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19" Conti's @ 42psi = not great traction (?)

smorgasbord

Active Member
Jun 3, 2011
3,235
5,516
SF Bay Area
So if you opt for the larger 19" wheels, you currently get Continental ProContacts (Tire Rack link: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...X&partnum=34WR9PCRXXLCOSI&vehicleSearch=false ), which are specced on the door jamb to be run at 42psi.

Am I the only one who's not happy with the lack of grip this combo has on the road? I know Model 3 is quite torquey, but even so on uphill tight curves I can make the tires slip quite easily. The Model 3 I followed on Skyline a month ago also spun the tires on a tight right turn, which I attributed to some gravel, but now I'm thinking even without the gravel it would have slipped.


On Tire Rack's site, they're described as "for drivers who want a combination of a sophisticated appearance, competent handling and H-speed rated (or higher) durability, along with all-season traction, including in light snow." I bolded the phrase that gets me - I want more than "competent handling."

Any ideas on how to improve this? Anything from letting some air out of the tires to running a different brand/size to even going with different wheels is something I'd consider. BTW, these tires at $279 each aren't cheap.
 

smorgasbord

Active Member
Jun 3, 2011
3,235
5,516
SF Bay Area
Here's a link to the higher performing tires: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/Tire...9&rearWidth=255/&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17

Note that the stock Conti's are listed as "Grand Touring All-Season," which is 3 categories below the "Ultra High Performance All-Season" (Goodyear Eagle F1 or Yokohama Advan Sport A/S) tires. Those have an "AA" traction rating, which is higher than the "A" traction rating of the Contis. The Conti's are clearly in my view not up to what the Model 3's suspension is capable of.

Anyone want to buy a set of Model 3 Conti's with 300 miles on them, cheap?
 

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,996
Austin, TX
How many miles have you driven so far? Those tires have a 400 treadwear rating so probably are on the harder side for rubber compound. 42psi does sound kind of high though. Reduce the pressure some and see if anything changes.

End of the day, it is still an all-season tires, so compared to summer/performance tires will have some compromises.
 

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,996
Austin, TX
Here's a link to the higher performing tires: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/Tire...9&rearWidth=255/&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17

Note that the stock Conti's are listed as "Grand Touring All-Season," which is 3 categories below the "Ultra High Performance All-Season" (Goodyear Eagle F1 or Yokohama Advan Sport A/S) tires.

Anyone want to buy a set of Model 3 Conti's with 300 miles on them, cheap?
Don't think this link points to what you intended. Anyway, don't think 300 miles is enough to really "break-in" the tires. There is probably still some slight residual lubricant from the molding process in the very outer layer of the tire. I would see if they are any better after 1000 miles or so. Can't hurt to try dropping the pressure a little as well.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=5
 
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dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,885
10,069
Knoxville, Tennessee
Notice that the OEM 19" wheels have the acoustic code
  • 235/40R19
  • TO Tesla, ContiSilent
The 18" oem wheels are Primacy MXM4 also with the acoustic code.

It doesn't look like tirerack has this acoustic version for the 235/40/19 size that the Model 3 uses for the "sport wheels".

there are tons of different versions on tirerack of the Primacy MXM4. There is one specifically that is the Tesla version at https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...&tireModel=Primacy+MXM4&partnum=345WR8MXM4PXL and you'll notice the code "TO Tesla, Acoustic Tech". Be sure you get the one with that code otherwise you don't get the best version of the tire (and some of the worse versions are more expensive at the time I checked).
looks like that is the OEM Tesla tire if you get the base wheels.


also in 18" are

Continental PureContact with Ecoplus is rated for 70,000 miles in the size needed for the Model 3 (235/45R18) and is V rated (149 mph)

Energy Saver A/S is rated for 55,000 on the Model 3 (235/45R18)

So if you get 18" wheels you have those as an option.

If you keep the 19" you could consider

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...rato+P7+All+Season+Plus&partnum=34VR9CP7ASPXL
The Pirelli doesn't have the acoustic code but is a better tire otherwise.

Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=ADVAN+Sport+A/S&partnum=34WR9ADSASXL
The Yokohama not only doesn't have the acoustic code but it also doesn't have the low rolling resistance code either so it'd reduce your range per charge noticeably.
 
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DR61

Member
Apr 14, 2016
561
628
Gold River, CA
All tires are a compromise, so of course you can find other tires that will, for instance, give much better traction under certain conditions such as dry high-g cornering or dry maximum launch. The Tesla suspension engineers probably chose the tires based on all-around performance including ride comfort and rolling resistance. Lowering the pressure may give better traction, but will also reduce the high-speed & load safety margin that the designers specified, so I would not to recommend it for street driving.

I agree the tires will give better performance after break-in and much better in dry conditions after half the tread is worn down.
 

smorgasbord

Active Member
Jun 3, 2011
3,235
5,516
SF Bay Area
It doesn't look like tirerack has this acoustic version for the 235/40/19 size that the Model 3 uses for the "sport wheels".

