CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2020 Tesla Model 3 - Wheel diameter

What difference does wheel diameter make? If heard it said that larger wheels improve gas mileage, but doesn’t mpg depend on energy needed to overcome air and friction resistance, not rpm? Anyway I have a Tesla and choose the smaller, standard wheels. Mistake?

I doubt if there is anyway to improve the gas mileage on a Tesla .
The small wheels and tires will have the same diameter as the larger wheels and tires . The only difference will be the side wall of the tires . One may be 40 and the other 50 ( written as 235 / 40 / 18 ).

1 Like

Of course it won’t literally save gas. That was meant to be a stand-in for energy use. But thanks for the info about combined diameter of wheels and tires. Makes sense I did not know that.

If you live anywhere but a place where roads are smooth and pot-hole-free, I vote for the smaller diameter tires. The added sidewall will make the ride smoother and prevent some damage from poor roads. If you are not already member get yourself over to the

1 Like

Larger wheels are heavier, so cost you more energy every time you start and stop. So you did the right thing.

1 Like