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255s on front

The door pillar sticker says my X should have 265s in the front 275's in the rear. (These are the normal 20" wheels, staggered, 9" wide in front, 9.5" in the rear.)


I bought it used with 45k mi. Apparently at some point the previous owner changed the tires. Great. But on the fronts they put 255's not 265's

What is the practical effect of doing this?

Note we are taking about the rainy Pacific Northwest where some years you might get a couple inches of slushy snow on the ground for a day or two.

It will be time to replace this set soon, so now I'm just wondering why not go back to 265's in front...
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Bay Area
practically? better efficiency.

less practically:
- 255 on a 9" wheel might be slightly more susceptible to curb rash. i say slightly, because if you drive into a curb the larger 265 section isn't gonna save you.
-a 255/275 will be more prone to oversteer vs 265/275. i doubt anybody in an X is going to encounter that situation.
-smaller section profile will actually handle better in snow, not that that would matter if you didn't have snows on
 
practically? better efficiency.

less practically:
- 255 on a 9" wheel might be slightly more susceptible to curb rash. i say slightly, because if you drive into a curb the larger 265 section isn't gonna save you.
-a 255/275 will be more prone to oversteer vs 265/275. i doubt anybody in an X is going to encounter that situation.
-smaller section profile will actually handle better in snow, not that that would matter if you didn't have snows on
Thank you for replying. It sounds like not a lot of people do this. I still wonder why the previous owner thought this was good. Maybe they get more snow in Portland. Or their local tire shop didn't have 265s at the time and everyone figured the 255s were 'close enough'..

Anyway I'm going with 265's as recommended on the door pillar when I replace these at the end of summer.

If anyone wants to pivot this topic a bit, feel free to advise on which actual brand of tire. Having seen a lot of those threads over the years I realize now one of the big reasons people keep talking about square setups is there are not a lot of choices for the staggered setup.

I think I've got it narrowed down to Pirelli Scorpion Zero vs Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ . This year I'm choosing to ignore snow altogether and just go with slightly sportier tires despite this rainy climate. I am ok with the increased cost.

Last year I was actually investigating Nokian "One" but they don't offer it in either of the two sizes I need
265/45R20
275/45R20

(they do offer it in.. wait for it.. the size in the title of this thread, 255/45R20 . But the bigger sizes available all have a different aspect ratio and the wrong overall diameter)
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
1,521
838
Bay Area
Thank you for replying. It sounds like not a lot of people do this. I still wonder why the previous owner thought this was good. Maybe they get more snow in Portland. Or their local tire shop didn't have 265s at the time and everyone figured the 255s were 'close enough'..

Anyway I'm going with 265's as recommended on the door pillar when I replace these at the end of summer.

If anyone wants to pivot this topic a bit, feel free to advise on which actual brand of tire. Having seen a lot of those threads over the years I realize now one of the big reasons people keep talking about square setups is there are not a lot of choices for the staggered setup.

I think I've got it narrowed down to Pirelli Scorpion Zero vs Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ . This year I'm choosing to ignore snow altogether and just go with slightly sportier tires despite this rainy climate. I am ok with the increased cost.

Last year I was actually investigating Nokian "One" but they don't offer it in either of the two sizes I need
265/45R20
275/45R20

(they do offer it in.. wait for it.. the size in the title of this thread, 255/45R20 . But the bigger sizes available all have a different aspect ratio and the wrong overall diameter)

I picked up a set of Toyo all seasons. No idea how they will wear, or how they will sound, but they are cheap and Toyo is an excellent company. Nokian makes GREAT tires, but I wouldn't spend the extra money unless you are planning on seeing snow. I would choose the Michelin over the Pirelli, if those are the only two tires you are cross shopping.

There are actually quite a bit of tires available for these sizes. The main issue with running a square setup is that you can rotate the wheels to get more life out of them.
 
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I just noticed something relevant to this thread generally: depending on the Tire manufacturer, Tesla would specify 255's on the fronts as original equipment in some cases.

This post has a screenshot of the Owner's manual. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06

255's clearly can be considered "stock" if you got your X with Michelins.

For my particular case, we are talking about a Signature P90D with 20" slipstreams. Historical note, for the Sigs, Continental Cross Contact LX was stock on the 20's , Pirelli was stock on the 22's. So it didn't come with Michelins, and 255's will be a departure from whatever the car was supposed to have.

