After another 6,000 miles of driving since the last tire rotation in Minneapolis, I decided to call the Tesla Denver Service Center to have my tires rotated. They could either fit me in at 7am or 11:30am the next day. Neither time was convenient, but I chose to get up at 5:30 to avoid traffic and get my tires rotated.
The Minneapolis Service Center had indicated that I may get another 12K miles out of all four of my tires. Unfortunately, the new report was only a tight 1K on the original Continental tires and maybe 3K on the newer Michelin tires. In the best case my new Michelin tires would run 9K on the rear and 6K on the front. The Continental pair that had alignment issues lasted 12.5K on the back alone. Almost all of the wear on the Tesla Model S tires occurs when the tires are in the back.
I was informed that because the 5.9 firmware now allows for the low suspension, my additional accelerated wear was probably due to using this low setting. As the vehicle lowers itself, the suspension angle changes and the camber becomes more negative which means more insdie edge wear. Since I spent a lot of time freeway and highway driving, I was not accelerating frequently. I was however regularly manual lowering the car. I was quite saddened by this news of low tire wear.
A trade-off for an environmentalist: use slightly more energy or wear out tires faster? Okay, a perfect environmentalist would be driving with the 19″ tires or not driving at all. I do not plan to use the low suspension setting again outside of cases where I really need to maximize my range as it is simply not worth wearing out my tires.
At this point, I am not sure I would buy the air suspension again. My primary purpose of buying the option was for increased range. None of the loaner cars I have had to date have had the standard suspension, so I cannot comment on the handling differences.