First wheel rotation myself

First wheel rotation myself

Now that Tesla is charging for rotations - around $90 in the Bay Area, I decided to do it myself.
I found a nice little jack at Home Depot for $55:

From Harbor Freight -
Breaker bar: $22
21 mm socket: $4
150 lb torque wrench: $25

The floor jack has a small lift cup, it can work without an insert but I used a hole-saw to cut out an oak disc to fit inside and it sits nicely against the jack point.

1. Pop the covers.
2. Loosen the lugs on both wheels with the breaker.
3. Lift the car from the rear jack point until I see light under the front tire.
4. Using a drill with socket - remove the lugs and pull the rear tire. Roll next to front.
5. Repeat on front, pull and replace with rear wheel. Put one lug on and tighten with drill.
6. Put rear tire on and tighten all lugs with the drill.
7. Tighten all front lugs with drill.
8. Lower car to ground.
9. Torque all lugs on both wheels.
10. Repeat on other side.
11. Drive a mile through the neighborhood.
12. Re-torqe - wasn't necessary.
13. Replace covers.


Passion2Fly | 20. Juni 2019

I've already rotated the tires twice by myself... pretty much like you... I purchased a rubber piece for the jack's cup...

gmr6415 | 20. Juni 2019

Michelin recommends a hybrid cross pattern for rear wheel drive and a standard cross pattern for all wheel drive.

Techy James | 20. Juni 2019

Saves on money. A point you missed blocking tires on other side so car don't roll. Other than That I think you got it covered.

Magic 8 Ball | 20. Juni 2019

Just buy your next set of tires at one of the big chains that give free repair and rotation for life of tire.

gwolnik | 20. Juni 2019

Wheelworks (in Sunnyvale, California) only charged me $20. I don't know if that is their standard price or if it was because I'm a long-time customer there with my previous cars.

Syed.Hosain | 20. Juni 2019

Hmmm. For the OP, Would it be safer to buy two jacks and lift the entire side to avoid twisting the car a bit that way? I.e., your step 3 "lift rear to get daylight on *front* wheel" bothers me a bit ... not sure if I am worrying too much about the battery in this regard.

Like Magic 8 Ball said, I prefer the idea of buying tires at a place that has a full lift and does free rotations ... and just in case, I have 4 pucks to make sure that they lift properly.

I suppose we could also get two jacks ... they are inexpensive enough, right?

Magic 8 Ball | 20. Juni 2019

Tesla mobile uses single jack, no flex issues at all. Safety stand(s) are a must, hydraulic jacks (especially cheap ones), fail too frequently.

Pepperidge | 20. Juni 2019
CST | 20. Juni 2019

@M8B - I'm going to risk it since the wheels are only off for about 30 seconds. Mobile did 2 jacks but said one was fine.

Syed.Hosain | 20. Juni 2019

@Pepperidge | June 20, 2019
Watch this

I have a couple of concerns with what the guy did on the video:

1. He chocked the other side *behind* both front and rear wheels ... far better to do *behind* the rear wheel and in *front* of the front wheel (or vice-versa). To prevent rolling in either direction.

2. He used the torque wrench to loosen the bolts prior to lifting - but he does add text to the video to use the breaker bar instead of what he did.

Syed.Hosain | 20. Juni 2019

@Magic 8 Ball "Tesla mobile uses single jack, no flex issues at all."

Okay, good to know. Thanks!

@Magic 8 Ball "Safety stand(s) are a must, hydraulic jacks (especially cheap ones), fail too frequently."

Definitely agreed!

CST | 20. Juni 2019

I set the parking brake before doing mine. I also did it in a level garage that has carpeting. Is there likely any benefit to putting will blocks in this scenario?
Also, I accidentally torqued to 150 instead of 129. Would there be any likely issue with that other than the lugs being more difficult to remove?

Magic 8 Ball | 20. Juni 2019

@CST Over torqued is a big no no. If you put too much torque you may have damaged the studs. Definitely back off to the proper torque and hope your studs are fine.

