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Donut spare tire kit?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Repair' started by Rich M, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Rich M

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    It would be great if we could source a compact spare tire kit for the 3 that includes the wheel/tire, compact lug wrench and scissor jack. They seem to go for about $220 on Amazon for other makes. Finding a compact wheel that fits over the 3's brake calipers may be a challenge.
    • I refuse to gunk up my entire wheel with the slime spray (and possibly kill the TPM sensor).
    • Roadside assistance takes at least an hour if you're lucky and is only good for a few years.
    • The tire plug kits are impossible to use on a low car with limited wheel well room like the 3. You'd need to take the wheel off to get the plug tool in there, which requires a scissor jack, lug wrench and air compressor anyway, taking up half as much space as a spare, though this is the next best option for me personally.

    Having gotten a flat just a few weeks ago, it was nice that it only took me ~15 min to put on the spare, ~15 min and $10 for my local garage to patch the tire and ~15 min to swap it back when I got home.
     
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    • garsh

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      Definitely get a plug kit, small portable compressor, and a scissor jack. That will handle running over nails and other sharp road debris.


      I make due with that for my Leaf, but I won't be going on any road trips in that car. We'll have to see what donuts will fit the Model 3.

      I've used the plugs twice now. Both times it was a slow leak, and I was able to fix the tires in my garage.
       
    • SoFlaModel3

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      Doesn’t the car come with roadside assistance?

      Whether it does or doesn’t, I get roadside from American Express.

      I have never owned a car without a spare and I have also never touched a spare in my life. To me it’s just unnecessary added weight.
       
    • Rich M

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      #4 Rich M, Oct 7, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2017
      Yes, but for how many years?

      Still takes a while to get there, and they are not allowed on the PA Turnpike. You need to use their service. What does roadside do, patch the tire on site? What if it's unpatchable?
      So are airbags, impact beams and seatbelts until you need them ;)
       
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      • SoFlaModel3

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        Not sure on that — usually it syncs up with duration of warranty. With Amex though, I always have it.

        Much safer to have them come then have me bending over on the side of the road fixing a flat. If it can’t be patched you get towed for free.

        I wouldn’t make that comparison. Actually I would contend roadside assistance is vastly safer than trying to change your own tire.
         
      • Kizzy

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        I've had flat tires twice on my current car over a decade of ownership, but only used the spare once. I had to learn the hard way about using it…

        Patch kits are a bit hard to use on completely destroyed tires, BTW. That might be more of an issue that comes up for more economically challenged folks who use tires for as long as possible.

        I'd love a cross between a patch kit's space and weight saving and the convenience (and reusability) of a spare…
         
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        • Skione65

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          @Kizzy,

          Three letters.....AAA!:)

          Ski
           
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          • MelindaV

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            quite possible various Amex cards have different programs with different types of cards, but my card's roadside assistance is for Amex to coordinate a tow truck/roadside assistance - but the cost is up to the cardholder, NOT paid by Amex. So just something to be aware of.

            (IMO, not really sure what the benefit of that is in today's day and age of having ready access to looking up info on a tow truck from your phone... maybe a carryover from 15+ years ago...)
             
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            • SoFlaModel3

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              You’re right, definitely should have specified “premium” roadside assistance. Not much of a benefit to have them call a tow company for you at your expense. With premium they cover the towing up to 10 miles.

              https://www.americanexpress.com/us/...ail/premium-roadside-assistance/premier-gold?
               
            • scaots

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              As mentioned already, if we really need it I can look up someone to call. But I carry a plug kit and DC compressor in addition to the donut. And I have used it. Don't want to use a donut if going any real distance. Also my supplies are great to have in the car without any spare.

              Also probably should have the can of goo as well. If it's freezing out, that definitely sounds like a good option to me despite the drawbacks.
               
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              • Sandy

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                CAA (AAA Canada). CAA Plus. 4 tows/roadside assistance per year. Up to 200 km each. YOUR choice of destination.
                 
              • mkg3

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                Doesn't TM3 come with a spare (spacesaver) tire? Or does it come with run-flat tires?
                 
