Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently took the spare tire cover off to check the tire pressure. It took me 15 minutes to get it off and a half hour (more) to put it back on... mostly.... I never did get it completely back on. I can't budge it now.

I have a 2006 with the elastic spare tire cover, and now that the car is pushing 10 years old, that old elastic is stiff as a board. When I was trying to put it back on, I found myself literally hanging from the cover by my finger tips and the elastic still would not stretch. I do not know how to put more oomph onto it than what I weigh (which isn't all that much), so I am stuck. It was pretty comical in retrospect, that old guy hanging from his spare tire cursing at it. It didn't seem funny at the time.

Does anybody else have this problem, or is it just me?

I have considered just taking the cover off and driving with the wheel naked, but then the spare tire will be exposed to the weather, and I park all day down at the train station. I'm not sure it would still be there when I got back in the evening.

Love the Rav; hate the spare tire cover.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,899 Posts
My spare tire cover on my '11 RAV Base with Upgrade Value Package has never been easy to remove. I would hate to have my wife have a flat in one of our many areas without mobile phone coverage - maybe a logging truck driver would be kind enough to stop and remove the cover. Otherwise it would require something like C4 or Semtex!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
You're not alone. Type in "removing spare cover" in the Search box at the upper right, you'll see lots of folks with the issue and several tips.

I've gotten mine down to about 3 minutes off, 2 minutes on. Best to work on it when it's warm, it definitely stiffens up when cold to the point it feels like it will break. For removal, start at the slit opening with the elastic (or zipper if you have one) and work your way up and around, gaining a couple inches per claw attempt. Focus your work at the bottom 1/3. It will eventually release. To put on, orient the elastic opening (or zipper) down to the bottom, while draping the top over the wheel. Give it a mighty shove, curse a bit while working your way down. Give the center a punch with palm of hand from time to time.

I've been cleaning the vinyl part with "Dash-Away" a product RTexasF recommends for interior cleaning, it seems to keep it more supple. After 10 years, yours has probably taken a real UV beating if outdoors a lot. My 2009 is mostly night shift or garaged and is good shape, except a little bit of plastic stuff (I think) separating on the inner side at the elastic opening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info.

I have read all the tips and followed them for the last 10 years and managed to get the cover on/off OK. It is only recently that it has become impossible for me to do it. It is a bit chilly up here in the North East, but not as cold as it will get before the Winter is over. Back when I bought the car, the dealer told me that in the Winter if I had to take the cover off, just leave it off until Spring since I would never get it back on in the cold. Then they told me I should check the tire pressure every month. LOL

A year or so ago I purchased a cloth cover with a zipper that was supposed to make this easier. When it arrived, it had elastic like the one I have, not a zipper. I could not get that one on the wheel at all. I sent it back.

The car was kept outside until 1011 but has been garaged at night since then.

I might just take the cover off and leave it off, but I don't trust the wheel locks to keep my wheel safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
Yeah, it's a bad design. The cover for the Limited with the latch is way better. Would be quite spendy for a new one, and tough to find one to match in a salvage yard.

You might check your spare size just for grins to see if you are slightly over-sized. My Base came with 215/70/16 tires and wheels, and I switched to aftermarket 225/65/17. The new setup is .67-inch diameter and 2.09-in circumference bigger. I didn't think the bigger size would work for the cover, so I left the 16-inch as the spare. It would never be driven far in the unlikely event of needing it, as it's an around-town car mostly. It would be bad for the differential to run the mismatch size, but I'm aware of it and would only go short distance. That's the compromise I made to accomodate the tight cover!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,744 Posts
To put on, orient the elastic opening (or zipper) down to the bottom, while draping the top over the wheel.
I don't know that it matters but our base model came (new) with the zipper at the top. To put it back on I use a wooden ruler to push the seams of the fabric/elastic towards the door in the areas too small for hands, working it little by little all around........zipper on top. It's still a pain in the arse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
I don't know that it matters but our base model came (new) with the zipper at the top. To put it back on I use a wooden ruler to push the seams of the fabric/elastic towards the door in the areas too small for hands, working it little by little all around........zipper on top. It's still a pain in the arse.
Okay, I guess that makes sense with the zippered opening being on top instead of the bottom like the elastic slit ones. Also I'll try the wooden ruler trick next time to tuck in the last bits at the bottom--maybe I can eliminate my method of punching the center with my palm hand, lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
I modified a number of GMC Suburbans to carry the spare on the back and found a lot of after market covers to work perfectly well, and far less expensive than Toyota's offerings.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
You know..... now that you mention it, I did put a couple of extra pounds into the spare so that I would not have to take the cover off so often to check it. I wonder if that is why it was so difficult to get it all the way back on this time.

