Am I Crazy?

Am I Crazy?

That is actually a rhetorical question....but I've made an SC appointment for next Tuesday morning. The reason for the appointment is new tires. My original tires just passed 13k miles, and while they are not all the way down I just don't want to take them all the way down. Even if there was a spare, my days of being semi-happy about changing a tire on the side of the road is so far behind me it long since receded from view.....

So of course I began to think about better tread wear, or a touring tire. Tire Rack has a number of choices. But at the end of it all I made the appointment, and then called the SC this morning.

I asked a couple of questions, one of them being about choice of tires, and was told that the only choice is the original tire. And then I asked the price.... its ~$1400. My first thought was to cancel the SC appointment. I am certain I could get a touring tire choice on the car for $800-$900, but it would be a bit less convenient. And of course I read about lifting the car, and got to thinking about valet mode, etc.... and how many tire installers have Tesla experience around here.

So now I'm keeping the appointment. Go ahead and answer the title question despite my claim that its rhetorical.

Joshan | 11 juillet 2019

dude.... go to Costco and get better tires doe half the price. You can also than get free rotations and balancing. They will also fill with nitrogen so the pressure does not change due to temperature. its a win-win-win. Costco has the tesla pads and are trained.

Yes you are crazy!

EVRider | 11 juillet 2019

I have no personal experience with this, but other people have reported using different tires from the OEM ones on Model S and having them installed elsewhere. If you're not changing the tire size, it should be easy. Unless there's some urgency, do a little research before you spend too much for Tesla tires.

On my previous Model S, I had to replace one tire due to damage. I replaced it with the same tire, and had the Tesla Service Center do it. The same tire was quite a bit less expensive at Tire Rack, but the SC claimed there was something different about the one from Tesla. I think that was probably BS, and I would have been fine buying the one from Tire Rack and installing it elsewhere.

Joshan | 11 juillet 2019

the difference was likely the piece of foam they put in there which supposedly lessens road noise.

gballant4570 | 11 juillet 2019

As it turns out, there is a Costco just down the road from the Tesla SC. I think I'll call them tomorrow and check them out. If they can talk me into a good touring tire with a good price, I'll cancel the SC appointment.

Thanks for the suggestion Joshan.

gballant4570 | 11 juillet 2019

Of course there also is the foam insert part of this subject - the Tire Rack Michelin Pilot doesn't have that, while the Tesla SC does. I do not have any problems with road noise in my car - its the quietest ride I've ever had. If I end up with Costco there will be something else to learn from this as well.

gballant4570 | 11 juillet 2019

Joshan, didn't see your post - but I guess you're referring to the S tire....

Kary993 | 11 juillet 2019

who actually buys tires from the manufacturer of the car???

vmulla | 11 juillet 2019
dmastro | 11 juillet 2019

America's Tire has a wide variety of sets from under $450 to $900. In the Sacramento area, they are well-versed with Tesla and have the appropriate tools and pads to work on them. Not to mention that they provide free rotations and plug repairs, and offer the option to buy three-year warranties to cover damage (on our California roads I always get my money's worth on them). I've bought tires from them for years and will definitely go there when my 3 needs new shoes.

I'm not sure if they can get the foam version or not, but I'm not really sold on the foam anyway - and I definitely don't see the value in paying double to buy them.

dmastro | 11 juillet 2019

Quick update after reading @vmulla's post: America's Tire sells the OEM Primacy #16144 (apparently the foam version) for $900/set installed. And rebates are available.

jjgunn | 11 juillet 2019

Not sure where you live...

Seever & Sons
3687 Old Santa Rita Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588

Dublin SC is working with them because by law the SC cannot give a warranty on the tire like a tire dealer can.

They repaired my front tire when I picked up a charge.

M3phan | 11 juillet 2019

When getting other tires:
Check the rolling resistance since a higher number can decrease range up to 10%, (LRR=Low Rolling resistance) and get the highest load index you can - car requires 98 - anything under 98 is going to be risky for our relatively heavy cars!

When going to another installer:
1. Know about jack points?
2. Know the torque spec for the nuts? (129 pound feet)
3. Know the socket size? (21 mm)
4. Are TPMS monitors included? Are the settings affected by install?
5. Do you know how to align the tires?

RES IPSA | 11 juillet 2019

Discount Tire here in San Diego will install the OEM tires for about $1200.00 (total cost)

Costco can be a good choice, but they only sell a handful of brands.

