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When a tire deflates or bursts while you are driving, the best-case scenario is that you can safely pull to one side, jack up your vehicle, and switch it out for a spare tire. Sometimes a puncture kit might do the trick, but for peace of mind, a spare tire in the back is usually a handy ally.
All vehicles used to come with spare tires but in recent years many car manufacturers have started to go away from that model. If you buy a Sienna do they have spare tires?
Toyota Siennas pre-2021 have a temporary spare tire designed to get you as far as the next tire or mechanic repair shop. For the 2021 and later models the Sienna only comes with a tire repair kit unless you pay extra to get a spare tire.
Temporary tires are not intended for long-term use and are used as a space and weight-saving method in the Sienna models so there is more room for cargo and passenger seating.
However the 2021, 2022, and newer models won’t ship with a spare tire for any of their trim levels. So if you get something in your tire that is too big to repair then you have to call a tow truck!
I personally have been stuck on the side of the road twice in the last 15 years so it doesn’t happen that often but both of those times a repair kit wouldn’t have done me any good and I would have been waiting hours for a tow truck driver in both situations.
To me it would be well worth it to spend the money to get a spare for the Sienna if yours doesn’t come with one as a repair kit is far less helpful than a spare tire.
Companies are trying to save money wherever they can and by removing the spare tire for all of their models Toyota can save a lot. However the person who ends up paying is the consumer… as they are stuck on the side of the road.
Do All Toyota Siennas Have A Spare Tire?
To optimize cabin and cargo space (and to save money), Toyota manufacturers decided to forfeit the spare tire in the Toyota Sienna beginning in 2021.
Instead, Toyota engineers have designated enough space for a compact tire repair kit in case of emergencies. A repair kit comes as a standard base package with all trim level Sienna’s and considering this family-targeted vehicle doesn’t come with an ordinary spare tire, we’re hoping no one ever has to go through the hardships of dealing with a flat.
Temporary spare tires are smaller in size and generally only built to last a short while, but they can help immensely in a pitch if you hit something that shreds your tire or puts a large hole in the sidewall (both of which have happened to me).
Toyota Sienna remains a highly reliable and durable vehicle on the market and the road today and has been a favorite family car for decades. The fact that Sienna’s only provide a smaller, short-term spare tire as an additional feature when purchased, hasn’t changed anyone’s mind yet.
None of the Toyota Sienna trim levels come with a temporary spare tire as a standard on the 2021 and newer models and it will need to be purchased separately as an additional feature.
Why Don’t Toyota Siennas Have a Replacement Tire?
In short, Toyota Siennas don’t have a spare tire for one main reason… MONEY. There is still a space in the Sienna for a spare and they could easily mount it underneath like many manufactures do.
Instead Toyota has decided that not spending the money on a spare tire in every Sienna is a better option. Most people won’t even know that they don’t have a spare tire anymore until it’s too late and by then they will have to call a tow company.
Toyota puts the main focus of the Sienna in the cabin space provided for the comfort of its passengers and the amount of space available for payload. However in my mind that’s no excuse for not sticking a spare tire underneath the vehicle or in the trunk as has been done on all models for years.
Unfortunately it is becoming a common trend that many manufacturers are foregoing a spare tire in their vehicles to allow for weight capacity and other technological features that seem to benefit the market better.
According to leeschwab.com approximately 35% of vehicles on the market today come straight from the factory without a spare tire.
Not having an ordinary spare tire included in the purchase of your car might not be the end of the world and you do get some benefits.
Just by reducing the weight of the cargo in the car, you increase the fuel efficiency to improve miles per gallon slightly.
Also run-flat tires are becoming increasingly popular among vehicle manufacturers for their ability to continue driving, albeit slowly, after being punctured for a limited distance.
They’re designed this way so that if there is a tire issue the driver can get up to approximately 50 miles out of the tire so they can get to a tire or repair shop to get the tire replaced.
Despite that I still would not ever want to own a vehicle that didn’t have a spare. Can you imagine driving across Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, or other similar states where there is no town or gas station for 60-80 miles and having your tire blow out?
You go to pull the spare out and replace it on the side of the highway only to realize that the car manufacturer cheaped out and you have a little repair kit that won’t fix your issue. Now you are stuck on the side of the highway for hours with your family while waiting for a tow truck (that might not even be able to take your whole family in it)!
