Model 3

Killer Pot Hole

Just hit a crater on my way back to work and damaged both passenger tires or maybe the rims. Got the few blocks back to the office with 25 lbs. remaining in each tire. Not a fan of low profile tires but it was the only option available when I purchased my M3 during the pandemic. They handle great but not much cushion.


  • That sucks.
  • We need KPHA* much more than rear crisscross applesauce alerts.

    *Killer Pot Hole Avoidance
  • Must be them weak ass rims Tesla makes /s
  • Pretty much all cars come with “low profile tires” these days. Try finding a new car or truck with <17” rim.
  • I was concerned about the low profile tires for exactly this reason. But it was the only option I had at the time. They handle VERY well but there is less meat to protect it in a high impact. Got it all on video and after work I am going to take a picture of the pothole. Gonna try to make a claim on the construction company that made the hole but didnt mark it.
  • @HAL2001

    Aren't 18", 19", and, 21" rims available or do you have a M3P?

    What ended up being damaged, tires, rims, or both?
  • A killer pothole will take out all versions of rim, 18” or 21”, doesn’t matter.
  • I’ve hit a killer pothole once in April but I was at low speed in a parking lot while looking at the firefighters going around the Walmart parking lot just aside the hospital parking. They were honking to cheer for healthcare workers. I hit the 1 foot deep pothole at probably under 5mph and it felt like I destroyed my car and I heard the underbody rubbing on the tarmac. The kind of pothole I used to drive in with my dodge caravan. Now I try to avoid them.
  • Take a look at the aftermarket forged wheels made by TSportline or Martian Wheels.
  • I have the 19” low profile tires. When I purchased my M3 during the height of the pandemic Tesla was shut down. My ICE car was on its last legs so getting something right away was critical. So it had to be an inventory car. The only car in my color and features was 150 miles away in DC but Tesla trucked it up to my local SC at no charge. The one item I did not want was low profile tires. But it was this car or wait until production started again. I was concerned about the tires but more concerned about the imminent death of my ICE car.

    I have to say the low profile tires really perform well but my pothole concern came true.

    But It turns out this might not be a low profile tire issue. I went back after work to take a picture of the pothole and discovered 2 ICE cars with normal tires changing a flat. Both were victims of my pothole.

    My car was towed to the SC but it was late in the day so I just took our work truck home. Tesla gave me Uber credits but I will probably only use them to pick up the car when it’s ready. So I do not know yet if it is 2 tires or 2 rims or both. I do not suspect any other damage, maybe an alignment at most.

    I plan to file a claim with the county because their road construction is the cause of the pothole. They unloaded a massive dozer and gouged out a large crater directly in the lane of travel.

    I have the video saved and when I get some time I will post it.
  • > @HAL2001 said:
    > Just hit a crater on my way back to work and damaged both passenger tires or maybe the rims. Got the few blocks back to the office with 25 lbs. remaining in each tire. Not a fan of low profile tires but it was the only option available when I purchased my M3 during the pandemic. They handle great but not much cushion.

    Try Tire Rack they have been good to me.

    Sorry to hear are you in NJ as we have massive holes one reason I did not go for the larger rims.
  • Yup NJ. It’s at the SC so no tire rack this time, plus I am not sure about my rims yet. I may have killed the rims.
  • I’ve had 3 blowouts this year. Really close to buying 3rd party 18’s for my m3p
  • When I hit a monster pothole in my Audi S4 a couple years ago, and cracked a wheel, broke the wheel bearing and hurt two tires, I asked my insurance agent and it was covered, so you might check. Through my own lack of control after hitting gravel and rotating my M3P this past Friday, I 'kissed a curb' with both driver side wheels tires - put it on a flatbed this PM to my local SC. $500 deductible is cheap compared to what I expect to damage to be.
  • 18” vs 19” is only 0.5” more sidewall. So almost nothing for big pothole protection.
  • Yes I am covered by insurance but my rates will go up so I am going after the county directly.
  • Got'er back an hour ago. 2 new tires, the rims are fine. Towed 30 Miles, Balanced and all tires rotated $720.00 Bit on the high side. I have a $500 detectable so its not worth my insurance rates going up. I am going to put a claim in to the county. Found out they had filled the pothole the day before but it look's like they did a crappy job.
  • Looking at that pothole I'd say you were very lucky. Glad to hear it turned out well.
  • Will FSD/AutoPilot dodge/avoid potholes(sizes matter...)?
  • @HAL2001 Hope you get some $$ from the county. As I recall, I had to specify where the crater was and Travelers noted that it was state maintained intercity interstate so they confirmed multiple hits in the same area I guess. Total bill was $2400+ so 500 deductible was a deal. Same for this time on my 3; $5000 so far, and they've already sent $4500 to my bank account.
  • > @W3C said:
    > Will FSD/AutoPilot dodge/avoid potholes(sizes matter...)?

    I would think not yet. But I was not in AP when I hit it.
  • FWIW, I was on my 18" winter wheels and Pirelli Sottozero 3s; if I had the summer 20 ones on, I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to drive home and would have had to replace two tires and not just 1
  • Pothole avoidance is an anticipated feature of FSD.
  • My pothole was bigger than your pothole :P This happened to me back in March while I still had my snow tires on. Sounded like something exploded when I drove over it. It was raining totally didn't see it. Very fortunate that I was able to drive home, amazing that no air leaked at all. I guess being 18" and the softer snow tire was able to withstand the impact. Driver's side front wheel bent but the tire was fine. The rear was completely fine. Cost me one replacement wheel and labor to remove the tire from the bent wheel, total ~$200.
  • My big pothole blowout took place in Richmond on 19” snow tires vs the 21” summer wheels of my Model S. My TPMS showed 4 PSI IIRC within seconds. Never saw the pothole at the start of an on ramp. Large sidewall gash that I attempted to get to hold air with multiple plugs to no avail.
    Flatbedded to a tire store and replaced two tires since they had 58k miles on them. Would have been required to get 4 tires per the tire store if I’d had AWD. Macy attacked a creepy guy that approached her and my daughter without permission, so there was a little extra drama.
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