Why your 21" wheels need Alloygators

Why your 21" wheels need Alloygators

So there I was, in the parking lot of a grocery store, trying to gently back out of a parking space. I turned the wheel just a bit too much, apparently, and SCRAAAAAPE, my right front wheel was up against the curb. After cringing a bit, I drove back to a friend's place. Getting out, I saw this:

My heart fell. But then, I realized what I was looking at. The Alloygator, which I had installed the day after I got my car, was destroyed, but the wheel itself was entirely unblemished. Woohoo!

Add to that the fact that you get 5 Alloygators in a £60 set meant I had a spare back home waiting to be put on. -- If you enter the code TESLA10 when ordering, you get a 10% discount on your purchase.

GeirT | 15. August 2013

Hmmm... look at that! Seems like a smart idea even though a commercial push here in the forums which normally I do not like.
Wonder if it really holds what it promises, if it influences wheel balancing and auto pressure sensor?

cfOH | 15. August 2013

Just to be clear: I have zero affiliation with the AlloyGator folks...just a very satisfied customer. I think recommending a product is OK, no?

AlMc | 15. August 2013

GeirT; I have them on my 21" tires. No problem with TPMS and so far I think I am getting normal wear on the tires.

Glad the 'gators' saved you cfOH

AlMc | 15. August 2013

cfOH: Since you are not pushing 'fake passports' you are good by me! :)

Brian H | 15. August 2013

Perfect post, and your "commercial" info is entirely appropriate.

A before/after "fixed" image would be helpful, too.

mkh1437 | 15. August 2013

I have ordered and received a set of Alloygators, but now that I look at the installation instructions, I'm thinking I would prefer to have a professional install them. Where have people had them installed? Are you able to just take them to a tire shop? I did ask at the Tesla Service Center, but they will not touch them because they are not authorized accessories.

cbentinck | 15. August 2013

I have been equally saved by my alloy gators and with the grey rims they are fairly discrete and certainly more so that the metal that would be showing through after a couple of rubs with the curb

cfOH | 15. August 2013

@mkh1437 They're not that difficult to install...just takes a bit of practice and time. The first one I did took me nearly an hour to figure out the instructions and get everything done in the right order. The fifth one I did took me under 25 minutes, start to finish. All you really need is a jack, a tire pump (preferably powered), a rubber mallet, and something that cuts through metal/plastic -- I use some old (yet sharp) angled wire snips. Not ideal, but they do the trick.

fuellss | 15. August 2013

I am so sorry that happened....but happy your tire is okay...we all dread the day that will happen to us...the first few weeks our kids would walk around the car and do a rim check to make sure there were no scrapes...

RZippel | 16. August 2013

Doesn't this require balancing the wheels? For higher speeds I would not expect this to just work...

Never scratched a rim... I rather go through the sometimes regarded embarrassing (not worrying me) exercise with new cars on an empty parking lot with my wife and practice how what you see in cameras and mirrors corresponds to the position of the car relative to curbs, lines, etc.

A ritual just like a one day safety training to check the electronic helpers in the car in safe conditions...

And it helps to not pretend to be able to do more than one thing while driving. I even stopped handsfree phone calls after an accident that was not my fault (hit after someone ignored a red traffic light) but if I would not have been on the phone (although hands free build in) I might just have been able to avoid the other car.

mkh1437 | 16. August 2013

@RZippel: "Doesn't this require balancing the wheels?" -- That's why I was assuming I should have a professional install the Alloygators... so they could make sure the wheels remain balanced.

@cfOH: Aside from the concern raised above regarding balancing... I don't have a jack! The only jack I have ever owned was the one that came with the car, and since Model S doesn't supply one, I am sans jack. Sure, I could go buy one (as well as a rubber mallet, which I also don't own)... but now I'm getting into the area of "more trouble than it's worth." I'd feel better having it done by someone who is more skilled than I am.

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@GeirT - There are a number of us who have mentioned and discussed these in many threads...

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@mkh1437 - I had them done at America's Tire/Discount Tire. They charge a flat fee per wheel. Just make sure they read the instructions thoroughly and carefully. The instructions on where to put the retaining clips are split across two steps and caused some confusion for my guy. As for rebalancing, it shouldn't be necessary if installed correctly, but it's probably a good idea.

carlk | 16. August 2013

Just one problem for me for the alloygators. Why you have to destroy the original look by putting on something that I assume do not look as good? Not to mention you still have to spend money to have it fixed. You can get the rim curb rash fixed for around $100 too.

