I go over the best and worst choices for wheel upgrades. (And no, do NOT buy upgraded wheels from Tesla or TSportline.)
It’s a matter of performance, strength, style, fitment and price! I’ll help you find the best looking wheels that will make your Tesla go even faster, also more mileage, and cost even less than the Tesla upgrade!
NOTE #1 – reference information for stock Tesla wheels:
- The Tesla Model 3 Wheel and Tire Guide by TSportline
- The Tesla Model X Wheel and Tire Guide by TSportline
- The Tesla Model S Wheel and Tire Guide by TSportline
NOTE #2 – be careful of fitment:
- Just because the wheels/rims are same size as your Tesla ones doesn’t mean it’ll automatically fit. The offset and bolt pattern must also fit!
- I don’t recommend using spacers. They’re expensive and probably not for longterm use.
- If you don’t know what all these terms means, please check with the store before you buy.
- Read “What is Fitment” by Fitment Industries, and also watch some Youtube videos on “fitment” so you understand.
NOTE #3 – about wheel construction:
- Brand – trusted brands are usually stronger and look nicer.
- Wheel construction – how it’s made determines its strength (doesn’t break when going over potholes, or bend under stress).
- Most stock wheels are cheap CAST. They are heavy and weak, but overpriced because they’re sold under OEM brand name.
- Most aftermarket wheels are FLOW-FORGED/FLOW-FORMED. Medium weight and strength, and medium price point.
- The best aftermarket wheels FORGED. Not only the strongest but most lightweight. Of course, they have a premium price point (but still relatively affordable). Lightweight wheels improve your mileage!!!
- Most forged wheels start at $4-5k but you can definitely find them for $2k, like I did.
NOTE #4 – about wheel brands:
- There are many wheel brands (hundreds) but probably all owned by like 7-10 parent companies.
- Most aftermarket wheels are better than your stock ones. Yes, even the cheap $800 set are better than Tesla’s fancy-schmancy wheel upgrade option.
- Most brands are either American, European, Japanese, or “other Asia”. Most wheels/rims are probably made in China, except for Japanese ones.
- Many wheel designs are copied nowadays so if you like one design but it doesn’t fit, too expensive, or not the color you want…you can probably find similar in another brand.
NOTE: #5 – how to sell your stock Tesla wheels:
- They have tons of resale value. I sold my 20″ Tesla performance wheels and tires easily sold for $2500 (the whole set without the TPM). Check on Facebook for price ranges. There’s high demand and the price people are willing to pay is more than you need to get new ones.
- You can sell yours on Facebook Marketplace. Take good pictures and you’ll get a good price. (It helps to not have driven on them much.)
- Craigslist might also be a good place.
Why NOT to buy from Tesla or TSportline
Let’s get this out of the way first…
Done? Ok, moving on…Tesla stock wheels (like all stock wheels) are even worse. Yes, even their “sport” wheels. Overpriced, heavy (makes it slow), weak (break or crack easy when hitting potholes).
If you really like the stock look or turbine design, fine…do whatever you want, get your wheels from Tesla or TSportline. But if you want better (and cooler) options, keep reading.
Best stores for aftermarket wheels/rims
OPTION #1 – local custom/mod shop
Go to local shops that sell custom auto parts and/or do auto customization. Can search on Yelp for “auto parts” or “auto customization”. The ones that sell high performance parts to auto enthusiasts are the most ideal, IMO.
The price may not be the best as the online-only stores but you get to talk to a live human who is usually friendly and happy to explain all the billion options for you. They’ll also have a good sense of what fits, what’s popular and will look good on your car.
If you want a flashy look that stands out, let them know. If you prefer more of a “stock” factory look, let them know. I recommend calling up these shops to see what stock is available. You might also get special deals if they’re getting rid of stuff, or have some slightly used ones laying around. They also know many other good trustworthy auto shops for mechanics, tires, tint, and other car stuff.
Best of all, you can pickup your new wheels in person IMMEDIATELY (very useful if you’re like me and sold your stock wheels/tires the same day that you bought new ones, hahaha.)
OPTION #2 – online stores
Fitment Industries / https://www.fitmentindustries.com
This is like the Amazon of wheels and tires online! What I love about them is the massive number of options and styles. Like everything you can think of, in every variation possible. Every color, every size, every style, every price range. Go here to look around at all the endless options for your car.
Even thought they’re an online store, they offer all kinds of goodies to make it more convenient for you. If you buy certain packages, they come with free mounting and balance. In case you never bought wheels online, they usually ship them to wherever you want (your house or local auto shop, tire shop).
- They also have incredibly useful videos on Youtube (that are also entertaining). Watch them on the Fitment Industries Youtube channel.
- They also have helpful image galleries of their wheels posted by customers. It really helps to see what the wheels look like mounted on cars.
America’s Tire / https://www.americastire.com
This is a great site for discount prices and cater to “mainstream customers”, basically just everyday people that want some upgrades but aren’t like crazy car-tuner folks.
They do have a wide range of options but limited to mostly a few brands (most wheel brands are owned by the same company anyway), and only at the low-to-midrange cost point. If you want true enthusiast/high-performance options, you’re better off looking at Fitment Industries or custom shops.
The big benefit of a shop like this is that when you buy wheels/tires from them, they can install them for you for free or at a discount price at their shop. This would be some cost savings compared to buying wheels
Tire Rack / https://www.tirerack.com
I like this site since it has a nice simulator that shows how the wheels would look on your car. I probably wouldn’t buy from them as I think their prices tend to be higher than other online mainstream shops.