Rotating tires on a Tesla is important to ensure that all the tires wear evenly. Doing a routine tire rotation will also help your Tesla perform to its full potential and minimize the risk of an incident due to a blown tire.
Unevenly worn tires can also be dangerous, leading to loss of traction that not even Tesla’s advanced traction control can compensate for.
If you own a high-performance Tesla, keeping a close eye on tire wear and performing routine tire rotations is even more important. What is the recommended Tesla tire rotation pattern?
Recommended Tesla Tire Rotation Pattern
Tesla recommends rotating the tires every 6,250 miles (10,000 km) or if the tread depth difference is around 2/32 of an inch (1.5 mm), whatever comes first.
Tesla recommends a standard front-to-rear and rear-to-front rotation pattern without changing sides. This means that your front left tire gets switched with your rear left while your front right tire gets switched with your rear right tire.
After rotating your tires, you need to go to Controls > Service > Wheel & Tire Configuration > Tires and update your car’s tire configuration, so the car knows the tires have been rotated and will later warn you to rotate your tires after 6,250 miles.
How To Rotate Tires on a Tesla?
- Preparation – Find the lift points of your Tesla. Take a certified Tesla jack puck, and place it into its associated holes underneath the vehicle. Be sure to do this on both sides of the vehicle. Only do this on level ground, preferably in an enclosed environment like your garage.
- Engage the parking brake – Engage the parking brake by going to Controls -> Safety -> Parking Brake.
- Loosen the lug nuts – Loosen the lug nuts with a breaker bar before raising the car. Breaking the nuts loose is not recommended while your car is lifted up.
- Jack the car, front axle first – After breaking the nuts, double-check if the jack is in the correct position and slowly raise the car, so the wheels are at least a few inches off the ground. It’s better first to raise the car’s front end and then proceed and raise the rear end.
- Rotate the Tires – Remove the left rear tire and replace it with the left front tire. Remove the right front tire and replace it with the right rear tire.
- Hand Tightens the Lugs – You don’t need to tighten the lug nuts too much. Apply moderate torque with your hand or wrench. All you want is the tire to be securely attached to the car.
- Torque the Tires – Use a torque wrench and set it to 130 ft-lbs. Apply torque to all lug nuts after lowering the car down.
- Retorque after a few days – It’s also recommended to retorque your wheels to 130 ft-lbs after a few hundred miles just to be sure the wheels are torqued properly.
1. Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Keep the tire pressure at the recommended level specified in the owner’s manual or on the label inside the driver’s door. Tesla vehicles also have a built-in tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that alerts you if the pressure is low. You should check the tire pressures at least once in two weeks.
While doing so, it’s also a good idea to check for any signs of defects, cuts, scratches, punctures, or any other imperfections that could cause problems down the line.
2. Rotate Your Tires
We already discussed how important tire rotations are, as uneven tread depth can make your car’s traction levels inconsistent. This is a problem on all cars, especially those with bags of power and AWD, as with most Teslas.
All these small imperfections across all four corners of your car will lead to inconsistencies in both comfort and performance.
3. Check Tire Thread Depth
A powerful Tesla like a Model S Plaid can destroy a set of tires in no time. The incredible amount of torque that the electric motors of a Tesla produce can shred tires quicker than you expect. Always pay close attention to the tread depth on each tire.
Replace the tires if the tread depth is less than 2/32 inch or the wear indicators show the tire as worn. Driving with an excessively worn tire may lead to tire blowouts or poor handling.
4. Avoid Overloading your Tires
Avoid overloading the vehicle or exceeding the maximum load capacity specified in the owner’s manual. This can cause excessive wear on the tires and affect their performance.
5. Store Tires Properly
If you are not using your Tesla for an extended period, such as during the winter, store the tires in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Conclusion & recommendations
Tesla recommends a standard front-to-back tire rotation pattern without switching the tires left to right or right to left (no X pattern rotations).
Tesla also recommends always using your best tires on the rear axle. Even on all-wheel-drive Teslas, most of the car’s torque will be applied to the rear wheels.