You get a flat tire on your Volkswagen Jetta. No problem, you have a spare. But where is it and how do you get to it? Depending on the Jetta model year, the spare may be under the cargo area, or nested in a well under the vehicle. This guide covers spare tire location, access instructions, what to look for when sizing a replacement, and tips to make the process easier for all VW Jetta models.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Jetta Spare Tire Locations
- Accessing an In-Cabin Cargo Area Spare
- How to Lower a Jetta Undercarriage Spare
- What to Look for When Replacing a Jetta Spare
- Tips for Smoothly Changing a Jetta Spare Tire
Understanding Jetta Spare Tire Locations
Volkswagen has utilized two different spare tire configurations over Jetta generations:
1. In Cargo Area
- Older models to ~2005 – compact spare tire under cargo floor
- Easier to access but takes up storage space
2. Undercarriage Storage
- 2006 models and newer – full-size spare mounted underbody
- More difficult to lower but frees up interior room
So when you need to use the Jetta’s spare, you’ll first need to identify which type you have based on model year. Now let’s look at how to access each configuration when needed.
Accessing an In-Cabin Cargo Area Spare
For older Jetta models with the spare tire stored under the cargo floor, here are the steps to retrieve it:
1. Clear Out Cargo
Remove any items in the cargo area to allow full access to the floor. Also move the carpet mat.
2. Locate Floor Opening
There will be a rectangular or round access panel in the floor. Lift the flap or turn screws to open it.
3. Use Jack Handle
Insert the vehicle’s jack handle through the access hole and into the spare tire winch mechanism.
4. Turn Handle to Lower
Crank the jack handle counter-clockwise to lower the cable and bring the spare tire into view.
5. Disconnect Cable
Once fully raised, disconnect the cable from the spare tire to fully remove it.
Always properly stow cargo floor items later for safety. Now go change that flat!
How to Lower a Jetta Undercarriage Spare
For the underbody mounted spare on newer Jettas, the process is a little more involved:
1. Open Rear Floor Panel
Lift the flap in the rear floor panel to expose the winch access hole.
2. Insert Retaining Rod
Slide the U-shaped retaining rod into the access hole to engage the winch mechanism.
3. Turn Retaining Rod
Rotate the retaining rod counter-clockwise to lower the spare tire on the cable.
4. Keep Tight
Maintain slight tension on the retaining rod as the spare lowers to keep it stable.
5. Disconnect Once Fully Lowered
With the spare tire on the ground, disconnect it from the cable to roll it out for use.
Be sure to reverse these steps properly later to raise and stow the spare again.
What to Look for When Replacing a Jetta Spare
If you ever need to replace an original or used up Jetta spare tire, be sure to get one that matches the following specifications:
- Same overall diameter to avoid gearing issues
- Same width to fit properly in the undercarriage well
- Same bolt pattern to match the wheels (typically 5×112)
- Same load range rating (generally Load Index 87)
Consult your owner’s manual for full spare tire specifications. It’s ideal to replace it with the exact OEM spare.
Tips for Smoothly Changing a Jetta Spare Tire
Utilizing the Jetta’s spare when you get a flat tire will be much easier by following these handy tips:
- Know spare location for your model year before needing it
- Keep cargo area clear if spare stored there
- Have the right tools – jack, rod, wrench, gloves
- Use hazard lights and set the parking brake
- Loosen lugs before jacking up the car
- Securely brace spare after installing to avoid rattling
Take the guesswork out of accessing and changing to the spare tire. Review the owner’s manual yearly so you’re prepared for any Jetta roadside tire issues down the line.
Dealing with a flat tire is never convenient, but having a good working knowledge of your Volkswagen Jetta’s spare tire location and access method makes the process far less painful. Depending on model year, the spare is either housed under the cargo floor or mounted in the undercarriage. Following the proper lowering steps and disconnecting the retaining cable allows you to swiftly get the spare in place and be back on the road. Keeping the right on-hand tools and tips in mind creates a smooth spare tire change. Know your Jetta’s spare tire particulars and you’ll be prepared to tackle a flat tire with minimal fuss.