My tire got screwed - repairable?

My tire got screwed - repairable?

I must've run over a screw. I have one embedded in my front right tire:
I took it to a local tire shop (one I have gone to a few times over the years -- no issues).
They said that I would not be able to repair it because the screw is too close to the sidewall.
Take a look:

What do you think?
Do you think they are just trying to sell me a tire?

These are the stock Michelin Primacy MXM4 235/45r18s.
They quoted me $300+shipping to install a new one, which I know is high.


PECo CT | September 3, 2019

I'm no expert, but I'd plug it and just keep an eye on it.

How many miles does it have on it?

synfendia | September 3, 2019

That's what I'm thinking. Plug it, and move on.
It has 10,800 miles

lilbean | September 3, 2019

I agree with the tire shop.

Magic 8 Ball | September 3, 2019

Shop is watching out for your safety and the liability of an unsafe, illegal, repair.

Syed.Hosain | September 3, 2019

It is definitely too close to the sidewall for an inside patch.

That tire shop is making a good recommendation - I would replace. The final choice is, of course, yours!

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

What would be illegal about a repair? That you disagree with it?

Magic 8 Ball | September 3, 2019

It would be illegal to repair if the repair is known to be unsafe, that is why the shop is refusing to repair. Industry standards dictate how close a repair can be made to a sidewall. There is nothing preventing someone from attempting such a repair but shops are prevented from doing so resulting from the legal liability associated with such.

gballant4570 | September 3, 2019

You could plug it and drive on it. The hole inside is still in the tread area, but its conveniently placed for easy plugging!. The worst it can do is go flat again. However, if you don't want to risk it going flat on you, replace it. Those OEM tires have a whole lot more tread on them than mine did at that mileage - I replaced all of mine at ~13.5k. They were down to about 1/8 inch.

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

Legal liability isn't the same as illegality.

kelder | September 3, 2019

@Magic 8 Ball - If you're going to claim to be an expert, you should at least get the facts straight. Standard industry recommendation is no repairs to sidewalls or the SHOULDER (along with some other details). While close to the shoulder, this is not ON the shoulder and is repairable.

I always prefer an internal patch, which I am almost certain can be done on this tire, but final determination would be made by the shop doing the repair. Many shops don't want to make the repair because it is a low dollar fix for the time involved (especially if they do a patch).

Also know that a lot of shops (including Costco) won't repair a tire with a patch if there is a plug already elsewhere on the tire.

This is a 55,000 mile warranty tire, and if it were my decision, I would get it patched since it still has about 80% of it's tread life left.

M3phan | September 3, 2019

My wife’s car got screwed too and shop couldn’t fix the tire because of the odd angle it went in, plug couldn’t stay sealed enough to hold air. Not your case, but point is if you trust your shop, trust them now.

Magic 8 Ball | September 3, 2019

Splitting hairs over illegal and legal liability is amusing. The repair is too close to the shoulder for a safe repair and I doubt you will find a reputable shop to do the job.

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

FUD is FUD, even when discussing repairing tires.

Magic 8 Ball | September 3, 2019

And it is good to fear repairing tires that should not be repaired. If tire shop repaired that tire and it failed, resulting in injury or death, the tire shop would be criminally negligible.

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

I think you meant "negligible". And I've been retired for more than a decade, now, so maybe the tort system has merged with the criminal justice system while I wasn't looking, but I doubt it.

Only two kinds of people are never wrong or make mistakes; gods and fools.

ODWms | September 3, 2019

If it were my car. I’d plug it and keep it movin’. That tire’s got 40,000 more miles left on it, easy.

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

*I think we both meant to write "negligent".

Magic 8 Ball | September 3, 2019

I will stick with criminal negligence if a shop repairs something outside of industry standards and the repair results in an injury or death.

PECo CT | September 3, 2019

I think this is where I should apologize to the OP for dong what I hate seeing most on this forum.

I apologize for getting off topic and engaging with, well, you know who, @synfendia.

And, good night, motherFUDster.

lilbean | September 3, 2019

Cut corners and pay the higher price later, maybe wrecking your car and injuring yourself and others. You can't put a price on peace of mind.

tanya | September 3, 2019

You are screwed. Tesla SC would not repair mine as it was too close to the wall. My 20" tire was about $350 at Tesla. Why pay a third-party if the price is the same?

gwolnik | September 3, 2019

@gballant4570 said: The worst it can do is go flat again.

