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Tire Rotation Help

tliving

Member
Mar 8, 2014
751
102
New England, USA
Hi all, perhaps i'm making a bigger thing of this than necessary but i'm just over 5K on mileage on my Model S and trying to figure out tire rotation. Watertown service says to rotate every 5-6K miles. Then they said "You can get tire rotations done at any tire shop" or that I could do a walk-in on Saturdays in Watertown. Watertown is a long way from home and my saturdays are packed so that doesnt work.

On my ICE cars i've always just had all service done at the dealers including rotations. I was in all the time for oil changes anyway in the old ICE-age.

So I don't have a trusted tire shop and have heard some horror stories. I've also read various things about proper way to lift the Model S etc, crazy things about camber and stuff I know nothing about, torques on tire nuts etc. I always thought a tire rotation was just a swap of the tires and making sure the tread wear is normal. Didn't know you had to worry about much else but then I didn't worry, I trusted the dealer who serviced it and I bought from reasonable dealers.

The other compounding thing is my mileage. I'm going to be doing this every 8-9 weeks with my mileage. It needs to be close and convenient and hassle free.

I asked Tesla service and got the corporate:

"Unfortunately, we cannot recommend third party service centers"

Which may be the party line but didn't provide any solutions. They did offer to do a ranger thing (I didn't ask about cost etc) but that probably won't make sense for every 8 weeks for either one of us either.

I work in Natick (walking distance from the store). Anyone have a tire place they've used and would recommend in that area?

FWIW I have stock 19" wheels.

Any advice/help/recommendations much appreciated. Love the car, but I know nothing about the mechanics.
 

MassX1317

Addicted to TMC
Aug 21, 2013
422
17
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
You work in Natick and are worried about convenience...I'm on Cape Cod! They could probably pick up your car while you were at work and have it back to you by the time your day is over, I think that is part of the valet service. I have my first rotation next week but have a few odds and ends to get checked out so the timing is working out well for me.
 

anthony

Member
May 3, 2013
185
31
New Hampshire
NTB has always been good to me. They take more care than most shops and they'll typically let you watch (which I always insist on).
Just make sure you bring up the manual before they lift the car so they know where the lift points are and you should be fine.

Problem with many tire rotation places, it can take a long time to get in there, which means you may have to leave it there for 3-4 hours.

Also, I would tip your tire guy, most of them make commission and make nothing on rotations.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,989
New Hampshire
NTB has always been good to me. They take more care than most shops and they'll typically let you watch (which I always insist on).
Just make sure you bring up the manual before they lift the car so they know where the lift points are and you should be fine.

Problem with many tire rotation places, it can take a long time to get in there, which means you may have to leave it there for 3-4 hours.

Also, I would tip your tire guy, most of them make commission and make nothing on rotations.

I forgot about that - there's an NTB on 135 in West Natick. Not quite as close to tliving as Direct Tire, but pretty good.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,999
24,673
Texas
Regardless of who does the rotation, the next morning check the pressures. It's also a good idea to check the wheel torque after you get home and then again in 300-500 miles.
 

Robert.Boston

Model S VIN P01536
Oct 7, 2011
7,844
42
Portland, Maine, USA
Good point on torque, Jerry -- Tesla specs a very high torque on the wheels. I don't recall the exact number, but it would be worth finding out directly from Tesla to pass along to whatever tire shop you're going to use.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
jerry33: What torque wrench do you recommend? I've never used one before but understand you set the torque you want and it stops at that point? Thanks.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,999
24,673
Texas
jerry33: What torque wrench do you recommend? I've never used one before but understand you set the torque you want and it stops at that point? Thanks.

There are a number of good ones. This site has a wide variety or you can buy from Snap-on or Mac tools. Here's one made in the U.S.

What you want is:

1. 1/2 drive.
2. 30-150 ft.lbs. (the bottom number doesn't really matter, but you don't want a truck one that goes up to 250 or 600 ft.lbs.).
3. Ratcheting is more convenient.
4. Some come with a calibration certificate--this typically adds about $100 to the price.
5. Expect to spend $250 - $350 for a good one.
6. Be sure to let the tension off the spring after every session and keep it in the case it came with.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
There are a number of good ones. This site has a wide variety or you can buy from Snap-on or Mac tools. Here's one made in the U.S.

