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Cold weather owners - Tesla on snow/ice

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Boatguy, Nov 20, 2016.

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Winter tires - what do you use?

  1. All-season tires

    38 vote(s)
    39.2%
  2. Snow tires

    57 vote(s)
    58.8%
  3. Studded snow tires

    2 vote(s)
    2.1%
  1. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I know there are a lot of owners who live in Canada, Scandinavia, northern parts of the U.S. and other cold weather climates where driving on snow and ice covered roads is a regular experience.

    How about your driving tips? Do you always have full regen? Do you modulate the go pedal when slowing? Do you always put on snow tires? What was the best and worse experience with your Tesla on snow and/or ice covered roads?

    I'll kick it off with a poll on the tires question.
     
  2. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    Feb 14, 2015
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    Location:
    NW of the 6ix Canada
    No issues with regen. Of note, regen is often limited when it's very cold - you get the yellow dashed line of death.
    Winter tires are a must. I have 21" wheels with Continental summer tires. They turn into banana peels in the winter.
    I haven't had any bad experiences in 2 years driving my 85D. I totaled a 2001 Sebring convertible in 2007, when I hit black ice. Black ice is scary, because you can't see it. Just don't speed in the winter, and give lots of space between cars.
     
  3. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I have an 85D with the factory Pirelli snow tires. It is absolutely solid on snow and ice. I've never even felt it slip.
    One snow storm (about 6" wet snow) I tested the traction. I was on a frontage road with no traffic. I floored the go pedal and the car just accelerated steadily in a straight line without slipping. I then slammed on the brakes. It just slowed in a straight line with no sign of slipping. I've driven through lots of snow and ice and it just feels the same as on a dry road.
    I haven't done anything with the regen settings. The car really takes care of itself... traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes all just work.
     
  4. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    I have experienced the same with the same tires as msphor with my P85D.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    Location:
    Colorado
    Whenever the road is snow covered, I set regen to low.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Villa-Lobos

    Villa-Lobos Member

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    Location:
    Whitefish
    i use normal regen you just need to be smooth on and off the pedal... use OM Michelin tires primacy 19 inch. I live at 5000 feet get 300 inches of snow and drive up and down a road that has a 2000ft vertical drop over 5 miles and a 10 percent incline driveway. Have driven the transcanada highway from Golden to Revelstoke in a January snowstorm at night. Never felt I needed snow tires...But I am very experienced in these conditions. Amazing in these conditions!
     
    • Informative x 3
  7. Skipdd

    Skipdd Member

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    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Last year I just used the OM Primacy tires w/o an issue. But I mostly avoided going out in the snow. I decided to buy winter tires this year (peace of mind and I will likely be driving more) and purchased Michellin ice-x after reviewing posts here.. FWIW, I have not noticed any issue with regen while driving in adverse conditions, but I will be mindful of it as the winter progresses this year.
     
  8. mrjedistud

    mrjedistud Member

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    Location:
    New York
    I picked up my car in Feb of 2016 with summer OEM 21's. I didn't have time to order and swap to winter tires. Even with the snow we had in the northeast the 21s actually held up well (granted they were brand new tires then). I toyed with ordering 19 winters but will leave for now. Hopefully my 21s with a years worth of wear still hold up. I did hear that the summer tires harden up under 40 F and can lead to excessive wear on freezing days.
     
  9. Snow Drift

    Snow Drift Member

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    Long Island
    Summer tires under 40 harden and you will lose grip (dry roads), especially on turns. Without being soft the rubber can't grip and stick to the road. You are risking your life and others if you don't get at least A/S tires. Snow tires are recommended. I used to get performance snow tires for my WRXs which would give amazing dry weather grip and aggressive snow traction. Worth every penny.

    The amount of grip gained with snow tires will change your mind about not swapping.
     
  10. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I live in Houston, so we don't see snow but about once every 15 years, and even then it doesn't even stick. However, winters do get cold enough that summer tires aren't a good idea (can be in the 30's or below freezing on occasion), and we usually have a lot of wet days in the winter.

    While true snow/ice tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak, Michelin X-Ice, and Pirelli Sottozero aren't useful here, a good all-season is a very good idea. I actually went one step further and got a set of all-weather tires, the Nokian WR G3 for winter use (I put them on the car last weekend). It's an all-season tire, but the engineering is biased more towards cold weather use than a typical all-season. They're really rock solid in cold/wet conditions.
     
