TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Durability of 21" tires

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by bosgig, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. bosgig

    bosgig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Metro Boston
    Do any of the early delivery owners have enough miles to make an educated guess on the durability of the 21" performance tires? How many miles should we be thinking we can get in the real world before they need to be replaced? Thanks!
     
  2. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    786
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Many factors will determine this - where you live, type of roads and their upkeep, etc.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    On other cars it looks like people were getting 15-20k miles but that might not mean much with the torque on the Model S. I'm hoping for 12,000 at least.
     
  4. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,092
    Location:
    Basin City, TX
    Not to mention that, unlike other performance sedans, we have a significant weight penalty. I go with dsm363. Prob a years worth ... maybe 16 months.
     
  5. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    Solana Beach, California, United States
    I've driven 5,200 miles so far on them, and the tread is still very thick. I didn't measure it so I can't give any kind of scientific answer, but it seems like I have a long time before I will need to replace these.
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,680
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    Not to say driving style and habits.
     
  7. KenEE

    KenEE P1937 Reward Excellence!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    Texas
    Go ahead and measure the tread now. Jerry33 probably has the original thickness memorized :)
     
  8. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    Is there an expected life difference between the Pef options's 21s (described as "high performance tires") and the Sig 21 inch "high performance tires"? I know the Perf wheels can be gray vs. silver but at one point I thought the tires themselves were from different manufacturers.

    In short, are you giving up tire life for better performance with the MSP vs. the MS?
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    The tires on both 21" wheel versions are the same Continental Extreme Contact DW 245/35R21 high-performance tires. Just the color of the rims is different so they should last the same amount of time.
     
  10. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Since the rear tires see the most wear from regen and acceleration, your 5200 miles means your front tires have even more tread on them. Rotating the tires you'll probably see at least 15-20k miles.
     
  11. HFh

    HFh Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    So, am I correct in believing that I can stick with the 21" performance tires all year round here in sunny Atlanta?
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    There are a few parts to the answer:

    1. Is it legal to drive with summer tires in inclement winter weather where you live? (Summer tires: tires without M-S or other winter tire markings on the sidewall.) If the answer is "No" and you don't have a "winter car", then you don't need to read any further. Just get the extra 19" tires and wheels.

    2. Even if it is legal, should you be involved in an accident in winter conditions, even if the accident would normally be 100% the other driver's fault, you might be held partly responsible. Of course, the accident investigator, insurance adjustor, or the other party's lawyer would have to catch this, but it's a pretty easy catch. (Easier than, for example, having tires mounted that have a lower carrying capacity than the OE tires.)

    3. From a technical perspective, the 21" tires are summer high performance tires. They are designed to not turn to goo during hard maneuvering on hot days (40 C). Because of that the tread compound basically turns to wood as the temperature declines. Even on dry pavement when the temperature is cold (10 C and below), the tires will be slippery until they get warmed up. If you hit a patch of black ice no amount of vehicle stability control or ABS will save you. This will be true even at 5-10 mph (been there, done that, got lucky. Circumstances were driving down a sloping driveway. The tires were more "winterish" than the Model S' 21" tires too).

    I'm in DFW where there are between two and ten days of winter weather per year. I'm not concerned about performance, other than using minimum energy to propel the car for maximum range, so for me the choice is easy: get the 19" tires, skip the 21" altogether. If I wanted to use the performance aspects of the Model S, I'd get two sets of tires and wheels. If I lived in any place that had a real winter, I'd probably get three sets of tires and wheels (winter, summer touring, performance summer).

    P.S. Be sure about what the laws are regarding winter tires in your area. In some places they need to be installed during certain date ranges regardless of the weather (probably not in Georgia, but some places have odd laws).
     
  13. HFh

    HFh Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'll look into the rules around here.

    I will say this: it's 67 degrees right now, the day after Thanksgiving and it's going to be warmer. On the other hand, it will get as low at 34F tonight because, well, Atlanta that's why. It snows once every two years around these parts (though after 12 years in Boston and NJ snow, I can drive in that kind of weather) and then only for a little while, so I'm not all that worried about snow. On the other hand, we do get ice every once in a while and it's not really worth it to be out when that happens, no matter what kind of tires you have.

    Sigh. I suppose I could do the 19" all seasons for the winter? Are there 21" all seasons that will fit the wheels on the Tesla? Apparently I know nothing about tires. I guess it's just never come up.
     
  14. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Atlanta Georgia
    Jerry really knows his stuff. I have been debating the same thing. The problem appears to be there are no all-season 21 inch tires that can be purchased. Also I am not familiar with the Georgia law regarding summer tires in winter, and I to live in Atlanta as well. So if you find anything about the law insofar as winter tires are concerned I certainly would appreciate you posting it.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    It's only iced once here in 4 years where I live in Texas and that lasted for 6 hours. The entire city was shut down. In that case, I may just end up taking a taxi as strange as that sounds. I really would rather have all season tires as well but the car came with the 21" rims.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    That would be the smart thing to do. I drive the Prius on ice days and it's one of the best vehicles out there (if fitted with proper tires--the OE tires are particularly bad on ice). I expect the Model S with 19" wheels will not be as good as the Prius because the tires are just too wide for great traction on ice and snow. However, I do expect the Model S will be better than most vehicles because of vehicle stability control and the electric motors. Smooth is very important when the traction is minimal.
     
  17. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    @dsm363 - doh! I find the answer a little while later on the 'specs' page. Thanks for the kind answer.

    @Jerry33 - yes the root of my question (and many others here) is performance in less than summer for the DW rated 245/35R21 Continentals. Whats I've learned from you (I believe I have this correct) is that the DW (dry, wet) rating means its (a) optimized for summer (warm/hot performance driving), (b) but has tread patterns etc. that allow for water to be reasonably shed for acceptable (good?) wet performance and (c) not to be used below 10°C (snow/ice) because the tread compound will not be flexible/compliant enough for safe stopping.

    If thats right, then (a) I too would prefer 19" all season HOWEVER (b) my Sig "made" me pay for the 21s (or lose the premium value) and (v) I'll keep the car in my garage in the relatively few times in the NW (Oregon/Washington) that there is snow or ice.

    Thanks again for your patient explanations of tire and wheel magic to us noobs!
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    That's pretty much it, although you could add safe turning and safe acceleration to safe stopping.

    I'm pretty sure that Washington--or at least parts of Washington--requires tires with M-S rating during certain months of the year whether there are bad road conditions or not. Be sure to check your local DMV for the actual requirements because it's been some time since I lived in that area. Don't know about Oregon but it's likely similar.
     
  19. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Hey pilotSteve, as another Vancouver (WA) resident, I have had been studying this issue (since I'm getting the performance w/21") and chatted with a co-worker who has DW rated 'Summer' tires on his 911 (which he has had for years). My take away has been that I should definitely swap out for the 19" MS tires in the winter here. There are just too many days where the temps hover around freezing and the tires become dangerous to drive. If price is a major concern consider that over time, you might break even or even save money because you're doubling the life of your 21" tires (yes, you'll wear your 19" but at a slower rate, and they're much cheaper to replace).

    Another thought is that you can post a question in the NW Regional forum, there are a lot of Portland/Metro folks there who will chime in.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    In case it wasn't clear, inclement weather means any time the temperature is around freezing and there is precipitation. Around freezing means lower than 40F (4C). At that temperature it's possible for overpasses and bridges to ice up.
     

Share This Page