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Flat tires - Fix yourself vs Roadside Assistance?


Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
San Jose, CA
For a puncture all you really need for an emergency repair are: pliers to pull out the offending piece, reamer to enlarge/rough up the hole, awl with rubber plug. It's nice to have gloves, cement, extra plugs, diagonal cutters to trim off the excess rubber plug, The valve stems and what-not that's in that kit will help with other types of repair. Not sure what the hex keys are for. Up to you to decide what you need.

Other people would say all you need is a AAA card. That works in 80-90% of the situations but the 10-20% where it doesn't, a kit like this can get you out of a predicament.


Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
I have a similar kit to that one, I can tell you that thing is a life saver. It works better than the $7.99 kit from local walmart. The plier has been helpful, the grease makes it slide on so much easier. It might seem expensive, but with the rate I go through flat tires. It already paid itself off. I keep it in my frunk.

Matter of fact I saw a guy at the track, he had a flat tire due to a nail hole. I didn't have a chance to talk to him, but he could have used the kit I carry in the car and fix it on the spot.

Mr. Jim

Apr 13, 2019
Santa Barbara
Last Spring I had a 3/8 inch bolt in my right rear. We were away from home so I called for roadside assistance. The tow truck driver had a replacement wheel with him soe we just swapped it out and I went to a local service center near Palm Springs. The tire had been severely damaged and the hole was evident. They loaded my tire into my may and I went home with the replacement. I went to my service center where they recommended a new tire given the size of the hole so they mounted the new tire on my rim and I returned the replacement tire to them. I'm not sure how big these plugs can be or how big a hole can be plugged. Thoughts?


New Member
Apr 10, 2021
PLEASE NOTE: Tesla no longer provides a loaner tire (at least in California). They will attempt to patch it for $80 but if cannot be fixed you are required to purchase a new tire from Tesla on the spot.
More importantly:
Tesla does not provide any warranty on tires. If your brand new $300+ tire Tesla sells you has any problem you are on your own - no warranty.
Costco, others provide a warranty. Perhaps you can try going to the manufacturer to get a warranty but Tesla will not help you.


Jul 14, 2018
Knoxville, TN
Carry a portable compressor
Buy a tire plugging kit.
Carry a screwdriver, dykes, needle nosed pliers

For long trips, carry a jack and spare too.

I have plugged so many tires and then just worn them out. No problems.
Most flats can be plugged on the car. Back on the road in just a few minutes.
I know that dykes are very handy for repairing tires, but she doesn't like taking long road trips with me.

(just a joke, kids... my LGBT friend approved of this before I posted it, she actually thought it was pretty clever and doesn't have a problem with the term...)

That being said, I dread my first flat and hope Tesla RA is fairly fast (faster than AAA?)
  • Funny
Reactions: KenC


Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
QLD, Australia
In Australia you can be >500km away from anywhere which can reasonably help you so its best to take care of all of this yourself.
For me thats to carry a tire fix kit so i.e. if a screw has drilled a hole you can fix the whole with some pliable goomass on the roadside. Blowouts wont happen if you take good care of the tires and replace them at regular intervals and before they get too low.


Jun 12, 2019
Probably 1/8" but not 1/4". Just guessing. Even if the plug is a little loose, it can still get you down the road to a repair place.

I used to be able to get plug kits that had three different sizes of plugs, with the largest one capable of handling quarter inch holes. Unfortunately, today’s kits don’t have the large plug option... if they are available, I sure haven’t found them.

Back in the ‘80’s, they made a large plug made from very fine strands of rubber that you could customize to fit by peeling off as many of the small strands as needed. Haven’t seen those available in a while, though.


Mar 16, 2020
Los Angeles

I was a couple blocks from my home when this happened.

I live 6 miles from a tesla SC, so they had some 3rd party tow come and get me. it was a flatbed and the driver dropped me off.

this happened on a sunday night around 6ish (and on my way to a date!). first time this ever happened in my life of all the cars i had.

anyway texted tesla roadside rep and they had the driver there in about 80 minutes. i was back on my feet the next day in the AM. they gave me uber credits. other than the cost of a new tire, it was painless.

i have no idea how this happened.

i saw something on the road. tried to avoid but my left rear tire ran over it. somehow whatever this was, it flew over and ended up on the OUTSIDE RIGHT REAR tire! 🤷‍♂️ 🤦‍♂️
  • Informative
Reactions: CyberGus and KenC


Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
I guess it depends on where you live, too. Wifey got a screw in her tire while construction was going on a block from our place, while I haven't had a flat in years, so luck is also a factor. I like to think that I dodge the stuff on the road a little better than she does, too, like two by fours with nails in them. My last flat, though, was dodging a car coming out of a parking lot. I swerved into the curb and blew my tire, with a three-inch tear in the sidewall. Had to just give in and buy a new tire.

But other than that, a plug fixed them all and were worry free for the remaining life of the tire.

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