  11. KIP1

    KIP1 Member

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    Location:
    Northern Europe
    20 inch friction Pirelli Sottozero snow tyres, dd usage. Just remember to add antifreeze to washer fluid. The warm weather package is also useful. Only proplems are that sometimes windows fog up and door handles freeze and range is lower, but otherwise a good winter car. I have creep on, otherwise normal. Normal regen works well. I have P90DL.
     

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  12. tliving

    tliving Member

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    New England, USA
    I use Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2s for the Winter and have been quite happy with them. I leave regen in the normal setting but if there's snow/ICE I'm very careful when letting off the go pedal.

    My care is a RWD Model S and I live in New England. Haven't had any problems with snow/ice with the tires and traction control.

    Most frightening experience was going down a very slippery large hill, if I tried to crawl down it with my foot on the brake it slid off to the right, so I had to apply a very small amount of power on and off to keep it going straight down. Was touch and go for a while but made it down safely.

    I absolutely love the traction control. Best I've had.
     
  13. FrederikBoivin

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    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    I live in the countryside in Quebec' Eastern township. Lots of snow. Lots of ice. Freezing rain.
    My 2013 MS 85 is equipped with Nokian Hakka 8 with studddddddddds. It is like driving on dry pavement. Regen normal, never had any issue...
     
  14. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    My fear is always that the latest software update changed the dynamics of the car in low traction. You're never quite sure what the behavior of the car will be. On the most recent update I noticed that hitting a bump at ~55kW regen, completely disabled regen! Now I've been over this bump before and experienced mild reduction of regen, but never 55 to 0. I've also experienced sliding momemtum caused by regen not being reduced enough on slippery packed snow/ice, but that was like 8 software updates ago. What will it do this winter? Who knows. Not even sure the Tesla engineers know, I doubt they're having a Mika Häkkinen beta test each release in the snow, and given my experiences in the other obvious cold weather shortcomings, my expectations are not high. Keep in mind regen had major updates in the last release, where would they have even done cold weather testing???

    So I'd urge you all not to base this winter's driving on last year's experiences, and especially not one somebody's random "best traction control ever" comment.
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. croman

    croman Active Member

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    Regen only was updated (supposedly) in AWD vehicles. I think everyone is reporting differences in regen though, so who knows? Winter has just begun. Everyone, Tesla or not, drives like an idiot on the first big snow.
     
  16. InternetDude

    InternetDude Member

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    I use X-Ice 3 tires. Traction is very good but if I did it again I might consider studs for all the icy days. Slow down.

    Nope, hardly have full regen in winter. If I just finished charging I'll have full regen, otherwise it's half. It takes over 1/2 hour of highway driving to gain full regen or lots around town driving. No need to modulate the go pedal any different than dry pavement in winter, just start slowing down sooner.
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Best traction control ever (on v8)
     
    • Funny x 1
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    ... I dunno... I'm on the latest 8 software and have been able to make the car positively squirm on 'throttle' with less-than-ideal traction surfaces. In ways it's never done before. I think they may have turned up (down?) the aggressiveness of the anti-slip.. (less anti, more slip) somewhere since last winter.

    On the flipside, when 7 was very new I had some rear end float-wiggle (RWD only car) when letting 'off throttle' on very icy roads. But haven't been able to reproduce that on newer software.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Pick your medicine? I would prefer *best* traction control on regen situations ... because I have no control over that. I do have control over throttle application.
     
  19. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I have D and I think that makes a big difference. When I've had RWD loaners I've noticed they can be squirrelly even on dry pavement.
     
  20. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    It's kind of a sword... and how you use it.

    Overall, the Tesla is by far the best car I've ever had that keeps on the desired line of travel.

    Even my AWD Subaru does not compete on sure-footedness with my RWD Tesla.

    I'd like to say I can make by Subaru squirm on throttle application, even on a slippery road... ha! That's giving it too much credit, not enough power comes out to do that. Unless the road is a total mess... In which case the Subie goes sideways or does a 360... like a ballerina, not just a wiggle-then-correct - you're looking sideways!

    Yes, snow tires all around. I run Michelin xIce on everything in the winter. So it's not the rubber making the difference, it's the car.
     

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