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Plaid 21” rear tire woes - factory defect?

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KOL2000

Member
Supporting Member
Apr 30, 2013
339
363
San Diego
Hi Folks - 6500 miles in and rear tires show bizarre wear on the very most inside portion making them lose 5 psi every day. Not the usual camber issue all the old model S had. At service center and they said there is a bulletin saying this is a problem because the wheels are so wide and they are scraping some internal component. Tires look perfectly even in terms of wear no threads showing.

So it’s a factory defect apparently but of course warranty doesn’t cover it.

How is this legal or fair? Am I the only one experiencing this?
 
Hi Folks - 6500 miles in and rear tires show bizarre wear on the very most inside portion making them lose 5 psi every day. Not the usual camber issue all the old model S had. At service center and they said there is a bulletin saying this is a problem because the wheels are so wide and they are scraping some internal component. Tires look perfectly even in terms of wear no threads showing.

So it’s a factory defect apparently but of course warranty doesn’t cover it.

How is this legal or fair? Am I the only one experiencing this?

What's the tread depth inside and out? And also what suspension setting do you run in?
 
Perfectly good tires. So sad that they wear like this 😫
 

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They look to me as if they’ve been driven severely under-inflated. That wears the outside. If driven over-inflated the tire wears in the center. The tire is a balloon supporting a quarter of your heavy machine. Without enough air the center collapses inward and the weight of the car is carried on the edges of the tread and possibly the sidewall as well. Now take that puppy into a turn and the pavement tries to shove that tire sideways off the rim. The only that tire can serve you is if you keep it inflated.

If you assure me it has been optimally inflated, then it’s a badly designed tire for your purposes.

I’m not sure what you mean “Always going in low.” If it’s tire pressure, there’s your problem, my friend.
 
Is it just one tire, or are both rears that way? If just one tire, then that might be more indication of an inflation issue as others have noted.

Also, have they confirmed the correct spacers are being used?

I'm also presuming you are running factory rims and have not installed your own third party wheels of some form? I clearly would not expect Tesla to take any responsibility for a rub between tire and chassis if you installed alternate wheels. This also would raise the question of if an appropriate size spacer is being used.

I likely will still be difficult to confirm where it's rubbing even if you put the car up on a lift and rotate the wheels. You won't have the weight of the car loading up the rear suspension, so missing the normal deflection in the suspension. Without that running deflection you likely may not see it rub. I would think you should be able to see some signs of where the rub is on the underside components, but you likely will not see the actual contact happening.
 
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Thanks folks when I say “low” I mean suspension obviously not the PSI of the tires which are always at 42. Maybe I should put them at 45? No aftermarket anything here or spacers. Just pure factory.

Anyway I guess I’m the only unlucky one. Just like my 2013 model S I guess getting more than 7k miles per set of rear tires is not gonna happen. The Tesla service rep confirmed that’s not unusual for whatever that’s worth.
 
“SCRAPING SOME INTERNAL COMPONENTS?”

Excuse me?

Tire is round. Go take a look at your rear wheel wells and see what components are being lathed down please….

We’ll be waiting. Please send pics too:)

Thx.
Dude I’m just relaying verbatim what the guy told me when I drove the car in. When I picked it up he clarified that the tire is not touching anything so I don’t know why he said that initially.
 
Thanks folks when I say “low” I mean suspension obviously not the PSI of the tires which are always at 42. Maybe I should put them at 45? No aftermarket anything here or spacers. Just pure factory.

Anyway I guess I’m the only unlucky one. Just like my 2013 model S I guess getting more than 7k miles per set of rear tires is not gonna happen. The Tesla service rep confirmed that’s not unusual for whatever that’s worth.
Not unusual, and you definitely should be at 45, not 42.
 
Thanks folks when I say “low” I mean suspension obviously not the PSI of the tires which are always at 42. Maybe I should put them at 45? No aftermarket anything here or spacers. Just pure factory.
That’s the problem with sentence fragments, the meaning can be unclear.

