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New tires at 8k miles? Your advice appreciated.

father_of_6

Member
Jan 24, 2021
203
181
Buffalo, NY
No reason there couldn't be 2 problems: foam and alignment. Fixing one won't fix the other. Many Teslas come from the factory with bad alignments. Both of my Teslas came with too much toe that would have prematurely worn out my tires, but I was smart enough to check and fix the alignment proactively.
Wish I was smart enough to have done that ☹️
 
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gearchruncher

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Sep 20, 2016
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Seattle, WA
Front toe/camber/caster and Rear toe/camber/caster. The adjustments are explained in the shop manual, but any shop that knows what they are doing are going to know because it's similar to other cars.

It is definitely adjustable in the front and rear.
Not really. It's "adjustable" by trying to slide the upper suspension hat around in the small holes it has in the front, and the arms in the rear. Miniscule adjustments that are not really adjustments, and the holes are not slotted for any kind of real adjustment. This is nothing like adjustments some cars have (but it's also not uncommon to not have adjustable camber/caster)
Only toe has a real adjustment.
 
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TLLMRRJ

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Dec 19, 2019
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Not really. It's "adjustable" by trying to slide the upper suspension hat around in the small holes it has in the front, and the arms in the rear. Miniscule adjustments that are not really adjustments, and the holes are not slotted for any kind of real adjustment. This is nothing like adjustments some cars have (but it's also not uncommon to not have adjustable camber/caster)
Only toe has a real adjustment.

Like I said, it's adjustable enough for stock ride height, and obviously for a non-wrecked car. So yes, it "really" is adjustable. It definitely is not non-adjustable. That would be a lie. When an alignment shop tells you that it's non-adjustable, that's a lie. It could be a lie from ignorance, but they are lazy, so good chance they are lying so they don't have to do that extra work for their normal fixed-price alignment. Toe and go is what they want to do all day.
 
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gearchruncher

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Sep 20, 2016
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Like I said, it's adjustable enough for stock ride height, and obviously for a non-wrecked car. So yes, it "really" is adjustable. It definitely is not non-adjustable.
Tesla's Model 3 front camber spec is -0.05 to -0.95 degrees, and they allow a 0.60 degree spilt.
The "adjustment" they give you allows about +/- 0.15 degree adjustment. The whole adjustment range is 1/3 the allowed range.

There is no way a shop can make an adjustment that would fix tires that are wearing quickly. Something is bent if you are out of the spec'd range, and there's nothing you can functionally adjust to fix it. You can't even fix the spilt with the adjustment if they are at the edges.

Don't give people false hope that if they just find the right alignment shop, they should be able to adjust out a problem. 0.15 degrees adjustment is nothing.
 
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TLLMRRJ

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Dec 19, 2019
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Tesla's Model 3 front camber spec is -0.05 to -0.95 degrees, and they allow a 0.60 degree spilt.
The "adjustment" they give you allows about +/- 0.15 degree adjustment. The whole adjustment range is 1/3 the allowed range.

There is no way a shop can make an adjustment that would fix tires that are wearing quickly. Something is bent if you are out of the spec'd range, and there's nothing you can functionally adjust to fix it. You can't even fix the spilt with the adjustment if they are at the edges.

Don't give people false hope that if they just find the right alignment shop, they should be able to adjust out a problem. 0.15 degrees adjustment is nothing.

You are a funny man. The issue is that shops are telling them there's no adjustment. Unless something is wrong or modified with the car, you will get into spec with the adjustments given. End of story. Stop trying to change the subject to prove you are right when you are not.
 
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gearchruncher

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Sep 20, 2016
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Unless something is wrong or modified with the car, you will get into spec with the adjustments given.
Yes. Because you will be in spec no matter where you put it in the "adjustment" range unless something is wrong with the car. The allowed spec is larger than the adjustment range.

Are you seriously telling the OP here that their issue is bad camber or caster, and that a good shop can bring it back in with 0.15 degrees of adjustment range?

Have you ever seen a undamaged Tesla Model 3 alignment that is out of camber/caster?

I am not saying there is no adjustment. I am saying there is so little adjustment that if your tires are wearing funny, no alignment shop is going to be able to fix the camber/caster enough to matter. It's either toe is out, or you have broken/bent parts.

