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Tires - spare? - run flat?

Just wondering if there is a real spare?

Or could run flat tires be fitted?

(roadster had "fix-a-flat" can)

I also have question about the way you change your tire?
can you damage the car lifting it to change the tire? i take a floor jack put it under the battery and lift the car up and battery coolant starts dripping. is there a spot you can only lift the car at? you would not want to lift a car using the oil pan as your access point? right? just a thought have they thought about this?

There are (has to be) points to lift the car, changing flat is not the only time you want to change tires. Tools and jack to lift the car fit easily into frunk with the tire, frunk is large enough that you can fit a adult person in it. If you want you can make yourself a spare tire space.

Would be cool if you had independent control of the Active Air Suspension to have 3 tires drop all the way down and select the one you want to change the tire on to lift all the way up. I don't think it works that way however.

BYT, that has been discussed, and actually in this very thread. ;-) Just go back to square page one, there are some fun comments on cars that can "limp on three legs".

LOL, thanks V.B, made searching for a duplicate reply a little too easy for you this time... ;)

The air suspension controls have a "jack" position, so you shouldn't need a jack--you might need a jack-stand though. No one has yet examined this issue in detail. You'll have to supply your own 4-way spanner though.

1) The owner's manual should state the location(s) where the car can be safely lifted. In this video: the conveyor forks are making contact at the rocker panels.

2) Wouldn't even a doughnut spare have to be about 21" in diameter? Would that fit in the frunk?

3) Saw Beep. Beep on the specs page, but not fix-a-flat. I think we're on our own for that.

I asked the guys at the drive event at DC today but they weren't sure. I gestured to get under the car and check but was told it probably was not going to be in the test drive cars as those were Betas and not final production models.

foto, Double checking: you were told that the test drive cars were betas and not production cars? Is that correct?

In DC today the guy who was conducting the driver "training" kept saying that the cars were betas. The two of us in the room at the time were clearly not happy with that statement. Upon pressing him further, he said that the cars were built in early June on the assembly line with all the same specs as a production car, but because the cars would never be sold, he didn't consider them production cars but rather betas. He said it was just terminology without a difference. It was quite a frustrating few minutes.

My understanding is that, notwithstanding the *very* poor choice of wording, the DC (and indeed all the test drive cars) are effectively production models. Someone calling them "beta" cars and not understanding how loaded that statement is was more a reflection of how little that person pays attention to the forums.

I hope that this helps.

@stevenmaifert, 21" rim + actual tire width. However we have all seen how that frunk can fit normal-sized adult man, I'm only about 6 feet tall and just my leg from heel to knee is about 22" so I can almost guarantee that low-profile 21" tire fits into frunk. Haven't actually measured that though, but I would be really surprised if that is not the case.

Timo - Thanks. Hope you are right. I'm okay driving around town without a spare, but need the peace of mind for driving x-country.

People who have measured the frunk have said that the 21" will not fit. The 19" may fit with the frunk liner removed (it just lifts out as far as I know). The only measurements so far have been done in Beta cars, but it's unlikely that the size of the frunk has changed.

If that is the case it is surprising. I wonder how that person hiding in it had folded himself to fit in less space than that. Flexible guy. Maybe smaller than I remember him being too.

Here is a picture of that:

You might be correct, it does look a bit tight for tire in front to back direction. 21" and 19" tires have same outer diameter though, so if 19" fit then 21" fit too and if not then neither fit. 21" is low profile tire.

They have the same "nominal overall diameter" and presumably very close to the same revs per mile. But the tread width and profie are different with the 21" tire having a wider tread and being more "square" than the 19". This makes it possible for one tire to fit where the other one won't. However, I didn't do the measuring so "grain of salt" is in order. And it wasn't like they had two mounted tires to try.

Carry a 12V air pump and stuff the tire in the frunk deflated.

Or strap it to the roof rack.


Probably the best thing to do is to keep a worn out tire there. it will be slightly smaller in diameter, so it has a better chance of fitting, and will cost only the price of the wheel. Because you're only using it until you can get the active tire fixed or replaced there's no problem with it being worn out.

