There is nothing more obnoxious than going down the road and suddenly getting a flat tire. As many will notice, Tesla vehicles are not equipped with a spare tire. What are you going to do when you’re stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire?
What if your Tesla Gets a Flat Tire? If you happen to get a flat tire while driving your Tesla, there are several options to deal with a damaged tire. First, you can call roadside assistance. They are available 24/7 and will be able to help you in an instant. You can also call for a loaner wheel service or towing to the nearest Tesla Service Center. If neither of those options appeal to you, there is a tire repair kit you can purchase through Tesla for any quick fixes you feel you can make yourself.
While it may seem silly that car manufacturers are opting out of providing a spare tire, the truth is that they are hardly needed anymore. However, in times of need, it is vital to have a backup plan.
Tire Repair Options with Tesla Flat Tire
The tires that are placed on Tesla’s are built for safety, durability, and reliability. Despite how they are built, the tires can and will degrade over time, and this happens for a number of different reasons. Between high loads, extreme temperatures, environmental conditions, and even ultraviolet light, there is no telling when you will experience a flat tire.
The good news is that you have several different options when you are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. It can be frustrating, but by taking the proper steps, you will be back on the road in no time!
Below, you will find three popular steps to take if you experience a flat tire with your Tesla.
One of the significant perks of Tesla vehicles is Tesla Roadside Assistance. This service is available to customers 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, as long as the warranty is still valid. Once you have contacted the Roadside Assistance service, you will need to provide the following information
- The Nature of the Issue
- The Location of the Vehicle
- Vehicle Identification Number [VIN]
If you are unsure where your VIN is located, you can find it either in your Tesla app or on the upper dashboard on the driver’s side of your windshield. If neither of these work, the VIN can also be found by touching the car’s screen and touching the Tesla ‘T’ at the very top.
Once you have provided all of the information, the Roadside Assistance service will then provide the proper procedure to either fix your tire or have it transported to a local Tesla Service Center within 50 miles of the vehicle.
Towing and Loaner Wheel Service
The next option you could look into would be contacting a loaner wheel service or towing company. It should be noted that this service is only available in some regions.
Some of the roadside providers will be able to provide a loaner wheel. With that in mind, the roadside providers only carry a limited number of wheels. If it is available, the service will exchange the damaged tire and mount the tire at your cost.
If the loaner wheel is not available at the time, your Tesla will be transported free of charge to either the nearest Tesla Service Center, your home, or a third-party repair facility. From that point, it will be in your hands to either service or replace the damaged tire.
Tesla Model S/X/3 Tire Repair Kit
If you are more of a fix-it-yourself type, you will love having a tire repair kit on hand! Luckily, Tesla provides a compact tire repair kit that you will be able to keep in your car for those dreaded moments of a flat tire.
The Tire repair kit contains several beneficial items including
- One Air Compressor
- One Bottle of Sealant
- One Tapered Nozzle
- One Inflation Needle
- One Tesla Storage Bag
With all of that in mind, it is essential that you keep in mind that the products in the tire repair kit are meant to be a temporary fix. While it can get you back on the road in a jiffy, be sure that you see a tire specialist as soon as you can. As recommended, you will not want to drive more than 186 miles on the tire you have repaired.
If you find that the puncture in your tire is more extensive than .24in in diameter or you find multiple puncture holes in your tire, do not drive on the tire. Instead, you will want to either call Tesla Roadside Assistance or ask for a loaner wheel service.
It should also be noted that replacement tires are NOT covered under the vehicle warranty.
Roadside Assistance Policy
When you purchase your Tesla, you will be provided with Roadside Assistance for either the first four years of ownership or during the first 50,000 miles that you drive your vehicle. If you are looking for additional coverage for your battery, you can purchase a separate policy for either eight years/125,000 miles or eight years/unlimited miles depending on your Tesla Model.
Roadside Assistance can be beneficial for more than just a flat tire. They also cover several other services including
Breakdowns happen. If your car is rendered un-drivable, you will be provided with transportation services up to five hundred miles to the nearest service center.
Getting locked out of your car is incredibly inconvenient, but it happens to the best of us! If you happen to lose your car fob or your app malfunctions, there is roadside assistance for that as well. If you are under warranty, a roadside professional will be able to perform lockout on your vehicle so you can manually open your door.
Last, Roadside Assistance will be able to help you out when your battery charge gets depleted, or you are simply unable to make it to a charging station. This assistance can also come in handy for those times that your car remains unplugged for too long. It should be noted that this service will be at cost.
Do Tesla’s Have Run Flat Tires?
If you are car-savvy, you may be wondering if a Tesla is equipped with a run-flat-tire. In short, Tesla does not provide a run-flat-tire. While seemingly inconvenient, it may be for a couple of different reasons.
What is a Run-Flat Tire?
For those of us who are unaware of what a run-flat tire is, it is a zero-pressure tire that has the ability to support your vehicle for a limited amount of time. On average, this run-flat tire can get you about one-hundred miles before having to be taken to a repair shop. While this can be beneficial in some circumstances, there are trade-offs that you should be aware of.
In short, no, Tesla does not provide run-flat tires on their vehicles. While this may seem like a downfall, there are some benefits to not having them on your vehicle.
