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Don't get 21" wheels

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ggr, Feb 28, 2017.

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  1. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    As of last night, the most expensive thing about running our 2012 Model S P85 has become wheel replacement! After rain and flash floods in San Diego, we hit a ginormous pothole, and it took out the fourth wheel in four years. The pothole was on a downhill on-ramp, and it was full of water. I was being careful and observant, and still didn't see it at all... just heard the thump, then the warning about no tire pressure. Then as I slowed around the curve...
    IMG_0326.JPG

    That picture was taken after we parked. There are 10 cars there with damaged wheels (we're the second one from camera). Honestly I don't think the 19" wheels would have survived either.

    Here's the actual pothole. By the time I walked back to it, the police had arrived and put out flares. They eventually closed the on-ramp entirely. It doesn't look like much, but the long axis is about 2 feet, and it was about 8" deep at the downhill end.

    IMG_0327.JPG
     
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  2. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    OUCH! Yes, there were some ugly potholes that became even more evident after this weekend's storm.

    You should definitely file a claim with the city. Also, I've been using the city's new app called "Get it done" to report ugly road conditions and especially potholes. Out of curiosity, where was that?

    Sorry to hear about your troubles!
     
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  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    We get massive potholes every spring. I tend not to switch back to summer tires for an extra month, just to save my 21's while they fix the potholes. Despite that I've still banged up two of them.
     
  4. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Member

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    Am I reading that right? 8 inches? Over half a foot deep pothole? Good God. My car has a 28" tire diameter and 16" wheels (so plenty of tire available) and I don't think I would've survived that going at anything close to on-ramp speeds.
     
  5. DillyBop

    DillyBop Member

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    so you admit it's a black-swan of a pothole, that the 19" wheels wouldn't have survived either, and that 10 other cars got flat tires.

    and yet you proclaim "don't get 21" wheels"?!?!??! i think your title should have read: "don't be unlucky enough to hit potholes the size of craters".

    i've had 21" wheels for 4 years. not one incident. and i've hit a few teeth-shatterers in that time.
     
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  6. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    6th Avenue on ramp to CA-163 northbound, just where it goes under the freeway. Yes, we intend to file a claim with the city.

    You can see from the line of cars with flat tires that this particular one was really a doozy. The other three weren't all that bad.
     
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  7. ahurst

    ahurst Member

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    Too late
     
  8. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I like my 21's, but switch to 19's in the winter time ;)
     
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  9. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    The 21s look soooooo much better than the 19s.
     
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  10. boonedocks

    boonedocks Member

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    Definitely Do get 21" wheels

    Look and drive sooooo much better
     
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  11. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I also switch to the 19's for the winter since I drive in the snow anyways. I tend to limit my winter driving if it's been raining as that creates potholes and I like to give at least a month for crews to fix them.

    It's nice to have a sacrificial Prius :p
     
  12. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    By way of update, both front and rear tires and wheels on the passenger side were damaged. Sigh.
     
  13. Maximapolak

    Maximapolak Member

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    They're so pretty, I bought 2 sets.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Gamma195

    Gamma195 Member

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    I and a p85 with 21" wheels. Bent them twice on a 1 inch deep pothole. After $400 in repairs, I made sure my new Tesla had 19's. Not to mention 21s have a ton more road noise. They looked awesome, but totally not worth the pain. I think handling performance increase was negligible at best. JMHO.
     
  15. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    Drive better? Isn't the ride harsher and noisier and the range lower?
     
  16. BestRadar

    BestRadar Member

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    I decided to go in the middle and went with 20's...

    wheel20.jpg
     
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  17. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #17 Ulmo, Mar 1, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
    I learned never to use the higher diameter rims (shorter sidewall of tire) in my prior car. I am now an anti-big-rim (anti-short-tire-sidewall) guy. Even when I do spool up to the limit (of the car electronic limiting), the tires I buy are selected to work fine anyway even though they are not short sidewall. The place where I don't like the reaction is in tight corners when I go high speed; I can't have everything. So, I just have to go slower. That's not often anyway -- it's rare I find a corner that I can go that speed, and rarer that I'd want to.

    However, there is one possible exception that more money and technology could buy: extremely lightweight rims. This would allow the whole wheel ("unsprung weight") to move out of the way of potholes that much faster and hitting the edges of whatever with less unrelenting (inertial weight) force, allowing less damage to both the rims and tires, and possibly even the suspension depending how it all worked. If I had a good $40,000 to put into wheels, I'd definitely want to try exactly this. But, I don't! I'm happy with my tall sidewall tires. They rarely get damaged and are relatively inexpensive.

    Both in my Tesla and my Mercedes, I've replaced damaged tires, and in my Mercedes, dozens of damaged rims. My MB was delivered with those sporty high diameter rims, but I eventually replaced them with regular diameter. By far the cheaper of both is with the smaller diameter rims (higher sidewall on the tires). I was dreaming of trying the super lightweight rims, but never got there. I've driven both over a lot of potholes (not by choice), and the far less expensive experience is with the 19" Tesla (and the smaller diameter for the MB). It's often the difference from a day's work and half a month's work in expense. If I had extra money, I could see stocking up on 20 or 30 wheels at home, and swapping them out twice a week as needed, but at that point, I'd be looking for other solutions that were more relevant like lighter rims and better communities with better roads.

    But your pothole was severe. Maybe no wheel could survive it. Definitely file a claim against the government, which has very little it is supposed to do, and roads is part of what it is supposed to do.
     
  18. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I actually found the soft summer compound on my 21" wheels to have less road noise than the the Primacies. I think it's really about the type of tire and not the wheel itself.
    20" == Goldilocks of looks. Not to big and not too little :p
     
  19. energy7

    energy7 Member

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    My 21's are super quiet. I damaged one of the tires and had to replace it, which is when I noticed there is a ream of foam inside the Continental tires. I will assume that's to help with the noise.
     
  20. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    I had my first puncture repair done this week and the tire shop had the anticipated freak out that there's foam in the tire. With some hand holding and a call to Tesla Service they were convinced that it's not a show stopper to doing a patch. Irritating because I'd seen the same experience reported here so I'd called the shop to tell them to expect it.
     

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