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Wheel Scrapes

I was at a Tesla Service Center the other day and asked the friendly folks there what the most common repair issue was that they were seeing on the Model S, and they said "wheel scrapes" and especially on the 21" wheels where they both low and protrude beyond the tires, and are easily scraped against curbs. I didn't think about this much at the time, especially since I opted for the 19" wheels to avoid such issues (and get longer tire life).

Sure enough, backing out of a parking space tonight I felt the tire up against the curb, and looking at it later noticed a significant scrape on my front right wheel. Looking at the left front wheel, I see some minor damage there as well-- must have been some other occasion that I didn't even notice. I've been driving cars for many decades and never scraped a wheel before, as the tires usually protect the wheel from minor contact.

Anyone else seeing this issue? If not (yet), be careful...

I've done mine already - right rear. From what I read somewhere, not sure where, they protrude beyond the side of the car. Which, BTW, may be good for the body.

Be careful, all.

Richard

I knew this was going to happen. I have asked them to come up with the 21 inch design for a 19 inch wheel. They tell me that it will soon be an option. I hope they fix the protruding part if that exist on the 19 inch wheel.

Yup, when I first saw the beta up close at the Fashion Island (Newport Beach) grand-opening last year, it was the VERY FIRST thing I told one of the reps..."It's too bad they designed te wheels the way they did". He wasn't exactly sure what I meant, and then I showed him how if you even slightly graze against a curb, the rim (wheel), will get a serious scrape or dented (because it sits farther out than the tire).

This is a large part of the reason why I wish they had added sonic side-sensors, or under-mirror cameras, as it is nearly impossible to know where you are in relation to a curb when parking.

Either way, this is a problem on ALL big wheels on every car, truck, or SUV that has them. So, it's not just a Tesla thing, however, I kind wish they had thought about it.

I put a relatively large gouge in my right rear rim when turning right into a driveway where the curb is a sharp right angle. There was quite a bit of fast traffic behind me and I didn't want to get rear ended, so pulled into the parking lot driveway quickly and cut the corner too tightly. The rear tire/wheel hit the high curb and I heard a frightening thud/bang - the car shuddered as did I. This was only the second day that I had my Model S!

So, be careful out there and make sure you have enough room to make those right turns. The Model S is bigger than it actually feels when driving.

ScottM- Just curious, but you mentioned that the Tesla service center was doing repairs for wheel scrapes? I didn't realize those could actually be fixed. I am guessing it is not a warranty repair, right?

@rd2 Yes, they said one guy already had his repaired multiple times. I doubt this would be a warranty item, although you might negotiate a "frequent scraper" discount :-) I didn't ask any more details because at the time, I didn't think it would apply to me! Perhaps someone who has had their wheels cosmetically restored could comment on cost.

I agree that the wheels are awesome. However, can we just take either the stock wheels wether it be the 19 inch or the 21 inch and buy an aftermarket wheel/rim?

Yikes. Well I'm used to my SUV which is wide and I'm really careful, but my tires sure are a lot thicker.

My BMW rim repair was about $110 and was done while my car was being serviced. Hopefully the same can be done during a Model S service/inspection. The repair was done by a third party, not the dealer.

I have a wicked driveway and sometimes rush to beat on coming traffic into my driveway. My 21" rims sound are guaranteed to get dinged bad... :(

"My 21" rims sound like they are guaranteed to get dinged bad."

I wonder how much harder it would be to repair scrapes for the 21" grey wheels? I'm sure the scrapes are repairable, but the wheel would have to be recoated with a matching color.

I guess we could return to adding curb feelers. It's too bad that Tesla doesn't build in something like http://www.curb-alert.com, adding curb sensors to aid in parking.

That curb-alert only talks about front bumper damage, no mention of wheel warnings. Maybe that's assumed.

The 21" low profile wheels & tires look awesome on the Model S, but they will be very, very succeptible to scrapes. Our current Audi has 19" low profile tires and all 4 rims have been skuffed :(

My Model S will have the 21s and I'll just have to be careful.