RES IPSA | 11 juillet 2019

@M3phan... how do you check the LRR? Many tire websites don't include that number in their description of the tires. I am specifically referring to Discount Tire website

M3phan | 11 juillet 2019

@RES IPSA, Here’s a link to Tire Rack’s list of LRR tires ( I assume not every one of these would be a match for a model three, but here’s the list anyway):

M3phan | 11 juillet 2019

… Click the second tab on that page link above…

RES IPSA | 11 juillet 2019


RES IPSA | 11 juillet 2019

HANKOOK VENTUS S1 NOBLE2 H452 (235 /45 R18 98W XL BSW)

That is the tire I am going to get. It is low roll resistance and less than $700 installed on the car.

rxlawdude | 11 juillet 2019

@RES, let us know how those work for you. I am nervous about tires from Korea. Probably unfounded, but Michelins never have disappointed me.

-TheJohn- | 11 juillet 2019

Fantastic advice M3Phan. I'm going to write that stuff down now in the hopes I remember it.

M3phan | 12 juillet 2019

: )

M3phan | 12 juillet 2019

And after looking at other tires, I ended up sticking with another set of the Michelin Primacy MXM4s. : )

mazers | 12 juillet 2019

@gballant4570, interested in what you find as I believe are in MD and also go to the Owings Mills SC. I have 22,000 miles on my tires and they still perform well although I'l be getting them rotated again soon.

DanFoster1 | 12 juillet 2019

I always do my own tires—it saves mad time, little bit of money, and you’ll know for sure that you applied the correct torque (rather than all those shops that torque them as hard as they can, which can make wheels impossible to remove when you’re stranded with a flat on side of the road.)

I use vinyl coated sockets so I don’t scratch my wheels (I would, I really would), a breaker bar, a click style torque wrench, and a floor jack. I can swap all four in about half an hour with just these hand tools. I’m not a big, burly dude either, so anyone could do it. Compare that time to making an appointment, driving there, waiting, etc.

I used to use hockey pucks as jack pads, but I bought a real set, which I now prefer. They fit perfectly; the o-ring holds them in until the jack pad makes contact; highly recommended:!/Tesla/

2015 Model S 85D
Lug Nut: 22mm Hex, 14x1.50 Thread
Torque: 175Nm / 129 lb-fts

sixstring09 | 12 juillet 2019

I still have the original tires at about 1400 miles. I sure wish there was a better tire as the road noise could be better.

I dropped the pressure to 39 and it helps a little but I still wish the model 3 was smoother on the highway.

vmulla | 12 juillet 2019

Would you give up handing for a smoother ride?
Or, would you spend more for an S, or perhaps a future air suspension option?

The 3 is a fantastic balance between comfort and sportiness. Wouldn't you agree?

M3phan | 12 juillet 2019

I don’t find the stock tires as noisy as the wind blowing over the beautiful glass roof. That said, I’m not particularly bothered by the overall cabin noise such as it is. Doesn’t seem noisy to me.

Joshan | 12 juillet 2019

I am ususally enjoying the awesome sound system /shrug

COrich | 12 juillet 2019

Just make sure whomever you choose knows the proper jacking points/procedures for the Model 3. You don't want them damaging the battery housing.

gballant4570 | 12 juillet 2019

Well, I have come to my senses and cancelled my Tesla SC tire replacement appointment.
Costco struck out this morning.... had to talk W speed range due to car config, which went back to a high performance tire rather than a touring tire that I am wanting to aim at. Their price was significantly better though. But requiring membership, etc.... pushed me in another direction.

Instead I have simply ordered a set of Model 3 lift pads from Amazon, and these from Tire Rack:

Style: Blackwall
Load Range: XL
Serv. Desc: 98V
UTQG: 600 A A

Delivered to the shop 8 miles down the road I've dealt with for years. The owner is looking forward to seeing my Tesla again - I stopped by and showed it to him after I bought it. We spoke on the phone today, discussed the jacking pads and torquing, and he is looking into Model 3 tire replacement in preparation for the work.

These replacement tires are considered touring tires, and should get longer tread wear than the OEM tires or replacement performance tires. I will end up saving $400-$500 from the $1400+ price quote from Tesla, while giving an honest and well run local business some understanding of the future.

vmulla | 12 juillet 2019

"I will end up saving $400-$500 from the $1400+ price quote from Tesla, while giving an honest and well run local business some understanding of the future."

Two thumbs up.

Frankly, Tesla would be better off if their service center could focus more on tech issues rather than routine generic issues. It's a bit of a revenue hit, but probably better for everyone in the long term.

Also, if Tesla could partner with local businesses for routine stuff that would be even better - tire service, wiper blades, inspections, level one diagnostics etc.

jjgunn | 12 juillet 2019

Like I mentioned earlier....the Dublin SC has now partnered with a local tire shop to handle the tires.

