Tire repair kit

Tire repair kit

Any recommendations on a tire repair kit? I've been looking over the offerings and just wonder what experience lies in here. I'm thinking in lieu of a spare I want to carry a fix a flat kit. Thots?????

SCCRENDO | September 20, 2013

Bought the Tesla pump and gel. No expereience yet

JPPTM | September 20, 2013

FWIW I had a small 12v compressor already, so I just added the simple easily available plug type repair kit (with T-handled reamer and plug inserter and plugs) plus tire marking grease pencil, pliers (to pull nail), a knife (to cut excess plug) and a pair of heavy work gloves. No opportunity to use it yet....

Gizmotoy | September 20, 2013

DIY tire repair kits are generally a means of absolute last resort. The kind that injects foam or gel into the wheel to fix the leak will ruin your tire and make a mess of the inside of your wheel that you or someone else will have to clean up. A tire that may have been salvageable with a proper innerliner plug will no longer be fixable if it's covered in Fix-a-Flat goop.

External plugs like JPPTM mention are one step better in that they don't permanently ruin your tire, but they are meant to be temporary. You'll want to replace the plug you insert with one that seals from the inside ASAP. While better for your tire, the problem is this style requires more time and care while sitting on the side of the road to perform correctly.

It's definitely a good idea to have something in case of a flat when you don't have a spare. Just don't use it unless there's no hope of getting a tow truck.

J.T. | September 20, 2013

Gizmotoy are you saying you would rather get your Tesla towed rather than inject your tire with Tesla recommended gunk? Tesla is NOT an easy car to tow. Lots of opportunities for damage that WILL NOT be covered under warranty.

earlyretirement | September 20, 2013

I bought the emergency kit for a true emergency if I'm traveling somewhere and can't wait for Tesla Service (which comes with the car) or my AAA which will tow the car.

I think it's worth the $50 peace of mind for an absolute emergency. Otherwise I'd just call to get it towed as I have AAA.

Gizmotoy | September 20, 2013

jtodtman: No question whatsoever.

If you use injectable tire repair you're 100% guaranteed to be buying at least two tires (tires should never be replaced one at a time unless brand new with no wear whatsoever). So you're already out $800 to $1000 depending on what tires your car has.

And that's if the tire repair gel doesn't harm your wheel. You can never fully remove the stuff, but if it happens to get into the area where your tire seats on the wheel, future tires won't sit correctly and it will be a blowout danger. This is why tire shops will tell you to use Fix-a-flat under only the most dire of circumstances.

So best case: $800, worst case $2600.

Or, just call AAA/Tesla and tell them your car requires a flatbed. Put it in neutral per the manual and use the factory tow hooks on the suspension to move car onto truck. Tow to tire center, repair tire. A Model S is no more difficult to tow than any normal car. You have to remember to disable the air suspension if you have it, though.

Best case: $40, worst case $800.

J.T. | September 20, 2013

@Gizmotoy. I was just asking. I carry a spare.

Sudre_ | September 20, 2013

I already used JPPTM pug kit method and when I drove it to the service center they said the plug I used should be fine and there was no need to do anything more. The nice thing is I didn't have to wait around 30 minutes to an hour on a tow truck. I didn't even have to take the wheel off the car. Funny thing is until that point I hadn't had a flat in over 10 years.

Before that I have used the foam/goop can and when I took that car (altho it was in the 90's) to Firestone they just charged me (I think) $25 extra to clean out the tire and they hot patched it. If the tire service center is going to bill you a whole new wheel or tire for factory approved goop, go to a different tire store that isn't trying to screw you. Tesla would not sell goop that damages the wheels. Tire sensors maybe but rims and tire, no.

I have not used a spare tire since I have been driving... altho I have been lucky and not had many flats.... well.... I guess I have used a spare once but rolling a car is a different story than puncture flats.

Dramsey | September 20, 2013

External plugs like JPPTM mention are one step better in that they don't permanently ruin your tire, but they are meant to be temporary. You'll want to replace the plug you insert with one that seals from the inside ASAP.

FWIW, I've used plug-type repairs several times over the years, and always left them in permanently. Haven't had a problem yet and figure the worst that could happen would be that they'd come out...although I can't see how that would happen.

I think the main problem with repairing a Tesla tire on the road would be a portable jack that could handle the car's immense weight.

Alex K | September 21, 2013

@Gizmotoy| SEPTEMBER 20, 2013: If you use injectable tire repair you're 100% guaranteed to be buying at least two tires (tires should never be replaced one at a time unless brand new with no wear whatsoever). So you're already out $800 to $1000 depending on what tires your car has.

This is not true for all "injectable" tire repair kits. The Slime Safety Spair Flat Tire Repair System (70005), for example, is both TPMS safe and guaranteed not to void tire warranty. Yes, the goop needs to be cleaned out of the tire if you are going to patch it, but that is a far cry from having to buy two new tires!

EssDub | October 14, 2013

I just had a puncture in my tire (on the way to the body shop). It took 3 plugs to stop the leak The shop that plugged it recommended I get an internal patch ASAP but the tire shop now has told me the puncture is too large for a patch. But the good news -- I guess -- is that they say I'll be fine with only 1 new tire (for $185).

Should i get a 2nd new tire as well? Am I doing a disservice to my S60 with 4k miles?

Brian H | October 14, 2013

What size? What wear?

