Tesla & Tires: 13 Common Questions (Answered)

Do you know Tesla uses a special tire?

We are not saying the company makes its own tires. But they make use of special tires specifically built to handle their speed and enhance their performance.

Some popular companies that make tires for Tesla include:

  • Michelin,
  • Pirelli,
  • Continental
  • and Hankook.

This article further sheds light on Tesla tires and answers frequently asked questions about them. 

What Type of Tires Are Used on Teslas?

Tesla majorly makes use of the Michelin tires, as they are found on over 50% of their vehicles.

The company also uses tires from Continental, Pirelli and Hankook.

The Michelin tires are most used on Tesla cars because they align perfectly with the performance and speed of the vehicle. One major feature that makes them different from other tires is that they are equipped with acoustic technology that reduces vibrations and road noise by 20%.

This is thanks to the custom-developed polyurethane foam that sucks this noise. These Michelin tires also have low rolling resistance that improves the car’s range per mile.

Last, these Michelin tires are eco-friendly.

What Tire Brands Do Teslas Come With?

Most Tesla cars come with Michelin and Pirelli tires, although the tires come in different sizes according to the year model and trim level.

For instance, the Model Y uses the Michelin tire brand, and it comes factory-equipped with wheel dimensions of either 19×19.5 and 255/45R19 tires, or 20×9.5 with 255/40R20 tires.

The Tesla Model 3 uses the Pirelli brand with a standard wheel 18″ Aero Wheel and Winter Tire package and the tire size of 235/45R18. Recently, there’s a claim that Tesla intends to change the Model 3 tires from the Pirelli brand to the Hankook brand.

Can You Use Regular Tires On a Tesla?

You can choose any tire for your Tesla as long as they fit into the wheel size. However, there are several reasons why you should not use a conventional tire for electric vehicles.

First, using a conventional tire for your Tesla will wear it out quicker than you imagine because of the weight of the car.

All things being equal, the Tesla battery weighs nothing less than 1000lbs (450kg) and when the battery is fully charged, it carries the same energy as three gallons of gas.

Unfortunately, unlike a gasoline-powered car that gets lighter as you drive, the battery weight of EVs weigh the same with or without charge. When you add the total volume, you realize the weight of EVs is far different from gasoline cars and using regular tires will do you no good.

Second, the performance and torque of EVs take a great toll on regular tires. In fact, even with the special tires for EVs, they still go through tires faster than gasoline cars.

This is one major reason regular tires are unsuitable for electric vehicles because they are not designed to handle such hard friction and speed.

Additionally, using regular tires can increase road noise and rough handling when going at a high speed and in the long run, they might not be as reliable and dependable as you would have thought.

Do Tesla Tires Have Foam In Them?

Tesla tires are foam filled. Maybe not 100% but they contain a reasonable amount. The major reason for this was to reduce road noise while driving.

Foam-filled tires were originally produced to provide a solution to air-filled tires that frequently went flat. These tires have many benefits and one major advantage is the absence of the risk of holes causing leakage.

But Tesla tires are not 100% foam-filled or air-filled but a combination of both. 

The Continental Tire Company produces these foam-filled tires. However, they do not come standard on all Tesla models as you would have to order them separately.

Continental claimed that their foam-filled tires reduce tire noise by up to 9 dB. This is because the tire’s performance does not affect their polyurethane foam substance or handling.

Do Tesla Tires Have Nitrogen?

Tesla does not use nitrogen in their tires, but they make use of normal air. The general idea of using nitrogen is that it lasts longer than normal air. It also gives a stable pressure and escapes slower than normal air.

However, your Tesla cars can run flat because they are not different from other tires, so you would have to make a routine check and maintenance on them.

Driving with insufficient air or punctured tires can adversely affect the health of your tires.

Can Tesla Tires Be Repaired?

If the damage is not too serious, you can patch and repair your tires.

Initially, Tesla tires could not be repaired because of the foam layer within them. The design turned the smallest damages into serious ones that you would have to replace the whole tires.

Now, it’s possible to repair Tesla tires.

Do Tesla Tires Need to Be Rotated?

To preserve the health of your tires, Tesla recommends that you rotate your tires every 10,000 km (that’s about 6,250 miles). Also, when you notice an uneven thread pattern that exceeds 1.5mm, it may be time to rotate the tires.

Rotating your Tesla tires is as important as charging your batteries. They go through harder friction and aggressive driving.

Leaving them unrotated could affect the handling of the car and, in serious scenarios, it can cause accidents. Rotating your Tesla tires could cost up to $150.

Do Tesla Tires Cost More?  

Tesla tires cost more because of their dimensions. They use the tire dimensions for sports cars.

They have a more modern design, hence the increase in price. Since Tesla does not produce its own tires, the cost of the tires largely depends on the company they buy them from.

Averagely, most Tesla tires cost anywhere around $280-$300 per tire.

Are Tesla Tires Bullet Proof?

Bulletproof tires are basically known as run-flat tires. Run flat tires are simply tires that can run without air. They are designed to resist the effect of deflation.

To answer the question, Tesla tires do not come with standard run-flat tires, but you can replace them if you desire. However, it is important to check in with your manufacturer if the replacement would not affect your warranty.

Tesla EVs do not come with this tire because it leads to increased wear and tear, affecting the health of the battery.

Run flat tires are generally heavier by 20% to 25% or more. This extra weight will in no small measure affect the range of the vehicle. Electric vehicles are in themselves heavy. Adding an extra weight may not be healthy for your EV range.

Do Tesla Cars Need Winter Tires?

This choice of tires ultimately depends on where you live and drive. However, Tesla vehicles have a remarkable performance for driving in winter but regardless, you can still get their winter or snow tires if you desire.

Winter tires are necessary for those who frequently drive on icy roads.

Electric vehicles do not fare well in very cold regions, as their tires have low rolling resistance and higher pressure for lower energy. This can lead to loss of traction or sliding on the motion. Therefore, installing snow tires can improve traction and rolling resistance.

Related: Do Teslas Perform Well in Cold Weather? (Things To Consider)

Can Tesla Tires Be Patched?

As emphasized earlier, Tesla tires can be patched when they get punctured. However, there are some situations where you would have to change the tires.

We have an article here on how often you should replace Tesla tires.

First, if the tires have less than 2/32 inch thread difference, they would have to be replaced even if the tire damage is minor. Second, if the damage or puncture is larger than ¼ inch in diameter, the tires would have to be replaced.

Third, they would have to be replaced if the damage is outside the thread area or it has multiple punctures and the distance between them is less than 16 inches.

Related: Do Tesla Come In All Colors & 6 Possible Solutions (Solved)

Are Tesla Tires Tubeless?

Tesla tires are unique and they are also tubeless – like most tires these days.

Tubeless tires are tires made without inner tubes. The whole point of this design is to lower puncture resistance.

With a tubeless setup, it is rare for the tire to go flat because the sealant within quickly makes adjustments to the holes to keep the tire running.

Are Tesla Tires Directional?

Tesla tires are not directional. If you buy four new sets of tires, you can place them however you like.

Related: How Often Do Teslas Have Problems? (We Checked)

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