Tire Care and Maintenance

Displaying Tire Pressures

Display tire pressures on the touchscreen by touching Controls > Service. The pressure of each tire displays in the visualization of your Model 3. You can choose whether you want to display tire pressures using Bar or PSI by touching Controls > Display > Tire Pressure.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
You may need to drive briefly before the visualization displays the tire pressure values.

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 front door is open.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
If your Model 3 is fitted with Tesla accessory wheels or tires, some information may be different from the labels on the vehicle.
Label on center door pillar
Amber icon of an exclamation mark within a tire symbol
The Tire Pressure indicator light on the touchscreen alerts you if one or more tires is under- or over-inflated.

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 3, a fault with the TPMS is detected (see TPMS Malfunction).

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Your vehicle’s tire pressures will drop in cold ambient temperatures. If the TPMS indicator light appears, inflate the tires before driving. The tires will lose one PSI for every 6° C drop in outside temperature. Proper tire pressures help protect tires from potholes and improve range when properly inflated.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Under-inflation is the most common cause of tire failures and can cause a tire to overheat, resulting in severe tire cracking, tread separation, or blowout, resulting in unexpected loss of vehicle control and increased risk of injury. Under-inflation also reduces the vehicle's range and tire tread life.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Check tire pressures using an accurate pressure gauge when tires are cold. It takes only about 1.6 kms of driving to warm up the tires sufficiently to affect tire pressures. Parking the vehicle in direct sunlight or in hot weather can also affect tire pressures. If you must check warm tires, expect increased pressures. Do not let air out of warm tires in an attempt to match recommended cold tire pressures. A hot tire at or below the recommended cold tire inflation pressure is dangerously under-inflated.

Checking and Adjusting Tire Pressures

Follow these steps when tires are cold and Model 3 has been stationary for over three hours:

Amber icon of an exclamation mark within a tire symbol
  1. Refer to the Tire Information label located on the driver’s center door pillar for the target tire pressure.
  2. Remove the valve cap.
  3. Firmly press an accurate tire pressure gauge onto the valve to measure pressure.
  4. If required, add or remove air to reach the recommended pressure.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    You can release air by pressing the metal stem in the center of the valve.
  5. Re-check pressure using the accurate tire gauge.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary until the tire pressure is correct.
  7. 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.

Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Do not drive Model 3 if a tire is damaged, excessively worn, or inflated to an incorrect pressure. Check tires regularly for wear, and ensure there are no cuts, bulges or exposure of the ply/cord structure.

Tire 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 3 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.

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.

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 alignment of wheels.

Punctured Tires

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 3 transported to a Tesla Service Center, or to a nearby tire repair center.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
In some cases, you can temporarily repair small tire punctures (under 6 mm) using an optional tire repair kit available from Tesla. This allows you to slowly drive Model 3 to Tesla or to a nearby tire repair facility.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Do not drive with a punctured tire that has not been repaired, even if the puncture has not caused the tire to deflate. A punctured tire can deflate suddenly at any time.

Flat Spots

If Model 3 is stationary for a long period, tires can form flat spots. When Model 3 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.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Regardless of the number of tires replaced, a complete set of matching tires is recommended for optimum performance.

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 3, 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 Automatic Reset of TPMS Sensors).

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Installing winter tires with aggressive compound and tread design may result in temporarily-reduced regenerative braking power. However, your vehicle is designed to continuously recalibrate itself, and after changing tires it will increasingly restore regenerative braking power after some moderate-torque straight-line accelerations. For most drivers this occurs after a short period of normal driving, but drivers who normally accelerate lightly may need to use slightly harder accelerations while the recalibration is in progress.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
For your safety, use only tires and wheels that match the original specification. Tires that do not match the original specification can affect the operation of the TPMS.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Never exceed the speed rating of your vehicle's tires. The speed rating is shown on the sidewall of your tires (see Understanding Tire Markings).

Asymmetric Tires

Model 3 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.

Arrow pointing to the word "Outside" on a tire sidewall
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Road holding is seriously impaired if the tires are incorrectly installed on the wheels.

Removing and Installing Aero Covers

If your Model 3 is equipped with aero covers, you must remove them to access the lug nuts.

To remove an aero cover:

  1. Grasp the aero cover firmly with both hands.
  2. Pull the aero cover toward you to release the retaining clips.
    Aero cover with arrow pointing away from tire

To install an aero cover:

  1. 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.
    Aero cover's Tesla "T" aligned with tire's valve stem with an arrow pointing from the cover to the tire
  2. Push firmly around the perimeter of the aero cover until it fully snaps into place.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    To prevent the aero cover from falling off, ensure that it is fully secured before driving.

Removing and Installing Lug Nut Covers

If your Model 3 is equipped with lug nut covers, you must remove them to access the lug nuts.

