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Tires! A Cautionary Tale

I have the performance package with the 21" tires. I got a screw in a rear tire right in the middle of the tread. Easy fix I thought. WRONG! Took the car to a local big box tire facility and when they pulled the tire it had the acoustic foam! The manager remarked that he didn't even know Perelli made an acoustic foam tire. He said they cannot patch it because the foam is glued into the tire and it would ruin their tool. So he said I needed to contact Tesla because he could not order that tire. So I called Tesla roadside service and they said the foam tires cannot be fixed and it would cost me $462.50 for a new one. I just about blew a gasket. My front one that I destroyed a year ago was only $325 and it was truly unusable. This situation is I have a simple screw puncture. So I read an obscure thread on here about taking it to a "small shop" and get a plug. So I found a hole in the wall small tire shop that would do plugs. However when I got there the owner said "we can patch that tire! We have done it before on Tesla's. I explained what the other guy told me and what Tesla said about needing a new tire and he laughed. So I watch in delight as they carefully pulled back the acoustic foam, removed the residual glue, put a bonafide patch on and the reset the foam with some of their glue. I looked perfect when done! Total cost... $25. Your results may vary.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,041
7,841
I had a screw in my Pirelli tire about 2 months ago and plugged it myself with an $10 kit from Autozone. I've since put about 1500 miles on the tire and it's holding air perfectly. I now carry an air compressor and a plug kit in the car at all times.
I did that with my old car too (not a Tesla). The foam shouldn't be an issue, as plugs don't require access to inside of the tire. The only warning is to keep monitoring the tire pressures (easy to do with a TPMS) and condition of the tire. My old car didn't have a TPMS and one time it got too low and there was an actual blowout (had to use spare). Otherwise the plug held surprisingly well.

Also it helps to have a portable jack (usually a scissor jack, just make sure to get one rated for the weight) in case you need to lift the car to access the puncture.
 
These shops are way more worried about liability and lawsuits than making customers happy. While I understand the former, sometimes you need to take the blinders off. But sadly with a franchise, most people there don't have the experience to even look outside the box, much less think it.

Given how little the foam seems to help with sound, certainly doesn't seem worth the hassle.
 
This reminds of run-flat tires when BMW/MBZ started using in their cars to reduce weight by removing the spare. No tires shop wanted to touch them because they were such a PITA! Plus, they were twice the cost of normal tires to replace. My 19" Gemini set also has the acoustic foam tires. I only put them on during the rainy season here in SoCal.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,041
7,841
No legitimate shop would only plug a tire. Proper repair is a plug/patch from the inside.
...just sayin'...
Shops are supposed to examine the inside of the tire for damage, at which point they might as well do the patch (or a hybrid). It takes them almost no extra effort or time to unmount the tire from the rim, given they have the equipment. For a DIYer however, there's not going to be an easy way to unmount the tire yourself. Plus in terms of liability, the shops not likely going to want to rely on the user heeding the caveats I pointed out (monitoring the pressure and condition of the repair).
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,041
7,841
I have the performance package with the 21" tires. I got a screw in a rear tire right in the middle of the tread. Easy fix I thought. WRONG! Took the car to a local big box tire facility and when they pulled the tire it had the acoustic foam! The manager remarked that he didn't even know Perelli made an acoustic foam tire. He said they cannot patch it because the foam is glued into the tire and it would ruin their tool. So he said I needed to contact Tesla because he could not order that tire. So I called Tesla roadside service and they said the foam tires cannot be fixed and it would cost me $462.50 for a new one. I just about blew a gasket. My front one that I destroyed a year ago was only $325 and it was truly unusable. This situation is I have a simple screw puncture. So I read an obscure thread on here about taking it to a "small shop" and get a plug. So I found a hole in the wall small tire shop that would do plugs. However when I got there the owner said "we can patch that tire! We have done it before on Tesla's. I explained what the other guy told me and what Tesla said about needing a new tire and he laughed. So I watch in delight as they carefully pulled back the acoustic foam, removed the residual glue, put a bonafide patch on and the reset the foam with some of their glue. I looked perfect when done! Total cost... $25. Your results may vary.
I forgot to mention this, but this was brought up in the past when Tesla launched with the ContiSilent acoustic foam tires. Many places claimed they can't be repaired, people brought up links from Continental that had official repair instructions, and suggested printing them out and handing to any shops that want to argue they are not repairable (as a side note the same documents did point out run flats were not repairable)..

One example here but the link is dead.
Tires Cannot Be Repaired?
I found working links here, basically it's as you mentioned. Just cut out and pull back a section of the foam and do the repair as normal. The manual didn't even suggest putting the foam back.
Tire Repair

I wasn't able to find a similar document for Pirelli (maybe because they are relatively new to the game), but I did find a document from REMA TIP TOP (same organization that wrote the continental document), that does mention the Pirelli PNCS tires.
http://www.rematiptop.com/assets/tech/trm/Reference/Sound-Suppression-Tires-Repair-Guide.pdf

I did dig further and it appears the condition for denial of repair is related to both the PNCS and the speed rating (yours are probably W rated).
Pirelli has the following warning in the warranty:
"PIRELLI TIRE DOES NOT ENDORSE:
1) The use of tire sealants in Pirelli tires to repair, even temporarily, a puncture;
2) The repairing of V, W, Y or Z Speed Rated tires;
3) The repairing of Run Flat or PNCS tires."
They have a road hazard warranty as a result for Run Flat or PNCS tires, due to their policy.
https://www.tirerack.com/images/pdf/warranty/PI0717.pdf
 
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I have the performance package with the 21" tires. I got a screw in a rear tire right in the middle of the tread. Easy fix I thought. WRONG! Took the car to a local big box tire facility and when they pulled the tire it had the acoustic foam! The manager remarked that he didn't even know Perelli made an acoustic foam tire. He said they cannot patch it because the foam is glued into the tire and it would ruin their tool. So he said I needed to contact Tesla because he could not order that tire. So I called Tesla roadside service and they said the foam tires cannot be fixed and it would cost me $462.50 for a new one. I just about blew a gasket. My front one that I destroyed a year ago was only $325 and it was truly unusable. This situation is I have a simple screw puncture. So I read an obscure thread on here about taking it to a "small shop" and get a plug. So I found a hole in the wall small tire shop that would do plugs. However when I got there the owner said "we can patch that tire! We have done it before on Tesla's. I explained what the other guy told me and what Tesla said about needing a new tire and he laughed. So I watch in delight as they carefully pulled back the acoustic foam, removed the residual glue, put a bonafide patch on and the reset the foam with some of their glue. I looked perfect when done! Total cost... $25. Your results may vary.
Good tip. The good thing about the little guy, creativity and at least tries some of the big places worry about liability and maybe some lack of information as these can be fixed, on the 3 with the 19" ppl had the same issues as the continentals as they had the acoustic foam. Side note the tire manufacturers also say you can use the foam sealant kits, so those that bought the compressor with the foam kit on these are also a bit screwed.
 
I had a screw in my Pirelli tire about 2 months ago and plugged it myself with an $10 kit from Autozone. I've since put about 1500 miles on the tire and it's holding air perfectly. I now carry an air compressor and a plug kit in the car at all times.

Sometimes you can find that kit at the dollar store. Plug it it your driveway, fill it up with air and keep an eye on the pressure for a week. This is one of those things that people overthink way too frequently. My prior car had five plugs in the tires (I work in construction). No issues with air pressure. This is a good example of letting "expertise" override common sense.
 
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SSonnentag

埃隆•馬斯克
Apr 11, 2017
1,789
2,412
Arizona
I think the acoustic foam in tires is a joke. I am only guessing but I bet the amount of road noise suppression is not noticeable to most people. When these tires wear out I am selling my Uberturbines and getting some 19' T-Sportline's with regular tires.

Testing done by Car and Driver suggests that while a sensitive instrument can detect some minor differences, humans cannot.

Tested: Do Acoustically Insulated Tires Really Hush Road Noise? – Feature – Car and Driver
 
Total BS. I purchased the plug kit on Amazon and carry it with me in car. This belief that Tesla tires are somehow special needs to stop. They are not. They can be repaired. The foam has nothing to do with a plug or "ruining the tool." Do not use slime. only use a plug and many more flat-free miles are ahead of you. Sorry you had that experience. Apparently many Tesla SC techs are former IT workers and not gear heads. Unless its an electronic issue, I trust the mechanical ones to the...mechanics.
 
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Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,992
1,590
Fort Worth
Plugging a tire requires a significant amount of strength, and experience. A rear flat? Requires a jack and removing the wheel from the car.

Fact: not all Tesla owners are capable of plugging a tire, especially on the side of the road. A flat tire is NOT the time to learn this.

Current water-based sealants are useful, as a last resort, in an emergency: awaiting roadside service when it's 20f or 110f out and they're 2 hours away.
 
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