Need Tire Work On Your Tesla? Don't Go To a Local Tire Shop (Do This Instead)
I may never go to a tire shop again... now that I've discovered a superior alternative that costs about the same... and is incredibly more convenient.
When you need to have tire work performed on your Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model S, or Model X, it typically consists of:
* Rotating your tires to prolong the life of the tires.
* Repairing tire punctures or leaks.
* Replacing tire blow-outs.
* Rebalancing tires that have an annoying vibration.
* Replacing your worn tires with new tires.
* Replacing stock Tesla wheels with new custom / aftermarket Tesla wheels.
* Switching between summer and winter tires in colder climates.
When most people need any of these things done to their Tesla, they either make an appointment with their local Tesla Service Center or they take their vehicle to a local tire shop. Tesla Service Centers are sometimes not conveniently located, and they typically charge a fee for these types of services... which can be quite expensive. Local tire shops, on the other hand, typically charge reasonable prices for their services, but they have their own set of disadvantages:
Inconvenience: You need to take your vehicle to the tire shop to have the work performed... and pick it up later (which requires a ride) or wait hours in an uncomfortable waiting room for the work to be completed.
Lack of Trust: A local tire shop that does not specialize in Tesla service may not know the proper vehicle lifting procedures, they may not know the proper lug nut torques (129 ft-lbs), and they may not have trustworthy employees working on your vehicle. I speak from personal experience on this, as I discovered local tire shop employees "joy riding" in my Tesla Model 3 (I could see them in my Tesla app!) during a service visit a couple of years ago.
Many cities have a great alternative to local tire shops and Tesla Service Centers for tire service on your Tesla... mobile tire services that will come to your home or workplace to perform the work.
What Is Mobile Tire Service?
Mobile tire service typically consists of a mechanic or technician who specializes in performing various types of tire work "in the field"; you simply contact them, tell them your location and the type of service you need, set an appointment, and they show up at your location and perform the work "on the spot". They typically arrive in a truck or van that contains all of the parts and equipment that they need to perform your work; after they've completed the work to your satisfaction, you pay them, and they head off to their next appointment.
Most types of tire work can be performed virtually anywhere; the only equipment that they need can be carried in their vehicle, including a floor jack to lift your Tesla if a wheel needs to be removed, a machine for mounting and dismounting a tire from a rim, a spinning wheel balancer machine, and a few other hand tools. If you need to have one or more tires replaced with new ones, then they can bring the new tire(s) if you provide the specifications ahead of time... or you can supply the tires to them when they arrive.
My Experience With Mobile Tire Service
I recently replaced the stock Tesla 18" Aero wheels on my wife's Model 3 with a new set of Zink Wheels 19" fully-forged ENTERPRISE wheels and a new set of Vredestein Quatrac Pro tires:
Tesla Model 3 Fully-Forged Wheels
Rather than taking her car to a local tire shop, I called a local mobile tire service business in the Metro Detroit area... Menard's Mobile Tire & Wheel:
Menards Mobile Tire and Wheel Service
Eric and Ashley are a husband-and-wife operation; Ashley takes phone calls, handles appointment scheduling, and does the accounting... and Eric travels around the Detroit area meeting clients and doing the hands-on tire work.
I ordered the Vredestein Quatrac Pro tires from TireRack and had them delivered to our home. I then called Ashley, described what I needed, and made an appointment for the following week to have the new tires mounted on the new ENTERPRISE wheels for my wife's Model 3. Ashley was pleasant and helpful, she gave me a very reasonable price estimate up-front, and it was easy to find an appointment time that worked for me. On the day of the scheduled appointment, she sent me a text message prior to Eric's arrival.Eric arrived at our home shortly thereafter in his van and pulled into our driveway. We spoke for a few minutes about what I needed (new tires mounted and balanced on new wheels), I gave him the tires and wheels, and he immediately started work.
I needed to have new tires mounted and balanced on new wheels, so he didn't need to remove wheels from my wife's Model 3... but he was equipped to do so if needed. Sliding open the side door of his van, he showed me that he carries everything he needs for tire work, including floor jacks, an air compressor, tire changer machine (for mounting and dismounting tires from rims), a spinning wheel balancer machine, and other smaller tools and supplies. He even fired-up a generator in the back of his van to generate the electricity required to run the equipment in his van. No extension cord needed; this was a completely self-contained operation.
I went back inside, and Eric was finished about an hour later. I could have paid him before he left, but chose to have Ashley send me a bill electronically via e-mail. I received the bill in my e-mail inbox shortly after he left, I paid the bill online via credit card, and went back to my work.
No expensive Tesla Service Center labor rates.
No driving two cars and consuming two people's time to drop off the Model 3 at a Tesla Service Center or local tire shop, then pick it up later.
No waiting in an uncomfortable waiting room for hours while they performed the work.
No handing over your key fob or key card and explaining how the car works.
No wondering if the tire shop employees are going to properly lift the Tesla to prevent battery damage.
No wondering if tire shop employees are going to attempt a joy ride in the car.
Every part of the experience provided by Menard's Mobile Tire & Wheel was excellent... and I may never go back to a local tire shop as long as Eric and Ashley are in business. The mobile tire service that they provided for my wife's Tesla Model 3 was pleasant, convenient, high-quality, and reasonably-priced. If you live or work in the Metro Detroit area, then I highly recommend giving them a call if you need tire work performed on your Tesla. If you don't live or work in the Detroit area, but need help locating a mobile tire service, then please feel free to contact us and we'll try to help you.
Please remember, though, that if you need a mobile tire service to lift your vehicle to remove or install a wheel, then you should give them a set of jack pads and explain how to properly lift the vehicle by its four lift points. Your Tesla owner's manual describes how to find the four lift points under the vehicle, and you can purchase a set of Zink Wheels LIFT-OFF jack pads here if you don't already have a set:
LIFT-OFF Jack Pad Set for Tesla Vehicles
-- Tony Zink