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Model Y Performance Totally Impractical for Snowy Climates?

GadgetGary

Member
Sep 8, 2021
8
3
Wisconsin
I ordered a Model Y Performance with estimated delivery in a few weeks. Having second thoughts. My primary concern is that I live in Wisconsin where it is very cold and usually snowy at least four months per year, and the default MYP 21" tires are apparently not safe in cold, icy weather. I only drive on roads, and they're usually plowed and salted. Still, I can't drive my family in an unsafe vehicle.

Options are:
1. Cancel and get the Long Range if I confirm that has good enough all-season tires
2. Keep the MYP and buy new wheels and all-season or perhaps winter tires but this appears to cost like $4000+

Also, I'm new to the area so I don't know any tire shops or have any trusted local advisors.

Any of you live in similarly cold, snowy settings and get the MYP? How has your experience been? Is replacing the tires on the MYP a must for winter conditions? If you did so, how much did you have to spend?

Was going to get a mid-range ICU CUV like a Mazda CX5 or similar, but wanted something a bit more luxurious, faster, and I'd rather support an innovative, EV company like Tesla. Thanks for your time.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,379
1,218
Quebec City, Canada
Full summer-only tires are a non-starter on actual snow. Even all-season tires are really not good at all on snow, but they are less crappy than summers. For the occasional inch of snow you could manage. For anything else, actual winter tires are highly recommended.

You can buy a separate set of tires in any case, whether you buy the P or the LR. You can buy a separate set of wheels for the winter tires if you want to go lower than 21" for winter. That's what many do around here (Quebec, Canada).
 
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eleven24

Member
Jun 20, 2021
314
1,358
Doylestown, PA
Keep the MYP but swap out the 21" wheels + tires for an all season setup. There is a wide array of options in that regard. Important to note, the stock tires on them MYP will not perform well when it is cold outside, regardless of road conditions. This is why they're referred to as "summer only" tires.

A lot of people in colder climates go with the MYP, then sell the 21" stock wheels+tires to break even on cost.
 
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iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
732
736
Riverside, CA
I'd go with option 2. Get new wheels for winter (or all year). I got a LR Model Y but didn't like any of the wheel options. I was able to sell my Gemini wheels and use some of that money to get a wheel/tire package from Tsportline which cost about $3,000.00. I suppose you could spend $4,000 on a new wheel/tire package, but you can also spend a lot less. I also imagine the 21" wheels/tires will fetch a better price than my 19" wheels/tires did.

 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
Invest in a winter wheel and tire package (available from the Tesla store (perpetually out of stock); also available from TireRack and Discount Tires, other tire centers.) The OE summer performance tires are only safe down to ~50F before the rubber gets so hard the tires lose their grip. If you get a second set of wheels and tires the OE summer tires will last much longer. Tesla Mobile Service will swap your OE wheels for winter wheels and tires for minimum cost (similar to what Tesla charges for a tire rotation.)
 
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GadgetGary

Member
Sep 8, 2021
8
3
Wisconsin
Full summer-only tires are a non-starter on actual snow. Even all-season tires are really not good at all on snow, but they are less crappy than summers. For the occasional inch of snow you could manage. For anything else, actual winter tires are highly recommended.

You can buy a separate set of tires in any case, whether you buy the P or the LR. You can buy a separate set of wheels for the winter tires if you want to go lower than 21" for winter. That's what many do around here (Quebec, Canada).

Thank you.

I've lived in the Midwest my entire life and have never had summer or winter tires - only ever had all-season tires. In fact, I didn't know people who live in cities / suburbs with typical driving habits even bothered with winter tires. I thought that was primarily for people going off-roading or living in the mountains.

I'm getting the impression that 21" wheels are a premium product. I personally don't have see any problem with smaller e.g. 19" seems common

Keep the MYP but swap out the 21" wheels + tires for an all season setup. There is a wide array of options in that regard. Important to note, the stock tires on them MYP will not perform well when it is cold outside, regardless of road conditions. This is why they're referred to as "summer only" tires.

