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To3OrNotTo3

Member
Oct 15, 2020
72
52
New England
The 8 year dream of owning a Tesla is finally coming to fruition, and I'm awaiting delivery of a Model 3 Performance.

I then realized I don't know the first thing about wheels/tires.

I know that range for the stock tires and wheel sets (at least the previous iteration) suffered as you increased tire size, and that your likelihood to suffer costly pothole damage goes up with wheel size. I know people seem to like Forged > Flow Forged > Cast wheels. I know the P3D used to come with All-Summer Tires that could lose their warranty if driven underneath 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and same likely for the new Pirelli's, which people seem to like less than the otherwise lovable Michelin tires on the P3D. Is weather cracking really real? :(

Can anyone give me the rundown of things I should care about? Of note, I loved how the Michelin tires felt on the P3D I rented.

There are several factors we should probably consider:

Performance
Range
Noise
Load Rating (???)
Cost
Summer/Winter Pairing vs All-Season Options
Set of different wheels, or just keep one wheel and switch tires
Wheel Size
Beloved Brands (TSportline vs Tesla vs Martian, etc. for wheels, or the same for tires)
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,773
12,475
Riverside Co. CA
Being that you are in new england, the main thing would be making sure you have winter tires if you are buying a model 3 Performance. They come with summer tires (I have read they come with a different tire than the michelin Pilot supersport 4S tires, which are amazing).

Issue is, as you mention, summer tires have rubber that actually starts to change when it is subjected to freezing temperatures. Driving in a place that has a real winter on summer tires is basically asking to have an accident. Where I am (in southern california) I drive on my PS4S tires year round, as they also have very good wet traction, and I dont have any days where the temperatures are at freezing or below when I am driving.

Depending on when you pick up your car, and how far you have to drive home, it may not even be safe to drive home if your car is delivered with summer tires, so your number 1 priority is figuring out what you will do for winter tires.

Most who buy the performance car are ok with swapping tires to winter tires. If it were me, I would consider simply ordering a winter set of tires (18 inch rims) from tesla along with my model 3P, and asking tesla to install them before I drove off from picking it up. They wont let you NOT take the 20s with the car, unless you buy one without the performance package, but then you miss out on the spoiler, and a couple other things the performance package has, and dont save any money.

Unfortunately, I am not able to assist with all the other things you mentioned but there are a lot of tire threads here where you might be able to find some information on brands, etc.

Good luck, and pre welcome to tesla ownership.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,181
Vernon, BC, Canada
The first thing you should know is probably that this isn't something to stress - many people do just fine with not overly caring which exact tire they get, especially when they "don't know the first thing" about it. You don't need to :)

If you get snow and ice, dedicated winter tires are much better than all seasons. They even have benefits just when it's cold (below about 45F). Yes they cost extra, but you're putting wear on two sets of tires instead of one so in the long run it's not a crazy difference. Having two sets of rims may be cheaper in the long run vs. switching them twice per year, but this depends on the local cost for the swaps vs. what you want for rims.

Load rating is one of the things that restricts our tire choices, but not overly so.
 
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To3OrNotTo3

Member
Oct 15, 2020
72
52
New England
Thank you both! Both very helpful. I have historically driven awd cars with stock tires and never had any issues in the snow, but maybe that's because it's all I've known having grown up in the midwest and then moving out to new england. I might just not know what I'm missing

It was espeecially hepful to think about this line here:

putting wear on two sets of tires instead of one so in the long run it's not a crazy difference

I currently have an order of the 19 inch Gemini winter package coming in, wondering if I spent too much money and should just order 18 inch ones from T-Sportline with a winter tire.
 

To3OrNotTo3

Member
Oct 15, 2020
72
52
New England
Depending on when you pick up your car, and how far you have to drive home, it may not even be safe to drive home if your car is delivered with summer tires, so your number 1 priority is figuring out what you will do for winter tires.

Yea, I was surprised no one from Tesla mentioned this to me in the buying process :( But I guess it makes sense that a performance car would probably come with tires oriented towards the season with the best performance *grimacing trying to make it make more sense*
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,550
16,581
New Mexico
Not long after buying my Model 3, I drove with the stock tyres during an icy day and had a near death experience (no hyperbole here -- it was bad) with my wife in the car no less. Afterwards I wondered how I had avoided similar episodes in all my driving years up till then and had to admit to myself that I was driving faster and more aggressively in the Tesla.

