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P100D tire wear and alternatives

thenaimis

Former Tesla Cheerleader
Sep 26, 2016
331
382
Texas
My S has pretty significant tire wear on both the inside and outside of the tire tread. These seems to suggest under inflation of the tires, which is entirely possible but the TPMS hasn't complained. I'm not sure offhand at what pressures it starts complaining nor am I sure at what pressures it starts exhibiting this kind of wear. Sitting in my garage they're at 38 psi which is lower than the recommended 42 so I can believe that this is why.

The front tires are not in good shape, and there's a crack in the rubber along one side, even so getting them replaced is a priority for me. That said, the rear tires look just fine (I haven't measured the tread but will).

My questions: is this wear likely because of underinflation? Is the TPMS undercomplaining (to coin a phrase)? What tires should I consider if not the direct replacement Michelin Pilot Super Sports that came with the car?
 

XHabjab

Helping to end the ICE Age
Feb 25, 2018
634
1,253
Georgetown TX
My S has pretty significant tire wear on both the inside and outside of the tire tread. These seems to suggest under inflation of the tires, which is entirely possible but the TPMS hasn't complained. I'm not sure offhand at what pressures it starts complaining nor am I sure at what pressures it starts exhibiting this kind of wear. Sitting in my garage they're at 38 psi which is lower than the recommended 42 so I can believe that this is why.

The front tires are not in good shape, and there's a crack in the rubber along one side, even so getting them replaced is a priority for me. That said, the rear tires look just fine (I haven't measured the tread but will).

My questions: is this wear likely because of underinflation? Is the TPMS undercomplaining (to coin a phrase)? What tires should I consider if not the direct replacement Michelin Pilot Super Sports that came with the car?
You get wear on the outside tread from driving the car with the suspension being raised.
You get wear on the inside tread from driving the car with the suspension being lowered.
There are numerous combinations that will cause each. Check your suspension settings.
 
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thenaimis

Former Tesla Cheerleader
Sep 26, 2016
331
382
Texas
You get wear on the outside tread from driving the car with the suspension being raised.
You get wear on the inside tread from driving the car with the suspension being lowered.
There are numerous combinations that will cause each. Check your suspension settings.
Interesting. There are some areas in my neighborhood I have programmed to raise the suspension to avoid bottoming out. Hadn't thought of them possibly causing tire wear. That happens pretty much daily but not for more than a couple of blocks of driving. I never lower the suspension unless I'm drag racing which has happened on two occasions, so that doesn't seem super likely. Also, wouldn't it affect front and back tires both? As I said, the back tires don't seem to be affected. Though that would be true of tire inflation as well, I'd expect.
 

conman

Active Member
Aug 19, 2017
1,438
2,133
Melbourne, Australia
Definitely sounds like underinflation in your case. Perhaps the wider rear tyres simply behave different by virtue of their different width. If it was only on the outer sides it would be from cornering, but you say it's inside as well.
 

thenaimis

Former Tesla Cheerleader
Sep 26, 2016
331
382
Texas
On Saturday, I ordered replacement tires from Tire Rack.

Monday, things got weird. On the way to work, I hit a trench in the road that a construction crew had left behind which resulted in a big hole in the side wall of one of my front tires. I didn't lose much pressure, though (maybe 2 psi), so at that point I'm convinced that I actually had run flat tires on rather than the acoustic tires I'd ordered.

I received notification that the tires had been delivered, but this was late evening so I figured the NTB location was already closed and didn't even try to schedule an appointment Monday evening (turns out they're open til 8pm).

I manage to get an appointment for the installation on Tuesday morning and to satisfy my curiosity I ask to see the original tires. Turns out that I did order the correct tires, and the great big hole that was in the sidewall didn't penetrate all the way through.