Biggest reason is the SC by law cannot provide a warranty on the tire like a tire shop can.

gballant4570 | 12 juillet 2019

vmulla, agreed. When I first showed my car to Wayne (the shop owner) it was obvious from his expression that he was thinking about lost future revenue, while the young men working for him were mainly eyeballing the tech and build, and talking about working on this type of car in the future. I did not push the conversation into that direction myself....It would be best if there is a viable and sustainable path forward for local small businesses like that one as we move into the EV landscape.

eplaskett | 12 juillet 2019


Any reason you went with that particular tire? It will likely be a little bit longer before I need tires, but I look at my options from time to time. Knowing that I want a moderately high performance all season tire with good noise and comfort ratings, Tire Rack's tire selection algorithm always steers me towards the Vredstein Quatrac 5. The Michelin CrossClimate always seems to get top billing but is considerably more expensive, while the Bridgestone you selected is also suggested as a one of the top 3 picks but has lower scores than the Vredstein in most categories, according to Tire Rack's testing, with a higher price, to boot. Not trying to second guess your choice - just wondering if you saw the same recommendations from Tire Rack and if so, if you dismissed the Vredstein for some reason (less known brand?)?


RES IPSA | 12 juillet 2019

Tire shops and manufacturers should like the switch to electric vehicles... at least if they have regen braking. More wear on the tires means more tires needed sooner

TexasBob | 12 juillet 2019

Did you have any luck getting pro-rated warranty credit from Michelin? 13.5k miles is pitiful for primacy tires with tread-wear guarantee of 45K on a W speed-rated vehicle.

TexasBob | 12 juillet 2019

Also, for those of you experienced with run-flats, any perspective on whether they are worthwhile. WIth no spare tire, I like the idea of run-flats to at least get off the highway and into a safe spot. Bridgestone makes a run-flat for the model 3.

jjgunn | 12 juillet 2019

My Model X has 30,000 on it & 4/32 tread left on original tires.

Is it just me or is that pretty good wear?

eplaskett | 12 juillet 2019


I had Bridgestone Driveguard tires on my last car (not a Tesla). I bought them because I was tired of suffering blowouts from potholes on I-285, Atlanta's Perimeter highway. They do indeed work as advertised - if you suffer a blowout, they will likely safely get you to a destination within 50 miles (albeit at a reduced speed of up to 50 mph, if memory serves me), allowing you to avoid changing the tire while on the highway. That said, once the tire has performed that task, it is indeed shot, so road hazard is a must.

I will say that they seemed to suffer blowouts more often than conventional tires I had previously had on the same vehicle. That could be due to the strengthened sidewalls, which likely have less give, making them more susceptible to rupture. But it could also be due to the continuous deterioration of I-285 - I am sure that the roadway got quite a bit worse in the seven years I had that car.

For what it's worth, reviews do indicate that the Driveguard tires do run more quietly and comfortably than traditional run flats, and I did find them to be fairly comfortable - similar to most other all season tires I have had.

Fortunately, with the Model 3, my AFV licence plate allows me to drive in the HOV lane on I-75 without a passenger, and so 285 and its wretched potholes are less of a concern for me now. *knock on wood *

gballant4570 | 12 juillet 2019

eplaskett, I didn't use the Tire Rack questionnaire - I generally find that if I look at all available, I'll make a choice that was not shown in the questionnaire results. My choice was based on a desire for longer tire wear, along with shooting for a good combination of quality and price. Customer reviews also came into the picture. The scores I was looking for were all season traction, tread wear, and not necessarily performance ratings. My driving habits, style, types of roads, etc.... all point me toward a touring tire. I can be quite satisfied with a tire that lasts a calendar year. I am thinking at this point anything called "High Performance" or "Ultra Performance" won't wear any better than the OEM's. I am also certain that touring tires will not result in any performance disappointment on my part, but time will tell - perhaps I will learn something. My search results showed a Vredstein tire, but its tread wear rating of 400 was lower than the OEM tire's rating - so I did not even consider it. I was considering the Michelin Pilot Sport tire (tread wear 500) to be equivslent to the OEM tire, rightly or wrongly.

