Blame massive weight, low-profile tires and large wheels for that.
Our readers frequently complain about the Tesla Model 3 Performance tires and wheels on comments. Jason Fenske, from Engineering Explained, had no option but to join them. For a good reason: he had to pay US$ 2,668.26 in repairs after his Tesla hit a pothole.
Fenske was in the midst of a road trip we have already told you about and he spent 7 hours waiting for the car to be fixed. He tells us all about the accident in this video.
The pothole claimed two tires and two wheels on the right side of his car. Each Michelin 235/35 R20 summer tire costs US$ 340. Each new 20-in wheel costs US$ 715.
Add to the bill a four-wheel alignment (US$ 280), labor (US$ 380), taxes (US$ 158.26) and a tire fee (US$ 10 for each) and you’ll end up with a US$ 2,948.26 expense. Tesla apparently decided not to charge for the alignment, so the final bill was US$ 2,668.36.
More than the whopping price for the repair, the video is interesting for discussing why the Model 3 Performance has to use such tires and wheels.
Fenske gives a fairly good explanation of why it should come with smaller wheels and taller tires. Not only due to the accident itself, but he addresses matters such as ride quality, unsprung mass, and, of course, cost. Most of our readers will certainly agree with him.
Even with that option, the Model 3 Performance would still have to deal with a suspension with less travel and its massive weight, but it would have many advantages.
Avoiding unexpected expenses for finding potholes in the middle of the way and not having a safe way to avoid hitting them would be just one of them.
Whether you have no opinion on the tires and wheels of the Tesla Model 3 Performance or totally agree with Fenske's diagnostics, it is worth watching the video. And commenting right below.
Video Description via Engineering Explained on YouTube:
The Tesla Model 3 Performance is an exceptional performing vehicle, it's fast, fun, and full of new tech. I took my Model 3 for a 2,000 mile road trip, and on that journey, all was going well. That is, until we hit a pothole. If you can believe it, a single pothole cost over $2,600 to fix, and required 7 hours of time from start to finish, leaving the Tesla service center.
While Tesla isn't to blame here, low profile tires are becoming the new trend, and they're not any good in my book. They're expensive, heavy, and cause ride quality to suffer, all for what some feel is improved aesthetics, and perhaps some slightly more responsive steering. But the Model 3 Performance only offers one wheel size, so tires with less than 2 inches between the wheel and the road are the only option. Do any of you have low profile tires? How has your experience been?