Fortunately for me, it's pretty rare that I have to parallel park, so hopefully I can keep from messing up my rims for a while.

So, in a weak moment, i took my model S to a "brushless" carwash. i know, i know....

fifteen minutes later, gouges on each driver side wheel AND big chunk out of each tire!

cost me two tires. :-(

not sure why because i have brought Porsche Turbos here with wider tires.....

perhaps because the car itself is so wide...?

What ever, dont do this! :-)

Bikini washes only for my Model S!

+1 @mrspaghet. Fortunately here in Florida we get those for about 10 months of the year.

Nice. Will consider moving there :)

I had originally ordered my Signature Performance with the 19" wheels, to be practical. When I went to a second test drive to give my wife a turn before taking delivery, we saw two identical pearl white cars, one with the 19" and one with the 21". The 19" wheels really look small on the car, even though the diameter of the tire is the same. Plus the design is so significantly different. After that, I couldn't bring myself to stick with the practical choice and opted to switch to the 21's. From talking with George, I think he went through exactly the same dilemma and made the same decision I did. I know I'll call myself an idiot when I have to replace those tires in 7,000 or 9,000 miles, or when I do some damage to the 21" rim because it sticks out past the protection of the tire sidewall bead protection. But it sure looks, rides, and handles awesome. If I really wanted "practical", I probably wouldn't have opted for the Performance version, or the Signature, or maybe not even the Tesla. :>)

After having the car a few weeks, I'm extremely impressed with the handling of bumps. I'm no longer concerned that I'm going to hit some major pot hole or bridge joint and have to replace my rim or tire. The suspension does a great job of absorbing those type of bumps. I'm impressed. The way I've been driving the car, which has probably been the most fun I've ever had driving on public roads, I know I'll be replacing the tires before I know it. But it's the price of real "fun", and for me it's worth it. I'm sure I'll settle down in a year or two :>).

I'm sure the factory has gotten the message that the 21" wheels were a mistake. My suggestion was doing 20" wheels that look exactly like the 21" wheels. That way, the integrity of the design would remain the same, but the choice of tire types is dramatically better (Ultra performance summer, ultra performance all-season, winter, etc) on TireRack. It would also give that extra 1/2" of rubber protection between the road and the rim, and they may even have a better/thicker rim-protection rib around the bead of the tire.

In the meantime, I'm extremely impressed and happy with the car, and driving is fun and exciting again.

Second that, Keith! More fun than my old Jensen Healey, which I drove for 15 years.

Richard

@,b> keith.mueller@c... | NOVEMBER 5, 2012: My suggestion was doing 20" wheels that look exactly like the 21" wheels.

Yes, I've been suggesting that too. And also using tires that have a rim protector built in:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=149

I spoke with the Tesla folks in Costa Mesa and they said they have an outside service who fixes scrapes; $175/wheel and takes about an hour per wheel.

I ordered my Tesla S with the 21" wheels. They are beautiful, but have repaired the wheels twice now. The position of the wheel in relation to the tire side wall is the only design flaw I have noticed on the car. I have driven my Porsche 911 Turbo for 6 years and never scratched a wheel. The tires need a protective outer rib to protect the wheels, or the wheels must end narrower than the tires.

Check out alloygators.com. . They are setting up a distributor in the US. My tesla ranger said they have been installing them for around $300 for 4 wheels. Needed it, scraped it. Plan to get a set.

I also opted for the 21" wheels because I thought they looked so much better than the other options. I found out the hard way that the slightest contact with a curb causes a bad case of rim rash. It's good to hear that there is a way to repair the damage, but I'll be interested to see if it's a completely invisible repair.

thanks pencil .. corrected link is alloygator.com

heh, which you have to enter into the URL bar ... apparently TM does not allow external links?

the alloygators are awesome.. definitely recommend them. i had the black ones installed and they look like an extension of the tire. the 19" rims on my bmw had minor scuffs everywhere and i knew that the 21s would end up even worse on my tesla.

for anyone in long island/queens, i had mike from www.infinityworldwide1.com install them in my driveway for $250.


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