Not my idea of a fun time. So I will only be buying vehicles that include a spare or have a spot for one that I can buy as an aftermarket add on.
How Long And Far Can You Drive On A Temporary Spare Tire?
If driving on a temporary spare tire it is recommended that you do not drive faster than 50 miles an hour and no more than 70 miles in distance. Although no more than 50 miles is advisable.
The goal is to get as far as necessary to a repair shop or a tire shop and to have your flat completely replaced and your spare put back for safekeeping.
A temporary tire is exactly that, temporary. Designed for short-term use only.
That’s what is recommended and what is safest for you and your vehicle. However, in a pinch many people on forums (such as Reddit) have said that they have gone multiple hundreds of miles on a spare.
Yes, a spare tire (donut) is not as safe as a regular tire but sometimes you get in a pinch in the middle of the night and don’t have many options. In that case make sure the donut/temporary tire is on one of the non drive wheels and drive it slowly for as short of distance as possible.
One of the times I had a blowout on the side of the road was in the middle of Illinois. It was late (midnight or so) and it literally shredded. I got to an off ramp (thankfully) and swapped it for the donut.
I then drove the remaining 150ish miles back home on the donut.
Was it the safest thing to do? No!
Would I recommend you do it? Again, No!
But sometimes in life we have to do things that aren’t the best as the alternative is worse. So although you shouldn’t drive very far on a donut tire and although it’s best to not drive on them more than 50 miles if you have no other alternative… only you can decide what to do.
There are a few things everyone should know about spare tires, whether they’re temporary or not. Just like the tires on your vehicle, spare tires need some TLC too.
Rubber loses its flexibility and degrades over time with the occasional micro-cracks that might not even be visible. It’s because of this you should do the following:
- Maintain your spare tires
Maybe you’ve never needed to use your spare tire and you’ve gone years without a flat tire. That’s great news and lucky you, I wish I had your same luck!
Regardless, lack of use can affect your tire quality. Always check your spare tire is in good condition before going on a long trip.
- Replace your spare tires
On the odd occasion, you may have to replace your spare tire, especially if it has been in use.
Depending on how long you drive on it, temporary spare tires aren’t designed to take on a lot of weight for prolonged distances and/or speeds. If you’ve driven on your temporary spare for over 50 miles, I’d recommend replacing it to be safe.
Specialists advise having your spare tire changed at least every 6 – 8 years.
- Ensure you fit your spare tire properly
You could seriously damage your spare tire, your traditional tires, and your vehicle if you don’t change your tire properly.
If you’ve never changed a flat tire before, it’s probably a great idea to learn how just in case you ever need it when you least expect it, or even when you do expect it.
Where Is The Spare Tire Located In The Toyota Sienna?
As ever, Toyota is great at ensuring optimal space is available in the Toyota Sienna range for large families, extra passengers, and plenty of luggage and equipment room for weekends away.
This does make it difficult to locate the spare tire though and it’s common for owners not to know where they are, especially if that part was skimmed over briefly in the purchasing exchange.
Here is where you will find the spare tire pre-2021
- In previous years, the spare tire for a Sienna has been located underneath the vehicle.
- The jack is in the rear of the car, in a hidden compartment in the passenger side behind the three stowable seats and the tire was found under the second-row seats on the passenger side.
- To release the tire, you need to move the second-row seats backwards and access through the floor compartment with the tools found with the jack
- Gary Pollard shows us how to do it here.
Here is where you will find the tire for Sienna models 2021 – present (if you purchased it).
- You will find your temporary compact spare tire in the rear of the Sienna, behind the third-row stowable seating. If you didn’t buy a tire this will be where your repair kit is.
- Christina from the business development department at Fred Anderson Toyota – Raleigh NC shows us where to find the temporary spare tire in this YouTube video.
Not all vehicles come with a spare tire anymore and in the case of the 2022 or newer Toyota Sienna, a spare tire comes as an add-on feature for an additional $75.00. The Toyota Sienna’s optional compact spare tire won’t take up much room in the trunk of the minivan but it does add to the weight of the car which could alter how many miles you get out of a tank of fuel.
If you opt not to get the spare tire, which is custom-fit for the Toyota Sienna, you still receive a standard puncture kit across all Sienna trim levels for emergency backup in case of a flat tire.