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Tire Rotation Pattern

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Brunton, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Brunton

    Brunton Pontificating the obvious

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    I couldn't find this in the manual, so...

    What is the tire rotation pattern for the original tires? Is it front to back, or an "X" pattern (and is there a specified direction for the X)?

    SC is about 300 miles, so I'm thinking I might do the rotation myself...
     
  2. iffatall

    iffatall Member

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    For non P models with 19", it is Front ⇄ Rear. Left stays left and right stays right.
     
  3. Brunton

    Brunton Pontificating the obvious

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  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    For non P models with 19", any method of rotation is fine, as long as directionality is maintained if the tires are directional.
     
  5. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    I 'X' rotate, when the leading edge of the tire's outside is scalloped upward. I've had noise/vibration that has gone away, and established more even tire wear on a few vehicles doing this. Also don't confuse directional with asymmetric. Many tires can roll both directions, while fewer can have either side of the tire on the outside of the rim.
     
  6. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Brunton, I used two hydraulic car jacks, one in front and the other in rear. Break the lug nut tension while the tires are on the ground.
    The torque setting on the wheel lugs is very high. While the car was in the air and the wheels off, I took the opportunity to clean the inside of the wheels and clean and inspect the break calipers, wheel wells, and the suspension parts and hoses. Those red calipers were fairly dusty even though they did not look like it.

    To be on the safe side I chocked wood blocks under the hydraulic jack lifts as the S is very heavy. I have a pair of JackPoint jack stands but frankly there is no reason to raise the S that high off the ground so I did not use them for tire rotation.

    Also I took (and recorded) tread wear measurements to see how my Potenza Pole Positions were wearing and the wear was fairly even and within my expectations. I did find a small screw in the meaty part of one of the treads which I removed. Thankfully it was not in too deep at all.

    Start all lug nuts by hand when putting them back on. Then I used a rechargeable ratchet gun to snug them up and then when the car was on the ground again, I used a Snap-On long handled torque wrench to get back to 125 foot pounds of torque on each lug nut.

    If you have the tools, the task of tire rotation is a very easy job, even for the shade tree mechanic such as myself. A pair of thin rubber gloves is nice to have for this operation.
     
  7. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Rotation Patterns:

    • Rear-wheel drive, square setup (all tires the same size), non-directional tires: Rearward cross
    • Rear-wheel drive, square setup (all tires the same size), directional tires: Front-rear same-side swap
    • All-wheel drive, square setup (all tires the same size), non-directional tires: Rearward cross, or X-pattern
    • All-wheel drive, square setup (all tires the same size), directional tires: Front-Rear same-side swap
    • Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, staggered setup (rear tires larger than front), non-directional tires: Left-Right same-axle swap
    • Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, staggered setup (rear tires larger than front), directional tires: Rotation not possible without unmounting and remounting tires on wheels.

    Asymmetric tires are treated as non-directional as long as they're mounted on the wheels correctly ("outside" side facing outward).
     
  8. aus

    aus Member

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    Also consider fllipping the tires. It's a few bucks at a wheel shop, but can really extend the life of your tire... unless you're in an area with a lot of standing water, then don't do it.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When rain racing tires weren't available, flipping asymmetrical tires turned them into rain tires.
     
  10. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    You can only do this with symmetrical tires (same tread pattern on the inside shoulder and outside shoulder). All of the OEM tire fitments from Tesla are asymmetric, and cannot be flipped inside out.

    Also, repeatedly unmounting and remounting tires can damage them, as the bead is stretched every time the tire is taken on or off the wheel.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The second point is correct, but you'd only do this once in the tire's life to rectify some very poor inside shoulder wear.

    The first point is not correct as long as you do all four. Normally you wouldn't do this because the tires will wear out faster on the shoulder that is now outside as there are more voids on the shoulder marked inside, so turning erases more tread, but it's not a safety issue. Handling in the rain would actually be better. So mounting them the way they are intended to be mounted is recommended, but if it means throwing away a set of tires that have a lot of tread left except on the inside shoulder, switching the inside to the outside is an acceptable procedure (on all four tires--this is important for handling).
     
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  12. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    I suppose you could do this if you had a high difference in inside and outside wear in order to eke more life out of the tires, but I would worry about traction and handling with the tires mounted contrary to the manufacturer's stated instructions.

    Plus, if you have inside vs. outside wear that is this uneven, the root of the problem is probably camber or toe, which should be fixable with an alignment. Although it's known that on the Tesla specifically, the camber is not adjustable.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When we were unable to get rain racing tires, we turned the asymmetrical tires inside out to provide better rain traction. Never had a handling problem. You would have one if you only did one or two, but not all four. The handling will still be even.

    You use this technique if you didn't catch the wear in time--sometimes it's not easy to see unless you get down under the car and look. Obviously, it's best to correct the underlying condition rather than do a workaround with the tires.
     
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  14. aus

    aus Member

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    Flipping the tires is done all the time on track tires. TireRack has done comparisons with running the tires in the "wrong direction" and the grip was the same as long as it's dry. When there was standing water, the grip was better with them running in the correct direction.
    And like you said, MS chew up the inside of the tire badly, while the rest of the time is fine.
    I had similar problems with my old X5, M3 and 335 and could almost double the life of the tire by flipping them once.
    .
     

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