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Rim Protectors

Rim Protectors

I see both RPM Tesla and Abstract Ocean offer rim protectors to prevent curb rash. If anyone has installed both, is one better than the other?

cybergrafx | September 24, 2019

I bought rimbladesusa.com
They look great and were easy to instal. The adhesion needs a couple days to cure before you can drive fast so instal them when you dont have to drive anywhere for a day or two. If you do drive, keep it under 40mph - Thats HARD to do in a M3.

LikeLightning | September 24, 2019

I bought from RimPro-Tec on Amazon. Looks like same price as Abstract. (Although now it doesn't look like Prime shipping is available.) Anyway, super easy to do. 3M tape. No issues at all.

CharleyBC | September 24, 2019

I was interested in these sorts of products several months ago. Then someone posted about them coming loose with age, and whipping around, damaging the adjacent body panels. That got me shy. Are they worth the risk?

rsingh05 | September 24, 2019

I bought some but haven’t installed yet. I’ll likely do so after the first tire change, but I do worry about them coming loose with time, or even with weather. Anyone have long term experience with them on a prior car?

rfpmoxie | September 24, 2019

I shied away for the same reasons (coming loose/peeling/whipping plus New England winter. Also, although necessary I don't like the look of the link that joins them. Surely, personal preference.

alisse | September 25, 2019

I got a set from Evannex: https://evannex.com/products/wheel-bands-kit-for-tesla-model-3

I put them on in June. The look good and I haven't had any problem so far with detaching at high speeds and/or rain. Cold weather may impact it, but having been applied for so long I don't expect them to get loose now. That said I can't really recommend them. Even when I had them on I scraped a curb and they just lifted off and then the rash happened anyway. It might help under a VERY parallel hit, but I think that's an unlikely circumstance.

The DO do a decent job COVERING UP the rash, so if that's all you're after they will fit the bill. But as far as protection goes, I'm unimpressed.

Techy James | September 25, 2019

I have a question, do these RIM protectors have to be replaced with purchase of new tires?
Reason I ask, is I am at 9/64" with is close to my normal 4/32" when I definitely want to change tires before any winter weather get here. That was reached after just 21K miles with OEM tires (actually about right based on 35K life of tire at 2/32" tread wear indicator). Since I drive a normal of about 30K estimate a year, that means I would be replacing tires assuming OEM every 9 months average.
Question has anyone used the Bridgestone POTENZA RE980AS have an opinion for these Tires on Model 3 for the long expected tread life.

TickTock | September 25, 2019

I'd be interested if anyone can attest to them actually working. I've always doubted they would offer any protection from anything except the lightest brush. The forces when you rub a curb are huge - seems unlikely they would stay in place when you need them.

FISHEV | September 25, 2019

I purchased the Evannex ones, haven’t put them on.

What wheels and rim combo could a Model 3 owner get that would fix the problem by having the tire extend beyond the rim as most tires do to protect the rim?

I think I’m going to do that when I put in snow tires in December. Looking for chrome “Aero” wheels that look shiny and provide the 5% boost in range of the Tesla Aero covers.

lbowroom | September 25, 2019

a 255/40-18 is within 1.1% rolling diameter of the stock 235/45-18

lbowroom | September 25, 2019

Alternately, you could just not hit curbs.

ghosty_palo | September 25, 2019

I had https://www.alloygator.ca/ put on just a few weeks ago when I got my winter tires installed. They cost me about $270 CAD installed but they do work. I have hit a few curbs since... They stick out a bit more than I would have expected and honestly, I thought they would be cheaper but it was this or repair one of the rims. The shop also said they can replace 1 at a time which is perfect since it's always the passenger rear that I'm hitting.

The gray matched the standard 18" wheel almost perfectly and completely covered up the rim rash.

pete8314 | September 25, 2019

I can answer a few of the questions here. We posted a couple of videos showing the Wheel Bands in action, long version here: https://youtu.be/qtidoG4Scww, short version here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx3lQqunbZr/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

They should never become detached from the wheel. If it's happened, then it's likely due to the stock being very old, or the wheel not being cleaned properly beforehand. This is especially true if they've been ceramic-coated, as (by design), not a lot will stick to them. My S has had them fitted for 3+ years, it doesn't get super cold in Dallas, but we do hot quite well :-)

If the tire shop is careful, then the band will be intact after a new tire. Honestly, it's 50/50 with most tire shops, for us it depends which tech we get at Discount Tire. Replacements are sold as single kits though, so at least you don't have to buy a full set again, and if you have 18" wheels, you might be able to squeeze 5 sets out of a regular pack.

