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If you are tired of being stranded by flat tires on your Tesla, you have come to the right place. Today you will learn how to fix a flat tire from a professional with over nine years of tire repair experience.
Continue reading to see how easy it is to do a repair by yourself.
Guide To Fixing A Tesla Tire With Step By Step
The first step to perform a self-repair on a tire is obtaining a rope plug kit. These kits can be purchased from auto parts stores, but I recommend heading to Amazon. The kits found on Amazon offer easy storage cases and come with all the tools required to do a proper fix.
Here are the top three kits I recommend:
All the kits mentioned above are under $50 and have all the tools you need in a convenient case for storage.
The only type of self-repair someone can do without removing the tire from the rim is rope plug repairs.
Before we go over the repair process, I want to make clear that rope plugs are a temporary fix that should not be driven on for more than 500 miles. And there is a high possibility once you have installed the plug, the tire will need to be replaced.
How To Properly Execute a Repair
1.Identify where the puncture is by visually inspecting the tire for a foreign object. If you cannot identify the leak, inflate the tire and listen for a hiss to pinpoint the puncture.
2.Now that you have identified where the leaking is, grab a pen or marker to circle the puncture location.
3.If an object is in the tread, use pliers to remove it. Remember to take note of the angle at which the puncture occurred. If there is no object, you could use the reaming tool to help find the hole’s angle.
4.Now that the object is removed and the angle at which the puncture occurred. You can use the reaming T-handle tool to make the wide enough and clear out any debris. Make sure you do not create a new hole while pushing the reamer through the tread.
5.You should only need to ream the puncture wound a few times, but it may take more depending on how small the hole is. Stop once you can push the reamer through the tire with little resistance.
6.Now grab the T-handle insert tool (which has an opening at the tip) and dip the tip in the lubricant. Use the lubricant sparingly because too much may cause the plug not holding and coming out once air is in the tire.
7.Remove a rope plug from the packaging and slide it through the small opening at the tip of the T-handle tool. You need to pull the plug through until the opening of the tool is centered on the plug.
8.Slowly push the plug through the punctured location until an inch of the plug sticks out of the tread.
9.Spin the T-handle and rip it out simultaneously with force. If you done it too slow, the plug will be pulled out.
10.Cut the excess plug off with a knife, scissors, or pliers so it is flush with the tread. If the plug is not flush,it may come out while driving.
Inflate the tire to proper air pressure (42-45PSI).
Once you complete the repair and inflate the tire. I recommend spraying the plug with soapy water or applying saliva to ensure the plug is holding.
The process may seem long, but following these steps to the tee ensures a safe temporary fix to get you back on the road. The last thing I want is for someone to ruin their tire trying to fix it, which is why I went into such detail.
What Can’t Be Fixed?
The following scenarios are not safe to attempt a repair:
- Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch in diameter
- Two holes in one area that are within two inches of another
- A puncture in the sidewall
- If the tire has signs of run-on damage (ring around the sidewall)
Attempting to repair any of these may result in the repair not holding or complete tire failure.
Can a Flat Tesla Tire be Patched？
Most Tesla tires can be patched by tire shops. The only concern that one may have is that the foam insulation used on original equipment tires (OEM). The OEM tire that most repair facilities won’t patch is the Continental ProContact W/ ContiSeal Technology.
Continental uses a sealant layer underneath the foam. This sealant prevents patch adhesion when removed incorrectly and this is the reason why most shops won’t fix Tesla OEM Continentals.
Can Tesla Tires be Plugged in?
Any Tesla tire can take a plug, even the OEM Continental. However, repairing a tire with only a plug is not the safest way to fix a punctured tire.
You are gambling that the plug will hold when you only use a plug. Plugs are meant to be used as temporary fixes for a reason. Over time they dry out and become brittle, which allows air to escape. And once the sticking agents in the plug dry out, it’s common for the plug to fall out.
Plug-only repairs should be driven on for no more than 500 miles.
A rubber plug and patch combo is the safest solution to repairing a tire. The rubber plug prevents moisture from entering the steel belts. And the patch seals the tire from the inside, making them last the life of a tire.
Are Tesla Tires Filled with Nitrogen?
Tesla fills their tires from the factory with regular compressed air. The benefits of using Nitrogen are not worth it for the everyday driver.
Nitrogen is used to help prevent pressure fluctuation under extreme temperature changes. It doesn’t dissipate out of the tire as fast as well. This is why motorsports like Nascar use it in their tires. So unless you plan to drive over 150 MPH, stick to regular old compressed air.
Repairing a Tesla tire on your own is not the best solution to fix a tire. It can be acceptable if you’re running late to work because of a flat. Tire punctures are inevitable, and anyone who owns a Telsa should follow this guide to prevent it from ruining your day.