Plug tire vs "Road Hazard"

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bwilson4web

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Plugs are generally only recommended for the "emergency situation". It allows you to fix a flat quickly & easily at the side of a road. There's no need to unmount the tire to plug it. You can even install a plug while the wheel and tire are still on the vehicle. And while I've plugged a few tires and it has always been enough to fix the tire until end-of-life, it's generally not considered to be a permanent fix. You're still expected to eventually get a proper patch installed.

WARNING: I am not sure these work on tires with a sound absorbing liner. My first, failed attempt sent me back to 'sticky strings.'

I've used the sticky string plugs but they are pretty messy (add some disposable gloves) and only 2 of 3 plugs worked. So I've switched to "stop&go":

My practice plug test was clean and fairly painless.

Bob Wilson
 
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Tony Rigano

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First things first.....plugging a radial tire is tricky. As mentioned in another thread, the flexing action of the tire could push the plug out. Second, if you plug the tire and the tire has steel plies, the plug may not seal out water. Eventually the steel rusts and the tire could fail ( blowout).
ive worked for tire companies for years and I never recommended plugging a radial tire. I have always patched from the inside.
when I had a nail in my tire, I took it back to Tesla. They did not want to do anything but replace the tire. I brought it to my regular tire dealer and they patched it ( as is their policy) From the inside.
 

garsh

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Second, if you plug the tire and the tire has steel plies, the plug may not seal out water. Eventually the steel rusts and the tire could fail ( blowout).
A patch on the inside of the tire definitely won't seal out water from reaching a steel belt via a hole. So I don't see how a patch could be considered ok for preventing the steel belts from rusting and the tire from failing.
 
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chinna Na

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Hi,

Tire Rack has outsourced to: http://www.sonsio.com

This is what they sent me after opening a case:

Thank you for contacting Sonsio in regards to your recent road hazard incident. The Tire Rack Road Hazard Program is a customer reimbursement program. Your maximum eligible amount for reimbursement will be based on what you paid for the tire originally according to your purchase order (based on the program terms and conditions). We show that you paid $237.38 for the tire originally, which will be your maximum eligible amount.
The claim number for your damaged tire is 2******.
If your tire can be safely repaired, all that we will need is a copy of the repair invoice and we will reimburse you up to the program limit for the repair part (patch/plug combination) and the repair labor total.
All claim documentation, including the tire, if requested, must be submitted within 60 days of service in order for your claim to be considered for reimbursement.
If your tire cannot be safely repaired, the damage and tire information will need to be verified via photos OR by having a facility call us, whichever is easiest for you.
Please click here for all instructions regarding damage verification, submitting your invoice, and covered amounts. If you are not sure where or what the damage is to the tire, we do recommend that you have a facility contact us at the number below with the tire in their possession.
We will work directly with them in order to gather the tire information and the findings from their inspection. If you are able to identify the damage, please follow the instructions in the attached pdf to submit all of the mandatory photos.
Please do not discard your damaged tire until you have been advised by Sonsio that all the required information has been verified, otherwise, the claim will be considered ineligible for reimbursement.
If you have any questions that have not been answered by this email or the attachment, please contact us at 855-623-0468 or by email at tireclaims@sonsio.com, (all photos as requested in the attachment must go to tirerackphoto@sonsio.com) and reference your claim number.
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 6:00am until 5:30pm MST and Saturdays from 6:00am until 2:30pm MST, we are closed on Sundays.
Thank you,
Sonsio Road Hazard

Given a choice between a replacement tire and patched, I'll take the replacement. The car and tire are at a local Firestone shop waiting evaluation. My plugging practice will likely wait.

In the past, I've done three, sticky string patches. The first one, perfect. The second one had a slow leak. So I reamed it out and plugged it a second time but this time I preloaded the hole with more glue. Those two patches got another ~5,000 miles out of the tire:
View attachment 32256
No problem with this first patch.

The second patch had to be done twice:
View attachment 32257

The slow leak confirmed:
View attachment 32258
This was re-reamed and a second patch solved the problem. There was no detectable, out-of-balance noise or vibration.

After the first patch, I added two pairs of disposable, nitrile gloves. The sticky string is pretty messy.

Bob Wilson
I had similar experience with plugs. I used something like this with thread Amazon product .
One of front tire had long screw just 3/8 inch from edge of tread. Tire shop refused to do the repair. So I used a plug-kit I bought for travel for the first time. It was very tough to get that in. But after 3-4 months it developed slow leak. I took it to tireshop and they confirmed slow leak from that repair and would not do the repair for the same reason. Now, having more experience(helped couple of friends with similar situation), I got it home, pushed in the old plug into tire, reamed a little bit and put in another plug. It has been good for several months now. I didn't see any imbalance because plugs. Hopefully it is going to last another 10k atleast until tire replacement time.

But again, I do not have any replacement warranty like yours. For you I think it is good idea to get it replaced with new tire if there is not much thread wear difference between this tire and others.
 
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bwilson4web

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PART II

A firm believer in sharing both good and bad news, this is my most recent tire adventure and "lessons learned."

