Flat due to Pothole

Flat due to Pothole

Anyone with sports wheel flat from pothole?

I just had one over the weekend. I certainly felt the jerk while passing over the pothole. It was not an immediate flat. I found out after reaching home when the tire pressure went down to 22psi. The damage seems to be on the side wall.

Called road side assistance. They were really nice. They sent someone with a loner wheel, replaced and took mine to SC. Will see what's next.

I had read somewhere in old posts that sports wheel have weaker side walls. This is the evidence.

wiboater4 | February 11, 2019

Was probably a really bad pothole. I was a little worried about them before I got my car but now after driving 3500 miles over some rough spots i'm pretty relaxed about it. I do try to avoid potholes when I see them in time but so far so good. I do agree the short sidewall is probably less protection as far as tire damage from pinching down to the rim on a heavy hit.

Big1matt | February 11, 2019

That is a pain to have to deal with, what rim set do you have, 18inch, 19inch, 20inch? Stock wheels?

ICEMELT | February 11, 2019

I have the 19 inch stock

spuzzz123 | February 11, 2019

Got dashcam footage? May be possible to get your city to cover the costs (some localities will do that anyhow)

ICEMELT | February 11, 2019

Unfortunately not. I found out after one hour so dash cam recycled

coleAK | February 11, 2019

Larger rim = less tire = more likely for “pinch flat”. One of the many disadvantages of larger diameter rims.

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

I had a pothole flat on my traveling 19s vs the sport 21s on my S in Virginia recently. Pressure dropped to 3 pounds within 30 seconds.

Pepperidge | February 11, 2019

This is why 18inch aero wheels are the best M3 upgrade, and it is cheaper.

jvcesare | February 11, 2019

I hit a large rock in the road and damaged the sidewall. Unfortunately they had no loaner tires and it required a tow and new tire.

sroh | February 11, 2019

Ya, sorry to hear this ICEMELT. Hope it gets fixed soon. And I hope your wheel wasn't damaged.

As much as I love the aesthetics of the sport wheels, I couldn't get past the negatives:

- Higher initial cost
- Less sidewall which increases chances of flats/blowouts
- Higher cost to replace tires
- Loss of range

All of these are minor issues. But they all added up to make our decision pretty easy. I must say though, I am still envious of the look of the sport wheels.

andy.connor.e | February 11, 2019

If the pothole jerked your car/wheel, it definitely must have been a significant hole.

jimglas | February 11, 2019

Had this happen twice in my old BMW. This is the primary reason I stuck with the 18" wheels on my P3D. Its not a tesla problem.

rxlawdude | February 11, 2019

@sroh, you forgot one: low profile tires don't last nearly as long as more standard tires.

dmanincali | February 11, 2019

Tip here on replacing the tire. If you have the time and can wait then order from They sell these tires for the exact same price Tesla sells them for BUT they include road hazard insurance for that price.

I had to replace a tire (due to a nail) with only 200 miles on my car. Unfortunately I couldn't wait so just had Tesla do it. Set me back something like $380.

RedPillSucks | February 11, 2019

wish AP could detect pot holes and steer the car to straddle them. Its the only reason I don't use AP in moderate to heavy traffic. Theres not enough time to steer around road hazards if you're at a 2 or 3sec follow distance.

sroh | February 11, 2019

@rxlawdude, I didn't know there was a material difference. Or maybe I read that at some point when I was deciding but forgot. Either way, thanks for adding another reason!

Brian B | February 11, 2019

Have to second the tirerack suggestion. They've covered many a flat tire replacements for me over the years. Not once was I declined.

lbowroom | February 11, 2019

Sure, if you don't care about performance or appearance then you don't need low profile performance tires.

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

Low profile tires tend to be grippy, soft summer tires. That's why they "can" wear faster. A similar compound on a smaller diameter rim will wear the same.

rxlawdude | February 11, 2019

"if you don't care about performance or appearance then you don't need low profile performance tires"

I'll stay happy with my ugly 18s on our M3 and 19s on our S70D. Never had a blowout or tire damage from potholes, and I appreciate getting at least 30,000 miles out of a set of tires.

