Model X

Uneven tire wear

I have a 2019 100 long range AWD with the standard Continental Cross Contact 20" tire. By 20,000 miles the tires were showing significant wear on the front with very little wear on he back set. Since the front and back are asymmetric, the manual states not to rotate tires. I'm now at 26,000 miles and the fronts are evenly worn down to the point of badly needing to be replaced but the backs have probably another 10,000 miles to go. I'm moving to snow country in Feb for 3 months so want to get an all season tire but would like to identify the reason for the different wear pattern before I lay out the money for more tires. There are no signs of an alignment problem ie the wear across each front tire is even, there is no shimmy or pull. Half my miles are on highway and half on country roads, some of which are admittedly rough. I use the break as little as possible and am definitely not a rocket jockey. Is it the tires, the car design or the way I drive?


  • What I think is causing more front wear are two independent things. First, with AWD, it actually favors the front wheels for power unless any wheel slip is detected and/or you stomp on the pedal and you need the extra acceleration from two motors. This strategy gains a bit more range but will have more front tire wear.

    Next with regen and braking, the front tires may take a bit more of the wear as the weight of the car is going to be pushed onto the front tires more than the rear.
  • @TT - interesting proposition. I too drive a 2009 MX LR purchased in August of 2019, that now has 13,000 miles on it. The Conti Cross Contact tires are rotated every 5,000 miles . . . driver's side to passenger side only and back again. When I measured the tread depth 10 days ago the front tires were at 7.5/32" and the rear at 8.5/32". The MX is set on "Chill" mode with NO rabbit starts, but I do rely heavily upon (1) pedal driving and rarely use the brakes. At best this tire wear mileage2date suggests a maximum of 30,000 miles on the front and 45,000 on the rear before the tires need replacement. Not great . . . but better then the tire life many others have reported.
  • Thanks for the responses! The front wheel drive "wieghted " driving and the regen breaking wt forward on the front tires sound plausible as factors causing the uneven wear but you would think Tesla would come up with a remedy or at least a warning. I don't see how any MX driver can avoid these two conditions so the problem should be universal. It seems as though every owner would be posting about this but I'm not seeing it.
  • I think it's just accepted. "Fixes" Tesla might attempt would likely reduce range and just move the wear to the rear wheels. I'm not sure the front/rear wear differences are all that concerning to most. Consider it a minor cost of having a fantastic car.
  • I replaced the original Conti's on my April 2017 MX 100D. I measured tread every 5K miles and checked the tread wear indicators. I started hitting the indicators about the same time on all 4 tires around 38K miles. I replaced with Pirelli Scorpion Verde A/S based and now have 4K miles on them. I hope to get better life out of them but time will eventually tell.
  • I'm experiencing an up and down ride in my 2018 X100D and was told by a local tire shop that the problem was the Styrofoam in the tires had come loose. Is that true and if so, do i need to replace the tires with Styrofoam inside or can i use any tire manufacturer>
  • You can use any tire. The foam is to reduce noise, and some alternatives without foam are as quiet. I do recommend you select LRR (Low Rolling Resistance) tires, as non-LRR tires are going to reduce your range by 5-10%.

    I don't know if it's possible, but you might ask if the foam can be removed and/or reglued in on the tire that is faulty. Replacement might even be covered by the tire manufacturer's warranty.
  • I followed up on LRR tires and apparently the Continental tires for Tesla are the only option for LRR. Have also not rotated the tires from side to side and am wondering if that is a no-no or something I should have been doing all along (have less than 20,000 miles on the car in almost 3 years.)

    There is no requirement or reason to rotate tires on your Tesla. When the fronts wear out simply replace the fronts.
  • Another excellent and low cost option is having your tires filled with NItrogen. The tire pressure does not change (nearly as much) as with air. Due to no water vapor. If you live in a place where temps dont change much, probably not a big deal. I live in Pittsburgh and temps change all the time. Cosco charges $12 to nitrofill. Totally worth it!!!

    But what TT said makes a whole lot of sense as well. I would add that probably even if you dont do a lot of fast starts, there is probably some minimal but consistent effect from the instant power that contributes to tire wear.

    I was absolutely not surprised when my sales guy said that "tires will be your biggest expense to owning this car"
  • All cars, ICE or electric, have greater tire wear in front vs back.
    Heavy engine weight over front tires
    weight forward when breaking/slowing
  • I have the same problem as original post. Disappointed that I cannot rotate tires as usual. The tires that came with my 2019X just don't seem to last - 26K on them now, and I'll bet will need replacement in 5K miles.

    I recall reading when I was much younger that changing only two tires was dangerous due to the uneven wear.
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