Tesla Tire Rotation Ultimate Guide

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Many people underestimate how critical it is to rotate the tires on your vehicle. Not performing this service could result in spending twice as much time and money replacing tires. 

Lucky for you. I will go over all the reasons you need to rotate your tires and how easy it is to get done. 

There’s no reason anyone should skip out on this easy maintenance. And after reading this guide, you’ll be a certified expert on all things related to rotating tires on a Tesla.

The Reason Why You Need a Tire Rotation

If everyone knew why rotating tires was so essential, I bet more people would be doing them. I have listed all the reasons why it is so critical below. 

Not All Tesla Tires Can Be Rotated

First, I want to make sure everyone knows that some Teslas cannot have this service performed. 

The easiest way to tell if your tires can be moved around is to look at your tire sizes. When the rear tires are wider or taller in diameter, this means you have a staggered fitment. Staggered wheels cannot be moved from front to back. 

Those that have these fitments are stuck with all the downsides below. 

Vehicle Weight Distribution

If you own a rear-wheel drive Tesla, more of the vehicle’s weight rests on the rear tires. On all-wheel, the weight is closer to 50/50 because it features two independent motors rather than just one in the rear.

More weight on the rear means that the back tires have more stress. This will generate faster wear patterns if not addressed. 

The best way to alleviate the added wear and tear is to take the back tires and put them on the front. Then your front tires get a turn. 

Longer Tire Lifespan Due to Even Wear

Do you know that ignoring your tires can result in them wearing out twice as fast?

Yep, the rear tires will burn out faster because of weight. The front tires also start to form irregular wear patterns. 

Since the front tires are on the steer axle, the tire’s shoulder takes a heavy toll every time you turn. Imagine the entire front end of the vehicle frequently resting on one specific tread section. Causing the inner and outer portion of the tire to look like alignment wear.  

The exact opposite of this is happening on the vehicle’s rear end. So you have front tires wearing out on the shoulders and the center wearing out faster on the back tires.

If only there was a way to alleviate this from happening. 

Rotating the tires prevents this!

Driving Experience

Evenly worn tires promote more than longer tire life. It also allows the tires to perform as designed when the tread is not compromised. 

If the tread is lower at specific points, it causes different contact patches on the road’s surface. Can you imagine what it’s like if only half of a tire makes contact with the road?

I can, and it doesn’t end well. 

Less traction, ride comfort, and handling decreases result from not rotating the tires. I’m not saying you will indefinitely crash because of missing scheduled rotations. But it is a possibility, especially in wet weather. 

Tire Warranty

Most consumers don’t know that not taking care of tires can void the warranty. If you go online and read the fine print of manufacturers’ treadwear warranties. It states that “Improper Maintenance” of tires results in voiding the guarantees. 

Tires that are not evenly moved around result in rapid wear patterns. This typically looks like the tread is wearing out twice as fast if no rotations are performed. 

Those that have staggered fitments don’t worry. Manufacturers know you can’t do this, so they only warrant the rear tires for half the miles. 

When Should You Rotate the Tesla Tire?

There are two ways to base how frequently you should rotate your tires. The first is every 6,250 miles. And if you are an aggressive driver, you want to do this service when there is a tread difference of 2/32 in (1.5 mm) between the front and back tires. 

These methods apply to both the rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models. However, the rear-wheel drive models tend to burn up the back tires faster, so you may want to follow the second method.

If you own a rear-wheel drive, Tesla, it would be worth investing in a tread depth gauge. You should check the tire’s tread once a month. 

How Much Does A Tesla Tire Rotation Cost?

Some of us aren’t as mechanically inclined as others. Therefore most will take their Tesla into a service center to have a tire rotation done. 

I gathered some pricing so you can expect to know how much to pay. You can find pricing from the most popular service centers below.

Tesla Service Center

They would be the most expensive if you didn’t get a package deal when you bought the car. Tesla charges between $50 and $150 to perform this service. 

Dealers get away with charging more because they’re seen as the “experts”. They are no more qualified to rotate tires than a monkey with a good teacher.

Discount Tire

Believe it or not, Discount Tire will rotate your tires for free. They ask you to go back to them when you need new tires. 

This free service does not include tire balancing. They charge between $40 and $60 to get a balance on all four tires.

Costco

Costco performs free tire rotations on all vehicles they install tires on. On top of free rotations, your purchase will also come with tire balancing and flat tire repairs at no extra cost. 

If you did not buy the tires from Costco, don’t worry, they can still perform your services. The fee ranges from $20 to $25 to have your tires rotated, balanced, and checked air pressure. 

Other Service Centers

Since this would be a very long guide if I listed all the places to rotate your tires. I figured giving the average cost outside the two most popular shops would be easier. 

The average price for a simple tire rotation varies from $20 to $80. 

How To Tire Rotation By Yourself?

You can easily rotate the tires on your Tesla on your own. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do this in your garage. 

  1. Identify the lift points under the vehicle by finding a hole under the driver and passenger seats in the front and back.
  2. Take the Tesla-certified jack pucks and insert them into the holes under the vehicle. 
  3. Center the floor jacks pad directly underneath the pucks.
  4. Break the lug nuts loose (a quarter turn is good enough) with a tire iron before lifting the car. 
  5. Jack up the front tires by lowering and raising the jack handles, then proceed to the rear tires.
  6. After all four tires are off the ground, you can remove the lug nuts of the left rear. 
  7. Remove the left rear assembly, which will be moved to the right front. 
  8. Repeat step 7 to move the right front assembly to the right rear. Right rear assembly to the left front. Left front assembly to the left rear. 
  9. Now that all assemblies are in position, install the assemblies onto the hub. 
  10. Hand tightens all the lug nuts. 
  11. After all the assemblies have been mounted with lug nuts hand tight on all. Lower the vehicle’s rear first, so the tires barely rest on the ground (repeat for the front end).
  12. With all four tires touching the ground, grab a torque wrench and set it to 130 Ft Lbs.
  13. Torque down all the lug nuts to a click. Lower the jacks all the way down. Remove the jackal pucks, and you’re done.

Our Verdict

In order to avoid tires suffering from abrasion due to pressure from a single direction for a long time (bias wear). Tire positions should be exchanged regularly so as to equalize tire wear so that they can provide better handling performance throughout the tire’s life cycle, and then extending the tire’s service life.

Read our tire care tips to help you keep tires performing in tip-top shape

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