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What do you do if you get a flat?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by BlueWRXPride, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. evp

    evp Nerd

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    I hit a pothole at 1:30 in the morning. It ripped a 6 inch hole in my 3 day old tire. Neither slime nor air compressor seemed to be of use.

    I called AAA. I hadn't been an AAA member before I got the Tesla. It seemed to be the rational replacement for a spare tire.
     
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  2. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Built my own 3-day kit and it continues to evolve depending upon various external factors. Most of it (not including water) fits into a 2.5-gallon canvas bucket, so nothing too extreme.

    You’ve earned your tire plugging merit badge. And it worked! Makes you want to do it again, right?

    I don’t know that I’d carry just a tire, but it is an idea and does remove one variable (the right tire size being out of stock invariably in the boonies).

    Thankfully, I haven’t had to change a tire on the Teslas yet, but have had to deal with a couple of slow leaks. One got to be a problem in Vermont, but I was able to deal with it until I found a decent Discount (America’s) Tire in North Carolina a couple of days later. The other was local, so no big deal.

    Now with these miserable Goodyear Touring OEMs at the end of their life after barely a year and 26K miles (versus 53K and tread to spare with the Michelin OEMs), and therefore more susceptible to flats, I’m going to replace them mas rapido with Pirellis and will start the tread life clock over again. Rumor has it they are quieter than the Michelins and are similarly LRR.

    Why didn’t Tesla come fetch you? Sweetwater is within 500 miles of somewhere, yes? Forgive the question - I’m geographically challenged.
     
  3. Icer

    Icer Member

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    #23 Icer, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    #MeToo
    $15 for 6 months renewal.
    Probably location, location or location?
    *
    Gear become a mania, right? Tools, gps/cell/spare batteries/12 volt
    LiOn Batt jumper/Fire stopper spray gadget/Flamethrower

    Spare/floor jack. I don't like OEM jacks.

    Here the cell service can be erratic, non existent.
    So I could be sheedata.

    So I am reluctant to just drop em
    but I think
    I have already decided.
    *
    Just walk to the nearest house,
    approach in peace.

    Probably won't get shot.
    *
    Okay, if that happens and I get shot,
    I am gonna blame this thread.

    "Elon's Fault"

    "I have a lawyer"
     
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  4. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    While AAA is probably fine most of the time, those *censored* mother*censoreds* dropped the ball once in a big way. Suffice it to say it involved 37F drizzle, incompetent dispatchers, 2 annoyed tow company owners, a 4-hour wait until 0500 for a nearly hypothermic Tesla owner in the ass end of New Mexico, and over $400 in damage during the towing process. The tow truck operator did his best and got a $100 tip, which tells you how bad the rest of the story was.

    Moral of the story is that for those of us still under warranty, remember to leverage Tesla’s roadside assistance when possible/necessary - if they punt to AAA then okey dokey.

    The other moral of the story is that it is remarkable how much of this continent still has cell phone dead spots.

    Judgment call, really - I guess in fairness, probably 90%+ of drivers will be just fine with Tesla roadside assistance or similar 90%+ of the time.
     
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  5. Glamisduner

    Glamisduner Active Member

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    I have had a blowout before on new tires, SUV threw something from the lane next to me into my rear tire. Boom pop. Made it to the shoulder and used my trusty spare tire to get home, and bought a new tire the next day when the tire store opened. These things tend to happen late at night on your way home from work 40 miles from your house so it's a huge concern of mine to not have a spare.

    I'm currently driving my first car without a spare, and I'm thinking of at least keeping one at home. Getting a tow due to a flat is garbage.

    I have only had a few blowouts before, and typically my flats are just nails but I sure seem to get allot of them.
     
  6. buttershrimp

    buttershrimp Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode

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    Thanks for the info! I should clarify, they couldn't send a ranger to me because it wasn't in 50 miles of one of their service centers. They would coordinate a tow back to Austin. And after 600 miles and 300 to go, I said, no thanks.... I'm going rogue.

    Very very valuable lessons learned on that trip..... while I pushed the car hard to 330 miles between charges at one point on the way to New Mexico (Sweetwater to Santa Rosa), on the way back I took the "safer route from a range perspective" a miscalculation from Amarillo to Sweetwater brought home the danger of living on the edge... I left Amarillo without a full charge, and was sloppy with the hypermiling, when range dropped faster than anticipated during the last 10 miles, I found myself driving in the shoulder at 25 miles and hour on I-20 (or whatever the hell goes through sweetwater)... night approaching which meant turning lights on, and other slight energy sucks.... Anyway, never drive in the shoulder seems obvious. But now, it's super obvious to me. I was lucky it just popped one tire on the back.

