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No spare tire...anyone have a flat yet?

I am worried about the lack of a spare tire. Has anyone had a flat tire yet? If so, how was it handled and how long did it take for resolution? How is everyone else handling this concern?

Yes, I had a rear drivers side blow out going 70 MPH within the first month. Can't explain why, but the car handled so well I did not even realize I had a problem other than the noise. I drove about 3 miles before getting off the highway. I was very surprised to see the tire completely flat. Tesla Roadside Assistance took care of calling the tow truck and I had the tire replaced the next business day.

@kent Did the tire pressure monitor not go off?

My last two cars before the Model S haven't had spares either, and I have never had anything that I couldn't pump back up enough to get someplace to have the flat fixed. Just last week I had a screw in my LEAF's tire, and had to pump it up with a small portable compressor and then drove it to NTB (and then to Nissan when they couldn't patch it and didn't have the right tire in stock).

I think twice in my 32 years of driving have I ever put a spare on (and one of those I wouldn't have if I had a compressor then) out of a dozen or so punctures, so while I would prefer a compact spare I am comfortable not having one and if worse comes to worse I will call for roadside assistance.

Here are a few other threads that deal with this issue. Not much first-hand experience with the Model S in there, but lots of other experience and opinions:

Yes, the pressure sensor light came on right after I heard a large pop. I thought I ran over something, but I was in a turn doing about 70 MPH and I think the tire separated from the rim. Tesla picked up the tire for inspection from after I had it replaced. I have not heard anything back from them. A red bar was showing across the whole top of the center screen.

Yes, be worried. I had a double blow out on Christmas about 1;00 in the morning. Getting stuck underneath the Williamsburg Bridge after hitting a pot hole on the brooklyn-Queens expressway. Welcome to New York brother, so the Tesla manager said. $2,200 dollars worth of damage tires and rims etc I can't believe the rims had to be replaced but thats what the Tesla Service center in Long island city determined.
I have an extra tire now with rim in my trunk. I am looking for a donut 21" that may fit in the front truck on my model S. Large rim and low profile tires are known to be weak against pot holes, according to many people i've talked to including Tesla Service.
Be worried my friend and I hope you'll get stuck in a more friendly place than I have.

Man a double blow out. That really sucks. Guess a single spare tire wouldn't have helped much. Might want to look at getting 4 spares just in case.

There are many reasons that 19's are preferable to 21's in my opinion, and durability leads the list, followed closely by double the tire life, cheaper tires, more comfortable ride, quieter, and less curb rash potential. The outside diameters are identical so it isn't about filling the wheel wells. I have made the performance tire mistake on prior cars, and this thread is a good reminder, never again.

@Sudre - +1

I was 125 miles away from home when I got a flat tire from a nail. I inflated tire with the tire repair kit and drove home to Marin. I had the nail removed and tire repaired. Tire was still fully inflated when I took it into the repair shop. Had to clean up the sealant from the rim but I got home w/o problems.

cosmomusic-Did the sealant mess up the tire pressure monitoring system?
fridinti-Now that you have a spare in the trunk how will you jack up the car in the event of another flat?

fridinti - Read the links from Volker in this thread. As previously discussed a donut will not fit in the frunk - not a 21", not a 19".
This continues to be my worst nightmare with this car.

Get one of these and a small compressor that you keep in the frunk. Most tire issues can be dealt with that way. Cheap, effective and it works. There are a bunch of youtube videos that show you how to use it.

I haven't had to change a tire to a spare in over ten years. Would be worried about the 21" tire though since I dro e around in Houston with many bad roads. I opted for the 19" wheels.

+1 @ Carefree

Carmine - The 21" tires are now a total nightmare for me as well.
I've asked Tesla about as spare donut. let's see what they say. . A double blowout may have been a freak accident but a single, in city traffic, can happen at any time. Telsa tire repair kit is on order now but may give one false security. Nevertheless, it's a start. Still,not good enough for me not what I've been through. When you get stuck with three people in the car, one will get a ride in the tow truck, the rest good luck.

I have used tire plugs many times. They are easy, fast, and you can do it with the tire on the car and they are a permanent repair. Quality tire plug kits exist en masse, about $30. You'd need a small compressor. I have a ViAir which infinitely higher quality than the $50 Tesla compressor.

For a spare, I'm thinking 19 inch wheel with lowest possible profile tire available will likely fit the frunk. Diameter will not match but should be able to limp home at 55 mph or less. Well, that's my plan as soon as my S shows up.

I don't think TC would like smaller diameter tire much. It spins faster so it might think that tire is slipping all of time

You can turn off traction control (can't you?). A 19 inch alloy whell with a 245/30/19 gives you overall diameter 24.8 inches. According to the measurements of others, this may fit in the frunk. The diameter of the original 19" tire is 27.7 inches. You have a radius reduction of only 1.5 inches which is a rotational difference of 5%. If you needed to drive long distance, this is doable as long as tractiob control is defeated. Better to move the spare to the front to save the rear differential from making differentiating all the way home. This is true of any car with a mini spare.

Definitely anywhere in the New York metropolitan area I would not get the 21" wheels, unless the use of the car is to cruise up and down Park Ave at 30 MPH.

19" is plenty.

You might get away with different diameter tires on the front (probably trigger an ABS warning light) But I would NOT RECOMMEND different diameters on the rear or drive axle. The different rotational speeds places additional stresses on the differential and or spider gears / clutch packs etc. making excess heat etc. I'd shy away from doing that.

Don't count on fitting a spare in the frunk. Aside from making it useless for anything else, it can only be done with a smaller tire, which is a BAD idea even for very short mileage. Plugs etc. put far less stress on the car.

I think other threads examined the issue of fitting a spare in the front trunk. It won't fit, I'm almost sure. I've tried it with smaller tires just to see and those didn't fit. The actual 19" wheel doesn't come even remotely close to fitting.

I just measured the frunk. There is a c.27" clearance at 90 deg and 180 deg, but only c. 23" at 30 deg (give or take, measured from the front latch). No way you can get a 27" diameter tire in there,

Maybe 24 or 24.5.

I tend to get at least 1 flat a year. Last time (in my ICE) I pushed OnStar and they sent someone to install my full-size spare and I was on my way. Only about 1/2 hour late for work. Without a spare, I would have lost much more time having it towed and dealt with.

Here's an idea: Why can't Tesla Roadside trucks carry a spare? They pop it on the car for you, take your wheel back for repairs and you come by at a later, more convenient time to settle up?


How about deflating the spare so it fits in the fruck, and use a 12V compressor to inflate it when needed?


I like this idea. Not sure it helps on longer drives away from service centers. Probably still need a flat kit. Do most tow service trucks carry a flat fixer kit?

Interesting data points on this thread. Guess I am in the lucky group - 30 years of driving and no flat yet. Keeping fingers crossed now that I have no spare (or donut) in the trunk...

How are you at folding inch-thick rubber? Still not enough room.

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