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Spare Tire will not Release

I cannot get the spare tire off of my 2003 Envoy XL. I have had it to a tire shop and also the GMC dealer. There seems to be a problem with the secondary locking mechanism on all GM trucks that have the spare tire under the vehicle. You do not find this out until you need to access the tie in an emergency. This problem is documented in all GM forum sites but there is no recall or notice. People find this out when they really need the tire to fix a flat and not amount of forcing it will release it. The fix is a new winch assembly for $175.00-$250.00 to get the tire off and fix the problem after the frustration at the side of the road. This happens on Excalades, Yukons, Silverados, GMC, Chevrolets equally. If you never have to change a flat you would never know.

Well, I’m sure that most people don’t think about or do such things. But on a regular basis there are very basic things that it is best to do with any car. These include more common things like checking the fluids and tire pressure. But often overlooked is the spare tire. A lot of people, when they suddenly need their spare, realize that it is useless because it doesn’t have enough air pressure in it. That hasn’t got a thing to do with any manufacturer’s problem.

Now, I will agree with you that if this is a very common problem on all of these vehicles that GM absolutely should have done something about it - at the very least send out a notice. But any of this stuff can go wrong on any car at any time. Its a good idea to just have a routine whereby you check up on all of the basics.

Ugh…thats horrible…From my experience on my Ford Explorer…which has a sort of hoist mechanism that uses a crank and a cable assy to hoist the tire up under the truck…when you go to lower the tire, sometimes the tire actually adheres to the undercoating of the vehicle if the undercoat is under there… You have to hit or pry the tire away from the body to unstick it before it will actually drop down on the cable… Just a thought…not sure what mechanism they use on that truck…

Cigroller has a point…I have owned and worked on so many cars you would be surprised to know how many had a flat spare…or no spare tire in the well… or no jack…or tire iron…you get the idea. On my Explorer I did a walkthru one day pretending I had a flat…I checked the jack, the tire iron, and the mechanism for the spare…thats how I knew it stuck to the bottom of the truck… Most people assume everything is there and will work when they need it…I take a much more hands on approach to these things…

I agree with cigroller and Honda Blackbird.
While GM is definitely to be criticized if this is a common problem, the fact remains that a vehicle owner who does not take a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance–including a periodic check of the pressure in his spare tire–is going to get lots of unwanted surprises.

As just one example, my car was built in August, 2010. Last week, while doing my monthly check of the pressure in the 4 road tires, I decided to check the pressure in the temporal spare. This is somewhat of a PIA, because the spare is mounted with the stem downward. Despite the fact that this temporal spare was only a few months old, because of either incompetence at the factory, or continued exceptionally cold weather, or–perhaps–a defect, the pressure turned out to be only 34 lbs, instead of the required 60 lbs.

If my spare was this seriously deflated after only a few months, I would hate to think how little pressure might have remained in the OP’s spare after–7 years! Then, when you factor in the chance of the OP’s spare sticking to the underside of the chassis simply because it had not been moved for such a long period of time, you wind up with some potential problems when faced with the need to use that spare tire.

In other words, even with the apparent defect in the tire-lowering mechanism, the OP could have been in dire straits on the side of the road due to a lack of attention to that spare in a timely manner. It looks like there is enough blame to go around here.

The spare tire is a full spare and has been checked for proper pressure on a regular basis. There was no reason to take the tire off to do this. If there had been an inkling that the mechanism needed some type of maintainence then that would have been part of the periodic program. That is not the case in that not being a gearhead or even having had a need to change the spare I had no idea that this was a potential problem. So to say that checking the inflation of the tire would have prevented this is not accurate. Had we needed to lower the tire to inflate or check the pressure all would have known the problem existed.

No one said that the problem was a tire inflation one. That is just part of the more general idea - that its a good thing to make sure that these basic kinds of things are working.

I have a GM minivan and I too can check the spare pressure without lowering the tire. But every once in a while I lower the tire - to make sure the mechanism is working and check up on the cable.

Everyone also agreed that GM this is one in a long list of bad things on the part of GM.

The spare tire is a full spare
the required 60 lbs.

 I can see a donut spare with a recommend 60 psi, but not a full size spare.  Are you looking on the tyre and reading 60 psi?  If so I suspect that is really 60 psi MAX.  The pressure on the sidewall of modern tyres is the maximum for the tyre.  Since that same size tyre may be used on various cars and or trucks, the tyre manufacturer has no idea what a good or safe pressure would be.  They do know what the safe maximum is because they can test that.  

 If that is the case, you should find the recommend pressure in your owner's manual or on a sticker somewhere in the glove box, or under the lid of the fuel filler.

Here is another from the Goodyear site. 

Tire Inflation
Proper tire inflation is a key ingredient in driving safety and long tire life. It is wise to check your tire’s inflation at least once a month with an accurate tire pressure gauge. Continuous loss of inflation pressure is an indication of a possible tire/wheel assembly problem; consult your tire professional immediately if you encounter this situation. Be sure to check the pressure while the tires are cold, and have not been used recently. If you drive even a mile this will cause your tire pressure to increase and give you an inaccurate reading.

Check Your Air Pressure
Keep your tires properly inflated and you could improve gas mileage by more than $1.50 every time you fill your tank. The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle is located on a sticker inside your driver-side door or noted in your owner’s manual.
You might also try the US Department of transportation.
They say:
You can find the correct tire pressure for your tow vehicle in the owner?s manual or on the tire information placard.