How to use a floor jack & stands with a Tesla

How to use a floor jack & stands with a Tesla

I've looked through the owner's manual and YouTube to see how to put a Model S on jack stands, and I don't see how it's done. I would like to know if you can lift a Model S with a floor jack, then rest it on jack stands to rotate the tires. The manual says you can ONLY lift the car from 4 points, so unless there's a frame rail to put a lift under, you can't use jack stands, correct?

jordanrichard | 18 juillet 2015

I wouldn't try jacking up the car.

Though it has always been a dilemma when it comes to jacking a car. The place where a manual tells you to lift the car by is also where you are supposed to put the floor jacks.....

Many times I would place the jack stand on the subframe mount. However, the underside of the MS is sealed up. If you are too far from a Tesla service center, any tire shop can do it, just be absolutely sure they use the jack pads that are in place.

With a car weighing 1500 lbs more than the average car, I would not want to mess with it.

brewster | 18 juillet 2015

Jackpoint Jackstands would probably do the job.

cephellow | 18 juillet 2015

Its been posted before. Special jack stands are available that allow you to do this, fits around floor jack with a customized top puck. Pricey.
I CNC'd some interlock plates that work with my floorjacks to eliminate the need for these.

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

Well, JordanRichard, that bites. I wanted to rotate my own Tesla tires. And I am quite a ways from the local SC, darn it. I am not an owner, I'm trying to figure out all this stuff before I buy one.

Darn it.

cephellow | 18 juillet 2015

yep - Brewster found them.... | 18 juillet 2015

"The manual says you can ONLY lift the car from 4 points,..."

I don't see that in my manual.

I've jacked my car up to get a tire repaired. No issues.

Recommendations have been made for which look great! | 18 juillet 2015

Jeez you guys are fast with answers...

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

Page 132 of the manual online shows 4 and only four jack points. What am I missing?

jordanrichard | 18 juillet 2015

Somebody should design a floor jack that ratchets as it goes up. This way the floor jack can be a jack stand too.

Panoz, also keep in mind that despite the manual saying to rotate the tires every 5K, your tires may not need it that often. My service center measures the tread depth first, to see if a rotation is needed.

Again, you can take it to any garage to get the tires rotated, when needed.

bish | 18 juillet 2015


I use 2 floor jacks to rotate my tires, No need for Jack stands, I rotate 1 side at a time. Just make sure that you never put yourself under the car. You can put a block of wood under a suspension point for extra safety.
I have rotated my tires on all of my cars for 30 years. I would not recommend doing it for the first time on a Tesla.

But those jackpoint stands look pretty cool.

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

After having damage to both of my "exotic" cars by local mechanics, I was really hoping to rotate the tires myself. Having a Tesla would SURELY invite mechanic test drives!

Dang it.

And I like the locking floor jack idea.

jordanrichard | 18 juillet 2015

They would have no justification to drive the car, just for a tire rotation. Put the car in valet mode as added insurance.

cephellow | 18 juillet 2015

@jordanrichard- Somebody should design a floor jack that ratchets as it goes up
-that is what my modified floor jacks do....
I will not share the design however, since I want no liability but my own....

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

@bish - you live life on the edge. The floor jack I bought came with an audio recording of a dozen lawyers screaming "don't leave the car on the jack!". Didn't yours?

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

Having a Tesla out of your sight will always invite test drives, I would imagine.

Panoz | 18 juillet 2015

So what did you guys do before Valet mode? Sit and watch your car at a mechanic?

jordanrichard | 18 juillet 2015

My Tesla has always been serviced by Tesla, except once and that was for a tire repair. Had a slow air leak which turned out to be a nail. Tesla does not allow the service centers to repair tires, so I took it to the shop I use for my other cars. The drove it around back, plugged the tire and drove back up front.

Haggy | 18 juillet 2015

I've rotated my tires on other cars until I got the Tesla, but considering what Tesla charges, I can't see why I wouldn't want them to do it for me. It might be different if I lived farther away.

I don't think it's beyond the means of owners to go to a tire shop and have them use their lift, but for those who do their own work it comes down to the idea of not doing something that you should be able to do easily.

FlatSix911 | 18 juillet 2015

Yes, I hang out at the tire shop ...

