P85+ tires wear out within 9K miles

P85+ tires wear out within 9K miles

I have been concerned since so many people who own a P85+ are having early tire wear issues with their car. And if you read the recent Edmunds long term post of their P85, their back tires were shreaded at 9K miles.

I was at the dealer today to get some minor repairs, and with only 3K miles on my car, I asked if I should get an alignment done with the hopes that the tires would last longer. My service advisor said it would be a waste of time, and expect by 10K miles that I should plan on replacing my rear tires.

For those who have a P85+, what are the condition of your tires, and any advice of getting longer tire life? I don't drive the car hard at fact I am averaging 330Kw/hr for the life of my car....
I am a bit upset to expect to replace tires once every 10 months....all my money in saving gas went into buying tires.....

jat | October 2, 2013

See many, many other threads about it

This is just a fact of life with low-profile, sticky tires on a performance car. The negative camber is large for handling, and the low profile tires means you don't have as much sidewall flex so the inside edge takes the brunt of the wear. Coupled with soft rubber that doesn't last long to start with and a ton of torque, and you have a recipe for quick wear. Friends with Vettes were lucky to get 10k on the rears, and I have heard Porsche owners expect less.

If you care about it, you should go with 19" tires which aren't as sticky and aren't as sensitive to rear camber.

rfriess | October 2, 2013

9000 miles is not too bad. I had a BMW once with the same sort of tires. If I got 7000 miles, I was pretty happy.

They do stick to the road and are fun while they last.

Brian H | October 2, 2013

If you're not into performance driving, you have no need for or business in a P85+. Why buy a high maintenance (tires etc.) car and then try to baby it? Get 19" tires, if possible.

Gizmotoy | October 3, 2013

He already has the staggered 21"s, so switching to 19"s is probably not the best idea... especially on a +. The suspension tuning may perform poorly with non-staggered 19"s.

The best option for you is probably to simply wait for the rears need to be replaced. Instead of buying new Contis, get a much less aggressive tire with a harder tire compound. The inside wear will still be there, but the effect will be reduced by the harder tire compound. As an added bonus, it'll have less rolling resistance so you'll get some small range boost out of it. The downside, of course, is that you'll have to replace all four instead of just the rears.

Gizmotoy | October 3, 2013

Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, the other downside is that it won't handle as well.

You might be able to get more than 9k out of the tires, though.

jat | October 3, 2013

You can certainly buy wider rears in 19" (third-party of course) if you want to keep a staggered setup.

jat | October 3, 2013

I'm not sure using harder tires will help much on 21" wheels, as you will still have little give in the sidewall and will wear the inside edge.

You could unmount/remount the tires to use both edges of the rears, but a staggered setup means you can't rotate them.

JoesP85plus | October 3, 2013

I was one of the very first customers to recieve a P85+, and I was told none of this information. Initially, when I called Tesla to place my order, they said tire wear would not be an issue....I repeated asked, and they did not feel that this would be of any concern.
As for why I bought a P85+, this was upon the advice of engineering at Tesla that they felt this combination was the best for quiet handling and comfort. Obviously they were wrong, and I didn't need it. I would have been quite happy with a P85.
So instead I have spent 3K on dynamatting my entire car to reduce the rode noise....

eddiemoy | October 3, 2013

man! quit with this tire wear crap. i have p85+ and 4k miles so far, no noticeable wear on the tires and i abuse my car at ever stop light!

EVMD | October 3, 2013

This issue is only for P85? I ordered S85 21" and I wondering if the -camber is the same?

NomoDinos | October 3, 2013

EVMD - no, sorry to say that the issue has also been reported by others with any form of 21" tires (more so with the PS2's, I think). One of the engineering big boys like lolchampcar would probably better answer the question, but I think the P85 would probably have an exacerbated effect due to the insane torque and power involved as well. That's what made me go with the P85 19" setup.

bonaire | October 3, 2013

You also have reverse power in terms of regenerative braking acting as a type of 'drag brake' when slowing down. Many cars utilize more front braking than rear but if you use regen quite a bit for stop/go/spirited driving, the rear wheels are doing double duty. The weight of the car plus strong torque plus strong regen is going to cause tire wear.

