A flat tire is one of the worst situations for a driver. The flat changes the performance of your vehicle, reducing your control over it. Most car manufacturers tackle the problem by offering tires that can work while flat to give the driver time to reach a service shop. However, a few manufacturers are bucking the trend, including Tesla Motors.
The Tesla Model Y does not have run-flat tires, nor do they come with spares. When your Model Y has a flat tire, Tesla expects you to have your vehicle towed to one of their shops for a replacement. However, they do provide a few precautionary measures to help reduce the likelihood of a flat.
These precautionary measures try to prevent flat tires from occurring, saving you and your family in the process. By reading further, you will learn what these measures are and how they work when a tire goes flat.
Does Tesla Model Y Have Run-Flat Tires?
Every driver will experience a flat tire at least once. Tires can blow out for a variety of reasons many of which are out of the driver’s control. Because of this, you must have some plan to deal with the condition during any long trip. One popular flat tire solution is run-flat tires. Run-flat tires are durable enough to allow you to drive normally even if the tires blow out.
Despite the benefits of having them, some manufacturers still do not provide run-flat tires on their vehicles. Some of them even refuse to do so, including Tesla Motors. Instead of run-flat tires, Tesla adorns their vehicles with special, foam-filled tires, including the Model Y, Model 3, and Model X.
The Tires on the Tesla Model Y
The Model Y comes with the Tesla-standard Goodyear Eagle Touring tires, though the Performance variant comes with Pirelli P-Zero tires instead. On their own, these all-season tires can handle most climates.
However, Tesla does not use the standard, off-the-shelf versions of these tires. Instead, they line the insides of the thread surface with noise-reducing, sound-dampening foam. This foam permanently binds to the rubber, reducing cavity resonance and road noise.
While these tires make for better driving experiences, they do come with downsides. These tires are:
- Not made to run flat
- Difficult to patch or repair, usually requiring a full replacement
- Expensive to fix only Tesla shops have the materials and equipment to fix them
Fortunately, Tesla tires rarely face catastrophic failures. If they blow out, it is usually just a slow leak. So, you will most likely have enough time to get your Model Y off the road to safety before anything worse happens.
The Model Y Has No Spare Tire Either
Despite being one of the most innovative car makers out there, Tesla does not provide spare tires with their vehicles either. If your Model Y gets a flat, you are expected to pull over as quickly as possible and call for their roadside assistance program.
Tesla has many reasons for staying with traditional-style tires for their vehicles. While run-flat tires and spares sound like great options for keeping drivers safe until they can get replacement tires, these features are no longer as useful as they once were.
Tire technology has developed enough that flat tires are rare enough events that it is more cost-effective to just call for a tow than driving to a shop using a spare. Getting rid of spares and run-flat tires also lowers the costs of the vehicle while providing more storage space.
The Tesla Model Y Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors
Instead of spares and run-flat tires, Tesla included a tire pressure monitoring sensor (TPMS) system as a standard feature on their newer models including the Model Y. The TPMS constantly tracks the pressure in your car’s tires. It then warns you when the pressure drops below a threshold, giving you time to reach a tire repair shop before the tires go flat.
The Model Y uses a wireless TPMS system. Its sensors are embedded into the insides of the tires where they transmit the tire conditions to the main unit under the hood. As a flat tire prevention tool, this system is cheap and reliable. Some drivers may not like dealing with driver-assist features such as TPMS, but the system keeps the costs of Tesla cars low.
The system also reduces the load weight on your car. Run-flat tires are heavy, and spare tires take up extra space. By replacing them with foam-filled, TPMS-equipped tires give your Model Y a small performance and range boost that it would not otherwise have.
The Cost of Not Having Run-Flat Tires on a Model Y
While the TPMS works, it does have its downsides. While preventing flat tires is useful and the ideal, flat tires will still happen regardless. However, without the proper equipment, Model Y drivers will be stuck on the side of the road if they find themselves with a flat tire.
Temperature Changes Can Break the TPMS
The TPMS assumes that your car’s tire pressure will remain static over the life of the car. In most cases, this works but can break if your area experiences frequent temperature changes. As the air temperature changes, it can lower or increase the pressure in your tires. This change can cause the TPMS to give a false warning.
Because they are exposed to the elements, the sensors in the tires can also break. When that happens, the system can no longer track tire pressures properly. Under this situation, the system may report a false warning or fail to repost problems that do occur.
You are Reliant on Tesla Roadside Assistance
The only standard flat tire solution for Model Y drivers is calling for a tow. Fortunately, Tesla does offer free Roadside Assistance. The service is available 24/7, provided your car is still under warranty. As such, you can get help with a simple phone call.
As dramatic cascade failures are rare, the technicians should be able to get you back on the road quickly. However, you must be able to make the call. If you travel a lot, you may find yourself where cell service is limited.
Tesla Tires Are Expensive
Because of the TPMS and their proprietary foam lining, Tesla tires are quite expensive to repair. If your Model Y gets a flat tire, you can expect the repair cost to start at $230 plus labor for each tire.
This is because the tires require equipment that smaller shops do not have. Therefore, you are stuck with Tesla dealers and partners such as Costco. Fortunately, some of these partners will discount you if you replace all your tires at once.
Model Y Flat Tire Repair Kits Are Available
If you are worried about getting a flat tire or just prefer to do things by yourself, you can get flat tire repair kits for your Model Y. You can even get spare tire kits. You pay a premium for the privilege, but you can get them from the Tesla Store.
Priced at around $350, Model Y tire repair kits come with everything you need to fix a flat tire. They even come equipped to handle any of Tesla’s factory wheel size options. The spares will even clear the Model Y’s large brakes.
These kits also come with sturdy, low-profile, custom scissor jacks with ratcheting handles. These jacks offer enough leverage at the design lift points that anyone can use them without issue under any condition. When not in use, the whole package collapses to take up as little space as possible in its six-inch storage case.
Despite being one of the most innovative car makers, Tesla Motors did not equip their Model Y vehicles with run-flat tires, spares, or any other standard flat tire solutions. Instead, they decided to use tire pressure monitoring to warn their drivers of potential blowouts before they happen.