Pungoteague_Dave | 19 juillet 2015

My lift system has a jack system for further lifting the wheels off the ramps. Works great on the MS - there are four points to put it under. This system is around $5k IIRC:

Pungoteague_Dave | 19 juillet 2015

a couple closer shots of supporting the car:

Panoz | 19 juillet 2015

Dave! I'll be right over for a tire rotation and oil change.

Kutu | 19 juillet 2015

I live over 150 miles from the nearest SC. I use the Jackpoint jackstand to rotate my own tires. Additionally, doing it myself gives me the chance to easily clean the inside of the wheels and wheel wells.

Panoz | 19 juillet 2015

i wouldn't think the jackpoint stands lifted the car high enough to rotate the tires.

jbunn | 19 juillet 2015

I've typically rotated tires by placing the floor jack under the lower control arm right behind the tire. The jack is only lifted enough to clear the tire from the ground by 1/4 inch.

Saves a ton of jacking, does not lift or tilt the car, and the lower control arm is designed to take that stress all day, every day.

Pungoteague_Dave | 19 juillet 2015

I mis-spoke - the lift system was only $2,700 for the 9,000-lb hydraulic 4-post lift system. You need garage space for it, although they use these outside in Los Angeles and New York city.

They also have a caster system to move it around, about $150, and the sliding jack system in the pictures added $800, so the total was around $3,700 delivered. I find a lift the best upgrade one can do to a shop, and if you have a high garage ceiling (ten feet is enough), can use it to park two cars in one spot.

Son of a Gunn | 19 juillet 2015

P_D's real name is Bruce Wayne. Thanks for sharing pics inside the bat cave.

Son of a Gunn | 19 juillet 2015

P_D, before you put it up on the four jack points, do you also set the car on Neutral with ebrake on or on Tow Mode?

Rocky_H | 20 juillet 2015

@Panoz, Quote: "@bish - you live life on the edge. The floor jack I bought came with an audio recording of a dozen lawyers screaming "don't leave the car on the jack!". Didn't yours?"

Geez, calm down, will ya? It's not leaving it on the jacks for days, it's just 10 minutes or so. If a jack can't hold a car for that long, it has no business being used at all. I think @bish has it right. It's a simple, reliable, and inexpensive way to do this, if you just get two floor jacks. I've been doing my tire rotations that way, too.

JAD | 20 juillet 2015

Two jacks works great. Do it all the time at the track when not going under the car. Also used it on Tesla for tire rotations.

Remember to put the car in 'jack' mode if you have air suspension or it may start moving at a bad time.

bishoppeak | 20 juillet 2015

My Safe T Jack combines jack and stands. I've used it for 20 years. I think they sell them on Amazon now.

Panoz | 20 juillet 2015

Rocky - bish! Gaaaah! I work for a safety company and my Dad was an attorney! You did NOT say you use a floor jack to rotate tires. I heard that you use a jack only to put a stand under the car.

Yes, that's what I heard.

Pungoteague_Dave | 20 juillet 2015

Son of a Gunn | JULY 19, 2015 "P_D, before you put it up on the four jack points, do you also set the car on Neutral with ebrake on or on Tow Mode?"

I put it on highest suspension and select tow mode. Don't know that it makes any difference, but I heard that locks the suspension in place. I do the same on ferries. It feels strange when I have all four wheels off - the whole car is on four relatively little posts, but is really quite secure, would not have any risk of movement. The post lifts are slow-moving beasts - takes a couple minutes to raise the Tesla - even more for my heavier F-150. Goes down pretty quick (8-p)

bish | 20 juillet 2015


Do as a say and not as I do.(does that satisfy the lawyer in you) :)

And when you do as I do, use a block of wood under a suspension point. You don't have to lower the car onto the wood. It is there just in case the jack starts to descend. An old railroad tie cut to size works great.

But buy good jacks and they won't fail. With some practice, rotating your own tires is safe, quick, and satisfying.

Rocky_H | 20 juillet 2015

@Panoz, Sheesh. When people lift a car up, they may be doing it for different reasons. Sometimes people may be crawling under the car to work on things underneath it. That would be a pretty bad idea to rely on jacks for that. Swapping the wheels, no big deal if a jack fails. Obviously the jack makers have to put the warnings on there to CYA in case they fail and a car falls on someone. Fine, they have themselves covered because they gave the warnings, but jacks are safe enough for tire swapping, where you're not going underneath it.