I disagree, the WORST thing to happen would be a blowout at high speed, sending the car out of control. Even though we know this is the safest car on the road, any accident can result in injuries and even death if the circumstances are wrong, if not you, then for people in other vehicles or even pedestrians. Is a life worth saving $300 for?

Years ago, I used to bicycle a lot and I learned to patch flats. I switched to always carrying two spare tubes after another cyclist pointed out that their life was worth more than a $3 inner tube. A new tube is safer than riding on a patched tube, especially with 100 psi road bicycle tires. It is also quicker, cold vulcanization is a messy and time consuming process when done on the side of the road.

ST70 | September 3, 2019

I just looked at the photo and didn't ready any responses...I'd put a plug in it and be done....unless you drive over 100 MPH consistently...

synfendia | September 4, 2019

@PECo - I definitely understand. I've actually blocked you-know-who with a browser plug-in. So I didn't see much of the distraction. The forum is much easier to take.

syclone | September 4, 2019

That tire is toast!

TrexTesla | September 4, 2019

I had one even farther in on that first ridge before the first tread in one of the sipes with only 800 miles on my red M3, and they wouldn't plug it...wound up paying the 300+ to replace. It's the only part of the car touching the road, so take it seriously. If not done correctly, you risk more than just it going flat again. If it blows out, can be much worse. It was going to take too long to get the exact tire with the foam inside (5 days to get here from the west coast) so I went with the same tire, next step down in speed rating, and no foam. I don't notice any noise difference. Getting the 19 inch sport tires put on this week, so these will be backups and maybe turned into winter tires if I need them.

Teslanene | September 4, 2019

Patch it and rotate to the back if it blows at leas you will have control of the car.

jjgunn | September 4, 2019

Paying a real tire shop, you can get the road hazard warranty because they are an authorized tire dealer/repair shop.

Tesla SC cannot give you a warranty even though they can repair or give you a replacement.

The_Flash | September 4, 2019

@synfendia. I would plug the tire myself but at the same time take precaution and rotate, put it on the back (do same on other side to match). You should be fine.

amarnathjanahai | September 4, 2019

I would plug by myself but if you cannot or dont want to take that risk you can call tesla showroom and get fixed.

Bighorn | September 4, 2019

I would plug it. I had this exact conversation with one of Tesla's early engineers who worked in a tire shop in an earlier life. He's even plugged the sidewall. In this case, it looks to be a very secure location for a plug. That said, the shop is in the right to follow their policy not to patch.

Just_Ted | September 4, 2019

I'd split the difference between the "plug it" and "replace it" camps. It looks ALMOST on the shoulder, if the tire is starting to slope toward the sidewall at that point (usually up to a thumbs-width away from the sidewall) then the plug will get a lot of flexing around it.

If the plug sees too much flex, it will fail and you will have a blowout.

I have had this happen to a fiber plug I did while trying to eke out a couple more months use from a set of tires prior to getting a whole new set before winter. Fortunately, I had swapped the plugged tire to the rear.

Blow out in the rear is much preferable to the front.... wait, phrasing.... you get my point.

synfendia | September 4, 2019

Thanks everyone. I ultimately decided to err on the side of safety. I bought a replacement tire on Amazon Prime for $208:

I'm sure it won't come with the "EV foam" installed like my others. But maybe I'll squirt some shaving cream in it before I give it to a local tire shop ;)

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

@ODWms "That tire’s got 40,000 more miles left on it, easy."

No way! Our cars are heavy ... the Primacy MXM4 is likely to be down to 2/32 or 3/32 well before that. Probably at 25k miles ... maximum.

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

@synfendia "Thanks everyone. I ultimately decided to err on the side of safety."


Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

@tanya "Why pay a third-party if the price is the same?"

You would be [partially] right if they were the same.

However, the third-party tire places are generally much lower than car dealerships (or Tesla SC in this case). Check your specific tire prices on Tire Rack or America's Tire or Costco, and I think you will see the price differences very clearly.

Secondly, these places replace TIRES often (their only business) and have more experienced people (usually), and special balance equipment if you need it (force balance under load, for example) to get it right more effectively.

synfendia | September 4, 2019

Just double checking what I ordered....
The tires I have on the car now are: Michelin primacy mxm4 235/45r18 98W
What I ordered is: Michelin Primacy MXM4 Touring Radial Tire - 235/45R18 94V

What does that "98W" vs "94V" mean, and does it matter?

