A spare tire is only necessary when you have a flat, but most modern cars don’t have a spare tire anymore. Let’s examine why the iD4 has no spare and what to do when you have a flat.
The VW iD4 has no spare tire but is equipped with a repair kit and three years of roadside assistance.
This article will examine why the iD4 doesn’t have a spare tire, how to use the repair kit if needed, and what to do if the flat is beyond repair.
Why Does the iD4 Not Have a Spare Tire?
The iD4 does not come with a spare tire. This is not unusual in modern cars, both EV and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). The two main reasons for no spare tires are:
- Weight reduction
Weight reduction as a reason is more prevalent in an EV, as EV manufacturers are constantly striving to reduce the weight of the car. The weight of an EV is much higher than that of an ICE. An iD4 weighs just under 5000 lbs compared to a VW Tiguan at just over 3500 lbs.
The extra weight comes from the high-voltage batteries in the car’s chassis. To counter the weight of the Lithium Ion cells, VW has removed as much excess weight as they can, and this includes the spare tire. An average spare tire (not a spacer) can weigh as much as 70-80 lbs. The more weight that can be removed improves the range and performance of the car.
All car manufacturers, including VW, are here to make a profit. Introducing a new model to the market is an enormous undertaking and investment, especially with new EV technology. Anywhere that savings can be made is a bonus.
The cost to the manufacturer of a spare tire is not huge in the overall scheme of things, but if there is no spare tire, then there is also no jack included, which also adds to the savings.
Even Tesla, a pretty expensive model, doesn’t come with a jack; less is more.
It makes me question if an EV is worth the money.
What to Do if Your iD4 has a Flat
There’s never a good time to get a flat tire, but there are usually two different scenarios that occur:
- Slow puncture
- Full flat or blowout
All tires are manufactured to a specified tire pressure. This pressure must be maintained, or a warning light will appear. If the pressure begins to drop in one of your tires, your dash will indicate a problem; you must investigate this at the soonest safe opportunity.
Continuing to drive can result in a blowout and loss of control.
- Safely pull over and select the vehicle on your touchscreen
- Select Vehicle Status
- Select tire pressure
- Here the information will indicate which tire has a loss of pressure
Once you know which tire is going down, you can inspect whether it can be reinflated or if you need to call roadside assistance.
If the tire seems to be a slow puncture, you can reinflate it with the tire repair kit. The repair kit and charging cable are located in the trunk (second layer compartment).
The pouch contains a small compressor with a 12V connection and a canister of repair foam fluid. There is a specific way to use the repair kit, and instructions must be followed correctly. There are two types of canisters depending on the year of your iD4. We will discuss the use of each individually.
It’s important to note that the repair kit will have difficulty inflating if your valve is at the bottom of the tire. The car must be moved forward or back to locate the valve towards the top of the wheel.
|Please ensure you are in a safe place to re-inflate your tire. If the tire is on the traffic side, moving off the highway to a safer location to complete the repair is safest. If you are unhappy driving the car, call Roadside Assist.|
The canisters differ in their connections. One has a single connection at the bottom, and the other has a yellow cap with a double connection.
Single Connection Canister
- Remove the pouch from the trunk
- The contents of the pouch are: Canister, Compressor, Valve extractor, hose connection, spare core
- Remove the dust cap from the tire valve
- Remove the valve core with the extractor
- Place this in a safe place for later
- Shake the canister vigorously
- Attach the hose to the canister
- This will pierce the top of the can
- Remove the plug
- Place the opposite end on the tire valve
- Turn the canister upside down and empty the entire contents into the tire
- Remove the hose
- Reinsert the valve core
- Remove the compressor from the pouch
- There is a 12V connection in the top left-hand side of the trunk
- Plug in the compressor
- Attach the compressor to the tire valve
- Turn on the compressor
- Run the compressor until the pressure reaches 29-36 psi
- Running time is a maximum of 8 minutes
- Switch off and remove the hose
- At this stage, it’s best to move the car by 5-10 meters to allow the foam fluid to move around the wall of the tire.
- Reattach the hose and check the psi.
- If the pressure has been maintained, then the tire is safe to drive on
At this stage, you should maintain a speed of 50mph and recheck the tire within 10 minutes of driving. If the pressure has dropped below 19psi, the kit has unfortunately not worked, and you must now call roadside assistance. Driving to a tire repair shop is safe if the pressure has been maintained.