    Long story short.... tire plug works like a charm even with acoustic foam PSS. After the whole ordeal, the wobble sound at higher speeds was annoying before I changed the tires out.

    First rule of fight club when hypermiling, slow in the first half of the drive always, and I'm done pushing the cushion below the 5 mile mark when I'm planning a hypermile drive. I set my sights on arriving with 10-15 miles.

    The thing that made me think it would be good to bring a tire instead of a spare is that no one in Sweetwater or Amarillo had a tire sized to fit the back wheel of the staggered turbine. If I were to bring another tire, I wonder if a local roadside would have been willing to mount the tire at the sight of the car for a little extra cash. Intriguing idea no? I really don't like the idea of taking the wheel off myself. A true jack for that heavy car seems appropriate and kills space.... I ended up getting a 5 or 6 ton bottle jack which is great for space, but I think I'd need a level surface and a jack pad.... still I hate the idea of doing that. What do you think?
     
  7. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Get 19 inch wheels and you won't need to deal with it... had multiple events and finally got sick of it and dumped the 21's for 19's. Haven't been stranded since.
     
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  8. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    I think with staggered 21” turbines you have added complexity :).

    Two 1/2 ton low profile floor jacks as recommended in the aforementioned thread and a couple of 2”x12”x24” wood or other pieces are going to be the plan for my frunk going forward. I’ll see how it works out space and weight wise.

    Outside of habited areas, I’d rather rely upon my own relative mechanical ineptitude than upon wireless connectivity and the hassles associated with roadside assistance.

    It is admittedly a limited solution because I don’t plan to carry a spare. I may feel differently when it becomes time to tackle the Alaskan Highway and points further north and west. But for now, that’s the plan.

    If I ever end up in a Model 3, which is unlikely in the near term, I’d probably downsize to the aero 18”s for the range - which today appears to match or exceed the S100D range.

    I like the look of the 19s and 21s. I like not having to stop and charge as much decidedly more.
     
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  9. Mod3l 3

    Mod3l 3 Member

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    Recommendations on an air compressor? The one that came with my wife’s car didn’t work when I tried it and I’m not sure how good the Tesla one is. Main use would be top ups and contingency if a flat were to occur.
     
  10. buddhra

    buddhra Member

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    I like this one because it's digital with auto-shutoff, it has a black case, and it fits in the space on the left side of the trunk. https://amzn.to/2qryJKf
     
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  11. T34ME

    T34ME Active Member

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    #31 T34ME, Apr 21, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    I've only had one blowout in my life (which has been long). I was on MX Hwy1 in Baja California halfway between Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas out in the middle of the Vizcaino Desert. I ran over some debris in the road and it cut my front tire. I had to keep driving at a slow speed until I could find a safe, flat place to pull over. The tire was in shreds by that time but no worries, I had a spare. With some difficulty, rolling in the dirt, I was able to pull the spare out from up underneath the passenger van I was driving. I used the included jack to remove the destroyed tire and install the spare. Good to go? Nope, spare was essentially flat! :eek: (my bad, I had failed to check my spare because it was out of sight, out of mind before heading off on this 1200 mile journey). No worries, I would just hitch a ride on this relatively well traveled road ( maybe a car every five minutes) to somewhere, anywhere to get some air in the spare. I asked my wife if she wanted to stay or come along. She said she preferred to stay because she had her Sudoku book to entertain her and besides, she said, there are no murderers, rapists, and criminals out there in rural Mexico, contrary to popular belief in the US.

    I stood at the roadside with the spare by my side and stuck my thumb out. In no time at all, I saw a car coming down the road in the distance and thought "I'm in luck." As the car got closer, I could see it had Oregon plates. Yyyyyyyyyyyyea, go Ducks! Car zoomed by without even slowing down or waving. But wait, another car in the distance, more Oregon plates. I love Tillamook cheese! Car zoomed by without even slowing down or waving. :mad: I hate the Ducks and Tillamook cheese makes me puke. :( I have now lost faith in my fellow man and don't feel very confident when a third, rather dilapidated car comes down the road with Mexican plates. The car slows and rolls to a stop adjacent to me. Fortunately, I speak Spanish and tell the driver what my plight is. He instructs me to throw the tire in the back, hop in, and he will take me somewhere, anywhere to get some air for the tire and if the spare has a leak to get it repaired. GRRRRRRRRREAT, we're making progress. As we proceed down the road, I use my best Mexican manners and very formally introduce myself. I ask him what his name is, and he simply says "Jesus." :eek: I am born again, praise the lord! (Full disclosure, Jesus is not an uncommon name for a male in Mexico, but still).

