This is part of a series that covers my experience with a Tesla Model Y.
Earlier this week my wife and I got in the Model Y to head out to coach volleyball. We left the house and started down our road. I noticed a new icon on the display, right below the gear selector. It looked just like the low tire pressure icon in the BMW.
I swiped over to check the tires, as usually this is cold weather changing pressure in one tire that might have a very slight leak. In this case, 3 tires showed 37psi and 1 was at 32psi.
Hmmm, I drove a little further, but was worried. I stopped at the next stop sign and my wife got out to check. She said it was flat, and this time I saw the reading at 25psi. We turned around and crept home.
We could hear some air leaking, so we grabbed our stuff and jumped in another car. I figured I’d deal with it later.
UPDATE: The tire was leaking air slowly, about 3-4PSI overnight, so the patch didn’t hold. Another post looks at what I had to do.
When I got to the gym, I had a few minutes, so I opened a flat tire roadside assistance call with Tesla. I figured that the tires must be under warranty, but realized later that was silly. I had to talk with a parent and athlete, so I missed Tesla texting me right back. They pinged me within 2 minutes, and then when I didn’t respond, actually called about 10 minutes later. I couldn’t talk and they didn’t have an estimate for a cost, so I closed the call and said I’d call later.
When I got home, I looked online and most people noted the tires aren’t under warranty from Tesla, as they wouldn’t be from Toyota, but the tire company might do something. Lots of people seem to look to Discount Tire or a local company, but I didn’t want to mess with things. It seems Tesla is in the $50-100 range from previous reports, so I opened a new service call.
This time I responded to the text, and the agent had me confirm which tire, the size, and the model of tire. They said no loaners we available, but they could tow it to a shop the next day (or the Tesla service center). Or I could wait two days for mobile service. We have other cars, so I did the 2 day thing. Plus, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of my day at a tire shop.
They gave me an $80 estimate for repair or a little under $300 for replacement. I figured we just try and see.
The Mobile Service Experience
The next morning I got a text from the tech that said they could come out that day. We arranged for an early afternoon meeting. He texted again when he was about 30 minutes away and then when he pulled up. I walked outside and he had started to jack up the car.
He added some air and then got the tire off and he could see where a hole was in the tire. The hole is right in the left middle channel below, and he thought this could be fixed.
What was neat for me was that the mobile van came equipped to fix things. This is a tire shop on wheels, able to dismount and mount tires on wheels, as well as balance them as needed. He didn’t even turn off his engine, and completed the job in about 20 minutes.
He put the tire up and removed it from the wheel. He talked me through the process, noting that the patch goes on the inside for Tesla, not a plug like some places do. I’ve had tires plugged, so I was surprised.
He was hustling, so I couldn’t get a great picture, but there is an inner liner of foam around the middle of the tire inside. This reduces noise. He removed some, and then added a patch with a plug that pushes through from the inside. It was neat to see, and he then cleaned things up and added back a little foam.0
The tire was remounted, balanced, and dropped on the car. He filled out paperwork on his laptop, measured the wear on all tires, and then set things up. He also told me that if I get winter tires, he could come out and do the tire swap across wheels for about $100-150. I need to check what the local shop might charger, but that might be worth it to me. Especially to not have to drag tires to another place.
Not the cheapest way to get a tire fixed, but quick and convenient. I was happy to pay $80 instead of the $50 I’ve had a shop charge, or even a no cost repair but losing time traveling and waiting.
I’m surprised more places don’t do mobile service.