2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in Tesla

image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Our 2013 Tesla Model S ground its rear tires through to the steel belts in less than 10,000 miles because of a significant wheel alignment problem.

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  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    I would suspect the bolting arrangement on that adjustment. Looks like it's not holding the eccentric cam in adjustment, and since the mass on the 21s is further from the center of rotation, they help to pull harder against the adjustment than do the 19s - ? What about that front toe? That's way the hell out too - a lot of positive toe (toe-in) for a suspension that is basically wanting to run almost zero toe. What do the outboard edges of those tires look like? Also I don't think I have ever seen a different specified range of caster that is different on one side of the car than it is on the other - that's like a proofreading error on Tesla's part when they published the spec. I agree with duck87 and misterfusion on the other post - it should have been on Tesla to perform the rotation when the car came in at 6,1xx miles. They would hopefully have noticed that something was going on (I bet it was going on by then) with the rear alignment. And lastly, I agree with Dan that nobody takes a car this new in for alignment...but I do. I have them aligned when the ARE new, before delivery - and have found some interesting things and saved my OEM tires by doing so. And when it was off, the dealer covered it under warranty.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    awesome idea to mark the current setting for slip. If it slips, would you try correcting it back yourself, or see the dealer to discuss? I certainly wouldn't be able to keep this car in fresh shoes if this keeps happening.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    @fordson nice idea about the alignment on a new car purchase. Peace of mind, only pay if it's good.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Yeah, because tires are covered under a separate warranty...you start getting a chopped tire tread or cupping, etc. 8k miles down the road, then the dealer service people or car mfg. rep and the tire rep starting getting into a finger-pointing exercise...I don't need that crap. I offer to pay, and when it's within spec, I DO pay ($85 on a $30k car is nothing). But when it comes back out of spec with only delivery miles on it, my salesman has stepped in and covered it. Also when it has come back out of spec, then we throw the car up in the air on a lift and start looking for transporter damage...found that once and backed out of the deal.
  • mfennellmfennell Member Posts: 91
    The caster is not a typo. It's greater on the passenger side to compensate for road crown. Notice the range for cross-caster is not centered around zero. From TireRack: "For vehicles set up to drive on the "right" side of the road, the right side is aligned with a little more negative camber (about 1/4-degree) and a little more positive caster (again, about 1/4-degree) to help the vehicle resist the influence of crowned roads that would cause it to drift "downhill" to the right gutter. Since most roads are crowned, cross-camber and cross-caster are helpful the majority of the time, however they will cause a vehicle to drift to the left on a perfectly flat road or a road that leans to the left."
  • plazmanplazman Member Posts: 7
    Excellent post-mortem, thanks!
  • dunning15dunning15 Member Posts: 0
    "You can give a bum a Mercedes..."
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    it had to have gone out very recently. normally i would point my fingers at edmunds at this a dozen people sharing this car maybe more, but a quick search shows that this issue is becoming more common. maybe find a reputable shop that will offer a lifetime alignment?
  • prh88prh88 Member Posts: 2
    I just had to replace my tires for the same reason. Same experience: low tire pressure warning, tire shop shows me there is no interior tread left and tell me I needed new tires.
  • IZCAJUNIZCAJUN Member Posts: 1
    My 2014 Tesla Model S had the same issue. My alignment guy said he needed to be able to adjust the upper rear control arms but my Model S doesn't have adjustable rear upper control arms. After much searching and talking to the Tesla service center, I found a custom company who makes these things for people who want to take their truck rock crawling. I felt this would be great since my Model S is so heavy. Just go to ebay and search for core_4x4_fabrication. They advertise the Jeep Cherokee but they will make them for you. I had them make mine double end threaded like a turnbuckle that would go from 11in to 14in center to center with 7/16 in bolt holes that measure 1 1/2 in across them. Now my Model S drives the best it has ever for the just over 100K miles I now have on it.
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