Tesla’s electric vehicles are known for their efficiency. Therefore, it makes sense that, as they evolve, their cars will become more efficient in unique and innovative ways–including their wheels’ design.
The aero wheels are an essential part of what makes the Tesla Model 3 a more dynamic and economical car.
What Exactly Are Tesla’s Aero Wheels?
The wheels of a car can impact performance and efficiency in many ways.
Although electric vehicles are already designed to be efficient and economical overall, they can be improved with innovative wheel engineering.
On the Tesla Mode 3, aero wheels feature a plastic cover attached to the car’s specially designed aero alloy wheels.
Tesla’s aero wheels feature a lightweight, efficient design not previously available from the manufacturer.
Aero wheel caps are designed to work with the wheels to improve the range in which the car can travel after charging the car. The tire covers are incredibly lightweight and removable.
As a Tesla aerodynamics team member Robert Palin stated in a Facebook post:
“I was the head of aero at Tesla for Model S, Model X, and Mode 3, and I can confirm that wheel design & size can be the biggest influence of all on the aero efficiency of a road car.”
Remember to replace your Tesla tires every 6 years (or when worn) and that’ll be a good time to also get new caps.
How Do You Remove the Aero Caps?
While the wheels can provide aerodynamic perks, not everyone finds the caps visually appealing.
The aero caps can easily be removed if desired.
The process of removing the cap is as follows:
- Locate where the tire valve is on the tire.
- Place your fingers in the gap of the cap above where the tire valve is, and place your thumb against the rubber of the tire.
- Gently pop the cap by pressing your thumb down while pulling with your fingers.
- Repeat this process until the cap has been wholly popped off.
While the cap is lightweight, it is also sturdy enough to withstand the impact of day-to-day driving.
You can apply the pressure needed to remove the cap without worrying about damaging it.
Plenty of video tutorials are available online for further guidance if you’re uncomfortable removing the tire caps on your own.
How Much Difference Do the Aero Wheel Covers Make?
There have been doubts about whether the aero covers can make a substantial difference in efficiency.
This has been a prevalent concern from consumers and critics since they were first revealed to the public.
The only way to prove or disprove any improved range efficiency was to put them to the test. Car and Driver did just that at the Chrysler Proving Grounds.
The Model 3’s performance was measured both with and without the covers at 50, 70, and 90 miles per hour.
Other controlled conditions included the tire psi specifications, consistent temperature, and a set HVAC temperature.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the aero covers boosted the car’s range by around 3.4% while extending the car’s travel distance up to 10 miles.
While this test didn’t have to contend with traffic, hazards, unpredictable weather, or other factors that could impact the results of how efficient these tires could be, the controlled results are impressive.
Even if you’re not thrilled with how the covers look, their improved efficiency might be enough to make you pop them on and learn to love them.
Meanwhile, explore the most affordable cars with active aero features.
What Are Aero Wheels Made Of?
Aero wheel framework is constructed using alloy material. The way the wheel is designed provides a sturdy frame while evenly distributing weight.
The wheel covers are made using plastic, making them durable and easy to pop on and off as needed.
Are the Aero Wheels Worth It?
If you’re purchasing a Tesla Model 3, chances are you will get aero wheels on your vehicle as they come standard with the model.
The wheels are designed to provide the most efficient ride you can get in an electric car.
For those looking for more efficiency and who aren’t bothered by the aesthetics of the covers, they are worth it.
Several tests have been done since the covers’ release to evaluate if the covers make any difference in the car’s performance. The results have been consistently positive.
You can enjoy improved efficiency with the aero wheels and the covers. Of course, results will vary depending on the driving conditions, but they have been proven to give you more overall range.
Remember, your Tesla cannot use regular car tires.
What Is Under the Tesla Aero Wheel Covers?
Your Tesla has aero wheels underneath its cover. These wheels look different from the tires most people have seen on most gas-powered vehicles.
Aero wheels are designed to be more efficient.
They appear to be nearly flat up against the tire sidewalls. This allows the wheels to move with less resistance when on the move.
These wheels also weigh less than even previous Tesla model tires. Without the extra weight, the car moves without additional force, improving the potential overall efficiency.
If you consider purchasing a Tesla, these aero wheels come with every Model 3 model sold.
For those interested in only the aero covers, it’s worth noting that the covers are designed specifically to fit the aero wheels.
While third-party vendors may claim to sell covers to fit other wheels, you will not likely get the same efficiency results as with the original equipment manufacturer.
Ultimately, you can benefit the most from aero wheels and covers when using the original, genuine parts. They are meant to work together and only on the Tesla Model 3.
What Color Do Tesla Aero Wheels Come In?
Even though driving a Tesla is pretty unique in itself, the wheels can also be personalized to a point.
Available colors include:
- Sonic Carbon (metallic dark gray)
- Onyx Black (matte black)
- Silver Slipstream Alloy (sonic silver)
- Gunpowder (satin matte gray)
While these colors may not sound exciting, they provide a sleek, modern touch to an already unique vehicle.
How Do You Clean Tesla Aero Wheels?
Teslas seem capable of almost anything, but unfortunately, they can’t clean themselves.
So, just as with any vehicle, these cars need to have their wheels maintained and washed regularly.
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather some supplies:
- Soap (car safe)
- Tire Brush
- Gentle Detail Brush
- Drying Towel
- Wheel Brush
- Iron and Fallout Remover
You’ll also need access to water. A spray nozzle is always a helpful tool for targeted rinsing.
Once you have all your supplies, you’re ready to clean your aero wheels.
- Fill your bucket about ¾ of the way and pour some soap into it.
- After adding the soap, set your brushes in the soapy water. You’ll want them to give time to soak before diving into cleaning.
- For those who have an aero cover, you’ll need to remove it at this point.
- Once the wheel is visible, take a few minutes and spray water all over the wheel and surrounding areas. This will rinse away loose debris and dirt.
- If you’re using an iron and dirt remover, spritz it all over the wells and rims. Let the remover remain in place for a while to do its work.
- When you feel that the remover has cleared all it can off the tire, use your hose to rinse it off.
- Use a tire brush to loosen anything that wasn’t removed with water. Spray it again after brushing.
- Use your brushes to scour the wells and the tires to remove any remaining debris. Smaller brushes can be used to target smaller areas at this point.
- The detail brush should be used to get into the small areas around lug nuts and other nooks and crannies you can’t get with other brushes.
- Once you’re confident that you’ve scrubbed every possible area, rinse the area thoroughly.
- If you’re passionate about your vehicle and detailing it, you can dry the entire wheel with a blower.
- The last task to do is to dry the area using a towel.
Cleaning your tires can help them to perform better and last longer. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule to keep your aero wheels performing at their best for a long time to come.
If your aero cover also needs cleaning, it’s safe and easy to do it yourself.
Use soapy water and a brush when necessary to scrub both sides of your cover. Pay special attention to any area that has hard-to-remove dirt on it. You can soak the cover when you encounter stubborn spots.
When all of the debris is loosened, rinse the cover off and dry it down.
Now it’s ready to be popped back into place or put in storage.
- Tesla Model 3 aero wheels explained by the automaker’s former head of aerodynamics | Electrek
- How to remove Tesla Model 3 aero wheel covers
- The Tesla Model 3’s Aero Wheel Covers Improve Efficiency
- Tesla Model 3 aero wheel covers actually do increase range according to recent tests
- How to Clean your Tesla Wheels – TESBROS BLOG