– Ben Martens

Model Y Tire Research

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday!

After almost 40,000 miles, the time has come to break the streak of spending $0 on service and maintenance (other than windshield washer fluid.) We’re probably replacing the tires a tad bit early, but they’re down to under 5/32″ in some places and at that point the tire shops stop doing repairs, etc. And since I regularly watch my wife and child drive off in the car, I feel better knowing they can stop quickly when they need to. 40,000 miles seems light to me for tire wear, but reading experiences from other users, it sounds like we did average/well on the stock tires. The cars are heavier and very sporty so it’s easy to burn through the performance tires.

Shopping for tires on our Tesla Model Y was an interesting experience. For example, I’ve never really considered rolling resistance of a tire before. Sure I know that some tires are marketed as more efficient than others, but since Teslas have such detailed economy measurements, I was able to find specific percentage differences in various tires. The challenge is that those measurements were mostly self-reported and varied widely in believability.

The second surprise was being reminded that we are effectively drive a sports car. It can do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds (or 4.2 if you swipe your credit card) and those tires are more expensive than what we bought for our Escape or Impreza.

The third surprise was just how much prices have increased since we last purchased tires in 2019. As I was shopping, I kept getting sticker shock at the total installed price. I got the idea to look up our receipt from 2019, find those exact same tires, and then compare the price. It turns out that the same set of tires from 2019 would have cost 27% more if we bought them now. So add that to the fact that these sportier tires were more expensive than the previous tires (an extra ~$90/tire) and that explains the sticker shock. I did check out Costco and was initially going to use them, but I ended up picking a tire that they didn’t offer. I found their tire prices similar but their installation and warranty was much cheaper.

In the end, I chose the Hankook iON evo SUV tires. They’re less performant than other popular options but offer longer tread life. I also got an alignment done because the initial tires were more worn on the inside than on the outside.

Time will tell how well these new tires hold up. It will come as no surprise to you that I was have an absurd amount of data to eventually compare their efficiency with the stock tires.