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Spare tire controversy revisited

Spare tire controversy revisited

I’ve read just about every post on this forum as well as the Tesla Motors Club forum concerning the absence of a spare tire, and it amazes me that 1) many of you consider it to be a nonissue and 2) very few have contributed specific details about whether having a spare is possible and where to keep it. So, with that in mind...

First of all, flats DO occur and their frequency is random. In general, the more you use the car the more likely you are to get a flat but you could go years without having one and then have several within a short period of time. I got one the other day on my Model S (21” tires) with only 148 miles on the odometer. Fortunately, it was a slow leak and I made it home. The temporary Tesla service center is more than a half hour drive so I went to a nearby Discount Tire and they fixed it. But what if it had been a big leak? What if I had been on my way TO work rather than coming home?

Most of you seem to think that all one needs is a tire repair kit and a cell phone. Many of us have never used a tire repair kit. How dependable are they? Do they work most of the time? Isn’t it difficult to clean out the “slime” when getting the tire fixed? If the sealant works then how does the service person find the leak to repair it? I presume that the pressure monitor doesn’t get damaged. If it does, does Tesla cover it? If the repair kit doesn’t work then we’re dependent upon roadside assistance. This is a good backup plan, but how much wasted time is involved? First you have to wait for the flatbed trailer to arrive. Then there’s the process of loading the car. Then you have to drive to a service center or your home. Then the tire needs to be repaired. This process could take several hours to occur. I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do with my time. In addition, my boss would not be too happy if I miss a half day of work because of a flat tire. With a spare I could change the tire in half an hour and be on my way.

The biggest controversy concerning a spare (other than if one is needed or not) is whether or not it would fit in the frunk. A Tesla rep told me that it would but, after doing some research, my conclusion is that you cannot fit a standard sized spare in the frunk. It doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a 19” or 21” wheel because the tire diameter is about the same, approximately 27.7 inches. I tested this by cutting out a cardboard circle with a slightly smaller diameter of 27.5 inches, and it doesn’t fit. The width of the frunk is not the problem, it’s the length and how the back/rear of the frunk is shaped. If Tesla had made the frunk just a few inches longer and /or shaped it differently it would have been the perfect place for a spare.

Some have said that they wouldn’t want the extra weight and its effect on range. That’s understandable but the point is that we should have the OPTION of having a spare and a place to put it. To me the frunk is just wasted space which could’ve been utilized for a spare. Since a spare won’t fit in the frunk that leaves 2 possibilities – keeping a spare in the trunk or at home. Although a spare would easily fit in the trunk I’m not sure how you would secure it since there are no tie-down points that I could find. Having one at home might help but it doesn’t eliminate the problem of depending upon the repair kit or waiting for roadside assistance. Also note that purchasing a Tesla spare is a fairly expensive proposition – they quoted me $1300 for a 21” wheel with tire.

In summary, I really like my Model S, and purchased it knowing that there isn’t a spare, but I can’t believe that the engineers couldn’t have slightly modified the frunk so that buyers would have the option of keeping a spare up front if so desired.

msung330 | March 28, 2014

@DTsea, @Mathew98, thanks for the info. This user group (and forum) are super helpful and I've been taking notes on the various options - Telsa and otherwise - for spare tires/do-nuts/etc. The info on this and other threads re: fitting a full spare in the "frunk" was also very helpful.

It's certainly not a religious war which group you're in... if you're group 1 in a good region with great roads and few hazards (along with many years of trouble-free driving) that's fantastic and I am jealous! I unfortunately haven't had that experience and the region ain't great for low profile tires and so forth, so I have to be group 2 or 3.

P.S. @Mathew98 have you tested or tried mounting the wheel? Would you mind sharing the exact brand/model you purchased? (While the 21s look amazing, if I ever went down the Model S route I'd probably go with the 19s.)

carlk | March 28, 2014

The car I had for seven years do not carry a spare either, and yes it has high performance low profile tires too. Never needed one even in the few times I had puncture and air leak. I would still do the same thing like I did, pump it up if necessary and drive to a shop to get the tire fixed/replaced, even if there is a spare tire with me. TPM always give me ample warning for me to drive to the shop safely.

