and drop down?

J.D. on November 25, 2016:

what if the ignition key will turn the mechanism to the right but won't release?!? i have a '04 Z71 Tahoe and when i put the key in it will turn a little to the right but will not release.

jmpoole@telus.net on September 28, 2016:

wish it was that easy this system is a joke

Salote on April 17, 2016:

You're so awesome thank you!!!!

louise on October 25, 2015:

Have to thank you so much for this article - not even the owner's manual tells how to use the key to get into the spare. After reading this my husband was able to actually put the spare on.