It's possible that for some reason the Nokian WRG3 255's I inherited on my used P90D were similar enough to the Michelin's that they were in fact the "correct" size. (But when *I* put Nokian WRG4's on my old 75D I put 265 in front- was I doing it wrong?)

*Anyway* I'm thinking of buying tires. And while I'm at it I'm considering buying wheels. Nothing too flashy. T Sportline seems to be the old stalwart here. 20" TST's (looks similar to Tesla 22" Turbine) or if I'm really feeling frisky maybe 20" TSS (looks similar to Tesla's 22" Arachnids).

T sportline really only recommends two AS options with their rims, Continental and Pirelli.

If those are my choices, then yes, Pirelli.

Options that don't work: I like Pirelli Asimettrico but once again we are back to 255's only in the fronts, they do not make 45-aspect-ratio 265's. And ngng has helpfully recommended Michelin as somehow preferable to the Pirelli's, but in the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ they don't make the *rears* (275's) in the required aspect-ratio.

Interestingly, although T Sportline doesn't mention them, Toyo seems to make something called a Proxes ST III that might work. I don't know. I'm a name-brand kind of guy. I guess I could do Toyo with enough persuasion. But Pirelli is the front runner here...
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
1,521
838
Bay Area
I just noticed something relevant to this thread generally: depending on the Tire manufacturer, Tesla would specify 255's on the fronts as original equipment in some cases.

This post has a screenshot of the Owner's manual. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06

255's clearly can be considered "stock" if you got your X with Michelins.

For my particular case, we are talking about a Signature P90D with 20" slipstreams. Historical note, for the Sigs, Continental Cross Contact LX was stock on the 20's , Pirelli was stock on the 22's. So it didn't come with Michelins, and 255's will be a departure from whatever the car was supposed to have.

It's possible that for some reason the Nokian WRG3 255's I inherited on my used P90D were similar enough to the Michelin's that they were in fact the "correct" size. (But when *I* put Nokian WRG4's on my old 75D I put 265 in front- was I doing it wrong?)

*Anyway* I'm thinking of buying tires. And while I'm at it I'm considering buying wheels. Nothing too flashy. T Sportline seems to be the old stalwart here. 20" TST's (looks similar to Tesla 22" Turbine) or if I'm really feeling frisky maybe 20" TSS (looks similar to Tesla's 22" Arachnids).

T sportline really only recommends two AS options with their rims, Continental and Pirelli.

If those are my choices, then yes, Pirelli.

Options that don't work: I like Pirelli Asimettrico but once again we are back to 255's only in the fronts, they do not make 45-aspect-ratio 265's. And ngng has helpfully recommended Michelin as somehow preferable to the Pirelli's, but in the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ they don't make the *rears* (275's) in the required aspect-ratio.

Interestingly, although T Sportline doesn't mention them, Toyo seems to make something called a Proxes ST III that might work. I don't know. I'm a name-brand kind of guy. I guess I could do Toyo with enough persuasion. But Pirelli is the front runner here...

I have a set of 4x 265/45/20 Toyo Proxes ST III waiting to go on my car.
 
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I have a set of 4x 265/45/20 Toyo Proxes ST III waiting to go on my car.
That's a great reminder actually: if I'm considering wheels, I should definitely consider a square setup.

I'm just now beginning to research how all these specs interact. It's a pretty deep rabbit hole...

PS I found this article interesting : How to PROPERLY select and size TIRES for PERFORMANCE - Page 2 of 5 - MotoIQ

Also as you have pointed out tiresize.com has a really great calculator. Note it doesn't take into account manufacturer variation and only talks about "tire width" not actual tread width, which the article above finds to be critically important. But generally good enough to avoid big surprises.
 
255's clearly can be considered "stock" if you got your X with Michelins.

You are completely right @Harvey Danger!

My wife's Performance Raven Model X came with Michelin Latitude Sport 3's on 20' Sonic Carbon Slipstreams and the fronts are 255/45 R20 from the factory.

20210517_202018.jpg
 
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Hi. I'm back. Tomorrow I'm putting on Michelin AS 4's all around which means 255's for the fronts, door pillar sticker be damned.

One of my tires is failing, tread is generally down to 5 or 6 32nds , and it's time to move on this project. I'm going all season instead of Nokian winter just to feel a little sportier..

