Here's Why to Avoid Puncturing a Nissan LEAF Tire

By · March 12, 2012

Continental kit

The ContiComfortKit's orange compartment contains a bottle of liquid latex tire sealant. When the tire sealant has been activated to temporarily repair a tire, the sealant flows through an adapter and air hose, which become coated with the sealant. Therefore the sealant bottle, adapter and air hose must be replaced after each use.

Here's a tale of a Nissan LEAF owner who experienced first-hand what type of damage puncturing a tire can do to his pocketbook and how his beloved LEAF was repaired.

LEAF owner James Billmaier recently "picked up a nail" in his rear tire and awoke the next morning to find the tire completely flat. LEAF should be aware that Nissan didn't equip the electric hatchback with a spare tire. Rather, Nissan threw in an electric pump and tire sealant kit. The package, made by Continental, is referred to as a "MobilityKit" or a "ConvenienceKit." Here's Billmaier describing how it works:

"You stick the bottle of gunk onto the pump and then you plug the pump into your 12-volt outlet and in about a minute you are set to go. Once inflated with the official gunk, you are supposed to travel no more than 100 miles and at speeds below 50 miles per hour."

The next day, Billmaier took his LEAF to a Nissan dealership to have his tire properly repaired. The procedure was straightforward: remove the gunk, clean the tire pressure sensor, patch the tire and inflate. No problem there. But when Billmaier inquired on the cost to replace the "bottle of gunk," the dealership shocked him by quoting a price of $200. "How much to replace the entire kit?" asked Billmaier. The response: $600. Of course, a replacement wheel and tire combo would cost less than $600, as would a can of warranty-voiding, non-Nissan-approved tire sealant.

Lucky for Billmaier, Tirerack.com stocks the exact OEM sealant, selling it at a bargain-basement price of $28. Need the whole kit? That'll set you back only $78 at Tirerack.com, says Billmaier. Moral of the story? Avoid flats. If it happens, get towed if you can. Not possible, so you use the provided gunk? When it comes time to replace it, check the Internet to avoid shelling out too much of your hard-earned cash at the dealership.

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