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Are winter tires necessary with the long range dual motor AWD?

Are winter snow sires with AWD Model 3 needed?

  • I am comfortable with the stock tires handling in the snow.

    Votes: 32 22.5%
  • I am NOT comfortable with the stock tires handling in the snow.

    Votes: 12 8.5%
  • I have experience driving in snow with and without snow tires feel the snow tires are worth it.

    Votes: 86 60.6%
  • I have experience driving in snow with and without snow tires feel the snow tires NOT worth it.

    Votes: 12 8.5%

  • Total voters
    142

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,327
15,239
New Mexico
Where do you take them to get balanced and mounted, and what is the approximate cost?
How do you transport the tires? Do they all fit in the back of the 3?
Where do you store them? I have limited garage space.
All 4 in the Model 3
In the garage. They are fairly bulky so you may have to think about it a bit. E.g., hang them on a wall.
I elected to buy a winter set of wheels to go with the tyres to save on bi-annual swap charges. And this way I swap at home at my convenience.
 

Viking79

Member
Aug 26, 2019
28
31
Marion, IA
Always have conditionally appropriate tires on your vehicle. I have known people personally who have lost their lives from not having appropriate tires.

If you live in an area with torrential rains, replace your tires at 4/32nds instead of 2/32nds legal requirement. If you live in an area with snow, use winter or at least good all seasons depending on how much snow, etc. Usually, all seasons might be good the first year, but by season 2 are useless. They are part of the cost of owning and operating dangerous equipment, do so responsibly.

As an example, my RWD i3 had no trouble driving down a snow covered street with my snow tires where a friend's AWD SUV with old all seasons immediately got stuck. Winter tires come in a variety of options depending on how much snow you receive. Some are better at higher speeds, but maybe worse in packed snow, or some are better than ice. Find people that live in similar conditions to you and see what they use.
 

holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,291
1,300
eu
Don’t get crappy steel wheels with hubcap. Gosh why buy a Model 3 and cheap out.
The general rationale is that cars are always dirty in the winter, so looks are less of a concern. Roads tend to get damaged more, and potholes/irregularities can be masked by snow. Maybe higher chance of curbing a wheel. Etc etc.

But yeah I just bought OEM alloys for winter due to convenience. Could I get a better deal aftermarket? Probably. But EV car in my market is VAT free, so buying winter wheels with car purchase I can roll in that advantage.




Thanks for the info on these tires, I'm getting 19's so I'll keep this in mind. A few questions for those of you who do this...
Where do you take them to get balanced and mounted, and what is the approximate cost?
How do you transport the tires? Do they all fit in the back of the 3?
Where do you store them? I have limited garage space.
Thanks!
Way more convenient just to buy a dedicated set of wheels for winter tires. You won't have to mount and dismount and rebalance tires constantly.

Dealerships and tire shops offer wheel/tire storage services. Especially in urban areas where many people don't have excess storage space
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,475
1,852
Utah
hang them on a wall.
You can also hang them from the garage ceiling. That's what I did back when I lived in a climate where I needed to have separate tires/wheels for winter.

IMO, here in the desert is really the only appropriate place to keep "all season" tires on your car year 'round.
 

cypho

Member
Dec 20, 2018
771
907
USA
Option 1: Buy a new set of All Seasons every 30K miles
Option 2: Buy a new set of All Seasons + a new set of Winters every 60K miles

Assuming you plan to keep the car long enough to burn through 2 sets of tires, there is almost no extra cost have a set of winters. So yes, it is worth the cost if you live in a cold place.

.
 
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brobinson

Member
May 23, 2018
621
639
Ohio
First off I live in Connecticut and was wondering if winter tires are really necessary. Does anyone know how the Model 3 with AWD handles in the snow with the stock tires?

I got a quote from one tire shop for federal Himalaya ws2 tires- 235/45r18 to have the tires mounted on my stock rims balanced with alignment for $600 out the door. That price sounds really good to me.

I also got a quote for the Michelin X ice X13 tires to be mounted on steel rims balanced with alignment for $1402.76

If I just have the Michelin X ice X13 tires to be mounted on my stock rims balanced with alignment for $1099.23 out the door.

I really don't want to spend a lot of money on winter tires and if it's not necessary I would prefer to go without winter tires as that is the primary reason I went with the AWD model 3.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Theres no question whether or not snow tires are better than A/S tires in the winter. They absolutely are. That said, I made it through last winter (Ohio) without issue on the OEM A/S tires on an RWD car! The weight and distribution of the car is nothing to write off.