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@carlk - You can get it fixed ONCE for that. For less disastrous curbing the alloygators will take the brunt and stay intact saving you many times... They don't look that bad at all. Check it out (click through for larger sizes):

TeslaLABlue | 16. August 2013

I dont get why people are having problems scraping their 21" wheels???

I have never had 21" wheels in my life. Now I have a model S with 21" wheels since February.

Absolutely no problem with scratches etc. Is it that no one knows how to drive, park etc???

I always look in rear view... which tilts down when parallel parking. Any other parking just always be aware how close your tires are to the curb? How tough is that?

Its ridiculous .... I guess people are just lazy and use their tires as bumpers to park?

NKYTA | 16. August 2013

@ virtualarry
In my case it was going from a Jetta that I had known for 15 years to a really long and wide car with performance rims that stick out past the tires. I happened once to my wife and once to me in the first 10 days of ownership. Got the rims fixed and now that I've gotten the mirror setting in reverse spot-on, nothing since.

fuellss | 16. August 2013

virtualarry-As our daughter would say..."Karma".....You'll see...

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@virtualarry - The tilt mirror thing is only if you have the tech package. Sometimes when parking options are limited, you are forced to pull into a tight spot next to a curb. It's not like it's an every day occurrence, but, come on, shit happens!

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@virtualarry - One last parting thought... Why have seat belts and airbags? Don't you know how to drive?

carlk | 16. August 2013

@GeekEV They look OK but I still like to have my rim to have the original look. I always have the option of putting the alloygator AFTER the rim got scratches but I may not even do that then. I never even notice the scratches on my rim other than when I'm washing the car.

AlMc | 16. August 2013

Carik: I have them. Mine are black but you can get them in silver
which virtually matches the wheels. Unless you are up close you will not notice them.

fuellss | 16. August 2013

GeekEV+1. You said exactly what I was thinking, thank you...

Maestrokneer | 16. August 2013

@GeekEV: Just FYI, I don't have the tech package and my mirrors tilt. Not sure where you're getting the information from. You just have to reset your mirror when you're in reverse and then save it.

TeslaLABlue | 16. August 2013

@NKYTA yea, I had an Audi A4 Cabriolet. The Model S is huge compared to my last car so I am careful

@Calover yes Karma I will. Even the guy at the service center said "you'll eventually scrape them" My neighbor's 21" wheels are completely scraped up. I have been reading Tesla forum for about 2 years now ... however long its existed. So I was warned plenty of times. My care was delivered with 1 scraped wheel... so they swapped it out. I guess all the warnings and the fact that my car was delivered with a scraped wheel has made me more aware of the possibility.

@GeekEV I avoid tight parking at all costs and thats not even for the wheels... its for door dings. At the grocery store I park in wide spots far away. Its actually easier to get in and out of the lot..instead of fighting with people wishing for a spot close to the store. Also avoids sitting behind people waiting for a spot close to the front door of a store. For me that comes with the territory of owning a nice car.
Re: one last thought. Putting the equivalent of what I would call a grandmas plastic couch cover on your Model S tires is not a fair comparison to safety devices. I survived childhood without seat belts and airbags and even sitting in the back of my neighbors pickup truck in the snow. But as you know there are countless others less fortunate that got in accidents and were seriously injured if not worse. The State and I believe the feds require seat belts so thats a good thing. They save lives. You can be the best driver, but if someone else makes a mistake then you'll thank your Model S, seat belts and airbags for saving your life. Parking is easy with many choices depending on your level of patience. Avoiding a crash is not.

danej | 16. August 2013

Do folks have issues with scraping the 19" wheels too, or is this issue unique to the 21s?

GeekEV | 16. August 2013

@Maestrokneer - It's very confusing, but some of the early cars got the electrochromatic/tilting/memory mirrors because Tesla hadn't sourced the regular mirrors yet. Around the time I got my car (Feb/Mar) is when the stopped including that unless you have the tech package. Volkerize some of my earlier posts about mirror memory, tech package and leather seats if you want to know more.

JPPTM | 17. August 2013

My 19" rims do not protrude past the tire sidewall--does not mean that it will prevent rim rash. FWIW, I specifically did not get 21s to avoid the shabby rim rash look (I have had low profile tires/big rims on prior vehicles and just could never avoid scuffing then from time to time...).

LEvans | 17. August 2013

Where can I buy these in Maryland? I'd prefer to have them professionally installed. Any recommendations?

EVMD | 04. September 2013

Get wider tires 255 and is the same thing