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Are winter tires needed with the "D"??

bart513

Active Member
Feb 27, 2013
1,332
92
East Hampton
I have just purchased a used 2015 85D and have never owned an AWD vehicle. The car has the stock wheels/tires and with the NY winters I'm not sure if getting a set of snow tires are needed? On my 2.5 Roadster it wasn't even a question of needing winter tires. Any advice from current "D" owners? I don't live in the mountains or drive on unpaved roads.
 

scottf200

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
3,852
3,428
Chicagoland ModelX S603
I have just purchased a used 2015 85D and have never owned an AWD vehicle. The car has the stock wheels/tires and with the NY winters I'm not sure if getting a set of snow tires are needed? On my 2.5 Roadster it wasn't even a question of needing winter tires. Any advice from current "D" owners? I don't live in the mountains or drive on unpaved roads.
I drove an 85D in Chicago (Joliet autobahn) at an event in 5+" of snow for 40'. I couldn't get it stuck even moving in/out of the ruts. I don't even think I felt it slow down. Gotta love millisecond traction control.
 

AziwA

Member
Mar 22, 2015
117
4
Zurich
I think winter tires are an absolute essential for safety. check this video:

Winter Tyres v Summer Tyres: the Truth! - Auto Express - YouTube

Its not about the handling so much as breaking distance that is greatly reduced with winter tires in cold and especially snow!


I have just purchased a used 2015 85D and have never owned an AWD vehicle. The car has the stock wheels/tires and with the NY winters I'm not sure if getting a set of snow tires are needed? On my 2.5 Roadster it wasn't even a question of needing winter tires. Any advice from current "D" owners? I don't live in the mountains or drive on unpaved roads.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,587
22,075
Texas
I think winter tires are an absolute essential for safety. check this video:

Winter Tyres v Summer Tyres: the Truth! - Auto Express - YouTube

Its not about the handling so much as breaking distance that is greatly reduced with winter tires in cold and especially snow!
This^^^^
Four winter tires are necessary for safety. Ideally they are on a second set of wheels so you don't have to risk tire damage by repeated mounts and demounts.
 

WarpedOne

Supreme Premier
Aug 17, 2006
4,341
6,359
Slovenia, Europe
It's all about temperature. If one never drives when temperatures are under 283K he is good with summer tires.
For any driving at colder conditions, summer tires are big big big safety problem.
If it was on me, I'd forbid them. I'd forbid any tire that has more than 5% longer braking distance as the best available tire.
 

AziwA

Member
Mar 22, 2015
117
4
Zurich
FYI - In some countries it is illegal to drive without winter tires in winter. In Switzerland I think you risk voiding your insurance without winter tires
 

mgdurand

Member
Jan 19, 2014
147
72
Glendale, AZ
Yes; traction is where it's at.

I used to drive a Jetta with gnarly winter tires (Winterforce, I think) and it would run rings around my AWD Legacy with street tires in the snow.

I also loved to gloat about how my 2wd car wouldn't get stuck where the street-ready SUV's did. I'd pass by one in the ditch and honk. Especially since I was running on vegetable oil. And I had a bumper sticker which said, "Your SUV makes you look fat" Ah, those cocky days of youth ;)

Even with the super-responsive traction control of the D, one would think that proper traction would still improve snow handling an order of magnitude over street tires loaded up with snow and ice, i.e. effectively bald.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Jan 18, 2014
12,869
10,868
Connecticut
For my Model S, in the summer, I run high-performance summer tires*.

In the winter months, I put on All-Season tires** (just put them on yesterday) so I can drive it when the temp drops below 40 or so.

For any other winter driving in the snow, I use dedicated snow tires*** on my BMW M5 as my "winter beater".


* Hankook Ventus evo v12
** Hankook Ventus S1 noble2
*** Bridgestone Blizzaks
 

Khatsalano

Member
Mar 21, 2015
669
116
San Mateo, CA
With the 19" stock wheels and tires, you should be fine. The current production is shipping with Michelin All-Season MXV4's I think. You would not be fine if you went with the 21"s like me ... those come with summer tires only, but hey, I live in California. It's only partially about AWD-- the tires you have are important too so make sure they say All Season or "AS" when you get your car.

Unless you're planning on driving in severe ice storms with 6 inches of snow on top, this will do just fine. Then again, if there is a severe ice storm with 6 inches of snow on top, even if you had a Hummer, I would urge you to wait it out and drive once conditions improve ... you know, for safety. :) I came from a much colder place once upon a time.

