Damn! It actually happened. You got a flat tire.
After the cursing stops, you might think to yourself ‘what now’?
You pop the trunk and look for a spare tire to get cracking on replacing the flat.
If you’re driving a Model 3, you may be disappointed to learn:
Model 3 has no spare it. Nor does any other Tesla vehicle.
(That’s why Model 3 owners rely on aftermarket spare tire options.)
“Wait, what? No spare tire?”
“HOW DARE THEY!”
Before this scenario turns ugly, let’s look at why Tesla made this decision — and yes, they do have their reasons.
Here’s Why Teslas Don’t Come With a Spare Tire
For one, it’s just not that practical anymore.
Tesla is without a doubt one of the more innovative automakers.
They pushed the idea of electric vehicles and a supercharging network when everyone thought it was crazy.
They do their homework and do what they consider is best — regardless of what other people think.
When looking at the stats on flats, Tesla realized spare tires are rarely used and decided to not put one in their vehicles at all.
Junkyard operators noticed that approximately 85% of the time, at the end of a vehicle’s life, the spare tire has never even been touched!
Couple this with the fact that 60% of people don’t even know how to change a tire and you’ve got plenty of reason to shelf the idea of including a spare.
Though many consumers continue to beg the company to include spare tires in Tesla cars,
The fact is that many manufacturers, not just Tesla, have pulled spare tires from their cars as well.
About a third of today’s vehicles no longer include a spare tire as many automakers see it as an unworthy investment.
Not only could it be seen as a waste of money but Tesla also saw it as a waste of space.
Part of the Tesla Model 3’s mass appeal is its efficient use of cargo space.
The skateboard battery-motor platform allows for massive interior room and cargo space.
So Tesla figured why to take up valuable real estate inside the vehicle for something that rarely (if ever) gets used.
“That’s all well and good, but what can I do to prevent a flat considering Teslas don’t come with a spare?”
Let’s talk about that.
How Tesla Wants You To Prevent a Flat — And Why That Approach Sucks
Instead of including a spare tire, new vehicles come equipped with an internal Tire Pressure Monitoring System (or TPMS for short).
The system keeps track of tire pressure and warns you when it’s getting too low.
That way, you can top up the tire pressure, double-check any leakages, or simply head to a tire repair shop before the tire is completely flat.
The problem is these systems are finicky.
Internal thresholds and limits can be super sensitive.
They may regularly go off unnecessarily, causing drivers to get seriously annoyed.
So much so that many Model 3 owners complain about Tesla’s TMPS system and their “laughable” thresholds.
“It’s laughable that Tesla is forcing this with super high TPMS thresholds.
The low pressure threshold throwing warning alarms at *gasp* 39 psi is absurd. Especially considering that this is OVER the tire pressure that many TRUCKS run at that weigh substantially more than Model 3.”by voip-ninja
But don’t fret: there are better alternatives — and we’ll discuss four of them below.
Alternative #1: Tesla’s Free Road-side Assistance — Is It Actually a Thing?
Another reason Tesla decided to forego the spare tire in their vehicles is because of their round-the-clock roadside assistance.
This assistance is free as long as your vehicle is still under warranty.
Tesla Roadside Assistance offers you 24/7/365 help by simply calling 877-798-3752 (for U.S. owners).
You can find the current numbers for other countries on Tesla’s website, including countries in North America, Middle East, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.
Some drivers are raving about the service on the web.
Some have even received mobile assistance in under 30-40 minutes:
Tesla employees that arrive on-site or assist over the phone are skilled and knowledgeable.
And for the most part, waiting times are reasonable and repairs get done lighting fast.
If you read the comments on both pieces of content, however, you’ll realize that not everyone has a positive experience.
Tesla centers aren’t as ubiquitous as they should be — and some owners have gotten stuck 1-2 hours away from the closest one.
This makes waiting unpractical.
Some owners have even had the misfortune to find Tesla’s service department closed — and no tire repair shop capable of fixing their flat:
So while it’s good to know you have Tesla’s assistance as an option,
For true peace of mind, you’re going to want other alternatives.
Alternative #2: The Best Tire Repair Kits Available for Tesla Model 3
Tesla itself offers a kit that includes everything you need to repair minor tire damage.
Its competitive $70 price makes the choice appealing for Tesla owners who prefer OEM products.
The product has an air compressor to top off your tire pressure and a one-piece sealant canister to patch up punctures.
The Tesla kit gets the job done but there’s another option that offers more bang for your buck.
The BETOOLL tire repair kit comes with the tools and repair plugs you need to fix up your Tesla’s tires.
However, it doesn’t include a tire inflator, making it ideal for people who have an inflator pump already.
Made from steel, this kit’s tools are easy-to-use and super durable with instant sealing plugs for punctures or rips.
Small but mighty, the compact BETOOL kit fits inside your glove compartment or the Model 3’s front trunk.
If you’re looking for a kit with a tire inflator pump, the option below from Slime will fit the bill.
This kit gets the job done in 15 minutes.
Sealing any punctures up to 14” in diameter, this kit’s inflator also plugs into your Model 3’s 12v accessory port and includes a pressure gauge.
Still not sold on tackling your flat by yourself?
Here’s your best alternative then.
Alternative #3: The Only Aftermarket Spare Tire Worth Talking About
What if you actually want a spare tire?
You all know that blowouts can happen — and neither a tire inflator nor a sealant will help in those instances.
Fortunately, aftermarket manufacturers have brought many great alternatives to market.
One, in particular, designed specifically for the Model 3 stands out as the one hundreds of owners trust: Modern Spare.
The Frugal Tesla Guy walks us through the product in detail on the video below:
Tesla owners do complain about the product jack’s quality. It seems average at best.
Fortunately, you can order only the wheel/tire from their store — and get yourself better tools elsewhere.
The size of the tire is adequate and its quality is top-notch.
The price is competitive compared to other spare tire options — and Tesla owners love it overall.
Alternative #4: Replace The Tire (It’s Cheaper)
Tesla Model 3 owners already expect to pay a bit of a premium when it comes to any repairs on the vehicle.
Tires are no different. Especially if it’s a non-repairable puncture that caused the flat and you’re looking at replacement vs. repair.
Since spare tires for Tesla cost from $300-$400, however,
You might want to simply replace the flat tire altogether. It comes in slightly cheaper after all!
Take your vehicle into the Tesla dealership and you’re looking at $230 per tire plus $55 for labor to replace.
You might be able to get it replaced at a Costco for slightly cheaper.
Before opting for this option, though, assess the tire damage to determine whether you can patch it.
You’ll definitely save some money if that’s the case.
No Spare? No Worries!
Tesla has got plenty of rationale for why they went without a spare tire and most drivers ultimately don’t seem to mind.