And forget the palm of my hand, I punched it with my shod foot.:D

So here are my options. I can patiently wait until the air leaks out and try again, or I can try to wrestle it off now and let some of the extra air out and see if that makes it better. I will have to think about it. :nerd

I looked for a long time for an after market replacement for the cover. I only found one, and it was not what they advertised. It would not go on the wheel at all.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,744 Posts
You know..... now that you mention it, I did put a couple of extra pounds into the spare so that I would not have to take the cover off so often to check it. I wonder if that is why it was so difficult to get it all the way back on this time.
I put 45 psi in my spare and the cover still fits. Why not take the cover inside to let it warm up for 24 hours then try it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,899 Posts
You're not alone. Type in "removing spare cover" in the Search box at the upper right, you'll see lots of folks with the issue and several tips.

I've gotten mine down to about 3 minutes off, 2 minutes on. Best to work on it when it's warm, it definitely stiffens up when cold to the point it feels like it will break. For removal, start at the slit opening with the elastic (or zipper if you have one) and work your way up and around, gaining a couple inches per claw attempt. Focus your work at the bottom 1/3. It will eventually release. To put on, orient the elastic opening (or zipper) down to the bottom, while draping the top over the wheel. Give it a mighty shove, curse a bit while working your way down. Give the center a punch with palm of hand from time to time.

Thanks - yep, I've been reading tips on this forum since I bought my '11 RAV new. I've been using the same method as you since then except that I still keep the zip portion in the OEM position, and the remove and install times are the same as yours. My main concern is that it takes some muscle and I doubt that my wife would be able to remove the cover without assistance. I had checked parts numbers and see that there were two different part numbers for the cover, but I wasn't able to find out which was for which, there is no parts number on my cover, and even dealer service depts. don't know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,899 Posts
There are tire valve extenders. Attach it to your spsare tire valve, route it behind, out of sight. Deflate, inflate through it.

Now that you mention it and have jarred my memory, I recall that I believe JuneBug some time ago mentioned tire inflation valve extenders as being useful for inflating the spare on 4.4s with their compartment-mounted spares and their downward- facing valves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I used vise grips to grab the bottom with the door open, after I got most of the top and sides on as much as I could, and was able to pull it down that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,483 Posts
Mine comes off super easy. I have to put a few sponge so the cover does not slide around.
Perhaps the elastic is too tight in all your covers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Mine comes off super easy. I have to put a few sponge so the cover does not slide around.
Perhaps the elastic is too tight in all your covers.
I actually cut out the elastic on the bottom, thinking that was what was making it hard to get on. It still had a bit of stretch in it. Anyway, the pliers gave me the grip I needed to get it on. Mine's so tight it won't slide around. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,899 Posts
Suggest that owners be careful about the cover being too loose - I recall from when the 4.3s were the current RAV4 model that some owners reported that their tire covers blew off at highway speeds.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
About this Discussion
17 Replies
7 Participants
Blogson
Toyota RAV4 Forums
Rav 4 World is the internet's largest Toyota Rav4 SUV and EV online forum community. Discuss towing, modifications, and more.
Full Forum Listing
Top