Tire Care and Maintenance
Displaying Tire Pressures
Maintaining Tire Pressures
Keep tires inflated to the pressures shown on the Tire Information label, even if it differs from the pressure printed on the tire itself. The Tire and Loading Information label is located on the center door pillar and is visible when the driver door is open.
The Tire Pressure indicator light does not immediately turn off when you adjust tire pressure. After inflating the tire to the recommended pressure, you must drive over 25 km/h for a short amount of time to activate the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which turns off the Tire Pressure indicator light.
If the indicator light flashes for one minute whenever you power on Model S, a fault with the TPMS is detected (see TPMS Malfunction).
Checking and Adjusting Tire Pressures
Follow these steps when tires are cold and Model S has been stationary for over three hours:
- Refer to the Tire Information label located on the driver’s center door pillar for the target tire pressure.
- Remove the valve cap.
- Firmly press an accurate tire pressure gauge onto the valve to measure pressure.
- If required, add or remove air to reach the recommended pressure.NoteYou can release air by pressing the metal stem in the center of the valve.
- Re-check pressure using the accurate tire gauge.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary until the tire pressure is correct.
- Reinstall the valve cap to prevent dirt from entering. Periodically check the valve for damage and leaks.
Inspecting and Maintaining Tires
Regularly inspect the tread and side walls for any sign of distortion (bulges), foreign objects, cuts or wear.
Adequate tread depth is important for proper tire performance. Tires with a tread depth less than 3 mm are more likely to hydroplane in wet conditions and should not be used. Tires with a tread depth less than 4 mm do not perform well in snow and slush and should not be used when driving in winter conditions.
Model S is originally fitted with tires that have wear indicators molded into the tread pattern. When the tread has been worn down to 3 mm, the indicators start to appear at the surface of the tread pattern, producing the effect of a continuous band of rubber across the width of the tire. For optimal performance and safety, Tesla recommends replacing tires before the wear indicators are visible.
To improve vehicle handling characteristics and minimize hydroplaning in wet conditions, put tires with the most tread on the rear of the car.
Tire Rotation, Balance, and Wheel Alignment
Tesla recommends rotating the tires every 10,000 km or if tread depth difference is 1.5 mm or greater, whichever comes first.
Tire rotation is an essential part of tire maintenance. It helps maintain an even treadwear pattern which enhances the tire's overall wear quality, decreases road noise and maximizes tire life.
Vehicles with staggered tires can be rotated side-to-side (left-to-right) but not front-to-back as the front and rear tire size is different. Left-to-right rotation can increase tread life significantly by changing the direction of rotation for each tire and balancing shoulder wear.
Unbalanced wheels (sometimes noticeable as vibration through the steering wheel) affect vehicle handling and tire life. Even with regular use, wheels can get out of balance. Therefore, they should be balanced as required.
If tire wear is uneven (on one side of the tire only) or becomes abnormally excessive, check the wheel alignment.
A puncture eventually causes the tire to lose pressure, which is why it is important to check tire pressures frequently. Permanently repair or replace punctured or damaged tires as soon as possible.
Your tubeless tires may not leak when penetrated, provided the object remains in the tire. If, however, you feel a sudden vibration or ride disturbance while driving, or you suspect a tire is damaged, immediately reduce your speed. Drive slowly, while avoiding heavy braking or sharp steering and, when safe to do so, stop the vehicle. Arrange to have Model S transported to a Tesla Service Center, or to a nearby tire repair center.
If Model S is stationary for a long period, tires can form flat spots. When Model S is driven, these flat spots cause a vibration which gradually disappears as the tires warm up and regain their original shape.
To minimize flat spots during storage, inflate tires to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire wall. Then, before driving, release air to adjust tire pressure to the recommended levels.
Improving Tire Mileage
To improve the mileage you get from your tires, maintain tires at the recommended tire pressures, observe speed limits and advisory speeds, and avoid:
- Pulling away quickly, or hard acceleration.
- Fast turns and heavy braking.
- Potholes and objects in the road.
- Hitting curbs when parking.
- Contaminating tires with fluids that can cause damage.
Replacing Tires and Wheels
Tires degrade over time due to the effects of ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures, high loads, and environmental conditions. It is recommended that tires are replaced every six years, or sooner if required, even if tread depth is above the minimum.
When a tire set becomes worn, replace all four tires at the same time. Choose a Tesla-approved tire which is designed specifically for your vehicle. Most Tesla-approved tires can be identified with a Tx specification (for example, T0, T1, T2). Tesla-approved tires are designed to reduce road noise and optimize handling, ride, and range. Contact Tesla Service for information.
If tires need to be replaced early, for example due to a flat tire, we recommend replacing the tires in pairs unless the other tires are within 1.5 mm of tread depth of the new tire. When replacing tires, it is important to match the brand and model of the older tires. Always place a pair of new tires on the rear if all four tires are the same size. Always balance the wheel and tire after replacing a tire. Consult with a professional tire retailer and installer for further guidance.
If tires other than those specified are used, ensure that the load and speed ratings marked on the tire (see Understanding Tire Markings) equal or exceed those of the original specification.
For the specification of the original wheels and tires installed on Model S, see Wheels and Tires.
If you replace a wheel, the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sensors need to be reset to ensure they provide accurate warnings when tires are under- or over-inflated (see Resetting the TPMS Sensors).
Model S tires are asymmetric and must be mounted on the wheel with the correct sidewall facing outward. The sidewall of the tire is marked with the word OUTSIDE. When new tires are installed, make sure that the tires are correctly mounted on the wheels.
Removing and Installing Aero Covers
If your Model S is equipped with aero covers, you must remove them to access the lug nuts.
To remove an aero cover:
- Grasp the aero cover firmly with both hands.