The first link I supplied in this thread does link to those:

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 4.30.24 PM.png
 
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dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,885
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Knoxville, Tennessee
The first link I supplied in this thread does link to those:

You misunderstood which "those" I meant. I was referring to the Primacy MXM4 with the acoustic code that does exist for the 18" Model 3 wheels but not for the 19" Model 3 wheels.

primacy.PNG

Tirerack for the Michelin uses the code "TO Tesla, Acoustic Tech"
Tirerack for the Continental uses the code "TO Tesla, Contisilent"

I mentioned it because if they did make the Primacy in the 19" size I think you would be more pleased with it vs the Continental. Notice how in your Pic the tire is "not yet rated" and in my Pic the tire is 4 stars.

The continentals seem to be more of a summer / high speed tire. The Primacy MXM4 is a more balanced less single minded tire.

I'm assuming your concern about traction is in wet or snow conditions since the Continentals should do OK on dry pavement. I'm also assuming fog/dew is common around SF Bay area and you are seeing damp pavement.

If it is dry pavement you are concerned about then your performance concerns would be contrary to my prior recommendations in this thread.
 
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smorgasbord

Active Member
Jun 3, 2011
3,235
5,516
SF Bay Area
I mentioned it because if they did make the Primacy in the 19" size I think you would be more pleased with it vs the Continental. Notice how in your Pic the tire is "not yet rated" and in my Pic the tire is 4 stars.

The Primacy is still only rated "A" in traction (I linked to tires rated "AA"), and is rated 100 pts higher in treadwear. That's not indicative of a tire with better traction.

The continentals seem to be more of a summer / high speed tire.

No, the Contis are definitely All-Season and are M+S rated. Definitely not a summer tire, and Tire Rack doesn't list them that way. I don't know from where you're getting that characterization.


I'm assuming your concern about traction is in wet or snow conditions since the Continentals should do OK on dry pavement. I'm also assuming fog/dew is common around SF Bay area and you are seeing damp pavement.

If it is dry pavement you are concerned about then your performance concerns would be contrary to my prior recommendations in this thread.

It is dry pavement that is my concern right now. At 300 miles, the tires aren't nearly as good as the Model 3 suspension needs. At least in my experience.
 

S3XY

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 24, 2015
2,174
7,342
Buffalo, NY
Probably a stupid question but do you have Slip Start enabled in your Traction Control settings? Regardless, Grand Touring All-Seasons aren't going to be as grippy as performance tires. The stock tires are a compromise between performance and low rolling resistance.
 
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Drivesolo

Member
May 9, 2017
178
186
Pacific NW
I know that 42 psi is Tesla's recommended pressure, but it seems a bit high. That's more like the tire pressures used for a camber-challenged car in autocross. I'm wondering if they should really be around 38 psi but are recommended higher for a little more range. If that's the case, could they wear faster on the center of the tread face?
 
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dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,885
10,069
Knoxville, Tennessee
I know that 42 psi is Tesla's recommended pressure, but it seems a bit high. That's more like the tire pressures used for a camber-challenged car in autocross. I'm wondering if they should really be around 38 psi but are recommended higher for a little more range. If that's the case, could they wear faster on the center of the tread face?

Those tires (Continental ProContacts) are rated to 51 psi. Short term you won't see noticeable traction differences by lowering the PSI, in some conditions (water and snow) lower PSI would be worse. On dry pavement it'd be a non issue until you run it long enough to wear down tread. That'll just affect how soon you replace the tire not the traction you saw until that point.

The 18" OEM tires run 45 psi vs the 19" OEM at 42 PSI. Either way if you go below the recommended PSI you would lower the load rating and top speed that is safe.
 

Drivesolo

Member
May 9, 2017
178
186
Pacific NW
Those tires (Continental ProContacts) are rated to 51 psi. Short term you won't see noticeable traction differences by lowering the PSI, in some conditions (water and snow) lower PSI would be worse. On dry pavement it'd be a non issue until you run it long enough to wear down tread. That'll just affect how soon you replace the tire not the traction you saw until that point.

The 18" OEM tires run 45 psi vs the 19" OEM at 42 PSI. Either way if you go below the recommended PSI you would lower the load rating and top speed that is safe.

Yep, I hear ya. But higher than needed tire pressures could also be bad by causing a decreased contact surface and more wear along the center of the face. The maximum inflation pressure shouldn't be used, the optimal value is dependent on the vehicle and the manufacturer. Unless there's some rare circumstance, anything close to that pressure should never be used for daily driving.
 

shrspeedblade

Rideshare Monkey
Sep 29, 2015
1,142
4,503
CA, United States
I agree that seems to be a very high stock pressure recommendation, as it's up there with pressures run at the track, and could have a lot too do with the stiff ride complaints.

For comparison, my Boss Mustang on lower profile 19s which weighs about the same as the Model 3 only recommends 36psi.

I'd really like to know why Tesla sets them so high. It's not like the car is range challenged! I wish they weren't so damned secretive some times!
 
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