If you get a ton of snow, absolutely get snow tires. If you are unsure of yourself driving in winter and would rather be more secure, get snow tires. If you are a competent winter drive that understands the cars behavior, you'll be fine on the OEM tires.

I'm going to be at around 30k miles on my OEM tires when winter rolls around, so I'll be replacing them with a more aggressive A/S tire this year.
 

HyperionMark

Member
Aug 28, 2017
507
226
Brookings, SD
Anyone know a rough time frame from the moment you click buy on Tesla's website for tires/rims to the time the ranger comes to put them on?

Secondly, how much would a ranger charge to come swap them out again in the spring?
 

GregD60

Member
Mar 24, 2016
358
354
Colorado
All wheel drive tends to make drivers over-confident as they are able to accelerate better in snow then a 2 wheel drive car. The problem is, they can't stop any better. That is why I prefer 2 wheel drive in the snow. It helps me not be be over-confident with the ability of my car to handle the icy roads when stopping.
Get winter tires!
You obviously live in an area where you don't have any steep roads you have to go up. Where I live, they're all over the place, and when it gets really slippery out, 2 wheel drive on snow tires will not get you up the hills. AWD is necessary around here if you want to ensure that you can drive pretty much all the time.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,547
3,211
Maine
More googling ... 4% of accidents are during snow/sleet road conditions. That does not sound like a lot but I attempted to put a denominator on this number. I found the average snow days by state and then weighted that number by the state population as a fraction of the US population. It works out to 0.3 snow days a year. If we treat non-snow/sleet days as the other group then the relative risk of an accident during a snow/sleet day is ~ 56x higher.

Spreadsheet
Where I live, it doesn't actually have to be snowing, to be snow road conditions. In the middle of Winter, lots of non-interstate roads can have packed snow on them. And any day that's below freezing, has the potential for ice, obviously. Lots of times if the temp is around freezing, the sun could melt the surface snow, which then freezes as the sun goes down. Those aren't snow days, but those accidents that occur most definitely are caused by adverse conditions.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,327
15,239
New Mexico
You obviously live in an area where you don't have any steep roads you have to go up. Where I live, they're all over the place, and when it gets really slippery out, 2 wheel drive on snow tires will not get you up the hills. AWD is necessary around here if you want to ensure that you can drive pretty much all the time.
I'm skeptical, since a 2WD with snow tyres can perform better on a skippery grade than an AWD with all-season tyres. You and I both know that the latter is common.

I think this comes down to a simple physics question: Does a snow tyre have at least twice the winter grip as an all-season ? We can estimate grip by tests that measure distance to a stop. This report found 60 feet for the snow tyres and 90 feet for the all-season, but we first have to correct for reaction time at the tested 30 mph. If reaction time is 0.5 seconds then we subtract 22 feet from each result and end up with 38 feet for winter tyres and 68 feet for all season -- 1.8x more grip in the winter tyre. This analysis suggests similar results.
 
Last edited:

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,043
4,663
MA, NH
Anyone know a rough time frame from the moment you click buy on Tesla's website for tires/rims to the time the ranger comes to put them on?

Secondly, how much would a ranger charge to come swap them out again in the spring?

Depends on time of year and current stock.

If you really can’t handle swapping tires on your own, I’d check with local shops. Some larger ones will swap them free every season. And some will even store them for you.

You could consider an “all weather” tire too. Like Nokian WR*
 

GregD60

Member
Mar 24, 2016
358
354
Colorado
I'm skeptical, since a 2WD with snow tyres can perform better on a skippery grade than an AWD with all-season tyres. You and I both know that the latter is common.

I think this comes down to a simple physics question: Does a snow tyre have at least twice the winter grip as an all-season ? We can estimate grip by tests that measure distance to a stop. This report found 60 feet for the snow tyres and 90 feet for the all-season, but we first have to correct for reaction time at the tested 30 mph. If reaction time is 0.5 seconds then we subtract 22 feet from each result and end up with 38 feet for winter tyres and 68 feet for all season -- 1.8x more grip in the winter tyre. This analysis suggests similar results.
Yes, it is a "simple physics question", and I agree that I'd rather drive a 2WD car on snow tires in extremely slippery conditions than an AWD car on all seasons. It is also a simple physics observation that having 100% of a cars weight over its driving wheels will allow movement at times when a lower percentage is simply not adequate. When you're trying to drive up steep, slippery hills, physics rules, and AWD can go places where two wheel drive just can't cut it. Please note that this is using equivalent tires on the AWD and two wheel drive vehicle.