- Pull the aero cover toward you to release the retaining clips.
To install an aero cover:
- Align the aero cover into position so that the notch at the base of the Tesla "T" is aligned with the tire's valve stem.
- Push firmly around the perimeter of the aero cover until it fully snaps into place.CAUTIONTo prevent the aero cover from falling off, ensure that it is fully secured before driving.
If you are installing new wheels or swapping them for different ones, update your vehicle's wheel configuration by touching Model S to learn the new wheels and provide more accurate status updates on your vehicle. Select a wheel from the drop down menu that matches the new wheels you plan to install on Model S. Selecting new wheels in the wheel configuration also changes the wheels that appear on your vehicle's avatar on the touchscreen.. This allows
Ensure you are aware if your vehicle is equipped with staggered wheels, meaning the wheels are different sizes in the front and rear. Check the front and rear tire sizes marked on the tire sidewall to see if they match or are different sizes. If the wheels are staggered, take extra precaution to ensure the new wheels you install are staggered in the same way as the previous wheels.
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Each tire should be checked monthly when cold and inflated to the recommended pressures that are printed on the Tire Information label located on the driver’s door pillar (see Maintaining Tire Pressures). If your vehicle has tires of a different size than the size indicated on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure label, determine the proper tire inflation pressure for those tires.
As an added safety feature, your vehicle has been equipped with a TPMS that displays a tire pressure telltale (Tire Pressure Warning) on the instrument panel when one or more of your tires is significantly under- or over-inflated. Accordingly, when the Tire Pressure indicator light displays on the instrument panel to alert you about tire pressure, stop and check your tires as soon as possible, and inflate them to the proper pressure (see Maintaining Tire Pressures). Driving on a significantly under-inflated tire causes the tire to overheat and can lead to tire failure. Under-inflation also reduces range efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect the vehicle's handling and stopping ability.
Resetting the TPMS Sensors
After replacing one or more wheels (but not after replacing a tire or rotating wheels), the TPMS sensors need to be reset to ensure tire pressure warnings are accurate.
On newer versions of Model S, the TPMS sensors are reset automatically after driving over 25 km/h for longer than 10 minutes. But for older versions, follow these steps:
- Inflate all tires to their recommended pressures, as indicated on the Tire Information label located on the door pillar.
- Get ready to drive for ten minutes, then touching .
- Follow the onscreen instructions.CAUTIONSelecting the incorrect wheel size may result in false tire pressure warnings. If a tire pressure warning displays, exit the vehicle, close the rear trunk and all doors, wait for the touchscreen to go black, then re-enter the vehicle and ensure that the correct wheel size is selected before touching Reset TPMS Sensors.
Replacing a Tire Sensor
If the Tire Pressure warning indicator displays frequently, contact Tesla to determine if a tire sensor needs to be replaced. If a non-Tesla Service Center repairs or replaces a tire, the tire sensor may not work until Tesla performs the setup procedure.
Model S has also been equipped with a TPMS malfunction indicator to indicate when the system is not operating properly.
TPMS malfunctions can occur for a variety of reasons, including installing replacement or alternate tires or wheels that prevent the TPMS from functioning properly. Always check the TPMS malfunction indicator light after replacing one or more tires or wheels on your vehicle to ensure that the replacement tires or wheels allow the TPMS to continue to function properly.
Seasonal Tire Types
Understand Your Tire Type
The type of tires that your vehicle is originally equipped with depends on vehicle model and market region. It is important to understand the capabilities of your vehicle's tires and whether they are suited for summer, all-season, or winter driving. Check the information on the sidewall of a tire for information about a tire's performance characteristics (see Understanding Tire Markings)
Summer and All-Season Tires
Summer tires and all season tires are designed for maximum dry and wet road performance but are not designed to perform well in winter conditions. All-season tires are designed to provide adequate traction in most conditions year-round, but may not provide the same level of traction as winter tires in snowy or icy conditions. All-season tires can be identified by “ALL SEASON" and/or "M+S” (mud and snow) on the tire sidewall.
If driving in cold temperatures or on roads where snow or ice may be present, Tesla recommends using winter tires. If not equipped with winter tires, contact Tesla for winter tire recommendations.
Use winter tires to increase traction in snowy or icy conditions. When installing winter tires, always install a complete set of four tires at the same time. Winter tires must be the same diameter, brand, construction and tread pattern on all four wheels. Contact Tesla for winter tire recommendations.
When driving with winter tires, you may experience more road noise, shorter tread life, and less traction on dry roads.
Driving in Low Temperatures
Tire performance is reduced in low ambient temperatures, resulting in reduced grip and an increased susceptibility to damage from impacts. Performance tires (summer applications) have reduced traction in ambient temperatures below 5° C, and are not recommended in snow/ice conditions. Performance tires can temporarily harden when cold, causing you to hear rotational noise for the first few kilometers until the tires warm up.
Using Tire Chains
Tesla has tested and approved the following tire chains to increase traction in snowy conditions. Tire chains should only be installed on the rear tires. The approved tire chains can be purchased from Tesla.
|Tire Size||Recommended Chain|
|19"||KONIG K-SUMMIT K45|
Do not use tire chains on 21" tires.
When installing tire chains, follow the instructions and warnings provided by the tire chain manufacturer. Mount them evenly and as tight as possible.
When using tire chains:
- Inspect the tire chains for loose fittings and damaged links before each use.
- Set air suspension (if equipped) to Standard and turn off the Default Ride Height to Low setting (see Air Suspension).
- Avoid heavily loading Model S (heavy loads can reduce the clearance between the tires and the body).
- Do not drive the vehicle without the chains properly installed.
- Drive slowly. Do not exceed 48 km/h.
- Remove the tire chains as soon as conditions allow.