Those whose focus is appearance or performance understand the trade-off.

gballant4570 | February 11, 2019

In the opinions of many lower profile tires with larger diameter wheels do not necessarily translate into any sort of appearance advantage. I'd rather not have wagon wheels.

rxlawdude | February 11, 2019

@gballant, not to mention the far more likely eventuality of cracked wheels.

ICEMELT | February 11, 2019

@RedPill This was on over-passing off ramp on a tight curve. Even AP could not have detected that.

I guess I learned a lesson the hard way. Never driven the Aero so don't know the difference. Nonetheless, I can't go back. Most likely I am in for ~380. Tesla hasn't called me with the verdict yet.

gballant4570 | February 11, 2019


lbowroom | February 11, 2019

That being said, the 19's on the Model 3 don't have what most would call a radical aspect ratio. Pretty standard for any sporty type sedan these days.

Cactusone | February 11, 2019

I’ve mentioned this a couple can purchase “Tire warranty” from Discount Tire for $260 bucks and you are covered! I think it’s worth it since each tire is over $350 bucks.

Cactusone | February 11, 2019

PS I have the P with the 20’s

surfpearl | February 11, 2019

Sorry to hear, I haven't had this happen yet on my 20" tires. Which tire position was it, presumably front right or left? Do you recall the outside temperature and TPMS readings prior to the incident?

ODWms | February 12, 2019

Good suggestion about seeing if the city/municipality will cover the cost. I had an issue about 25 years ago in Miami. I sent in the requisite form, and they sent me a check for the whole amount, no questions asked. I didn’t even have to have a police report or anything. I don’t know if things are still the same, but the municipality is required to upkeep their roads. We pay taxes for them to do exactly that. When they don’t and damage occurs they should pay to repair your car.

accentcreate | February 12, 2019

Does anyone carry a spare in their Model 3?
Will a spare fit in the frunk?
Here in Aus and also in rural Europe I don't think waiting for a tyre repair/replace service is an option.

kcheng | February 12, 2019

This Winter's roads have the worst potholes I can remember. The towns are supposed to mark them, otherwise they could be held liable for tire/rim damage, but there are so many, I don't think they can keep up. Basically, I try to drive outside the normal groove, where potholes like to form, particularly on curves.

The Tesla salesman tried to upsell me to the performance model, which I could afford, but I knew the 20" rims and tires would get brutalized here in Maine. And without a service center nearby, I'd have to drive with one of those spare tires in the back. I may still get a spare, but I hope they open a service center in Portland this year.

ODWms | February 13, 2019

I’d have been bummed if I couldn’t have gotten the 20s. Absolutely love them. I know in some parts of the country it’s an unnecessary risk. Luckily where I live it’s a rarity to even see a pothole let alone actually be impacted by one, so I went with the P3D+ (back when that designation was necessary). Stunning in my opinion, and the handling is nothing short of awesome!

Jolechjo | February 16, 2019

Second pothole flat today. Got loaner tire. Had to sign release from Tesla. Got pothole flat in November too. I have 19 inch rims. Neither pothole was that bad. Prior to model 3, I’ve had 2 other flat tires in my 35 years of driving...neither were from potholes. I don’t think the tire is strong enough to support the car in a pothole situation.

ODWms | February 16, 2019

Jolecho, just curious: what was the release for?

jimglas | February 17, 2019

I had two pothole flats in my BMW, nine in my Tesla. So far.

ODWms | February 17, 2019

Damn. What wheels/tires do you have, Jim?

surfpearl | February 17, 2019

@ODWms - That was a typo, he likely meant none (o and i are next to each other on the keyboard).

ODWms | February 17, 2019

Oh! Lol!!! That makes A LOT more sense!