- K
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,469
South Surrey, BC
With the 19" stock wheels and tires, you should be fine. The current production is shipping with Michelin All-Season MXV4's I think. You would not be fine if you went with the 21"s like me ... those come with summer tires only, but hey, I live in California. It's only partially about AWD-- the tires you have are important too so make sure they say All Season or "AS" when you get your car.

Unless you're planning on driving in severe ice storms with 6 inches of snow on top, this will do just fine. Then again, if there is a severe ice storm with 6 inches of snow on top, even if you had a Hummer, I would urge you to wait it out and drive once conditions improve ... you know, for safety. :) I came from a much colder place once upon a time.

- K

I do a lot of driving in the winter since I have a cabin that is in the mountain and I drive the Highway Thru Hell a lot, and this is really bad advice. The problem, as said before, is not so much the amount of snow or ice but the temperature. Winter tires are meant to stay soft at low temperatures. If you drove on them year round, they would wear really fast. But when cold, they stay pliable rather than hard -- and hard rubber is extremely slippery. It doesn't take very cold weather to slide on all-season tires and I don't want someone coming the other way to slide into me because they chanced it on all-season tires, while I take the time and expensive to change over to dedicated winter tires. This is about life and death --- it not about "you should be fine". There's no room for "should".
 

ArtInCT

Always Learning
Sep 2, 2014
1,713
433
Southern Connecticut
I used to travel 200 miles per day here in New England mostly on turnpikes for many years with many autos and SUVs.

The major benefit of Winter Tires over All-Season with 4 wheel drive is stopping ability in the snow and ice. The 4 wheel drive can get you going with any good all season or winter tire (except high incline pure ice hill from a dead stop). However, what is critical is the ability to stop at speed in the event you or the terrain dictates. A good set of Winter Tires gives you a great advantage in curves and stopping distance. In some cases according to tests which I have read, a car with winters can stop in nearly 1/2 the distance. YMMV

As mentioned earlier and I fully agree with this... the road temperature and the condition of the winter tire (worn is not good) are critical to performance. In the cold, the Winter Tire set outperforms as the siping at the treads and edges and the rubber compound are designed not to suck... but STICK.
 

scottf200

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
3,852
3,428
Chicagoland ModelX S603
I do a lot of driving in the winter since I have a cabin that is in the mountain and I drive the Highway Thru Hell a lot, and this is really bad advice. The problem, as said before, is not so much the amount of snow or ice but the temperature. Winter tires are meant to stay soft at low temperatures. If you drove on them year round, they would wear really fast. But when cold, they stay pliable rather than hard -- and hard rubber is extremely slippery. It doesn't take very cold weather to slide on all-season tires and I don't want someone coming the other way to slide into me because they chanced it on all-season tires, while I take the time and expensive to change over to dedicated winter tires. This is about life and death --- it not about "you should be fine". There's no room for "should".

You have a point but do you know how many people drive on all seasons just fine. Millions. Just drive sensibly. Geez. I've driven a lot in MT, CO, and Northern IL and never had to change to winter tires from all seasons. I guess it makes sense if you are on true summer / performance tires.

Image: http://i.imgur.com/vokY51w.png
vokY51w.png
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,469
South Surrey, BC
You have a point but do you know how many people drive on all seasons just fine. Millions.

Just fine? Auto accidents kill more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year; they are the No. 1 cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 34. More than cancer. These are the statistics years round with good summer roads included. We have big signs on our highways that read:

14482890846_3b8a64f021_z.jpg


And if there's a road check, you are turned around and sent home if your tires don't have M+S or the snowflake on them. I really wish everyone was "just fine" on the roads. But the statistic show they are killing people every day and moreso in winter.
 

ModelS2015

Member
Sep 21, 2014
10
13
Colorado
I just got a set of Michelin X-Ice for my 85D. I have another beater car with blizzaks and considered using those on snowy days and save some money. Then I thought that those days missed without driving my tesla will be cold and sad. In addition, the tesla is a safer car overall so if something were to happen, I would rather it be in the tesla than my other car.

My line of thinking is most of us already spent 70k-120k. Spend the 1k for the the right shoes and go drive in peace.
 

Cottonwood

Roadster#433, Model S#S37
Feb 27, 2009
5,088
166
Colorado
As others have said, all wheel drive helps you start better, but does nothing to help stopping. What I found is that with all wheel drive, great traction control, and ant-lock brakes, that the maximum acceleration and deceleration are about the same and limited by the tires in Tesla AWD cars. For tough winter conditions, I strongly recommend the Nokian Hakka R2, studless winter tires.

Here are some links:
 

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