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Tires & Wheels

Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Options That Work in 2021 (Proven by Owners)

Here is some good news for you…

Although Tesla doesn’t offer a spare tire, there are a few aftermarket options available in the market.

I went through 4 videos and 15+ pages of forum threads to pinpoint the best Tesla Model 3 spare tire options (as recommended by hundreds of owners like you).

But if you’re one of those Tesla owners who think a spare tire is useless because you have a tire repair kit…

Or because you’ve heard of Tesla’s roadside assistance’s ability to rescue you anywhere…

Let’s face reality:

Why You’d Want a Spare Tire 

Imagine you’re on a cross-country road trip, going through the Arizona desert…

Suddenly, your Tesla alerts you: ⚠️ Tire pressure low ⚠️

You see a “30 psi” reading on the rear left tire. Next minute is only 25 psi.

As it turns out, it’s a blowout.

Middle of the desert, a scorching sun at 100+ °F weather, no spare tire…

What do you do?

Tire repair kit? Not that useful for a blowout.

Maybe a tire inflator? Heck no.

Tesla’s roadside assistance? The closest service center is HOURS away.

And no, this isn’t a made-up story. This actually happens all the time to Tesla owners — here’s just one example:

Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Options

Only if he had a spare tire! But he didn’t.

Don’t end up like Jason.

Here are some of the few Tesla Model 3 spare tire options that can save you a lot of hassle.

Best Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Option Overall: Modern Spare

Best Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Option Overall: Modern Spare

I researched for hours, and to my surprise, only one name came up over and over on threads, videos, and other discussions: Modern Spare.

Unlike classic donut spares, their kit comes equipped with highway-capable (81mph rated) tires from quality brands like Continental or Pirelli.

Though you can’t expect eye-popping beauty on these products, Modern Spare’s 18’’x4’’ wheel actually looks decent.

Several members from the Tesla Motors Club have found Modern Spare to be a perfect fit for their needs.

If you want a reasonably-priced spare tire that gives you peace of mind and doesn’t look embarrassing, look no further.

The spare tire does take up a decent chunk of your cargo space. If you’re smart like this Model 3 owner, though, you can easily avoid this issue.

Best Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Option Overall: Modern Spare
Isn’t this great? For details on how he did this, read this thread. Credit to Tesla Motors Club.

Also, Modern Spare sells a tool kit that includes a jack and all the tools you’d need to change a damaged tire.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard some complaints about the quality of their jack and tools. I’d recommend buying the spare tire from them and purchasing tools elsewhere.

Mike from the Tesla Frugal Guy YouTube channel gives a full overview of the Modern Spare.

Main overview starts @ 1:33. Skip ahead to 4:40 for the installation process.

Many Performance owners have concerns about fitment with their Performance calipers. Mike makes it clear and confirms it:

The Modern Spare is designed to fit all Model 3 trims, including the 18” Aero Wheels, the 19” Sport Wheels, and the 20” Model 3 Performance.

The price point is competitive with most aftermarket spare tires. 

Given how much of a life-saver a spare tire can be under certain circumstances, it’s well worth it.

It has everything you need:

Tire quality is top-notch, it fits the Model 3 perfectly, and its aluminum alloy makes it lightweight enough to carry around with negligible impact on range.

Overall, considering how many hundreds of Model 3 owners recommend the product, I’d recommend it without a second thought.

Fits: Fits all the Model 3 years and trims.

Pros:

Compatible with every Model 3 version (inc. Performance)
#1 widely recommended spare tire for Model 3 owners
Highway-speeds-capable tires (rated for 81 mph)
Lightweight aluminum alloy
Complete kit available (with all tools required)

Cons:

The extra tools are average quality at best
Fairly competitive price

Alternative Spare Tire For The Model 3: Hyundai Genesis 18’’

Alternative Spare Tire For The Model 3: Hyundai Genesis 18’’
Credit to Tesla Motors Club

Although not specifically made for the Tesla Model 3, the Tesla community has found this spare tire to be a great alternative that fits.

You can get it on eBay for very cheap (usually 25% less than Modern Spare), and some Tesla owners have found used versions for MUCH less than. 

Here are some remarks from a Model 3 owner who bought one and went for a spin to put it to the test:

“I bought a Hyundai Genesis 18″ spare on eBay for $100 with free shipping. I mounted it front and back and took a drive each time for a few miles.

It works perfectly. The standard Tesla lug nuts fit the wheel just fine. The tire that comes on this spare is easily rated for the weight of the Model 3. The diameter is the same as tires that come on the 3. This mini spare takes up way less room in your trunk and weighs 15 pounds less than bringing along a full-size Aero wheel and tire.’

By Gene.

Just make sure you buy the 18’’ diameter version. There’s a 17’’ diameter variant that may not fit.

And keep in mind: I found no evidence that this will fit the Model 3 Performance version, which has a bigger caliper. It’s an additional risk that needs to be considered if you own that Model 3 trim.

Other Tools & Products to Consider

Tire Plug Kit from Slime

This plug kit from Slime is widely recommended by the Tesla community to tackle small leaks.

It’s also among the most highly rated on Amazon with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The plugs in this kit are of splendid quality. Given that inserting them into the tire takes a lot of force, the T-handle tolerates the pressure quite significantly.

This video from the Ghettodiy YouTube channel perfectly explains how to use this kit for your Tesla:

However, there’s no razor included in this kit though to cut the excess off. You’ll have to buy something to cut separately.

Overall, it’s a nice plug kit that can save you frustration. I’d recommend always having it in your car. 

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 88P air compressor enjoys a good reputation on Amazon with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and 5,000+ total reviews —

And

Following are its major pros as per customer comments:

  • Robust quality—hose heavier than expected.
  • Can inflate big tires. Tesla’s 42 psi tire pressure is an easy task for this compressor.
  • Fairly quick to inflate tires.
  • Very fairly priced as compared to other options.
  • Doesn’t heat up.

A customer complained that public air machines can only inflate up to 32 psi, but tested this champ on his brother’s Tesla — and it worked like a charm.

Notice also how the product has small “plastic legs” so that the compressor stays in place while you inflate the tires. 

I LOVE that from this product.

However, it has no carrying case so you might have to buy one. 

And since it draws energy from a 12V battery, you’ll need to dismantle a few pieces to actually have access to the battery poles. 

Apart from that, no major downside to this product has been reported. 

It’s a worthy investment for Tesla owners looking for a tire inflator capable of pressurizing a tire to 40+ psi fast.

Tesla Model 3 Spare Tire Options: Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Modern Spare is the only satisfactory product among the very few Tesla Model 3 tire options that owners have tested successfully.

Considering its price point, its weight, and its convenience, it’s no wonder Model 3 owners recommend it across the board. 

Modern Spare will be the obvious choice for 90% of owners reading this article.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Genesis 18” spare tire sells for about 20-30% less than Modern Spare, fits the Model 3 perfectly, and can easily be found on eBay.

For the very price-conscious Tesla owners, it’s also worth checking out.

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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