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Are the official Model X snow chains compatible with the Model X?

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by cantdecide, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    Has anyone actually tried to put Model X snow chains on a Model X... or am I the first person to actually try it?

    We want to be legal going up to Tahoe in Winter... so yes, I actually bought the official snow chains for the Model X... and now I also have a Model X to go with it so I decided to test them out so I know how to do it. Yep, we're the family who is likely to install front license plates also.

    Given the shopping page for the chains: Tesla — Model X Snow Chain - Trak 4X4 only says "Chains should only be installed on the rear wheels of the Model X and only on 19" and 20" tires" about compatibility... I made sure I got the 20 inch tires (or should that be 20 inch wheels to be precise). Having done everything on that page I thought I would be set.

    I ran into some issues:
    The instructions for the chains specify:
    "Install the Trak tire chains on the following Tesla-approved wheels and tires only:"
    It then lists Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires... on 19 inch Cyclone, and 20 inch Helix.
    1) My X came with 20 inch Helix. Do I need to buy new wheels?
    2) My X came with all seasons, not winter tires.
    Sigh. It seems that I now need to go and spend another $4000 to get my $500 chains to work?
    At least it does say "recommendations" so maybe I can ignore the above and continue.
    The chains themselves just fit on the stock all seasons... but that isn't all in the installation...
    3) The chains attach to a wheel nut [lug nut?], but come with the wrong size for Model X wheel nuts.
    Yep, it seems I need new wheel nuts to use the chains, which is not documented anywhere! Even if I spend $4k on a winter tire package, it won't come with wheel nuts.
    To see this in more detail... If you look at the images on shop.teslamotors.com ... for both the model S and model X snow chains... both use the largest size of socket... 21mm.
    However the wheel nuts on my model X are much bigger than the wheel nuts on my model S... the model X chains fit the nuts on the model S just fine, but not the model X.
    I suspect that Tesla upgraded the size of the Model X wheel nuts at the last moment, without realizing this meant that the snow chains simply can't fit... the manufacturer doesn't seem to make a socket to fit the new wheel nuts.

    Hence I'm wondering does anyone else know about different wheel nut sizes on their X?
    Does anyone else have larger wheel nuts on their X than their S?
    Has anyone else bought the snow chains (or am I the only one so far) and if so do they come with the 21mm sockets that don't fit?
    Am I doing something else wrong?
    [naturally I'm going to take this up with Tesla if we can't figure it out here quickly that I've done something simple very wrong]

    Even if we do solve the wheel nut issue I'm still rather concerned that Tesla advertises the snow chains as fitting "20 inch wheels" when they don't fit the stock wheels and tires... they should at least warn that they recommend only using the snow chains on the winter tires. Many of us are getting the 20 inch wheels in part for the snow chains, that we only find out later is recommended against!

    IMG_20160328_185446_436.jpg
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. KOL2000

    KOL2000 Member

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    Wow this is disappointing. I'm in the same boat here. I have the chains but I have not tried them yet. I will need them for sure next ski season so I hope this is figured out soon. Maybe they just need to ship out new lug nut adapters? Thanks very much for posting this!!!
     
  3. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Well technically you are legal. The law requires you to carry chains when you have AWD and M&S tires. You only need to put them on when they go to R3. I am not sure if they ever go to R3 anymore. They just close the road.

    But you should still have a product that works and is what you paid for.
     
  4. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Yeah I bought the snow chains too for my 20" Model X tires. Same exact problem. I emailed Tesla, who,of course punted this to the service center, and they said to bring the chains in. So yeah, I'm not impressed either.
     
  5. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    Yep, I got the same request from Tesla, bringing them in today.
     
  6. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    Mods: Please update the thread title to "Solved: yes: the Model X snow chains fit"

    Problem solved!
    (the lug nut / wheel nut issue at least)

    It turns out that those silver hexagonal things on the wheels that look like wheel nuts / lug nuts are not actually wheel nuts.
    They are the covers for the wheel nuts!

    Once you lever them off with a screwdriver you can find the actual wheel nuts, and those are the same 21mm ones as for the S, and the socket fits on those which lets you attach the chains properly.

    So why did Cosmacelf and I get confused?
    • While the manual does mention the wheels may have wheel nut covers, the ones pictured in the instructions are black (which I believe are the colours of the Model S wheel nut covers) and very much look like wheel nuts, and are held in nice and firmly. I considered at home that they might be covers and tried to remove them and failed... and concluded they were not covers.
    • No screwdriver is included. Not that they have to include them, but many people don't try on snow chains before they are in the snow... at which time it is too late go go home and get a screwdriver.
    As for issues (1) and (2)... these are recommendations from Tesla, but while the manual for the chains explicitly says not to use the chains on the 22 inch wheels it doesn't say anything about the 20 inch cyclone wheels (it recommends not to use on 20 inch aeroturbine).

