Tesla Model 3 ranks as one of the top-rated Teslas due to its continuous advancement.
The wheel specifications, such as lug nut size, pattern, and torques, are unique features considered before or after purchasing a Tesla Model 3.
Failure to apply the right wheel specifications may damage the wheel, and thus, why we must consider the lug nut size, pattern, and torque specs in this article.
Tesla Model 3, since its inception (2017-2022), maintains the same lug nut size, bolt pattern, and torque spec of 21mm, 5×114.3, and 129 lb-ft (175 Nm), respectively. Although there are varieties of lug nut and bolt patterns in the aftermarket, Tesla model 3 0nly goes with those with the right manufacturer specifications.
What Bolt Patterns Are On the Wheels of a Model 3 Tesla?
Tesla Model 3 has a bolt pattern of 5×114.3mm(5×4.5″) where the first digit represents the total number of bolt holes on the wheel and the second, the pitch circle diameter(PCD).
To measure the 5×114.3mm bolt pattern, count the number of bolt holes, and then measure the PCD from the middle of one hole to the end of a directly opposite hole.
The measurement should give you the specified bolt pattern of the Model 3 Tesla. Anything outside this specification may be detrimental to the wheel.
However, in conditions where you can not find the exact specification of the Tesla Model 3, wheel adaptors can be a good fit. These adapters could be Uni-lug or dual-pattern wheels.
Wheel adaptors have more than one bolt pattern and, thus, serve as a multi-purpose lug pattern.
They are good replacements for bolt patterns absent in the aftermarket.
For instance, a dual lug wheel for a 5-lug pattern has ten bolt holes and, thus, can fit into two bolt patterns.
The multi-lug and uni-lug wheels fit into multiple bolt patterns.
Hence, wheel adaptors are a good substitute for bolt patterns that are scarce or absent in the aftermarket and a good alternative for those who may not have the time to ransack the market.
Some of the universal wheel adapters that can easily replace the 5×114.3mm bolt pattern of the Tesla Model 3 include;
The bolt pattern of the Tesla Model 3 differs from other models of Tesla. The table below lists the different Tesla models and their bolt patterns.
|Bolt Pattern (mm)
Other manufacturers use bolt patterns such as 4-lug, 6-lug, and 8-lug. Each has different varieties of PCD, just like the 5-lug bolt pattern.
The Tesla Model 3 5-lug pattern has advantages over cars with the other bolt pattern. They include;
- They are less expensive to manufacture than the higher bolt pattern (6, 8, etc.).
- They can hold pressure and, thus, are more stable than 4-lug.
- They are not scarce to purchase in the market.
- They are easily replaced.
Other vehicles with a bolt pattern of 5×114.3 include; Avensis III, Suzuki SX4, Fiat Sedici, Honda Civic Oraz Accord, etc.
What Lug Nut Size Fits On a Tesla Model 3?
Tesla Model 3 has a lug nut socket size of 21mm and a thread size of 14mm×1.50.
The first number of the thread size represents the diameter, and the second number represents the pitch.
It’s important to adhere to the specification of the lug nut size for the Tesla Model 3 because replacing it with the wrong nut can cause adverse effects, such as a poorly or over-tight wheel.
You can purchase the lug nut checker to measure your lug nut’s thread size.
The checker has two ends; male and female. The male end measures the lug nut thread, while the female measures the stud thread.
Although there is a specified size for Tesla model 3 lug nuts, they are different wheel nuts. They include;
- Conical wheel nut
- Ball wheel nut
- Flat wheel nut
- Spline drive wheel nut.
- Turner style wheel nut
- An extended thread wheel nut
- Meg wheel nut.
These wheel nuts have a distinct shape which makes them unique. For instance, the conical wheel nut will only fit into a comical hole.
In addition, the workload of a vehicle determines the number of lug nuts; thus, heavy-duty vehicles will require more lug nuts than lighter vehicles.
What Are the Recommended Wheel Torque Specs for Model 3 Tesla?
Model 3 tesla has a torque specification of 129 lb-ft (175 Nm). Anything higher or less than 129 lb-ft may be dangerous or pose the wheel to damage.
Over-torquing can break the lugs, strain thread, twist rotors, and damage the wheel hub; excessive straining and stretching of the lug, thus, exposing them to fatigue.
On the other hand, under-torquing may easily strip off the wheel from the hub, which Is dangerous, especially when behind the wheel. It can lead to road accidents and possibly death.
However, following the right torque specification can save your Model 3 Tesla from damage and your pocket from cost.
Below are simple steps on how to torque your wheel to specification.
- Know your torque spec via the owner’s manual.
- Tie the lug nut manually with an impact wrench or a socket to hold the nuts to the hub.
- Tie to specification using a torque wrench.
- Always stop to torque your bolt after every 80-160 km or 50-100 miles.
Torque wrenches are calibrated and, thus, can be set to specifications. You can easily purchase a torque wrench.
Are There Locking Wheel Nuts On Tesla Model 3?
The OEM of Tesla model 3 comes with no locking wheel nut. However, you can get locking wheel nuts in the aftermarket or via Tesla’s online shopping website.
Although, there are a couple of reasons why users may want to purchase a locking wheel nut.
The most common reason is to prevent wheel theft, especially in areas known for theft.
However, Tesla, over the years, has had a record of low theft levels and, as such, not much concern about including locking wheel nuts as an OEM part.
Other reasons why Tesla has failed to include a locking wheel nut are viz;
- Manufacturers cost
- Online purchase
#1. Manufacturers Cost
Locking wheel nuts add to the cost of production and transportation.
Locking wheel nuts are not of utmost importance as a Tesla model can do without them. It only adds to the wheel’s security.
Manufacturers would have to replace lost locking wheel nuts which may be demanding, costly, and time-consuming.
#4. Online Purchase
Locking wheel notes on the Tesla web have made it easier for anyone interested to place an order. Hence, removing the necessity to include locking wheel nuts.
Locking wheel nuts are good security wheel components for Tesla Model 3, and anyone can install them.
Below is an easy DIY guide on installing a lock wheel nut.
- Untie the lug nut with a tire iron from the lug seat.
- Screw the locking wheel nut on the lug seat.
- Insert the key and tie it with a tire iron.
- Keep the original lug nut safe in a toolbox.
However, the locking wheel nut also has some disadvantages. They include;
- They cost money(additional expenses).
- They can leave you stranded, especially when you are not with the key, in case of flat tires.
- They are time-consuming and require you always to remove them whenever you want to change your tires or wheel.
Also Read: Will Gladiator Wheels Fit On A JK?
Tesla Model 3 wheel specifications are tailored to fit the make of the car.
The lug nuts have a thread size of M14×1.5, socket size of 21mm, and a torque spec of 175 Nm.
Hence, you must keep to these specifications to have a good driving experience with the TM3.