21" Tire Wear Experience Survey

21" Tire Wear Experience Survey

There is a lot of guessing going regarding the wear being experienced by owners with 21" wheels. Can you please post your rear tire inside shoulder wear experience providing ViN, miles, driving style and tire (Conti or Mich).

For those not familiar with camber, here is a pictorial with ZERO tire compliance-

New Continentals have 8mm tread depth
New Pilots have 7.5mm tread depth

High Wear
lolachampcar 4288 800 miles Pilot 20% inside shoulder normal to mildly aggressive driving
JohnnyMac 1400 miles Continentals 7mm outside and 6mm inside conservative driving with some sprints
rodneynelson 5000 miles Continentals tires replaced for wear
mferrazano 2864 1600 miles replaced both tires and aligned by Tesla
Theresa 913 8500 miles cord showing on inside SC says toe is out (Rear Camber -1.8L -2.3R) Toe way out
rdaicanto 12780 730 miles Pilots early wear suggests 6-7K life Max Regen
Schlermie 27xx 6200 miles Continentals Rear 20% outside / 92% inside down to wear bars Moderate driving
sergiyz sig474 8400 miles Continentals rears replaced as they were down to the cord
carrerascott 5500 miles Continentals rears showing cord at 5500 miles
Jason S 10000 miles replaced (assume 21") Continentals Car found to have toe out
DJ Frustration 6000 miles 3/32" remaining on the inside
telsaguy P85 4000 miles (on 21s) 21" Continentals noticeable wear on the inside
rdalcanto P85+ 1400 miles 6/32 inner 8/32" outer alignment done at 7/32" inner wear
JohnnyMac 1500 miles inside down 25%
JaneW Continentals 4365 miles tires replaced - almost corded on inside of rear "fairly aggressive driving"
majgill 11700 tires replaced
FlasherZ S1049 4500 rears replaced

Normal Wear
Carefree 5430 4000 miles Michelins even wear on rear with normal driving
Keith72 4283 2000 miles Continentals even wear mostly tame driving
wormhole 45xx 5700 miles Continentals normal wear normal driving (339 WHr/Mile lifetime)
DC 1400 miles even wear (alignment just performed)
bradslee 2874 2400 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Brian.S 1856 6200 miles Continentals even wear normal driving
Mark2131 1573 12150 miles Continentals even wear with slight cupping on inside normal driving with occasional flogging
TikiMan 14,500 miles Continentals slight cupping on rears before rotating to front a@ 10K miles
admjr 10843 1,500 miles Pilots slightly aggressive driving with no signs of wear
Velo1 7000 miles normal wear with rotation at 3500 and 7000 - alignment checked good
nickjhowe 2298 3000 miles Continentals 6.0-6.3 inside and 7.0-7.3 outside max regen
dennis DCWitt 6276 4200 miles Pilots 7mm front / 6.3mm rear even wear
rochec 6530 5100 miles Pilots normal wear
mferrazano 2864 5200 miles even wear (after alignment, see above)
drp 11000 miles reasonable life left (rotated at 5800 miles) mild driving max regen
VEnUB Sig127 11000 miles 7mm/2mm out/in tires replaced for sidewall damage (potholes)
DSM363 8800 miles (rotated at 3000) Depth In/Out (mm) Front 4.9/5.4 4.5/5.5 Rear 3.8/5.5 4.2/5.2
buzzbuzz 02xx 16000 miles Continentals (rotated at 6000) measured at 12,500 7/32" or 5.5mm all the way around normal driving style (expecting 25K from the tires)
NKYTA 1842 5000 miles Continentals Average driving plus test rides (LR inner showed wear but tracked down to toe) Max Regen
sia 11239 1650 miles Continental 7mm I/O front and rear 338 Whr/mile
Alex K araxara 3218 10,400 miles Continentals on track for 20K from tires (rotated at 7500) max regen 294 WHr/mile (complete tread measurements can be found pg 3 of ™ post)
jjs 3082 9000 miles (just rotated) Continentals 331 WHr/mile max regen tires wearing reasonably even
Chgd Up 25,250 miles (only 16K on these 21s) fronts at 6/32" replaced rears at 16,000 miles for cord showing 342 WHr/mile (lot of highway)
Jason 3156 11,800 miles Continentals 8/32" except for inside rear 7/32" expecting 20K miles 344 WHr/mile max regen
JonathanL 5000 miles on 21s with inside wear judging life to be 10k-12k miles
Brad Holt s85 3387 12000 miles Continentals "hardly any wear"
pilotSteve SigS 7500 mile service Continentals wear ok rotated at SC max regen
Kauai Contentals good wear for 4500 miles minor pulling right at 9000 miles with alignment at 11500 and significant inside wear. 3500 miles since alignment with stabilized wear
CnJsSigP Sig5xx 7700 miles Continentals LF6.5,6,6 RF6.5,6,6 LR7,7,6 RR7,7,6 mm rotated 6800 miles (rear toe roughly 1/16" total)
Cenarius P85+ 3500 miles 21 Pilots 6/32 inside and 7/32 outside both rears spirited and commuting
Andrew Wolfe S440 7700 miles 21" Continentals 7/32" on all four Moderate/Gentle 334 WHr/mile
ISF 1933 9600 miles 21" Continentals rotated at 4700 LF6/6/5 RF 6/6/5 LR6/7/5 RR5/6/5 out/mid/in
AIMc P85+ 2300 miles 21" Pilots 8/8/7 both rears out/mid/in

