October 2, 2023: New Rear Shoes

No steel belts are visible yet ... so it's still okay, right?

Tires are something we take for granted until the road noise becomes harsh and you notice...

That's ... not good.

It was by chance that I happened to be washing the rear diffuser area yesterday and noticed that the passenger-rear corner was practically bald. The driver's rear side wasn't all that much better. The fronts are relatively fine and this is rather odd considering I've always purchased tires as a set of 4 and they've worn evenly. I normally get about 40k miles on a set so it was an unpleasant surprise to see the rears worn down to this level already.

I briefly entertained the idea of swapping over to my silver Turbines wrapped with still-pretty-new Michelin Pilot Super Sports that only have 500 miles on them. But nah, summer is over.

Over the last few months I've been toiling away at reducing those interior rattles that build up over time and have done many afternoon test drives to see if daily incremental corrections improved things. In the SF Bay Area one of the main freeway arteries is 880N and right past the Tesla Fremont factory the freeway asphalt has gotten super coarse after the rain earlier this year. It's like driving over the road equivalent to 100-grit sandpaper. It's rough and if you have any potential points of rattles in your car this is the area to test drive.

Which of course chews up treads quickly. The latest set of tires was purchased exactly 2 years ago and I expected them to last for a lot longer. Considering that I've only added 20k miles since then I was hoping to get at least another year out of these. Unfortunately the rears have been worn into the danger zone.

So another unexpected expense for the year. Since I can't wait for a Tesla Service Center to have availability to quickly accommodate this I decided to rely on a local tire shop. Although they didn't have the Tesla-certified Michelin 245/45/R19s in stock they could get them by the afternoon and have them installed. The original Michelin Primacy MXM4 which I've been running since the beginning 9 years ago isn't something they carried but they did have the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 so I went with that. Anything with the words "Pilot" and "Sport" and I'm sold.

All in it was $767 including balancing, mounting, taxes, etc. and the shop's service was fine. Unlike a Tesla Service Center you don't get Uber credits to get you home so I had to hang around the area for over 4 hours. It is what it is. I didn't think it'd be a good idea to be that Tesla snob and pound on the service desk demanding a complimentary ride to and from home to accommodate my precious daily schedule filled with Zoom meetings and hands-on-keyboard shenanigans.

I was able to get some shots of the old tires and I guess the ones Tesla sold me previously had that foam lining in it. These probably reduced the road noise by like 0.00001 decibels. Toooootally worth it, I'm sure.

Maybe these old Michelins are two for the price of one as they eventually turn into racing slicks!

And who doesn't like some polish in their life? Probably doesn't pass the penny test though.

The new Pilot Sport 3s are nice, I guess, and because the tread is new there's naturally some insulation from road vibrations compared to before. The shop applied some tire shine which I have to scrub off and re-coat with Gyeon Tire. It looks like cheap tacky grease just slathered on. Instant ghetto:

I've also noticed that as of the latest software update the "Car Status" option in the instrument cluster shows when the last tire pressure reading was. As I was driving from the shop I got a TPMS reset notice and so I assume these pressure indicators may need some time to self-correct over some mileage.

Update 10/03/2023: looks like the tire shop did indeed under-inflate the new tires at 39 psi based on my own quick check with a gauge. Plus someone left a dark smudge on the A pillar headliner, something which I haven't been able to completely remove yet. Not impressed to say the least.