If people bought 21" for "looks" rather than performance, then they needed to understand this issue better.

TikiMan | October 3, 2013

I have over 17,000 miles on my original 21' Continental's.

Just don't drive it like a race-car, and you will not wear out your tires early. Otherwise, if you can afford new tires every 5k to 9k miles, have fun!

Hills | October 3, 2013

I have owned a regular 85 for 10 months. In August and September, I had the pleasure of driving two separate brand new P85+ cars for a combined 10 days and 600 miles. My opinions reflect my personal preferences.

The biggest difference between the P85+ and the regular 85 is handling. I thought my 85 handled very well. The + takes the handling to another level. It is tight, prcise, superb at cornering. Yes, I took both cars to mountain roads to check them out. On one drive I had my son and wife with me. My son loved the drive, my wife freaked and demanded to be dropped off:)

I have driven a P85 also, but not for so many miles. To me, the P85 is just faster, while the + truly improved the handling. The 85 is plenty fast enough for me. In the past 10 months, I've only floored my own car twice, and both times just to show off the capability to friends. I've never needed to floor the car in regular driving. In freeway driving, I've been able to change lane or pass without ever needing to floor the pedal.

Would I buy a P85 or P85+? No. The main reasons are the 21" tires. I know this is a controversial topic. To me, both the P85 and the P85+ virtually demand better tires than the stock 85. However, both P85+ cars were materially more noisy than my own car, and quiet is ultra important tome. Then, there are all the other disdvantages of the 21" such as blow-out potential and fast tire wear. The 21" rims are also far easier to scratch.

So I enjoyed my 10 days with P85+s, but for everyday driving, the regular 85 is more than good enough for me. Now, if Tesla offered a wider 19" tire/rim...I might change my mind.

Each person has to decide if the extra expense and noise of P85+ is worth it. I don't think you can get rid of the noise.

carlk | October 3, 2013

Guys 10K mile tire life comes with the territory of 4s super high performance car. It's really not a big deal for a $120K car. The depreciation alone costs you more than ten set of tires a year.

jomorale | October 3, 2013

I have a 3 month old red P85+ with 6200 miles so far and NO noticeable wear on the tires yet.

Dv000 | October 3, 2013

@jomorale. You got to look at the very inner edge to see the tire wear. Not the tread wear bars. I have 5900 mostly freeway miles on mine(p85+) and noticed the very inner edge is wearing more rapidly. Also, comparing the tread depth with the front tires, you can really see a big difference.

EVMD | October 3, 2013

I'm waiting for my S85 to be delivered in 2 weeks, 21". I have a Jaguar XFR 450hp 20" 35 profile, Dunlop tires, and the rear tires are 50% wear after 22000 miles.

lolachampcar | October 3, 2013

This thread reminded me that I owe someone wear data on my P85+.

P85+, modified camber links to reduce camber, rear toe set to near zero at 100 miles, car lowered an additional 1/2 over stock and the car has 2400 miles on it.

My furthest outside groove measures 0.220" while my furthest inside groove measures 0.212". In short, my tires are now wearing evenly within the measurement accuracy of my calipers and old eyes.

To sum up some postings on TMC for those that do not want to digest them all-

"Camber is a non-wearing angle" is often quoted. There appears to be a wide disparity in rear tire wear for 21s which leads me to agree that camber alone is not the whole problem.

Some cars have been found with toe out. This, combined with high negative camber, will shred the inside shoulder of the rear tires. Someone correct me here but I think even the Edmonds long term car burned through its rears as a direct result of TOE OUT in the rear.

All MS have the same rear geometry. Spring cars ride higher so have less negative camber (in the -1.0 to -1.2 or there abouts range). Air cars ride lower in Standard and even lower in Low on the highways than spring cars. The rear suspension is designed to increase negative camber when the rear lowers so air cars carry around -2.0 degrees of negative camber at Standard ride height and around -0.6 more than that at Low.

Camber is not adjustable on MS from the factory. You would need to change the upper control arm to change camber.