Get a safety stand.

Shopaholic | 20. Juni 2019

gmr6415 : I saw that before, but doesn’t it change the direction of tire rotation ? I thought that radial tires should be turning in the same direction or may cause tread separation or failure.

syclone | 21. Juni 2019

Gals, Guys - If there's one in your area - $20.00 at Costco

thedrisin | 21. Juni 2019

Tesla now recommends rotation 10-12,000 mi. Michelin recommends 6-8000 mi. or as specified by the vehicle manufacturer, the lesser of the 2. What are people here doing?

AZM3Owner | 21. Juni 2019

I was considering doing rotations myself. However, the OEM tires (Michelin MXM4) needed replacement at 25K miles (M3 LR RWD). There is no tread warranty on these tires when sold as OEM. Hence I bought the next set (Continental DWS 06) from Discount Tire and get free rotations and 50K mile tread warranty. If I rotated at home, I don't know that the self-documentation would be sufficient for a tread warranty claim which I fully expect to make at 25-30K miles.

gmr6415 | 21. Juni 2019

@Shopaholic, Only uni-directional tires cannot be changed from side to side; therefore, changing the direction of rotation, which is the 4th selection in that list.

Uni-directional tires will have an arrow on the outside of the tire illustrating the correct direction of rotation for the tire.

DanFoster1 | 21. Juni 2019

I always do my own tires—saves mad time over driving to the shop and waiting. I give my car A+ service every time :-)

I check the brakes, buff the hubs, lubricate what needs lub, clean what needs cleaning, toque the lug bolts in the approved pattern to the approved torque etc. etc. it’s quite difficult to find a mechanic who would take that kind of care, and if you do, you’re gonna pay much more.

jweiner | 21. Juni 2019

You didn't account for the cost of the drill - LOL

Techy James | 21. Juni 2019

@thedrisin Guess I was one that did a average between two recommendations and went with 9.5K. At that point the front and back tires was at both at same tread depth of 7MM. I really expected the rear tires to be lower than front considering the car is LR RWD version. Especially since I tend to use regenerative braking for most of my slowing down. Maybe the micro changes to steering by AP is causing extra wear on front that matches wear on rear tires.

Techy James | 21. Juni 2019

Correction tire depth was 7/32" not MM

sergei3 | 21. Juni 2019

@gmr6415 tires are unidirectional (at least on mine, original) and even have marking which side is outside. Secondly, to rotate how Michelin suggest will mean remove tire from rim and mount it back.

CST | 21. Juni 2019

@jweiner - funny! I guess since it's optional I can get away with that :)

CST | 21. Juni 2019

@M8B - I loosened the lug nuts and retorqued them. Hopefully the extra 20 pounds of pressure didn't do much.

Syed.Hosain | 21. Juni 2019

@CST "I loosened the lug nuts and retorqued them. Hopefully the extra 20 pounds of pressure didn't do much."

Good to get them to the right torque ... please check again in not too many miles, since they do come loose sometimes.

CST | 27. Juni 2019

My neighbor was just driving by and stopped to say hi. He mentioned he was going to schedule a service visit to rotate his wheels - 1 hr drive each way. I mentioned I could do it and he pulled in the garage and we were done in about 12 minutes. Saved him time and about $90.

Joshan | 27. Juni 2019

@CST wait what the.... your garage is Carpeted?

Joshan | 27. Juni 2019

On topic, I recommend Costco for rotations for people not doing it theselves. It is only $20 and they also balance them at the same time. They have the Tesla pads for proper lifting.

CST | 27. Juni 2019

@Joshan - yes, the previous owner was a car detailer, I guess he liked that :)

shawncordell | 27. Juni 2019

Yep, rotated mine the other day. Easy as pie.

cbmilehigh | 29. Juni 2019

I used Costco this week. In the DC area they charged $26 to balance and rotate. Since they did not have jack pads, they asked me to install my own. Very satisfied with Costco service.