21" Tire Wear Experience Survey

21" Tire Wear Experience Survey

There is a lot of guessing going regarding the wear being experienced by owners with 21" wheels. Can you please post your rear tire inside shoulder wear experience providing ViN, miles, driving style and tire (Conti or Mich).

For those not familiar with camber, here is a pictorial with ZERO tire compliance-

New Continentals have 8mm tread depth
New Pilots have 7.5mm tread depth

High Wear
lolachampcar 4288 800 miles Pilot 20% inside shoulder normal to mildly aggressive driving
JohnnyMac 1400 miles Continentals 7mm outside and 6mm inside conservative driving with some sprints
rodneynelson 5000 miles Continentals tires replaced for wear
mferrazano 2864 1600 miles replaced both tires and aligned by Tesla
Theresa 913 8500 miles cord showing on inside SC says toe is out (Rear Camber -1.8L -2.3R) Toe way out
rdaicanto 12780 730 miles Pilots early wear suggests 6-7K life Max Regen
Schlermie 27xx 6200 miles Continentals Rear 20% outside / 92% inside down to wear bars Moderate driving
sergiyz sig474 8400 miles Continentals rears replaced as they were down to the cord
carrerascott 5500 miles Continentals rears showing cord at 5500 miles
Jason S 10000 miles replaced (assume 21") Continentals Car found to have toe out
DJ Frustration 6000 miles 3/32" remaining on the inside
telsaguy P85 4000 miles (on 21s) 21" Continentals noticeable wear on the inside
rdalcanto P85+ 1400 miles 6/32 inner 8/32" outer alignment done at 7/32" inner wear
JohnnyMac 1500 miles inside down 25%
JaneW Continentals 4365 miles tires replaced - almost corded on inside of rear "fairly aggressive driving"
majgill 11700 tires replaced
FlasherZ S1049 4500 rears replaced

Normal Wear
Carefree 5430 4000 miles Michelins even wear on rear with normal driving
Keith72 4283 2000 miles Continentals even wear mostly tame driving
wormhole 45xx 5700 miles Continentals normal wear normal driving (339 WHr/Mile lifetime)
DC 1400 miles even wear (alignment just performed)
bradslee 2874 2400 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Brian.S 1856 6200 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Mark2131 1573 12150 miles Continentals even wear with slight cupping on inside normal driving with occasional flogging
TikiMan 14,500 miles Continentals slight cupping on rears before rotating to front a@ 10K miles
admjr 10843 1,500 miles Pilots slightly aggressive driving with no signs of wear
Velo1 7000 miles normal wear with rotation at 3500 and 7000 - alignment checked good
nickjhowe 2298 3000 miles Continentals 6.0-6.3 inside and 7.0-7.3 outside max regen
dennis DCWitt 6276 4200 miles Pilots 7mm front / 6.3mm rear even wear
rochec 6530 5100 miles Pilots normal wear
mferrazano 2864 5200 miles even wear (after alignment, see above)
drp 11000 miles reasonable life left (rotated at 5800 miles) mild driving max regen
VEnUB Sig127 11000 miles 7mm/2mm out/in tires replaced for sidewall damage (potholes)
DSM363 8800 miles (rotated at 3000) Depth In/Out (mm) Front 4.9/5.4 4.5/5.5 Rear 3.8/5.5 4.2/5.2
buzzbuzz 02xx 16000 miles Continentals (rotated at 6000) measured at 12,500 7/32" or 5.5mm all the way around normal driving style (expecting 25K from the tires)
NKYTA 1842 5000 miles Continentals Average driving plus test rides (LR inner showed wear but tracked down to toe) Max Regen
sia 11239 1650 miles Continental 7mm I/O front and rear 338 Whr/mile
Alex K araxara 3218 10,400 miles Continentals on track for 20K from tires (rotated at 7500) max regen 294 WHr/mile (complete tread measurements can be found pg 3 of ™ post)
jjs 3082 9000 miles (just rotated) Continentals 331 WHr/mile max regen tires wearing reasonably even
Chgd Up 25,250 miles (only 16K on these 21s) fronts at 6/32" replaced rears at 16,000 miles for cord showing 342 WHr/mile (lot of highway)
Jason 3156 11,800 miles Continentals 8/32" except for inside rear 7/32" expecting 20K miles 344 WHr/mile max regen
JonathanL 5000 miles on 21s with inside wear judging life to be 10k-12k miles
Brad Holt s85 3387 12000 miles Continentals "hardly any wear"
pilotSteve SigS 7500 mile service Continentals wear ok rotated at SC max regen
Kauai Contentals good wear for 4500 miles minor pulling right at 9000 miles with alignment at 11500 and significant inside wear. 3500 miles since alignment with stabilized wear
CnJsSigP Sig5xx 7700 miles Continentals LF6.5,6,6 RF6.5,6,6 LR7,7,6 RR7,7,6 mm rotated 6800 miles (rear toe roughly 1/16" total)
Cenarius P85+ 3500 miles 21 Pilots 6/32 inside and 7/32 outside both rears spirited and commuting
Andrew Wolfe S440 7700 miles 21" Continentals 7/32" on all four Moderate/Gentle 334 WHr/mile
ISF 1933 9600 miles 21" Continentals rotated at 4700 LF6/6/5 RF 6/6/5 LR6/7/5 RR5/6/5 out/mid/in
AIMc P85+ 2300 miles 21" Pilots 8/8/7 both rears out/mid/in

