Tire rotation is a recommendation by Tesla to swap the positions of tires each time the car travels a certain number of miles. This is standard practice for any car owner; however there are a few points which mean that tire rotation is slightly different on Teslas. The value of rotating tires on cars today is also open to question and is discussed in this article. So let’s get into specifics, when and how often should you rotate the tire on your Tesla?
Tire rotation on the Tesla is recommended every 6,250 miles. Tire rotation is not essential but is a good idea, particularly on Tesla models which use all-wheel drive. It can be done manually at home with the right equipment or performed at a garage. The rotation pattern depends on which wheels of the car are responsible for drive. The frequency of tire rotation is also slightly higher on Teslas compared to some other cars.
It is important to note for Teslas however that the car lift points are slightly different to other cars and that the car manual should be consulted whether doing the rotation yourself or taking the car to a garage.
- Model S – Owners Manual Tyre Sectionn
- Model X – Owners Manual Tyre Section
- Model 3 – Owners Manual Tyre Section
Why Rotate Tires On Any Car?
Tire rotation helps to ensure that tire wear is even across all tires and ultimately helps to prolong the life of tires. The main rotation to be performed is between front and back tires.
The constant turning of the front wheels for steering means that the outsides of the front tires wear more quickly than those of the rear. Swapping the front tires with the rear tires every few thousand miles means that the front tires will not wear out at rates faster than the rear.
Ultimately, this reduces how frequently you need to change the front tyres therefore reducing the cost of replacing the front tires.
How Often Should Tire Rotations Be Done?
Garages generally recommend that you rotate tires as frequently as you perform an oil change which is about every 5-10 thousand miles.
However you can also determine whether a tire rotation is needed based on car performance, for example if the car vibrates at speeds of over 45 mph or if one or more of the tires are losing pressure without explanation.
If either of these occur, it may be worth discussing the possibility of tire rotation with a local garage.
Is Tire Rotation Really Necessary?
The main argument for rotating tires is to allow drivers to prolong the life of the front tires and therefore change all four tires at the same time.
However, many drivers are happy simply to change the front tires when they need changing and replace the rear tyres at a later date.
Tire rotation may add a few extra miles to the life of the tire set, but the cost of rotating them may be higher than the money saved; depending on whether you do the tire rotation yourself, find a garage to do it for free or pay a garage to do the rotation.
The real advantage offered through tire rotation however is for drivers of four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles.
For cars that use all four wheels at all times (such as the Model 3 AWD), it is preferable to change all the tires at the same time to aid in car balance, wheel rotation and alignment.
This makes tire rotation a good idea as it means that the lifespan of all the tires can be equalized and wheel balance maintained.
How Should Tires Be Rotated?
The method for tire rotation depends on whether the car is rear-wheel drive, front-wheel or if the car uses all four wheels (four-wheel or all-wheel drive AWD).
For rear-wheel drive cars, the front tires should be moved to the opposite sides of the rear, i.e. the front left tire should be moved to the back left and the front right to the back left. The rear wheel tires should be moved straight forward, i.e. the back left to the front left and the back right to the front right.
The same pattern should also be used on front-wheel drive vehicles; the rear right should move to the front left, the rear left to the front right and the front left and front right to the back left and back right respectively.
A different pattern should be used on cars which use all four wheels for drive. The front and back left tires should simply be swapped as should the front right and back right.
How Much Does Tire Rotation Cost?
Tire rotation need not cost anything if you are able to carry out the procedure yourself. It is also offered for free at some places in the USA such as Walmart and also by some garages provided you have bought tires from them. If paying however, cost estimates at car garages vary widely from $25-75 per axle (two wheels).
For example Rockville Md Tesla service center charges $75 per axle (two wheels) so $150 total which includes rotation and balancing.
Note: Some garage will offer tire replacement for free if you buy tires from them.
How is Tire Rotation Different On A Tesla?
There are two main points to consider when thinking about tire rotation on a Tesla compared to most other car makes. Firstly, the frequency of tire rotation is slightly shorter, as Tesla specifically recommends rotating tires every 6,250 miles as opposed to 5 – 10 thousand in a standard car.
Tesla have increased this recommendation to a rotation every 10-12 thousand miles; however some Tesla drivers suggest sticking to the original 6,250 miles given the fast rate at which tires wear down on Teslas due to the way in which Teslas are balanced compared to other vehicles.
Secondly, the lift points for a Tesla differ to a standard car. Tesla drivers who have gone to car garages for tire rotation have pointed out that they needed to show the manual to the mechanics performing the rotation to ensure that the car is lifted and lowered safely.
So if going to a garage, be sure to take the manual and show the lift points to the mechanic before leaving the car with them if they are unfamiliar with servicing Teslas.
How Long Should Tesla Tire Rotation Take?
If you know what you are doing and have the equipment ready at hand, a tire rotation shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to half an hour.
If going to a garage, you can expect to wait up to two hours but that is largely whilst waiting for availability of the mechanic to fit you in.
It is not a complicated procedure and once you have the hang of it; it should be quicker after the first time.
Is Tesla Tire Rotation Required?
Some say that since the arrival of modern steel belted radial tyres that tire rotation is not really necessary, and that it was more useful during the era of cross-ply tyres.
This may be true but it is also important to consider that uneven tire wear can be the cause of unwanted car problems such as vibrations over certain speeds or if you find that you have to pump up a given tire whilst the others remain fully inflated.
It is useful to know that tire rotation is an option in such cases and Elon musk the founder of Tesla says it is completely optional.
Annual tire rotation is actually optional. Only worthwhile if you see significant differential wear on inside vs outside of tire.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2019
How Often Should I Rotate My Tesla Tires?
Tesla tires should be rotated at a pretty specific 6,250 miles; or as often as the manual recommends making an oil change. Tesla has recently increased this however drivers suggest sticking to the original recommendation of 6,250 miles.
What Is The Right Tire Rotation Pattern?
The rotation pattern may sound complicated however it is fairly simple. For single-drive cars, tires on the wheels which steer should be crossed over with the opposing wheel (e.g. front-left to right-back and so on). For cars that use all wheels for drive, tires can simply be swapped from front to back in a straight line (i.e. front to back on both sides).