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Spare Tire Solutions?

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Has anyone come up with a quality method of carrying a spare tire with their iQ? Unlike most young moderns, we old fogies have yet to accept driving around without a spare tire and wheel on board.

On our 2009 smart Passion, one of the first "add ons" that we pursued was a way of mounting a spare. With the smart's limited interior room, I opted for a "Continental kit" approach. We purchased and installed a Kurt trailer hitch, then obtained a post mount that held the spare behind the rear bumper and below the license plate.

Unfortunately, with the iQ, that simple solution won't work. The plate location on the Toyota/Scion product is lower than on the smart - mount the tire in the "Continental kit" location and it will obstruct the number plate.

While one solution to this dilemma would be to mount the tire up on the rear hatch, that would involve a lot of cutting and attaching to the hatch, as well as procuring lift cylinders with more "oomph" than the stock items. So, I see that route as a no go.

An alternate solution to the problem would be a trailer hitch mount with a "D" shaped member attached to the post inserted into the hitch receiver. The curved portion of the "D" would face upward and would surround the plate location, thus leaving it mounted on the car and still visible to the rear.

Welded to the top of the "D" shaped member would be an inverted "V", to the upper tip of which would be welded (at about a 10° from the vertical) would be a circular plate with the four studs, onto which would be bolted the spare tire and rim.

True, it would involve some bending of heavy gauge metal tubing (for the "D" shaped member) and careful welding (to fabricate the whole, including the inverted "V", attachment of the "D" to the post inserted into the mount, and to seam it all together, including some extra bracing here and there.

My question, finally, is "Has anyone among our European friends attempted anything along such lines?" Inquiring minds want to know before they start running tubing through the roll former...

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In your driving career have you actually had many punctures or punctures that required a wheel change and not just the use of Tyre Weld or Mouse to get you to a Tyre Fitters?

I would join a good Recovery Breakdown Service or if no rear passengers are carried,

carry the spare wheel & good jack in the car.

Even the weight of a bike hung on a bike rack & some luggage in the rear makes the front of an iQ feel pretty light & skittery IME.


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I managed to find a new wheel and tyre on ebay. It's a 15" wheel wheres the car has the 16" versions but the rolling diameter is still the same.

I carry it around inside a bag on the rear seats which tend to spend their life folded down. I haven't yet used the rear seat and if I know I need the rear load space I take the tyre out, leave it at home and take a chance.

I have wondered about a Land Rover style rear wheel mount or go the proper Land Rover method and fit it on the bonnet! :)


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In my car I have mounted the spare wheel on the back seat.

The back seat is in normal position and the wheel fits perfect between the front seat and the back seat.

The space on the other seat is used for little items.

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I have always carried a steel IQ "winter rim" and tyre in the back of my IQ for the 4-5 years I have owned one and although, touch wood, I have not had a puncture when in the IQ, I have had plenty in the past in other cars and it is traumatic enough even when you do have a spare wheel.

I can do without the hassle of the sealant gunge, working or not working, and associated follow up potential problems.

I do carry a couple of Tyreseal aerosol cans, and rubber plugs and rubber solution, and applicator, just in case I have a second puncture and I can't be bothered to wait for the AA.

I have never had the rear seats "up" as I didn't buy the car as 4 seater, there are plenty other cars out there that fill that bill if I had wanted a 4 seater. So there is plenty of space for the spare wheel and lots of luggage too when required.

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Well, back in 2009 where I come from... in the old days, a spare was seen as an essential item (so much so taken for granted) and I have to admit, most of the time now, in 2013, I hardly ever think about the lack of a spare, although, I do have a rather large one around my middle, but that just won't do will it?

The thought of carrying one around for the shorter journeys does seem a bit of a nause, but then again, one can get a puncture anywhere. We had two with the Mondeo, both caused by !Removed! farmers hedge cutting -and not clearing the thorns etc from the sodding road! No doubt those two naughty words will be blanked out.

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Over here, sodding implies putting in a new lawn. Different worlds, different words.