[Actually I would love to do full-on summer tires but I have no experience with these: I think I read that it's not so much that they handle poorly and you will die if you drive them in the cold, it's that cold temperatures will crack them or otherwise damage them outright even if you didn't drive them out of your frozen garage. Seattle will eventually get cold. Maybe I'll finally break down and do that annoying thing, keep two sets of wheels around...]
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
1,521
838
Bay Area
Hi. I'm back. Tomorrow I'm putting on Michelin AS 4's all around which means 255's for the fronts, door pillar sticker be damned.

One of my tires is failing, tread is generally down to 5 or 6 32nds , and it's time to move on this project. I'm going all season instead of Nokian winter just to feel a little sportier..

[Actually I would love to do full-on summer tires but I have no experience with these: I think I read that it's not so much that they handle poorly and you will die if you drive them in the cold, it's that cold temperatures will crack them or otherwise damage them outright even if you didn't drive them out of your frozen garage. Seattle will eventually get cold. Maybe I'll finally break down and do that annoying thing, keep two sets of wheels around...]

Nokian makes a good "all season". Unsure if they have a size for our cars. You won't die on summer tires in the cold, but below 50-55 you would want a "winter" tire. IDEALLY. I went with the Toyo all seasons. TBD on how they handle/wear/
 
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Ok it is done:

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV
255/45R20 front (on stock 20x9 wheels)
275/45R20 rear (on stock 20x9.5 wheels)

Apparently they are phasing out the old Latitude 3's (pictured in post 8 above) in favor of this tire.

Note these are for trucks. They are not the regular passenger car version of Pilot Sport 4, Pilot Sport 4S, or Pilot Super Sport, or any other variant with Pilot or Sport in the name. They are "Pilot Sport 4 SUV"

Whatever they're called, they are considered "Summer Tires" with some associated disclaimer language that concerns me a little:
Note: Tires exposed to temperatures of 20 degrees F (-7 degrees C) or lower must be permitted to gradually return to temperatures of at least 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) for at least 24 hours before they are flexed in any manner, such as by adjusting inflation pressures, mounting them on wheels or using them to support, roll or drive a vehicle.

Maybe I'll update later on after driving on them a bit, but at least they felt and sounded great on the ride home.

For my next trick, I plan to remove these from the stock rims and put them on some new T Sportline TSS (arachnid-styled) flow forged 20" rims, 9" front, 10" rear.

And some spacers for cosmetics.

Then put some regular all-seasons on the stock rims and put those back on the car when it starts getting cold around here.

I've got it all planned out

..in my mind, anyway..
 
Last edited:

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
I'm approaching new tires on our X (2020 LR+) as well. Right now we have the factory Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires.

I'm debating between Michelin CrossClimates or Nokian WR G4's. Keeping in mind that I'm in the Northeast, cold performance matters. Snow and ice to a degree, but if it's a "really" bad day of snow, I'm not going out anywhere.

Any thoughts on either of them?

And germane to the topic title... Right now I've got 265s on the front. Any reason to use 255's? The latest Model X owners' manual removed the language about Michelin 255's. See page 201: https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_x_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf
 
Interesting that both 255 and 265 are both provided "stock." Personally, I haven't deviated from the door jam sizes because I'm not sure how the speedometer works in the X. On AWD ICE vehicles, the wheels were all connected via the transmission and had to be square to avoid transmission damage and/or excess tire wear. In the X, the motors aren't linked, and based on other information elsewhere in this forum, changing sizes won't lead to damage or tire wear.

Maybe it's a bit OCD, but I want my speedometer to be as accurate as possible. In a previous (RWD ICE) vehicle that had 18 inch alloys and no steel option, I found a 17 inch steel wheel that would fit and got snows on a set of those with the exact same rolling diameter as the door jam size. I actually worked backwards using the "Tire Compare" section of Tire Size Calculator to find the right size.

According to that site, switching from a 265/45R20 to a 255/45R20 would make the speedometer high by 1 MPH at 70 MPH (more specifically, when it says you're going 70, you'd be going 69). That only applies if the speedometer is based off of the front wheels, though. Assuming it is, Tesla may technically be able to "get away with this" because US federal regulations only require it to be within 3%, and that is within 3%. OTOH, if the speedometer is based on the rears, switching from 275/45R20 to 285/45R20 would bring the speedometer close to 1 MPH low at 70 MPH. Obviously the question this thread raises for me is this: how is the speedometer fed its information? The answer to that question could imply another practical effect re: OP question.
 
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