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How to maximize winter range on icy roads

Drifting

Member
Apr 18, 2021
25
2
Rocky Mountains
Hello everyone,

I just did about a dozen searches on this site but I'm not finding the answers I need. This is my situation.

I'm looking for the best ways to maximize winter range while not seriously degrading traction? This is my question--------

I now live in an area with a long cold winter/frequently icy roads and I use my car to drive long distances for work even in the winter. For one of those drives, I routinely barely make it to the next supercharger, which is why I'm motivated to post about this. I have a 2019 Model 3 performance. I set the reg brake setting to low when it is icy as unfortunately the standard regen braking setting makes the car less stable on icy roads. For this reason, a 2021 M3P (with the heat pump) is not an option, as the updated model 3s no longer allow you to use the lower regen braking setting, only the high setting. I have to be safe driving on icy roads and so I plan to keep my current M3P for many years as I must have the option to use lower regen braking mode on icy roads.

I have MPP sport coilovers on order, both for better handling, but I also expect to lower the car slightly which should reduce drag.

So my primary question concerns winter wheels and tires. I ran michelin pilot alpins my first winter here in the Rockies last year and they worked great, but that was on my stock 20 wheels. I'm thinking of purchasing lightweight 18in wheels, as I hope both the decrease weight and profile will increase range.

What 18 inch wheels would you suggest? (I'm certainly willing to spend some money for lighter wheels but I don't have an unlimited budget)
Any thoughts on the best 18 inch winter tires? (I'm willing to trade a bit of range for ice performance, and I am willing to spend top dollar on winter tires)

Any other ideas on how to improve winter range with my same 2019 model 3 performance?
 

Drifting

Member
Apr 18, 2021
25
2
Rocky Mountains
BTW, I am willing to put aero wheels on my winter wheel/tire set.

Forgive the newb question, but do the aero covers only work with wheels that come from tesla? Or some of the aftermarket ones as well?
 

Drifting

Member
Apr 18, 2021
25
2
Rocky Mountains
really wish this forum would let me modify my original post, so everyone was in one post.

My last question is whether or not 18 in wheels will work with a model 3 performance, or if my only options are 19 in or 20 in.

Ideally, I'd like to find the lightest, smallest wheels possible, that are compatible with aero covers, while simulataneously using the best winter performance tires one can buy.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,542
1,620
Massachusetts
I have not heard of the aero covers working on any other wheels, you might want to check with Tsportline.

and no, the 18" stock wheels will NOT fit over the brakes of the performance, but I believe Tsportline DOES make some 18's that will work on a performance.

I believe I have Michelin X-Ice3's on Stacy's Mom for winter months, but I don't pay much attention to economy so that probably doesn't help you much.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,758
3,495
Maine
Probably not the answer you were looking for, but the efficiency of the Vredestein Quatrac 5 was comparable to the OEM 18s. For a winter-rated tire, that's impressive. However, you seem to be looking for a unicorn, as I don't know of any highly-rated ice tires that are also efficient. Ice performance is a category unto itself. You're buying for safety not efficiency or performance.
 

Drifting

Member
Apr 18, 2021
25
2
Rocky Mountains
Probably not the answer you were looking for, but the efficiency of the Vredestein Quatrac 5 was comparable to the OEM 18s. For a winter-rated tire, that's impressive. However, you seem to be looking for a unicorn, as I don't know of any highly-rated ice tires that are also efficient. Ice performance is a category unto itself. You're buying for safety not efficiency or performance.
basically, I'm trying to find the most efficient winter wheels, as I'm willing to spend money on lighter smaller and more efficent aero wheels, but I'm not looking for the most efficient tires as I still need optimal traction in the winter. So really, I just have two questions-



----------------What are the most energy efficient wheels I can put on a M3P? -------------------

1-add aero covers to a set of lightweight 20 inch wheels?
2- buy the gemini wheels from tesla which seem to have some degree of aero, though I'm not sure how it compares to full aero wheels
3- buy really light aftermarket 18 in wheels, as some of the aftermarket 18 in wheels do fit on a tesla?
3b- are there any really light 18 in wheels compatible with a M3P, that can also accommodate aero covers?

