Tesla Rims all Scratched Up....

Tesla Rims all Scratched Up....

Every Tesla rim I see here in L.A are all scratched up and looking so dirty. I thought it was only because the 21" are low profiles and dig on pot holes, but almost all the 19" rim/ wheels I see are all scratched up and chipped as well. And dirty! The only time they weren't scratched up was when the car looked like it was purchased recently. (I look for the little box shape/autopilot radar in the front of the car to know if it's the new model.)

My CRZ honda has 17" rims but smaller wheels as well, so proportionally very similar to the 19" Model S Rims...and yet my rims have very little scratches and chips...quite few in fact, and I've had my car for 5 years.

Is there something I don't know about these Tesla rims as to why they get so scratched up and chipped so easily? Makes the car look cheap. Esp when they're dirty!

NKYTA | June 17, 2015

Operator error. I've had it happen. Free upgrade to auto lowering mirrors and free upgrade to backup lines, OTA, has put an end to that...unless my wife drives my mistress. ;-)

NKYTA | June 17, 2015

Are you on the right Enthusiasts Forum?

dpena23 | June 17, 2015

I was at the E3 convention in downtown L.A today and 2 guys won the new Mazda MX5 playing the racing video game for the XBox. The rims are beautiful! They shine so much more nicer than the Tesla rims. And look more expensive even though they're smaller.

NKYTA | June 17, 2015

See my post above yours.

dpena23 | June 17, 2015

Only stating the obvious. I don't see how that makes me an idiot.

You're name calling makes you the idiot.


rgmdamgr | June 17, 2015

My meds must be kicking in.

NomoDinos | June 17, 2015

dpena - my 21's are pristine after 7 months, and that with driving through several dirt-roads and rock chips.

danej | June 17, 2015

With some wheel & tire combinations, the tire (the rubber thing) protrudes beyond the wheel (the metal thing), so when it rubs a curb, the tire hits, not the wheel. But on the Tesla (and many other cars), the metal wheels protrude as much as the rubber tires, so if you touch a curb when parallel parking, you scratch your wheels.

Some owners have resolved this by installing Alloygator wheel protectors, see post here for more info:

Oh, and mclary, you are an unhelpful idiot.


CXVII | June 18, 2015

The rims on my first Model S, which I let my wife borrow, was all scratched up.
The rims on my new Model S are untouched, and my wife is not allowed to borrow it.

Problem located, isolated and solved. No need for rim protection.

Tropopause | June 18, 2015

I doubt every Tesla in LA has scratched wheels. As for dirt, I don't think Honda and Mazda have discovered a secret wheel that repels dirt.

I see a lot of clean Tesla's. I do see some damaged 21" wheels and a few 19" as well but most Tesla's look way sharper than the average car on the road, dirty or not.

david.baird | June 18, 2015

I think it's the tyres Tesla use, they don't protrude very far from the rim.

The Pirelli Sottozeros though go a good centimetre wider than the rim so you can scuff the kerb a bit without damage.

Mathew98 | June 18, 2015

My rims were pristine after two years of ownership.

Then the distracted driver rolled over a curb in a VACANT parking lot and caused a huge gash on a single rim. I will not confirm or deny who was the driver at the time.

Definitely user error.

sorka95032 | June 18, 2015

Mine are still perfect but I've only got 4K miles on them. The Lexus I sold last year with 334K miles on it were also scratch free and had never been repaired. In fact, in over a million miles of driving I've never scratched a wheel.

Now I'll scratch one because I just bragged about it and there's no wood around me right now.

luckyluciano | June 18, 2015

Dirty rims need to be cleaned with gentle non harmful rim cleaner solution and gentle sponge. Try Griots Garage or Sonas rim cleaners.

Scratched or flaking rims need a new detailer, car wash etc. and perhaps a new driver. | June 18, 2015

Scratched one wheel 3 days after getting the car. The curb just jumped out at the wheel going less than 2 mph. Damm curbs...

