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Weekend flat tire experience

Weekend flat tire experience

Going home from the Newport Jazz Festival last Saturday evening, tired and exhausted, I thought I left a little early to avoid the traffic. Put some jazz music on the stereo and turned on the autopilot for what I thought would be a smooth sailing home. On Rt 24 ramp outside Fall River MA, about 60 miles from home, TPMS went nuts. I got a flat on my right rear tire. I stopped on the shoulder and inspected the tire. Not a slow leak as I can hear the leak and the air came out rapidly.

So I called Tesla Roadside Assistance and hoped for the best. Unfortunately they did not have a loaner wheel service on weekends, so the only thing they can do is to tow the car to Tesla service in Warwick RI. But this is further for me. The most convenient Tesla service for me is in Dedham MA, which is 52 miles away. I asked Roadside Assistance to tow the car there. They agreed, but at my cost, which turned out to be $180. Bummer.

I don't think I had any other choice, so I agreed to cover the extra charge. They said the flatbed tow truck should be there within an hour, which was accurate, the truck showed up in an hour. Good thing I got AC running in the car. The next problem was there are 2 other passengers in the car, and the truck can fit only one person. What to do? Looked up Uber, they didn't have any cars in the area. Fortunately Lyft was available. But have you ever use Lyft from a shoulder of a highway? That Lyft map that the driver uses doesn't tell it is on the south or northbound side of the highway. The driver went to the southbound side. To make a U-Turn was about another 20 minutes. Good thing that driver didn't cancel. So Lyft came to pick us up right about the same time as when the tow truck came. And Lyft went home and I went with the tow truck to Dedham.

[To add insult to injury, after 10 minutes drive in the tow truck, there was a 4-car pile up on our route, all lanes were blocked. The State trooper asked our tow truck to block the shoulder because the truck has the blinker. We are stuck for another 1.5 hours. But this is a different story.]

My Tesla arrived at the Dedham service center around 11pm. Of course the center was not open, and they are closed on Sunday. So I am without a car until Monday afternoon after the tire was replaced. It was a tear that Tesla deemed not repairable.

So, *DO NOT* drive your Tesla on a weekend. If you get a flat, you will be greatly inconvenienced. That is until Tesla loaner wheel service/Roadside Assistance operates 24/7. I hope somebody from Tesla service read this and do something about this.

jimglas | 5 août 2019

Other cars get flats too
Why didnt you just go to a tire shop like with any other car?

santawiryaman | 5 août 2019

My previous car had run flat tires. Before that it had a spare tire. At 8pm Saturday night there are no tire shops that are open. The next morning, Sunday, I went to see the Dedham service center which is also a showroom. The showroom was open on Sundays, but not the service center. The CAs there could not do anything about it, had to wait until Monday. There were two tire shops within walking distance from there. I went to NTB, they did not want to even touch a Tesla tire with the silencing foam in it. At Costco tire service, they could not do it either.

Bottom line is that with other cars (granted some new ones also do not have spares), I would have been just as stranded unless I have some roadside assistance arrangements. But with Tesla, its roadside assistance mentioned mobile service and loaner wheels. Just wish they are available 24/7. I can't rely on the Tesla tire repair kit either, since it doesn't work well with tires that has a silencing foam pad in it. And this is confirmed by Tesla service advisor, once you put the spray into the tire, that tire cannot be repaired anymore. It will be impossible to balance once that thing hardened unevenly within the tire.

NKYTA | 5 août 2019

I had a tire problem on a 13k mile road trip. Potholes were hard to see on the East Coast. Probably close to blowing out my 21” low profile performance tires in my 2012 P85.

Limped down the road to Springfield MO to a Discount Tire on a Sunday. Back on the road Monday at 9:45am.

Bottom line: some car owners aren’t ready for ownership. :-/

SO | 6 août 2019

Can get run flats for a Tesla too. But the cons seem to outweigh the pros.

To say to “not drive a Tesla on the weekend”, seems a bit ridiculous.

santawiryaman | 6 août 2019

What do you then do if you travel with passengers and get a flat in the middle of a highway and the only option is to tow the car? How do you transport your passengers to a safe place when there is no Uber or Lyft? I said weekend because this is the time when Tesla Roadside Assistance does not replace a tire with a loaner on site. They don't even do this on Sundays when my car was already towed to the Tesla service center.

rxlawdude | 6 août 2019

"To say to “not drive a Tesla on the weekend”, seems a bit ridiculous."

+1*10^6.

