Like many other buyers of a 2012 Kia Soul, I was somewhat dismayed to learn there was no spare tire and jack included with the car--instead, there is a can of sealant and a (tiny) air compressor. I understand why Kia did this, and I also understand that the sealant/compressor can remedy a simple puncture (which is the most common cause of a roadside flat tire) and get you back on your way... but, even still, I wanted an honest to goodness spare tire on board (even if it would just be a temporary compact spare).
First, I removed the spare tire and "tool kit" (jack, lug wrench, and other items that are neatly packaged in the circular styrofoam holder) from my 2011 Soul. For those who do not own a 2010 or 2011 Soul, here is what the circular tool kit looks like. (Note the "15" embossed in the upper right corner of the styrofoam.)
By comparison, here is the slightly-larger 16" circular tool kit holder. (Note the "16" embossed in it.)
Once everything was removed from the car, here is what the floor of the wheel well looked like:
Next, I removed the equivalent "tool kit" (small compressor and can of sealant which are packed in a rectangular styrofoam holder) from my 2012 Soul +. When I did, here is what the floor of its wheel well looked like:
They are exactly identical. This is great news for anyone who wants to add a compact spare tire to their 2012 Soul.
In my 2011 Soul, the spare tire is secured to the floor with a bolt that is affixed to a large, circular plastic handle. In my 2012 Soul, the rectangular styrofoam tool kit is secured to the floor with a bolt that is affixed to a large, circular plastic handle. Could they be the same? I decided to check:
Yep--peas in a pod. They are even embossed with the same part number. This is more good news for we who would add a spare tire to our 2012 Soul.
So if you want to add a spare tire to your 2012 Soul, here is your shopping list:
- the spare tire itself**
- the jack
- the lug wrench
- the handle to operate the jack
- the circular styrofoam holder**
**: Kia used two different sizes of spare tire for the Soul. Cars which came with 15" or 16" wheels got a T125/80D-15 spare tire, while cars with 18" wheels got a larger T125/80D-16 spare tire. Either size will fit comfortably in any Soul's spare wheel well, of course. Make sure your circular styrofoam holder's size matches the size of your spare tire--the size is embossed in one corner of the styrofoam.
These compact spares are hideously expensive. When I priced out just the 15" steel wheel at work, I nearly had a heart attack! The spare wheel and tire are sold separately, and after my coronary meltdown I didn't have the nerve to price out the tire itself. Instead, I bought a 15" spare tire from a 2010 Soul in an out-of-state junkyard.
As for the other items on the above list, I felt they were reasonably priced all things considered. I ended up buying the whole "tool kit" from another out-of-state wrecking yard, but it didn't save me very much money once shipping was added compared to buying these items piecemeal from Kia. (Full disclosure: employees get healthy parts discounts at my work. YMMV. I suggest you price it out both ways and decide for yourself.)
You won't need to buy the bolt that screws the tire in place, obviously. Also, Kia was kind enough to include the tow hook in both tool kits--so there is no need to buy another one of those. Once your shopping is complete, everything will drop right in place as if it had been there all along.
I hope some of you out there find this information helpful.