I hope this helps. You can find a lot more discussion at and . There is a matching tire wear thread here but it is a bear to find.

sefischer1 | October 3, 2013

I had a car (Audi A4 Avant) in the past with low profile sticky tires (Continentals) which wore out in 17K miles. My Infiniti had large wheels with low profile tires, 3 out of 4 were dented from potholes.

Those experiences taught me that as beautiful as the turbine wheels are I didn't want to sign up for 2K worth of tires every year, a rock hard ride, and easily damaged wheels at every pot hole.

That's why I went with the standard wheels and tires.

But those turbine wheels do look good!

stussy5555 | October 3, 2013

EVMD, you must not have a Jaguar XFR because that is what I have and it's 510HP, not 450. Maybe you have the XF supercharged?

To the rest, I don't really understand why there is so much complaining about the tire wear. These are low profile performance tires. Educate yourselves!

Dv000 | October 3, 2013

@stussy555, Not complaining about the tire wear. But I am complaining about the "uneven" tire wear. I'd be ok with the wear if the tires are toast at 9k miles and the wear is even, but it looks like it is using the inside a lot more than middle part of the tire.

Definitely going to have them do an alignment to check the rear toe at my scheduled service next week.

NomoDinos | October 3, 2013

Bill - appreciate it, thanks for the data!

JoesP85plus | October 3, 2013

Just got my car back from the service center, and with 3600 miles left, I have 7/32 in the front and 5/32 in the back.
They feel that within in the next 1,000 miles, I will need a new set of tire.

This seems ridiculous to me. I have just had the car for 3 months, and never driven the car hard. I am waiting for a phone call back from Tesla tomorrow to give an idea.

Because I picked up the car at closing, no one was there to answer my question, but when they left me a message to pick up the car, they never mentioned my tire wear issue. I had to ask what the wear of the tires were from the valet.

There seems something wrong obviously...I was told I was one of the first deliveries of the P85+, and maybe it just wasn't set up right from the factory....

stussy5555 | October 3, 2013

Dv000, wasn't referring to you. Understand that uneven tire wear is not normal and it could have something to do with the camber on some of the vehicles. Good idea to get it checked out. I'm just referring to those complaining that the tires are toast after 10k miles. They are performance tires and it is what it is. I personally have no issues with it because I knew that going in.

NKYTA | October 3, 2013

Thanks again for all your tire specs, so that those of us that just want to drive and don't have to measure things. And you did the P85 vs the P85+,,. timely.


jat | October 3, 2013

@Dvoo - no, it is normal for the inside edge to wear more quickly on such tires. My MR2 Turbo (with larger rears so they couldn't be rotated) chewed through the rears in about 20k, and those were all-season tires and not particularly low profile.

NomoDinos | October 3, 2013

joohyunl - have you considered changing the camber and upper control arm like lolachampcar?

lolachampcar | October 4, 2013

I forgot to mention...
I was very concerned about "messing" with Tesla's engineering at the beginning when I made new upper control arms. I knew they designed in the camber for a reason (see FMVSS 126 Federal Stability Control Requirements) and did not want to stray too far from Tesla's original work. I ended up removing one degree of negative camber (0.210" longer arms).

As it turns out, I checked the camber on my wife's S85 when we got it and it was almost exactly where I put my P85+ when I did the arms. Tesla uses the same suspension geometry on all cars so the lower air suspension cars have more camber. Obviously Tesla feels the coil spring cars with around minus one degree of camber in the rear is just fine so, what is good for the S85 goose is good for the P85+ gander :)

BYT | October 4, 2013

9k is great! I couldn't get 6k out of mine! :)

lolachampcar | October 4, 2013

oops, missed on my mileage. It was 3100 miles.

Your 5/32 or 0.156" is significantly less than my 0.212" and you only have a few hundred more miles. My lifetime WHr/mile is 310. What is yours? I've also used my car for A LOT of test drives and launches do tend to eat up tires.

carlk | October 4, 2013

@stussy5555 You have hit the nail right on the head. I have no idea where all these tire wear complans, other than where there are alignment issues, are coming from. I understand someone gave MS the nickname of Palo Alto Camry but if you're a Camry type of driver you should not buy the performance model and/or the performance tire.

gooshjkc | October 4, 2013

One of the disadvantage of having performance tires. 9K is pretty good. From what I heard from other posts it cost a pretty penny to replace them, but I don't think it's as bad as what's on my Porsche right now. I get about 10K, but each tire is about $500+.

