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Do I need a spare tire?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by Peter Chastain, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Peter Chastain

    Peter Chastain My M3/LR is headed to the delivery center!

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    Still in the queue for a M3, I am concerned at the prospect of driving in eastern Oregon without a spare tire. Are flat tires such a rare occurrence that nobody needs to worry? If I am within cell-phone range, is Tesla's roadside service reasonable, and do they carry spares? If my phone dies, does the M3's user interface have a way to call for service? What would be the consequences of driving 50 miles (very slowly) on a flat tire (assuming sufficient reserve in the battery)? Or do people just buy a spare wheel and jack to carry with them at all times?
     
  2. chinnam3

    chinnam3 Member

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    Few folks already bought a spare. Check this thread

    Mini Spare For Model 3, Hyundai Genesis 18" works

    I bought one, but seller mistakenly sent 17 inch, and it does not work. You need to have 18 inch Genesis spare.

    I am one those who does not want to depend on road side service as much as possible. As I have seen it takes anywhere between 1-2 hours get someone to help you out provided you have cell coverage instead of 15 min swap.(unless you are driving within city and no traffic issues).

    Another option is to have tire patch kit and compressor.
     
  3. Knightshade

    Knightshade Active Member

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    FWIW I haven't had a genuinely undriveable flat tire in probably 20+ years- a couple times I'd have a slow leak from a nail or something that I could just run a compressor for 5 minutes and drive another couple hundred miles before it got low or I got someplace to get it fixed.

    I'm sure it varies by where you live, but barring folks who run tires down past bald modern tires don't seem to really catastrophically fail very often without running over something pretty major.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  4. skitown

    skitown Supporting Member

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    We're in central Idaho. We carry a plug kit as well as a (Tesla branded) compressor that has a sealant in it. Lots of aftermarket versions are available. On some trips, I've carried a spare wheel/tire as I have a set of winter tires on rims I can grab. Knock wood, never needed it.

    Edit: I've not heard of Tesla roadside having spares on their rigs outside of major metro areas. If you drove on a true flat for 50 miles, your wheel would be hammered. The right course of action would be to be towed to a tire store, who hopefully has what you need and is open.
     
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  5. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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  6. Peter Chastain

    Peter Chastain My M3/LR is headed to the delivery center!

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  7. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    When was the last time that you used a spare?
    If you have a flat tire, then you DO NOT want to drive on it. It's not a smooth ride and you will probably mess the rims up.
    I had a Leaf for 3.5 years and never had the need for a spare.

    Adding a spare will add weight, take up space, add cost and reduce your mileage. All of that for something that might not ever happen.
     
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  8. Lasttoy

    Lasttoy Member

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    I got a flat last week. Tow roll back took me 60 miles home. I was lucky . On long trips i take a jack, repair kit. Air pump. In case i get a nail.
     
  9. HopeToGolf

    HopeToGolf Member

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    I bought a plug kit and compressor. Crazy thing is my ICE SUV had a slow leak so I had a chance to practice. 3 weeks in and the plug is hold strong. That said, I have no solution if the tire has a blowout. At that point, I am hoping I am alive and uninsured.
     
  10. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    The last time I got a flat tire it was about a year ago, it was on a 2000 model year car. The tires were about 6 years old, driven about 10 miles ever 2 years (yes, I'm not kidding; the smog guy couldn't believe it either), and parked outside where the summers get over 115 and the winters dip into the upper teens. The original spare tire (circa 2000) still looked brand new and has been fine.

    Unless you run over nails or some thing, tires nowadays are pretty tough. Between cell phones, roadside service, and the plug kit/compressor, you should be fine.

    The only real advantage a spare tire gives you is time. I was back on the road in about 10 minutes because I just changed the flat myself. If I had to wait for a tow truck, that can take hours. If it's a slow leak though, the plug kit shouldn't be much slower than changing a flat.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    In 5.3 years I've had seven flats of the slow leak variety and one that destroyed a tire. Fortunately, that one was close to a shop that got me going with a used tire until I could get a replacement. Most of the flats were on the OE Goodyears when I first got the car, and a couple were on the winter tires. I haven't had any flats on the Primacy tires--which have most of the mileage. 109K miles now on the Model S. I do carry a plug kit and the compressor. I thought about getting a spare to carry on trips, but they take up so much room that the inconvenience of a spare seems worse than the inconvenience of a flat.
     
  12. Peter Chastain

    Peter Chastain My M3/LR is headed to the delivery center!

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, it has been many years since I had a flat (I have had to inflate tires with slow leaks). I wasn't aware of plug kits, but that sounds like a good solution.
     
  13. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Around town, sure it's a bit of an extra hassle to get the car flat-bedded rather than just having a spare put on.But my biggest concern is on road trips. If I'm on my Toronto to Chicago route and get a flat in the middle of Michigan, I end up losing a day or more having it dealt with. I've considered just putting a spare tire in the car on road trips (no jack or tools) so that if I have to call for service, they can just pop the spare on and I can deal with it when I get to my destination or get home and not ruin a couple of trip days en route.
     
  14. Saguarojoe

    Saguarojoe Member

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    You can by a kit on line called Slime. About $40.00. It has a compressor and canister of green slime that plugs the leak and reinflates the tire in one shot.
     
  15. Saguarojoe

    Saguarojoe Member

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    Should have said “on Amazon “
     
  16. Soda Popinski

    Soda Popinski Member

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    Based on reviews, I bought a "Slime" air compressor without the tire plug portion. I always wondered why they went with the "Slime" name.

    I currently drive a Volt, which also doesn't have a spare tire. It did come with a very similar compressor + liquid plug kit.
     
  17. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    'Cus it's green and looks like slime. I guess they could have called it "Pond Scum" ;)
     
  19. Soda Popinski

    Soda Popinski Member

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    I get that now. My point was, I bought an air compressor branded "Slime" but had no actual slime/goo/ectoplasm included in the product. So it seemed weird to me that a company would call itself "Slime" for no apparent reason.
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    The car does not, AFAIK, have a way to call Service without a connected cell phone. However, the car does have two plugs for plugging in your phone, so if your phone is out of juice you can plug it in and charge it up. Of course if you're outside of cell range you are out of luck.

    Tesla sells a kit for $80, (free shipping in the U.S.) consisting of a compressor, a can of spray goop, and maybe a tire plug kit (not sure of the latter). I'd have gotten it but my road trip is coming up soon and Tesla's web site gave no indication of shipping times, or any number to call for Store questions. So I went to a local NAPA store and bought the top-of-the-line Slime brand compressor (faster and quieter than cheaper models) and a can of Fix-a-Flat (the can says it's safe for tire-pressure sensors. I did not get a plug kit (maybe I should?) because I'm quite certain I would not be able to use it.

    A previous car came with a can of Fix-a-Flat and I stupidly imagined that would pump up the tire. Of course a tiny can cannot pump up a tire.
     
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