Rash advice

Rash advice

I have a black P85 with gray 21s. My spouse loves the car, now takes it whenever I'm home, and I've happily encouraged her. She wants a Model X when they are released, and she has never been a car person. Her friends are amazed at this.

Well, she just rashed about 1/3 of my front right rim. When she came back to the house, I happened to be out by the driveway when she silently drove the car in, and she apologized and looked like she had done something horrific. I was seriously worried she and my daughter had been in a wreck, somebody had had their lives changed, whatever. I'm not a person that picks things over people. She pointed to the rash.

So now I have two problems.

1) Will she keep driving the car? I under-reacted and took it in stride. I *knew* this day was coming, and I knew she would also contribute some rash, and my own history with rashing wheels is pretty abysmal which makes it easy to avoid feeling blame. I need to make her feel comfortable to keep driving the car.

2) How should I deal with this? The rash on gray wheels exposes silver, so it is quite noticeable. I would argue that is a strong point for silver wheels is that the rash will at least be in the color of the wheel. It seems like I should do one of two things:

a) But the AlloyGators, presumably in black? It will make the tire look bigger, but it won't clash. Their silver color will stand out.

b) Try to sand off the burrs and put some gray paint on this. Is there an official recommendation? We won't have a service center within 300 miles for about another 6 months.

Of course, perhaps I should do both of the solutions.

I'm not so worried about resale value, I just want the car to look great, and my wife to continue loving it.


Matt | June 24, 2013

I think anyone that has gotten the rash, are quite a bit more careful after that. Mine happened 3 days after getting the car, and in 5 months, I've not done it again. I suspect your wife will be a bit more careful now too!

For the DIY solutions, file and sand gets rid of the burs and some of the most visible rash (on silver). After after some light filing on silvers, they look dramatically better, but the rash is still visible if you look for it. Interestingly the silver is also painted and is slightly different than the bare aluminum.

I'm 80% sure Tesla also offers rim touch-up paint (both silver and grey). I forgot to ask last time I was in servicing to get the touchup for my silver. Not quite sure how well it works.

jw669 | June 24, 2013

Wheel repair businesses should be able to fix it for under 200$. May be worth looking into

riceuguy | June 24, 2013

Also, Tesla now sells ( a gray wheel paint pen...

matt.wis | June 24, 2013

Great. Thanks guys!

fluxemag | June 24, 2013

I came home one day to find my wife in tears...curb rash. For about 30s I thought it was going to be something important. Wheel repair I was quoted was $150, mobile service.

sia | June 24, 2013

Sorry to hear about the curb rash @matt.wis.

I dread the day it happens to our Model S (silver) wheels, but I know it will, based on prior experience. My ICE, Lexus SC430, is so battle-scarred!

I am also thinking about AlloyGators, but I am not sure if it adversely effects the tires. Any comments from current users or experts?

sia | June 24, 2013

I meant to say:

if it adversely "affects" the tires.


Tesla4JP | June 24, 2013

Hi Matt,

I can't give you any rash advice, but I do want to comment on how generously you handled the situation. I think it's wonderful that you continue to encourage your wife to drive the S. This amazing car should be enjoyed by everyone in the family.

My husband barely let's me drive his S & when he does, he nit picks at everything. "keep two hands on the wheel, pay attention". I've been driving for 20 years & he acts like I just got a license. I hit the accelerator & he says "Really!". How do you sit behind the wheel of a Model S and not hit the accelerator!! Come on now!! Especially when you get to drive it every blue moon. Ugh.... He takes all the joy out of it & I won't even drive it anymore. The irony is that he put rash on the car within a week! I've never put a mark on it!

Ok, I'm deviating. My point handled it perfectly. It's just some rash. You know she feels bad about it. You repair it and move on to continue enjoying that engineering work of art.

Mrs. Matt & Mrs. Fluxemag : Consider yourselves fortunate to have very generous husbands who not only let you drive the S, but don't overreact when something does go wrong. Appreciate them!

Envious Wive. :-(

dlewis | June 24, 2013

No wife so I don't have to share there, but I have let a number of friends and family drive. They usually start out nervous because it is so expensive in comparison to their cars or even any car I have ever owned, but I always make the same comment. "Don't worry about it, that's why I pay insurance." They are all good drivers, if I'm going to nitpick on how they drive then I wouldn't be comfortable in any car they drove, after all my life is then in their hands.
As for little things like curb rash, stuff happens. I already scratched one of mine with a tie down strap on a trailer.

matt.wis | June 24, 2013

Gray wheel touchup paint ordered, so good. Is there any advice on filing burs? I'm new to this, is there like a grade of file (like sandpapers) that you'd recommend?

Reilly McHugh | June 24, 2013

My S comes friday and I am already nervous about rashing my 21' current rims(stock vw's) seem to be curb magnets lol...ill be a lot more careful when I have wheels worth protecting.

Anthony H | June 24, 2013

I agree with other posts -- use a mobile wheel repair service. The work they did on mine is perfect -- you can't tell there was ever any rash! This is the one I used:

hademarco | June 24, 2013

@Tesla4JP, it sounds like he needs to get you your own Model S.