What you want is:

1. 1/2 drive.
2. 30-150 ft.lbs. (the bottom number doesn't really matter, but you don't want a truck one that goes up to 250 or 600 ft.lbs.).
3. Ratcheting is more convenient.
4. Some come with a calibration certificate--this typically adds about $100 to the price.
5. Expect to spend $250 - $350 for a good one.
6. Be sure to let the tension off the spring after every session and keep it in the case it came with.

Great. Thanks.

The Armstrong Industrial one looks good but doesn't have a calibration certificate. I'd imagine that isn't super important for someone not racing though.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,023
2,989
New Hampshire
Great. Thanks.

The Armstrong Industrial one looks good but doesn't have a calibration certificate. I'd imagine that isn't super important for someone not racing though.
I've seen a ton of Craftsman torque wrenches at the track, including in my toolbox. We're talking lug nuts/bolts, not single use stretch bolts on the space shuttle. :) Although I'll never fault a "tool snob" who won't go below Snap On

If you're looking to accumulate tools, the 300 ft lb Dewalt 18V impact gun is handy (not a wimpy impact driver - those are for deck screws), as well as torque limiting sticks (tighten with the impact and a torque stick, then finish up with the wrench, just like the pro shops do). When installing the nuts, remember to start them by hand before using power tools. Nothing quite like cross threading a bolt, then destroying it in with an impact gun.

DW059K-2 1/2" (13mm) 18V Cordless XRPâ„¢ Impact Wrench Kit | DEWALT Tools

This is the kit I have: Torque Sticks, Torque Sockets and Other Discount Tools
 
Last edited:

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,068
11,317
Connecticut
For people looking for a nice portable torque wrench, I've used this to torque the bolts on my BMW M5 for the last few years. Works great, and mounts to any standard 1/2" socket wrench and socket.

edited: I paid $40 for it

This one seems to be available: Powerbuilt 940962 1/2 Drive Digital Torque Adapter, 29 to 147 ft-lbs - Torque Wrenches - Amazon.com
And a similar one: Neiko 1/2-Inch Digital Torque Adapter - Torque Wrenches - Amazon.com



41OKhseC0wL.jpg
 

HAMTags

Member
Jun 26, 2014
15
0
Massachusetts/Florida
If I take it to the Tesla service folks (hoping Dedham will be open by the time I need it) I think the first rotation is complimentary. Are rotations included f you buy the 4-year service package?
 

tliving

Member
Mar 8, 2014
751
102
New England, USA
I did some reading on reviews of the local tire centers in Natick and the reviews are a very mixed bag and it didn't really sound like anyone here had direct personal experience with them. So I ended up going back to my old Acura dealer that's been servicing my Acura for 7 years that I trust. They're Acura of Auburn. They did the job for $31 with no hassle and an easy appointment. Just wanted to close the loop on this in case any other owner in the area needs this.
 

Robert.Boston

Model S VIN P01536
Oct 7, 2011
7,844
42
Portland, Maine, USA
I did some reading on reviews of the local tire centers in Natick and the reviews are a very mixed bag and it didn't really sound like anyone here had direct personal experience with them. So I ended up going back to my old Acura dealer that's been servicing my Acura for 7 years that I trust. They're Acura of Auburn. They did the job for $31 with no hassle and an easy appointment. Just wanted to close the loop on this in case any other owner in the area needs this.
I'm curious, what was the reaction of the shop guys to your Model S? I always get mine inspected at a dealership just for the pleasure of seeing the wide-eyed techs ooh and aah.
 

paulkva

Member
Jul 22, 2013
712
287
Falls Church, VA
If I take it to the Tesla service folks (hoping Dedham will be open by the time I need it) I think the first rotation is complimentary. Are rotations included f you buy the 4-year service package?

For what it's worth, I recently had my first (free) rotation at the Rockville MD service center. When I called to schedule, they told me their policy had changed and now ALL rotations are free, not just the first. And I did NOT buy the pre-paid service plan.

It's possible this varies by location (I've read many instances on these forums where Tesla provides inconsistent answers to owners' questions), but it wouldn't hurt to ask.
 

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