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It is becoming more popular for car manufacturers not to include spare tires with new cars. Tesla is no stranger to this concept. You will find that none of their vehicles provide you with a backup option in the event of a tire emergency.
I have worked in the tire industry for over nine years. And one of the most common questions I have faced with consumers is “why doesn’t my Tesla have a spare?”
It’s a fair question to ask, given that they aren’t cheap vehicles. You would think a car costing over $40,000 would provide you with all the essentials. Today we will address this elephant to figure out why they don’t come with spare tires and if you really need one.
The Reason Why Tesla Doesn’t Have a Spare Tire
There are a few reasons Tesla feels that providing a spare tire isn’t necessary. Among the reasons I have included below, I don’t think they are good enough to justify not having one. But that’s my two cents on the subject.
Continue reading to see if you agree with me.
If you have bought tires, you know how expensive they can be. Believe it or not, compact spare tires are sometimes more expensive than the tires you drive on.
A spare tire, not including the rim, can range between $150 and $300. This is the cost for compact tires. If you opt for a regular full-size tire, the cost will be much closer to average prices.
How much a backup tire cost isn’t the sole reason why you don’t get one with a new Tesla. It’s one of them but by far the least impactful. Especially since Tesla can afford to put $500 to $700 in the back or front of your car.
Saving Space, Losing Weight, and Increasing Range
When you open up all the compartments, you’ll notice there’s nowhere to store a spare tire.
The frunk (front trunk) has a rectangular compartment big enough to hold a medium-sized suitcase. And the trunk is wide enough to fit a tire. However, it’s too shallow, so you can’t close the cover.
Besides being unable to fit in the car, it weighs enough to justify excluding. Most people think the tire and rim are all you need to have a sufficient spare, but that’s not true. You also need a jack, lug nut removing tool, and all the other nick-nacks.
Add this all up, and it comes out to around 100 Lbs.
The Department Of Energy estimates that every 100 Lbs added to a vehicle results in a 1% loss of energy efficiency. In a world where marketing is critical, Tesla needs to make its cars have the best range possible. So every chance they have to eliminate some weight, they will do so.
Flat Tires Don’t Happen that Often, Or Do They?
Some are lucky to have never experienced a flat tire, while others feel they get one yearly. The average person incurs about five flat tires in their lifetime. I have been driving for over ten years and have had a situation requiring a spare tire only once.
Whether or not flat tires happen enough to require a spare tire, wouldn’t it be nice to have a contingency plan for one?
Tesla and other car manufacturers agree that tire emergencies don’t happen enough to justify including a spare.
Where Can you Buy the best Spare Tire?
I did some shopping around to find out where you can buy a spare tire that will fit and can easily transport.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find convenient options for the Model S or X. If you want a spare tire for these models, I recommend going to your local tire shop. They can fit you up with an aftermarket rim and tire at a much lower cost than Tesla.
What happens if your Tesla has a tire blowout problem
If you happen to run into a situation that leaves you stranded on the side of the road. There are a couple of solutions to this problem.
Unfortunately, Tesla does not equip their cars with run-flat tires, so driving on the flat is not an option unless you buy run flats aftermarket.
Tesla Repair Kit
These kits are a great temporary solution to any small punctures a tire has suffered. I recommend all-in-one kits for the easiest storage and use.
I recommend this emergency tire repair kit for anyone who wants to have a contingency plan. It’s super simple to use, you just need to plug it into the car, switch it to air+sealant mode and attach it to the valve stem.
You must watch the pressure gauge to ensure you don’t overfill the tire with air.
After using these repair kits, I also recommend changing the main display to show the tire pressure. Keep a close eye on the tire that went flat because you want to ensure the seal is holding.
Since these kits are temporary, you will have to either get the tire replaced or professionally repaired within 500 miles.
Tesla Road Assistance
Tesla offers roadside assistance at no extra cost within the first four years or 50,000 miles. This is universal, so it doesn’t matter if you bought the car used. As long as it falls under the year and mileage the car are covered.
The nice part about Tesla’s roadside assistance is that you can request it from the app. Here are the following steps to request help from your phone:
- Open the app and tap on ‘Roadside’.
- Select the reason for your request.
- Confirm any additional details related to your request.
- Select ‘Request help’.
I can’t tell you whether or not buying a spare tire is worth your money, it is going to be up to you to decide. I have spares for all my vehicles because I have been stuck waiting hours for a tow truck.
When deciding whether or not to buy a spare, remember that a flat tire happens every 7 seconds. Is it worth the risk?