Foam-filled pneumatic tires were developed as a solution to air-filled pneumatic tires that were frequently falling flat. It was formerly thought that pneumatic tires with foam fillings were superior to those with air in them.
Foam-filled wheels provide many of the same advantages as pneumatic wheels without the risk of holes causing leakage. In fact, over time, even air-filled pneumatic tires lose some of their air pressure without any cuts or holes.
But Tesla’s tires are not 100% foam-filled nor 100% air-filled. It’s actually a combination of both.
Tesla uses foam-filled tires
One of the most important advantages of foam-filled tires is noise reduction. And that’s the main purpose Tesla used them.
Traditional ICE vehicles don’t offer the same level of calmness as driving an electric car does. Some people may be attracted to it, while others may be turned off by it. The remarkable acceleration of Tesla cars, despite their quietness, may entice even those who have grown to love the roar of a gas engine.
While the lack of an internal combustion engine, a traditional transmission, and the small number of moving parts may be sufficient to make an EV peaceful for its passengers and the environment, Tesla has gone one step further by equipping some Model S and X vehicles with sound-dampening acoustic foam tires.
Tesla foam-filled tires are produced by Continental tires company which claims that the tires may reduce tire noise by up to 9 dB. This is accomplished by inserting a specific polyurethane foam substance within the tire, which acts as a sound absorber. Tire performance is unaffected by foam, and neither is steering or handling quality.
However, it’s crucial to know that Continental ContiSilent tires aren’t available as standard on all vehicle combinations. You may ask for the Continental ContiSportContact 5P tires with the special ContiSilent technology to be installed on your Tesla at your local Tesla dealer.
Inside the tire
What’s Inside, a well-known YouTube channel posted a video revealing what’s inside the tires. The host said that when his Tesla Model X tire was damaged by a nail, he recently tried to fix it at a Discount Tire Center. Surprised by the tire center’s response, he discovered that they do not repair Model X tires due to Tesla’s usage of sensitive components that may be damaged during the repair.
To begin with, he attempts to open the Model X’s tires with a sharp knife before using an angle grinder to totally open it up. The interior of the Model X’s Pirelli tires has a thick foam band wrapping around it, as shown in the video. Elon Musk referred to this foam strip as an “internal acoustic foam” in a tweet he sent out in 2017, and it’s intended to reduce road noise.
Latest S and X tires have internal acoustic foam— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 13, 2017
However, as the What’s Inside host remarked, some tire repair shops may consider Tesla’s noise-canceling tires a challenge. In contrast, patching a Tesla tire is straightforward, though; all that’s required is peeling off the acoustic foam before filling up any punctures or holes in the tire’s core. Once the tire’s hole has been repaired, applying a little layer of glue on the foam that has been scraped off should fix it again.