Tires are the most overlooked component of a car. Even though they’re the most important.
The difference between high-quality and low-quality tires is immense. It makes a vast difference to performance, economy, and safety.
The Tesla Model Y might come with one of several wheel sizes, depending on its age. You can find the tire size along the tire wall: for example, 255/35 ZR21.
This guide contains a quick overview of the wheels and tires on a Tesla Model Y. Read your owner’s manual before doing anything, and don’t be afraid to ask mechanics and Tesla dealerships for advice.
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When do you need to replace the tires on the Model Y?
Mechanics often recommend changing the tires once the tread depth is below 3 mm. That way, you know your Model Y tires are always safe and legal.
I’ve listed a few typical symptoms of worn-out tires below:
- Low tire pressure during a check
- Noticeable flat tire or puncture
- Strange wear pattern when you inspect the tread
- The steering wheel vibrates, particularly at high speeds
- This is a sign of imbalanced wheels
- Model Y veers off to the side while the wheel is straight or under braking
- Have the tracking/wheel alignment checked and adjusted
- Car regularly struggles for grip and traction
- And so on.
If you’re ever unsure about the state of your Tesla Model Y’s tires, go to a trusted local mechanic or Tesla dealership. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Tesla Model Y tire maintenance
Tesla recommends tire rotation. This involves switching tires (depending on the tire type, this must be done either across axles or with the tire on the same side) to balance out any uneven wear and make them last longer.
Here are a few tips to ensure your Model Y tires last as long as possible:
- Keep the tires at the recommended pressures.
- You’ll find these on the plate on the driver’s door sill.
- Check tire pressures every two weeks.
- Using a 12-Volt plug-in tire inflator is much more convenient than topping up with air at a gas station.
- Don’t let your car stand still for weeks at a time. The tires will develop flat spots.
- Have any potential problems checked out immediately.
- Avoid harsh accelerating, braking, cornering, and road surfaces as much as possible.
- Note that certain winter tires might impact regenerative braking.
Tesla Model Y tire replacement
Replace your Tesla Model Y tires at any trusted tire shop. Tesla might recommend using a Tesla dealer to ensure the tires meet their standards.
Of course, the exact tire sizes vary from car to car.
When replacing the tires (putting new rubber on your existing wheels), mechanics will do the following:
- Park the Tesla Model Y in position on a two-post ramp (if possible).
- Remove the aero cover (wheel trim), if applicable.
- Loosen all the relevant lug nuts.
- Safely lift the car using the jacking points, stopping when it’s at torso height.
- Fully remove the lug nuts and take the tire off.
- Break the tire bead at the tire machine.
- They’ll be careful to not damage TPMS sensors at this point and from now on.
- Remove the tire from the rim using the device and a crowbar.
- Fit the new tire and inflate it.
- Balance the wheel and tire assembly using a wheel balancer.
- Refit the wheel and new tire to the car.
This process will be repeated for all the other wheels needing new tires.
Best replacement tires for Tesla Model Y
Avoid budget options – they’ll wear out much faster, so you actually end up spending more. Frankly, some cheap tires are verging on unsafe, too, never mind leading to poor range. You might get away with budgets on the rear axle of a front-wheel-drive car, but most Model Y cars are dual-motor/AWD.
Because of the AWD setup, the tires on a Tesla are constantly under strain. You shouldn’t get budget tires as a result of all this.
Tesla recommends using tires specifically tested and approved for use. These are marked with a T number (T0, T1, and T2).
You’ll see these T numbers listed in the titles of certain tires. They’re made by premium brands and will be exceptionally well-suited to your Model Y.
Check out the following brands and look for T0 tires that fit your Model Y’s wheels:
You’ll find your tire size on the tires already fitted. Alternatively, give tire shops your license plate so they can find you a few options.
All these companies produce high-quality tire structures and tread patterns. Hankook is usually the most budget-friendly, while Michelin is likely to offer the best all-around performance. That said, I recommend exploring your options and getting quotes from nearby shops for any that fit.
New wheels for the Tesla Model Y
A stock 2023 Tesla Model Y Performance comes with 21″ Überturbine wheels. The Long Range AWD model comes with 19″ (Gemini – standard) or 20″ (Induction – an upgrade) tires.
If you like, you can upgrade the alloy wheels on your Tesla (although there’s no real need for this). Note that the larger the wheel diameter (including at stock), the worse the range.
Ensure the new wheels match the originals for the following:
- Lug nut pattern and size.
Most online stores will automatically filter the results based on your license plate. Use a trusted Tesla wheel store if you’re going to buy off the internet. TSportline is a widely-used option.
If you want to avoid purchasing wheels online, buy them at a shop in person instead. It’s usually cheaper to get them through the fitter. They’ll be able to get them at a trade price and install the tires for you when they arrive.
If you install new wheels, you should recalibrate them. Follow the following instructions:
- On the central touchscreen, choose Controls.
- Go to Service.
- Tap Wheels & tires.
- Pick Configuration.
- Calibrate the new wheels.
Before working on your Tesla Model Y wheels and tires, read your owner’s manual. It contains advice specific to your car.
You’ll find a Tesla Model Y owner’s manual PDF below.