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Drive flat tire onto/off of flatbed?

huno

Member
Mar 10, 2020
17
12
Los Angeles
Today we experienced our first flat; wife accidentally drove over a huge screw and completely emptied the tire (thankfully she was close to home so she made it to our driveway).

I called AAA first but they were cagey about the Tesla, basically telling me it was up to me to drive the car onto and off of the flatbed myself. I wasn’t sure about driving the car on a dead-empty tire, worried it would bend the rim which would have made our problem much worse.

I wound up using Tesla Roadside Assistance but they can’t get here until tomorrow. No big deal this time but I’m wondering about the case where this happens on a busy weekend and they’re booked and I have to rely on AAA again.

How risky is it to drive a car on a dead-flat tire, even if it’s a short distance?
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
192
114
Maryland
Why do people still use AAA? What is the benefit except for some hotel discounted rates?
My Geico policy has same benefits. Like flat tire, dead battery (we used when minivan ran out of juice), even refuel couple gallons for gas car.
But I guess with Geico you may have same tow truck driver that is scared of Tesla.
I would just open Tesla app and get road assistance there.
 
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huno

Member
Mar 10, 2020
17
12
Los Angeles
Heh, my wife has always had AAA, so for as long as we’ve been married we’ve had it. Yesterday though we were both hugely impressed with AAA’s worthlessness. Might cancel our membership.

I’ve read other threads here saying Tesla sometimes takes days, so I might one day have to call a regular tow truck. I guess I’ll be taking the chance on bending the rim when I drive it onto the flatbed.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
306
304
Devonshire NJ
Why do people still use AAA? What is the benefit except for some hotel discounted rates?
My Geico policy has same benefits. Like flat tire, dead battery (we used when minivan ran out of juice), even refuel couple gallons for gas car.
But I guess with Geico you may have same tow truck driver that is scared of Tesla.
I would just open Tesla app and get road assistance there.
AAA benefits are for the member not the car. So whatever car a member is in, even as a passenger, they are covered.
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
192
114
Maryland
Heh, my wife has always had AAA, so for as long as we’ve been married we’ve had it. Yesterday though we were both hugely impressed with AAA’s worthlessness. Might cancel our membership.

I’ve read other threads here saying Tesla sometimes takes days, so I might one day have to call a regular tow truck. I guess I’ll be taking the chance on bending the rim when I drive it onto the flatbed.
Yeah I think people are used to it. I have friends with AOL email. LOL
There are 2 thing in app Service and Roadside Assistance. I would assume Roadside Assistance should be right away. For Service you may wait sometime.
I was personally very impressed with Tesla Service.
If you are at home why don't you take the wheel off and take it to the SC?
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
192
114
Maryland
AAA benefits are for the member not the car. So whatever car a member is in, even as a passenger, they are covered.
Never had AAA, I always thought it was roadside assistance program with some rout planning service and member discount programs.
Took my car there to change oil and rotate tires once. They did oil change but didn't rotate tires. Never forgot to charge me for that and while I was at the counter were pressing me to become a member. Never went back.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,556
2,625
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
I keep hinting that people need to learn how to use a plug kit and a cheap compressor, which I keep in my trunk. Costs about ten bucks, you repair the hole in your driveway without removing the tire or wheel, and it works for the life of the tire. Even with sound suppressing foam liners. I've been plugging holes in tires, especially holes in the tread, for sixty years, and never even think about calling triple A or a tire company.

People need to learn how to deal with these minor annoyances without calling a tow truck. A little education can save you a bunch later on. Sitting and waiting for some flatbed to pick up your car just so they can pull a screw out of your tread and refill the tire is really silly.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,511
886
Bay Area CA
Driving on a dead-flat tire is awful. Just don't. Only do this to move your car to a safe parking spot. Doing this destroys the tire and probably damages the rim as well.

That's a weird experience with AAA. I've had them for decades and they've plugged non-foam tires for me so I could get it repaired.

Today we experienced our first flat; wife accidentally drove over a huge screw and completely emptied the tire (thankfully she was close to home so she made it to our driveway).

I called AAA first but they were cagey about the Tesla, basically telling me it was up to me to drive the car onto and off of the flatbed myself. I wasn’t sure about driving the car on a dead-empty tire, worried it would bend the rim which would have made our problem much worse.

I wound up using Tesla Roadside Assistance but they can’t get here until tomorrow. No big deal this time but I’m wondering about the case where this happens on a busy weekend and they’re booked and I have to rely on AAA again.

How risky is it to drive a car on a dead-flat tire, even if it’s a short distance?
 

A55!

Member
May 19, 2021
46
65
DFW
You could have inflated the tire and let it leak as you drove onto the tow truck, unless the tire was shredded.
 
