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Premature Tire Life

ltgfrk

Member
Dec 21, 2012
36
31
So. Fla
My teenager blew a tire (19 inch rims) a couple of days ago in his Model 3. When it happened, it cracked the rim. The car has 3,900 miles on it and both rear tires were worn to the steel but only on the outside edges, which is where the tire failed. I hadn’t noticed it and obviously he hadn’t either. When this happened he happened to be right near a tire place, so we left it there. The next day they called and asked if it was under warranty. Of course, it is. They said that the car was severely out of alignment and that this should be a warranty issue. They also told us that there’s no way and no how that the tires could be that worn out that quickly in any other way, except according to Tesla. They pulled the logs and said there were “bouts” of hard acceleration. Yeah, fine. It’s a Model 3 being driven in South Florida traffic! Not like it’s happening every single time as it’s impossible to not be behind people most of the time. The bottom line is that Tesla has offered to take a few bucks off of the alignment, but nothing else. They’re saying that it’s 100% the driving that wore the tires out, which given that they were to the steel belts, must have been 2,500-3,000 that they were actually worn out. I call BS, the tire shop says absolutely BS but I’m not sure what to do. My question, can anyone fathom how a tire could wear out that quickly on a 3 by simply driving it hard? I drive my S hard, m wife here X hard, but we always get 10-13k miles out of our tire, always. And our cars have a lot more power.
 
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TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
2,857
The Americas
Here's what happens with -1.9 camber with a Model S.

IMG_4863.JPG


That was a right rear Goodyear Eagle Touring OEM 19" at about 1 year and 26,000 miles. Seems that there are no rear adjustments possible and that there have been at least a half-dozen changes to the rear suspension over time.

Were one to invest in adjustable camber links, that number becomes -0.8. The spec being -2.3 to -0.03.

Toe was also not set correctly and this after an alignment by Tesla at the 4-6 month mark when half shafts were replaced.

Hopefully these problems do not happen to the Model 3 folks.
 

M109Rider

Active Member
Apr 8, 2018
1,600
1,653
Kitchener, Ontario
I haven't read about any wide spread problems with the alignment, or tire wear on the model 3 yet. The car is still new, but there are quite a few out there with a lot of miles.

I suspect, since Tesla said there were bouts of hard acceleration, and you have a teenager driving it. Not to offend, but if your teenager, is anything like mine, and when I was a teen, I would lean towards the teenager as the significant source... :)

Teens are teens. If my Dad let me drive a car like this when I was a teen, Yikes.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,247
36,681
Oregon
I too would like to see pictures of the tires...

Any chance your son disconnected the ABS sensor and was doing burn-outs/cookies in a parking lot to show off to friends? (You can go through tires really quickly that way.)
 

ltgfrk

Member
Dec 21, 2012
36
31
So. Fla
4C203ACC-EDD3-4DC1-A5C3-4CCC36FAD913.jpeg
Don’t have great pics but here they are.
 

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ltgfrk

Member
Dec 21, 2012
36
31
So. Fla
I haven't read about any wide spread problems with the alignment, or tire wear on the model 3 yet. The car is still new, but there are quite a few out there with a lot of miles.

I suspect, since Tesla said there were bouts of hard acceleration, and you have a teenager driving it. Not to offend, but if your teenager, is anything like mine, and when I was a teen, I would lean towards the teenager as the significant source... :)

Teens are teens. If my Dad let me drive a car like this when I was a teen, Yikes.

I’ve driven every car I’ve ever had, hard. Never worn out tires like this. Couldn’t even find a mention of anything wearing this quickly, no matter how it was driven.
 

ltgfrk

Member
Dec 21, 2012
36
31
So. Fla
Those tires are completely worn out all the way across. The edge is worse, but I can see why they won’t replace the tires under warranty.

No, this is some strange error with TMC. I’m uploading the pics but it’s inserting different pics. Those are not the pics I’ve uploaded! Even editing produces odd pics.
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,942
9,848
San Diego
I’ve driven every car I’ve ever had, hard. Never worn out tires like this. Couldn’t even find a mention of anything wearing this quickly, no matter how it was driven.
You're not driving hard enough. I can wear out a set of tires to the cords in 200 miles at autocross. The Model 3 is a heavy car and is going to eat tires if driven aggressively. Wear on the outside is almost certainly aggressive driving unless the car has positive camber (wheel angled outward at the top). Stock alignments always have a little bit of negative camber to even out tire wear and improve handling.
The Model 3 is not a car I would let a teenager drive. haha. I would have had a blast driving one as a teenager though. My first car was an 1988 Acura Integra that did 0-60 in 9 seconds and I thought that was pretty quick back then :p
 

scott8659

Member
May 20, 2018
61
48
Westerville, OH
The Model 3 is putting a lot of torque down on the rear tires. Aggressive driving will wear them quickly. My 2005 BMW M3 would wear the rear tires very quickly as well due to the torque. Did the shop provide measurements of the camber and alignment or just tell you they thought it was off. If they have actual measurements then you may have a case with Tesla. If it’s just their word my guess is Tesla won’t do anything.

I’m not a tire expert but that picture looks like burn out or aggressive driving. It’s too even and uniform across the entire surface.
 

flashflooder

Member
Apr 8, 2016
502
452
Charlotte, NC
Everyone is saying it's likely OP's son driving aggressively.... what about the fact that the alignment is reportedly way off? Maybe I'm wrong, but even the most aggressive driving shouldn't affect alignment like that?
 

DR61

Member
Apr 14, 2016
561
619
Gold River, CA
Everyone is saying it's likely OP's son driving aggressively.... what about the fact that the alignment is reportedly way off? Maybe I'm wrong, but even the most aggressive driving shouldn't affect alignment like that?
I have also worn out street tires like this quickly driving in several autocross events on OEM tires in a Porsche. Most likely a combination of high power, teen driving, and alignment. I would get the alignment done and perhaps harder compound tires and write it off to experience. Perhaps the harder compound Michelin LRR tire would be more appropriate for a teen driver.

My teen driving car was a 1958 Volvo with 85 gross BHP (probably more like 75 BHP in current cars).
 

adaptabl

Banned
Mar 13, 2018
776
-620
Canada
"Drive it like you stole it" must be your son's favorite saying. That car has been beaten hard. There must be a few parking lots with dark black rubber all over,
 
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