    So here are my recommendations to Tesla:
    1. Include a screwdriver or other equipment to remove the wheel nut cover.
    2. Update the instructions to show the cover of a model X wheel nut cover, and change the wording to specify that "most" cars have the cover that looks like a wheel nut but isn't.
    3. Update the online shopping page to say which wheels/tires are recommended / not recommended / ok to use, etcetera. Right now the web page just says to use 19" or 20" wheels, without specifying the detail available in the manual. I would not want to buy the wrong wheels/tires and snow chains after being really careful and reading the shopping page correctly.
     
    • Informative x 10
  7. Festerfeet

    Festerfeet Member

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    Did the service centre say whether the snow chains could be used on the cyclone wheels? These are now the standard wheels and it will be important to clarify for a lot of owners although I am asking also for selfish reasons.
     
  8. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    I didn't ask as it wasn't applicable to me, but I would guess that if they are the standard wheels and they are still selling the chains it would work?
     
  9. gde_eu

    gde_eu Member

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    Sorry to up this thread but at the SC today they told me that the Trak Snow Chain are only for the 19'' despite what is written on the online shop.

    Someone know if Is this really true ? I receive mixed answer from Trak itself and other sellers.
     
  10. McManX

    McManX Member

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    I’ve used them on my stock 20” a couple times, no problem.
     
  11. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    Perhaps what they had was the trak sport (for the model S, which I think only works for 19") and not the trak 4x4 which is the one for the model X, which is for the 20"?
    I can't remember all the details but I'm under the impression that the trak 4x4 is only for some of the 20" wheels/tires available for the X.
     
  12. Padelford

    Padelford Member

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    I just watched the installation video, and these are the weirdest tire chains I've ever seen. And I've seen some strange setups.

    There are four panels with what look like tire studs that go over the tire. The chains run between them around the tire. What are the panels made of? Plastic? Steel? If plastic, the chains won't last more than a season or two which is ridiculous for $500.

    Are there speed restrictions in the instructions?

    BTW, I've asked for the Tesla nut cover removal tool for Christmas. That should be included in the chain kit. I imagine they can be removed with a screwdriver, but I bet they'll get broken if one isn't really careful. My Q5 has some polyethylene (?) nut covers that can be removed with a screwdriver, but they can get dinged up in the process (they are soft enough not to break).

    cantdecide, make sure you send your account to Tesla directly. who knows if the SC will say anything up the line.
     
  13. McManX

    McManX Member

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    Panel things are metal. There is some speed restriction listed but I don’t recall what it is (don’t remember being surprised by it either).
     
  14. gde_eu

    gde_eu Member

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    #14 gde_eu, Nov 29, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    Thanks guy,

    Can't decide yet.

    Tesla told me the snow chain they sell are only for the 265/50-19 (of course I have brand new 20'' (Slipstream))

    On the manufacturer website, they say
    Capture 2017-11-03 at 16.06.15.png

    So LT51 looks suitable for both 19" and 20".

    I asked 3 local resellers and get this for the LT51 :

    snow2.jpg

    and

    snow1.jpg

    and

    snow3.jpg

    two looks like in line with what Tesla say (only 19'') and for the other, nothing match (neither 19" nor 20") !

    Is there something wrong/new with this snow chains ? Bad experience, so stop selling for the 20'' ?

    I think a may give up for now,

    Thanks again
     
  15. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    #15 vandacca, Nov 29, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    When I visit the Tesla online store, it says that it's compatible for both 19" and 20" Tesla OEM wheels.
     
  16. gde_eu

    gde_eu Member

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    Yeap, it's what I can read from the Tesla website and what Tesla told me until I really want to buy one...

    I'm afraid something has changed with the last batch from Trak... weird !
     
    • Informative x 1
  17. Jeff Songster

    Jeff Songster Member

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    Before you go far... double check the wheel well clearance. My old Ford Flex disallowed chains altogether because of fender clearances. I think this is part of why the tesla recommends these chains and tires.
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Any hook (like a dentist tool or 90 deg allen wrench) will work. I bought one on Amazon for about $5 and threw it in the chain kit.

    All metal, no plastic. Max speed on the manufacturer website states 30mph. You can find the manual here.

    I've never had tire chains like these & they are super easy to put on & appear really high quality. I hated having to chain up before, now it will be just an annoyance. Win.
     
  19. Skidmark

    Skidmark Member

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    The Audi wheel nut cover removal tool is ~$7 on Amazon and is the same tool my SC uses.
     

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