19" Owners with (tire) issues
Tommy 18600 replaced all four for inside shoulder wear. Rotation at 6K so two with 12K on rear and two with 6K on rear. 12K pair were bald on the inside shoulder.
JakeP 4996 5000 miles 4-5/32" rear and 8-9/32 front
Only Trons S85 8404 3300 miles 19" RSAs 9/32+ on all four tires max regen air sue 292 WHr/mile
timbers S85 5300 miles 19" 9/32 on all four tires 313 WHr/mile
Todd Burch S85 1653 11,300 miles 19" rears down to 3/32 on inside
mmx P85 2900 miles 19" wearing evenly

JohnnyMac | July 6, 2013

I don't know folks. I am not feeling particulary good about this issue. I certainly understand the need for rear Camber and every one of my pervious euro peformance sedans was engineered this way as well, but not one of them ever burned though the inside edge of its high performance rear tires (even with staggered 285/30 rears) in 6-8k miles. Not sure I am buying the "it is by design" statement on this one.

rdalcanto | July 6, 2013

I know the Porsche 911 Turbo also goes through rear tires very quickly because of all the HP to the rear wheels....

justineet | July 6, 2013

@sergiz....of course bad alignment can significantly contribute to excessive wear....whoever the guy was should have checked the alignment not only because of excessive wear indication under normal driving condition but also because it's covered in all the service plans and warranty..I want to be polite but that kind of talk by service givers is knucklehead talk.....he reminds me of a doctor of a good friend of mine....he kept telling my friend his chest pain is nothing to worry about after only giving him electrocardiogram test. I insisted to my friend to go to another doctor...the other doctor after giving him more sophisticated tests such as CT scan test discovered he had over 90% blockage on his main artery that would have killed him 100% in few weeks.......thankfully, they did an emergency surgery and now he's good as new...this is just about 5 years ago!

sia | July 6, 2013

Thanks for suggesting this @lolachampcar.

Here's my data:

Continental 21", 1650 miles, 338 Wh/mile, VIN 11239, Delivered May 31, 2013.

I measured (to the best of my ability) 7mm, inside and outside, on front and rear tires.

Schlermie | July 6, 2013

When I had my alignment checked at the service center today, they said the rears were within spec, but they weren't able to give me a printout, because they said their printer was broken. By the time I picked up the car, the service guy didn't remember the exact numbers. They gave me a printout from someone else's car that was laying around the service bay, so I could see the specs.