All the main products are mentioned here, RimTech/WheelBands, AlloyGator and Rimblades. The Alloygators are a good product, but pricey, and quite difficult to fit. We were not impressed with Rimblade (annoying to fit, and as a single piece, didn't seem to offer great protection), so went with Wheelbands.They're also made in the US (and Australia).

Syed.Hosain | September 25, 2019

@lbowroom "a 255/40-18 is within 1.1% rolling diameter of the stock 235/45-18"

Yes! The error is actually a bit less if you consider the revs per mile numbers (available on Tire Rack). A 245/45-18 goes the "other way" in terms of revs per mile, so is another possibility for replacement of the OEM 235/45-18.

Plus, I think that the 255/40 rev/mile might actually correct a very slight error in the speed reading on the dash - according to my GPS app on a phone. I just have to look and see if my calculations are correct on that point though.

I plan to get the 255/40 shortly (Costco has a sale going on right now - gets better next month) to increase the section width a bit - this should reduce/eliminate the rash problem. In the first few months of ownership, I curbed the right rear wheel twice on turning right ... am far more carefully now, so the past year has not been an issue.

FISHEV | September 25, 2019

"Alternately, you could just not hit curbs."lbowroom.

Never did prior to the Tesla or more likely, had some brushes with the curb but tires took the hit vs. the Tesla rims which stick out. Road rash on Tesla rims seems to be a very common problem so a real fix is needed. Different wheels/tires that don't have the problem seems the best. Getting new tires anyway.

FISHEV | September 25, 2019

"I plan to get the 255/40 shortly"Syed.Hosain

And put it on the Tesla stock 18" wheel?

marlon | September 25, 2019

I put some cheap ones on my M3. One day my wife drove it, curbed it and the protector came off. When I went to replace it, I realized that all of them had faded quite a bit in the Texas sun. So I spent a few hours removing the other three and all the adhesive that got left on the wheels.

Definitely not doing that again...but man, I thought it looked good while it lasted.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0hGDdyTvG3ci94;8942B9BF-C38D-4C07-B...

gballant4570 | September 25, 2019

There are tires available that also do this - I changed from OEMs to a set that protects the rims from contacting curbs. Might be reasons for some of owners not to make that choice though - speed rating, a bit lower max press, that zort of thing. Likelyhood of better wear tho.

lilbean | September 25, 2019

I’m tempted to remove the wheelbands from my X. I’ve heard that it takes a very long time to remove the adhesive.

pjwheeler83 | September 25, 2019

I've noticed tons of curb rash on almost every other Tesla I've seen. Im with lbow on this one... just don't hit the curb. I've made it this far with only a small chip from a pot hole (stupid Michigan)

It's really not that hard!

TickTock | September 26, 2019

Yeah, it's not very hard. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way. Put a big gash the first day I drove my model 3 :'( Have not touched a curb since.

ODWms | September 26, 2019

I’ve had my RimBlades on for almost a year. They stay on with no issue. I did touch 2 curbs; one at speed rounding a corner, and the other in a parking lot. Definitely saved me some cash in both instances. Plus I think they look really cool.

lbowroom | September 26, 2019

"And put it on the Tesla stock 18" wheel?"

Yes, 255 is the widest recommended tire width on an 8.5" wide wheel. 235 is the minimum. 245 the nominal. Tesla likely initially planned for 245 but moved down to 235 for mileage reasons.

Syed.Hosain | September 26, 2019

@FISHEV "And put it on the Tesla stock 18" wheel?"

Yes.

The wheel width range for a 255/40 is 8.5 to 10 inches. Best for the OEM wheel width 8.5" would be 245/45, but the 255 gives a bit more rim protection due to the higher section width, as I mentioned. Particularly the Michelin PIlot Sport 4S that has a better rim protector built-in.

I could also use 245/45-18 as I had mentioned ... that rolling width is 10 revs/mile less than the 235/45, where the 255/40 is 10 revs/mile more than the 235/45, That is a very nominal error.

Syed.Hosain | September 26, 2019

@lbowroom "Tesla likely initially planned for 245 but moved down to 235 for mileage reasons."

Yeah. I expect that my mileage with 255 will be lower too, including some effect from the worse rolling resistance of a sticky tire like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, but I am not going to worry about that too much.

I want the best wet braking and handling performance I can get (my own criterion for cars and tires - YMMV), and the Sport 4S meets that goal.

lbowroom | September 26, 2019

I don't mind providing these answers for people who are really interested. Some are just looking to blame Tesla for anything and everything they can.