Like some said even a spare is not 100% safe. You might not be able to changed in the dark. Not to mention change spares on the road side is probably the number one cause for people to get killed on the freeway. Drive with a compact spare is not any safer than drive with temporary sealed tire anyway. Just carry a sealant and pump for a quick fix for the rare case that you can't even drive away for a few miles. As the last resort you can always sit in the car wait for the flat bed but I have never needed that (or to use the sealant).

carlk | March 28, 2014

For people who are interested in the sealant and pump here is one that looks very good. It's TPM friendly and got a recommend from Consumer Reports.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DZFZPG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=U...

Mathew98 | March 28, 2014

The local tire shop charged me $20 to mount each replacement for me.

RIAL 19" rim = $239
GY 19" tire = $119

Click option to have them mount and balance the tire before shipping.

https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/WheelCloseUpServlet?target=runWheelSearc...

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Goodyear&tireModel=Eag...

Pungoteague_Dave | March 28, 2014

The people in the "carry a spare" camp seem to be willing to rely on calling a service truck anyway, because there is no jack, the car is very heavy and low, and the lug nut are torqued to an astonishing 129 ft-lbs. So even with a spare, you are still on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Why not just deal with it like any other breakdown - pt it on the flat bed and take it where a proper repair can be made.

I am on the side of not carry a spare due to the improvement in tire technology. Spare tires are vestigial tails of self-reliance necessitated by poor road condition, tube-style tires, and inferior rubber compounds found in the first 75 years of automotive history. As late as the 1960, roadside tire changing was a routine thing. Of course tires lasted only 10,000 miles at best back then, and many people drove around with "recaps to save a few bucks (my father always bought recap bias ply tires to save money). However, I have driven and ridden over a million miles, much of that on motorcycles in places like Africa, South America, and Southwest Asia. I always carry a plug and CO2 kit, but have never had an on-road or off-road flat tire in over 35 years of driving. With that said, when chasing the Dakar Rally in January through Argentina, Boliva, and Chile, we did note that almost all of the competitors sustained multiple flats Somehow us spectators were more lucky when fording rivers or avoiding rocks in the road.

J.T. | March 29, 2014

@PD Why not just deal with it like any other breakdown - pt it on the flat bed and take it where a proper repair can be made. As one of the leading proponents of "carry a spare" I'd say you haven't thought it through. First of all, a flat is not the same as any other breakdown. I don't know of any other break down you could have that is as easy to remedy as a flat. If the 12v dies, if the inverter dies there's nothing you can do to help yourself. But, if you carry a spare, a two ton jack, a breaker bar and torque wrench like Dramsey does you can be on your way in no time.
Second, if you have a spare and a AAA card, once the help arrives a few minutes later you can be on your way. Without a spare you have to be towed somewhere than can either repair it, or replace it in case of a blowout. Tire shops are not open 24/7. Yeah, not much of an inconvenience if you can get a tow to a Tire Rack during business hours, but how long should it take to get a flat fixed if the tire is shot? Also, if you bent the rim try finding someplace that has one of those on a weekend. The chances of you getting back on your way the same day are pretty slim.
As for advanced tire technology, all well and good, but it's still a matter of percentages. For my part, I don't want to be late for my sister-in-law's wedding and try to explain to my wife that the tires are much better than they used to be.

carlk | March 29, 2014

Yeah does anyone talk about having a backup car in tow all the time just in case the car breaks down or got into an accident? Things happen when you drive. There are always easy ways to take care of them in this car centered modern world long as no one is injured.

mrrjm | March 29, 2014

I think a lot of people who own a Model S are risk takers, own their own business, and are very resourceful. So not having a spare tire is not a problem. If it happens they will figure it out. Or they have a plan in the back of their mind on what to do.

J.T. | March 29, 2014

@mrrjm And nothing says smart, successful and resourceful like being stranded on the side of the road with a flat and no spare . . . good plan.

