Are Tesla Tires Run-On-Flat? We Explore in Detail

Getting a flat tire can be annoying at best and extremely dangerous at worst. If you’re stuck with a flat tire while driving in hazardous conditions or through remote locations, you could find yourself in trouble. This is why run-flat tires were developed as a way to prevent disasters when a tire gets punctured. 

Teslas don’t use run-flat tires from the factory. This is because Tesla wants to use the tires that’ll maximize the performance of each Modcel. You can still retrofit your Tesla with run-flat tires yourself after purchase if you are willing to sacrifice performance.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the tires that come with all Tesla models. I’ll also cover more details about Tesla’s flat tire coverage and what you can do if your Tesla gets a flat tire. 

Does the Tesla Model 3 Come With Run-Flat Tires? 

The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t come with run-flat tires. Model 3s come with three tire options as stock from the factory: the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/45 ZR18 98Y XL Acoustics, the Continental ProContact RX 235/40 R19, and the Pirelli P Zero 235/35 R20. 

In fact, Tesla doesn’t provide run-flat tires for any of its models. While they do offer multiple tire options depending on performance, none of them are run-flat tires. 

Although Tesla hasn’t specifically stated why they don’t deliver cars with run-flat tires, people speculate that it’s because of performance. Run-flat tires are designed to keep running even if they’ve been punctured. This makes them less smooth to drive on than regular non-run flat tires. 

Tip:

If you’re dealing with unwanted vibrations on your Tesla while driving, you might be surprised to know that your tires have foam inside them to reduce road noise. It is likely that the foam has detached from one of your tires. If you go to your nearest service centre, they can check it out and have it replaced. This might help you out if you are sensitive to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

This is a problem for Tesla and its image of selling high-tech electric vehicles that perform well and are also visually appealing. Putting run-flat tires on a Tesla would be akin to putting a clunky case on your iPhone: it might prevent a big problem, but it’ll significantly change the look and feel of your iPhone. 

As you know, Tesla isn’t in the business of selling clunky iPhone cases. It’s in the business of selling sexy (or, as spelled out by the manufacturer’s models, S3XY) cars! This is why they don’t include run-flat tires as a purchase option. 

For more information about the pros and cons of run-flat tires, watch the 6-minute YouTube video below:

What Kind of Tires Does Tesla Model 3 Come With?

  1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/45 ZR18 98Y XL Acoustics
  2. Continental ProContact RX 235/40 R19
  3. Pirelli P Zero 235/35 R20

The standard wheels change from time to time and are also dependent on the Model 3 configuration that you choose.

Tesla puts a lot of time and effort into finding the best tires for each Model. That’s why they don’t offer a single tire model for all vehicles. In fact, they generally offer at least two tire options for each model based on the car’s specifications. 

Tesla-Model-3-Replacement-Tyre

If you’d like to find out more on this topic, then check out the article I wrote called: Which Tires Come Standard With the Tesla Model 3?

A long-range version of a car will get tires meant to last longer, while a performance version of a car will get tires meant to go fast. The Model of tires you get will depend on the specifics of the car you buy.

Tesla ModelTiresRun Flat Tires?
Model SMichelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 ZR21 Continental SportContact 5 245/35 R21No
Model 3Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/45 ZR18 98Y XL Acoustics Continental ProContact RX 235/40 R19 Pirelli P Zero 235/35 R20No
Model XContinental CrossContact LX Sport 265/45/20 R20 Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 265/35 R22No
Model YGoodyear Eagle Touring 245/45 R19 Pirelli P Zero 255/45 R21No
CybertruckCustom 35-inch Goodyear tiresNo
Here is a breakdown table of each Tesla model and which tires it may come with.

As you can see, none of these are run-flat tires. However, Tesla chose each tire specifically to maximize the performance of the car. This means that run-flat tires will never be the best choice for maximizing the performance of any Tesla model.

Please note that the Cybertruck has not entered production, so the specific tire model hasn’t yet been announced. However, Elon Musk has been spotted driving around Los Angeles in a prototype Cybertruck with massive 35-inch (88.9 cm) Goodyear tires.

This suggests that Tesla will go with Goodyear tires for the Cybertruck when it enters production, but this is still unconfirmed.

Teslas are known for their advanced designs, high technology, and great quality. Their tires are no different. Tesla didn’t make run-flat tires available for new Tesla purchases because they’re not the ideal tires for any Tesla model.
Photo by Jasper Garratt on Unsplash

Can You Put Run-Flat Tires on a Tesla?

You can put run-flat tires on a Tesla as long as they fit the dimensions of your particular Model. While Tesla spends a considerable amount of time and effort researching which tires will be best for each Model, you are free to use any tire that’ll fit the size and weight of your vehicle.

Tesla spends so much time evaluating which tires will be best for each Model, in fact, that it’ll change tires for a model if better ones become available. For example, before 2014, Michelin tires were the “upgraded” tires for performance vehicles, whereas now it’s Pirelli tires.

So, the tires that came with your Tesla will be best at maximizing the performance of your car.

If you still want to install run-flat tires on your Tesla, you can certainly do so. Just bear in mind that run-flat tires may impact the performance, as well as the driving experience, of your Tesla. 

Keep in mind that run-flat tires are best for people who spend most of their time driving on city streets. If you spend a majority of your commute on the freeway, you may not benefit as much from installing run-flat tires on your Tesla. People who seldom leave the city may also not find a lot of benefit from run-flat tires. 

On a somewhat similar note, I also wrote a related article about the Best Tire Repair Kit for Every Tesla Model Check it out and let me know what you think! Are repair kits different for ICE cars?

Do Teslas Use Normal Tires?