19" Owners with (tire) issues
Tommy 18600 replaced all four for inside shoulder wear. Rotation at 6K so two with 12K on rear and two with 6K on rear. 12K pair were bald on the inside shoulder.
JakeP 4996 5000 miles 4-5/32" rear and 8-9/32 front
Only Trons S85 8404 3300 miles 19" RSAs 9/32+ on all four tires max regen air sue 292 WHr/mile
timbers S85 5300 miles 19" 9/32 on all four tires 313 WHr/mile
Todd Burch S85 1653 11,300 miles 19" rears down to 3/32 on inside
mmx P85 2900 miles 19" wearing evenly

Carefree | 04. Juli 2013

VIN 5430

4,000 miles. Very even tire wear on rear.
Driving Style - normal (neither aggressive nor tame)

Keith72 | 04. Juli 2013

Vin 4283 - 85

Continentals - 21"
2000 miles
No visible uneven wear
Mostly tame driving

Mliss | 04. Juli 2013

@lola. Thank you for starting this topic. Can you post a guideline for reporting the % wear? (P85 #6672)

gasnomo | 04. Juli 2013

Vin 45xx, 5700 miles, OE Continentals, normal wear, i've had tires rotated once, normal driving style (339 wh/m since inception)

DC@Tesla | 04. Juli 2013

@Lola, for valid comparison the depth measurements have to be performed accurately and identically. What methods, technique and equipment is to be used? Also, it may be also useful to report actual tread depth measurements between the inside and outside shoulders as opposed to the "% wear" measurement alone.

P85, 1400 miles, no visible uneven tread issues but tires alignment performed by service center yesterday.

lolachampcar | 04. Juli 2013

I did not want to impede posting by putting up guidelines on wear. I figure those that have depth measurements would post them while others could provide an at a glance assessment.

I'm a nerd so I actually pulled the rears off and took a dial caliper to all the tread grooves across the tire. That is how I came up with the 20% number....

I'm guessing we will end up with a lot of "not much wear" and a few with "burned through the shoulder".

Carefree | 04. Juli 2013

Let's not over think this survey. Lola is right - just look at your tires and report back if the wear is even or not. It should not be more complicated than that.

JohnnyMac | 04. Juli 2013

Thank you very much for starting this thread @lola!

As I began to reply to this I found several things to be very interesting. In short, there is much room for error both in measuring tread depth as well as just eyeballing your tread deptth. Below are my specs but first my input.

First, you CANNOT just eyeball this. I almost replied saying "no noticeable tread wear difference on the inside". This would have been a mistake and incorrect. There is infact more wear on the inside edge after just 1,400 miles of driving (mix of city/hwy). Everyone who thinks they have no noticeable wear ought to measure it. That said, measuring this can be tough to get accurate and consistent measures, especially as each of us varying our technicque. Most of the groves in the the tread all have bevels and measure about 1mm different if you are not careful and if you lean your gauge/ruler side to side at all. Some of the groves in the tread that run mostly perpendicular to the direction of travel also do not go to the full tread dept as others do so you need to measure several to find the real depth. The best way I found to measure this is using a thin and precice stainless steel ruler or gauge that has a plastic slide on it so you can be very accurate (not sure if there is a name for this or not.) There is no other way to know for sure where you stand unless you measure it very accurately.