The problem with a deflated tire is that it's likely to be damaged while sitting in the frunk, and even if you inflate to 10 psi to prevent that, at 10 psi it won't be any smaller.

I was thinking 0 psi, squashable. ;)


Zero psi will allow you to damage the belts--they aren't very strong when not backed by air pressure. That's why the 8 to 10 psi minimum in the tire.

Regarding test drive vehicles being classified as "beta" -- IMO, you can draw the line wherever you want. At one car a day (or five cars a day, as may be the case by now), all of these cars including the test drive vehicles, the founders series, and all Signature cars, are kind of "99%". Saying and meaning 100% would be silly at this point: When problems are identified, they should be solved for the vehicles that come down the line later. See the last blog post for examples. That's the whole point of the "slow ramp-up" thing.

I just called a store in California, realizing that they would still be open with the different time zone. I asked about getting a flat, and James told me that the car does come with a "patch kit" which is liquid/sealent: "Fix-A-Flat?" He also confirmed that the air suspension has a setting which allows one to fix or change the tire.
I asked whether we'd be able to get the performance -style rims on 19" tires. He didn't think so. I asked about winter tires and he then told me about the car's exceptional handling on ice--the winter testing in Michigan video. Being from California, I'm not sure he understands what winter driving is like, but maybe the winter tires are not necessary...I don't know.
I asked about the service schedule and price, as well. He said that it would be probably somewhere between $200-$600...I'm assuming then $400. That feels pretty steep for a car that doesn't require any maintenence. He started by telling me that the car really didn't have anything that would need fixing, but when I said that I only have had to pay for oil changes @$50 now, he started in on how specialized the expertise needed to be on the car. I get that; I just get incensed with the "flat fee" rate if nothing is really needed. So then I asked him about getting to one of these specialists and told him about the speculations on this forum about whether or not other auto service stations would be able to handle some of the servicing. He seemed to think that this was very possible; then again, he could have just been trying to appease me; at least, that is what I sensed. He said that this fall we would hear much more about many more Tesla service stations. They would be all across the U.S. according to him. Right now, they are concentrating on getting 5,000 vehicles made by year's end.


1. The problem with "fix a flat" is that the tire is ruined and so is the TPMS sender. Also the wheel will need cleaning before mounting a new tire.

2. Most northern jurisdictions demand tires rated at least M+S if not Severe Service for winter use. Summer performance tires won't be legal.

I'm just passing on what I was told. What is M+S?

According to Stephen Smith of TM.....the model S lug pattern is 5x120. This is the same as the BMW rims and countless other cars. Getting aftermarket rims for the model S should be no problem.

stephen, that's very good news and actually a little bit surprising, given Tesla's track record of not following standards... Thanks for sharing!

Volker.Berlin.....You are welcome. I also checked with TM.....16 inch rims are not big enough to go around the brakes. Probably have to buy aftermarket 19 inch rims.

16" is a definite no-go. 18" should work according to some. 17" is going to be a try and see. The people who measured did so on one of the beta cars so there could have been a change but I don't think it's likely since it would be pretty hard to change the rotor and caliper specs (as these are parts that Tesla purchases as far as I know).

I know Tesla is promoting the "Fix-a-Flat" solution but that will destroy the Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor in the tire which means you will have to pay $300+ for a new sensor. It's possible you will have to replace ALL of the sensors ($1,000+) in the car since they sync up to each other. | OCTOBER 24, 2012: I know Tesla is promoting the "Fix-a-Flat" solution but that will destroy the Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor in the tire which means you will have to pay $300+ for a new sensor. It's possible you will have to replace ALL of the sensors ($1,000+) in the car since they sync up to each other.

See also the thread at which discusses what you mentioned. In particular the post I made:

@Alex K | SEPTEMBER 4, 2012: I've heard many people mention that, but for example, Slime makes a sealant that is both TPMS safe and can be "washed" out before a tire repair (

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