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How To Change A Tesla Tire
At our tire shop, we change a Tesla tire about once a day. Teslas are becoming a popular car. But in our shop, we can’t put them on the lift so they have to be jacked up with a floor jack. Tesla's ride is so close to the ground that it's hard to fit a standard car lift underneath the Tesla.
For this reason we don’t put Teslas on the lift. We use a floor jack in our shop to lift up a Tesla in order to change a Tesla tire. So if you change a Tesla tire at home or on the side of the road, you’re doing it how the pros would do it; on the ground.
The first step to changing your Tesla tire is to loosen up the lug nuts with a breaker bar. Leave the tires on the ground for this. When you loosen up the lugs, make sure not to take the lug nuts all the way off. Loosen them just to about a quarter turn.
Loosening this much will leave the tire still attached but will allow the tire to still be manipulated. With the tire lugs loosened up jack the Tesla up on its jack point. Use a floor jack and make sure you are making contact with the correct jack point.
You don’t want to do damage to the Tesla plastic by jacking up the car on a weak spot. Find the pinch weld and make sure you place the jack underneath it. With the jack all set up you’re ready to start jacking.
With the tires suspended in the air place a jack stand underneath the vehicle. This will secure the jack and the car in case anything falls. Safety is crucial when jacking up a car. Now you can start to work on the lugs. Remove all lugs. There are usually five lugs per tire depending on your model.
Place the lugs in a safe spot because you will have to order new ones if you lose them and that can take some time for the new ones to come in. Now it's time to remove the tire. With the heel of your hand hit the tire wall. This will give the tire enough jolt to remove the tire from the hub if it's stuck.
If the tire is not stuck the tire will just come right off the second you remove the lug nuts. With the tire removed the regenerative braking system will be exposed. Do not be overwhelmed by this system since you do not have to worry about even touching it.
All you have to worry about is removing and replacing the wheel. And now that the wheel is removed you can install the new wheel. Replacing tires on Teslas is just like replacing tires on any car as you can see. Just install the new wheel and add the lug nuts.
Tighten down the lug nuts on the aero wheels and set the tire pressure. Make sure not to over tighten the lugnuts as you can warp the rotors. Consult a torque wrench and set it to 120lb to be sure you are getting enough torque on each lug.
After you torque, remove the jack stand and lower the jack. You have successfully changed the tire on your Tesla.
Putting winter tires on your Tesla is a good idea if you live in an area that receives inclement weather quite often. Winter tires provide extra traction in wet and slippery conditions.
In our shops, we put winter tires on Tesla’s all the time. Customers will purchase a set of winter tires in the summer and come in when it starts to get cold and have us do a change over. A change over is when you take the summer tires off a Tesla and put on winter tires.
Change overs, or adding winter tires to your Tesla, are done in the same way. The Tesla model 3 is jacked up and each tire is removed one at a time instead of all four being removed at once.
Doing this allows just one corner of the vehicle to be jacked up at once rather than all four corners at once. Remember that Tesla's ride really low so they won't fit on a lot of standard lifts. Using a floor jack to jack up one tire at a time is usually a go to option for most mechanics.
Tesla’s tires are usually low profile tires so there may be some added time to get the tires off the rim. Once the old tire is taken off the rim, the winter tire is added to the rim. Tesla owners should have winter tires added only if they need them. Tire service is something that is done only by a professional tire shop.
With the new tire added to the rim, the tire assembly is then placed on a machine balancer. The balancer balances the tire, and then the tire is added back onto the Tesla. The jack is dropped and then the next tire is started on.
A local Tesla service center or a local tire shop would do the same thing if they were adding new tires to your vehicle. They also check all the tire pressures manually once they add tires to your car. There’s no need to do a tire rotation with new tires placed on your car.
Getting A Flat Tire With A Tesla
If you get a flat tire with a Tesla, you’re out of luck. That’s because Tesla’s do not come with spare tires. If you get a flat tire with a Tesla, you have to call roadside assistance in order to come tow your car to a local shop.
Tesla also offers free roadside mobile tire service so if you get a flat, just call them and they will take care of your tire needs. So don’t think you can change a tire on the side of the road if you get a flat.
But if you purchase tires and want to replace them, the steps to change the tire are outlined above.
Spare tires are essential to any car and it’s somewhat crazy that Tesla doesn’t have them, but they do offer substantial alternatives to remedy the situation if you get a flat tire. Flat tires are usually a hindrance on your day, but with Tesla, the issue is remedied.
About The Author
Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.Read more about Christopher Sparks