Where can I buy tires for my Tesla?

The general answer is, anywhere that sells tires. One thing to keep in mind is whether or not the place you buy tires from has any lifetime service (free rotations, patches, etc.) or other roadside assistance available to augment any you may already have. Once you know which ones you want to get (refer to this FAQ for some info on that), check around to see who has it in stock and who will install them.

Club members have had positive (and sometimes had negative; we offer no endorsement) results from the following:

Additionally, some members have said good things about Pull-Up Tires where you can either order tires from them or buy somewhere else and ship to them, and they come to you. Kind of like Tesla Mobile service. A Tesla Service Center may offer the same service, if you ship tires to them and go there (although confirm with anyone you’re going to ship tires to first before doing so, so they aren’t puzzled when new tires show up).

 

Do I really need all wheel drive (AWD) or winter tires in Maryland?

That question is actually two questions. The first one, do you really need all wheel drive, is more about the benefits of AWD in general. AWD provides more performance and better handling, with slightly less range. Whether or not you “need” it becomes personal preference. If the concern is over winter driving, unless you get a whole lot of snow in, say, western Maryland, then you probably do not “need” AWD. But you do need winter tires.

Winter tires in rear wheel drive cars give you much more control in wintry driving conditions than AWD without winter tires. Teslas by their basic design handle very well already, but bad tires won’t help whether two or four provide power.

What tires do you recommend?

This question too becomes one of personal preference. The basic stock tires that come with Teslas are generally quite good, although they may tend to wear out much faster than you’d expect (especially if you can’t resist exuberant driving, given how brutal Teslas can be). Tesla winter tire packages are also decent, although they may seem pricey. The Model 3 18” Pirelli SottoZero’s handle quite well in wintry conditions, and getting four wheels as well as four tires, TPMS sensors, and installation makes the $2,000 list price not too much higher than going somewhere else, like Tire Rack.

It has been said that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 tires are the best winter tires. There’s a place in Baltimore that does installations.

It has also been said that the Michelin CrossClimate+ (link goes to Tire Rack.com, Model 3 18” size) are great tires for all season tire replacements. The Michelin CrossClimate 2 (also TireRack.com, Model 3 18″ size) tires have also been positively commented on.

For a quieter ride, some have recommended the Vredestein Quatrac Pro (again, TireRack.com, Model 3 18″ size).

But you’re going to get a whole lot of recommendations, and that Tesla Owners Club of Maryland does not offer any endorsement for any tire brand. Other members have recommended them, your experiences may vary.. One thing to keep in mind is how quiet the tires are, as there’s of course no engine noise to drown the noise out. Another thing to consider is maybe getting wider tires to help guard against rim rash, although wider tires aren’t necessarily problem free either. They may have a greater impact on range, they may affect the accuracy of the speedometer depending on the difference in size, and they may introduce a greater blowout risk when taking hard corners. There isn’t much verifiable information either way on that, but those considerations should be factored in.

There is a matrix on Reddit that can help as well.

How often do I need to rotate my tires?

Teslas have nothing special about them when it comes to tire maintenance. Tires should be rotated when there is sufficient difference in tread wear. For RWD cars, the rule of thumb is about every 10,000 miles. For AWD cars, they may never need rotating.

When should I replace my tires?

Again, Teslas have nothing special about them when it comes to tire maintenance. The only change here is, because Teslas are pretty brutal in laying down power to the road, you will probably have to replace them sooner than expected. The stock 18” tires on a Model 3, for instance, may not last 25,000 miles. When the tread depth is below 4/32”, you should consider it. If it gets below 2/32”, you’ve become a road hazard. If you don’t have a tread depth measuring tool, just put a quarter into the tread. If the top of George Washington’s head is flush with the tread, that’s a good time to start thinking about new tires. If you see the entire head, please start shopping.

How do I fix curb rash?

Curb rash is almost like a badge of honor. Based on how many times this is asked, a significant percentage of owners have it happen to them at one time or another. Given how easy it is to do, you first have to decide if it’s worth fixing, as it may happen again anyway.

Because the wheel rims are wider than the OEM tires, the rims are the first thing to hit that annoyingly placed curb. One option to avoid this in the future is to replace your tires with wider ones, so the tire takes the hit, not the wheel rim. Please read this answer for more information on that.

Several places have been recommended to fix curb rash. They are, with no recommendations other than someone else liked them, listed below. Note that Tesla Owners Club of Maryland does not offer any endorsement by mentioning these vendors. Other members have recommended them, your experiences may vary.

How can I fix a flat on my Tesla?

The important thing to keep in mind with regards to flats and Tesla is, there is fundamentally no difference between this and any other car. The other important thing to keep in mind is, flats are almost never covered under warranty. It would require an obvious defect to win that argument.

With that said, you may run into issues finding a tire shop that knows how to work on a Tesla. This boils down to them understanding the need to use the lift pucks (that you can buy yourself and keep in the car, search for “Tesla pucks” on Amazon or Google) so as to not damage the battery.

Per Maryland state law, you should have a pump and tire repair kit that came with your Tesla. That may help out in a pinch. It is a good idea to have a pump in your car anyway, but make sure it’s one that does not draw too much power from the cigar lighter because the 12v battery in the Tesla is not the same in ICE cars. 15 amp is borderline too much and may cause the cigar lighter to shut off for 60 minutes. The KenSun product (link to Amazon) and Foseal product (link to Amazon) are known to work with Teslas.

You also have the option of Tesla Roadside Assistance, available from within the car or the app. Note, however, that they will only give you a loaner tire if they have one available and only if you are still under warranty. You will still need to make an appointment at your nearby Service Center to get it properly fixed.

The following locations have been used by other members with success. Note that Tesla Owners Club of Maryland does not offer any endorsement by mentioning these vendors. Other members have recommended them, your experiences may vary.