SCCRENDO | March 29, 2014

Having been towed for 2 flats I agree 100 % with JT. Have a full sized spare in the frunk. If my plat doesn't respond to the compressor and gel I still have the inconvenience of calling for assistance to jack up the car and change the tire but I can then be on my way without needing a tow.

Amps2go | March 29, 2014

In 37 years of driving, I've never had a blow out flat. I have had several nail puncture slow leaks however. All you need to carry is a 12 volt compressor that fits into the cigarette lighter adaptor and maybe a can of sealant. That way at least you can limp home and do not have to wait at the roadside for assistance.

SCCRENDO | March 29, 2014

@Amps2go. Multiple simultaneous threads on this. Bottom line I used to think like you but 2 flats in a month both requiring tows changed my mind. Have the Tesla kit, a cellphone and a full sized spare in the frunk.

Solarguy01 | April 2, 2014

Traveling in the West having a spare tire and the tools to change it can be the difference in waiting in 118F temps for hours while the tow truck comes or being on your way in 15-20 min. I got the BMW spare tire for reduced speed and an electric scissors jack and electric impact gun for removing the lug nuts. Found this kit on ebay and tried out today. worked great. Jack is a 2 ton (4000 lbs.)and impact gun removed the lug nuts no problem.http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Ton-4000Lbs-Electric-Scissor-Jack-Lift-Power-T.... The jack and impact gun come in a single plastic case which fits frunk.Hope this helps those worried about 129ftlbs lug nuts.

wmbaggett | April 14, 2014

I didn't even think about the spare tire before I ordered it, but it wouldn't have stopped me. I wish a spare had been offered, at least as an option.

In any event, I get blowouts far too often to go without.

So I think I understand that a 19 wheel will fit in the frunk, at least if partially deflated.

How long would it take the Tesla tire repair compressor to inflate one?

Are 19 inch wheels all the same or what type is needed?

I know there are different types of 19 inch tires.

What specific type s required?

I found a 2 ton scissor jack that I suppose would work.

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2-ton-hydraulic-scissor-jack-for_1...

Might this this damage the car though?

BTW/ I was surprised that a 250 lb. 12v impact wrench can be had for under $30.
http://www.apexbattery.com/roadside-impact-wrench-automotive-accessories...

Is there any reason I shouldn't be able to safely change a tire without damaging the car if I get all this stuff?

Thanks!

wmbaggett | April 14, 2014

Oh, now that I look more closely, that 2 ton scissor jack looks pretty big. Here's a smaller one.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Ton-Scissor-Jack-ATD-7462-/271304444800?hash=i...

I still worry about damaging the car though.

Now that I think about it, though, who says roadside service will know how to change the tire without damaging it ?

Skotty | April 15, 2014

Here is the best thread I have found for those who want a spare:

http://www.teslamotors.com/de_AT/forum/forums/spare-tire-option-one-more...

It talks about using a spacesaver spare for a BMW F25 X3. From the thread, sounds like it works good and fits well in the frunk.

Doogerman | April 15, 2014

Lots of great information on spares in the forum, but I still have quite a few additional questions that I'm hoping others on the forum might be able to help me with:

1) Would using one of my winter wheel/tires as a spare on longer out of town trips during the summer months be a problem?

2) How about the other way around (ie. using my OEM Michelin Primacy) as a spare during longer trips during the winter when I have my winter tires on my MS?

3) Given that a full size spare doesn't fit flush in the frunk (needs to go in at an angle), will the spare tire become deformed over time if you leave it in the frunk?

4) Any idea what PSI a spare needs to be deflated to to fit flush in the frunk?

5) I've seen a lot of posts quoting low prices for spare wheel/tire sets, but if you plan to carry a spare around full time, would it make more sense to buy a more expensive, but lighter wheel like an OZ Racing Ultraleggera, which at 22.7lbs is about 10lbs. lighter than many other rims.

6) Are there any full size 19" tires which are lighter than others that would make a good spare?

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | April 15, 2014

I think one should consider the possible negative impact on the front crumple zone when carrying a heavy item like a spare tire in the frunk vs risk of having a flat with no spare. Even if properly tied down it could be pushed into the front seat and if improperly tied down who knows what could happen in a serious front end collision?