I'm surprised no one mentioned that the S is a wide car. Between a CRZ and S it's 8.8" wider or about 13% wider. Easy to misjudge any car when you're used to something smaller.

vpoz | June 18, 2015

You can almost guarantee that your rims will become scratched, for some reason Tesla chose a rim / tyre combo that has the rims protruding beyond the tyre and catching anything you happen to get close to .. especially where there are kerbs, stones etc.
Solution .. go for cheapest 19" wheels then go off to nearest rim specialist & get exactly what you want for less money and have a spare set of wheels as well. | June 18, 2015

I suspect the reason the tires do not protrude is the high pressure they use. You could drop the PSI to 25 and get nice fat protruding sidewalls that protects the rims. Of course the tire is likely to self-destruct at low PSI, causing the rim to be trashed. Maybe not such a good idea.

vpoz | June 18, 2015

There's a guy with a Porsche Panamera where I live & his tyres look like they stick out past the rims.

KidDoc | June 18, 2015

I find this annoying as well. Mine were scratched up pretty good due to wife parallel parking until we moved. After moving I had a wheel repair guy come out and fix the scratches. They look great now and I purchased and installed the wheel guards from Evannex and no problems since (6 months now).

I still have original tires at 27k miles. I'm hoping when I finally do need to buy new tires they will pooch out a bit to protect the wheel.

Roamer@AZ USA | June 18, 2015

Blinding flash of the obvious. Parking space and parking lot sizes in Southern California keep shrinking. You are driving a car that could park in a Model S trunk and still have room to open the doors. I would not be surprised to see lots of curb rash on full size Southern California cars. Parking is a contact sport here.

My 21's have 30,000 miles and not one mark. The rims on my wife's S on standard 19's with 35,000 miles have scrapes all over them. She views wheels and tires as devices for locating curbs. It works for her.

thranx | June 18, 2015

@TeslaTap; that's been my experience. The car is so wide, that when pulling out of a parking space with a curb on one side, or sometimes turning a tight, curbed corner, I forget to swing the car wider, or pull out straight before starting to turn.

I've since altered my driving to reflect this, and haven't had a rim scratch since (though the old ones are still present to remind me).

carlk | June 18, 2015

S is a bigger and longer car and easier to bump into curbs when you're not carful parking or making turns. The FWD on your CRZ helps a lot too. Just need to learn how to drive a very long wheelbase RWD car. Always make wider turns and check you rear view mirror when doing paralle parking.

Big T | June 18, 2015

My 2013 Model S is without any curb rash. My wife parks using the same method as Roamer's wife. She does not drive my car. As to being dirty, I find that regen causes me to use my brakes a lot less and therefore have much less brake dust on the wheels.

Qwiksilver | June 18, 2015

AlloyGators, plain and simple.
They look good too.

Roamer@AZ USA | June 18, 2015

The problem with gators is if you don't have any scratches then you don't need them and if you get a scratch then it is too late to put them on since you already have damage.

I have the same problem with my roof. When I is raining I can't fix it because it is raining. When it is not raining I don't need to fix it because it is not leaking.

TytanX | June 18, 2015

I saw so many 21" that were all beat up with road rash that I got Alloy gators out on before the rims went on the car. Already saved one scratch so money well spent.

staze | June 18, 2015

Same experience as TytanX. Gators were thrashed by my wife. However, I didn't bother when to replace them when I changed my tires and now I have a wheel rash courtesy of the Mrs. :-(

staze | June 18, 2015

Wow, sorry for the poor grammar. I didn't bother to replace the Gators with my new tires. I regret my decision.

2050project | June 18, 2015

Wheel Bands rim protection is another option where you don't have to deflate tire for install:

dpena23 | June 18, 2015

Ohh....that's why the 19" Cyclone's look a little funny sometimes when you look at them from an's cus the rims protrued out on the same plane as the tires. It gives it a flat look. Hmmm. I still like the cyclones better than default rims though.

I wonder if Tesla designed the rims to stick out like that so you would replace them more often when they get scratched. Sneaky :-(

TytanX | June 18, 2015

My guess is the wheel design had very little to do with replacement business but a lot to do with aerodynamics and aesthetics