Tesla and most electric cars do not come with a spare tire, in order to save on weight. So if you find a flat tire on your Tesla, what do you do? Today, I’ll be going over that! 

We went on a 400 mile road trip to Zion National Park and got a nail stuck while we were in the middle of nowhere. We first found this out by seeing that 1 tire’s PSI was significantly lower, compared to the other 3 tires. Luckily, we had an air compressor to fill the tire, and the nail was snug into the tire. We made it back home, but had to immediately get the tire replaced, due to the location of the nail. 

Please note that I am not a car mechanic, however I’ve had 3 nails stuck in my tires over the last 2 years, so I’ve learned some things along the way. 

I also made 2 Youtube videos on this,  so check those out if you want to see it all in action.

nail stuck in tesla tire

Items To Have Keep in your Tesla

  1. Tesla Lifting Jack Pads
  • Lifting jack pads are essential to have if you drive a Tesla. If you ever need to rotate your tires or lift up your Tesla to change a flat tire, you need the lifting jack pads which look like hockey pucks, in order to prevent damage to your Tesla battery.  
  • Cost: $12.95 USD on Amazon
2. Tire Repair Kit
  • Since there’s no spare in the Tesla, you’ll either need to get towed or a temporary solution to get to a tire shop. Tesla sells a Tire repair kit with sealant that would allow you to drive a short distance at a slow speed. Alternatively, you can purchase one on Amazon that allows you to drive further.   
  • Note: Using this is a last resort because the slime or sealant will damage the foam inside your tire, which means you will definitely need a tire replacement.
  • Cost: $70 USD (Tesla website) or $28.47 (Amazon)
    • These both include a tire inflator and tire pressure gauge also.

3. Tire Plug Kit

  • In addition, I recommend purchasing the Tire plug kit ($21.99 USD on Amazon), which will allow you drive farther and faster (compared to the sealant/slime that is provided in the Tire repair kit mentioned above) 

*Note these are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you purchase through these links, I receive a small commission (which helps support the blog!)

Step 1: Find out if you have a Flat Tire on your Tesla

You’ll know you have a flat tire on your Tesla by either visually seeing that it is flat, or checking the PSI on your Tesla navigation screen, and seeing that one tire’s PSI is significantly lower compared to the rest. 

flat tire low psi
Significantly lower PSI in 1 Tire
nail in tire
Nail in Shoulder

Step 2: Assess the Tire

If you find a nail in your tire, it may be repairable, however it depends on the location.  For example, if it is on the side wall or shoulder, it is not repairable and you’ll likely need a tire replacement. 

If your tire rips, or shows any metal, the tire isn’t repairable, and you’ll need to get towed.

Nail in Shoulder or Sidewall is not Repairable

Step 3: Figure out your Options

Option 1 – Contact Tesla Roadside 

On your Tesla phone app, go to “Roadside,” and check “Flat Tire.” Tesla roadside comes to you, changes the tire or tows you up to 50 miles. This is the easiest option. 

Option 2  –  Repair it yourself

If you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere and a tow truck cannot come, you may need to repair it yourself. 

There’s different options to repair the tire. 

1) Use Tire sealant or Slime to fill up the inside of the tire. 

    • Pros: It is easier to do
    • Cons: The sealant or slime will damage the foam inside the tire, therefore you will need a tire replacement. Also, both the sealant and slime have a limited speed limit that you can drive (ex for sealant is 50mph
    • This is a better option if you are not driving far and your nail is in a non-repairable location (ex shoulder or sidewall).  

2) Plug the tire from the outside

    • Pros: If you’re plugging the tire in a repairable area, then this can be a permanent solution, and you may not need a tire replacement. Also, you can drive at a normal speed limit
    • Cons: It’s harder to do. 
    • This is a better option if you have to drive a further distance and go on freeways.

Step 4: Repair the Tire (if you decide on option 2)

I used a Tire plug kit that I purchased from Amazon to remove the nail, then plug the tire. Afterwards, I still had to get the tire replaced, because the nail was on the shoulder and irreparable.

tire plug kit
Tire Plug Kit Tools
  1. Remove nail from tire using pliers (provided in tire plug kit)
  2. Lube the probe
  3. Insert probe into tire, where nail used to be. 
  4. Move the probe back and forth to widen the hole
insert probe into tire
Use Probe to Widen Hole

5. Attach plug to center of needle (use lube to help)

6. Insert plug into tire. This is harder than it looks. Use leverage and your body weight to help (it helps to move the car, so that your pushing downwards to insert the plug).  

lube tire probe
Lube the Needle
attach plug to needle
Attach Plug to Center of Needle
plug tire
Use leverage to insert plug

7. Pull the needle out and cut excess plug remaining 

8. Technically you’re supposed to use soapy water to see if air is leaking from the tire afterwards, but it’s not practical for me, as I don’t carry soapy water in my car. Alternatively, you can try using your own spit. 

cut excess plug
Cut Excess Plug

9. Check your Tire pressure and fill tires with air to recommended PSI (seen on driver door)

  • In order to see the PSI on your Tesla screen, your car has to be in motion. So it helps to have a spare tire pressure gauge handy.  
tire pressure

Disclaimer: I am not a car mechanic, and this is not professional advice. This is for entertainment purposes only, please seek advice from your local mechanic or tire center for your specific situation. The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information.

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