FISHEV | September 26, 2019

"Particularly the Michelin PIlot Sport 4S that has a better rim protector built-in."Syed.Hosain

Thanks. Good to know. That sounds like the tire size to use. Plan is to put on Xice 245/45R18 and see how that works on rim protection. I know they work great for winter driving.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=X-I...

Syed.Hosain | September 27, 2019

Luckily, I don't have to worry about snow and cold-weather driving anymore - left New Hampshire in 1988.

I had the Pilot Super Sport on my old Infiniti M45 and loved it. Last year, my son put Pilot Sport 4S on his BMW coupe - and it is also a good tire.

On my wife's car, we have the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ since we would use it if we need to go to light snow country like Lake Tahoe.

Yeah, I believe in Michelin tires! :)

Joshan | September 27, 2019

my wife tore up the rear rim on the passenger side yesterday. She said there was a car in the middle of the road and she had no choice.... UGH! Hopefully the repairs aren't too bad, but she ate the edge up really good.

FISHEV | October 17, 2019

"I could also use 245/45-18 as I had mentioned"@yed.Hosain

Apparently my snow tire of choice, the Michelin Xice3 does not come in 255/40/R18, just 245/40/R18.

Will the 245 still stick out over the rim and provide some protection?

Rutrow 3 | October 18, 2019

For ANYTHING to prevent a curb from marring your wheels, it would have to have enough compression strength to change the direction of your car, or change the location of the curb. Physics indicates that if two objects are on a course to occupy the same space, something has got to give. In most cases, it's a combination of the metal of your wheel, and the concrete of the curb. Since it's clear that the solid metal of the rim is too soft to resist this collison, you shouldn't look toward softer materials like rubber, slicone, etc., your only hope would be sturdier substances like titanium or ceramics. The intervening "bumper" would need to be able to adjust the direction of your wheel in less time than it would take fo the inertia of your wheel to intersect with the curb (nano-seconds?!?) A hugely confounding fact is that there is very little give in the connections between wheel, and chasis in the z-plane direction, so nearly the entire mass of the vehicle needs to be affected...

So lbowroom has hit on the best solution...

Prevention.

FISHEV | October 18, 2019

Never had the road rash issues with previous cars. I"m guessing because the tires always acted as the bumper and early warning. Tesla is first car I've had where the rims stick out more than the tire wall.

I suspect that is why so many Model 3 owners are dealing with scraped rims for the first time.

Per the discussion about, going with a "wider" tire, the 245 (1/2") more or 255 (1" more) to provide the geometry most of us are used to.

Syed.Hosain | October 18, 2019

@FISHEV "Per the discussion about, going with a "wider" tire, the 245 (1/2") more or 255 (1" more) to provide the geometry most of us are used to."

The stock 18" wheel has a wheel width of 8.5". This is smack in the center of the range for a *typical* 245/45 tire, and at the lower end for a *typical* 255/40 tire. You forgot to mention the aspect ratio ... if the ratio were higher or lower than 45 or 40, the range of wheel widths for that tire is different, by the way, and so is the section width.

Meaning that the section width, section shape, tread width, rim protectors, etc., are *not* a complete function of the tire size - it depends on what the tire maker does for that particular model.

Indeed, some 245/45 tires may have a narrower section width (without any rim protector) compared to the stock Michelin 235/45 and this could make them *more* rash prone for us than the stock tire.

Plus, some 235/45 tires could have a wider tread width on the ground than a 245/45 and may include larger rim protectors too - Falken is good at that! But, I have not looked for any particular brand/model that has these, since I am a Michelin fan.

BTW, some people think that increasing tire width to an extreme will provide better traction, handling, etc..

This is usually not true. For example, if you put 265/35 width tires on a 8.5" wide wheel (like some people like to do to ... ugh!), and then set it to the correct tire pressure, the inside / outside edges of the tread will "lift" to compensate for the narrower wheel... potentially making it have *less* actual tread contact width on the ground compared to a 235/45 or 245/45. Then reducing tire pressure to get the tread to sit flatter makes the load index capacity actually go down - unsafe!

Also note: *increasing* tire width *reduces* the front-to-back contact patch length - the *area* of the patch (for a given pressure and car weight) is what is kept [mostly] constant. The effect on lateral acceleration is thus not what is traditionally believed.

MAIN POINT IS: using a tire size within the range for the wheel width is best. Check out tire specs on Tire Rack.

if anybody wants to use much wider tires (*or* much narrower - for example, for snow tires) than the stock wheels are designed for, get new, wider, wheels too!

Syed.Hosain | October 18, 2019

@Rutrow 3 "So lbowroom has hit on the best solution...

Prevention."

Yes, indeed!!