Heading out on the open road for a few thousand miles of solitary driving is an American rite of passage. Akin to the first kiss, learning to drive, riding a bike, and apple pie, a road trip embodies the individuality and freedom America was founded on.
As any road-hardened Tesla owner knows, these American-made vehicles come with one serious drawback from the factory when it comes to road trips and that’s the lack of a spare tire. Instead, Tesla offers up a Tire Repair Kit that bundles a container of tire sealant with a compressor, but it leaves quite a bit to be desired when heading out on a multi thousand mile road trip or even a trip to the local grocery store.
In preparation for my most recent road trip from Southern California to Colorado and back, I started looking for spare tire solutions to give me peace of mind on the long stretches of highway on my route. Modern Spare quickly surfaced as a brilliant solution that was more than just a simple spare tire in a bag.
Their spare tire kit emerged from a very real need for the founders. As vehicle enthusiasts, they were passionate about putting miles on their vehicles and found the lack of a spare to be an issue. Who wants to head out for a weekend cruise only to have the whole trip derailed by a single flat tire? Not these guys.
To fill the hole, they developed a spare tire kit specifically for the Tesla Model 3 that delivers a meaningful amount of extra functionality for drivers. The core of the system is, of course, a spare tire, but they didn’t want to force drivers to limp along on the classic donut spare so they leveled up their game. Their spare tires slap a fully capable Continental or Pirelli tire with an 81 mph speed rating onto an aluminum 18″ by 4″ wheel in a classic black paint. These rims look so great, I could honestly imagine swapping out all four corners with them.
The speed rating on the tires means you can still cruise at freeway speeds on the spare. That’s a nice bonus for road trips as you won’t be relegated to 50 miles per hour on what could be a long drive to the nearest tire shop for a proper replacement. If anything, the higher speed rating is going to make it hard to remember that you even had a flat tire in the first place.
In addition to the spare tire, the Modern Spare kit includes a heavy duty plastic bag for the tire you pulled off the car. It’s a small but important addition as tires are often caked in all sorts of muck from the road, brake dust, and more that make them poor playmates for the interior of your ride.
The kit also includes a jack and all the tools you’ll need to swap out a tire. These are tools that were likely included with the purchase of a car back in the day, but are suspiciously absent in modern vehicles, including Teslas. The whole kit comes in a high quality, durable zip up bag to keep everything together when flat happens.
PSA: Changing a tire can be dangerous so be sure to follow all proper safety precautions and if in doubt, it’s best to seek assistance from an automotive professional.
We tested the system out and it was a breeze to use. We loosened the lug nuts with the included wrench, jacked the car up, and were able to easily remove the factory rim. Mounting the spare was equally easy and the fact that it comes on a nice rim takes the aesthetic and functional edge off of what would otherwise be an unpleasant experience. I loved that I could also use the padded bag the kit comes in as a knee pad when swapping out the tire.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not looking forward to the next time I get a flat tire — but I can assure you that when it happens, I will be prepared. It’s worth noting the kit does not include wheel chocks, but Modern Spare does sell an affordable set, so be sure to pick up a set if you need them. I mean, I’m sure a rock would work, but it’s also ok to take advantage of modern tools now and then as well. I also tossed a set of work gloves into my kit just to round it out.
Head over to ModernSpare.com to find a spare tire kit for your vehicle or click here to jump directly to the kit for the Tesla Model 3. They have a wide range of spare tire kits available for a growing number of makes and models.