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Deformed Tires and Alignment after Just 8k miles

Deformed Tires and Alignment after Just 8k miles

I recently had my tires rotated by our local NTB and they informed me the tire belts were deformed and likely defective. Surprised, I asked them to confirm their opinion. They did. I immediately scheduled my appt with the Devon, PA Tesla Service Center and the mechanic assured me there is nothing defective with the tires and I only needed an alignment. With only 8k miles on the car and having hit zero potholes I am extremely suspicious and disappointed. Tesla is notorious for breaking their arm pointing a finger at anyone and everyone when something goes wrong with a Tesla vehicle. I explained it is very unusual to need an alignment after only 8k miles and there shouldnt be the wear pattern that there is after such a short period. Tesla told me they wouldnt pay for the alignment. My guess is there was never an alignment performed when the tires were first mounted on the car and the initial Model 3s were rushed to the customers. Now I am stuck with the bill and a set of tires that will need to be replaced faster than they should be. Anyone else experiencing this issue? I am taking my car to a different mechanic to confirm the tires are not defective or deformed because I don't trust Tesla's after sale support or integrity. I also write this post in case there is a defect in the tires and I have an accident after being assured by the Tesla Service Center that my tires are fine, sans the alignment.

Magic 8 Ball | 16 aprile 2019

Get a lawyer.

jimglas | 16 aprile 2019

tesla doesn't make tires

Bighorn | 16 aprile 2019

What are deformed tire belts? Post a picture or use your words. Seems like much ado about nothing.

wiboater4 | 16 aprile 2019

Make sure you post back after the second opinion.

hokiegir1 | 16 aprile 2019

How do the belts get deformed? And if the tires are bald enough that you can see that, I don't think it matters who tells you they are ok -- use your own judgement and get them replaced.

As far as the alignment -- we're just over 25k miles and needing to schedule our 2nd one. We've also had 3 tire rotations and are about due for the 4th -- and the tires were replaced at 20k miles at the wear bars (and when it was in for the 3rd rotation).

lordmiller | 16 aprile 2019

Sounds silly. Call the tire manufacturer.

Gjmoll | 16 aprile 2019

Obviously Tesla doesn't make tires, thanks for that, but they do perform, or are supposed to perform, an alignment prior to delivery in addition to a safety review of the entire vehicle they are selling. If I was an mechanic and could diagnose the issue beyond what the technician told me I would be happy to proffer additional locution. That's a synonym for "words", Bighorn. Also, I don't see that we can post pictures on this forum.

Magic 8 Ball | 16 aprile 2019

Burden of proof in on you. You should have been inspecting tires all along and alignment issues from factory show up way before 8K miles.

You lose, next case.

lordmiller | 16 aprile 2019

Did the car feel out of alignment when you drove the last 8K miles? Hmmmmm

derotam | 16 aprile 2019

AHHH, my post deleted! Ok short version

@Gjmoll, you can't just cherry pick which opinions you want to believe from which people, you basically did this...
I believe NTB about the tires, asked them to confirm THEIR OWN opinion...and I believe that too
I don't believe Tesla about the tires but I do believe them about the alignment

If you want a second independent opinion then get a second independent opinion, don't have someone "confirm" their own opinion.

Leave your inflamatory rhetoric of "Tesla is notorious for breaking their arm pointing a finger at anyone and everyone when something goes wrong with a Tesla vehicle" out of here if you even want to have some kind of civilized conversation.

Not as important but... why didn't you rotate your tires at ~6250 miles?

derotam | 16 aprile 2019

....might I suggest getting a second opinion from a Michelin store since they are Michelin tires right?

Gjmoll | 16 aprile 2019

No, I did not feel anything shimmy or shake when driving. The second opinon will come from another mechanic. I just confirmed with NTB that what I reiterated to Tesla was accurate. Magic 8 Ball, how does the average customer check their alignment "all along" if they are not a mechanic and would have no reason to suspect anything was wrong with the tires if the issue is not visable from the outside of the car. My Alignments are an every couple year thing, not a serivce typically performed within the first 8 months of ownership. Is this a problem Tesla hould have addressed? All signs point to yes according to my magic 8 ball.

Magic 8 Ball | 16 aprile 2019

Help us out and post pics. The way you do that is post your pic to an image hosting site (popular here is imgur) and post a link to your hosted image here. It has already been pointed out you asked for someone to confirm their opinion (hey bob you think I am right, yup, good enough for me) that is a joke, right?

You have failed to demonstrate there is a problem with evidence we can see, you lose again. Post an image you can still win their might be an alignment issue but you are your own worst witness if you say you had no reason to suspect. So, in the future, your tires are one of the most critical maintenance items on your car. I do a walk around and look at the tread before most trips but at least once a week at a min. Uneven wear is visibly noticeable.

