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Brand new Y with flat tire - my journey

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
162
124
South East USA
My 5 day old Tesla with 220 miles showed a low pressure warning yesterday when I tried to reverse it from my office parking lot.. I stopped and checked and it had a completely flat rear passenger tire. So here is what I went through

1. I called my service center in Charlotte since I heard there was a mobile tech in my town. They put me through to roadside assistance.

2. Roadside looked at my area and found I was well out of range for mobile tire tech service. It just covers about 30 mile radius till Kings Mountain, NC. They offered 50 mile free tow but I have to find my own tire repair shop. They suggested Costco and a couple of others.

3. Called Costco where I am a member. They rotate Tesla tires but will not work on the Y since they don't have the Tesla manuals for it, have specific pucks for it ( have no idea if this is true) and the most compelling reason was that they found that it had foam tires and they don't repair it.

4. Discount tires stated that they would look at it and repair it even though they stated that they don't repair foam tires.

5. Called Tesla again. They assured me that my plain old AWD non-performance Y Continental had regular non foam tires. Assured me. They suggested fixing an early morning tow time since it was getting close to 4 PM and tire shops close at 6.

6. Called another place here in Greenville SC called S & S tires who stated that they work on Tesla tires and if it cannot be repaired they can replace with 255/45-19 ( Tesla stated that since it was only 200 gently driven miles one tire alone can be replaced and even from another brand as long as the specs match).

7. Fix 8 AM tow. Tow truck comes in promptly but the Tesla refuses to stay in Transport mode for towing. Every time I pressed it turned blue but just before the tow truck could winch it it went off ( without me touching anything). After 10 attempts we finally managed to get it winched up on tow mode. What a pain. Tesla needs to find a way keep it in tow mode till you press the button again.

8. At the tire shop the same problem with the Towing mode not keeping engaged. We gave up and I had to gently reverse the car down out of the tow truck.

9. The tire shop had portable air compressor. They inflate it and drive it into the shop and put on the lift. The remove the tire. And guess what - it had foam tires, in spite of Tesla roadside assuring me it does not. Luckily they did not trash the tire. It had a nail / screw in it. They cut out just that part of the foam and patched up the hole. $52.00 in all. Well worth saving that tire.
 

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
162
124
South East USA
My take away from this ordeal

1. The radius served by the mobile tire service is very short. Unless you live close to SC you will have no luck.
2. Free tow under warranty for up to 50 miles.
3. The AWD Y comes with foam tires. Even the non performance.
4. Many tire shops will not work on foam tires or will trash it and will try and sell you a new tire ( or a pair of new tires).
5. The towing press button was buggy and awful in my Tesla. Never held it in tow mode for more than a couple of seconds before disengaging.
6. S & S tire in Greer will repair foam tires, thought it will cost slightly more than a regular tire nail patch.
 

michael11213

Member
Jun 25, 2020
15
8
Brooklyn, NY
Same here, never heard of foam tires -- over four months I now had three tires on my MY LR punctured by screws (seems NYC street cleaning could be improved, different story). Local flat fix shops were able to fix each of them within 5 minutes.
Definitely not worth calling mobile service, but it might be different out of town.
 
They have a layer of foam glued to the inside of the tire to quiet them some. It is very easy and common to just remove an area of the foam where the hole is/patch is to be placed.

On a side note, I would get a plug kit with a compressor and do a field plug and fill and take it for repair at your convenience. I find nails and screws in my tires all the time, they just don't always make the tire go flat unless I pull it out.
 

artnalex

Member
May 31, 2020
202
130
Los Angeles
I find nails and screws in my tires all the time, they just don't always make the tire go flat unless I pull it out.

I drove with a nail in the tire of my ‘78 Datsun 810 for 3-months before getting it fixed, when I was younger. The tire wasn’t losing any pressure, and the nail was on the tread surface (not near sidewall),....so I just kept on trucking. I only fixed it because I was gonna go on a long trip, otherwise....... (I was young and broke.)
 

CactusOne

Member
Feb 14, 2018
68
179
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Here is what I did with our Model 3 and will do with our Y once it arrives Friday. Discount tire offers a warranty for new tires at around $245. I think it is a great deal since Tesla tires are not cheap. If you ever damage or have a flat, if they cant fix it, they will replace it. Also, includes free rotation.

Important to note, one does not have to purchase the tires from them in order to insure them.

I also purchased a Spare Tire kit from Modern Spare and carry it on long road trips, in case we are out of cell phone range.

Complete Spare Tire Kits | Tesla, BMW, Camaro, Corvette, Dodge...
 
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acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,438
1,506
Richland, WA
Tires with foam inserts absolutely can be repaired easily. A section of foam is supposed to be cut out, tire repaired, and then foam glued back in to keep the balance. Maybe it takes longer and I’m sure tire shops could charge $45 or something for half an hour of service, but there really isn’t any reason for “nope, we don’t do it.”