I am going sparless for sure!

MitchP85D | April 15, 2014

After reading this thread, I'm going to call Tesla today and get the tire repair kit!

J.T. | April 15, 2014

@EdwarsGTesla2 Is the front crumple zone on a Volvo negatively affected by a 6 cylinder internal combustion engine?

hcwhy | April 15, 2014

I have a fully inflated 19" spare on a Tesla cyclone rim in my frunk. It fits snuggly, but without force. However, I share EdwardGTesla2's concern about degrading the car's crumple zone and am seriously considering leaving it in the garage. Any engineer types have any thoughts on this?

kwoo4424 | April 15, 2014

@ Skotty
I carry the X3F25 space saver in the frunk. It does fit Tesla bolt pattern ( best with a hubcentric ring) and rolling diameter is close to oem. See Dbower OP thread 2/1/14. He actually test drove space saver spare mounted on both front and rear wheels w/o sensor going crazy.
As far as crumple zone safety, the way I see it considering the the new under body armor is designed to move road objects away from the battery pack (one possibility is towards the softer underbelly of the frunk) so having a spare might stop any projectiles from coming upwards.
My whole 2 cents worth.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | April 15, 2014

@JT... All ice vehicles are designed and crash tested with the engine in place. I doubt the Tesla had a spare tire loosely placed in the frunk during their crash tesing In any event it would probably require a significant frontal crash to cause an issue but why risk it unless we get some data to indicate what is acceptable. I would definitely worry about hitting a high rear bumper (some big trucks or 18 wheelers) well above the tesla reinforced front frame.

J.T. | April 15, 2014

@EdwardGTesla2 I have to believe that the Model S designers assumed that cargo of indeterminate size and weight would be stored in the frunk. Is a tire more problematic than a scissor jack? I understand caution but I trust the engineers of the safest car in the world.
Still, I will contact ownership and see what they have to say.

tes-s | April 15, 2014

Came out to a flat tire this morning - bolt right in the middle of left rear. Tesla took good care of me - and now I will soon have a spare.

Called Tesla. Said they would contact tow service call back. Called right back; said flatbed would be there in 30 minutes and take me to Norristown. Would not fix tire, but sell me a new one. $250.

I'm in a hurry - I'm out-of-town for a 9am meeting, and

While I was waiting for the flatbed, I called Norristown. Talked to Mechelle. I asked if she had a rim and could have the tire mounted, so when I got there they could just change the tire.

Flatbed came in less than 30 minutes. Guy was very experienced with Tesla. Asked if I wanted to drive it up; I said sure. He had me raise the suspension, then guided me up. Piece of cake.

Get to Norristown; Mechelle has my new tire ready and gets me on my way - writes down my credit card number so I don't have to wait for the paperwork.

Got to my meeting just about on-time.

My plan it so have the tire fixed, put it back on (it is about half worn) and keep the new one as a spare. If the tire can't be fixed (it is a good-sized bolt), I'll buy another tire and replace the other rear (so I have two new tires in the rear) and keep the old rear as a spare.

I was lucky. I was near a service center, the service center was open, and Mechelle and the team there did a great job.

Next time, I will have a spare in the frunk - the rare times I use the frunk I will just leave the spare at home.

tes-s | April 15, 2014

One more thing - I'm telling the story to a friend with a Porsche. He says he has no spare, but a small compressor and sealant that came with the car.

So we are not the only ones out there without a spare.

SCCRENDO | April 15, 2014

Tes-s +1. Welcome to the club.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | April 16, 2014

@JT re: "I understand caution but I trust the engineers of the safest car in the world.
Still, I will contact ownership and see what they have to say." Haven't heard from you yet!

We (my wife and I) are great fans of Tesla (Have a Hers 18053 and a His 34374) so we are committed not just involved. With over fifty years of auto experience I would tend not to even believe an auto company if they said " It is OK to....." But I do believe what ever Tesla officially states as true.

It would seem to me that some sort of spare mounting would be documented or possibly an option if Tesla seriously considered or supported carrying a spare in the Frunk .