TexasBob, I agree that 13k miles is quite sad, but I gauged my likely success with tire warranties many years ago and stopped fooling with them. In my view they are more trouble than anything else, and I never drive tires on their last mile. The OEM's I'll get rid of have around 4/32 tread left on them now - quite a few owners would drive them another several months. A warranty claim would likely end up with a Michelin rep claiming they are still good. I have gotten rid of many tires that end up on a used tire rack for sale.... these may not be quite good enough for that, but they will soon leave my possession anyhow. If I can make a set of tires last 12 months, I'm generally happy. I don't use winter/summer tires, so my preferred approach is new tires in October. I'm a bit early this year, but I'll shoot for getting back onto that schedule.

vmulla | 12 juillet 2019

Just for everyone to know. The tire warranty with Michelin was quite painless.
This is the process.
- I called Michelin to start a tire claim
- Michelin gave a reference number and a phone number. I was told to make an authorized Michelin dealer call with the odometer reading and tire depth
- Michelin folks and Tire Dealer talked to each other
- Michelin discount a portion of my next purchase at the tire dealer
Option B -- I replaced my tires replaced with Michelins elsewhere(Costco in my case), send the receipt to Michelin. Michelin sent a check for the discount amount in about 5 weeks. (I went with Option B)

It seems long, but it was actually really painless - just hope for smart, helpful customer service folks who can understand what you're trying to do and work with you.

rxlawdude | 12 juillet 2019

"Well, I have come to my senses and cancelled my Tesla SC tire replacement appointment.
Costco struck out this morning.... had to talk W speed range due to car config, which went back to a high performance tire rather than a touring tire that I am wanting to aim at."

Because the RWD M3 clearly cannot exceed the speed of a V rated tire, Costco will indeed fit V rated tires with the customer signature agreeing that these are not the same speed rating as the OEMs.

eplaskett | 12 juillet 2019


Thanks for the detailed reply. Your explanation makes sense. If you wouldn't mind coming back here after a little while to let us know how you like the tires you selected, I would greatly appreciate it. I am particularly interested in road noise - noise on concrete freeways is one of the sole things I would like to improve with my car.

Syed.Hosain | 12 juillet 2019

Sorry for the long post here - feel free to ignore as needed.

I have 18" Michelin Primacy MXM4 235/45/-18 98W on my Model 3, of course (Tesla OEM). Now just at 3/32" at 22k miles and need replacement - I am actually late, considering I like to replace at 4/32 for this reason: because I am always concerned about wet weather driving.

Fortunately, it is not raining here much at this time, so I pushed the limits a bit. I should have changed at about 18 to 19k miles.

Also, since I do not drive in cold weather or snow, I plan to replace with the tire that Tesla provides for the 19" and 20" wheels: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 245/45-18 with a load index of 98 and speed rating of Y. From Costco or America's Tire - we do not need to to get "Tesla tires" as someone once asked about!

The overall outcome should be reduced tire noise on highways, better handling (wet and dry), braking (wet and dry), but worse tread life.

Yes, I expect my tread life to drop quite a bit because of the softer stickier formulation (300 vs 500 tread wear index), If I get 15k life from the Pilot Sport 4S, I will be satisfied.

Some things for everybody to keep in mind for our cars:

1. We have relatively heavy cars. So a load index of 98 (or higher) is best. Lowest to ever consider is 96 - anything below that could be a problem with premature tire noise and worst case, failure.

2. Do not use summer tires in snow or cold weather. The Pilot Sport 4S, for example, should never be used even near to freezing temps - they will become rock hard and slide easily.

3. If you are in cold weather, use All-Seasons like the Primacy, or if you spend months in snow area every year, get a set of cheap wheels with snow tires. Almost any brand/model of snow tire will be better than excellent All-Season tires in snow.

4. As tires flex, internal wear leads to belts fraying (not visible) over time. So, a quiet tire today could become much noisier and require more regular rebalancing, etc. before the tread wears out. In this regard, Michelin gives you a great start - they X-Ray every tire to make sure that the manufacturing was great to begin with.

5. Check the date code - tires older than two years should not be used (I aim for 1 year or less). Tire rubber starts hardening ("vulcanizing") after manufacture, with a usable life of 5 to 6 years max. After which they will micro-crack, even without any tread wear! Unsafe. This is more important if you put wheels away in winter for snow tire use.

TexasBob | 12 juillet 2019

Thanks vmulla. I am definitely going the warranty route when the time comes if I stick with Michelins. I did note that Michelin has just upgraded its warranty (june 1) to include:
Flat Tire Assistance
• The 3 year flat tire assistance program will expand to a more comprehensive roadside assistance program including:
o FlatTireChangeout
o Freetowingupto150miles
o Fluiddelivery(gas,water,etc.)* o Lockoutservice
o Batteryjumpstart
• There is no additional cost to our dealers or your customers for this upgraded service.

Devilstower | 12 juillet 2019

For what it's worth, I had Continental tires with their "ContiSilent" foam on my Volt previous to getting a Model 3, and they were much, much quieter than the tires they replaced. They're available though a good number of sources.

Syed.Hosain | 12 juillet 2019


That is really good news ... particularly the free towing for 150 miles. I travel down to Southern California from the Bay Area occasionally, and do worry about not having a spare.