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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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    Portola Valley, ca
    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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    San Diego
    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.
     
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