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How are the 18" Aero Covers Installed/Removed?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Vistan, Sep 4, 2017.

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  1. Vistan

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    We've seen a lot of pics of the 18" wheels with the aero wheel covers on, and off. But, I don't think we've yet seen a video or step-by-step photos or even a description on how the covers are installed or removed. Looking at the wheel cover, it appears that the center Tesla-logoed disc is removable, perhaps by popping it out like the Model S wheel, or by unscrewing it. It also appears that the five slots around the Tesla disc are integrated into the black plastic part of the wheel cover (as opposed to the gray parts). Perhaps a special tool must be inserted into this slots to remove the cover, after removing the Tesla center disc. The cover can't be removed by rotating; it must be pulled straight off because of the tire valve. Thoughts? Speculation? Blatant conjecture?
    white-tesla-model-3-aero-wheels-2.jpg
     
  2. MelindaV

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    we have this on the 'want to see' list, so keep an eye on the first post there for links once photos & videos start showing up.
     
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    • Michael Russo

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      For many of us, it's more a matter of how to never see them on the car... ;)

      Oh yeah, I remember, just open your check book and sign one for $1.5k... :D
       
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      • JWardell

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        Chances are they have the same procedure as most other plastic wheel covers which is:
        1. reach fingers in between spokes
        2. pull

        And reverse:
        1. place cover in approximate location
        2. kick
         
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        • Gizmo

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          This would surely wreck the paint and lacquer on an alloy wheel though, I think it
          s more likely to be held on by screwing the centre badge on??
           
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          • JWardell

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            Usually wheel covers and center caps are held on with plastic clips and friction. It might wreck the paint only if you were to do it many times. Of course, usually this isn't a problem as that paint is normally covered by a wheel cover. Some kind of center cap screw-in system is much more complex and costly and more importantly too difficult to expect someone to do on the side of the road in the rain.
             
          • Vistan

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            What if the Tesla-logoed Disc is unscrewed from the center hole of the wheel in order to remove the aero cover, and then screwed back into the center hole, but further in, as shown in the lower right pic? Of course, it could be a separate Disc., but work the same way. I think others have reported that the center hole is threaded.

            2A5E451C-89E7-44C3-83C2-BE546A5C9E61-4539-000005DE3520B818.jpeg
             
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            • Gizmo

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              Cosmetic appearance is going to be important on an alloy wheel, any clip that uses friction to stay on is not going to be good for the paint / lacquer, as you say not an issue on a cheap steel wheel, but on an expensive alloy??

              Agreed having them held on with a screwed on cap is more complex, but then having trims on alloy wheels is a fairly rare concept also, cost will be minimal (but yes more expensive) and there will be no need to remove the wheel at the roadside, what are you going to do... there is no spare wheel to put on the car.

              Do Tesla even supply a jack or wheel brace with the car? (VAG don't unless you order a spare wheel)
               
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              • mt.west.ev

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                I'm guessing the center cap is a key component and not just decorative.

                Never having seen one .... it must screw in place, and I assume secure the aero cover.
                But .... unless there are additional fasteners (screw or friction) I'd suppose they will rattle and make a terrible noise (which have not been reported by members spotting RC's).

                Perhaps ... it the low speed noise maker spoken about on another thread. ;)

                I'm sure EM's engineers have provided a solution.
                 
              • Twiglett

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                I've seen other securing systems that use the center peg to hold clips in place in the center hole.
                But those who know aren't telling :)
                 
              • Dangermouse

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                It just hit me, with all the talk about aftermarket rims, there may be a cheaper alternative coming up here at some point...aftermarket aero covers. Once the attachment method is out there...

                Sounds like a opportunity for someone on Shark Tank...they all probably have at least one Tesla in their garages.
                 
              • Bokonon

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                Yup... that's exactly what I'm waiting for. Better looking + cheaper + softer ride = :):):)
                 
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                • Niko

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                  In my opinion, when you look closely at the lip of the rim without the aero cover on youll notice tabs / recessed spots built into the lip of the rim face. These look intentional for holding the aero covers on.

                  I highly doubt the tesla logo has anything to do with holding the covers on and most likely just pops in and out like a center cap on virtually every wheel oem or aftermarket to protect/cover center hub.

                  Im willing to bet the cover is held in with clips or pressure fit like traditional wheel covers
                   

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                  • Vistan

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                    Niko (or anyone):

                    What do you think the five rectangular slots in the inner black portion of the cover are for?
                     
                  • Niko

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                    IMG_4874.PNGIMG_4875.PNG

                    The rectangular openings are just design i believe for aerodynamics, if I'm correct they're advertised as 10% more efficient

                    That darker section of the cover is what is covering the actual lug nuts, it's hard to say yet until we actually try to take one off or see the back side of it, my guess is it's just part of the design of the cover. I can't tell for sure if the dark part is a separate piece from the lighter pieces.

                    When you refer back to patent photos it leads you to believe that the wheel cover is all one piece, but then the very next photo I've posted shows the dark area of the cover wrapped out painted a carbon fibre look... So maybe it is a separate piece that you can remove and wrap or paint?
                     
                  • Vistan

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                    The five rectangular slots I'm referring to are just slightly outboard of the removable Tesla-logoed center cap. Note that they are in the black shiny portion of the wheel cover and lineup with the 'points' of the gray matte sections. I believe that the black and gray sections can be separated after removal of the cover.
                     
                  • Niko

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                    Ahh.. I see what you mean now, never noticed that before in pics i had.

                    Maybe there is a special security tool to unscrew the center like others have suggested afterall. I cant see why else there would be slots on the center cap.
                     
                  • garsh

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                    Those patents are for the "ornamental design for a vehicle wheel face." They say nothing about whether it's a wheel or a wheel cover, how it's attached, or how many pieces it's divided into.
                     
                  • Vistan

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                    Niko:

                    The five slots appear to be in the black plastic sections of the wheel, and not in the center Tesla-logoed cap. They would not be receptacles for a special tool to unscrew the cap, but could be places where a tool could be inserted to pull the entire cover straight off. The cover can't rotate because of the valve stem.
                     
                  • Rick59

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                    My guess is that there are similar slots on the cover. You place the cover so that the cover slots are next to the wheel slots then rotate the cover so that the cover slots slide in behind the wheel slots and lock into place.
                     

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