--------------Besides wheels/tire questions, are there any other winter efficiency mods that I should consider while keeping my current M3P?-------------------
 

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
350
358
Atlanta, GA
I have a 2019 Model 3 performance. I set the reg brake setting to low when it is icy as unfortunately the standard regen braking setting makes the car less stable on icy roads. For this reason, a 2021 M3P (with the heat pump) is not an option, as the updated model 3s no longer allow you to use the lower regen braking setting

IMHO this is not a good reason not to upgrade, you need learn how to moderate taking your foot off the accelerator - you are already doing this (or should be) in “low” mode, normal mode just takes some practice. I suggest going to a parking lot, setting regen to normal and practicing.
 
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Drifting

Member
Apr 18, 2021
25
2
Rocky Mountains
IMHO this is not a good reason not to upgrade, you need learn how to moderate taking your foot off the accelerator - you are already doing this (or should be) in “low” mode, normal mode just takes some practice. I suggest going to a parking lot, setting regen to normal and practicing.
I realize you're trying to be helpful, but unless you routinely drive on icy roads for 4 months straight during the winter, your comments are not relevant.

full regen mode is less stable on ice, period. I grew up driving on icy roads for 3 months straight. I have raced a porsche gt3 for over a decade. I am extremely familiar with subtle throttle and brake inputs for traction purposes.

full regen mode is less stable than low regen mode on icy roads, period.

Anyone saying otherwise, does not have the technical driving experience to support their statement, and the couple of ice storms you might get a year in Georgia are not the same as roads that are icy for 4 months straight in the Rocky mountains.
 
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ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
350
358
Atlanta, GA
I grew up in New Jersey and lived in Colorado for 14+ years, I know about ice and snow. Although I have not had any problems I will grant you I have less experience with a Tesla on ice than you. Still, all new Tesla’s will have standard regeneration and so this means you feel Tesla is no longer the right car for you. Which of course is your choice.

BTW, my MS came with the option of selecting low or normal regen which disappeared in a software update, so keep an eye on yours.

Maybe others who have more experience with Tesla’s on icy conditions will offer their advice. In any case I hope you find an answer to the question you were really asking!
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,390
1,222
Quebec City, Canada
Full regen is not dangerous on icy roads. Finding the traction limit requires going past it and then adjusting. That's what full regen does, it brakes until wheels lock, in which case it reduces regen until traction is regained. The software will continuously try to augment regen, lock wheels, adjust etc in order to maximize regen on a surface where traction varies as you advance.
Abs brakes do the same, wheels lock, braking reduces, then braking augments again, oscillating between slightly under and slightly over the traction limit.

So, you feel the wheels slip ever so slightly. The stability control system will make sure you stay in control of the car. It is virtually impossible to spin the car around. But yes, there is a slight slipping feeling that you need to get used to.
You know, the exact same thing happens under full acceleration on a slippery surface.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,807
8,422
Boise, ID
the updated model 3s no longer allow you to use the lower regen braking setting, only the high setting. I have to be safe driving on icy roads and so I plan to keep my current M3P for many years as I must have the option to use lower regen braking mode on icy roads.
all new Tesla’s will have standard regeneration
That is horrible! I had not heard that yet. And yes, full regen is absolutely bad and dangerous on icy road conditions. It is less bad for the dual motor cars, because they can spread that out on all four wheels, but the rear wheel drive cars are terrible for that, as they can slip loose the backend too easily and frequently from too much regen, and NO, they don't act like ABS brakes, where they let off the slowing force to regain traction. That's why we need low regeneration, to be able to take your foot all the way off the accelerator, without it slipping the back of the car sideways, so that we can then use the ABS brake pedal to get the front wheels involved in it with some controlled slowing/stopping.
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,390
1,222
Quebec City, Canada
@Rocky_H , I don't like to disagree with you but here I do. I've done two winters in Quebec City on full regen and it has never been dangerous. Read my post, i explain why there is minimal slip, yes, but it's not dangerous.
I am all for having options, Tesla should not have removed the option. But that option is not at all required for security. Driving habits yes.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,807
8,422
Boise, ID
I don't like to disagree with you but here I do. I've done two winters in Quebec City on full regen and it has never been dangerous.
I'll bet you have all wheel drive, don't you?
Read my post,
Try reading mine, where I point out that it is not nearly as bad in the dual motor cars.
i explain why there is minimal slip, yes, but it's not dangerous.
It's more than minimal, and creates significant slip and fishtailing, and is dangerous. The most significant dangerous part of it, particularly for the rear wheel drive cars is exemplified by the ridiculous suggestion above to just feather the accelerator pedal, so you can reduce the slippage yourself, rather than taking your foot off the accelerator pedal. If you have to keep your foot holding the accelerator partway down to prevent the slipping, then you don't get to make use of the ABS brakes, unless you're using one foot on each pedal at the same time to manage that.