A lot of people in colder climates go with the MYP, then sell the 21" stock wheels+tires to break even on cost.

I'm leaning toward the All Season tires. Perhaps new (smaller) wheels. That would suck to just leave the 21’’ Überturbine Wheels and summer tires just sitting in the basement. I'd definitely want to sell them.

I'd go with option 2. Get new wheels for winter (or all year). I got a LR Model Y but didn't like any of the wheel options. I was able to sell my Gemini wheels and use some of that money to get a wheel/tire package from Tsportline which cost about $3,000.00. I suppose you could spend $4,000 on a new wheel/tire package, but you can also spend a lot less. I also imagine the 21" wheels/tires will fetch a better price than my 19" wheels/tires did.

How would you sell them? Just locally? Shipping would be a real pain in the butt.

It is disappointing that Tesla doesn't have an option to select a more practical wheel/tire combo for those of us who deal with winter. What do people do if they pick one of these up in the winter and it's snowing and cold outside? Tow the darn thing to a shop? That's nuts.
 
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GadgetGary

Member
Sep 8, 2021
8
3
Wisconsin
Invest in a winter wheel and tire package (available from the Tesla store (perpetually out of stock); also available from TireRack and Discount Tires, other tire centers.) The OE summer performance tires are only safe down to ~50F before the rubber gets so hard the tires lose their grip. If you get a second set of wheels and tires the OE summer tires will last much longer. Tesla Mobile Service will swap your OE wheels for winter wheels and tires for minimum cost (similar to what Tesla charges for a tire rotation.)

Are you referring to these? The price is not quite as painful as I was seeing for wheel/winter tire combos from other dealers. And then I would get whatever benefit the summer tires have when it's warmer out.

Also, I didn't realize the Mobile Service was so useful. That's pretty cool!
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
Thank you.

I've lived in the Midwest my entire life and have never had summer or winter tires - only ever had all-season tires. In fact, I didn't know people who live in cities / suburbs with typical driving habits even bothered with winter tires. I thought that was primarily for people going off-roading or living in the mountains.

I'm getting the impression that 21" wheels are a premium product. I personally don't have see any problem with smaller e.g. 19" seems common



I'm leaning toward the All Season tires. Perhaps new (smaller) wheels. That would suck to just leave the 21’’ Überturbine Wheels and summer tires just sitting in the basement. I'd definitely want to sell them.



How would you sell them? Just locally? Shipping would be a real pain in the butt.

It is disappointing that Tesla doesn't have an option to select a more practical wheel/tire combo for those of us who deal with winter. What do people do if they pick one of these up in the winter and it's snowing and cold outside? Tow the darn thing to a shop? That's nuts.
Arrange for Tesla touchless home delivery (where available.) Then it's not your problem.
 

iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
732
736
Riverside, CA
Thank you.

I've lived in the Midwest my entire life and have never had summer or winter tires - only ever had all-season tires. In fact, I didn't know people who live in cities / suburbs with typical driving habits even bothered with winter tires. I thought that was primarily for people going off-roading or living in the mountains.

I'm getting the impression that 21" wheels are a premium product. I personally don't have see any problem with smaller e.g. 19" seems common



I'm leaning toward the All Season tires. Perhaps new (smaller) wheels. That would suck to just leave the 21’’ Überturbine Wheels and summer tires just sitting in the basement. I'd definitely want to sell them.



How would you sell them? Just locally? Shipping would be a real pain in the butt.

It is disappointing that Tesla doesn't have an option to select a more practical wheel/tire combo for those of us who deal with winter. What do people do if they pick one of these up in the winter and it's snowing and cold outside? Tow the darn thing to a shop? That's nuts.
I tried selling them on here in the "for sale" forum -- but had no takers. I ended up selling them on ebay motors. I just put in that they were for pickup only. Ended up selling them to someone who lived about 100 miles away and I met them halfway.
 

FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
Lived in Wisconsin most of life and since learned about winter tires, ALL my cars run them. Doesn't matter if you are a truck, suv or small car, all are 4 wheel brakes, so a truck with standard tires isn't alot better than a car at stopping and turning on snow. SAFETY is where it is at with winter tires. Sure the all-seasons we grew up with are OK when new and have lots of tread, but don't compaire to the grip of a specific winter tire on snow, ice and hard-pack. Plus can run a more aggressive summer tire for most fun when it is warm and no snow.

That said, also learned width and bigger rims are not your friend for winter tires. You want the smallest rim (19" on Y or find some 18" 3 rims as I was told those fit) and narrowest tire to go through the snow and slush and really perform. On the plus side, 19" rims and tires are cheaper than 21".

So keep the 21's for summer and go get a used set of take-off 18-19" 3 or Y rims from someone who bough and wanted to spend MORE money on their car by upgrading the wheels. Go get a Set of Nokian Hakkepelitta R3 SUV snow tires (made by a Finish company, recommended by my Canadian friends and best snow tires you have never heard of). Swap them at Thanksgiving or a bit earlier if get snow and run until Aprilish.

This is what I do on my X, Volt, Wife's old Caddy, kids cars.

On the plus side, if going to keep car long enough to put on a set of summer tires from just wearing them out, this only cost the the new rim cost if do it right. The summers will last almost twice as long and may not ever have to buy a new set of summers if going to sell car by about 60k miles, assuming would have needed tires at about 30k miles. Can sell winter rims when get rid of car years later to get some o that back also. Just front loading that purchase with a SAFER tire.

(FYI, the energy efficient all-seasons that came on the Volt were Terrible on hard pack with a capital T. So much so, wife wouldn't ride in it after went in the ditch, twice. Down sized from stock 17" to Chevy Sonic 15" rims from a salvage yard for $35/each rim ad went from 215 to 195mm wide with the Hakka R3s. Now, it is sure footed, wife loves it and haven't gone in the ditch in 3 years since switched. Like a whole different car with the snows.)

(And depending HOW agressive the summer tires are, they may really, really suck on snow. Wife had a Mustang GT we replaced tires with 'summer only' tires as it sat all winter. One year, had to move garage stalls in January and got stuck on about a 3deg incline and 1" of snow getting back in. Posi locked up and both rears spinning away until got a small push into the garage. Couldn't believe HOW bad they were in snow! Had plenty of tread left, just not the right pattern for any snow grip.)
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
Lived in Wisconsin most of life and since learned about winter tires, ALL my cars run them. Doesn't matter if you are a truck, suv or small car, all are 4 wheel brakes, so a truck with standard tires isn't alot better than a car at stopping and turning on snow. SAFETY is where it is at with winter tires. Sure the all-seasons we grew up with are OK when new and have lots of tread, but don't compaire to the grip of a specific winter tire on snow, ice and hard-pack. Plus can run a more aggressive summer tire for most fun when it is warm and no snow.

That said, also learned width and bigger rims are not your friend for winter tires. You want the smallest rim (19" on Y) and narrowest tire to go through the snow and slush and really perform. On the plus side, 19" rims and tires are cheaper than 21".

So keep the 21's for summer and go get a used set of take-off 19" Y rims from someone who bough and wanted to spend MORE money on their Y by upgrading the wheels. Go get a Set of Nokian Hakkepelitta R3 SUV snow tires (made by a Finish company, recommended by my Canadian friends and best snow tires you have never heard of). Swap them at Thanksgiving or a bit earlier if get snow and run until Aprilish.

This is what I do on my X, Volt, Wife's old Caddy, kids cars.

On the plus side, if going to keep car long enough to put on a set of summer tires, this only cost the the new rim cost, as the summers will last almost twice as long and may not ever have to buy a new set of summers if going to sell car by about 60k miles, assuming would have needed tires at about 30k miles. Just front loading that purchase with a SAFER tire.
You can also get 18" wheels that will fit the model Y. The tire profile will mean more sidewall and the tire diameter will not appreciably be changed.
 