I am mainly worried about being marooned out in the middle of nowhere after a blowout puts a tire (tyre) completely out of service. Odd tire sizes take time to get when in little towns, and a Friday event could mean a whole weekend of waiting for the right tyre to be air freighted in. No way, no how will I tolerate that kind of delay.

Road service is only as good as the place they take you to. Much of the United States is as barren as Scotland, and service for cars is thin on the ground.

Before, we were driving in our smart - there's a real problematic situation as far as getting a tire is concerned. It's not quite as bad with the Toyota/Scion product, but still an issue. We need the space within for cargo, so inside is out.

I like my old mount for the smart:


- but it simply won't work with the iQ; the proportions are all wrong.

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What about mounting one like you did on the Smart that will fold/swing away for acces to the hatch, and use a trailer board on that to mount the plate.

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I'm not going to bother with trying to make it work with the hatch being able to be opened; access to the interior is easy enough from the passenger door should the need arise. (I'd like to make it "swingable", but can't see an easy way to make that work, short of mounting it so far back that it would be ungainly.)

Someone on one of the smart boards made his so that it would hinge down and out of the way, but that's beyond my welding design skills. He only made one, and wouldn't agree to make more for others, probably for liability reasons.

If there were an easy way to put in on the hatchback, that would be ideal. But, replacing the struts would be problematic from the very start.

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I'm not sure how much of this is sensible precaution and how much is paranoia. There are dozens of problems that could strand you in the wilds of Texas or Scotland. Everything from lost keys to failed grearbox. How many spares and tools are you going to carry?

A spare adds weight and bulk (ultimately why manufacturers have ditched them) Where it is mounted on the SMART adds drag and possible instabilty at speed. God only knows what effect it would have on the triggering of the rear curtain airbag if you get hit from behind ... hard. Sorry buddy, but it looks stupid on the SMART and would look equally daft on an iQ . Best suggestion is to have roadside rescue

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I think, looking at the suggestions here, that the best solution that will keep you happy when on longer journeys is to have a Roof Rack. If you could get a hold of an old roof box (Thule, others like it, aerodynamic front) then you could fix the front part onto the front roof bar with brackets fixing lengths of steel/wood to the rear roof bar for support/strength, and then you have your spare wheel firmly fixed to a wooden base with the wheel nestled inside the front/aerodynamic part. I'll do a diagram of what I mean if you're interested. It would help with the balance a little when speeding along at 55mph (?).

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Of course, really, for the least hassle, maybe stick the wheel on the back seats. Take less of your other stuff with you. At least you would have peace of mind that a spare was available to use in the event of a puncture. You could even leave one seat up, and use the rear belt to secure the wheel, then stack your other 'goods' in front of the wheel and behind the back seat. Alternatively, do what VW did with the classic old Camper Van, bang it on the front of the car. Take a look back on this forum for an entry by Sweet Dentist. Hang on.......

Here's a link for you.


Scroll down the page for pics of Peter's solution. Maybe you can come up with something similar.

Best of luck.

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Very very bad idea to have a spare wheel loose on the back seats. In a serious impact it will fly forward and either seriously injure or kill the front seat passenger or driver. Sorry to be blunt .

And sorry to go on about it but anything substancial like a wheel you stick on , behind, above or in the vehicle will take the car outside the design of how it and it's safety systems behave in an accident.

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Sorry, but I did say the tyre would be secured with the seatbelt, then pack the stuff in front of it that he is going to be carrying. Also, use of bungee cords... just saying. Trying to help a guy, ya know. Anyways, in the end, it's up to the person if they take advice or not. The guy does not sound like a numptee and is likely able to do something to keep it in place. Being blunt is fine by me Nick.

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Unfortunately life is full of risks, like that unsecured tin of beans in the rear of the car taking you out on a RTA, more likely than a spare wheel getting forward.

Killed at the roadside as you change a tyre,

or just killed by the explosion of the tyre carried in the car.

Common sense is always at a premium.


I think we spoke about this sad case at the time.

