Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Inspecting and Maintaining Tires

Regularly inspect the tread and side walls for any sign of distortion (bulges), foreign objects, cuts or wear.

WARNING: Do not drive Model S if a tire is damaged, excessively worn, or inflated to an incorrect pressure. Check tires regularly for wear, and ensure there are no cuts, bulges or exposure of the ply/cord structure.

Tire Wear

Adequate tread depth is important for proper tire performance. Tires with a tread depth less than 4/32" (3 mm) are more likely to hydroplane in wet conditions and should not be used. Tires with a tread depth less than 5/32" (4 mm) do not perform well in snow and slush and should not be used when driving in winter conditions.

Model S is originally fitted with tires that have wear indicators molded into the tread pattern. When the tread has been worn down to 4/32" (3 mm), the indicators start to appear at the surface of the tread pattern, producing the effect of a continuous band of rubber across the width of the tire. For optimal performance and safety, Tesla recommends replacing tires before the wear indicators are visible.

Tire Rotation, Balance, and Wheel Alignment

Tesla recommends rotating the tires every 6,250 miles (10,000 km) or if tread depth difference is 2/32 in (1.5 mm) or greater, whichever comes first.

Tire rotation is an essential part of tire maintenance. It helps maintain an even treadwear pattern which enhances the tire's overall wear quality, decreases road noise and maximizes tire life.

Vehicles with staggered tires can be rotated side-to-side (left-to-right) but not front-to-back as the front and rear tire size is different.

Unbalanced wheels (sometimes noticeable as vibration through the steering yoke) affect vehicle handling and tire life. Even with regular use, wheels can get out of balance. Therefore, they should be balanced as required.

If tire wear is uneven (on one side of the tire only) or becomes abnormally excessive, check the alignment of wheels.

Punctured Tires

A puncture eventually causes the tire to lose pressure, which is why it is important to check tire pressures frequently. Permanently repair or replace punctured or damaged tires as soon as possible.

Your tubeless tires may not leak when penetrated, provided the object remains in the tire. If, however, you feel a sudden vibration or ride disturbance while driving, or you suspect a tire is damaged, immediately reduce your speed. Drive slowly, while avoiding heavy braking or sharp steering and, when safe to do so, stop the vehicle. Arrange to have Model S transported to a Tesla Service Center, or to a nearby tire repair center.

NOTE: In some cases, you can temporarily repair small tire punctures (under 1/4" (6 mm) ) using an optional tire repair kit available from Tesla. This allows you to slowly drive Model S to Tesla or to a nearby tire repair facility.

WARNING: Do not drive with a punctured tire that has not been repaired, even if the puncture has not caused the tire to deflate. A punctured tire can deflate suddenly at any time.

Flat Spots

If Model S is stationary for a long period, tires can form flat spots. When Model S is driven, these flat spots cause a vibration which gradually disappears as the tires warm up and regain their original shape.

To minimize flat spots during storage, inflate tires to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire wall. Then, before driving, release air to adjust tire pressure to the recommended levels.

Improving Tire Mileage

To improve the mileage you get from your tires, maintain tires at the recommended tire pressures, observe speed limits and advisory speeds, and avoid:

  • Pulling away quickly, or hard acceleration.
  • Fast turns and heavy braking.
  • Potholes and objects in the road.
  • Hitting curbs when parking.
  • Contaminating tires with fluids that can cause damage.

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