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Piston Slap: The Little Hole, The Truck Spare Tire

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TTAC?commentator Macca writes:

Sajeev,

This is random, but I was wondering should you could look into a car curiosity that has hassled me for some time. Web searches on the subject have not produced any solutions so far, unfortunately.

I don’t own a Ram truck, nor do I envision ever purchasing one, but I do often find personally sitting in traffic behind one. I’ve noticed that on recent designs, the rear bumper includes a slight indentation above and to the right of the license plate region. This indentation appears to coincide with what appears to be a drain hole of some sort for the bed, but the 2 aren’t ever fully aligned.

It’s probably no shock which I’m a bit Obsessive-compulsive disorder about automotive things, and this is the first thing I see as I stare at the rear of any Ram vehicle in traffic — kinda how?I always look for the damaged plastic liftgate panel on third-gen Explorers. I know, it’utes a sickness. (You’ll need some Vellum for your Venom, boy! – SM)?

Sajeev answers:

There was a period when I didn’t know what that hole had been for either. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter!

It?was before I changed a flat on the buddy’s truck, that was then?my vehicle. I?had to rotate my tires – except not. As though?a 24 Hours of LeMons Judge ever rotates his own wheels with so many?terrible racers just begging for the task.

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Or at least these people used to. Sigh, it couldn’capital t last?forever.

Mopar’utes own YouTube channel has?the best description?of why that hole exists;?it’utes so you can lower the full-size spare tire. I understand the truck spare tire’utes space efficient style, even if it’s tricky to extract and frustrating to re-install within the best of weather.

Plus, it’s far too easy for thieves to steal your own (valuable, full-size) spare.

Between this and tailgate thievery, truckers of all sizes got problems. This?is sort of?addressed in more recent designs: many vans have (optional) locking tailgates. For years, both Ford and Chevy make use of a lock cylinder shared with your ignition answer to ensure nobody gets your spare – including you?if you forget in order to re-key the bumper when addressing your key.

Suffice to say, truckers obtained lots of problems with their?holes!

[Images: OP,?? 2014?Sajeev Mehta/The Reality About Cars]

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