As Tesla’s most affordable model yet, the Model 3 is enjoying tremendous popularity.
Throughout 2022, the renowned luxury car brand produced 1.37 million cars—a 47% increase from 2021—and delivered nearly 1.31 million. Most of those cars were Model 3 vehicles, increasingly appealing to the average consumer for their pricing and build.
If you are one of many new (or seasoned) Tesla Model 3 owners, you may wonder what you need to know about adding aftermarket features to your car.
One of the many things people love about Tesla is its endless customization options.
This guide includes everything you need to know about aftermarket wheels for a Tesla Model 3.
You can easily add aftermarket wheels to your Tesla by assessing the standard wheel specifications and finding a new wheel that matches those specs.
Consider wheel and tire dimensions, offset, setup shape, load rating, bolt design, compatibility, and more.
Can You Add Aftermarket Wheels to a Tesla Model 3?
Tesla is well-known for its commitment to high-quality products. The brand produces high-end vehicles that are fully customizable with front-end upgrades.
For this reason, many people choose to customize their cars upfront.
However, you can also add aftermarket features to your Tesla, and the Model 3 is no exception.
Aftermarket wheels can help you distinguish your Model 3 from others, and since the car is increasingly popular, this is a distinct advantage.
With custom wheels, you can inject personality into your new vehicle, making it your own.
Lastly, you can choose aftermarket wheels that match your particular needs and interests. For example, you can select a narrower wheel if you want more curb protection.
Remember that aftermarket wheels may drive your budget up, and you’ll need to work with a qualified professional who can help you install and maintain your wheels.
Standard Model 3 Wheels
The Tesla Model 3 comes with the original engine manufacturer (OEM) Tesla wheels in 18, 19, and 20-inch diameters.
You’ll want to look for similar specifications in your aftermarket wheels so that they are fully compatible with your vehicle.
The OEM Tesla wheel has the following specifications:
- 10-spoke alloy wheels
- A center bore of 64.1mm
- A bolt pattern of 5×114.3
- A thread pitch of M14x1.5
- Lug nuts of 21mm
- Aerodynamic hubcaps
The OEM wheel also has a stepped lip, extending to 3mm before reaching 64.1mm.
How To Choose the Right Aftermarket Wheels for Your Tesla
There are several important considerations to keep in mind when choosing aftermarket wheels for your Tesla Model 3.
Begin by using the above specifications to look for similar models since you’ll want a wheel design that fits your car’s frame.
Then, use the following checklist to assess each feature of your new wheel.
Wheel dimensions are an essential feature to consider when opting for new wheels.
You’ll need a wheel between 18 and 20 inches since this is the Tesla industry standard.
While you can attempt to fit a slightly smaller or larger wheel to your vehicle, any deviations from the standard introduce additional complexity to the customization process.
Remember that significant deviations can cause your car to shake, which is hardly a desirable outcome.
When it comes to customizing your car’s features, compatibility is everything.
Your new wheels must be compatible with your tires, and they should be roughly the same size.
You can look at aspect ratios that maintain the exact relative wheel-to-tire dimensions. The aspect ratio is a three-digit and two-digit value separated by a slash mark.
Remember that the larger your wheels and tires, the less performance range you’ll benefit from, so keep this in mind if performance is something you value.
Although load rating is often considered an advanced consideration, you should aim for a load rating that meets your car’s standards.
Load rating can be calculated by dividing your heaviest gross axle rating by two. The Model 3 has GAWRs of 2447 lbs in the front and 2771 lbs in the back. For this reason, you must choose a minimum load rating of 1386 lbs.
The Model 3 has M14x1.5 wheel studs. These oversized studs are essential to the integrity of your car.
While you can choose a wheel with a different stud size, it’s best to stick to M14 wheels from the beginning since you don’t want to risk compromising your new car.
There are many M14 wheels available on the market, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
You’ll need to decide what kind of setup you want your car to have.
The standard setup for most cars is a square setup, in which all four wheels are the same size. Square designs are typically more affordable and extend your tire life. That’s because the square format allows for easy rotation from front to back, preserving the integrity of your tires.
However, many people like to customize their cars to have staggered setups, which refers to vehicles with larger wheels in the back than in the front. Keep in mind that staggered wheels often produce understeer and minimize rotation. They also offer more traction at the back of your car.
Like most other cars, the Model 3 has a square setup but has room for a staggered configuration, so you can choose which one you prefer.
There are several other items you can consider.
Many consider other elements when choosing new wheels, such as weight, width, and offset.
However, considering the above, you should be well-equipped to find your new wheels.
When outfitting your Model 3 with aftermarket wheels, you’ll want to keep specific considerations in mind.
Use the following list of essential considerations to guide your search.
Ensure Proper Fit
Your new wheels must be compatible with other features of the Model 3.
For example, if you use wider wheels and tires, you’ll need to ensure that they fit the front knuckle on your Model 3.
The same goes for your brakes: you’ll want to ensure that your new wheels allow the brake caliper to clear.
Because of the unique stepped lip design of the Model 3 wheels, you’ll want to ensure that your new wheels offer brake rotors that allow you to clear the hub step.
Ensure that your new wheels are correctly centered and fit the frame of your car.
One of the most common issues that Model 3 owners encounter is finding a compatible tire pressure monitoring system.
With new wheels, you’ll likely have to invest in new pressure monitors, which you can obtain from a retailer or online. This may cost more, so keep this in mind when making your budget.
Additional Aftermarket Features
When it comes to customizing your Tesla, the options are endless.
You can customize nearly every part of your car. Consider opting for a ceramic coating from a local professional, have your windows tinted, or get a comprehensive paint protection film service for your new vehicle.
Check below a couple of frequently asked questions and their respective answers.
Do Teslas have special wheels?
Yes, they do. Teslas tires are different from other tires in several ways, mainly to optimize the duration of the battery charge and to address the specificities of an electric car. These tires are more aerodynamic, they are capable of withstanding more weight, the tread patterns are specific for an EV vehicle, they’re quieter, and they last longer.
How much do Teslas wheels weigh?
Considering all Teslas models, their wheels weigh between 21.6 lbs and 40.4 lbs.