Even a good shop may reduce this to "it's not adjustable" given how minimal this adjustment is, and how expensive it is to perform (you have to remove the frunk liner, and jack up the car between each adjustment, not something any old alignment shop is used to doing, and that they need to charge you labor for).

Blame this one on Tesla too, since the only official way to get the data on how to remove the frunk is to pay them for their manuals, and most shops are not just going to dive in and try it.
 
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Watts_Up

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Mar 4, 2019
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In a galaxy far, far away
Many Teslas come from the factory with bad alignments. Both of my Teslas came with too much toe that would have prematurely worn out my tires, but I was smart enough to check and fix the alignment proactively.
I checked my alignment when my car was new (600 miles) to have the original setting as reference
and all the angles were fine except for the toes which were out of range.

I went to Big'O Tires and I opted for the 6 months warranty. So every 6 months or so I check the alignment.

I think one common issue is that the 235 tires doesn't prevent curb rash thus this can affect the wheels alignment.

In the future I will certainly install 255 tires to prevent curb rash and alignment issues.
 

TomB985

Member
Apr 15, 2019
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527
Isanti, MN
I think one common issue is that the 235 tires doesn't prevent curb rash thus this can affect the wheels alignment.

In the future I will certainly install 255 tires to prevent curb rash and alignment issues.

FYI, the Bridgestone Driveguard in the factory size sticks out past the rim. I've had these since January and have been really impressed with them.
 

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gearchruncher

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Sep 20, 2016
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I think one common issue is that the 235 tires doesn't prevent curb rash thus this can affect the wheels alignment.

In the future I will certainly install 255 tires to prevent curb rash and alignment issues.
You have to really hit a curb hard to mess up your toe. Generally curb rash is not going to impact your alignment at all, it's purely cosmetic. I just worked on a Model 3 that hit a curb hard enough to blow out the tire, bend the rim, and kill the wheel bearing, and the toe and other alignment was fine.

Going to 255's will absolutely impact your range/efficiency, so only do that if you don't care about that.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
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Maine
Would the foam explain inside tread wire on both front tires though? Seems more like misalignment or some other suspension issue.
Does not look like a foam issue, but a classic toe-in one. Need to adjust toe-in. It's easy. 15mins. Lots of shops will check alignment for free, assuming that they can make a small adjustment and charge you $100. Same as checking your 12V battery for free, it drives sales.

I know that the SC said your tread was even across, was probably a while back, but from your picture, it's clear they are not even across. The inner shoulder looks scalloped. May be feathered, but seems scalloped to me. Either way, a toe-in issue.
 

TLLMRRJ

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Dec 19, 2019
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Blame this one on Tesla too, since the only official way to get the data on how to remove the frunk is to pay them for their manuals, and most shops are not just going to dive in and try it.

So you never heard of a DIY YouTube video? There's probably a 100 of them showing how to remove the fronk, and many that show the suspension.

Not sure why anyone would need anything more official than a video showing how you remove the 7 screws holding in the plastic tray. It's child's play for a real mechanic. Stop making silly arguments please.
 

gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
1,940
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Seattle, WA
Not sure why anyone would need anything more official than a video showing how you remove the 7 screws holding in the plastic tray. It's child's play for a real mechanic.
Well, at least we agree. You need to find an alignment shop that is willing to go look up a youtube video on how to take your frunk apart in order to do an alignment.

I don't think it makes them a "bad" shop to be unwilling to do this in order to tweak your camber, as it is completely abnormal, and you do need to pay for this additional labor.

I see you continently are avoiding discussing how useful 0.15 degrees of adjustment is or how a Tesla could be 0.14 degrees out of the massive spec range they give without damaged parts.
 
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father_of_6

Member
Jan 24, 2021
203
181
Buffalo, NY
Yep. At my second appointment, they informed me that one of their technicians had a family emergency, and while being short staffed they accrued a large backlog. They said they'd need to keep the car for a few days. No loaners, but they'd pay for an Enterprise rental.