I've done two winters in Quebec City on full regen
And I'll bet that's the other variable that you are not considering. You probably switch to winter tires instead of all seasons, don't you? That makes worlds of difference that has FAR more impact than the differences about the fishtailing that the regen can cause. The winter tires probably give enough grip that the force of the regen isn't enough to break it loose much of the time versus all season tires, so you wouldn't observe any issue.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,390
1,222
Quebec City, Canada
Even in an awd, regen is mostly from the rear, but it's possible that some is done in the front and the car is better balanced. I have not compared.
Yes, I obviously have winter tires. They are really essential to snow and ice driving (and mandatory here). All seasons will only be acceptable for the occasional few snow flakes. I agree with you that this will make a huge difference. With that said, even if you had no regen, any touch of the brake or any acceleration might also make the car slip. You'd need to drive extremely carefully. It is possible with regen, by not removing your foot completely, but I agree that it's tough.

I have found the stability and traction control systems to be extremely good, even too good to have fun in snow... But that's personal taste, and in my situation.

Thanks for clarifying your point.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,807
8,422
Boise, ID
Yes, I obviously have winter tires. They are really essential to snow and ice driving (and mandatory here).
Yes, that's a whole different ballgame. Where I live is literally desert. We will get just a few snow falls throughout the whole winter, and it gets cleared off the roads in a couple of days, and then the roads are dry for the next 3 or 4 weeks. It's generally just not worth doing snow tires here. Some people do winter tires, but for a lot of people you just deal with slick conditions for a couple of days at a time on all seasons with long gaps in between.

And sure, that's a different topic of shaming people who get rare snowfall but don't want to deal with switching tires twice a year and having to store an extra set of wheels/tires. I'll take that one. But with standard all seasons and rear wheel regen on some actual ice, that's some nasty crap, and I definitely want low regen for that.
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,390
1,222
Quebec City, Canada
Just one note : i didn't want to shame anyone. In my climate it's mandatory, in other places not. You're reading more than I am saying, or I'm not expressing myself properly. Apologies if it's the second.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,088
1,449
Syracuse, NY
really wish this forum would let me modify my original post, so everyone was in one post.

My last question is whether or not 18 in wheels will work with a model 3 performance, or if my only options are 19 in or 20 in.

Ideally, I'd like to find the lightest, smallest wheels possible, that are compatible with aero covers, while simulataneously using the best winter performance tires one can buy.
There are 18" wheels that fit in to the wheelwell of the bigger braked performance. Go to sites that cater to Model 3s and they should offer 18" wheels that state if they fit in the performance model 3.

Martian Wheels
T-Sportsline
Signature Wheels
Forgestar
etc

Or you can talk to the vendors on TMC like

SignatureSales

MODEL+

Tsportline


etc
etc
 

brulaz

Member
Feb 4, 2021
100
29
Ontario Canada
Yes, that's a whole different ballgame. Where I live is literally desert. We will get just a few snow falls throughout the whole winter, and it gets cleared off the roads in a couple of days, and then the roads are dry for the next 3 or 4 weeks. It's generally just not worth doing snow tires here. Some people do winter tires, but for a lot of people you just deal with slick conditions for a couple of days at a time on all seasons with long gaps in between.
...
We run "all-weather" tires year round. Michelin CrossClimate. They've got the triple peak and snowflake rating so are good in low temps and snow/ice and yet work well in the summer too. Not as good as a dedicated winter and dedicated summer tire but a very good compromise IMHO.

Will definitely drop summer range some, but it's winter range that's limiting for us and sure the all-weather tires are no worse and possibly better than dedicated winters for range.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,807
8,422
Boise, ID
Just one note : i didn't want to shame anyone. In my climate it's mandatory, in other places not. You're reading more than I am saying, or I'm not expressing myself properly. Apologies if it's the second.
Yeah, I know you had not done that. Sorry if that seemed like an accusation. It was kind of my anticipation. I've been in some of these discussions and was kind of predicting a response, which was a little unfair. Frequently from people who do have to deal with snow a lot, they get kind of angry at people who use what they call "no season tires" if they ever have any cold or snow to deal with and say those people are being stupid and irresponsible. So yeah, sorry for jumping the gun there.
 
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