Double Connection Canister
The canister with the yellow connection is a better design option as there’s no need to remove valves, and it is less messy.
- Remove the pouch from the trunk
- Open the canister packaging.
- The 12V connection is located at the top left-hand side of the trunk
- the cable is long enough to reach all four tires
- Plug in the 12V compressor
- Attach the compressor to the canister
- Remove the dust cap from the valve
- Attach the canister hose to the tire valve
- Turn the canister upside down
- At the top left of the compressor, there is a semi-circle recess
- This is for the canister to sit in
- Turn the compressor on
- Empty the canister
- Watch the pressure on the compressor
- When the compressor reaches 39-40 psi, turn off
- Remove the canister hose from the valve
- Replace the dust cap
As before, move the car 5-10 meters and check the pressure. If the pressure is maintained, the tire is safe to drive. If the pressure drops below 19 psi, the tire needs more urgent attention, and you must call roadside assistance.
If the tire pressure is maintained – with either canister – you must confirm this with the computer. The tire pressure value must be reset with the touchscreen.
- Select Vehicle
- Select vehicle status
- Tire pressure correct
- Select ok
What to Do if Pressure Can’t be Maintained
Unfortunately, if the canister won’t do the trick, your tire has a bigger problem and will either need to be repaired at a tire shop or replaced. If you can’t maintain the tire pressure at 19 psi or above, the tire is unsafe to drive.
Calling Roadside Assist
If the tire is beyond repair with the kit, then calling roadside assistance is the only option. All VW iD4 are covered by three years / 36k miles of roadside assistance. Flat tires are included.
When you call Roadside Assist (1-800-411-6688), you must tell them exactly what the problem is and that you’re driving an iD4. EVs and iD4s can only be towed by a flatbed tow truck.
Evs can’t be towed with the front or rear wheels raised from the ground, as it can damage the drivetrain.
VW has good reports for the response time to roadside assistance, but this depends on your location and the time of day.
While you wait for the tow truck to arrive, you can ready your iD4 for towing. (Only if you feel comfortable doing so).
There is a towing eye located in the trunk of your iD4. It is in the very bottom layer of a foam container. It looks like a spoon with a hole in the top.
Retrieve it and go to the front of the car (only if it’s safe to do so). On the left-hand side of the bumper, there is a small circle. Press the side of the circle, and it will open.
Feed the towing eye into the hole and thread the bar counterclockwise until firmly in place.
When the tow truck arrives, you can drive up onto the flatbed or place the car in Neutral and winched on. No real damage will be done to your tire by driving an additional 5-10 meters. However, you need to be in the car for both circumstances, as the iD4 can’t be driven in Neutral without a driver.
The tow company will transport your car to a tire repair shop or a VW dealership. The most important thing to consider is that the repair shop might not have the current tire specification on your car, especially if they are original factory tires.
If your tire needs to be replaced, you can either order a tire from VW and have it delivered to the tire shop or suck it up and buy a new tire from the tire shop. Tires front and back need to be the same, so if the tire shop doesn’t have the same specification, then you will have to buy two new matching tires.
This is sometimes the better option, as tire shops will have tires that are on sale or discounted, where the tire from VW will not be reduced and can cost up to $400 by the time you pay for the tire shop labor.
Buying a Spare Tire
There are pros and cons to buying a spare tire. The pros are you’re never sitting at the side of the highway waiting for a tow truck to arrive. However, the iD4 doesn’t come with a jack. If you’re considering buying a spare tire, you’ll also have to buy a jack (sufficient enough to lift the weight of your iD4) and all the tools required to go along with it to remove your tire.
But if you do a lot of driving, where cell coverage is not great, then having a spare tire kit and all the extras that go with it is an excellent idea.
The major disadvantage is the space that it will occupy. There is no neatly designed hidden cavity for your spare tire, so your trunk space will be reduced.
There are kits available to purchase online. They contain a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench, and it’s all neatly packed in a bag. It might be worth investing at home if you know you’re going offroad or for an emergency. But the alternative option of Roadside Assist seems better, available 24/7, 365 days a year.
The last thing I’ll mention is the canister replacement. If you have used the canister to re-inflate a slow puncture, don’t forget to replenish the canister.
These can be purchased from any VW dealership. You don’t need to be stuck on the highway waiting for Roadside Assist, knowing that if you had replaced the canister, you could already be fixed and on your way.
I’ve covered a few common iD4 issues which, if you own an iD4 or are about to buy one, you might find useful:
If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category right here.
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