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FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
You can also get 18" wheels that will fit the model Y. The tire profile will mean more sidewall and the tire diameter will not appreciably be changed.
Didn't think about 18s, off a 3 right as 3 and Y take same rim pattern? Smaller is rim better as taller, narrower tire cut better and costs less as an advantage.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,379
1,218
Quebec City, Canada
smaller rim is better is relative... You save on tire cost and reduce the risk of breaking a wheel in potholes but you lose in steering precision.
EDIT: Forgot to say: you also need to make sure you clear the brakes...

What's most important for snow/ice traction is to reduce the tire width... to a point. The tires still need to hold the weight of the car. And too skinny gives very poor traction on the dry. It's all about tradeoffs.
 
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mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
223
130
boise, idaho
It is disappointing that Tesla doesn't have an option to select a more practical wheel/tire combo for those of us who deal with winter.

Yep. I would totally by a MYP right now if I didn't have to deal with the 21" tires. I just don't want the increased stiffness, and cost of a 21" tire, plus paying extra for a rim that gets curb rashed so easily. So instead, my second MY is a long range...I just have to wait till January instead of 3-4 weeks. With my first MY, I use my geminis as the winter rims (I've already curbed rashed those too), and have a set of 19x8.5 replika r241s as my summer rims (they have already saved my butt several times from getting curb rashed vs normal tesla 19x9.5 rims)).

I tried selling them on here in the "for sale" forum -- but had no takers. I ended up selling them on ebay motors. I just put in that they were for pickup only. Ended up selling them to someone who lived about 100 miles away and I met them halfway.

Hmm...could you PM me what you were able to sell your 21s for? I suppose I could get a MYP, then sell the 21s, buy 2 sets of replika r241s, and a set of summer/all season and a set of winter tires....

Only thing I would worry about....is if the replika r241s 19x8.5s clear the MYP brake calipers....
 

FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
smaller rim is better is relative... You save on tire cost and reduce the risk of breaking a wheel in potholes but you lose in steering precision. What's most important for snow/ice traction is to reduce the tire width... to a point. The tires still need to hold the weight of the car. And too skinny gives very poor traction on the dry. It's all about tradeoffs.
Sure, but this is a WINTER TIRE. Around here, forget about handling and sportiness for 5 months out of the year. Way more impartant to drive reasonably and keep it on the road when the roads are not dry. The skinny tire will be worse on dry but the wide will be way worse on the snow. So it is a tradeoff. Since the 3 comes with a 18" stock, I don't think the side walls are SO tall that it will be a danger on a Y. Would have to run the numbers and see what exactly is available. And last year, was in Duluth over Christmas, Had do to do an emergency stop on dry cement. Even my 15" Sonic rimmed Chevy stopped admirably and we avoid hitting the idiot who cut us off. A Performance Y won't be able to handle being floored may be, but that is what traction control is for also on acceleration.

Also, right, do have to watch the load rating of the tire.
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,379
1,218
Quebec City, Canada
I live in Quebec City, Canada, I assure you we get as much snow/ice/sleet/cold as you do. I maintain my comment. Now, your tradeoffs are not the same as mine, that's why there are choices, and I'm fine with that :)
 
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FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
I live in Quebec City, Canada, I assure you we get as much snow/ice/sleet/cold as you do. I maintain my comment. Now, your tradeoffs are not the same as mine, that's why there are choices, and I'm fine with that :)
Yes, we both get snow/ice/sleet/hard pack and cold. Fun isn't it?:) I'll give you that, a taller tire with more sidewall isn't going to handle as well and will feel 'squishy'. But tires (in my opinion) have gone to the point where the sidewalls on 21, 22s are SO small, it is silly for alot of people. So much rim damage that wasn't there when tires were on 14 and 15" rims with TALL rubber sidewalls. And so much more $$$$$ for a tire with so much less rubber sidewall, makes no sense. (Becuase it looks better, right..... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some aren't sold on trend of no rubber/all rim)

A different tradeoff is the winters have a tread pattern that is more agressive and hence louder. Have't seen how this is in the MX yet, but Teslas arent't the most insulating cars from road noise as it is.

