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how important are winter tires in Chicago with AWD?

S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,702
3,748
AB
Regular tires turn hard, and lose grip in cold conditions. This means a longer stopping distance, and a harder time on icy roads. I've seen many a drivers in four wheel drivings struggling to get up a hill on 3 season tires. While I in my two wheel drive car and winter tires handles the same hill with no problems.

I learned the lesson the hard way about winter tires about 1 or 2am on a New Years Eve when I slid right through an intersection.
 

argon2018

Member
Oct 21, 2018
238
187
Chicago
currently on the 19" conti or 18" Michelin? Willing to drive carefully or want the car to do all the work? Want to save money or want to pay for the best possible solution?

I have the 18 inch, obv will be driving carefully, but I obv don't wanna wreck the brand new year car for not having appropriate tires. I just don't know how important winter tires are and how much it would cost me. I'f from LA so not much experience in this area
 
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xilex

Model P3D
Jul 5, 2018
354
209
Cypress, CA
I have the 18 inch, obv will be driving carefully, but I obv don't wanna wreck the brand new year car for not having appropriate tires. I just don't know how important winter tires are and how much it would cost me. I'f from LA so not much experience in this area

When I was in Madison, Wisconsin with my old car that I brought over from California, front wheel drive, I had Michelin Premier A/S tires, which are all-season. The roads on my regular commute were well plowed (and maybe salted) at all times of the day and there were no significant hilly areas that I had to traverse. If it was snowing heavily and plowing hadn't passed through the city roads yet, then I wouldn't drive unless I had to. Commute to work, the grocery store, nearby restaurants were fine. I didn't drive 40 miles to visit the state park, but I did drive to the nearby parks to check out the frozen lake. I drove carefully, leaving plenty of stopping distance, let people pass by if they wanted to go faster, etc. Only had one instance where car almost spun out because took a curve too fast but luckily did not do 180. But otherwise it went fine.

Oh, I would also ask your colleagues for advice since they have lived there and experienced more winters. They will know best if winter tires are really necessary. My decision to keep regular tires was based on their input.
 
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jkirkwood001

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
1,180
4,861
Ottawa, ON
I thought i could get by an Ottawa winter in my 3 with the all seasons. We have a cottage with steep hills, and usually winter tires are required. After 2 snowfalls, I barely made it in both times, sliding left and right, I'm convinced the stock all seasons are inadequate for here. I mean, AWD doesn't help you stop, right? and these seem to be designed for California "all season"! So I caved and bought some decently reviewed Koyo KX - they told me Michelins Ice-X 235/45/18 are on back order because so many Model 3s are getting winter tires in North America.
 
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dankumm

Member
May 25, 2018
10
5
Illinois
currently on the 19" conti or 18" Michelin? Willing to drive carefully or want the car to do all the work? Want to save money or want to pay for the best possible solution?

This essentially gets to the point. Could they help? Absolutely. Are they essential? Absolutely not. I've been driving in Chicago for close to 25 years and have lived here all my life. I have front wheel and rear wheel drive cars that I drive in the winter all the time. Neither I nor my parents or brothers have ever used winter tires and have never had an incident of any kind. That all said, depending on driving style they certainly couldn't hurt
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,403
UK, Milton Keynes
I the AWD model 3 with the regular tires and was wondering if I will need winter tires, any ideas?

Well tyres are a lot more important than AWD in critical conditions. Having both is the way to go for optimum winter driving, but I would choose winter tyres over AWD any time. Don't be fooled into thinking AWD will fully compensate for not having winter tyres when the going gets tough.
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,700
TX
Check out this comparison of AWD w/ summer tires vs. RWD w/ winter tires:
LOL, using summer tires, vs all seasons, in snow is crazy. They don't even really work all that well just above 0C, you'll lose a lot of traction (longer stopping distance) around 5C (40F) give or take depending on the tire. The more aggressive performance ones actually start breaking some time after it reaches freezing (true racing tires can get this cracking even above 0C).

That includes the stock Model 3 Performance tires, BTW. If you're driving around in -10C weather you're probably damaging your 20" $300 tires. :/
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,352
5,459
MA, NH
currently on the 19" conti or 18" Michelin? Willing to drive carefully or want the car to do all the work? Want to save money or want to pay for the best possible solution?

Do you drive carefully enough to skip car insurance too?

Snow tires are insurance.

People don’t plan on snow squalls, or traveling on a road that didn’t get plowed yet. Or plan on a snow storm that wasn’t forecasted while you’re at work. Or black ice that formed due some melting during the day. Or needing to emergency stop before hitting grand ma crossing the road when your only doing 20 mph on a slick road. Or even stopping on a cold dry road because all seasons in cold weather stop worse.

I always laugh when I see something like “be careful”. It’s the careful people that properly equip their car for winter. It’s careless ones that don’t.

It’s cheaper for me to runs snows than not to.
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,883
10,053
Knoxville, Tennessee
Do you drive carefully enough to skip car insurance too?

Snow tires are insurance.

People don’t plan on snow squalls, or traveling on a road that didn’t get plowed yet. Or plan on a snow storm that wasn’t forecasted while you’re at work. Or black ice that formed due some melting during the day. Or needing to emergency stop before hitting grand ma crossing the road when your only doing 20 mph on a slick road. Or even stopping on a cold dry road because all seasons in cold weather stop worse.

I always laugh when I see something like “be careful”. It’s the careful people that properly equip their car for winter. It’s careless ones that don’t.

It’s cheaper for me to runs snows than not to.

I'm not telling him to use crappy tires. I was asking leading questions to get his knowledge level and attitude before trying to explain further.

I agree proper tires are insurance, beyond that I'd say they are peace of mind. It's way less stressful to get somewhere without drama than to barely make it or not make it at all.

But not knowing his knowledge level and starting hardware makes it hard to give specific advice.

Notice the original post was one line of text with a very loaded open ended question. Follow down thread and you see he was from California and is new to the midwest so he has no experience with the car in that environment nor with other cars ill equipped or properly equipped.

So my suggestion to you is to make constructive comments to the OP, not disparage me for asking questions to draw the OP out.
 
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dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,883
10,053
Knoxville, Tennessee
I have the 18 inch, obv will be driving carefully, but I obv don't wanna wreck the brand new year car for not having appropriate tires. I just don't know how important winter tires are and how much it would cost me. I'f from LA so not much experience in this area

If you are new to the area and have never driven in winter conditions on a regular basis, you probably need a 2nd set of wheels and tires. You can switch tires on the same wheels but you may end up scratching up your winter wheels anyway.

Driving in snow or ice is about experience and skill up until the point you get into trouble and by then you probably can't undo your mistake. Buying winter tires might prevent you from making a more costly mistake and asking how long repairs will take or how good your medical insurance is.

Chicago sees an average of 28 or so snow days per year. I think if I was seeing more than 3 snow days a year I'd be looking at better tires for winter weather.
 

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