Just another day and you noticed that your tires are about to go to heaven.
Or maybe you heard a lot about excessive tire wear on the Tesla Model Y and wanted to know if it’s true.
Rest assured that whatever you have heard is nothing serious — it’s the absolute truth.
One thing is certain about the tires on the Model Y: they are going to wear out pretty quick. However, you can manage to get a better life out of them.
In this article, I covered every possible way to increase the life of your Model Y tires so you can at least have them for about 50K miles before they end up in the bin.
Tesla Model Y Tires
The Model Y comes with a tire size of P255/45WR19, which is comparatively low profile. The bigger 20″ and 21″ are even worse when it comes to tire wear.
If you want to learn how to understand these numbers instantly, you can refer to my complete guide.
Long story short, the Tesla Model Y has low-profile tires, and they are prone to excessive wear and pothole damage.
A couple of different tires have been put on the Model Y from the factory. The brand usually differs from place to place.
Some Model Ys have been seen with Continental PRO CONTACT RX, while others have been seen with Goodyear Eagle F1, and so on.
I am personally a Continental fan as they provide more of an all-rounder feel. However, the brand here is not as important as the tire’s dimensions.
And not to say that the rubber compound is of any less importance.
The tire profile is a relatively more prominent factor in determining the extent of wear your OEM tires will experience.
The overall rubber compound does matter. The softer compound, no doubt, deteriorates faster than a harder compound.
In the same way, winter tires (soft compound) wear out much faster than summer tires (relatively harder compound).
Now let’s dive into all the other aspects that cause excessive tire wear and how you can prevent them and save yourself lots of dollar bills.
How Long Do Tesla Model Y Tires Really Last?
If you’re not careful enough, your tires might go to heaven even on the first day of your ownership.
You only have to go over a pothole at high speed to get an appointment at the tire shop.
But normally, the most you can get out of Model Y tires is 30K miles.
Unless you have got a feather instead of a foot, then you can get a little over 40K miles.
Driving with worn-out tires will lead to many other problems, and the biggest one is that you won’t be able to get a warranty claim in case of an accident.
Furthermore, tire wear can cause a significant increase in braking distance, and you might end up paying a lot more than just a set of tires.
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How to Know Whether Your Tires Are Actually Worn Out and Require Replacement
The most important thing to note here is tread depth.
If the tread on your tires is less than a certain value (which may vary from state to state), you would have to replace your tires if you want to get an insurance claim.
Tesla recommends changing tires when the tread depth reads 4/32″, which is when you experience hydroplaning or when your Model Y loses grip on wet surfaces.
A tread depth of less than 4 mm will not perform well on snow, so it’s best to have your tires changed if they are at or below 4 mm if you’re going to drive it in the snow.
You can simply use this device to know how much tread is left on your tire and see if it falls short of the required depth dictated by your state.
There is also a manual way of checking tread depth.
Take a look at the bar perpendicular to the tread on its inside. If the tread is very close to this bar, this means that you need to replace your tires.
There are many factors that cause normal and abnormal tire wear. We will go into them in detail below.
5 Causes of Normal Tire Wear and How to Minimize Them
1. The Way You Drive
The cause of super fast tire wear is super fast driving.
Even when you’re within the speed limit, the quick acceleration from a standstill is enough to add to the excessive wear you will see very soon.
The way you make corners is also a factor to consider. If you’re cornering much faster than you would on a Prius, you’re causing excessive stress on the tires, thus more wear.
Even if you’re testing the 0-60 for research purposes (wink!), you’re still going to have that super fast tire wear.
To get better life from your tires, it’s best to keep a light foot on the accelerator and avoid flooring the pedal at a standstill.
Burnouts are a complete no if you would like to see the above 35K miles territory.
2. Heat Cycle
Tire life also depends on the number of heat cycles the tires have gone through. This is the reason why you see many people claiming different mileage for these tires.
When your tires got hot and then cooled down after you’re done driving, that is one heat cycle.
If your commutes are generally longer, with no stops in between, it’s safe to say that it went through one heat cycle, which means you’ll get better tire life.
In contrast, if your commutes have a couple of stops, giving time to the tires to cool down, you will have comparatively less tire life.
3. The Time you Drive
I might be getting a little bit technical here, but hear me out.
The time at which you normally drive your Model Y does make a difference in the long run, especially if it’s summer.
During the day when it’s hot, the tires will get more heated, causing them to get softer and grippier, which in turn causes more wear.
On the other hand, during the night when it’s relatively cold, the tires won’t get super hot and thus won’t wear as much.
If you’re living in an area that does not see a lot of snow, you can use summer tires, which, by default, are made of relatively harder compound (when compared with winter tires).
When used in cold weather, summer tires will offer you less grip compared with all-season tires but will wear less.
5. The Weight of EVs
Another vital aspect contributing to excessive tire wear is weight.
EVs, in general, weigh a lot. And those low-profiles can only do so much.
Just to give you a comparison, a Ford F-150 regular cab weighs less than the Tesla Model Y (which weighs 4416 lb).
The BMW X3 is very similar in size to the Model Y, yet it weighs about 400 lb less.
7 Causes of Abnormal Tire Wear and How to Prevent Them
1. Tire Pressure
The amount of pressure that your tires have contributes to a lot of different aspects of the vehicle.
|Low Pressure < 39 Psi|
|Tires wear out from the sides|
|Significant decrease in range|
|High Pressure > 45 Psi|
|Tires wear out from the middle|
The best way to maximize the positives is to stay between 39 and 45 Psi. A Psi of 39 will give you a smoother ride but less range, while 45 will give you a better range but a relatively harsh ride.