More and more cars now have this foam and they’re showing up at places like Tire Rack...
 

Feathermerchan

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
1,133
879
Euless, Tx
Within a week of picking up our Model Y we had low pressure in the let rear. I already had a compressor and plugging kit so I plugged it and aired it back up. Just got back to DFW after a month in Pa and it is fine. Plugs work great.
I also have a Modern Spare.
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,771
1,742
Houston
Just imagine if you had the forethought to purchase a $25 tire inflator that plugs into your 12V outlet and left that in the trunk under the floor?

https://www.amazon.com/Helteko-Portable-Compressor-Pump-150PSI/dp/B07789PTPG/

You could have pumped it up, and then driven anywhere you wanted to go to get the tire fixed at your leisure.

Guess what you should be asking Santa for Christmas?
 

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
162
124
South East USA
Tires with foam inserts absolutely can be repaired easily. A section of foam is supposed to be cut out, tire repaired, and then foam glued back in to keep the balance. Maybe it takes longer and I’m sure tire shops could charge $45 or something for half an hour of service, but there really isn’t any reason for “nope, we don’t do it.”

More and more cars now have this foam and they’re showing up at places like Tire Rack...

The problem is that once Costco hear of the foam lining they said "nope, we don't do it". They don't want to take the trouble of cutting out that area, patching and regluing it back.
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,159
705
Belleville IL
many years ago (almost two decades to be exact) I dumped the run-flat tires on my 99 Corvette, far from home attending a car show I discovered one of my tires had picked up FOD, I had purchased a cheap 12V air pump and plug kit. So I aired it up to the MAX PSI the tire could hold (it's on the side of the tire and it's different than the manufactures recommended PSI found on the door label) we started home - a 50-mile drive. The dash tire PSI readings were displaying 3 good tires and one that was overfilled. I drove monitoring the PSI's and managed to drive 25 miles before the PSI dropped to 20 PSI, we found a safe spot to pull off and I aired it up again. That second filing got me home. Since then I have always had an air pump and tire plug repair kit in my car.

I bought a slightly used UMC carrying case to hold my flat tire repair stuff, 12V air pimp, plug kit, some work gloves, a small plastic tarp, and LED headband light, and my jack pucks. It fit perfectly inside the UMC case. Tesla should build and sell one.

o0aRE5A.jpg
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Mar 3, 2019
1,835
1,069
02571
Tires with foam inserts absolutely can be repaired easily. A section of foam is supposed to be cut out, tire repaired, and then foam glued back in to keep the balance. Maybe it takes longer and I’m sure tire shops could charge $45 or something for half an hour of service, but there really isn’t any reason for “nope, we don’t do it.”

More and more cars now have this foam and they’re showing up at places like Tire Rack...
Thanks acarney. The only significant noise I hear in my car is road noise from the tires. I don’t hear wind noise very much. Without the foam inserts I suspect road noise would be much louder.
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
801
484
Fort Worth
Having to frequently drive outside the 30 mile range of Tesla tire service, this post just increases my resolve to find/create a spare, smaller than the Modern Spare, that I can install w/o major impact to the rear trunk area.

I'm investigating if the Vredestein Space Master spare tire, currently only available COMBINED with a VAG, BMW, Mercedes approved wheel, can be mounted on a Tesla Y compatible steel wheel (maybe with a spacer?). Vredestein says "unknown", which I find hard to believe, since they know the exact dimensions of the tire, and would KNOW if it can be put on a conventional 17", 18",19" wheel.

...to be continued...
 
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Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
162
124
South East USA
Within a week of picking up our Model Y we had low pressure in the let rear. I already had a compressor and plugging kit so I plugged it and aired it back up. Just got back to DFW after a month in Pa and it is fine. Plugs work great.
I also have a Modern Spare.

I tried to feel for a nail but could not feel it. I moved half a wheel and tried again but could not. It was drizzling slightly and I gave up.

I had pucks but after my Model 3 crash I could not find it any more. I also do not have a jack. Looking at the wheels I doubt I can have adequate clearance to remove a nail and plug and patch it by the side of a road where the chances of being killed are high. Safer to inflate and hope to be able to drive to a towable area or range
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
801
484
Fort Worth
Plugging a tire requires a lot of force, and trying to plug a tire mounted on the car is virtually impossible? You're pushing at a right angle to your body.
 

Feathermerchan

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
1,133
879
Euless, Tx
Agreed that you should not try to fix a flat on the side of the road if possible.
Force required for plugging depends on the tire injury. The Y had a very small puncture. I had to use a block of wood, jack and the weight of the car on the tool to force the plug in.
 

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