TranzNDance | 6 août 2019

I have road side assistance included in my car insurance policy.

ggendel | 6 août 2019

I had a flat tire and Tesla service delayed me over an hour trying to figure out what they would do, just long enough that the tire places, as well as the local Tesla service center (10 miles away) closed. So, they decided to get me a loaner tire which would arrive in an hour, which grew to 2, 2.6, 3, 3.5, and then 4 hours. Sheer luck, at that point the local body shop across the street (which was closed when I got the flat) opened up for some evening work and they repaired the tire (for $10). I called Tesla service to cancel and they first told me it would be at least another hour.

blue adept | 6 août 2019

@NKYTA & @TranzNDance

+1

Yodrak. | 6 août 2019

"At 8pm Saturday night there are no tire shops that are open. ... Bottom line is that with other cars (granted some new ones also do not have spares), I would have been just as stranded unless I have some roadside assistance arrangements."

Lesson learned, I guess. There are times when help is just not available and one has to deal with their situation. But it appears that you and your passengers have survived and lived to complain about it.

ggendel | 7 août 2019
sabbia | 7 août 2019

@Ggendel. Thanks for the link...no, I don't have experience with it.

But, I do have run flats and while they are more expensive, I don't see the downside.

blue adept | 7 août 2019

You guys need to upgrade your insurance coverage to "comprehensive".

sosmerc | 7 août 2019

I'm 68 years old and have owned MANY vehicles.....all with spares. I don't remember any issues with flats. Now that the car I own does not have a spare I sweat bullets on trips wondering when I am going to get bit with a flat. I really wish that Tesla would offer a spare tire and necessary equipment as an option for those of us "travelers" that don't want to be stuck in remote places on a Sunday night with a flat tire. Honestly, I will welcome the day when solid "airless" tires are an option.

blue adept | 7 août 2019

@sosmerc

Well, since you seen uninterested in upgrading you car's insurance coverage to include Roadside Assistance, I've got two(2) options for you:

https://modernspare.com/product/2017-2018-tesla-model-3-complete-kit/

https://www.amazon.com/2017-2018-Tesla-Model-Complete-Spare/dp/B07FXBJ3V8

blue adept | 7 août 2019

However, if it's just a puncture or you're interested in maintaining proper tire pressures at all times, there's also this option:

https://shop.tesla.com/ca/en/product/vehicle-accessories/model-s_x_3-tir...

Happy Tesla'ing!

sosmerc | 8 août 2019

@blue adept.....thanks for the info. (I do have Roadside asistance from both my insurance and GM) (and I am still "volting" rather than enjoying a Tesla) but I think I may seek one of these spare tire kits for my Volt. One added benefit of a Tesla is that it looks like this kit should fit in the Frunk? Right?

goodman | 8 août 2019

I have a tire repair/patch/whateveritscalled kit. I got a flat last night and tried to use the kit. Here's what happened:
1) The kit pumps air just fine, but it would not pump the liquid sealant. The pump just didn't run at all when I switched from air pump to sealant pump.
2) Called for roadside service and learned:
2a) The sealant, if it were to get pumped into the tire, often fails to seal the tire. Model 3 tires have a quieting layer of insulating foam that often (always?) prevents the sealant from reaching and plugging the puncture.
2b) Once the sealant is pumped into the tire, the tire can no longer be permanently repaired. You'd have to buy a new tire.

result: I got a loaner tire last night to drive home, Tesla mobile service permanently patched the puncture this morning for $42.

I'm getting something like:
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Innovations-Tubeless-Repair-Bicycle/dp/B0...

santawiryaman | 8 août 2019

Tesla service center confirmed the Tesla tire repair kit won’t work well on 19” model 3 wheels because of the sound dampening foam pad in the tires. And the tire cannot be balanced anymore since the sealant will gunk up in the tire.

So I am going to get a plug kit and portable pump. Possibly the spare tire kit for when the plug kit doesn’t work.

santawiryaman | 8 août 2019

Tesla service center confirmed the Tesla tire repair kit won’t work well on 19” model 3 wheels because of the sound dampening foam pad in the tires. And the tire cannot be balanced anymore since the sealant will gunk up in the tire.

So I am going to get a plug kit and portable pump. Possibly the spare tire kit for when the plug kit doesn’t work.

blue adept | 9 août 2019

@sosmerc

I know that the tire, will but I'm not certain of the kit in its' entirety"?"

FWIW, personally, I always carry a full size spare in the trunk in a "sleeve".

blue adept | 9 août 2019

@goodman

+1

Good advice!

A "plug" kit and a pump will take you a long way.

geo.teepe | 10 août 2019

Tesla should have solved the problem
Roadside assistance is part of the deal.
Time gaps are simply not acceptable.
I took a major road trip 8000 miles,had to be self reliant.
Bought a wheel on E bay. Took up a lot of space. Had the luxury of traveling alone

Tesla2018 | 10 août 2019

I did a search about a year ago and think that a Honda Ridgeline wheel has the same bolt pattern width and offset as a Tesla model3 rim. Just not sure if the diameter is the same.
Dont know if Ridgelines come with a space saving spare, but maybe they might work as an alternative or if all wheel bolts work on all rims.