To remove a lug nut cover:

  1. Insert the curved part of the lug nut cover tool, if equipped (located in the glovebox in some vehicles, or you can use a small allen wrench) into the hole at the base of the Tesla "T".
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    The lug nut cover tool can also be purchased at an auto parts store or through online retailers.
    Arrow pointing from the lug nut tool to the hole on the lug nut cover
  2. Maneuver the lug nut cover tool so that it is fully inserted into the hole in the lug nut cover.
  3. Twist the lug nut cover tool so that the curved part is touching the middle of the lug nut cover.
  4. Firmly pull the lug nut tool away from the wheel until the lug nut cover is released.
    Pulling lug nut tool outwards to pull lug nut cover off

To install the lug nut cover:

  1. Align the lug nut cover into position.
  2. Push firmly on the lug nut cover until it fully snaps into place.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    Make sure the lug nut cover is fully secure before driving to prevent it from falling off.

Wheel Configuration

If you are installing new wheels or swapping them for different ones, update your vehicle's wheel configuration by touching Controls > Service > Wheel Configuration. This allows Model 3 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 3. Selecting new wheels in the wheel configuration also changes the wheels that appear on your vehicle's avatar on the touchscreen.

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.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Changing your vehicle's wheel configuration can impact range estimates, tire pressure warning levels, and vehicle visualization.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Only use Tesla-approved wheels when installing or swapping wheels. Using non Tesla-approved wheels can cause serious damage. Tesla is not liable for damage caused by using wheels not approved by Tesla.

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 touchscreen when one or more of your tires is significantly under- or over-inflated. Accordingly, when the Tire Pressure indicator light displays on the touchscreen 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.

Amber icon of an exclamation mark within a tire symbol
If Model 3 detects a fault with the TPMS, this indicator flashes for one minute whenever you power on Model 3.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Installing accessories that are not approved by Tesla can interfere with the TPMS.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
The TPMS is not a substitute for proper tire maintenance, including manually checking tire pressures and regularly inspecting the condition of tires. It is the driver's responsibility to maintain correct tire pressure, even if under- or over-inflation has not reached the level for the TPMS to trigger the Tire Pressure Warning on the touchscreen.

Automatic Reset of TPMS Sensors

After replacing one or more wheels (but not after replacing a tire), the TPMS sensors are relearned to ensure tire pressure warnings are accurate. TPMS sensors reset automatically within 10 minutes of driving over 25 km/h.

Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
If your Model 3 is equipped with aftermarket tires that differ in size from those printed on the Tire and Loading Information Label (see Vehicle Loading), it is the driver's responsibility to determine the correct tire pressure. Do not drive on public roads when tires are not inflated to the correct pressure.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Do not depend on TPMS sensors to accurately determine pressures and trigger alerts. It is the driver's responsibility to maintain correct tire pressures (see Maintaining Tire Pressures). Over or under-inflated tires can result in loss of control or tire damage, which can lead to serious injury.

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.

TPMS Malfunction

Model 3 has also been equipped with a TPMS malfunction indicator to indicate when the system is not operating properly.

Amber icon of an exclamation mark within a tire symbol
The TPMS malfunction indicator is combined with the tire pressure indicator light. When the system detects a malfunction, the indicator flashes for approximately one minute, then remains continuously lit. This sequence continues upon subsequent vehicle start-ups as long as the malfunction exists. When the TPMS malfunction indicator is on, the system might not be able to detect or signal under- or over-inflated tires as intended.

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.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
If a tire has been replaced or repaired using a different tire sealant than the one available from Tesla, and a low tire pressure is detected, it is possible that the tire sensor has been damaged. Contact Tesla to have the fault repaired as soon as possible.

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.

Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
In cold temperatures or on snow or ice, summer and all-season tires do not provide adequate traction. Selecting and installing the appropriate tires for winter conditions is important to ensure the safety and optimum performance of your Model 3.

Winter Tires

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.

Snowflake within a mountain symbol
Winter tires can be identified by a mountain/snowflake symbol on the tire's sidewall.

When driving with winter tires, you may experience more road noise, shorter tread life, and less traction on dry roads.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Installing winter tires with aggressive compound and tread design may result in temporarily-reduced regenerative braking power. However, your vehicle is designed to recalibrate itself to restore regenerative braking power after a short period of normal driving.

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
18"/19" KONIG CG-9 103
20" KONIG K-SUMMIT K34
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
If your Model 3 is equipped with aero covers, you must remove them before installing tire chains (see Removing and Installing Aero Covers). Failure to do so can cause damage not covered by the warranty.

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.
  • Avoid heavily loading Model 3 (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.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Tire chains are prohibited in some jurisdictions. Check local laws before installing tire chains.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
Using non-recommended tire chains, or using tire chains on other sized tires can damage the suspension, body, wheels, and/or brake lines. Damage caused by using non-recommended tire chains, or incorrectly installing tire chains, is not covered by the warranty.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
Do not use tire chains on the front tires.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
Never deflate your tires to put on tire chains. When re-inflated, the chains might fit too tightly and cause tire damage.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
Ensure that the tire chains cannot touch suspension components or brake lines. If you hear the chains making unusual noises that would indicate contact with Model 3, stop and investigate immediately.