              • SoFlaModel3

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                I believe the answer is neither. Frankly my preference :)
                 
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                • mkg3

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                  Clearly you have not had to deal with flat tire on the go.

                  I have three 24/7 roadside assistance services and still would prefer having a spare. Its a hassle to have the car towed just because of a flat. Very time consuming and not pleasant.

                  The type of flat can range from a simple nail to FOD induced sidewall tear. There isn't a service that can fix and provide you with a spare, if you don't have one, that I am aware of.
                   
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                  • garsh

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                    I've had one instance where I slid into a curb (in snow) and tore the sidewall. It was in a pickup truck. Unfortunately, the chain holding the spare tire underneath the truck bed had fused together from rust, making it impossible to remove the spare. So I still ended up having to get a tow and buying some crappy replacement tire before I could get back home.

                    I've had several instances of slow leaks from nails and screws, but I've been able to fix those from the comfort of my own garage. I'll take the chance of not carrying a spare. But for those who feel better having one, I'm sure we'll find some that will work for the Model 3.
                     
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                    • SoFlaModel3

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                      I’ve had flats before and one really bad blowout on the highway. Each time from a safety standpoint, I was happy to be towed to a safer location rather than considering changing/repairing the tire on the side of the road. With the epidemic of texting and driving, drinking and driving, shaving and driving, applying makeup and driving, and my favorite — reading a book and driving; I’ll take the inconvenience of being towed each and every time!
                       
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                      • mkg3

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                        who said anything about changing the tire yourself on the freeway?

                        You'd still call AAA or some other roadside assistance service, including Freeway Ranger that runs around where I live to help motorists in need for free. They park their vehicle behind your's and changes the tire for you.

                        Obviously one can always point to exceptions but. vast majority of people, including in this forum, who have experienced flat tire would say that if the choice is to have the tire changed on the spot versus have the vehicle towed (and either repair or find new tire), most will pick to have the tire changed without the tow.
                         
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                        • MelindaV

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                          some of the Tesla roadside service trucks have spare tires they can loan out. from what i can tell, this varies by location and of course if it is a Tesla service truck or if they send out a third party tow truck.
                           
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                          • SoFlaModel3

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                            I guess call me crazy, but I don’t want the roadside assistance (on the side of the road) and while I hate the inconvenience of being towed I really don’t want my expensive rims being touched on the side of the road either.

                            Between the safety aspect and really just wanting the right person touching my car — I’m not having anything done on the side of the road.

                            I may be in the minority there, but that’s just my opinion on it.
                             
                          • Rich M

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                            Exactly! I'd really like to know the official roadside assistance procedure for a flat, because the roadside assistance network is served by a mishmash of different local companies.

                            It's rare that there isn't a safe enough spot to pull over, or at least limp a few hundred yards to a cut out or a wider part of the shoulder. Changing a tire on the side of the road is not a concern to me at all, but having something as simple as a flat tire be completely out of my control is nerve wracking.

                            A couple options:
                            Plug kit package:
                            [Lug wrench, heavy duty scissor jack, pliers, wire cutters, 12v compressor, name brand plug repair kit]
                            Pros:
                            whole kit is lighter and smaller than a compact spare tire; still repairs your tire faster than roadside can get there; covers most common tire punctures; repair is permanent and doesn't require a trip to the repair shop later; can drive at full speed; repairs multiple tires at once with one kit.
                            Cons: won't help with sidewall damage, wheel damage, or exceptionally large punctures.

                            Compact spare tire package:
                            [Lug wrench, heavy duty scissor jack, compact spare tire/wheel]
                            Pros:
                            covers any damage that happens to your tire or wheel; gets you back on the road in minutes; if you feel unsafe roadside can put it on for you, without having to return it to them later.
                            Cons: a spare wheel/tire is heavy, expensive, and takes up a lot of space; there's no trunk compartment for it in the 3; must drive at reduced speed until you get to a repair shop; only covers one damaged tire at a time.
                             
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