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Anyone else ticked off the Model S has no spare tire?

johnnyS

Member
Sep 8, 2011
587
202
So in 2 1/2 years of driving a model S, I have had 2 flats plus replaced a tire with a nail. Both of the flats resulted in having a flatbed take the car to a service center. The air compressor and slime were not enough. I am going to purchase a spare. Can I use a 19" wheel for a spare with my 21" wheels?

I am thinking about not getting stranded on a road trip. The 21" continentals will not be easily available in some small town miles from a service center.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,195
25,800
Texas
So in 2 1/2 years of driving a model S, I have had 2 flats plus replaced a tire with a nail. Both of the flats resulted in having a flatbed take the car to a service center. The air compressor and slime were not enough. I am going to purchase a spare. Can I use a 19" wheel for a spare with my 21" wheels?
The 19" and 21" have the same RPMs so they will be fine that way. I'd take it very easy though. Both take up a whole lot of room as a spare. If I had 21" wheels, I'd consider getting a set of 19" wheels for trips. My guess would be that you'll like them a lot more anyway.

I've had four flats and zero tows on 19" tires and 57K miles. I carry a jumpstart kit with inflator and a plug kit. The plug kit will repair far more items than slime and won't make so much of a mess either.
 
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Reactions: mikerathbun

CarlK

Active Member
Mar 23, 2013
1,919
1,404
SF Bay Area
No. I'm used to that. My Porsche for years does not have a spare tire either. This is the industry trend (see the link below) since TPM became popular/mandated. The chance that you'll wait for a tow truck because you can't drive to a repair shop or using the emergency airpump/sealant kit is way less than other types of car break down or having an accident on the road. The chance is so small that taking up valueable space for a spare is not a good option anymore.


Your Next Car May Not Have a Spare Tire - Consumer Reports News
 
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AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,282
4,255
NE
EDIT: And now I've seen a lot of USA urban drivers post, saying they get numerous flats, which leads me to believe that many urban areas have a lot of ghetto-garbage and ghetto-potholes causing flats. I've also seen many urban drivers post saying they don't get flats. I kind of recognize the urban areas that are worse at flats have more ghettos than the places people post from that aren't getting the flats. If you live your whole life in a city with nice roads and no messy people, you'll never get a flat, whereas if you live anyplace with potholes and nails, you'll get them all the time. I see this also happening to some people who are in the rural areas in USA, which leads me to believe that rural areas in USA are given to poor road maintenance and cleanliness, compared to our neighbor to the north. All this means is that people's different experiences all make sense.


Poor people don't have money for nails, much less to throw their nails all over the road.

And I've never seen any relationship between the financial status of people in a neighborhood and the quality of it's roads. Boston for example, has some of the worst roads in the nation, immediately beside one of the busiest international airports in the US.

You must live in a gated community. Try and get out more.
 
When we took our roadtrip a week ago (10 Tesla's driving something like 3500 miles in a week) we made sure we had some spares with us. That way in case of a puncture there would always be a spare wheel available.

In normal use however, I don't have one. If something happens I'll call road assists. I do realize that the situation here in The Netherlands is a bit different than most parts of the world. Here, you're never that far away from a helpful garage....
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
Ugh. I knew I would jinx myself by participating in this thread! Flat tire this morning on the way to work... and of course I'm dressed for work and it's raining after a week of perfect weather. I got the "Low Tire Pressure" warning and pulled over at the next interchange. Found the 4th tire I checked (should have gone the other way around the car) still partially inflated but really low. Slow leak, it seems. I filled it to about 50 PSI and it held (no warnings) for the 20 minutes or so to get the rest of the way to work. Guess I'll have to find a tire shop today sometime.
 

green1

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
4,548
1,495
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Ugh. I knew I would jinx myself by participating in this thread! Flat tire this morning on the way to work... and of course I'm dressed for work and it's raining after a week of perfect weather. I got the "Low Tire Pressure" warning and pulled over at the next interchange. Found the 4th tire I checked (should have gone the other way around the car) still partially inflated but really low. Slow leak, it seems. I filled it to about 50 PSI and it held (no warnings) for the 20 minutes or so to get the rest of the way to work. Guess I'll have to find a tire shop today sometime.
I'm sorry to hear that, I've never maintained that flat tires didn't happen, only that needing a spare is extremely rare. Your post continues to prove that point, you were able to inflate and continue.
 
I've been scared about the lack of spare and lucky so far. I have 21" tires so I've been scared of punctures since they are not only more expensive but sometimes emergency tire shops don't have the size in stock.

I put a tire sealant inside the tires last spring, as a form of insurance against punctures. The sealant is like the green slime and other sealants you can put in at the time of a puncture but it is formulated to stay in the tire at all times, awaiting a puncture. I used a product called Ride On (ride-on.com). It claims to be TPMS safe (I had no TPMS issues after install) and water soluble in case you need to remove it for any reason. The tire is still patchable by shops since the stuff can be washed out once the tire is unmounted. It's chemically inert to your tire and doesn't stick to it. Basically the force of air and pressure leaving the tire makes the polymers cross link and form a plug.

Here's a video of it which I thought was compelling:
Ride-On Motorcycle Puncture Demonstration - YouTube

It takes a while to do all 4 tires since you have to squeeze the thick stuff through your tire valve if you're doing it home, and the first hour or so the wheels felt a little imbalanced, but once it gets distributed inside the tire it isn't noticeable (in fact the stuff is sold as a wheel balancer as well).

I've not (yet, hopefully won't) experienced a puncture with it but I thought some would find this an interesting option. Theoretically you wouldn't even know you had a puncture unless you see the orange stuff as a little head on the surface of your tire since it sells the leak immediately -- TPMS wouldn't even detect the puncture.

FYI the 21" tires need 17 oz each but I added an extra 25% or so as they said you can for "extreme" cases. Each bottle of ride-on is, unfortunately, 16 oz so it's a bit of a pain to measure out the extra couple oz since the stuff is really thick but not sticky, and indeed water washable.
 
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mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
I'm sorry to hear that, I've never maintained that flat tires didn't happen, only that needing a spare is extremely rare. Your post continues to prove that point, you were able to inflate and continue.

Yep, in this situation I was able to get by without a spare. And a very positive Kal Tire story as well: Over my lunch hour, I pumped it up and drove over to a Kal Tire shop near my office (not the one I purchased my tires from). They took me straight in, found the nail, plugged and patched the tire all at no cost under their warranty plan, and I was even able to hit the McDonald's drive-thru and get back to my office in under an hour.
 

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