SCCRENDO | October 14, 2013

Now have had experience with tire kit. Posted already on another thread. WhenI got into my car in the dark about 2 miles from home I got a very low tire pressure warning. My right rear tire was completely flat. Tire kit failed to get the tire pressure above 10-15. Inserted the goop. Still no luck. Had a tow truck out in 30 mins. He attempted inflation with his own tire pump. No luck. Next day got a call from the service center. Tire was easily inflated and they could find nothing wrong. They suspect vandalism (they think someone just let the air out of the tire). Why we could not inflate the tire is not clear but someone on the forum suggested that when is completely flat the weight of the car may prevent it from inflating and needs to be jacked up. Its been a week and the tire has been fine. Still waiting for my replacement goop. Bottle cannot be refilled but replacement goop is $35 and a new kit $50.They cleaned the goop from my tire without a problem but do not recommend using other brands as may cause problems with TPMS.

bent | October 15, 2013

I had a tire repair kit experience with the Roadster a week ago.

Arriving at the car after work I noticed with disappointment that the front tire was flat. I removed the rather large nail that had run into it (probably happened on my way to work earlier in the day) and filled the tire with spray can gloop (no idea what brand or type). Then I drove around for a few km as instructed on the can and parked for the night. Next morning the tire still looked nice and pressurized, and I drove to the tire repair shop. They removed the tire, cleaned out the gloop, and mended the hole. Then they declared the tire fine to use. I haven't actually used it yet though as I took that opportunity to switch over from the summer wheels to the winter ones.

(A previous repair kit experience on the same car didn't go quite as well: I had a large rift in the side wall of the tire and the gloop just wasn't up to the task. The rift was also not repairable, repair guy said it was big enough to stick a finger through.)

2050project | October 15, 2013
Mathew98 | October 15, 2013

Are you prepared to carry a full spare that weighs an extra 80 pounds and take out the entire frunk space? Plus you will need to torque the nuts to the recommended 140lb to properly mount the tire.

I just carry a portable 12v air pump in the frunk. It's a $30 pump which I used this weekend to inflate a tire with a nail puncture. I drove the car to the SC to get a patch two days later. If there are any sidewall damages, then neither the goo or the air pump would help.

If a tire is damaged beyond the help of the air pump, calling AAA for a flatbed tow is the easier way to go...

J.T. | October 15, 2013

@Mathew98 How is calling AAA for a flat bed tow, getting the tire fixed if possible, getting a replacement tire, maybe also a rim (good luck finding that in a hurry) easier than carrying the full size spare, calling AAA to change the tire and torque the nuts, and then dropping off the damaged tire for repair at your convenience?

Your way once AAA gets there your nightmare has begun. My way, when AAA gets there the nightmare is over.

BTW I only carry the spare when I know I venture far from home.

Mathew98 | October 15, 2013

@JT - You have a point with carrying a spare for the long distance trip.

What do you do for the normal commute? Do you carry the can of goo, portable air pump, or leave it to chance?

J.T. | October 15, 2013

I have the goo and the pump.

J.T. | October 15, 2013

@Mathew98 leave it to chance?

My philosophy is that leaving the possibility of a flat to chance is like leaving the possibility of finding a charging station to chance. It's a thinking man's car, not a gambling man's car. I leave as little to chance as possible and then I pray for good luck. :-)

kback | October 15, 2013

If one were to have snow tires on separate rims for the car, would it be possible to keep a snow tire in the frunk as a spare when driving on all-seasons, and an all-season in the frunk when driving on snows?

Would probably only do this for longer trips, but I agree with jtodtman that it would turn a major hassle into a minor hassle if I got a flat tire.

DarrellH | November 13, 2013

jtodtman +2

dramingly | November 13, 2013

I thought I read somewhere that Model S should not be jacked at a single point, making the way we all change tires a non-viable option.

SCCRENDO | November 13, 2013 I have the Tesla tire repair kit and resisted the spare tire. After 2 complete flats in 4 weeks requiring tows; to save my marriage I have a full sized spare slightly deflated in the frunk.

@dramingly Experience dictates that the towing service used by Tesla knows how to jack up the car and has their own air available. MY first tow was at 8pm at night to Costa Mesa Service center leaving me carless the next day. My second tow was to 13 miles from my office (I got the flat 1 mile from my office) and needed to get a ride in peak hour traffic to get my car from the nearest tire store that carried the correct tire. If I had a spare at the time I would have just needed to hang around the 30 mins for the tow truck to arrive, had my tire changed and inflated and would have been on my way

J.T. | November 13, 2013

@SCCRENDO. Sorry I couldn't convince you before your incidents, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. And you're right, it's all about trying to explain it to the mrs.

SCCRENDO | November 13, 2013 My bad. Although I still was debating it after the second flat my wife made the decision for me.

MichaelN | November 14, 2013

2 ton jack - Harbor Freight (not real HEAVY duty but will do the job, I've tested) - fits nicely in the Tesla frunk nook bag ($125) - I carry a tire only because they are hard to find and the 21" wheel is soooo expensive for a spare, so if I get a flat/blowout I can get towed to nearest tire shop for mounting - appreciate the plug comments, I will also carry those with the Tesla compressor, I would rather plug than goo - I also carry a socket with breaker bar and ratchet, and something to lay on so the ordeal will be as convenient as possible - I am still looking for a 21" spare wheel, at a reasonable price -

carlk | November 14, 2013

The best way is to get a pump and sealant so you won't be strangled on the road and let the tire shop to do the fixing later. Make sure the sealant says TPM compatible.

SCCRENDO | November 14, 2013

@carlk That was my philosophy prior to 2 flats. With the first problem tire was completely flat and wouldn't inflate even after gel injection. Tow guy couldn't inflate it either. In retrospect it needed to be jacked up just to inflate as it inflated easily at the Tesla store once jacked up. The second time I drove about 1/2 mile to get off the freeway after a very low tire pressure warning and the tire came partially off the rim. The tow guy jacked it up to put it back on the rim but it wouldn't inflate because of a screw inside. Possibly the goop could have worked but with some tire sidewall damage I elected to get it towed to the tire store. I now have my spare in the frunk.