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Model 3 Tires

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by PRSIST, Apr 5, 2017.

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  1. PRSIST

    PRSIST Member

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    I don't work at Discount Tire so I'm not up to speed on tire nomenclature. That being said, several years ago my son had a Mustang and he bought tires that MAYBE were 2" from the road to his rims. He paid the price for that when he hit a curb and it cost him three new rims that weren't cheap.

    That brings me to the Model 3 photos I've been seeing. I imagine that in order to improve range, the tires have to be 'thin', if that's the word, because it appears that there's not much distance from the road to the rims.

    Any of you car experts have any input on the pros and cons of tires this 'thick', or 'thin'?
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #2 TEG, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
    You are talking about "low profile tires". They offer "crisper handling", so the car feels more responsive when you move the steering. Less roll/squish when you corner hard. Generally for performance cars.

    The car can still be made comfortable if the suspension is able to absorb the shocks instead of having the tires do it. And, yes, you have to be more careful not to damage your wheels on curbs, parking barriers, potholes, etc.

    The auto industry seems to be moving to lower and lower profile tires in recent years. I think primarily because people like the handling / responsiveness improvements.

    I don't think it has a whole lot to do with efficiency. There are efficient ("low rolling resistance") high profile tires too.
     
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  3. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    OK. I'm no expert either, but what I've gleaned is the normal standard tires on the S and X have better range, durability, and the rims are more tolerant to bumps.

    The bigger rims with thinner tires have better handling, but are prone to wear quickly, and bend easily.

    Some people say they like the looks of the bigger rims with thinner tires, but I really can't see the difference myself.
     
  4. iwannam3

    iwannam3 Member

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    One of the drivers for low profile tires is a California law that the car body could not be lower than the bottom of the rim. So to give your car the low rider or slammed stance you needed lower profile tires to get the rims and the car closer to the ground.

    The enactment of Section 24008 of the California Vehicle Code in January 1, 1958, which made it illegal to operate any car modified so that any part was lower than the bottoms of its wheel rims.
     
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  5. Big-T

    Big-T Member

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    In my admittedly limited experience with regular vs low profile tires the biggest thing I noticed was increased road noise with low profile tires vs "normal" tires. One of the appealing things for me is that that Tesla should be quiet and that's why I'll be getting whatever the base size rims are (18" possibly?) with whatever regular tire they put on it. No oversized rims with thin tires that are twice as expensive to replace but last half as long and bring extra noise into the cabin.

    I admit they look cool, but personally it's not worth the trade off to me.
     
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  6. happyguy

    happyguy Member

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  7. melindav

    melindav ☰ reserved

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    I think it depends more on the specific tire than the profile. I recently bought new tires for my car with "normal" profile tires. When I was talking to the tire sales guy about the tires I'd picked, he looked at the tires I had (GM stock Goodyear Eagle F1) and he asked me about their road noise. I said there is some (actually more than my car with low profile tires). He assured me the new ones (Continental ExtremeContact) would be much quieter. The new tires are substantially quieter - and same tire size.

    So the other car with the low profile tires, I've had upsized rims/low profile tires on it for more than 10 years and haven't had any wheel damage or excessive tire wear. Generally I get more wear from it's tires than the tire's are rated for. So have had no issue over roughly 100k miles.
     
  8. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    My guess is they're going to be 235/40-18s standard, possibly staggered 255/275 front/rear on the performance versions. A few years ago, a 40-series tire would have been considered "extreme" low-profile, but anymore, is pretty common. Road damage just happens sometimes.
     
  9. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Yep, me too.
     
  10. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Making staggered standard would be a bad idea.
     
  11. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    I think for the standard "mass-market" configuration, a single size for the whole vehicle would be better. They're easier to service and rotate. I think staggered should be an option, but not the standard configuration.
     
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  12. Booga

    Booga Member

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    It's the reverse for efficiency. You can use Tesla's online range calculator to see that the larger the wheel, the lower the range you get. Personally, I'd prefer a good bit of tread - this is not a track car for me and so I'm fine without the added stiffness of the increased metal versus rubber. I prefer range (especially highway) and cheap tires. I intend on putting a lot of miles on the car given how easy Autopilot will make that.
     
  13. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    I seriously doubt the standard rolling stock will be any smaller than 55-series 17-inch. I stand by my guess the standard size will be 235/40-18 or 235/45-18. Does anyone have any photos from the reveal that show the tire specs?
     
  14. Trips

    Trips Member

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    From back in May of 2016:
    A few sources have shown that the cars at the Model 3 unveil had 20" wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports in the following staggered sizes:

    Front: 235/35-20
    Rear: 275/30-20

    The wheels are probably:

    Front: 20" x 8.0"
    Rear: 20" x 9.5"

    Standard Wheel/Tire Size for Model 3
     
  15. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    From what I've read, the demo models at the launch event were dual-motor, and likely not the "standard" configuration. Those sizes sound about right for the dual-motor, performance model. For the "regular" Model 3, I'm still guessing 235/45-18, all the way around.
     
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  16. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    Same here, won't bother with low profile tires. For EVs it is more important to keep road noise down as much as possible even more so than for ICE vehicles.
     
  17. thelastdeadmouse

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    Not just handling, but also styling has also pushed further and further towards larger wheels, and to have the same outer wheel diameter than means lower profile tires. If you look at concept vehicles, and even moreso concept sketches, its clear most automotive designers would put on 24" wheels with a rubber band around it if they had their say.
     
  18. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    Except for 4x4s and "brodozers." The bigger the sidewall, the better. :D
     

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