You did not answer the question as to why you did not have them looked at when 6.5K came up. Let's say you get another "mechanic' to say it is a TESLA problem, what will you do then. What if the next mechanic says something like 'impossible to tell', will you continue to look for more "mechanics" to give you the answer you want?

gmr6415 | 16 aprile 2019

@derotam, I agree. I purchased a new 1985 Audi Quattro and within the first 4,000 miles I noticed what felt like the tires out of balance. I took the car to a tire store and they balanced them. The vibration came back within minutes of leaving the tire store. I took it to the Audi dealership where I purchased it at, and they balanced them again. When the mechanic came back from the test drive he pulled it back in the shop. In about 10 minutes the service manager came out and told me the belts had shifted in the tires. They were Pirelli tires. They replaced all four.

The radial belts are cast into the tire when the tire is manufactured. Belts can come loose and shift on defective tires. There is also Conicity where the belts are cast into the tire improperly, but you may not feel the issue until a few thousand miles are on the tire or they are rotated to the other side of the car. Here are a couple definitions below:

"If the belts in your tires begin to slip, the wheels may be thrown out of balance. When tires are mounted on a vehicle, they are often balanced using metal weights to ensure that they roll without vibrating or wobbling. Despite the placement of these weights, a tire that has slipping belts may begin to vibrate. While this vibration does not have an impact on your ability to drive your vehicle, you can usually feel the vibration through your steering wheel. This sign is most significant at low speeds from 5 to 30 miles an hour and higher speeds from 50 to 70 miles an hour."

"Tire Conicity and Radial Pull"

"Release the steering wheel and the vehicle veers to one side. Most people think first of a wheel alignment problem. Surprisingly a tire can also cause our vehicle to pull. Tire conicity is a common phenomenon even in new tires. Many people also call it a "radial pull" and sometimes a "tire pull.""

"What is tire conicity?"

"Tire conicity is where a properly inflated tire causes a vehicle to pull to the right or left when driven. Tires do not get conicity. They manufacture them with the tendency. It's considered a defect and tire manufacturers cover tire conicity under their warranty, if we diagnose it properly and promptly."

After a few thousand miles it's time to rotate the new tires. After the tire rotation the vehicle has a hard pull to the right. The pulling gets worse as we drive faster. What happened? Did the alignment suddenly go out? We perfectly inflate the tires, but the vehicle veers hard to the right when driving. A likely cause is tire conicity, a defect in a new tire."

"Why does conicity occur?"

"Tire conicity is caused by improper tire construction. Tire conicity results when tire belts are not perfectly aligned when they build the tire. Placing the layer of belting to one side creates the problem. Because more belting is on one side than the other, the tire surface inflates improperly. The side with less belting is not as strong as the other. Inflation pushes the tread out, more on the side with less belting. The result is a tire that inflates to a cone-shape, thus the name conicity."

lbowroom | 16 aprile 2019

You seem to be confusing alignment with wheel balance. Symptoms of poor alignment are the car pulling left or right or camber errors which would manifest as wear on the inside of outside of tire tread.

M3BlueGeorgia | 16 aprile 2019

@gmr6415 Great post.

@Gjmoll Sounds like you have a Michelin manufacturing defect, so call Michelin and ask them to replace them.

Note: Not sure if a tire manufacturing defect is a Tesla issue just because its on a new car. Cars in the past had the tire manufacturer's warranties on the tire even on new cars. Worth investigating because it doesn't sound like you have a wear-related problem.

gballant4570 | 16 aprile 2019

This sounds like a tire thing, not a Tesla car thing. Tesla should replace the tires, with perhaps a bill for the extra 8k miles worth, and then seek redress from Michelin if need be.

However, I cannot help but clearly see how the following quoters are very revealing:

"... I am extremely suspicious and disappointed. Tesla is notorious for breaking their arm pointing a finger at anyone and everyone when something goes wrong with a Tesla vehicle." and "....because I don't trust Tesla's after sale support or integrity."

The OP may be the kind of person who ellicits a variety of negative responses while interfacing with someone at Tesla.

Bighorn | 16 aprile 2019

Tesla usually makes a notation (written record) of your tread depths. It should be on your invoice.

andrew | 17 aprile 2019

Probably the best thing to do is get a tread depth measurement tool and periodically check the tread depths. I do this and it tells me if alignment could be suspect or if I need to rotate the tires.

derotam | 17 aprile 2019

@Gjmoll, The tires are Michelin, going to a Michelin shop I think would be a more reasonable option than going to another place...if you can convince a Michelin shop that there is a tire defect, you are in the right place to start for any manufacturer warranty replacement.

Or go to some rando place that might say the same thing but not be in a position to really do anything about it, your choice.