Interestingly, whoever has that car is fortunate enough to have his rear camber out of spec in the less negative direction. It was almost half of the high end of the spec. I have a feeling mine is closer to the high (more negative) end of the spec.

JohnnyMac | July 6, 2013

Just dropped mine off today for the recall and a small punch list of items. Asked them to check alignment since I am wearing 2x fast on the inside rears as reported above. Will ask for the printout and convey those specs here when I pick it up next week but unfortunately I expected to be on the negative end of the camber spectrum (wish I was that guy whose print out you got showing more positive camber Schlermie). BTW, they had P85s available but no P88+s. At least it will give me a reference point to mine.

rdalcanto | July 7, 2013

I'm a little bummed that your alignment was o.k.. That means your higher wear is probably related to driving style, and I will probably have the same wear even after my alignment.

I asked the tech at Firestone if they will remount the rear on the opposite rim when I get low on the inside. He said they are willing to try, but that low profile tires can be very hard to remove from the wheel without damaging the bead.

nickjhowe | July 7, 2013

@JohnnyMac/@Schlermie - thanks for the tread depth info at new.

JohnnyMac | July 7, 2013

Personally, I am trying to resolve the Tesla statement to "rotate the tires every 5-6k miles" when the rear camber setting "by design" has rendered many owner's sets of 21" rears unusable by 5-6k miles. How does this make any sense?

rdalcanto | July 7, 2013

I guess they should change the recommendations to:
Drive until you get to the wear bars on the rear tires, then move them to the front.... LOL

lolachampcar | July 7, 2013

It does not make sense and 6k in my opinion is not normal. Some are getting much more and they seem to have the same or better (subjective) driving style. Something is going on here and it is my hope that we can put together enough owner's experiences to stumble on a clue.

The lower the compliance (give) the harder it can be to de-bead and bead up a tire. The plus we have is that these are not run flats which are a flat out PITA to deal with. Your shop may have been thinking about these as most wide performance tires these days on production cars are run flats (no room for a big spare). Glad to hear they would do it for you.

nickjhowe | July 7, 2013

I'm surprised I have similar wear on my fronts and rears - given the number of times I've demonstrated 0-60 and had the rears on the limit of adhesion.

NomoDinos | July 7, 2013

This is great data, please keep this thread going, guys. It's really helping those of us still undecided on the issue.

JohnnyMac | July 7, 2013

Lola. Indeed, I hope we can all help figure this out because something is clearly not right for some. Tesla also suggested that the standard or max regen (vs. the low regen) may also play a substantive role in the premature inside rear wear. It would be interesting to track that here as well (if you think it could be relevant) and see if there is any correlation. If so, I'll start with mine which had always been Standard (max) regen since day one, which I love, but not so much if it happens to be related to this wear ;-)

rdalcanto | July 7, 2013

Things I left out before: Max regen. Michelin Tires on the P85+

NKYTA | July 8, 2013

Nice thread Lola. ;-)

VIN 1842
P85 blue
21" grey Conti's
Max Regen 99% of the time (and this is definitely a factor for tire wear)
Driving style...hmm...5K miles at 360 kWh/m average (too many test drives and my "normal" driving style)

Wear? I'd call it normal, aside from the fact that my left rear was over-toed (and showed more wear on the inside), had MP Service rotate when I was in for due-bill items and minor issues. It was noticeable because on "launch" you could feel the left rear squirming. After rotate and re-alignment car doesn't track _quite_ as well, but I don't notice any squirming at all.

lolachampcar | July 9, 2013

Updated and now adding regen level

nickjhowe | July 9, 2013

@lola - FYI I've always run max regen

drp | July 9, 2013

Always max regen. Did rotation just about 5800 miles by the way.