I have a BMW 330i rear wheel drive that I put either Blizzaks or X-Ice on for 10 years. I could just about always get around, but there were plenty of times where it wasn't easy, and some times when it simply wasn't possible. Even when it was possible, I often had to make sure that I carried enough momentum to get up the steep parts to where the slope of the road was more gradual. In fact, it became the norm for me to turn off the automatic stability control (ASC) in order to get up the hills since the ASC system would apply too much braking when the car slithered from side to side trying to get up the hill. BMW set up the system nicely though so that the first tap of the ASC button still left the Automatic Differential Brakde (ADB) on, which worked very well when powering up the hills. It was even fun with tail out action on demand. :)

Depending on the snow and ice conditions, sometimes a very gentle throttle foot worked best, other times spinning the rear tires a bunch and throwing up rooster tails of snow worked best. Sometimes, it would take multiple tries to get up a hill. The problem with this is that when you're so on the edge of traction, you really have to be careful to not end up in a ditch on the side of a road or hitting another vehicle or obstacle. I never hit anything, but I was careful and there were a few times every year where I simply didn't take the car out. I had a simple traction test I could do by making a right turn out of my driveway and seeing if I could make it up the hill that my house is located on since it is one of the steepest hills in my neighborhood. It didn't take long to learn from that when I should and shouldn't take the car out, or if I wasn't sure it was a quick test.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,043
4,663
MA, NH
Yes, it is a "simple physics question", and I agree that I'd rather drive a 2WD car on snow tires in extremely slippery conditions than an AWD car on all seasons. It is also a simple physics observation that having 100% of a cars weight over its driving wheels will allow movement at times when a lower percentage is simply not adequate. When you're trying to drive up steep, slippery hills, physics rules, and AWD can go places where two wheel drive just can't cut it. Please note that this is using equivalent tires on the AWD and two wheel drive vehicle.

I have a BMW 330i rear wheel drive that I put either Blizzaks or X-Ice on for 10 years. I could just about always get around, but there were plenty of times where it wasn't easy, and some times when it simply wasn't possible. Even when it was possible, I often had to make sure that I carried enough momentum to get up the steep parts to where the slope of the road was more gradual. In fact, it became the norm for me to turn off the automatic stability control (ASC) in order to get up the hills since the ASC system would apply too much braking when the car slithered from side to side trying to get up the hill. BMW set up the system nicely though so that the first tap of the ASC button still left the Automatic Differential Brakde (ADB) on, which worked very well when powering up the hills. It was even fun with tail out action on demand. :)

Depending on the snow and ice conditions, sometimes a very gentle throttle foot worked best, other times spinning the rear tires a bunch and throwing up rooster tails of snow worked best. Sometimes, it would take multiple tries to get up a hill. The problem with this is that when you're so on the edge of traction, you really have to be careful to not end up in a ditch on the side of a road or hitting another vehicle or obstacle. I never hit anything, but I was careful and there were a few times every year where I simply didn't take the car out. I had a simple traction test I could do by making a right turn out of my driveway and seeing if I could make it up the hill that my house is located on since it is one of the steepest hills in my neighborhood. It didn't take long to learn from that when I should and shouldn't take the car out, or if I wasn't sure it was a quick test.

And what happens if you are in traffic that stops while going up a slippery hill. That's when it really sucks to not have proper traction.

AWD and Snows for me. Doesn't happen often that it's required but sometimes it just is, it's not like you plan for it.
 

GregD60

Member
Mar 24, 2016
358
354
Colorado
And what happens if you are in traffic that stops while going up a slippery hill. That's when it really sucks to not have proper traction.

AWD and Snows for me. Doesn't happen often that it's required but sometimes it just is, it's not like you plan for it.

Yes, I had one situation last year where the four wheel drive truck in front of me was going up a hill but there were a couple of cars on the road sideways and another off in a ditch on the side of the road so the truck had to stop. That killed the trucks momentum and even though his brakes were completely locked up, he started slowly sliding back towards me. Fortunately, with winter tires on my AWD Model 3 I was able to avoid him. It was one of those days where I wouldn't have taken my rear wheel drive BMW out even with winter tires on it.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,043
4,663
MA, NH
Yes, I had one situation last year where the four wheel drive truck in front of me was going up a hill but there were a couple of cars on the road sideways and another off in a ditch on the side of the road so the truck had to stop. That killed the trucks momentum and even though his brakes were completely locked up, he started slowly sliding back towards me. Fortunately, with winter tires on my AWD Model 3 I was able to avoid him. It was one of those days where I wouldn't have taken my rear wheel drive BMW out even with winter tires on it.

Yeah, the problem with "those days" is everyone else you have to deal with and sometimes it doesn't matter if you have control or not.
 

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