The short answer is it depends, and here’s why.
For most car owners with good ol’ gas engines, tire rotations are still a necessity, heavy engines up front with power often going to just two wheels means one pair of tires, especially if it’s front-wheel drive, is doing a lot more work than the other pair.Embed from Getty Images
But, what about electric cars (EVs?) With a heavy battery in the middle, no engine, and often two motors between each set of tires, it sounds like tires should wear out evenly.
Browsing a Tesla Model Y Facebook post on the matter and, from what Model Y owners are saying, many of them claim they’ve never rotated tires ever…they just replace them when there’s no usable tread, and they often notice there’s no noticeable tread wear difference between any of the tires.
So, do you need to do tire rotations if you own a Tesla?
Are EVs, specifically Teslas, immune from tire rotations because electric cars are just superior like that?
As mentioned, it all depends.
I mean, you don’t need to do anything.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with switching out all four tires if one set wears faster than the other, just as long as you don’t mind shelling out a couple hundred for a new set every so often and you make sure all tires have acceptable amounts of tread depth.
Per the manual, Tesla recommends tire rotations every 6,250 miles (about twice a year for the average owner) or if tread depth difference between any two tires 2/32 in (1.5mm) or greater, whichever comes first.
“Tire rotation is an essential part of tire maintenance. It helps maintain an even treadwear pattern which enhances the tire’s overall wear quality, decreases road noise and maximizes tire life.”
Nowhere does it say that tire rotation is essential for performance or safety.
Again, you don’t have to do tire rotations, but note, Tesla does recommend you do them.
The only way to confirm that you don’t need to do tire rotations is to, every so often ( maybeonce a month) go out and literally measure the tread depths of each tire.
Buy a cheapo tire depth gauge on Amazon and, when it arrives, go out with a pencil and paper and record tread depths for each tire.
If you don’t want to buy a tire depth gauge, using a small ruler works, too.
If they’re all within 2/32 inches of one another, congrats, no tire rotation needed.
However, if you notice wide variations in tread depth between any two tires, and you don’t want to shell out money for new tires more than you should, you probably want to do tire rotations.
If anything, this is a good practice, so you’re aware how much tire tread you have left, and it’s better to know than not to know.
If the thought of getting on your hands and knees and measuring your tread depth is overwhelming, honestly, just do what the manual says and get tire rotations every 6,250 miles or twice a year, which ever comes first.
A tire rotation job only costs $25-30 at Costco.