So going spareless is still the least of two evils so to speak. All my cars in recent years have not had a spare.

J.T. | April 16, 2014

@EdwardGTesla2 I didn't hear from Tesla yet. I said I would pass along the info when I get it and, trust me, I will. It's what I do around here.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | April 16, 2014

Thanks J.T. I will understand if they choose not to reply but hope the will at least say the haven't tested and therefore can't officially approve the practice.

renwo S alset | April 16, 2014

I always take my horse with me, that way I won't be stranded on the side of the road. Also, great company on long trips.

tes-s | April 16, 2014

This is why I now have a spare. Bought a new tire and rim while on a trip, and just got this one repaired. In the frunk unless I need the space for something else. MUCH easier to get a tire changed than repaired, particularly at 1am.

DallasTXModelS | April 16, 2014

Since my car was built and delivered in mid December 2013 the frunk dimensions have gotten even 1.5" smaller in the direction that was already the too small direction to accommodate the front motor for all of the people on this forum demanding all wheel drive.

DallasTXModelS | April 16, 2014

Here is a list of cars in 2011 that did not come with a spare. The list was already beyond two full pages three years ago and has only gotten longer since.

http://www.aaa.com/AAA/corpcomm/socialmedia/No_Spare-Tires.pdf

The Nissan Leaf sold in the US does not have a spare.

J.T. | April 16, 2014

@EdwardGTesla2 The response from Ownership is in and you were correct:

I’ll look internally for an answer to this inquiry but am not 100% sure I’ll be able to answer to your satisfaction. I will keep you abreast.

I replied that I'll do some experimenting on my own and get back to him with some data when I get out of the hospital. I did use a smiley face.

Haggy | May 29, 2014

"I never had a flat" comments are pointless. What's relevant are comments from people who have had flats. You could extend the same "it's rare" attitude to seat belts. How often do you drive to work with a seat belt on and not have an accident?

Flats are more common than fatal accidents. I've had flat tires on every car I've owned and every car I currently own. I bought a car for my daughter recently and she had a flat tire driving from LA to SF. It would have been a hell of a place to be stranded. She also got a flat tire at around the same place on the trip home. It's unlikely but it happens.

I had an Infiniti that got a nail through two adjacent spots at once, meaning it couldn't be fixed. Finding a matching tire on the spot wasn't an option. It was an almost new car too, so it wasn't as if I rode it forever and never got a flat. With tires at around $350 each, I'd rather not be pressed to buy it from whoever is closest by or have no way of getting home. That's especially true if I have road hazard protection on my tires, and driving on a spare until I get to my tire shop would have been free, but being near a different tire shop might not help.

My wife has an Acura with run flats. So technically she's never had a flat. But she has had to have two "flat repairs." For run flats, they are over $125 per repair and require specialized equipment that few places but the dealership have. And the weight of four run flats is about the same as five conventional wheels and tires. So it saves space compared to a spare but not weight. It doesn't save cost. And the "convenience" of not having to put on a spare is offset by the inconvenience of driving at 50mph for 45 minutes each way to the rare tire shop with PAX equipment and certification.

So unless Tesla emergency road service is willing to show up with a spare tire so I can drive to a place to get my flat fixed, hearing nonsense from people who never had flat tires is as useful to me as hearing from people whose homes have never been burglarized or burnt down and see no point in homeowner's insurance.

If you can spend $90,000 or more for a car, and spend an extra $1500 just for the paint color or $2500 so it sounds better or has glass on the roof, it seems like a minor cost to add a spare rather than pretending it has more frunk space. Any auto manufacturer at all could make the claim that no spare is needed, and NOTHING sets Tesla apart in this territory. They could all boast about extra storage space and could all charge extra for a spare, or lower the base price and tack it back on the way Tesla does with the tech package instead of admitting the real price (yes, I know that 1% of buyers actually don't want the tech package, but that's true for any vehicle where people end up with "standard" options that they wouldn't have paid for.)

