Which tyres for my Tesla? Model S, 3 & X

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How do I find which tyres I should buy?

  1. First of all confirm the sizing
  2. Write down all the numbers on the tyres, normally it will be 3 numbers / 2 numbers / Some additional Numbers
  3. Confirm the fronts and backs are either the same or slightly different, some Teslas are straight (i.e. the same tyre/wheels sizes front and back) but others have staggered setups (larger wheels/tyres on the rear)
  4. Once you have the numbers check below to see about some of the tyre options available
  5. Buy

What do the numbers mean?

  1. The first number is the width of the tyre in milimeters from sidewall edge to sidewall edge., a higher number means a wider tyre with more grip and therefore greater traction
  2. The second number is the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the tread width, the lower the number the more lower profile the tyre is, the higher the number the thicker the tyre and less likely you will be prone to damage of the wheel
  3. The third number is the size of the wheel diameter, e.g. 18″, 19″, 20″, 21″ or 22″ wheels

What about the next set of numbers / letters?

  • Tyre Load Index is a number (often 2 or 3 digits and precdedes a single letter) e.g. 110 Y on a Model X
    This number relates to the weight each tyre can support.
    You can multiply this number by 4 (as we have 4 wheels) to give you the allowed maximum weight of the vehicle
  • Speed index is the maxspeed in mph that the tyre can be used for extended periods of time

What are the best tyre options for me?

This will dramatically depend on your use case, budget and driving style, for instance if you want a performance tyre to give you the most grip in summer you will want one tyre, if you want a tyre with low noise and decent but not superb grip you will want another, there is sadly not one best tyre that does everything perfectly. You have to weigh up your options based on the following factors:

  • Cost
  • The type of driving you will be doing (road only, bit of track, lots of winter driving etc)
  • The noise of the tyre
  • The grip levels
  • The wear levels
  • Cold Weather Performance
  • Economy (often still referred to as fuel economy)
  • Wet road handling

Obviously, prices vary almost on a daily basis so this data is out of date as soon as we press ‘post’ but it gives you a rough idea. Do your own research and compare prices.


Model S – 19″ (P245/45 R19)

For comparison, Tesla charge around £255 for a Michelin, £185 from BlackCircles or £215 from Kwikfit

  • Michelin Primacy 3 – for low noise level and energy efficiency, ideal long distance tyre,
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 3 – Better for performance driving compared with the Primacy 3, louder than Primacy 3, superior in the wet compared with Pilot Sport 2
  • Contisport Contact 5
  • Pirelli P zero / P zero Rosso
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
    • £182, £177.50 (local store)
  • Goodyear Excellence
  • Dunlop Sport Maxx Rt

Model S – 21″ P245/35/R21 &/or P265/35/R21

Remember to check both front and rear as you might have a staggered setup e.g. different sizes 245 + 265

  • Michelin Pilot Super Sport Acoustic – The top-performing tyre for acceleration, speed and handling (come as standard on P model)
    • Note: There are two versions Acoustic (standard from Tesla) or Standard versions (commonly found on Costco website etc).
    • Acoustic item numbers:
      • 439687 (245/35) ZR21 96Y Pilot Super Sport Acoustic T0 (Fronts)
      • 724045 (265/35) ZR21 101 Y Pilot Super Sport Acoustic T0 (Rears)
    • Non Acoustic item numbers:
      • 435469 Michelin 245/35 ZR21 Y (96) PILOT SUPER SPORT Extra Load (XL) (Fronts)
      • 421785 Michelin 265/35 ZR21 Y (101) PILOT SUPER SPORT Extra Load (XL) (Rears)
  • Conti SportContact 5p (come as standard on D 21″)
  • Conti SportContact 5p ContiSilent (tire contains a polyether-based polyurethane foam. It is firmly attached to an adhesive layer on the inner surface of the tire tread area to reduce road noise, up to 9 dB(A) reduction in noise inside the cabin)
  • Pirelli PZero XL – slightly quieter than the others except the ContiSilent, supposedly the best ‘fuel’ economy

Model X – 20″
1) 255/45 R20 105 Y (front) + 275/45 R20 110 Y (rear)

OR

2) 265/45 R20 108Y (front) + 275/45 R20 110 Y (rear)

Michelin Latitude Sport 3 Acoustic

BRIDGESTONE DUELER H/P SPORT

CONTINENTAL SPORT CONTACT 5

DUNLOP SPORT MAXX RT2 SUV

GOODYEAR EAGLE F1

AVON ZX7

FALKEN FK510

HANKOOK VENTUS S1 EVO2


Model X – 22″ 265/35 R22 102W (Front) + 285/35 R22 106 W


Model 3 – 18″ 235 / 45 98W

MICHELIN PILOT SPORT 4 – TO ACOUSTIC (Summer)

MICHELIN Primacy 4 (Summer)

MICHELIN CrossClimate+ (All Weather)

MICHELIN PILOT ALPIN 5 (Winter)


Model 3 – 19″ 235 / 40 96W

MICHELIN Primacy 4 (Summer)

MICHELIN PILOT SPORT 4 (summer)

MICHELIN PILOT SPORT CUP 2 (Summer)

MICHELIN PILOT SPORT 4 S (Summer)

MICHELIN PILOT ALPIN 5 (Winter)


Model 3 – 20″ 235 / 35 97 (Y)


Should I get Tesla to do it?

Tesla sell tyres but only because they have to, 99% of the time you’re better off buying tyres from a tyre company instead of a car manufacturer.

Where should I buy my tyres from then?

Like anything it’s best to compare the market and both online and offline options. Many will order tyres from online and have them fitted at home, others will just go to tyre companies to have them do it all.

Should I get the alignment checked at the same time?

Having your wheels aligned every

Do I need winter tyres?

That depends on where you live, where you drive and many other factors. It’s a hot debate on all car forums. Some swear by them and others say they’re a waste of money.

What about TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Valves)?

Tesla sell these for around £170 for 4 or £40-£43 each.

The car can learn 2 sets of sensors – so once you have the second set on, do the TPMS reset option (somewhere in settings) and it will pick them up. (thanks to Matt Boyes for comment)

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