2. Alignment Issue
If the tires don’t have proper alignment, they are going to wear out pretty soon. Alignment issues are diagnosed with asymmetrical tread wear.
It’s advised that you have your wheel alignment checked when it’s time for the regular tire rotation.
Speaking of tire rotation, you must have them rotated every 6,250 miles per Tesla’s recommendation.
You can put the rear ones at the front as the fronts and rears are of different sizes.
If you notice a slight vibration in either the steering or your butt feeling (lol), it means your tires need balancing or are out of alignment.
So make sure that you pay attention to the ride quality.
3. Load on Tires
If your Model Y has been standing still for quite some time, chances are, you’re going to experience flat spots.
It’s advised that you put the maximum allowed tire pressure and then deflate the tires to the recommended levels before driving.
When the tires are adequately warmed, the rubber compound will regain its structural integrity, and you will be good to go.
It’s also advised that you check the pressure regularly as adding on weight and/or outside temperature will offset the pressure in the tires.
You can also get a tire inflation kit, which allows you to set the tire pressure whenever you go on a journey.
You can time your departure by keeping in mind that you need to check if the tire pressure is at its optimum.
Driving with the wrong pressure will lead to abnormal tire wear; therefore, the ride quality will significantly decrease.
4. Driving with Damaged Wheels and/or Tires
If you have damaged tires and you feel a lot of vibration while driving, it’s advised that you make an appointment at a Tesla service station or a tire shop.
If you must drive it, you have to drive at a slow speed and avoid making sharp turns until you reach where you can have your tires replaced.
5. Pothole Damage
Even though we’re living in a developed country, there’s no denying that the roads are not that great.
Most of the damage that your tires will receive in their lifetime will be from potholes that come out of nowhere.
I have memorized all the potholes in my commute, and I advise all Model Y owners to avoid going fast on roads you’re unfamiliar with.
Now here’s an old nemesis that haunts all Tesla owners out there.
It’s like that pesky one-sided love that one way or another, they’re going to make contact whether you like it or not.
It’s okay if your Tesla is not parked perfectly along the curb. Always be extra cautious when coming into or going out of parking spaces.
Yes, you do have a lot of cameras to assist you with the parking, but don’t be lazy like me. Pay extra caution when you’re around these curbs, lest you damage your wheels and/or tires.
7. Hard Acceleration and Burnouts
I am the kind of guy who would rather get new tires every 15K–20K miles and enjoy every second of owning a Model Y.
You can either be happy like me, or you can accelerate slowly and keep them tires happy by keeping a light foot and not doing burnouts.
My secret to enjoying every second of hard acceleration is that I don’t buy premium tires. I go for the moderately priced ones so I can shred them without thinking twice. (grin)
Hard acceleration and burnouts are the main reason why your tires don’t last as long.
If you want to have your tires cross 30K miles, you need to have a feather foot.
Tires Proven to Last on Your Tesla Model Y
Out of so many awesome options, I have narrowed it down to the best three long-lasting tires you can put on your Tesla Model Y and call it a day.
Overall Best: Bridgestone Turanza
These are widely accepted in the Tesla community. They’re one of the longest-lasting tires for the Model Y that allow you to say goodbye to tire replacement at 50K+ miles.
But make sure you follow all the guidelines provided to get maximum tread life from these tires.
These tires have a warranty up to 80K miles, which is tremendous, not to mention their inexpensive price tag.
Even the most durable of tires can go to heaven if not treated properly, so make sure to keep the tires happy, and in return, they will keep your wallet happy.
Runner-Up: Michelin Defenders
The Defenders are the Wolverine of the tire world. They last a lot longer — 90K to be precise, as claimed.
However, on your heavy Tesla Model Y, it would last 50K+ miles with no issue, given that you pay heed to all the precautions when it comes to the tread life.
The warranty on these tires lasts up to 90K miles,* which is insane. I normally would have had to replace three sets by 90K miles.
In short, these are excellent tires. However, they’re a little more expensive than the Bridgestone Turanzas, and their profile is a little higher than the OEM tires.
Best Budget: Atlas Tire Force UHP
These are about half the price of most other brands, and you get a 40K miles warranty on them, which is reasonable.
If you’re like me, shredding these tires won’t be as painful as shredding the expensive tires.
The only thing to make sure of when buying them online is that you thoroughly inspect the tires before installation to see if there are any manufacturing defects.
Return them if you find any abnormality in them. When you have a spotless piece, you will be good to go 30K+ miles.
Tire management can be daunting at times — ask the F1 drivers and they will tell you all about it.
If you want to prolong the life of your Model Y tires, make sure to keep them at optimum pressure at all times and have them rotated every 6,250 miles.
Drive with a light foot and avoid sharp cornering and hard acceleration. Make sure to follow all the guidelines that I have mentioned here.
The guidelines are a lot — I know.
However, these will decide whether you get 30K miles off your tires or 60K miles.
Out of all the tire options, I would personally recommend the Bridgestone Turanzas as they are inexpensive and give you an 80K mile warranty.
However, if you are like me and would like to shred some tires, I would recommend the cheaper options like the Atlas Tire Force.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
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