Is the wear on the involved tires equal on the inside and outside edges or is the wear asymmetrical? If it’s identical, then tire pressure is the main suspect. If asymmetrical, then one might look to the suspension/alignment. If it’s the inside edges, then camber might be the issue. Camber is the tire tilt when looking at it from the back. Many high performance cars tilt the rear tires so the tire runs more on the inside edge then when the car goes around an aggressive turn, the tire lays down flat and side slip is less. Further the tire formulations are stickier for traction, so not formulated for long wear. By dropping the suspension, you’ve altered the factory settings substituting settings of your own. If you know what you are doing, then you’ve probably improved handling. Still all that energy of the heavy car turning sharply at high speed grinds up the tires. If you lowered the car for looks alone, then you may have given up more in the way of factory optimized suspension settings than you gained by looking at full wheel wells. If you are running at 42 PSI instead of 45, the tires will be slightly softer further increasing wear.

The Tesla is very good at straight line acceleration. It isn’t really ideal for non straight high speed driving because the thing is so heavy. It doesn’t feel heavy when you drive it because you have all that instant effortless torque, but if you ever do an emergency abrupt turn at high speed, that thing will plow on forward like an old 1960’s Lincoln. For ideal racing turns, you want a light car with a stiff well turned suspension.

Good luck with all this. I’m probably wasting my breath suggesting you un-lower your car and return it to factory settings, but that’s the direction I’d go. Replacing tires every 7000 miles will get old.

Best,
David
 
That’s the problem with sentence fragments, the meaning can be unclear.

Is the wear on the involved tires equal on the inside and outside edges or is the wear asymmetrical? If it’s identical, then tire pressure is the main suspect. If asymmetrical, then one might look to the suspension/alignment. If it’s the inside edges, then camber might be the issue. Camber is the tire tilt when looking at it from the back. Many high performance cars tilt the rear tires so the tire runs more on the inside edge then when the car goes around an aggressive turn, the tire lays down flat and side slip is less. Further the tire formulations are stickier for traction, so not formulated for long wear. By dropping the suspension, you’ve altered the factory settings substituting settings of your own. If you know what you are doing, then you’ve probably improved handling. Still all that energy of the heavy car turning sharply at high speed grinds up the tires. If you lowered the car for looks alone, then you may have given up more in the way of factory optimized suspension settings than you gained by looking at full wheel wells. If you are running at 42 PSI instead of 45, the tires will be slightly softer further increasing wear.

The Tesla is very good at straight line acceleration. It isn’t really ideal for non straight high speed driving because the thing is so heavy. It doesn’t feel heavy when you drive it because you have all that instant effortless torque, but if you ever do an emergency abrupt turn at high speed, that thing will plow on forward like an old 1960’s Lincoln. For ideal racing turns, you want a light car with a stiff well turned suspension.

Good luck with all this. I’m probably wasting my breath suggesting you un-lower your car and return it to factory settings, but that’s the direction I’d go. Replacing tires every 7000 miles will get old.

Best,
David
Thanks great advice David. As I said several times I have NOT ALTERED FACTORY SETTINGS.
 
That's a Suspension setting.
Ah, I see. I’ve just got springs plain old simple springs. I’d have ordered the air suspension but they’d temporarily discontinued that option when I ordered my car. Please pardon my ignorance KOL2000. Had I got an air suspension I could be always going in low as well. Now I have to go in high and bouncy.
 
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Well, my suspicion is that the OP drives a LOT of highway miles, and the car self-selects "Low" at highway speeds. "Low" should likely result in more inner tire wear due to the camber changes at that suspension setting, and his extreme inner tire wear is the result of camber already being way off spec from the initial alignment at the factory.

I don't buy any other explanation as there's nothing to rub against the tires--besides the road.

I would suggest a new set of rear tires, at Tesla's expense, is due to the OP. Barring that, they should at least give him a MAJOR discount given the circumstances here. The wear is quite unusual and there's really only that one explanation: a bad factory alignment. Period.

But the new Tesla being what it is, they'll probably tell the OP to "go pound sand" because "Customer Service" was something that Tesla did back in the teens, but not today.