I can take a hint. I now swap to winter tyres every year. AWD is not a reasonable replacement for winter tyres. I chose to keep two sets of rims/tyres and swap them myself. It took some shopping, but I was able to find cheap-ish rims and good winter tyres for ~ $1000 installed through discount tire.

Fancy, fast car .... fancy wheels. I get it. Just do yourself a favor and put safety first or a smashed $60+k car you spent 8 years waiting and saving for may be the least of your worries.
 
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Xian

Member
Oct 10, 2020
11
8
Florida
Regarding the possibility of the stock tires cracking in cold weather: yes, it’s possible. No, it’s not likely.

If you’re looking to read up on this stuff, go check out some of the articles and comparisons over on TireRack’s site. You could also search up anything relative to “tire glass transition temperature”. This is the temp where rubber goes from soft/pliable to rigid/cracking. I’ve seen it happen to race tires exposed to freezing temps but never on a street tire. Not saying it couldn’t happen to a street tire but, what’s more likely, is that you just have awful grip/performance in snow or on ice.

As others have said, if you get snow/ice then look at a dedicated set of winter tires.

PS
I’d also imagine that the instant torque of an EV makes slippery conditions tougher... feathering the throttle is naturally going to be easier in a low-HP/TQ application.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,773
12,475
Riverside Co. CA
Regarding the possibility of the stock tires cracking in cold weather: yes, it’s possible. No, it’s not likely.

If you’re looking to read up on this stuff, go check out some of the articles and comparisons over on TireRack’s site. You could also search up anything relative to “tire glass transition temperature”. This is the temp where rubber goes from soft/pliable to rigid/cracking. I’ve seen it happen to race tires exposed to freezing temps but never on a street tire. Not saying it couldn’t happen to a street tire but, what’s more likely, is that you just have awful grip/performance in snow or on ice.

As others have said, if you get snow/ice then look at a dedicated set of winter tires.

PS
I’d also imagine that the instant torque of an EV makes slippery conditions tougher... feathering the throttle is naturally going to be easier in a low-HP/TQ application.

Yeah most summer tires that are put on consumer cars dont crack visibily, but the rubber does get harder in temps below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At freezing temps, tires with summer rubber compounds have much less grip than they would have normally (and much less than is actually safe to drive on).

There are quite a few videos one could find comparing summer tires and winter tires on the same snowy conditions, with the summer tires providing almost no grip.

Getting started moving isnt that much of the issue... its stopping.
 

dmd2005

Active Member
Oct 5, 2015
1,196
1,051
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Aftermarket wheels on Model 3: summary

The original poster has some good insights in what he went through looking for aftermarket wheels. I’ve personally dealt with Get Your Wheels, Tsportline, and Signature Wheels in the past with good experiences. The guys at GYW (Jason, Josh, and John) and Jamie from Signature Wheels will provide you answers to all your questions for what you’re looking for. They will give you after purchase support and won’t disappear on you if you have any issues or questions.

Any time you switch from a summer to winter tire, range will decrease, dry traction will be worse, wear will increase with softer compounds, and noise will increase as well.

Set a budget for yourself, choose a wheel size and type (forged, flow formed or cast) , and ask around to see what packages the sales reps can put together for you.

If you like the MPS4S tires, the MP Alpin PA4 tires are a performance oriented winter tire with decent wear rate, good dry traction, good grip in light to moderate snowy conditions and reasonable noise level. Other popular winter tires are the Nokian Hakka R3, Michelin Xice, and Blizzaks.

I suggest not using an all season type of tire if you have freezing weather and snow or ice. Get a true winter tire for stopping and handling in wintry conditions.
 
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novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,924
4,099
NH, MA
I bought the winter tire/wheel set from Tesla and haven't regretted one bit. I'm in NE too. If you have the 20" wheels, be careful of potholes. I've seen several New Englanders dent theirs hitting a pothole.
 
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