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LR RWD Rotation Pattern

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Ilikestuff, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Ilikestuff

    Ilikestuff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2019
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL, USA
    OK, I've been reading a ton about the rotation pattern, esp for Jules, my beautiful red Model 3 LR RWD (which has OEM tires, MXM4s), and I think I've figured out something. Please critique:
    - When you look at the Michellin website and other tire websites, they'll invariably call for a rearward cross pattern (this is where you put the rear tires straight/forward to the front, and the front tires crosswise to the back) for a RWD car.
    - The tire rotation pattern is noticeably absent from the Model 3 manual.
    - Apparently, if you ask Tesla service directly, they (usually?) tell people to do front-to-back only, no crossing (I have not verified this personally, but I believe this to be the case).

    This discrepancy between Tesla and Michellin about the rotation pattern is odd, but would make sense if MXM4s were directional tires. However, they are not (FWIW, they're asymetrical, but once they're on the wheel properly they can rotate either way).

    So what gives? I have a hypothesis wrt what's happening:
    - Tesla roving mechanics would have a hard time doing a rearward cross. That is, keeping on the same side is easier, you just jack up one side at a time, swap tires while the whole side is up, and voila. But going front driver to rear passenger (for example) requires a lot more up and down.
    - Also, Tesla knows that many folks put special tires on their Model 3's. So just because the OEMs for the LR RWD aren't directional, their replacement might be. So if Tesla specified a rearward cross pattern and someone put on directional tires, then some of those owners might (incorrectly) do a rearward cross rotation. And then those owners might (unjustifiably) get mad at Tesla.
    - BMW (and others?) don't recommend tire rotation, I think because longer tread life is not important to them (unlike me, aka Mr Cheapass who wants to keep tires on there as long as safely possible to do so).
    - Tesla knows that front-to-back tire rotation is probably important for RWD (e.g. because tire friction for regen braking is almost entirely in the rear), but they might think that left to right isn't all that meaningful.

    So why would Tesla even bother mentioning rearward cross to anyone? From their perspective, it serves little to no benefit, but puts them at risk of getting yelled at by owners and make their tech's lives harder.

    Anyway, to summarize: Personally, I am going to to use a rearward cross pattern as long as I keep regular (ie. non-directional) tires. I'm doing it to maximize the life of the tire tread, and I think that it's best practice. Plus, it's easier for me because I have a full-size spare - I only have to lift up one corner at a time, effectively changing 5 tires, one at a time.

    That said, I wouldn't begrudge anyone who follows Tesla's advice and just does front-to-back rotation (sans crossing).
     
  2. woodisgood

    woodisgood It's walnut, beech

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    1,980
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yep, think you have a pretty good handle on the situation. I do rearward crosses every 6-8K because the additional time/trouble is trivial to me, and I want to make sure I've done what the manufacturer honoring the tread warranty wants me to do.

    Looking like I'll get around 45K out of the OEM MXM4s this way.
     
  3. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2019
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Vancouver, Bc
    The mobile ranger theory might be valid, but I doubt they considered the person who rotates their tires themselves, reads the manual, and is completely unaware of directional tires. I doubt that person is very common.
     
  4. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    3,195
    Location:
    Southern California
    I suspect that the rear cross part is more work than value for most. Nonetheless that is what I do
     

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