Teslas use normal tires that you can find at most tire retailers. Tesla doesn’t make its own tires, nor does it make the tire specifications for its models overly specific. Just keep in mind the size and weight of your vehicle when purchasing new tires for your Tesla. 

Teslas run heavy for their size, so keep in mind that you’ll need tires capable of supporting your car’s weight. Also, keep in mind that the rear tires are slightly larger than the forward tires in some models.

For example, a Model X would use 255/45 R20 size tires in the front and 275/45 R20 size tires in the rear.

Besides keeping these specifications in mind, you can buy tires from popular retailers like Costco, Discount Tire, Walmart, and even online.

Anyway, speaking of which; I also wrote a somewhat related article about Costco and if they’re able to change Tesla tires. I also spoke about all the various related services that Tesla has with Costco. Check it out!

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S Performance Radial Tire-235/45Zr18/Xl 98Y
In fact, you can order online some of the tires that Tesla uses for their models, like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (Amazon.com), the Continental ProContact RX (TireRack.com), and the Pirelli P Zero (TireRack.com) for the Model 3.

Does Tesla Cover Flat Tires?

Tesla doesn’t cover flat tires under its New Vehicle Limited Warranty. However, it’ll cover the costs of a tow to the nearest Service Center provided it’s within 50 miles (80.47 km). If the nearest Service Center is beyond 50 miles (80.47 km), the owner will have to cover the extra towing costs. 

This is often a nuisance for Tesla owners as Tesla doesn’t allow regular mechanics to work on its cars. Only Tesla Service Centers and Tesla certified repair centers can work on your vehicle. This is problematic if you’re stuck with a flat tire somewhere far away from your nearest Service Center or certified body shop. 

Beyond limiting who can work on your car, Tesla also forces you to pay out of pocket for towing beyond 50 miles (80.47 km). This can result in expensive towing and a lengthy journey to wherever your nearest certified repair shop or Service Center is. 

Do Teslas Have Tire Problems in general? Check out this informative article that we researched and wrote.

Does Every Tesla Have a Spare Tire/Wheel?

Teslas don’t come with a spare tire or wheel. This is because an overwhelming majority of people don’t use their spare tires, so Tesla saw this as an opportunity to save space and weight. 

In fact, almost one-third of new cars don’t come with a spare tire. This may be because the number of people who can change a tire is dropping, as now 60% of Millennials don’t know how to change a tire.

Another reason why Tesla chose not to include spare tires with every Model is that it offers free roadside assistance to most users. Although the service is only complimentary for 50 miles (80.47 km), Tesla will tow your car to the nearest Service Center for free 24/7. 

If you still think you’d be more comfortable with a spare tire in your Tesla, you can actually get a spare tire kit online. This Complete Compact Spare Tire Kit from Amazon was designed for the Model 3 but can fit any Tesla model. 

Complete Compact Spare Tire Kit W/Carrying Case -Fits 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 - Modern Spare

Will Roadside Assistance Replace My Old Flat Tire? Or Will They Repair?

Tesla Roadside Assistance will evaluate the situation in order to determine if they will repair or replace your tire. Roadside Assistance will then either loan you a spare tire or tow you to the nearest Service Center or a Tesla-certified repair shop to repair your tire.

If you get a flat tire while on the road, the first thing you need to do is contact Tesla Roadside Assistance. They’re available to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Simply give them a call, provide your car information, and explain the situation. They’ll walk you through your options for repairing or replacing your tire and send help if needed.

To request Roadside Assistance, simply:

  1. Open your Tesla app and tap on ‘Roadside.’
  2. Select any issues with your car.
  3. Enter any additional details regarding your situation. 
  4. Tap on ‘Request help.’

Roadside Assistance may also be able to provide a loaner wheel and tire if they have one on hand. The loaner tire will be provided at cost to the owner, while towing may be free if within 50 miles (80.47 km). Thus, think carefully about whether you want the loaner tire or the free towing service. 

Tesla-Service-Center

If you’re interested in reading an article dedicated to this topic, then check out this post that I wrote, called: “Does Tesla Service Give Loaners“.

Note that if your tire is just flat and not completely ruined. If your tire can hold air and you think it’s safe to drive, you can drive it yourself to your nearest Service Center or certified 3rd party shop for repairs.

What PSI Should Tesla Model 3 Tires Be?

Tesla Model 3 tires’ PSI should typically be between 40 and 45 PSI, though it’ll vary depending on your vehicle’s specific configuration. Your exact PSI will be on the sticker along the frame by the driver’s door. 

Note that tire PSI may vary due to extraneous factors like air temperature and climate conditions. The hotter the climate gets, the higher your PSI will be. This fluctuation is normal, so don’t think that your tire is damaged just because you gained or lost some pressure.

Make sure you know exactly what your car’s ideal PSI is so that you can adjust it when necessary. You can check your tire pressure about once a month to make sure everything is in order. Keeping track of your PSI can help you not only save money on repairs and replacements but also prevent potentially catastrophic accidents. 

If you’d like to be proactive in preventing potential tire problems by checking your PSI, check out the following 3-minute YouTube video that will show you how to check your Tesla tire pressure:

Does Tesla Have Tires That Are Optimized for EVs?

Goodyear has developed a tire specially made for EVs called the “New ElectricDrive GT”. They are especially suited to withstand the extreme weight and torque which are unique to Teslas and EVs in general.

GoodYear Link

Final Thoughts 

If you’d still like to install run-flat tires on your Tesla, you’re free to do so, as Teslas don’t require a specific type of tire to run. Just make sure that the run-flat tires you buy are big and sturdy enough to support your Tesla’s heavy frame. 


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.