BBC News - Woman dies after tyre explosion.htm

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Best suggestion is to have roadside rescue

Roadside rescue only gets you to the nearest service center. If you have a blowout, you then have to get a new tire. Here in the States, small vehicle tires are not common; we had agonies getting a replacement tire (I originally tried to buy one for the spare before getting one for free) through the recommended channels - all of the sources (including the dealer) had to wait on an order, and this during the middle of the week, which shipping would be faster.

Think about your annual holiday - one or two weeks off, taken to allow you to get away from it all. Drive up halfway through Scotland (a lot of it is sort of a wasteland compared to the lower part of the island of Britain, right?), where you have a (one) blowout on that typical Friday evening, when you make your get-away. Then think about the chunk of your off time you could spend waiting for a replacement donut to reach you (if the casualty occurs on a Friday afternoon). Do you really want to take the chance that you could lose a sixth of your time off, all for the lack of a spare tire? ("For the want of a nail...")

Well, you might, and it's your right. We don't, so we are taking steps accordingly.

Yeah, it may defeat the rear airbag - but we're not using the rear portion of the car for occupants anyway. Yeah, it may not meet other's standards of automotive beauty, but most spare tire mounts (including the classic Continental kit approach) do break up a car's design - those old Duesenberg tire clusters on the front fenders look out of place as well.

And, yeah, it may not serve to handle multiple blowouts. Absent the old 1920s approach of clusters of tires, little will. But, it will address that one blowout that will leave you marooned, at least here in our less settled states. (Believe me, driving around Marfa TX puts you in a landscape that would make Scotland look like New York City.)

I appreciate the advice offered (although I don't want to go the Roof Rack route, no matter what). But, my original question still remains, "Has anyone else done this already?" From the responses, it appears that they haven't. So, I'll go it alone, and (eventually) report on the final outcome, complete with the oft-whinged for (is that the correct UK form?) photos once it's complete.

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I think that Scotland is not really a Problem.

Carry just a new or used tyre in the car

& it can get fitted to your wheel.

Kwik Fit, McConechys, ATS etc, or just a garage, some even open Sunday Mornings.

Learn to change a tyre with tyre levers.

Breakdown recovery if not in an hour are there in at least 90 minutes.



Some pics from 750 mile weekend last week.

I have not carried a spare other than on the 4x4's since having an iQ.

(you can get a tyre off a scrap car in almost any village in Scotland when really stuck)













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The Friday night breakdown scenario Sensha describes is of course a possibility. Things seem to be s ightly different in the UK . Roadside recue often includes recovery to your destination or home address , onward travel with a hire car etc. Insurance often has this as well. Personally if my car was immobalised for a few days in the (wasteland !!! ) that is Scotland I'd find a nice hotel and sit it out .

Msybe we have to accept that the iQ (a city car)may not be the best vehicle to take on safari !

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I don't know if this will be suitable or not, but is a totally different option. I know you said you wanted it mounted outside but give this a thought. It also depends if you want the rear seats or not.

I have seen somewhere in the past an option not to have the rear seats in place and they are replaced with a flat board to cover the wheel/tool well. With that option in place a secondary custom made board could be easily made to sit above the lower one. The gap in between the two boards could hold a space saver tyre (maybe off a Yaris), this could be slid in and out by gaining access from inside buy moving the front passenger seat fully forwards. This way if you have a fully loaded boot, you don’t need to empty it to get the spare out; stowage for the jack could also be made next to the spare in the gap between the two boards.

I am thinking that the overall thickness of the lower board, space saver and upper board would be no more thicker than the seat in place folded down, so you shouldn’t lose out on any boot space.

These are just my rough thoughts and I have not been out to the car to have a proper weigh up, but it could be another train of thought.

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Both have a PCD of 4x100 & a Centre Bore of 54.1

Why try to save a few inches of width by carrying a tyre/wheel that will only be suitable to drive at a reduced speed with,

just as well to carry the matching size for the vehicle. carry on with a journey untill getting the tyre repaired at your leisure,

not the widest of tyres fitted to an iQ anyway.

a 175mm wide tyre.

175/65R 15 or 175/60R 16


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