Cons of Run-flat Tires
While you may feel that run-flat tires are good to have on hand, there are plenty of options to get you out of a pickle when it comes to a flat tire on your Tesla. Unfortunately, there are seemingly more pitfalls to a run-flat tire compared to its benefits. Some of the cons include
- Small Amounts of Shelf Availability
- Expensive to Replace
- Harsh Ride
- Stiffer Construction
- Reduced Tread Wear
- Blowouts Still Possible
- No Spare
If you get a flat tire on your Tesla, it is still recommended to call Roadside Assistance for the best results.
How to Repair a Flat Tire on a Tesla
If you plan on fixing the Tesla tire yourself, always keep your safety in mind. Before you begin the process, you will want to make sure you have the proper equipment. For this process, you should have the following on hand.
- Tesla Tire Repair Kit
- Car Jack
- Wooden/ Metal Blocks
Before lifting your car, you will want to make sure that you place it into jack mode. As you do this, you will want to raise the air suspension to the highest position possible to help access. When this is set, you will want to block the three other wheels, so that the car does not move.
Jacking the Car
When you feel that it is safe, you will next need to crank your jack to the point where the flat tire is off the ground. You will notice that Tesla vehicles are not provided with a jack, so you will need to purchase one if you plan on changing your own tires.
Locating the Puncture
Next, you will need to find the item that has punctured your tire. To help with this step, you will want to put soapy water onto your tire to find the culprit. When you have located the item, you should see bubbles forming where the tire is leaking.
Plugging the Hole
Once you have found the culprit, it is time to plug the hole up! As noted earlier, you will want to consider purchasing the Tesla Tire Repair Kit. If not, choose a quality tire plugging kit that has excellent reviews.
Once you have your kit, place the separating tool into the hole and push it so that you can separate the steel and make room for the plug. You will notice that the tire plugs are meant to seal larger punctures. If you have a small leak, consider using a sealant spray to patch the area.
Next, you will take out the stick plug and then insert the plug tool. As you do this, you will want to place some grease on the tip of the plug to help it slide into the puncture a bit easier. As you remove the separating tool, you will want to do this gently and at the angle that it went in.
When you are ready, you will want to press a collar onto the plug to keep it from coming out. When this is done, you can remove the insertion tool completely. If needed, use a blade razor to cut off any excess.
Lower the Car
Now that the tire has been fixed, you will want to carefully lower your car and proceed to remove the jack. When you are set, remove the blocks from your wheels, and you will be set to drive off. Just remember that this is meant to be a temporary fix, you will still need to find a professional to replace your tire!
Maintaining, Checking, and Adjusting Your Tesla Tire Pressures
While there is no way to prevent a flat tire, you can make sure you are taking care of the tires that are on your Tesla! The best way to accomplish this will be continually maintaining, checking, and adjusting your Tesla tires when necessary.
Maintaining Tire Pressure
When it comes to tire health, you will want to make sure you are keeping your Tesla tire at the proper tire pressure levels. To do this, you can find the tire and loading information on the center door pillar. On a Tesla, this is visible when the driver’s door is ajar. Once you have the numbers, be sure to keep the tires inflated to the pressures shown on the label.
Checking/ Adjusting Tire Pressure
If you find that your tire pressure is lower than you would like, you can follow these steps to check and adjust your tire pressure.
- First, you will want to remove the valve cap on your tire.
- Next, use a pressure gauge to read your pressure. You can accomplish this by firmly pressing the gauge onto the valve and reading the measurement.
- If needed, add or release air to recommended tire pressure.
- One air has been released or added, re-check the tire pressure using your gauge again. Repeat the steps from above as necessary until proper tire pressure has been achieved.
- Finally, replace the valve cap onto the tire, and you are well on your way!
Tesla Car Maintenance Recommendations
In order to keep your Tesla in tip-top shape, you will want to strongly consider following Tesla’s maintenance recommendations. Even though Tesla vehicles do not require a traditional oil change, there are several maintenance services that you will want to keep in mind.
Tire Rotation and Wheel Alignment
On topic with changing your tires, Tesla also recommends that you check your tires every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. During this time, Tesla will check for any rotating, balancing, or alignment that your vehicle may need. If you find that your tires are either misaligned or unbalanced, this could affect the tire life, leading to a flat tire.
Along with checking your tires, you will also want to check your brake fluid every two years or so. By following this task, Tesla will be able to check for any fluid contamination and can replace it as needed.
Cabin Air Filter and High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter
Next, we have the Cabin Air Filter and the EPA filter. As far as the cabin air filter goes, Tesla equips your vehicle with this filter to help any particles, road dust, and pollen from getting into your car. It is recommended that you replace this filter every two years and your HEPA filter every three years.
When people think about servicing their car, air conditioning is often left unattended. In order to help the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning, you will want to consider having it serviced. For the Model S, this service should be completed every two years, model X can be serviced every four years, and Model 3 can be serviced every six years.
Last but not least, Tesla recommends basic winter care for your Tesla vehicle. If you live in a colder region, you will want to consider cleaning and lubricating your brake calipers. Generally, this should be about every 12,500 miles or every twelve months, depending which comes first.
The tires on your car are vital for staying safe on the road. To keep yourself and your vehicle as safe as possible, be sure to keep up with the health of your tire. By maintaining and protecting your tires appropriately, you will be able to extend their lifecycle, saving you time from fixing a flat tire and money from having to replace the said tire.
Remember that you are never stranded on the side of the road. You now know that there are several different options when it comes to a flat tire on your Tesla. Whether you plan on fixing the tire yourself or plan on calling Roadside Assistance, you will be back on the road before you know it!