Tire damage - can you help?

Tire damage - can you help?

Hi forum,

I was at home depot and noticed a slight wobble in my steering when I left the parking lot -- it looks like my left front tire burst by the seam. It's not leaking air yet but looks very bad to me, so I'm hoping to get it fixed with Tesla asap. I did not hit anything with my wheel, is this common damage or did somebody try to slash my tire?

Pictures are attached below.

Thanks a lot,

Bighorn | June 25, 2019

Looks like pothole damage. Get it replaced at any tire store or order online. No need to involve Tesla.

sebastianschoofs | June 25, 2019

Thanks for your thoughts -- I always try to be careful and haven't hit any potholes, can this be a manufacturing default?

Bighorn | June 25, 2019

I suppose it’s possible, though I’ve not come across this. One other thought that might differentiate the two ideas is if the wobble is due to a bent rim.

sebastianschoofs | June 25, 2019

Thank you -- if the rim needs to be checked, should I stop by Tesla instead of a tire store? And can I still drive like that or do I need to get the car towed?

Much appreciated,

lilbean | June 25, 2019

I would take it to a rim professional. Are you in LA?

lilbean | June 25, 2019

I would go to Tesla if I wanted a new rim. Might consider getting the alignment checked too.

Bighorn | June 25, 2019

A good tire shop will be able to see if the rim is bent probably better than Tesla. I’d drive it gently and have the tire replacement lined up before I committed to an appointment. That’s a personal risk tolerance question though. Whether it’s a bent rim and if they can balance it out is secondary because a rim will take longer to procure probably and the current one can be used in the meantime. If necessary, I’d look to buying one second-hand since they’re likely ubiquitous and considerably cheaper than retail.

kerryglittle | June 26, 2019

I would only let Tesla change a tire. Other shops if they chip your rim you are SOL. Get it fixed fast cause it looks like its going to let go any minute. Tesla can also inspect your rim to see if its bent. I agree with Bighorn. Even a small pothole hit just right could do that. And if its a manufacturing default Tesla might back you up on that too. If that was me I wouldn't even drive it. Get a flatbed service to take it to Tesla. Putting 5,000 pounds on a tire like that is asking for a disaster . Good luck. Let us know how you make out.

Bighorn | June 26, 2019

It’s about 1200 lbs per tire. NKYTA just limped a much worse side wall bubble a couple hundred miles on his cross country trip, so I’m probably biased towards driving it. Sounds like it’s not even losing air. Using Tesla will also limit your tire choices which could prolong getting a replacement if they’re not in stock. Some places may insist on replacing the front pair or even all four tires in a dual motor car depending on the tread wear.

rxlawdude | June 26, 2019

Great photographs that document why you shouldn't get low profile tires if you don't like spending a lot of time and money on new tires and rims.

NKYTA | June 26, 2019

@kerry, I agree with Bighorn. :-)

@rxlawdude, couldn't disagree more.
On my original rims.
I have NOT had a flat tire yet.

The issue I had that BH is referring to was a large bubble on the front left tire sidewall, the result of three pretty massive potholes the previous night in MI and IN.

I've even getting > 20k miles (when a long road trip is in play) for each set. I might be getting close to 30k miles since I now replace only two 21" tires at a time, then rotate the rears to the front.

Money, sure, but I'm driving the 21" all-the-time, and the handling is well worth it. If you haven't driven a Performance S with them, you really are missing something.

Time, I've had Tesla do them at annuals for the most part, so time isn't a factor.

Don't "scare" people needlessly. It is a trade-off sure, but fear isn't part of the equation.

rxlawdude | June 26, 2019

@NKYTA, consider yourself lucky. They do look cooler and improve handling, but it's a fact they are far more susceptible to damage by road surface irregularities.

And we have potholes in SoCal, especially in the city of LA and many suburban roads of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Bighorn | June 26, 2019

I went over 100k miles without incident on my 21s. The 2 bent rims I suffered this winter were my 19 inch rims. So, let’s leave anecdotes where they belong absent objective data.

rxlawdude | June 26, 2019

@big, while you are always right, there is no question 21s are more susceptible than 19s. YMMV

NKYTA | June 26, 2019

Except in two of the only two cases reported here?

Pedantic, sorry.

But I just knocked wood. ;-)

NKYTA | June 26, 2019

Are you channeling @barrykmd @rx?

All in good fun...

rxlawdude | June 26, 2019

I'm just trying to create a riveting story.

reed_lewis | June 27, 2019

I always buy tires from a tire store locally who has worked on Teslas before. The main reason is that the tires are cheaper (same tires but better price), and I get a road hazard warranty on the tires included. With the 'wonderful' roads in Eastern Mass, you need to have road hazard protection, and if the cost is $0, then it is worth it.

Luckily I have not had to use it on the Tesla, but it has saved me money on other cars.

And typically the 21" wheels are more prone to damage. I was at the service center the other day and one of the service guys there said that he tells customers who buy the 21" wheels that they should be prepared to buy them twice because of all the rim and tire damage he sees. Of course there are exceptions to that rule and everyone will have different experiences.

NKYTA | June 27, 2019

Glad to be the exception. :-) | June 27, 2019

@NKYTA - That makes you exceptional :)

Bighorn | June 27, 2019

Do people not visit certain cities because they’re statistically more dangerous, but quite uneventful for the average individual?

rxlawdude | June 27, 2019

@Big, you know, those are the people who drown in an average of just six inches of water.

NKYTA | June 27, 2019


Corp | June 28, 2019

@reed_lewis, since I live in eastern Mass, I’m curious which tire shop you use; it will be good to have a place I can trust when I need new tires.

reed_lewis | June 28, 2019

I use Hogan Tire in Hudson, MA They have a few Tesla customers and I have been happy with their service and prices. They repaired a tire for me in my Model S original factory 19" tires when a rather weird nail/screw was in the tire. It was in the middle of the tread and they fixed the tire with the correct from the inside type of plug. The tire lasted its entire life with the plug with no issues.

barrykmd | June 28, 2019

Someone page me?

rxlawdude | June 28, 2019

"Someone page me?"

You can make book on that.

Corp | July 1, 2019

@reed_lewis, thanks! It’s good to hear they have some experience with Teslas.