All this being said, I have never in my life needed to measure tread wear so this whole thing is a bit of an experience. Wondering why we even need to worry about it in the first place. So, I measured the deepest part of the inner and outermost tread blocks (which is the side of that tread block facing the middle of the tire.
What I found after 1,400 miles of driving (which i woudl say is a mix of city/highway, rapid acceleration limited to mainly freeway on ramps, not pushing hard into corners at all - overall generally very consertive with occasional brief spirited moments) is that I am down 1 additional mm on the inside. Specifically, I have about 6mm left on the inside and 7mm left on the outside. For reference, my front tires are at 7mm on both the inside and outside edges. I also happen to have a great baseline reference point for everyone here as I recently purchased an extra set of continentals when I found them at a great price of $200 per with no tax or shipping. The brand new tires measure 8mm deep BOTH on the inside and outside tread blcoks. I say Both because someone here posted that they measured the tread on a brand new MS and said the inside had less tread than the outside. This could in fact be true, but only true if you measure the inside on one of those groves which I stated above is not as deep as the grove adjacent to it (I.e. it's is cut only to a particl depth).

So, with this, I leave the conclusions to Lola and the other experts. Is this normal wear after 1,400 miles? Is being down 1mm out of 8mm outside and 2mm out of 8 inside reasonable? I suppose 1mm does not sound like much but it does mean that the wear rate is twice on the inside than it is on the outside, which is appreciable. Certainly makes a case for dismounting the rears and swapping side to side as Lola has done in the past (at your own risk) to even up the edge wear.

What are your thoughts on this Lola? Would love your input given the above detail.
10839 P85
1,400 miles
7mm left on outside, 6mm left on inside, (new appears to be 8mm)

rodneynelson | 04. Juli 2013

I had a blowout at 5,000 miles and had to replace both rear tires because of excessive inside wear. I drive like an old lady and am very disappointed. I just can't believe that Tesla service of Fremont won't own up that this is a manufactures problem. They said they have had rear tires that have had to be replaced with only 1,800 miles. I'm astonished.

P85 with 21" Conti's

mark_g | 04. Juli 2013

My experience back in March (VN02864) was the the origin of this tire wear debate. My problem was extreme wear (down to the cord) on the inner edge of the rear tires so much so that one of the tires deflated in a parking lot after only 1600 miles! As it turned out, the culprit was badly misaligned rear tires (volkerize EXTREME TIRE WEAR) to find the details. JohnnyMac, sure looks to me like you are headed along the same path as me, 25% wear after 1400 miles, not acceptable.

PS TM replaced both rear tires under warranty, realigned the car and now at 5200 miles, no problems.

mark_g | 04. Juli 2013

rodneynelson: the only difference between your situation and mine is simply a matter of degree. Looks like your car was only slightly better aligned then mine. So I guess I got lucky in that it was impossible to argue user error after only 1600 miles.

carlk | 04. Juli 2013

@lola Thanks for starting this thread. I think should just report your real world experiences so we can get an average tire wear situation from average drivers. There are enough other thread to discuss detail and technical issues.

JohnnyMac | 04. Juli 2013

I should've noted as well that mine were inflated to about 56lbs upon delivery (which is rediculous) and ran like that for the first 900 mikes or so before I noticed it and backed it down. Not sure at all what kind of an impact that has on the inside edge wear? Lola will know:)

bradslee | 04. Juli 2013

VIN 2874
MS85 with 21'
2,428 Miles
No visible uneven wear on rear tires
normal city and freeway driving

Brian.S | 04. Juli 2013

VIN 1856
Model S P85
Continentals inflated to 42PSI (cool temp.)
6200 miles
No visible or uneven wear
Normal City and Highway driving
Phoenix (Hot as Hades)

Mark2131@CA-US | 04. Juli 2013

Vin 1573
Model S 85 (not performance) 21" Continentals
12,150 Miles
Wear looks even, "slight cupping" on inside. Never been
rotated yet.
Normal commuter driving on freeway. Occasional flogging of
unsuspecting ICE's.
LA Area

My tires also arrived with extremely high pressure, but I caught it within the
first 200 Miles. (Just couldn't imagine that would happen!)

lolachampcar | 04. Juli 2013

from another thread nickjhowe
I have only 3000 miles on mine (Contis on a P85) and I have very consistent wear on all four tires - 6.0-6.3mm of tread on the inside, 7.0-7.3 on the outside.

lolachampcar | 04. Juli 2013

I have not found a good way to go back and edit the original post so I will periodically update this list so those interested can see a summary towards the bottom of this thread at all times.

