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Tesla's Tire Repair Policy

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Lifeguard(ret.), Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Lifeguard(ret.)

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    I was surprised to learn that Tesla's policy is only to replace, not repair/plug tires with punctures. Is this a new policy or perhaps decided locally at each Service Center? A quick search of the forums turned up at least 2 instances of puncture repairs (one an offer to repair for $50 that the owner declined) at other Tesla Service Centers in the past.

    I had a recurring slow leak/tire low pressure warning about every 4-5 weeks starting in Sept. Closest service center is 140 miles away – used to be >200. Inspection by Rangers on 2 occasions didn't see anything in the tire, and after a valve stem repair on site, I got the warning again about 2 weeks later. When I contacted the Service Center, they offered to transport the car and provide a loaner since they were scheduled to pick one up that was already in the area the next day. So far great service for a non-emergent annoyance.

    Somewhat embarrassing, but once it was at the Service Center up on a rack, a screw or nail was found deep in the tread that had not been seen before. Given the distance when informed of the policy, I didn't have much choice but to replace the tire. Had the service center been local, I probably would have picked the car up & taken it to a tire shop, as it was very likely the tire could be repaired. So I now have an extra repairable tire in my garage in case I ever damage a side wall or really blow one out.

    I can understand not wanting to take on the risk for a failed tire repair, but even so plugs, are done all the time. It doesn’t seem like a particularly eco-friendly green tire policy for the leading EV company. Personnel at both distant Service Centers have be great, but still can't wait for the promised local Service Center to open.

    I did enjoy driving a brand new P85+ over New Year’s. :biggrin:
     
  2. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Active Member

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    Usually Z rated tires such as the ones Tesla uses are not allowed to "fix" for safety reasons.They need to be replaced if punctured. I think very little tire shop would fix those high performance tires. I currently have 245/30ZR20 and 285/30ZR20 on my ICE, and I know only a few professional tire shops that are willing to fix in Tokyo.

    So find a reputable tire shop near you. Traditional techniques to fix punctures will not work on thlse Z tires.
     
  3. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    I was at my local service center today asking about them having a wheel balancing program. I drive through a lot of snow this time of year and anyway when it melts the mud sticks to the wheels and off balances. They said that as of 1/1 corporate doesn't want them to repair the tires because they don't want to take on the liability. So they are recommending that we get comfortable taking our MS to a tire shop for balancing. Rotations. Etc.
     
  4. Lifeguard(ret.)

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    I have 19" Michelins, so I wouldn't think concerns about repairing high performance tires apply. Interesting that this is going to affect rotations etc., since I was told the first rotation at 6000 miles was free. And, what about as part of the annual service?
     
  5. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I had a puncture about a month ago on my 19's and this policy was already in place then. They would only replace at the SC and said it was a new policy at the time. Fortunately the tires were all still pretty new at the time so I could get away with only replacing the one.
     
  6. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    Presumably the only reason this is an issue is that Tesla charges Tesla prices for the replacement tire?
     
  7. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I think their tire prices were actually not bad. Primacy's on Tire Rack are $267 and I think they were something like $250 at the service center. What surprised me was that they wouldn't repair it as I've always just had flats repaired (usually for free at the tire place I would normally go). After reading a bit about higher performance tires, I understand their reason for it and I'm okay with the policy.
     
  8. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    Tesla repaired a puncture in my 19-inch Goodyear last month for free.
     
  9. Lifeguard(ret.)

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    Not complaining about the price. Yes it was higher than TireRack, but the service center had to send someone to a local tire shop to buy the tire, I was not charged for 140 mile round trip transport for what turned out not to be warranty work, they replaced my Pano roof seal for a narrow gap that as far as I could tell was not causing a functional problem or noise, and took care of a service bulletin at the same time. Not to mention the 85P+ loaner.

    Sure I would have preferred not to buy a tire if it's repairable. With less than 4K miles, that's why I' kept it as a backup to repair for future use. Just don't like the idea of putting tires in a landfill unnecessarily. So S owners should be aware of the policy before limping into a service center with a tire full of puncture goop, and go to a tire store if they prefer.
     