So what sets Tesla apart in the world of cars to justify not needing a spare? The only companies that made a halfway decent case for not having spare tires were those who included run flats. And once owners realized the truth behind the ownership experience, Acura got hit with a class action lawsuit because in retrospect it would have been far easier to have roadside assistance change a tire and then get it fixed at a regular tire shop or even change the tire using a jack. Since you can't switch from run flats to regular tires without changing wheels, it's an expensive proposition to move away from them. But it's not an expensive proposition for Tesla to include a donut spare that can get the vehicle to the nearest service station instead of being stuck on the road where there is no cell phone reception.

tes-s | May 29, 2014

Many sports cars come without run flats and without spares, and without space for one.

With the MS it is your choice. You can place it in the frunk or trunk - fits in either place. Or, go without - whichever your prefer.

I got a flat and it took a little over an hour from when I called Tesla until I was driving away. I now carry a spare.

DTsea | May 29, 2014

A donut spare with an air suspension 4" from the ground? Really?
Seems unlikely a donut would even work on the rear wheels. Especially thinking about handling properties of such a powerful car.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | May 29, 2014

You can't compare seat belts to spare tires! It's all about risk and consequence, hardly the same. You don't have to buy if it is that important to you, or carry a spare in the Frunk although it is not recommended!

carolinagobo | May 29, 2014

Tirerack has spare tires run flat 21" $500 each ouch!!! and Tesla 21" last 5K to 8K miles, way too expensive.

Gadfly | May 29, 2014

cerjor@hotmail.com: have you ever had a car with run flats? It's like having wooden wheels.

SCCRENDO | May 29, 2014

Came in late on this. Obviously is a genuine problem from a real owner. Unfortunately the posting is garbled. Can get a better response if you explain the problem more succintly. Frankly it would be best to wait for an answer from Tesla so all can clearly understand the issue. It is unhelpful venting until Tesla has been given an opportunity to resolve the problem. My experience has been that they usually see you right

dborn @nsw.au | May 30, 2014

Said it before, say it again, a spare is essential on our roads in Australia. A spare in the trunk is dangerous because it is not secured. The simplest way out of this and at minimal cost to Tesla would be to provide a support point on the side wall of the trunk so a spare can stand upright (in a decorative cover). A jack and wheel nut wrench can fit in the footwell in the trunk.
to be a little fancier, the fixation point could be made removable by fitting it into a pair of rails. That way, you could choose to either have it there or not, covering everyone.

petero | May 30, 2014

AndrewP. This subject has been widely discussed many times. Please consider using this search tool: http://volkerize.com/

One thread is:
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sitesearch=www.teslamotor...

Most MS owners do not own a spare, they rely on Tesla Roadside, AAA, both, or DIY. There are space saver tires, full 19” OEM wheels/tires that will fit in the Frunk. One example is here:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25141-Compact-Space-Saver-...

I have 19” wheels and tires and I keep a full size (19” OEM wheel and Goodyear tire), inflated spare (no TPM) in my Frunk. Should I get a flat tire, I will still call Tesla Roadside or AAA, my days of heavy lifting are behind me. If I am not mistaken, a 19” OEM wheel and tire can be used as a spare for a 21.” Please check with your local Tesla Service Center to confirm this.

Sometimes the repair kits work, sometimes not - You won’t know until you have to use it. Regarding your concern of wasted time. If you wanted to save time, you probably wouldn’t have purchased a Tesla, look how much time you spend on the Forum, and a flat will occur at the worst possible time or place.

Good luck or should I say better luck. Now that you got your flat it will hopefully be years before the next one.

Kondo | May 30, 2014

Tire pressure is an item most drivers take for granted. The tires are the only thing against the road then add brakes and you have your most important safety features. I have not had a spare in 15 years. I am very tire pressure conscious and leaks are very manageable if you check tire pressure or your TPM. That is the screen I have on my G8 GXP all the time. Tesla just tells you when a tire is getting low but not how much. I run 44 pounds in my Pontiac and have 45,000 on summer only performance tires. Tesla wants a similar pound per sq. inch as well. Watch your pressure and tire issues are ALMOST gone. Objects on the road can be an issue but blow outs are usually because of low air pressure. Firestone lost millions because of tire blowouts on the Ford Explorer. They suggested running 26pounds. Start there and before long you are at 15. If they had run 45 like my wife does in her Explorer roll overs can be a problem because of a high center of gravity. Cause on problem to fix another. Check your tire pressure and have Tesla give accurate numbers and you will be good to go.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 30, 2014

To each his own. Here is my travel spare in the Frunk with the Frunk bag on top so everything stays in place very well. Painless. It's a BMW x5 limited duty spare. Tested it on our car with 19's and our car with 21's.