lolachampcar 4288 800 miles Pilot 20% inside shoulder normal to mildly aggressive driving
Carefree 5430 4000 miles Michelins even wear on rear with normal driving
Keith72 4283 2000 miles Continentals even wear mostly tame driving
wormhole 45xx 5700 miles Continentals normal wear normal driving (339 WHr/Mile lifetime)
DC 1400 miles even wear (alignment just performed)
JohnnyMac 1400 miles Continentals 7mm outside and 6mm inside conservative driving with some sprints
rodneynelson 5000 miles Continentals tires replaced for wear
mferrazano 2864 1600 miles replaced both tires and aligned by Tesla
mferrazano 2864 5200 miles even wear
bradslee 2874 2400 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Brian.S 1856 6200 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Mark2131 1573 12150 miles Continentals even wear with slight cupping on inside normal driving with occasional flogging
nickjhowe 3000 miles Continentals 6.0-6.3 inside and 7.0-7.3 outside

lolachampcar | 04. Juli 2013

With respect to tire pressure, the correct pressure is determined by the vehicle manufacturer such that normal hot running tire temperatures produce an evenly loaded contact patch (from the inside to the outside - not including camber of course). Too little pressure will allow the center of the tire to pull away from the road causing the outside shoulders to wear. Conversely, too much pressure will cause the center to crown and wear leaving the shoulders with less wear.

I guess it is possible that too low a tire pressure combined with camber would allow just one (the inside) shoulder to wear excessively while still having perfect alignment. I've seen a lot of posts about to high a pressure while I do not remember a single post of too low. This would make me think tire pressure is not the culprit here.

Brian H | 04. Juli 2013

As OP you should see "Edit" and "View" overlaying the Tesla logo, upper left. The first entry and heading can be modified, by you only.

TikiMan | 04. Juli 2013

P85 Sig w/ 21' wheels and Continental Tires.
Purchase Date: Oct, 2012
Milage: 14,500
Tires rotated at 10k miles.
Typical Use: 140 mile daily commute 90% freeway (Los Angeles / Orange County, CA).
Average Speed: 75-80 MPH freeway.

Note: Slight inside cupping wear on former rear tires (now on front), however, wear appears to be normal for type of tire.

portia | 04. Juli 2013

what? you sold the car at 5500 miles? to whom? and why?

Bighorn | 04. Juli 2013


lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013


It was less expensive to sell my Silver/Grey P85 (retail sale - not trade in) and purchase a Red/Black P85+ than it was to do the field upgrade on the P85. I had another order in from last year so I kept 2012 pricing and did not have the up charge for 21s. In addition, I had the experience of the Silver car in Florida and knew the AC would have no problem with the black interior. The red was available when I ordered the first car but I was to impatient to wait for it. Lastly, I get all the + package elements when I go through the factory.

The new car is due on the 20th and I can assure you that you do not get any better at waiting for your car to show up the second time. The practice did not help :)

lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013

that and I am stuck driving the play car...... It's nice but it's ICE.

AlMc | 05. Juli 2013

Lola: Good thread: vin 10843; P+; 1500 miles; above average on 'aggressive;non aggressive' driver list; no evidence of wear

Question: Other than looking for wear or having the alignment checked any way you can tell is rear is misaligned; obvious there is drift/pull if front not aligned. Your thoughts always appreciated


PS..You are goin' love the P+!! Waiting for your report!

Theresa | 05. Juli 2013

Sig 913 car is in shop for repair so I can't check tire brand but driving style is normal to old lady. Had 8450 miles and cords were showing on inside of both rear tires. Outside looked almost new. SC said toe was out a lot. 21inch tires.

Regarding measuring tread depth any auto store has depth measures for about $5.00.

rdalcanto | 05. Juli 2013

Well, I don't know if I have enough miles to report yet.
P85+. Vin 12708. 730 miles. Moderate driving except for the occasional all out acceleration after I have the car rolling.
Half way between 6/32 and 7/32 on the tread gauge now on the inner rear. Was at 7/32 when I checked at 250 miles. Looks like I will be getting 6-7,000 miles before the tire is bald. I did get the alignment checked at Firestone today and the rear toe was a little off. See other thread for more details.

JohnnyMac | 05. Juli 2013

@admjr. You and I are just 4 apart on VIN numbers on our P85s. Almost identical miles as well. I am curious to know, did you measure yours or just eyeball them? When I eyeballed mine, they looked fine. When I measured them, I found I was down 1mm evenly on the fronts and the outside rears (seems reasonable), but down 2mm (which is 25% and twice the wear rate) on the inside rears. That puts me at a at tire life of less than 6,000 miles and on track for that potential unexpected blowout a few others have seen between 5-6k miles. Others here have pointed out that this is unreasonable wear. Just curious to know how yours measure since we are nearly the same VIN and milegage. Thanks Al!

lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013

I've not confirmed this with a test (tires too expensive) but I strongly suspect that wear will be the worst with new tires and will taper as the inner should wears and more pressure is put on the center and outside shoulder. You will still wear the in inner should but it will probably not be at a linear rate from the first mm to the last mm..... At least this is how I interpreted my 20% inside shoulder wear in 800 miles.

