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Answered 2009-10-31 18:49:21
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The 2000 version has the same problem. The cause is that there is a latching mechanism that corrodes over time, and eventually seizes up, causing the plastic "T" to remain locked although the cable is lowered. I was told it is a secondary locking system to assure that the spare does not come loose unexpectedly.

My van had to have the mechanism replaced.

If you have a long flat screw driver you can take of the wheel and spray some WD-40 on it and now it works fine. Hope this helps.




I had the same problem today here is what I did.
It is hard to see anything at all under there because the tire is in the way.
What I did was

1:) Let down the cable from the inside the car first. The problem was the cable went down but the plastic T stayed on the tire.

2:) Lying under the car I put a jack on the spare tire, and jacked the tire up as far as it could go (Without lifting the car). I maneuvered the tire in such a way that I could visibly see the top of the plastic T through the center holeof the tire. At the same time that took all the weight off the plastic T.

So now you have a freed up plastic tee, and can see the top of it and the tire is
kind of out of the way. You will see a square piece outside the hole it is the safety latch, it should be towards the rear end. The problem was figuring out how that worked. The entire square pulls down. Pull that square down and the T will fall. I didn't know how it worked so I got a screw driver and rammed it inside the
hole where the T was locked in and worked the T out. So I have no idea if it was
frozen or not, but once I got the tire out of the way, I liquid wrenched it and worked it a few times and it seems fine.

So before doing all this, the safety latch is accessible with the tire on, so just try and force the entire square piece down before doing all the unnecessary work.
(Before working the square down make sure the tire won't fall on you, put a jack under tire for safety reason in this case.)
good luck
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