I took the picture with it out of the nylon bag and with the foam insert for the jack and lug wrench removed.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qiw2zu4i0ard4aj/2014-04-13%2020.30.34-1.jpg

I chose to compromise and not go full size so my storage bag would still fit. It's a trade off, size and weight verses limited duty performance. Like I said....to each his own.

I just can't see sitting by the road side on interstate 8 in Arizona 60 miles from the nearest tiny service station waiting for a tow. It takes all of ten minutes to change a tire and be on your way. I would be on the phone organizing a tow longer than it takes to change the tire.

There is nothing that special about changing a Tesla tire. For aerodynamics the jack pads are flush with the rocker panel and the battery sticks down a little past the jack pads so you have to center the jack on the pad carefully.......just like every other car I have every lifted with a jack.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 30, 2014

My sad flat tire story. Until last week we had 30,000 miles on two Tesla's with no flats......then.

On Friday last week I came out from a two hour appointment and the P85+ told me it had a flat tire. I didn't believe it because on our S85 for over a year we got random low tire warnings ( fixed now ) and I kind of got in the habit of discounting them. Despite the fact the P85+ had never given a false warning.

So I backed up drove out of the parking lot and immediately knew I had a flat. Decided to try the air compressor without slime first. Aired up in a few minutes and I located a very slow leak where it appeared a screw had been in the tire and then came out. Drove a few blocks to Tesla service and they offered to change the tire for a new one. Being hard headed I said I would drive to my local tire shop and have it patched.

Local tire shop patched it and recommended replacement to maintain the speed rating and since the tire was 3/4 worn out made sense. Since the staggered 21's are not that common they could not get in two new tires until Wednesday this week ( closed Monday).

Fast forward to yesterday Thursday. When I went into the garage to take the P85+ up for new tires on the back I noticed my wife's P85 had a flat on the same right rear. A rather large rusty lag bolt was sticking out of the corner of the tire.

So I just jacked up both cars and pulled all four rear tires and put them in the pickup for a quick trip to drop them at the tire shop. Easier than dropping off cars at the tire store and arraigning drop off and pick up rides.

So a year and a half with no flats and now I have four new tires on two cars. Both cars were about 3/4 worn so not a terrible thing. Kept the one good tire off each car so I have emergency replacement tires if needed.

Just as a footnote. While all this was underway my son in law pulled in with a MB c230 Kompressor ( staggered tires also ) and said he had a funny vibration in the steering wheel. Found an area of tread bulging and beginning to separate on the right front. So we pulled both his fronts and ran them up also. What a morning. Four hours time and six new tires. I should have stayed in the office.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 30, 2014

I just wish Tesla sold a universal spare tire, proper sized jack, long handle lug wrench, gloves all in a nice storage bag. If you want it order it if you don't don't. Easy solution.

But then once the attorneys get involved maybe they can't do it so like everything else in society you are stuck coming up with your own solution. Because a solution from the manufacturer would expose them to the Barbary Pirates demands for tribute.

docdac | May 30, 2014

I see many people talking about putting spare tire on a 19" wheel in the frunk, as if it fits better than a spare on a 21" wheel. I would think that the overall diameter (and circumference ) of both tire/wheel combinations should be identical (or very close!).
Of course, if you are configuring a spare, it would be cheaper to do it with a 19".

Red Sage ca us | May 30, 2014

Roamer ended with, "I should have stayed in the office."

Yeah. Maybe so! ;-)

Sure there isn't a jealous neighbor or mischievous kid 'nailing' you, though?

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