Theresa was spot on with the inexpensive tire depth tool from any parts store.

lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013

in inner should was supposed to be inner shoulder

AlMc | 05. Juli 2013

Johnny M: I use the 'eyeball' method and things 'look' good so far. Even with the MPilots, which should wear better than the Contis, I expect to get 10K miles at best from the rears. This is a heavy car with tremendous torque and regenerative brakes. I suspect all these come into play to decrease tire life. Then, add driving style and you get some real differences in wear.

If I get excessive wear by the 3K point I will be concerned that the alignment is out. I am trying to decide if I will have the alignment checked if there is a 'little' more wear than I expect.

Enjoy...Great car...Best I have ever driven. It is green, nice looking and quick....what a nice combo

lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013

I updated the OP with results to date. We are starting to get some meaningful data and it looks as though results are split with little to no correlation to driving style. There are more "my alignment was out" comments than I expected. There may well be something to this alignment thing.

Any problems if I start a thread on TMC and use this data as a starter?

Theresa | 05. Juli 2013

Fine with me. Please add link here.

nickjhowe | 05. Juli 2013

@lola - my VIN is 2298 for your OP

nickjhowe | 05. Juli 2013

@lola - you have me in the 'high wear' group, but I'm not sure mine is high. Do we know what the starting tread depth is on the Contis?

lolachampcar | 05. Juli 2013

moved you... sorry about that.

Dcwittenborn | 05. Juli 2013

DCWitt Vin6276 4200 miles MichPilots 7mm tread on fronts 6.3mm evenly across rears

rochec | 05. Juli 2013

5,100 miles and normal wear (had my Grandfather who used to own tire shops check just to be cautious).

Normal driving, trying to be conservative with all of the hype/concern.

rochec | 05. Juli 2013

Sorry, forgot tire type and vin.

Michelins and vin is 6530

JohnnyMac | 05. Juli 2013

@nickjhowe. I have a new set of Conti's I picked up on sale. Looks to be 8mm new.

Schlermie | 05. Juli 2013

Mileage: 6200 miles
Tires: 21" Continentals from factory
Inside shoulder wear: -92% (Down to the tread wear indicators )
Outside shoulder wear: -20%
VIN: ~2700
Driving Style: Moderate (340 Wh/mi lifetime with a 760 ft elevation change during daily commute)
Replacing rear tires tomorrow

lolachampcar | 06. Juli 2013

Has anyone confirmed the thread depth on a new set of Pilots (to be 8mm ??)?

drp | 06. Juli 2013

At 11,000 miles with the Michelin's, I am pretty impressed with the wear. Of course I had very low expectations when I initially even ordered the 21 inch wheels. I have a P85 and drive mostly expressway with really not much stop and go. I occasionally punch it once in a while but I really have not burned any rubber or abused the tires. I think a particular issue for Cornering like on entrance ramps and exit ramps is what I am careful about. I do not want to overly stressed the tire laterally so I do not whip around corners like some may be doing. That being said, I think it will be a stretch to get 20,000 miles on these particular tires. I just looked into pricing and it is about $2000 or so at Cosco for the pilot 2.

VEnUB | 06. Juli 2013

Just Replaced all four due to side wall bubbles from pot hole.
7mm outside; 2mm inside 11,000 Miles sig127

The wear appeared to be even but the rears, once off the car definitely
wear faster on the inside. Probably could have gone another 2000 miles max
had I not damaged the side walls. Longer if they had beed properly rotated.

justineet | 06. Juli 2013


mferrazano's second set of tires with 5200 miles should be in the normal section. He's reporting normal wear with the second set of tires after Tesla realigned his back wheels and replaced the tires.

Schlermie | 06. Juli 2013

The Continental tread depth specs at Tirerack say they're 10/32" (7.94mm).

Schlermie | 06. Juli 2013

The Pilot specs say 9.5/32" (7.54mm).

lolachampcar | 06. Juli 2013


sergiyz | 06. Juli 2013

Sig performance 474
Contis, replaced both rear tires at 8,400 miles, inside shoulder worn out to the liner.
Saw two other sigs in the shop with the same problem.
They didn't check the alignment saying it's by design and not an alignment problem.
I'll insist that they check next time.