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dmurphy

Buster: 11/25/14 - 6/20/21. So sorely missed.
Dec 7, 2018
3,654
4,890
New Jersey - Morris County
AAA benefits are for the member not the car. So whatever car a member is in, even as a passenger, they are covered.
Also - with AAA, they’ll tow me up to 200 miles wherever I want. With insurance coverage or Tesla roadside, it’s to the nearest service station. At least when I drove a gas car, I wanted it towed to MY mechanic in case of a problem, hot whatever shade tree is closest.
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
192
114
Maryland
Also - with AAA, they’ll tow me up to 200 miles wherever I want. With insurance coverage or Tesla roadside, it’s to the nearest service station. At least when I drove a gas car, I wanted it towed to MY mechanic in case of a problem, hot whatever shade tree is closest.
Make sense.
However, in the past 20 years I had 4 flats and had to tow minivan 2 miles.
- 1 flat on my truck - took it off myself and put spare tire, took to fix it
- 2 flats on my wife's car - was able to drive both times to get it fixed - screw/nail was holding air
- 1 flat on my son's car - was able to drive it to get it fix, screw was holding air

Motorcycle though was a different story was towing it every spring to clean carburetor for one or injectors for the other since they wouldn't start, but it was always covered by insurance.

I understand it is a peace of mind thing just in case you need to be towed 200 miles.
BUT $125 x 20 years = $2500
I'll take my chances if I need to get towed more than 100 miles and to the place I want.

Though another example would be deductible on insurance. As soon as I raised it to $1000 (my son started driving and it got very expensive) I hit the dear $1100 in repairs and basketball hoop fell on the car causing to repaint the roof $1200. Didn't submit claims so $2300 hit wiped out all the savings I planned for the next 5 years.:rolleyes:
 

dmurphy

Buster: 11/25/14 - 6/20/21. So sorely missed.
Dec 7, 2018
3,654
4,890
New Jersey - Morris County
Make sense.
However, in the past 20 years I had 4 flats and had to tow minivan 2 miles.
- 1 flat on my truck - took it off myself and put spare tire, took to fix it
- 2 flats on my wife's car - was able to drive both times to get it fixed - screw/nail was holding air
- 1 flat on my son's car - was able to drive it to get it fix, screw was holding air

Motorcycle though was a different story was towing it every spring to clean carburetor for one or injectors for the other since they wouldn't start, but it was always covered by insurance.

I understand it is a peace of mind thing just in case you need to be towed 200 miles.
BUT $125 x 20 years = $2500
I'll take my chances if I need to get towed more than 100 miles and to the place I want.

Though another example would be deductible on insurance. As soon as I raised it to $1000 (my son started driving and it got very expensive) I hit the dear $1100 in repairs and basketball hoop fell on the car causing to repaint the roof $1200. Didn't submit claims so $2300 hit wiped out all the savings I planned for the next 5 years.:rolleyes:

Especially when I’m road tripping, I’m willing to pay for some flexibility. I’ve also used their services for several family members so I’m on pretty even footing, mentally. I also used to do a 60 mile each way commute, so when things happen (and they do) - I wanted to get to my mechanic. Saved my bacon enough to be worth the payment.

As for insurance, I don’t play the deductible game. The savings are so minimal it’s not worth it IMO. As you said, one or two accidents and boom - decades of savings, gone.

For us, to go from a $500 to $1000 deductible would save about $30/year. One accident and that wipes out 16 years of savings. Two and fuggedaboudit!
 
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SDM44

Member
Aug 9, 2019
420
332
Los Angeles
As others stated, don't drive on a completely deflated tire as it could damage the rim. Buy a 12V portable air compressor from Amazon and keep it in the trunk. You can get them for around $30.

Unless your tire has a huge slash or gouge in it, you're not going to leak air that fast if you pump it up just so you can get out of the immediate jam. Fill up the tire and go maybe 5 psi over what you normally put into it. From a completely flat tire to 50 psi, it may take maybe 3 minutes from the compressor to fill up the tire. The air will still leak but not that fast, and if you're driving then the tire & air will warm up it'll also leak slower.

You can easily get home this way (which is what I usually do), drive directly to a tire shop, or pump up the tire enough to drive onto a flatbed tow truck. Saves time instead of waiting around for road side service, which I save for when my car is completely undriveable.


Why do people still use AAA? What is the benefit except for some hotel discounted rates?

Mostly to use their DMV services, which I use throughout the year for our vehicles. And some places we visit actually do give some nice hotel discounted rates 😁
 
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mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,511
886
Bay Area CA
I had a nail or screw in one of my front tires and got it repaired at America's Tire. It took <1 hr and $0.

MY_tire_repair.jpg
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,694
2,648
Maryland
Who footed the bill?

Goodwill. Many times a tire shop/service operation will offer to plug/repair a flat tire at no charge if the tire can be repaired. It helps generate future business.
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
192
114
Maryland
Who footed the bill?

Goodwill. Many times a tire shop/service operation will offer to plug/repair a flat tire at no charge if the tire can be repaired. It helps generate future business.
😔 Never happened to me. Dealer rips you $40 while trying to sell you new tire and telling you horror stories.
Other shops like Firestone charge $20-25 to plug.
Don't mind paying for that. Was just wondering.
Only time I got free tire was from Toyota dealer since I bought tires from them (buy 3 get 1 free) and it included 2 year hazard coverage.
 

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