GOAL: Compensate for 3-4%, battery degradation in a Std Rng Plus Model 3 starting with higher wear rating, lower rolling resistance tires.

Tire requirements:
  • 18" P235/45R18 - Model 3 Owner's manual (05/22/2020,) pp. 217. This is limited by the front steering assembly that overhangs the tire. The rear wheels have no overhang assembly.
  • Maximum curb weight - Ibid pp. 212
    • 1655 kg (3,648 lbs) - Curb Weight Standard Range
    • 1,928 kg (4,250 lbs) - Long Range Base, Long Range Perf., LRP Upgrade
    • 2,060 kg (4,541 lbs) - GVRW Standard Range
    • 2,301 kg (5,072 lbs) - GVRW Long Range Base, Long Range Perf., LRP Upgrade
  • EPA Test Car Database
    • 3875 lbs - Std Rng Plus and Std Rng Model 3
    • 4250 lbs - Mid Range RWD and Long Range
    • 4500 lbs - Long Range AWD
Experiment:

My Std Rng Plus Model 3 is the lighter than the other models:
  • 625 lbs = 4500 - 3875 lbs :: EPA, Long Range AWD - Std Rng Plus
  • 531 lbs = 5072 - 4250 lbs :: 2019 Owner's Manual, Long Range - Std Rng Plus
This meant I could choose a more efficient tire based on:
  1. Lowest rolling drag - Consumer Reports (May 31, 2019) and Consumer Reports Rating Table
  2. Narrow profile
  3. Ligher weight
  4. Longer wear rating
Based on the Consumer Reports Rating Table, I ordered and picked up:
  • Enkei Tuning TFR rims, 18x8
  • 225/55R18 Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
    • 225 mm tread vs 235 mm spec - 10 mm narrower should work, reduced width
    • UTQG: 640 A A - much larger wear rating
    • 22 lbs vs 24 lbs - lighter weight
    • 44 psi - lower than the 51 psi I prefer but within door jam limits
    • 1,653 lbs - Max Load, 4 tires would hold 6,612 if equal weight << 4,250 lbs
    • 27.8" diameter - OPPS!
Unfortunately, I picked up a metal screw in a front tire during the pickup trip:
Tire_210.jpg

I pulled the screw and the tire held air so I drove home monitoring tire pressure. Over the next two weeks, the tire was losing 2 psi per week. So I took it to a favorite tire store but they refused because there was about 2-4 thousands inch to the wear bar. <GERRRRR> I was not going to use 'Road Hazard' because I don't like those tires.

I figure the front tires have just under 5,000 service miles left so time to try the "Stop and Go" plug kit. Lesson's learned, a hand drill with bit works MUCH MUCH better than those manual rasps! Even so, I got the tool fully inserted in the tire; pushed the mushroom shaped plug in, and; pulled out the tool. But it dragged out a badly mangled plug. My thinking is the inner 'sound damper' liner did not handle/allow the mushroom to expand and the plug effort failed:
Stop_and_go.jpeg

To the left you can see the wear bars have yet to be touched or more details below:
IMG_0967.jpeg


At Harbor Freight I bought a cheap, sticky string plug kit. But with lesson's learned including the excellent "more strength required" I bought palm, reenforced, open finger gloves. I first pressed tire and let it suck in a glob of rubber cement. With the string fully coated, the insert tool worked with "GRUNT" and left the string perfect. Another glob of rubber cement and I let it cure in the hot Alabama sun. I'm waiting for the sunset before remounting the tire. The original rims and tires will remain as 'spare tires.'

FAILED FRONT TIRE TEST

So I had these two new tires and rims. I mounted one to replace the slow-leak tire:
IMG_0957.jpeg

There is about 1" (~2.5 cm) of clearance over the tire to the steering knuckle. It overhangs the tire which limits the maximum tire diameter. Regardless, nothing ventured, I tried the new tires, 27.8" diameter. It rubbed!

The original tires had 26.3" diameter with clearance. I found two tires at 27.3" and three with 27.8". There is no overhang on the rear so that is where the new rims and tires are mounted:
IMG_0983.jpeg

Going left to right:
  1. Rear rims and tires:
    1. Enkei Tuning TFR rims, 18x8
    2. 225/55R18 94V SL 640 A A Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
  2. Front rims and 'plugged' tire:
    1. Enkei Tuning TFR rims, 18x8
    2. 235/45R18 98Y XL 320 AA A Michelin PILOT SPORT 4
  3. OEM rims and tire: now spare tires stored at home
So far, I'm saving ~5 lbs per rim/tire. Rolling drag reduction has yet to be quantified but an early impression,"What the heck?" as the car coasted better.

REMAINING

I have three candidate, front tires:
  • VREDSTEIN QUATRAC 5 - SIZE: 235/45R18 (lowest cost; lowest rolling resistance; shortest life)
  • Goodyear ASSURANCE MAXLIFE - SIZE: 235/45R18 (middle cost; unknown rolling resistance; longest life)
  • Bridgestone ECOPIA EP422 PLUS (H- OR V-SPEED RATED) - SIZE: 235/45R18 (highest cost; a low rolling resistance; long life)
I've asked Tire Rack for more technical details. But my current thinking is the VREDSTEIN maximizes my range and while they wear out, the tire manufactures have time to 'get a clue.' Since they will be on the front, non-powered wheels, they should have a longer life.

