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Flat--slime failed + Tesla roadside service is awesome

Discussion in 'Model S' started by DingDingDao, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    Got a low pressure warning on the freeway and limped to a gas station. I had a slime repair kit (similar to the Tesla tire repair kit) that failed to reinflate the tire, so I called Tesla roadside service. They had a flatbed to me in 15 minutes and an appointment with America's Tire and a fresh ExtremeContact 245/35-21 setup for me. They are awesome. On the flatbed and on the way... ugesede9.jpg
     
  2. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    For FYI, Slime doesn't actually re-inflate the tire. Its just a goo that fills and seals the leak... You still need a compressor to re-inflate the tire.
     
  3. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    Yeah the slime kit I have includes the compressor. Couldn't increase pressure above about 25psi and it would fall once I turned it off. We'll see how bad the puncture is once I get to the tire shop.
     
  4. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    Update: the tire had a nail embedded in the inner sidewall. Tire guy told me slime wouldn't have saved me with the position the nail was in. New tire installed, and I am very impressed with Tesla roadside assistance.
     
  5. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    My understanding is that the slime will handle a small puncture to the tread area, but not much more. Personally I'd choose a patch kit instead of a slime kit for a couple reasons. First you can use them as permanent repairs (I know they say not to, but I've never had an issue doing so), second, you can actually deal with larger holes, and third, if your tire is patchable by a professional, you won't be pissing them off as much as they don't have to clean the slime out first..
     
  6. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Is your TPMS sensor OK? I thought slime gooped up the sensor and blocked the air inlet hole(s), effectively killing it.
     
  7. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    They make TPMS-compatible Slime... Don't know why they sell both versions though...
     
  8. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    Yeah he pretty much said what you said -- puncture in the sidewall is pretty much a death sentence for a tire, and slime kit won't save it either. I apologized for sliming the tire, too--he was a good sport about it :tongue:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah the TPMS sensor was actually fine. He warned me that the slime might have screwed it up and that I might have to buy a new one, but once they unmounted the tire and had a look, everything was good to go.
     
  9. delanman

    delanman Member

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    Good idea for an extreme emergency. Without a jack, it might be hard to deal with a hole. I'll throw a plug tool and plugs in the frunk anyway.
     
  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I've patched 5 or 6 tires now, and I've never jacked up a vehicle or taken off a tire to do so. Roll the car forward or backward to where you can work on it, plug, re-inflate, drive.
     
  11. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    There's a bunch of different patch kits on Amazon that I'm seeing. Anything you would recommend?
     
  12. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I just bought one at our national chain of automotive/hardware stores ("Canadian Tire") the ones I'm thinking of come with a bunch of cords about 4 inches long that look like they're a piece of string covered in tar, and two tools, one is a round file, and the other is like a needle for inserting the cord.
    They do state that they're not for permanent use, however I've never had a patch fail before the tire wears out, and I've never followed up with a tire shop.
     
  13. snellenr

    snellenr Member

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    The plugs all seem about the same. The real difference is in how well the rasp and insertion tools stand up to going through the tire. It's a good idea to throw in a pair of locking pliers in case the handles break off or bend.
     
  14. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Never had that problem, but that's an essential tool anyway, actually a good pair of needlenose pliers is essential. This is how you remove the screw you ran over so that you can put the plug in...
     
  15. Haggy

    Haggy Member

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    Patching and plugging are two entirely different things. Patching requires taking the tire off the wheel, placing a patch on the inside, remounting the tire and balancing it. Many tire manufacturers recommend against plugging. The rule when I was younger was that it's OK to plug a tire unless it's a radial tire. But that would include about 100% of passenger car tires these days. I've plugged tires when tire shops wouldn't fix them for whatever reason. Chances are that the tire manufacturer will give you a safety warning and possibly void any warranty.
     
  16. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    Question -- do you know if a plugging a puncture is permanent, or can a tire shop reverse the plug and put a proper patch in? I guess I'm wondering if I can plug in an emergency so that I can get to a tire shop on my own and then properly repair the puncture and avoid voiding the warranty.
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    A plug is a type of patch, and yes, they are theoretically "temporary" and every tire manufacturer will tell you not to do it. We're talking in relation to roadside repairs here though, so obviously "patching" by your definition, would simply be impossible. If "plugging" then there's no need to jack up the car.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Plugging is not permanent and a tire shop can reverse it to put a proper patch in. That is what every tire manufacturer, and the people who sell the plug kits suggest.
    That said, I've never seen any good reason to do anything further once you plug a tire. Worst case is that the plug fails (has never happened to me in tens of thousands of km of driving on plugged tires) and you have to plug it again.
     
  18. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I will say however, if the issue is that the plug leaks (I had a mushroom plug installed by a previous owner that failed) and you take it to a tire shop with the failed plug still in it, they might not agree to fix it (esp. if they offer a guarantee with their tire patches and if the proximity to the sidewall is too close for a patch).

    The plugs sold in stores are just sticky ropes. They can be pulled back out with a plier or pushed in and removed from the inside if the tire is taken off the wheel. But like green1 says, it's quite common for this "temporary" fix to last the life of the tire and in the worse case of a failure, you just need to do another plug. I will add however that if the damage is on the sidewall (as in the OP), a plug would not be an option (even a patch won't work).
     
  19. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    If it's too close to the sidewall, it won't matter whether you plugged it or not, they probably won't agree to fix it. The fact that you plugged isn't the problem there.

    If your sidewall is damaged, you have two options for side of the road repair:
    - a spare tire.
    - a tow truck.
    Slime will likely be useless. A plug kit like I'm talking about can theoretically do an extremely short term fix in some limited situations. High probability that it won't work, but sometimes you've got not much to loose and I have heard of cases where the plugs do fix small sidewall holes just long enough to limp to a tire shop. If the sidewall is damaged I would never consider continuing to drive on that tire any further than absolutely necessary.
     

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