604-DRIVER | October 4, 2013

Of course the rears will wear more than the Fronts. but keep in mind the fronts will last almost that much longer than if you had just the P85 or lower !

Lets get someone throw us a budget from experience and see if im right

carlk | October 4, 2013

I said in a previous post a set of rear tires cost about $1K which is less than one tenth of annual depreciation of a $100K+ car. Really not a big deal for people who want a high performance car. I can't understand what this whining is all about.

JoesP85plus | October 4, 2013

But I am at 3600 miles and driving at 330kw/hr only with AC on all the time. They say that I will need new tires in the next 1K miles.

carlk | October 4, 2013

Yes please see the alignment part in my post. You certainly could have an issue. On the other hand 10K or so tire life is perfectly normal and what you would expect for a low profile sticky tire on a car that you can drive pretty aggressively. That's all I'm trying to say.

Aleksandyr | October 4, 2013

i thought there was no wear issue with my rears until I had the tires checked at 8800 mi. Had to replace them. The cost was $760. I haven't had performance tires before and was a little surprised. I guess that is the cost of playing.

polyphase | October 4, 2013

Like you say, "the cost of playing." I'm not surprised that folks new to high performance vehicles might be shocked but there you go. When I got my infinity FX 45 with 20" wheels 10 years ago I had the same reaction to tire wear.

Drive like hell and have fun. You can't take the tires with you.

EVMD | October 4, 2013

stussy5555- I'm sorry but you may have a 2010-2013 XKR which is 520hp
the model 2009 is 420hp and it comes with performance tires, in fact Donlop's are well know as the best performance tires with Pirelli and Michelin.

portia | October 4, 2013

my P85 just went over 9000 miles, tires were rotated around 7000 miles, and no uneven wear, I expect to get at least 15000 miles out of mine! 21". I used to get more miles on my Lexus too than the specs too.

JoesP85plus | October 5, 2013


So where do I go abouts changing the camber upper arm links?? Where would I even start? I use the car as a daily driver, and I wouldn't complain if I would get 9k miles, but 4.5K miles is ridiculous.
My 911 turbo goes 10K miles with constant trashing....

Brian H | October 5, 2013

lola did a DIY link replacement. Not a service item! Check toe-in, that multiplies the wear if it's off.

lolachampcar | October 5, 2013

I had five sets of arms water jet cut at just over 2/10ths of an inch longer. To replace, you remove the current arms, press out their rubber bushings, press them into the new arms and re-install. It takes me all of about 1 1/2 hours to do both sides with most of that time dealing with jacking the car around.

I agree that rear toe is the very first thing you should check. Second, consider how much of your mileage is highway as the car is in Low mode on the highway (assuming air suspension here)and rear suspension geometry increases camber in the Low position.

I did it simply because I have a good bit of experience with suspension thus there is no magic for me or fear in making these types of changes. I used a good quality 1" sheet aluminum and added 0.050" of extra material around the whole link to make sure mine were stronger than the factory Tesla arms. As mentioned in a previous post, the net result is that an Air MS in Standard has the same rear camber as a Coil Spring MS thus I think it is safe to run the car.

lolachampcar | October 5, 2013

I'm also experimenting with high angle mis-alignment ball bearings in my current P85+ instead of pressing out the P+ bushings from the original arms. I can tell absolutely NO difference between the original P+ arms and my zero compliance ball bearing based arms.

The above is why I feel the real meaningful change in removing rear suspension bushing compliance comes from the lower a-arms only. IMO the upper link, torque link and toe link bushing changes make little difference in the day to day feel. I hope to test that theory out by doing a lowered (to Air levels) coil spring MS with P+ lower a-arms version. I'm still working on a possible alternative to the P+ bushings on the inner pick up points of the lower a-arm (outside pick up is a zero compliance ball joint) as getting P+ lower a-arms from Tesla is time consuming and expensive when all you really want to do is change the bushings.

jat | October 5, 2013

@lola - so have you identified all the different parts between the P85 and the P85+?