I have put a rash on my rims too.

@Mattwis, Now I'm feeling guilty I don't let my husband drive my car more.

Bighorn | June 24, 2013

@envious wife
Sounds like your husband may be kicked to the curb before the car has a chance to be;)

JZ13 | June 24, 2013

I have been encouraging everyone I know to drive my S. I have probably had 30 people drive my car. Last week I let a client test drive it and he hit a curb and I got my first curb rash. I'm pretty bummed but taking it in stride. My client has no idea and obviously I didn't point it out when I saw the damage after the test drive.

I will say the reverse mirror setting has saved me from rashing the car myself. I use it religiously when parking near a curb.

Last point, my goode buddy has MANY rashes on his gray S wheels and he's just going to leave them. I think he is just more of a careless driver and figures why fix them since he'll do it again.

Tesla4JP | June 24, 2013

@Bighorn. LOL Tempting thought, but like Matt, I also pick people over things. In most other respects he is a keeper. :-))

I'm going to be patient and hope that some "time" will loosen the death grip he has on the key fob. It's only been 6 weeks. But the more I read the forums, the more I realize this "love" does not fade. I can understand and I'm not even driving! Being a passenger is also very exciting.

I now have to brainstorm on how to get my very own. Sounds like a part time job is in my future. Kids are old enough to make that a possibility.

Anyone hiring?? :-)

Brian H | June 24, 2013

The more you involve her in selecting and implementing the fix, the better she'll feel, and more she'll "own" the solution.

John56 | June 24, 2013

Get the AlloyGators! I've had them on my grey 21" wheels for around 5000 miles now and they have saved my bacon a few times already. Removing the rash from the gators is easy with the tool they give you, and my rims still have no scuff marks at all. And the Gators seem to have no negative impact on the tires at all. I've had my P85 at the track and the gators handled the 100+mph just fine.

sia | June 24, 2013

Thanks @John56 for the details on AlloyGators!

2-Star | June 24, 2013

Are they needed (or even available) for 19" wheels?

JPPTM | June 24, 2013

The Tesla Service Centers contract with mobile wheel repair services-call yours and ask.

NKYTA | June 24, 2013

Yep, that is the route we went. A week after we got her, both my wife and I had each scratched a rim. When we had it in for due-bill items, we had them sub-contract their rim guy (Menlo Park Service). He did an awesome job for $300. I couldn't find any indication the rims weren't "brand new". :-)

carlf9121 | June 24, 2013

Where did you purchase the set of AlloyGators & who did the installation? Did you buy them direct from in UK & have shipped to you or your installer? I'm in Silicon Valley, CA so if you can advise a local place where these can be installed, I'd appreciate it. Looks easy to install but prefer to have it professionally done by someone who has experience in the installation. Thanks.

fuellss | June 24, 2013

Also, beware of the curbs but what about those cement stop blocks in parking lots? I didn't realize how low the front of the car is, so I park about 1 1/2 feet away

Roamer@AZ USA | June 25, 2013

I ordered mine with 19s because my wife and daughters have nicked up rims on every low profile I have ever owned. To keep peace in the house I had to go with 19s.

Roamer@AZ USA | June 25, 2013

Matt, I have cleaned up many a rash with a hand held Dremel roto tool with a fine grinding wheel. Light touch and you can make most curb rash disappear.

The women in my life think tires and rims "are" curb feelers designed to keep you in the lane.

J.T. | June 25, 2013

@Calover The "very high" setting on the air suspension allows my car to clear every block I've encountered.

TFMethane | June 25, 2013

Kudos to your commitment to your wife and her feelings.

Unless it can be fixed simply (i.e. with a topical cream), most people who get a rash from their spouses wind up getting divorced.

FrancisS | June 25, 2013

I got my rim repair from Discount Tire. They called a rim repair guy to sand it down and repaint it. I paid $125 for it. Hope it help.

PaceyWhitter | June 25, 2013


Watch out pulling out after parking over a block. The car can lower after leaving it parked for a while. There have been pics of MS's with their bumper pulled clean off by rebar on the blocks.

John56 | June 25, 2013

@carlf9121 I got the AlloyGators from the UK. I installed them myself... no big deal. If you decide to do it yourself contact me for some tips. Also, I know some of the other guys have been having their service center install them.

carlf9121 | June 25, 2013

Thanks for the advise. I'll look into them. How do they look on? Did you get the black one since you have the grey rims? Does it look like an add on or blends in well with the contour and asethetics of the rims & low profile tires?

Dr. Bob Reinke | June 25, 2013

Totally agree with John56. The Gaters are great and protect the rim very well. They are made of a material similar to UHMWP and take a lot of punishment. They come in an assortment of colors to match the car and even the rim color. For those who chose black car with black rims the white Gaters look like a thin white wall.

Amped | June 26, 2013

For DIY pick up a small set of jewelers files.

In the Denver area, Id suggest Brian

mmasotto | July 21, 2013

Does anyone know a professional place in Orange County, California that can install the alloygator on MS 21" grey wheels? If so, PLEASE inform. Thanks in advance!