Magic 8 Ball | September 4, 2019

You will want to read up on speed ratings. 149 mph vs 168mph

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

Yes! It does matter.

You got the lower load index. 94 is a bit too low for our heavy cars. Can you get the 98W instead? It has stronger sidewalls, one more belt (I believe).

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

The lower speed index of V is not as critical per se as the load index in this case (you are not likely to drive that fast regardless), but it does also lead to intangible indication that the tire is not as strong as a higher speed rated tire.

TrexTesla | September 4, 2019

That's the speed rating. W's are rated at 168, Vs at 149 (speed at which they are certified). That is what I was referring to. I was told by my tire guy, they aren't making the 98Ws anymore. The 98Ws that are available were all located on the west coast (I'm in Virginia Beach), so I opted for the 94V. It doesn't have the foam and the speed rating is lower. It affects the wear rate as well, but only slightly. If I recall, the lower speed rated tire is expected to last longer (might be why they are changing to them). Can't remember the numbers...easy to google. I've put 2,500 miles on it since the swap and no issues.

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

I checked with my Costco location. Although I just placed the order for the Pilot Sport 4S instead, they said they could order Primaxy MXM4 235/45-18 in a 98W load/speed index and get them in about a week.

FWIW, I opted to switch to 255/40-18 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ... tires will be at the Costco place in about 6 to 7 more days. We have these on another car, and also have been using the Pilot Sport for many years now and love them.

By the way, Costco has a sale going on on Michelin tires through the end of September. $110 discount (70 off the four tires, and 40 off the installation). Look at for more info.

synfendia | September 4, 2019

Okay. Thanks for the excellent info. It seems it is too late for Amazon to cancel my order (wow, their fulfillment is quick). So I may just stick with the 94V. I can deal with the shorter life and lower speed rating.
But if a 94v is unsafe, I will change my plan!

@Syed/Peter - I am very grateful for your quick replies! You rock

tanya | September 4, 2019

@Syed.Hosain I did check Costco while I was at SC; Tesla was only 21 dollars more, but I saved time by doing it through them.

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

94V is not totally unsafe per se, the V speed rating is not really critical for us in the US (we don't drive that fast!).

A load index of 94 is the lowest that I would consider installing in a pinch (like you are in!), but safer to get higher (like 96 or more) ... next time. Stronger tires, although *slightly* heavier too as a result of the better construction.

BTW, you *may* see a slight tread pattern difference between this new tire and the older ones you have, but I am not sure of this from the pictures at Tire Rack.

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

@tanya "I did check Costco while I was at SC; Tesla was only 21 dollars more, but I saved time by doing it through them."

Ah! I am surprised by that then, but good!

TrexTesla | September 4, 2019

I wouldn't worry. 94 is rated at 1,477lbs and the 98s at 1653 per the chart Magic 8 Ball referenced. That's a difference of 176 pounds! So, just make sure you put that tire in any spot except the front left since you will always have a driver in the seat, presumably around that 176 lb mark!! SOLVED!! I jest...For a car that is between 3500 and 4000 pounds, don't think you have to worry. Even with all 94 rated tires, you still have a maximum weight allowance of almost 6,000. However, I must admit I'm not a tire expert or anything like that, so some of this may be complete intestinal bloviating.

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019


The load index of tires is not *just* related to the static weight of the car. When a car drives over potholes and road bumps, the dynamic load on the tires is considerably higher at the point of impact depending on the speed.

In theory, one could use lower index value tires and pump up the pressure high - the load index at higher pressures is higher than the rated values (reported at 36 psi for comparability). The tables for load index values from Tire Industry Association include these changes - not just the simple ones from the table that M8Ball linked to.

Point is that 94 will not kill us, but 96 or higher will be best for our cars. Particularly when people "drop" their pressures (or don't check often enough) below the Tesla recommended values "for more comfortable rides".

synfendia | September 4, 2019

Excellent info. I can go with the 94V tire, but cannot on the driver side front...and I need to go on a diet
Got it

Syed.Hosain | September 4, 2019

LOL. I think it is good that you are changing that tire though! That screw looks like it may be on the edge of the radial belts (perhaps outside them) and a plug could still allow the belt edge to fray internally.