Talked with Costco "Pilot Sport 2" $2200 out the door for all 4. Tesla service center talked to the distributor and the distributed implied that its not the same tire. He said he gives Tesla "OEM class A" that's "original equipment from manufacturer". I don't believe it's any different than Costco other Than tesla said I will save $700 at Costco.

Does anyone know if this is the correct tire at Costco?

justineet | July 9, 2013

@drp....I thought u said earlier your tire wear is pretty what do u mean $2200 out the door?? Do u mean when u eventually decide to replace them or did u mean you replaced them now?? Please clarfy.

drp | July 10, 2013

I am just planning for the future. If the wear turns out to be less than satisfactory, I will consider moving over to 19 inch wheels and tires. I drive about 30,000 miles a year so I will be a good "test dummy" for both tires and battery wear!

Alex K | July 10, 2013

P85 Vin P03218
21" Continentals.
10,402mi rotated at 7,500mi, so rears are on front now.
Regen on "max".
294 wh/mi lifetime average.
80% of mileage is through mountainous roads at average speed of 55mph.

Current depth readings in inches measured from inside out for each tire near wear indicators. Note new tire depth is 10/32" which is 0.3125".

RR 0.205 0.262 0.251 0.212
LR 0.193 0.256 0.238 0.237
RF 0.191 0.238 0.204 0.213
LF 0.240 0.234 0.213 0.181

Looks like tread is at least 7/32 overall (0.219") so at least 20Kmi life expectancy.

justineet | July 11, 2013

@drp.....that's good...keep us updated with both tire and battery's gonna be very useful as u r one of the few very high mileage drivers.....

jjs | July 15, 2013

P85 Vin P03082
21" Continentals.
9,000mi rotated at 8,9500mi.
Regen on "max".
331 wh/mi lifetime average.
Conservative cornering
99% of mileage is city driving. Moderate hills. Speed ranging from 25-70mph. I can't help but accelerate quickly from a light.

Depth readings are inside/outside done at time of rotation. (i.e. the more worn tires will be in the rear.) Note new tire depth is 10/32" which is 0.3125. (This info along with the format of post taken from Alex K. - Thanks Alex)
RR 0.125 0.220
LR 0.160 0.210
RF 0.255 0.240 (Note: This tire has only 5,000 miles on it. It was replaced due to a pothole blowout.)
LF 0.225 0.245

@lolachampcar - Thanks for posting this. I have found this type of information very valuable.

lolachampcar | July 16, 2013


Most are getting reasonable wear but the ones that are not are getting clobbered. There has to be a reason.

cfOH | July 16, 2013

Have those "getting clobbered" had an alignment done? Could it be too much toe?

lolachampcar | July 18, 2013

updated with Carrerascott's rear toe information....
9/32" total toe OUT in the rear. I would call this a smoking gun.

rwang | July 18, 2013

Rotate every 2500. We're on mile 13,000+
You'll go through tires every 10,000 is what we're finding out for the rear. The camber is so inverted that the inside will wear out faster than the outside.

We have 19" wheels so the good news is America's Tire can replace them at $150 each.

lolachampcar | July 19, 2013

My fear about rotating tires front to rear is that you are simply wearing out four tires on the inside shoulder leaving the outside with remaining life (although less than if they spent their entire life on the rear).

And of course, P+ owners do not have that option.

JonathanL | July 19, 2013

My 21" rear tires have more wear on the inside at 5k miles, and based on the current rate of wear, I would guess they will last 10k - 12k miles. My fronts look almost brand new. I am going to get the 19" winter tire package so I think I will run the current setup until December, switch to winters, then in April put the existing front summers on the rear and put 2 new summers on the front. If those fronts moved to the rear last me till I do the winter switchover next year, I will be happy.

BTW, my BMW 550 was only getting 5k miles per front tire thanks to the crappy run flats. I just bought 2 new fronts for that car - to get it into selling shape.