I grew up with 14-15" rims as 'normal car tires'. And sure a MYP in NOT a normal car for performance wise. But for winter, you better drive is like it is, or you will end up in the ditch or worse hurt something/someone. To handle those conditions, I am willing to give up the GRIP of the performance tire when on dry winter roads as I drive way slower in the winter The winter tire does what it is suppose to way better than an all season on the snow and ice.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,379
1,218
Quebec City, Canada
I understand your position completely, and I'm 50 so I know about the 13-14-15" wheels :) . I have two sets of 18" wheels ( on a model 3), stock for winter and R241 replika for summer. I love spirited/sporty driving yet I stay on 18" because there are too many potholes. I prefer to buy ultra high performance all seasons for summer and winter tires for winter. I keep 235 width year round so as to not sacrifice too much driving pleasure. The car is heavy enough at ~4000lbs for that width. The same width on my previous ~3400lbs WRX was not as good in winter.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
I ordered a Model Y Performance with estimated delivery in a few weeks. Having second thoughts. My primary concern is that I live in Wisconsin where it is very cold and usually snowy at least four months per year, and the default MYP 21" tires are apparently not safe in cold, icy weather. I only drive on roads, and they're usually plowed and salted. Still, I can't drive my family in an unsafe vehicle.

Options are:
1. Cancel and get the Long Range if I confirm that has good enough all-season tires
2. Keep the MYP and buy new wheels and all-season or perhaps winter tires but this appears to cost like $4000+

Also, I'm new to the area so I don't know any tire shops or have any trusted local advisors.

Any of you live in similarly cold, snowy settings and get the MYP? How has your experience been? Is replacing the tires on the MYP a must for winter conditions? If you did so, how much did you have to spend?

Was going to get a mid-range ICU CUV like a Mazda CX5 or similar, but wanted something a bit more luxurious, faster, and I'd rather support an innovative, EV company like Tesla. Thanks for your time.
Many others have already answered this. Get a second set of wheels and you can usually change them at home within an hour with just a floor jack. If you really don't feel comfortable doing that, a tire shop should be able to do that nowadays. Just make sure they know about the battery and maybe ask if they can have a tech spend a few minutes with you looking at the manual on the lift points and how to safely lift the vehicle. Offer to pay for half an hour of service or something and get to be good buddies with them so you can always request that tech.

TSportline will put together a full package for you (tires, wheels, and tire pressure sensors) for $3,500 or so, which is well worth the cost. Remember, your tires will last longer when switching between the two sets so some of that upfront cost is also making a longer interval before having to replace tires. I would highly recommend a full winter tire, not an all season. Personally I would suggest the Michelin xIce SNOW tires. I purchased them last year and only had one chance to try them out, but it was when we got 7 to 10 inches of snow and I was so wildly impressed with how the can handled in the snow. It was a beast and felt extremely safe. The Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 probably aren't bad either, but they're not going to be as good as the xIce SNOW tires... though they'll feel a bit sportier on clear roads and might have a little shorter braking distance on dry clear or damp roads.

Basically just don't drive like an idiot racing around on winter tires and you'll be fine with the xIce tires and have some crazy good grip in ice and snow conditions.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
Are you referring to these? The price is not quite as painful as I was seeing for wheel/winter tire combos from other dealers. And then I would get whatever benefit the summer tires have when it's warmer out.

Also, I didn't realize the Mobile Service was so useful. That's pretty cool!
That price actually is really pretty good. If you can get them direct from Tesla I would go that route. You can also buy the gemini "aero covers" for a couple hundred extra bucks and maybe gain ~3% range. I would put an order in for them now though, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a month or so for the wheels to show up. Though, also call around if you have Tesla service centers/stores in the area, they occasionally will have stock even though it shows sold out online.
 
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