  10. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > the mud sticks to the wheels and off balances. [Alysashley79]

    Only cure is to remove wheel & scrub with hot sudsy.


    Repair/Replace? - Tack in sidewall (unrepairable) - got replacement tire for free, ok, need to show up with wheel and cough up $36- cash to insure this new tire. Mounted & spun for free. Not sure how this would work if tire dealer was not local. 19 in Blizzak snow worth $260-US, insurance sure is sweet!!
    --
     
  11. MattMDK

    MattMDK Member

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    Nail In Tire

    Yesterday, I found a screw in my 3 month old Michelin 21 inch tire. I brought it to Discount Tire to be patched but the nail was to close to the edge of the tire to be patched. They would only replace it for $740 with a two hour wait. I called Tesla and they did it for $514 with no wait time. Still expensive, but nice to know Tesla is charging less than Discount Tire and washing my car on the way out.
     
  12. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    That happened to me in my M5... the tire caught a screw right on the edge of the tread. Took it to two chain places (Firestone and a local chain) and they both wanted to sell me TWO new tires (they always claim it's mandatory)... I took it to a third independent shop who plugged the tire (not a patch) for $25 which worked just fine and the tire is still on the car 2 or 3 years later. YMMV.
     
  13. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Well, to be fair, on most vehicles it is mandatory if the tires are somewhat worn. On an M5, best case, you could put the new tire and it's mismatched partner on the front and leave them there forever. You'd never be able to rotate them to the back as it would unpredictable at the limit as well as damage the vehicle's LSD.
     
  14. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    The M5 also has a staggered wheel setup so there never is any front to rear rotations... And I've had directional tires as well, so no side to side rotations either.
     
  15. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    It is never a good idea to replace a single tire, because each tire has different performance characteristics. You need to keep the tires paired (2 fronts and 2 rears) at even wear level. It effects handling because left/right will have different grip. You may not notice it during day-to-day driving, but any non-ordinary actions, such as swerving to avoid an accident, turning or braking in a rain storm, etc you may suddenly find the car doing something completely unexpected. most places I would expect to have strict policies about this for liability reasons. I'm no expert in this realm, but I think it's even worse I think if you have an AWD car. because of center differentials and all that yadda yadda usually you'd need to replace all 4 instead of just 2. (Note to future MX owners: if you choose 21" tire option [assuming they offer one], you better have a HUUUGE bank account for replacing entire sets of 4 often, lol).
     
  16. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    I remember the time a garage sold my x pair of snow tires for our Toyota truck. Unfortunately they were bias ply, but the fronts were radials. Talk about driving a yo-yo. You could barely make lane changes on the freeway and stay on the road...
     
  17. jerry33

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

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    To put a number on it, 2 mm is the most tread depth difference you want in tires on the same axle. With expensive tires the trick is to purchase a road hazard policy. They are typically not that expensive and if you use it once, you've more than paid for it.
     
  18. wcalvin

    wcalvin Member

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    I've run into Tesla's no-repair policy twice. At West Palm Beach in February, they warned me up front about it. But the screw was in the sidewall so I wanted it replaced anyway.

    Last week in Seattle, they also warned me up front, inspected, and said it was OK to repair but that they can't do it. Took it to Goodyear via a web appointment for 0800, and they stood me up (never read their web appointments). I refused to wait 90 minutes for the right person to arrive. So it still isn't fixed. But Slime has held the leak down to 10lb in 90 days so9 maybe I will wait for Tesla's policy to change.
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    As a manufacturer, I'd guess the liability is just to much risk for Tesla. I'd not expect the policy to change.
     
  20. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    FWIW, I picked up a slow leak just over a week ago. I asked Tesla if they could handle it, and they said the same -- they can't do repairs and would have to replace the tire. They then recommended Discount Tire since they do repairs for free...

    So I took it to Discount Tire on Friday afternoon. Tire had a small nail in it. Fixed.
     

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