Brad Holt | July 19, 2013

VIN 3387
Model S 85
12,000 miles
Hardly any wear. Great condition.
Some city, mostly highway driving...somewhat spirited. ;)

Brad Holt | July 19, 2013

Oops forgot: 21-inchers!

ian | July 21, 2013

Great info for sure. Thanks lola!

Bumping it back to the first page so more owners see it and add their results.


rdalcanto | July 31, 2013

I am a little over 1400 miles now. I just checked my rear tires. I'm just under 6/32 on the rear inner, 8/32 rear outer. P85+. Alignment done when I was at 7/32. I try not to accelerate hard very often. At this rate, I will be lucky to get 6,000 miles. If I drive 12,000/year, and only replace the rears, I'm looking at $1600 in tires/year. OUCH!!!!

JohnnyMac | July 31, 2013

@rdalcanto. Love my MS but I am on the same path as you with regard to my inside rear tire wear. Inside rear down about 25% at 1,500 miles. Everything else less than 10%. Recently had Tesla "align it" to eliminate toe as the possible issue and to try and proactively avoid any issues and am now at 2,300 miles and even more afraid than ever to measure the wear again. There is just no way in the world that anyone can find 6k miles on a set of rear tires even close to reasonable. Specifically, it is not wear on the rear tires, it is wear on only the extreme inside edge of the rear tires. There needs to be a fix here. I have been driving euro sedans with low profile performance tires and rear "camber" for 10 plus years and nothing has had issues and wear like this. Rant over...for now.

pilotSteve | July 31, 2013

At my 7500 mile service Tesla rotated front to back on my Signature-S (21" continentals, max regen always). They noted 7/32" tread on the rears and 8/32" on the fronts before rotating. Clearly there is more tread wear on the inside rears but it looks like I should get 15,000 or so before requiring replacement.

Brian H | August 1, 2013

Your "discrepancy" is a small fraction of what many others are seeing. Some are getting wear right through the cord, causing punctures, in a third of your mileage. There is clearly a variation in some setup of the suspension, tires, etc.

lolachampcar | August 1, 2013

One option is to rotate the rears across the rear at 30% remaining inside tread depth. This requires dismounting and remounting both rear tires but will put the outside on the inside for both thus allowing you to use more of the available tread depth.

You will be moving the less grooved side of the tire to the inside but I would think having 80% tread depth with one fewer grooves would work as well in the rain as 30% depth with one more groove.

Most European cars tend to use a combination of tire width in the rear and camber to provide oversteer margin. Larger rear tires would impact range on MS and prevent tire rotation which may be why Tesla avoided this solution. In addition, Tesla has more mass to control and thus has to take more drastic measures to control that mass.

This is strictly my opinion-

By my estimate, it is far more dangerous to have tons of camber in the rear for oversteer margin than not.

Here is my thinking.

Lots of camber will save your bacon on that one occasion where you whip the wheel much harder than you really should have at speed to avoid something while simultaneously running out of talent to correct for the back stepping out. Like a police officer pulling his weapon, this will probably never happen to most but it is a real and valid concern.

Lots of camber will also wear the inside of the rear tires. There is sufficient evidence to suggest a wide disparity in the rear shoulder wear rate. Unless you are aware of the issue, you are not likely to routinely crawl around on the ground under the back of your car to check the wear on the inside shoulder. The results have already been seen. Several forum members have posted pictures of rears where they have gone though several layers of cord before identifying the problem. This tells me to a certainty that there will be a loss of pressure due to inside shoulder wear. If that occurs at speed, there will be a dramatic moment.

It is difficult to weight the two outcomes. MS has the camber so we can not judge the fleet's willingness to swap ends. My car does not have the camber so I am confident it is a non-issue (but then that is just me). By the same token, all cars have the camber thus we will see the tire wear.

For me, it comes down to "I know this will happen with a significant percentage of the fleet" versus "someone way out on the bell might have an issue". As a society I feel we have taken to focusing on the ends of the bell curve while loosing sight of the center

JaneW | August 1, 2013

Add me to the high wear list.