    We drove for a few miles and happened onto a small village out in the middle of the desert and Jesus drove me directly to a tire shop. Jesus seemed familiar with the village, named "Jesus, Maria, y Jose", and I asked him if he lived there. He said "no" he lived about 40 kilometers further down the road in a town called Vizcaino. The "tire shop" was a ramshackle building made out of various pieces of scrap wood, cardboard, corrugated sheet metal, and chicken wire. The "doors" were open and there was an 18 wheeler big rig parked in front. Okay! this looks promising! I pulled the flat tire out of the car and thanked Jesus for his kindness and wished him well. Jesus said, no, I was now his personal responsibility and he would take me back to my car when finished. I said, "I suppose you have never been to Oregon." He said, "Senor, I don't know what you mean." I said, "Ni modo, {nevermind), it was a joke." I looked around the one room tire shop, stacked with dead tires whose only remaining useful purpose in life would be to paint them white and use them, half buried, in a Mexican garden or for soles of Mexican sandals. The shop owner was no where to be seen. The big rig driver was standing in the corner eating a taco. I asked him where the llantero (tire man) was. He said, "Senor, I don't know where he is, he will be back soon, you must have patience." Okay, patience is my middle name. I looked around the room and spied a large compressor with an air hose coming out of it. My patience was now at an end and I walked over and tentatively pressed the lever on the end of the air hose. DRATS, nothing! o_O So the only thing to do was have more patience and I engaged in friendly banter with Jesus and the truck driver - family, type of work, expound on the philosophy of life, etc. After a few minutes of conversation and a shared taco, I heard a door slam out in back of the tire shop and I saw a man emerge from a wooden outhouse in a field with a newspaper in his hand. :p

    The llantero walked into his shop and asked how he could assist me. I explained my situation. He said, "Senor, no te apure, este salvo y sano ( sir, do not worry, you are safe and sound)." He waked over and flipped the switch above the compressor and it came to life with a determined rumble. My tire was filled with air and then the llantero dunked it into a tub of what he said was "water" but to me, it looked and smelled like recycled horse urine. There were no bubbles rising from the slimy brine, a good sign! I asked Senor Llantero what his charge was. He said, "Senor, it is air! Does God charge you for the air you breathe? There is no charge for air! You insult me!" I apologized profusely and thanked him sincerely and quickly made my getaway, rolling the tire as fast as I could. Jesus was waiting for me with his car door open and we returned back down the dusty road to where I had left my car and dear wife, probably beaten and bloody by then. No, she was salvo y sano. She rolled down her window and asked why I was back so soon. She said she didn't even have time to finish solving the Sudoku puzzle she was working on. I unloaded the tire and thanked Jesus for his help. I asked Jesus if I could pay him something for his time and gas. Jesus said, "Senor, you insult me. Does God charge you for his time?" Etc. etc. etc. I apologized profusely, then I had an idea. This incident occurred the week before Christmas. Christmas in Mexico is a religious holiday, not a gift giving holiday. Gifts are given on Kings Day (Epiphany), January 6. I said, "Jesus, you told me you have four young children, could you do me a big favor?" Jesus, "Of course Senor, it would be an honor." Me, "Jesus I want to give you some money to buy your children some presents for Kings Day from Santa Claus. Could you do that for me?" Jesus, "Of course Senor, I would be honored!" Some pesos were exchanged, Jesus went on his way, I installed the spare, we proceeded on our way, and we crossed the border back into California later in the afternoon. Honestly, it was a bit depressing looking at all the busy people, with no patience, surrounded by abundance, and charging for air.

    I swear to Jesus this story is true, you can't make this stuff up. Some experiences in life are worth more than financial riches. If I see one of my Mexican amigos stopped alongside the road here in California with a blowout, I will stop and offer assistance - what goes around, comes around. If I see someone with Oregon plates stopped alongside the road here in California with a blowout................................I will stop and offer assistance - what goes around, comes around. God does not charge for his time, why should I? BUT I STILL THINK THE DUCKS SUCK AND I WILL NEVER EAT TILLAMOOK CHEESE AGAIN! :D
     
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  12. SDRick

    SDRick Active Member

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    I had my first blowout of my life (on Interstate 5 in San Diego) a couple days ago. I hit a pothole around 9 AM, Tesla roadside was two hours out, AAA did it one hour. After a flatbed tow to Discount Tire I was back on the road by 3 PM. The tire shop was busy so it was pretty much a wasted day, and this is an urban area!

    I do carry a compressor and kit, but of course with a blowout, it does no good. Not sure what the best answer is other than avoid blowouts.
     