Ultimately I count myself lucky in numerous ways, despite the situation:
  1. I already had new tires on the way to me by the time I hit the pothole
  2. The pothole damaged the tire only, and not enough to leave me stranded somewhere (though it looked like someone shot my tire)
  3. I had bought the exact replacement tires (which was more about research than luck, but it would have been a lot easier if Michelin molded part numbers into the tires)
  4. Perhaps most importantly, I hadn't already put the new tires on when I hit the pothole.
Finally, for those taking notes, the tires in question:
  • The tires in question were Michelin Pilot Super Sport. This is a P100D so they're staggered and 245s are on the front. For those taking notes, the tires are marked 245/35ZR21 (96Y)
  • Additional markings on the tire: "XL" (xtra load) and "TO" (Tesla original) and "Acoustic"
  • With all that information I was able to determine the correct P/N: Michelin 86103
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,773
895
US
You get wear on the outside tread from driving the car with the suspension being raised.
You get wear on the inside tread from driving the car with the suspension being lowered.
There are numerous combinations that will cause each. Check your suspension settings.
Are you sure about that? Doesnt seem likely that raising or lowering the suspension would change the camber/toe since your just raising or lowering the body of the car and not moving any suspension components.
 

XHabjab

Helping to end the ICE Age
Feb 25, 2018
634
1,253
Georgetown TX
Are you sure about that? Doesnt seem likely that raising or lowering the suspension would change the camber/toe since your just raising or lowering the body of the car and not moving any suspension components.
I listened to the voice of experience and it whispered "yes" in my ear.
I also heard it from a Tesla tech.
Also a Tesla Ranger who came to help with a tire problem.
And I think I read it on a TMC forum as well, but I would put the least authority on it.
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,773
895
US
I listened to the voice of experience and it whispered "yes" in my ear.
I also heard it from a Tesla tech.
Also a Tesla Ranger who came to help with a tire problem.
And I think I read it on a TMC forum as well, but I would put the least authority on it.
I'm not convinced. Anyone have some hard evidence on this. From the vidoes that I can find on youtube and my own personal experience with a few different loaners it sure seems like the angle does not change just the height of the body.
 
Last edited:

Russell

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2012
918
703
Silicon Valley
I'm not convinced. Anyone have some hard evidence on this. From the vidoes that I can find on youtube and my own personal experience with a few different loaners it sure seems like the angle does not change just the height of the body.

Suspension geometry changes when the ride height changes. Ask your local tire shop for confirmation.
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,773
895
US
Suspension geometry changes when the ride height changes. Ask your local tire shop for confirmation.
I understand the geometry and understand how suspension changes on normal cars but when looking at the air suspension on tesla model s the geometry does not seem to change when I have adjusted it in person or view it on YouTube. Someone with adjustable suspension wanna check?

And as we all know a local tire shop will know absolutely nothing about tesla suspension
 
Last edited:

krsgio

Member
Nov 8, 2018
396
370
Colorado
I'm not convinced. Anyone have some hard evidence on this. From the vidoes that I can find on youtube and my own personal experience with a few different loaners it sure seems like the angle does not change just the height of the body.

I think its almost impossible to keep the geometry all identical when in high/normal/low. I believe this is why tesla performs a height calibration then places the car in 'normal' height when performing alignment specs. Eyeballing wheel specs or watching a youtube video isn't going to see a few tenths of degree of toe change etc. Per your logic my lowering links shouldn't have caused me to get more negative camber or adverse toe changes but I can ensure you it did.
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,773
895
US
You already got the answer to that request and you said that you don't believe it. Not sure how to give you an answer.
I was hoping for someone who isnt guessing to verify. Is there a warning of some sort in the manual that says premature tire wear will occur if you have the ride height set at anything other than normal height?
 

XHabjab

Helping to end the ICE Age
Feb 25, 2018
634
1,253
Georgetown TX
I was hoping for someone who isnt guessing to verify. Is there a warning of some sort in the manual that says premature tire wear will occur if you have the ride height set at anything other than normal height?
Let me be perfectly clear.
I am not guessing.
When you raise the suspension, you will see more wear on the outside of the tread.
When you lower the suspension, you will see more wear on the inside of the tread.
Again: I am not guessing.

Answer to new question: I have not seen anything in the manual on the subject.
 

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