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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Chevy Bolt comes with 17" x 6.5J offset 44, cast aluminum wheels with Michelin all-season Energy Saver A/S 215/50R17. The tires are ~25-7/16" diameter. These are self-sealing tires, except for punctures on the outer edges of the tread or in the sidewall. So, you may need a spare, whether to keep in the garage, or in the car.

You have several options for a spare tire, courtesy the Chevy Cruze. There is a compact "donut" spare as well as full size. Of course, you could also buy a 5th Bolt EV wheel. Note that the Gen 2 Volt has the same specs for a spare, so if you have a 2016+ Volt and a 2017+ Bolt, you could share a spare between the two.

Spare Wheel Part Numbers and Specs

  • 2011-2015 Chevy Cruze 16x6.5 compact, steel wheel, 5x105mm, 56.6mm center bore, offset 39mm
  • Steel Wheel Stampings (front): 4.00BTX16H2 , DOTE J , K4 13 USA, BNX 16, GM IS25
  • Steel Wheel Stamping (rear): 092213 K4 21 16x4 E DOT USA
  • Some report spares from a 2012-16 Sonic (also having a 5x105mm lug pattern) will also work.
  • Cruze GM Part #13259234, replaced by #13412196. Apparently #13259230 is suitable as well.
  • Tire: Maxxis T115/70R16, DOT UYPY - ABC, Sidewall 1 Poly, Tread 1 poly 2 steel, ~22-5/16" diameter. Maxxis part number is TP09685500.

Where To Buy
You can find these spares at the local auto-salvage yard (~$10-$25), on ebay (~$60-$100), and through a Chevy dealer (kit #84034699 - $502, kit #23315255 - $330 see

I bought mine at a local auto-salvage yard for $10. It was from a wrecked 2014 Cruze, is in like new condition and came with a storage ring, a foam insert, wheel chocks, and a tool bag. All for $10!

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Other Equipment Needed

  • Scissors jacks
  • 19MM socket wrench
  • Wheel chocks (Harbor Freight item #97130, ~$8)
  • Lug nut torque wrench capable of 100 pound-feet
  • Plastic sheet to lay on
  • Gloves
  • Relearn Tool for the TPMS. My 2011 Volt TPMS tool works on my 2017 Bolt EV. So even though the Volt uses 433mhz, and the Bolt uses 315 MHz, my tool is capable of doing both. :)

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I picked up two scissors jacks ($12 each) from some Chevy S-10's at the auto-salvage yard. These have a bump at the top that nest into holes on the Bolt. Even though the Bolt has a lot of frame stiffness, I got two jacks so I can lift the whole side of the car without putting extra stress on the battery pack and frame assembly. I grind off the L shaped handles on the jacks and use my 3/4" socket with a home-made crank handle (Harbor Freight and some torch metal smithing) to raise the jacks.

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Mount Spare on Rear, Never Front
Note that because they are smaller diameter than the Bolt's wheels, compact spares should always be mounted on the rear to avoid damage to the Bolt drive-train. If you have a flat front, mount the compact spare on the rear, move the full-sized rear wheel to the front.

I would not recommend putting a smaller diameter spare on the drive axle (Bolt or Volt front). A significant difference in the outside diameter of the tire (more than 1/2") will cause the differential to seriously overheat. That could lead to a very expensive repair.

If you had absolutely no choice, the general advice is to keep your speed under 50 mph, and drive no more than 50 miles. Then park the car for 2 hours or more to allow the differential to cool before doing it again.

A smaller-diameter tire on the drive axle can put a lot of stress on your differential, which thinks you are constantly making a turn and is working overtime to compensate for the different axle speed.

Also, donut tires are narrower than the standard tire with a smaller pavement contact area. Reduced traction and increased stopping distances is a result, making handling in an emergency maneuver potentially unpredictable. Plus, ABS and traction control won't be as effective at keeping you safe.

This is why if you have a flat front tire on the Bolt or Volt the recommendation is to replace the rear tire with the spare and use the rear to replace the front flat.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Storing The Spare
The compact (or full size) spare can be stored in the 8" deep well under the cargo deck. If you want to bolt it to the car, there is a bolt hole for holding down the foam tray holding the tow eye bolt, EVSE, etc. The threaded hole is toward the rear bumper. So a threaded bolt assembly would be able to go through a spoke hole but not a lug or center hole.

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Full Size Spare

You can also get Cruze OEM 16" X 6.5" wheels, with 205/45R16 Bridgestone Potenza R71 tires mounted. These are bigger than the compact spare, but still smaller diameter than the Bolt's 17" wheels. You can also buy a spare Bolt OEM 17" wheel to keep as a spare of course.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Thank you for the FAQ! This totally answers my mounting questions when using a bolt. Now for some good end of year Bolt deals...

· Registered
3,237 Posts
Awesome FAQ, yet again. Thanks for that.
Not sure if you detailed the lug wrench item, but I have found the following telescopic lug wrench to be extremely valuable because it provides double the leverage of a typical lug wrench. That makes the job easier, safer, and can make the difference between success and failure if the lug nuts were over-tightened with a pneumatic impact wrench as is often done in tire shops. It stores compactly and fits any common lug nut size, so you can most likely use it on your entire fleet, or help a neighbor. Currently only $11, so a real bargain.
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