  13. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    My 3 blowouts (fortunately none being in Teslas) have all been within 50 miles of Gila Bend, Arizona. A toasty little burg, Gila Bend, within which temperatures of 120F in the shade were and are not uncommon.

    At least one of the blowouts had the good manners to separate the tread in one contiguous piece. This presented the unexpected scenario, after collecting said piece and tossing it and its jagged steel edges on the back seat, of schlepping back to Gila Bend some 50 miles on the shoulder at greatly reduced speed on an inflated collection of steel belts. Quite the shiny silver donut it was. Melodious, too.

    It was at about this time that I started to consider, in no particular order, better tires, air pressure monitoring, a 3-day emergency kit or at least a few gallons of water, and a better car - since that one was worth considerably less than, for example, my phone is today. Even with the replacement tire from Gila Bend, which was all of $15 at the time and the only one they had in the size I needed.

    There was a certain simplicity about those times...
     
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  14. buttershrimp

    buttershrimp Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode

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    Fantastic Post.... I also used to hate the Oregon Ducks due to a bad football experience after they beat my longhorns in the holiday bowl many years ago in San Diego, losing sucks, but no big deal, I can live with it and it is no reason to hate a team... but as I was walking back to the car and a little snot nosed obnoxious Oregon kid jumped out and said, you suck! I said, haha good game kid. Then he kept at it, woooo yeah! We won! Wwoooooo, Texas sucks! Man, this kid is lucky he's 10, but the fact that his drunk parents 10 feet away are ok with him harassing people is another matter.... I steamed silently for 15 years convinced the only nice people in Oregon must go to Oregon State.... until Marcos Mariota came along.... seems like a nice guy, Oregon is OK I guess.... for now. Anyway, that was a great story in Mexico Bravo!
     
  15. buttershrimp

    buttershrimp Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode

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    I'm surprised there is no McGuyver kits out there... some crazy weird device that you can wrap a tire long enough to drive on a rim at 25 miles an hour to civilization. Duct tape..... hmmmmmmmm .... yeah I guess I'll do the spare thing. I think the BMW space saving spare looks good if I could figure out the spacer to put on the wheel.
     
  16. kaffine

    kaffine Member

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    The lack of a spare is my biggest concern with the car. My daily commute right now is 85 miles one way and getting a tow truck is going to be an issue. I am also looking at a job that has a 200+ mile commute each way (weekly) not much in the way of repair stations on the way. Tow truck is going to be a very long wait. I have also thought about just leaving a spare tire at work and one at home this way if I get a flat at work I am covered or if I wake up and find I have a flat I can still make it to work.

    I will carry a compressor a plug kit and slime just in case. I might carry a jack as well, I could hitch hike with the wheel to a repair shop faster than a tow truck will show up.

    I have wondered if on the RWD model if the space for the front motor could be used for the spare by taking out the frunk liner. Although I also hate to think of what that would do to the crumple zones.
     
  17. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    The RWD Model S will accommodate a full-sized spare without frunk liner removal.

    With room in the microwave for a couple of floor jacks, tools, and so forth.
     
  18. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Well-Known Member

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    I just keep a can of fix-a-flat, and a compressor.

    I'm going to upgrade the compressor to one of those combined compressor+boosterbattery+flashlight+whatever.

    It's pretty funny that a rolling battery can't boost a car. Yes, I know the technical reason why. But it's still kind amusing.
     
  19. preilly44

    preilly44 Member

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    I got a flat last week...called Tesla Roadside and they brought me a full size tire/rim and took my tire/rim to tesla service for repair.

    Top notch service.
     
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  20. gtmotor

    gtmotor Member

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    I'm a bit of a prepper and enjoy building emergency kits as odd as that sounds. I haven't graduated to burying weapons in the desert yet, maybe that'll be in a few years ;)

    Here's a picture of my setup:

    tesla_emergency_kit.jpg

    I use the factory UMC case as my tire repair kit. It has a compressor, small bottle of slime, and normal tire patch tools including plugs, rasp, pliers, razor blade, plug tool. I don't normally carry the UMC with me, and if I do I just coil it up and throw it in the frunk.

    The yellow bag has the following:

    - Snap On multi-tool x2 (two different types)
    - Hand pump flashlight
    - Tow strap
    - First aid kit with nitrile gloves
    - Roadside triangles
    - Zip ties, duct tape, electrical tape
    - Orange safety vest
    - Emergency blanket, water bottle, camping water filter
    - Bandana, whistle, compass, and notepad with paper
    - Glass break tool with seat belt cutter

    Got off topic... but I like being reasonably prepared.
     
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