– Ben Martens

Tesla Jack Stands

Welcome to anotherĀ Tesla Tuesday!

There isn’t much maintenance on an electric vehicle. The manual basically says to put some windshield washer fluid in every once in a while and check the brakes, but even the brakes are hardly ever used since regen braking takes care of most of it. You do still need to rotate tires though, and while I could take it in to a shop or have Tesla come to my house (for $50) to do it, I don’t mind doing this at home.

Jacking up an EV isn’t always the same as a traditional car because things look a lot different under the car. If you look under a Tesla, you’ll see the giant flat area of the battery. There are four jack total points which is fine, but how do you put a jack stand under there? Enter the RennStand jack stands. These jack stands are an arch shape with removable legs. You jack up the car with the cross piece between the jack and the car. Once the car is lifted high enough, you insert the legs into the cross piece and remove the jack. Voila!

RennStand sells various adapters for all different cars so hopefully this is something that will be useful on a lot of my cars in the future… because they aren’t cheap. I bought mine from Teslarati. I bought two but for rotating the tires it turns out that I only need one. Both wheels on one side of our Model Y are lifted off the ground even when resting on a single jack stand.

The jack in the picture is the Arcan XL3000 Heavy Duty All Steel 3.0 Ton Jack. It works well but it took a very long time to get it to hold pressure when I initially unboxed it. There are steps in the manual that amount to raising and lowering it a bunch of times to work any air bubbles out of the system. I had to do it so many times that I almost gave up and returned it.

Is this overkill? Absolutely. I’m not crawling under the car so I could let it rest on the jack while I make the swap, or I could let a tire shop swap my tires. But I do like the convenience of doing it myself at home whenever it fits into my schedule. Plus, I’m also sticking with the recommended 6000-mile rotation schedule so that would be a lot of appointments to schedule. I’ve heard that EV tires don’t last as long, but I don’t know how much of that is due to additional car weight versus people driving them harder because they’re fast. I want to do it by the book for our first set and see if the tire life seems reasonable. If it goes fine, then I’ll be a little lazier on the tire rotations like I have been with our other vehicles.