Determined to *not* leave my car sitting there for days while driving a rental, I decided to try a few shops in the Rochester area first. Dunn Tire, Munro, Austin Spencer, Titan Motorworks all said they couldn't do an alignment. Shamrock Service Center *can* do an alignment on a Model 3, but they were booked.

I opted for making a new appointment once the service center was caught up. That appointment is for June 23rd. So that entire trip to Rochester was *mostly* a waste... except... they mentioned that the CarStar in West Seneca recently became a Tesla certified body shop, so they would also be able to do alignments.

Made an appointment at CarStar... but they actually sub the alignments out to Continental Transmission next door. Continental *doesn't* work directly with consumers... they are B2B only, so you actually have to book an appointment with CarStar to walk you next door :). Neither of these guys are the "quick tire shop" type place though, so I was stranded in West Seneca without a car for **five hours**.

During that five hour wait I walked down the road to Wegmans for lunch and decided to stop into Goodyear just for kicks... they have a Hunter alignment machine that's less than a year old, and... ** THEY CAN PERFORM ALIGNMENTS ON THE MODEL 3 **. Wish I knew that beforehand.

Finally got the car back, aligned, balanced, rotated. The vibration is *still there*, but less pronounced and has indeed traveled to the back of the car with the feathered tires. I feel reasonably confident that although the feathering and inside wear was caused by misalignment, the vibration is now solely due to the feathered tires.

Just to make sure there's not some underlying suspension problem, I drove *back* to West Seneca two days later to take advantage of Goodyear's *Free Alignment Check* that they advertise on their website. The guys at the front desk didn't seem too keen on that offer. "If they find something off they're going to fix it" is what the man said. "I'm possibly looking at new tires anyway, and will probably end up purchasing your 3 year alignment subscription". In hindsight, I realize that was poor communication on my part.

Sure enough, they "realigned" the wheels and I was on the hook for $300. I didn't want to make enemies there, considering it's one of the only places I can get an alignment... so I bit the bullet and paid them. $200 to CarStar for an alignment on Monday, and $300 to Goodyear for an alignment subscription on Wednesday. Since they both provided me with before and after alignment sheets that showed "red" misalignments, either this vehicle doesn't stay aligned well or Goodyear was dishonest (probably the latter). What a drag.

The vibration is subtle enough that I can just accept it... however I don't really *want* to accept it. I'm leaning towards replacing the tires with Vredestein Quatrac Pros... Dunn Tire has them for $700 for 4... "out the door" price. It seems really foolish to replace the tires this early, but at 6 months old and 10k miles, I'd really like it to drive like it did when I first bought it.

Expensive lessons learned:
- Insist on an alignment from the "dealer" upon purchasing a new vehicle
- All of the auto shops in Western New York that can align the Model 3 are clustered together in West Seneca
- The Model 3 is *really* fun to drive

Attached are the alignment sheets.
 

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N54TT

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Aug 14, 2018
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NY
Finally got the car back, aligned, balanced, rotated. The vibration is *still there*, but less pronounced and has indeed traveled to the back of the car with the feathered tires. I feel reasonably confident that although the feathering and inside wear was caused by misalignment, the vibration is now solely due to the feathered tires.



The vibration is subtle enough that I can just accept it... however I don't really *want* to accept it. I'm leaning towards replacing the tires with Vredestein Quatrac Pros... Dunn Tire has them for $700 for 4... "out the door" price. It seems really foolish to replace the tires this early, but at 6 months old and 10k miles, I'd really like it to drive like it did when I first bought it.

Expensive lessons learned:
- Insist on an alignment from the "dealer" upon purchasing a new vehicle
- All of the auto shops in Western New York that can align the Model 3 are clustered together in West Seneca
- The Model 3 is *really* fun to drive

Attached are the alignment sheets.

Good to here you got your alignment worked out. BUT I still doubt the vibrations are from the tire wear. It seems like you’ve narrowed down the vibrations to which 1 or 2 tires are causing it since it moved to the rear when moving the tires to the rear. My money is till on foam separation as the cause of vibrations. You said they balanced the tires…which could help reduce the vibrations…but not get rid of it. If the wear isn’t too bad and you want to try and save 700$. I would take it to a tire shop and have them dismount the tires on those two wheels and see if the foam is separated…before getting a new set of tires.
 

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