New Conti tires going on the 21s tomorrow, after 4365 miles, generally worn out, almost corded on the inside edges. Fronts are fine. Fairly aggressive driving, but I think it is the straight line wear that's killing these because of the camber.

I didn't expect great mileage -- used to get around 6000 on the back end of a Tesla Roadster Sport, and my tire shop said all the Roadsters were getting about that.

ian | August 3, 2013

I'd be curious to hear how many of you have the rear spoiler and how that relates to the tire wear. Especially if you do a lot of highway driving.

This thought occurred to me with the new spoiler option and how Tesla claims a 77% reduction in lift of the rear end (or increase in downforce) at highway speeds.


jalley_905 | August 3, 2013

The latest posting is almost a month old. Anyone have anything new to say. This excessive tire wear and blowouts is most distressing especially since there is no spare. Thanks for any updates or thoughts anyone can offer.

AmpedRealtor | August 3, 2013

Not sure if this was mentioned previously, but could the presence of a spoiler be a correlation worth considering? Per Tesla's new marketing, the spoiler reduces rear lift by 77%. If true, this would add measurable downward force on the rear of the vehicle and further accelerating wear on the rear wheels. I'm just raising this as a consideration.

rdalcanto | August 3, 2013

I think if you want better tire wear, stay away from the P85 and P85+. The biggest issue in my mind is not the camber, but the torque of the motor. The Porsche 911 Turbo is also known for horrible rear tire wear. That much power is going to eat tires. Comparing the P85+ to a BMW with less instant torque it not a valid comparison, IMHO. That being said, I hope a cheaper tire option becomes available for P85+ owners.

jalley_905 | August 3, 2013

Sorry for my earlier post. Thought I read everything to date but I now see I had not. Lots of helpful information but it sounds like we are still not certain of a solution. Has the issue been presented up the line to Tesla senior management? I sure don't think I want a car which burns thru a set of very expensive tires every 10 to 12K miles.

rdalcanto | August 3, 2013

I would be very happy with 10-12K. I'll be lucky to get 6K and I had an alignment done very early to make sure that wasn't an issue. Just get a regular 85 and it looks like you will get better wear if you rotate the tires frequently.

ian | August 3, 2013

Beat you to it Amped! Check the last post on page 3. I had to dig down to page 7 or 8 to even find this thread! ;-)


Brian H | August 3, 2013

77% reduction in lift <> 77% increase in downforce. If the net (at highway speed) was 1000 down minus 100 lift = 900 previously, it would now be 1000 down minus 23 lift = 973. That's 73/900 x 100% = 8.1% (net) downforce increase, or 7.3% of total (low speed base) downforce.

ian | August 3, 2013

Thanks for the clarification Brian.

It all depends on what they are measuring 77% of. Ounces? Grams? Fractions of a pound? Somehow I think they are probably grasping at straws to make it sound more impressive than it really is.

I'll repeat, how much more downforce do you need on a 4700 lb. vehicle? How much more stable at speed can it really make it? The car will already lowers itself at speed and it has a completely flat underside (which also reduces lift).

ian | August 3, 2013

I guess I'm trying to say, get it if you like how it looks as there really can't be that much of a performance benefit and there is definitely an increase in tire wear.

cfOH | August 11, 2013

So my tread gauge finally arrived and I was able to get some measurements on what are essentially new tires. This is a P+ with 207 miles on it (mostly highway), so it has the Michelins.

Here's where I took my measurements:

The left box is the "inside" measurement and the right box is the "outside" measurement.

REAR (265 width):
Right: Inner = 6 / Outer = 7
Left: Inner = 6 / Outer = 7
FRONT (245 width):
Right: Inner = 7 / Outer = 8
Left: Inner = 7 / Outer = 8

I took each measurement at least twice, some 3 times, just to make sure I was getting consistent readings.