My second choice is the Bridgestone because the pair I already have give the impression of lower rolling resistance. But the exact rolling resistance has not been measured. The long wear rating means I'll have to live with them for a while.

The third choice, the Goodyear, competes with a variant called fuel efficient. It has the longest life and lowest weight. But Goodyear wants to sell 'looks fine, runs a long time' instead of engineering data.

Bob Wilson
 
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bwilson4web

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PHASE II - update

Initially, the car seemed to coast as if in neutral. That was because it did not use regeneration.

It turns out the there is a tire setting option under the display tuning, System and Security tab. You can select one of six tire different options and using the last one, regeneration returned and the car behaved normally. My car has a working, staggered tire configuration.

Did it do any good?

Using "Valet for Tesla" we get:
valet_metric_010.jpg

  • 235 mi ~= 160 mi / 68% :: using window value
  • 239 mi ~= 160 / 67% :: using valet for Tesla value
  • 234 mu ~= 157 / 67% :: earlier value

CAUTION!

This is an 'indicated' range from the notorious "guess of meter" data. We need to do a 100% SOC charge followed by a 63-64 mph, GPS range test (ROAD TRIP!) We don't know if the miles or kWh are accurate (ROAD TRIP!)

Remaining, I need to install lower rolling resistance tires in the front. Then performing benchmark confirmation tests make sense.

METRICS

When I buy a car, I do a three point, benchmark to measure the efficiency versus mph. So I still had the earlier data to add three points after making tire and wheel changes:
mph_miles_010.jpg


  • red diamond line - March 30, 2019, week old, Std Rng Plus Model 3 with stock aero wheels.
  • green triangle line - August 12, 2020, 17 month old, Std Rng Plus Model 3
    • front: 235/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 TO Tesla, Acoustic Tech
    • rear: 225/55R-18 Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
    • front+rear rims: 18x8 Gunmetal Painted Enkei Tuning TFR
The more efficient, low speed performance is probably due to the low rolling resistance of the Bridgestone Ecopia tires listed as one of the lowest rolling resistance tires by Consumer Reports. Their 225 mm tread is narrower than the Tesla recommended 235/45R18s. Their diameter is too large for the front but they fit fine in the rear. With a wear rating of 600, they should last years.

The front tires were the Tire Rack recommended replacement. However, their low wear rating means they should reach the wear bars in the next year. I have a candidate replacement but no need to rush it.

GPS recorded ~64 mph vs ~63 mph indicated with frequent overlap.

Bob Wilson
 
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shareef777

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Wanted to get others opinion, but I'm assuming this hole location would mean it's not repairable. I had the Tesla "fix a flat" in my trunk and was able to get the tire re-inflated back up to 40psi and have driven about 20mi so far on it, but I know that stuff is only supposed to be a temp fix. Now trying to see if I should try to get this patched or just have it replaced. It's for the perf so the tire is a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/35/zr20, and Tesla wants $480 to replace it :eek:.
IMG_4958.jpeg
 

garsh

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Wanted to get others opinion, but I'm assuming this hole location would mean it's not repairable. I had the Tesla "fix a flat" in my trunk and was able to get the tire re-inflated back up to 40psi and have driven about 20mi so far on it, but I know that stuff is only supposed to be a temp fix. Now trying to see if I should try to get this patched or just have it replaced. It's for the perf so the tire is a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/35/zr20, and Tesla wants $480 to replace it :eek:.
If you already used the tire goo, you're going to have a hard time even finding someone willing to repair it.
And they'll probably insist on replacing the TPMS sensor, as those are often clogged by the fix-a-flat goo.
 

shareef777

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If you already used the tire goo, you're going to have a hard time even finding someone willing to repair it.
And they'll probably insist on replacing the TPMS sensor, as those are often clogged by the fix-a-flat goo.

Tesla road-side was an hour away (and that's if I'm lucky), and figured I'd get myself going again to at least make it home. I mis-read Tesla's quote, it's $410 to replace the tire, $70 to try to repair it. Guess I'll go with them, if they can repair it, great. Otherwise I'm out $400. Cool thing is that TeslaCam caught the object that I ran over (small consolation prize).
Screen Shot 2020-09-14 at 12.05.46 PM.png
 
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shareef777

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So yesterday I opened up a Tesla roadside service request and had everything communicated via text. Super easy and convenient. The tow truck came in, put a loaner wheel on my 3 and took my wheel/tire to my closest Tesla service center. Cool, nice and easy.

This morning I texted asking for an update and got this automated response:

Your concern is closed. If you need furthur assistance, visit Tesla.com/support. Reply 'STOP' to opt out. Msg & Data rates may apply.

Uh, so what about my wheel/tire lol. Did the service center just receive a wheel yesterday and toss it into a bin. I assumed I'd of gotten a call/notification/email/ANYTHING if my existing roadside service request was closed.