Rocky_H | 20 juillet 2015

@Panoz, It was kind of funny that when I first went over to my friend's house to rotate tires, we were going to use jack stands, but they were way too tall to fit under the Model S, even on their lowest setting, to get under the car. His vehicles are 80's Ford Broncos, so he has a pretty tall kind of jack stand.

Panoz | 20 juillet 2015

@Rocky_H, oops, I have 16" minimum height stands. I wonder if that's too high for a Tesla. I will have my cadre of lawyers and safety experts review my floor stands, and they will advise me as to the feasibility of your suggestion.

Rocky_H | 20 juillet 2015

So here's one for you, mister lawyer-safety-man. :) To get the car high enough to get jack stands under it, you would have to lift the car up to a pretty crazy tilted unsafe angle, plus you actually would have to get partway under the car to put the stands under it, which is not good for human safety. Whereas lifting up one side just enough to get the tires off the ground is not nearly as high and unstable and is a safer alternative. Boom. You feel me, @bish?

Panoz | 20 juillet 2015

I am hereby selling a line of Tesla-specific locking floor jacks and accessories. Investors welcome.

dr_gko | 20 juillet 2015

I used a Powerzone 3 ton carjack and Jackpoint Jackstands (a pair). I'm not exactly a handyman but it was pretty easy to do. The jackstands are expensive (about $300) but having 3 vehicles in the family it will pay for itself in time.

Son of a Gunn | 21 juillet 2015

I have a related question. After raising the car onto a jack, I want to be able to freely rotate the wheel that I'm servicing. I understand that Tow mode = Neutral. (Don't use regular Neutral as it will reset to Park.)

Let me know if I'm not missing anything here--

1. Set the car on Park
2. Disable self-leveling (air suspension on high and jack mode on)
3. Chock the corner opposite the wheel getting serviced
4. Jack up and place on stand (jackpoint jackstand technique)
5. Done. Now, I may need to rotate the wheel for some reason. At this point brake calipers are engaged due to parking brake, so I won't be able to. Can I then just go to the touchscreen at this time and set it to Tow Mode? Anything unsafe with that? Is it the correct way to get my wheel on neutral?

dmattmul | 10 novembre 2018

Lift it by the tire and place jack stand under lift point. Very easy. Harbor Freight $ 89.00 less 20%.

lohma004 | 3 mai 2019

Dmattmul: that was my idea too. Use wheel dollies to lift the car and place a jack stands under the lift points. Has anyone done this? More than one wheel? Whole car?

DonS | 3 mai 2019

Floor jack at the lift pad, with a 2x4 block to fit the shape of the pad. Once it is up, suspension arms can be used for jack stands or blocks. I would not dare trying to hold the car up by anything made of sheet metal, i.e. the whole under body.

Daisy the Road ... | 3 mai 2019

What about using the air suspension to accomplish this task?
1) raise it up to the highest setting.
2) place blocks snugly under the four points.
3) set the suspension for lowest height.
In theory, the suspension will lift up all four wheels a couple of inches.

murphyS90D | 4 mai 2019

Jack mode requires the suspension to be at the highest point. You do not want the car trying to level itself while it is on jacks.

Daisy the Road ... | 12 mai 2019

Here was my solution for tire rotation with one sturdy jack and one sturdy jack stand:
- Put car into jack mode.
- Loosen lug nuts on one side.
- Lift using rear jacking point.
- Remove rear wheel, and place stand under rear drum.
- Lower slowly. The suspension will push the stand sideways as it goes down. On my garage floor the stand slides, others may tip. One could use a suspension arm instead, but they look like they are made out of eggshells.
- Lift front, remove and replace front wheel with previously removed rear wheel.
- Lower the front.
- Raise the rear again.
- Remove stand and install the former front tire.
- Lower the rear and torque the bolts.
- Check torque again in 100 miles.

Yodrak. | 12 mai 2019

"place stand under rear drum"

There is no rear drum.

GHammer | 12 mai 2019

If by "drum" you mean the disc rotor, that is a really bad idea.

Kboy | 14 mai 2019

I like doing my own tire rotations and used to cringe at taking a ICE to the shop so they can cross thread the oil pan bolt...... have any of you seen Ferris Buellers Day Off.... the valet scene...... thank you for valet mode!!!