As every Tesla owner knows, Tesla does not include a spare tire with any of the vehicles it delivers. There are some options to get you moving again in the event of a puncture, but if you damage a tire, not so much. You will either need your own spare tire kit like one from Modern Spare, or you will be towed.
Lifting a Tesla Properly
Once you arrive at the shop you hope can fix your tire you will need the rubber lifting accessory Tesla mentions in its owner’s manual (but does not provide). Tesla calls them lift pads. Most Tesla owners call them “pucks.” The pucks’ job is to separate the jack’s lifting arms from the vehicle in such a way that no stress is placed on the vehicle battery compartment or the vehicle structure in a way that might cause harm. Tesla warns that if this happens you are on your own. The warranty does not apply.
Modern Spare is smart. The jack that it supplies in its kit has the equivalent of a puck on the lifting surface already. You’re good to go.
The jack was selected and modified by Modern Spare to be safe if used correctly. The problem arises when you are not using your Modern Spare jack from your kit, but instead are relying on a shop to help you.
Tesla owners have reported numerous times that independent shops they took their Tesla to were not comfortable lifting the vehicle without the pucks and that they didn’t have them. While this may seem outrageous to a Tesla owner in Southern California, aka Tesla country, remember that Telsa still has states in the U.S. where it has no retail footprint. New Hampshire and Vermont, for example. EVs are as rare as hens’ teeth in some places, and shops may not have the pucks available.
The good news is they are small and cheap. Easy to obtain and stash in your emergency kit. Amazon has Tesla lifting pucks in stock for under $20 for four. Owners have given them a 4.5-star rating.
Create whatever emergency kit for your Tesla you think makes sense. Adding in a set of lifting pucks won’t take up much space and are as close to free as practical. If you have a Tesla and have any suggestions, please feel free to add your comments below. You may help a fellow owner.
Top of Page Image: Courtesy of Model 3 owner Scott Sanders. His personal experience was the inspiration for this story.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin