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Model Y Performance Totally Impractical for Snowy Climates?

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
That is totally scary!! I wanted to take my MYP to the mountains during the boarding season, but now I am not too sure! Will this also happen with the Cybertruck?!
Put full winter tires on (not “performance” winter) and you’ll be passing everyone else. The Tesla by far has handled better than my previous cars, even with the slightly wider tire width. Better than my mid powered front wheel drive, better than my AWD Audi, just better.

xIce SNOW or VikingContact winter tires and you’ll be golden. The rubber stays soft and grippy. Obviously snow and ice reduce traction for everything, but proper snow tires work wonders in clawing back every bit of available grip. Grab some snow chains (or them now, Tesla often sells out) to toss in the back just in case you have an exceptional storm and the roads haven’t been cleared yet, but other than that enjoy!
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
Hmm maybe I should get the chains that are offered by Tesla as opposed to a winter setup.
Tire chains will keep you moving forward… but wouldn’t you want to be able to steer where you’re going?

Get a set of 19” Gemini wheels from someone on here, from Tesla (if they’ll sell you four individual wheels and TPMS) and buy VikingContact 7 ($220/tire) or my personal fav, the xIce SNOW ($280/tire) from TireRack. Or visit TSportline and purchase a full tire and wheel combo (tires, wheels, and TPMS mounted and shipped to your house) and select 19” size and the xIce SNOW tires (~$3300 for the full deal).

Either option and you’ll be absolutely set for the winter. Up to the mountains, freak ice storm, melting slush on the road, no problems.

If you want extra security on “I’m never getting stuck” grab some chains, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t use them. Likely conditions that required chains would be conditions that made you cancel plans and grab a hotel to wait until roads and cleared or skip leaving the house that day etc.
 

Schulz1983

Model Y LR AWD: Matte PPF, Vossen HF-1
May 14, 2021
599
413
High Ridge MO
Don't know about the Cybertruck as it will depend on how the parking brake is implemented in the CT and of course the tires.

I added a 3rd video from Glasgow of a driver of a Model 3 who loses control while descending a hill. I have been in a similar situation and unless you have winter tires (maybe even studded tires or chains) nothing will prevent loss of traction, steering and control if the road conditions are bad and the road has not been treated with sand or abrasive material, salt.
Does anyone know if setting the parking brake also activates the front calipers? I can feel a change in the brake pedal while holding it to activate the parking brake.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
Here is another perspective; Performance Model Y owner takes their Model Y fitted with the standard wheels and Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires out for a drive in the snow. They drive around the neighborhood on local streets. There is some fish tailing and sliding but the traction control and stability control keep the Model Y going straight. Stopping is no problem but takes longer that you would want. This is when driving at 20 to 25 MPH which experienced winter drivers know is about as fast as you should drive on snow covered roads. The terrain in the video is very flat so that probably helps.

 

iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
732
736
Riverside, CA
In winter driving conditions be aware that Tesla vehicles can slide when parked on even a slight incline if there is even a fraction of an inch of snow on the drive. This is made worse if you have the wrong tires, i.e. summer performance tires. Here are two videos that capture parked Tesla vehicles as they slide down driveways.

In the first video you can clearly see that the front wheels are turning while the rear wheel that is visible on the passenger side does not turn.



Note that on the Tesla Model Y and other Tesla vehicles the rear wheel electronically activated parking brakes (motorized calipers) are the only thing that prevents the Tesla vehicle from rolling while parked. There is no parking gear, i.e. parking pawl as in a vehicle with an automatic transmission to lock the wheels from turning.

This seems to happen even with all-season tires, not sure about winter tires. There is no clear explanation as to why Tesla vehicle are prone to sliding except maybe the weight of the vehicle causes any snow trapped under the wheels to compress, turn to ice and the tires immediately lose any grip they might have had even a moment earlier.

In the 3rd video, taken in Glasgow, a driver of a Tesla Model 3 loses control while descending a snow and ice covered hill.

Isn't that what the parking brake is for? (I.e. holding the park button until the light comes on)
 

jpy1980

Member
Jul 17, 2021
357
637
Los Angeles
Tire chains will keep you moving forward… but wouldn’t you want to be able to steer where you’re going?

Get a set of 19” Gemini wheels from someone on here, from Tesla (if they’ll sell you four individual wheels and TPMS) and buy VikingContact 7 ($220/tire) or my personal fav, the xIce SNOW ($280/tire) from TireRack. Or visit TSportline and purchase a full tire and wheel combo (tires, wheels, and TPMS mounted and shipped to your house) and select 19” size and the xIce SNOW tires (~$3300 for the full deal).

Either option and you’ll be absolutely set for the winter. Up to the mountains, freak ice storm, melting slush on the road, no problems.

If you want extra security on “I’m never getting stuck” grab some chains, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t use them. Likely conditions that required chains would be conditions that made you cancel plans and grab a hotel to wait until roads and cleared or skip leaving the house that day etc.
I was more worried about the car sliding when parked. I would assume a set of chains would keep it planted
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
Isn't that what the parking brake is for? (I.e. holding the park button until the light comes on)
On the Tesla vehicle there is only the electronic parking brake (e-brake), there is no separate mechanical parking brake. Many new vehicle come with an electronic parking brake. When you stop the Tesla vehicle and press the button on the right stalk this applies the e-brake to the rear wheels and prevents the Tesla vehicle from being driven. When you are driving if the brake pedal fails to work, does not slow the Tesla you can press and hold the button on the stalk and this activate the e-brake. The Tesla vehicle will slow, eventually stop as long as you continue pressing the button (it functions as an emergency brake.)
 

iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
732
736
Riverside, CA
On the Tesla vehicle there is only the electronic parking brake (e-brake), there is no separate mechanical parking brake. Many new vehicle come with an electronic parking brake. When you stop the Tesla vehicle and press the button on the right stalk this applies the e-brake to the rear wheels and prevents the Tesla vehicle from being driven. When you are driving if the brake pedal fails to work, does not slow the Tesla you can press and hold the button on the stalk and this activate the e-brake. The Tesla vehicle will slow, eventually stop as long as you continue pressing the button (it functions as an emergency brake.)
When you hold the button once it is in park, it makes a noise and a parking brake light comes on. What is the purpose of that?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,445
3,503
Maryland
When you hold the button once it is in park, it makes a noise and a parking brake light comes on. What is the purpose of that?
If you press or hold the button on the right stalk once the Tesla vehicle is in park this just cycles the e-brake a second time.

The only way you can exit the Tesla Model Y and not have the e-brake engage when you open the door if it has not already been engaged by pressing the button is when using Tow Mode or with the new Car Wash mode that is part of release 2021.24.4 and newer release.
 

FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
Hmm maybe I should get the chains that are offered by Tesla as opposed to a winter setup.
I wouldn't. Chains serve a specific purpose for bad snow and ice in the mountains. But aren't legal in some areas, including Wis because of road damage they cause . Plus they are dangerous on dry payvment as stopping distance goes WAY up.
 
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Midnightsun

Member
Nov 29, 2020
462
544
Canada
No question you want dedicated snow tires. A few reasons. Summer tires are simply useless in winter! Do you go out with leather soled dress shoes for a walk in winter? Both have about the same traction.

A second set of tires simply divides the wear between the 2 sets so essentially they will last twice as long each. No waste here. A second set of wheels is the way to go as it simplifies thing such as needing to remove the tire and balance the wheel every time. Plus for a do it yourself guy this can be done in the driveway in 30 mins.

Winter tire rubber compound does not get hard like a hockey puck when the cold sets in like summer tires do which makes them slippery as heck. The down side is in warm conditions winters wear quickly so it is important to swap them out once the brunt of winter is over

Tires should be rotated and the brakes serviced/lubricated anyway so every early spring and late fall when you swap tires you do the rotation and brake service. You already got the tires off so why not then.

You said you never used winter tires? Boy are you in for a treat. Here in Quebec, winter tires are mandatory from Dec 1 to March 15. Why? Safety is the main concern not to mention if I have dedicated winter tires on my car and need to stop unexpectedly, the guy behind me will slide right in to me with his summer/all season tires as there is little chance he will stop in time. Not using winter tires here will get you a fine and because you were illegal on the road, your insurance will not cover you if you are in an accident.

This obviously all depends on your location and severity of winters. Wisconsin is the 7th worst state for bad winter conditions so probably very close the where I live. Get dedicated winters for sure. Every State, Ranked by How Miserable Its Winters Are.

Chains? Do not even think about it, asking for major trouble/headaches! Should only be considered if you are going into a mountain pass where there are steep hills and maybe unexpected mega snowstorms and once out they should be removed. There are speed limitations when you have chains on and are really only for temporary extreme unavoidable conditions.
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
970
826
United States
If this is true, and I can't confirm, but it could very well be, I would switch from my recommendation of 18s and go up to 19s. The matching tire size to keep diameter the same isn't as optimal as with the 18s because have to wider and I don't like that...

Go up to 245/50R19. They aren't quit as good size wise and are 2% larger, so 60 MPH is really 61.3 mph. The 18s didn't have this problem.
Or
255/45R19. Diameter is right, but don't like this width for the winter, as not narrower than stock. I would go with the 245s personally.

In my opinion the stock size tire is too narrow for the Gemini wheels (actually, the wheels are too wide for that tire size IMHO) so you are at serious peril of curb rash due to the wheels face sticking out further than the tire. I understand how a narrower tire is better for snow performance, and if you are willing to put a narrower tire on that overly wide rim, just understand you will have even greater risk of curb rash.

Keith
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
970
826
United States
In winter driving conditions be aware that Tesla vehicles can slide when parked on even a slight incline if there is even a fraction of an inch of snow on the drive. This is made worse if you have the wrong tires, i.e. summer performance tires. Here are two videos that capture parked Tesla vehicles as they slide down driveways.

In the first video you can clearly see that the front wheels are turning while the rear wheel that is visible on the passenger side does not turn.



Note that on the Tesla Model Y and other Tesla vehicles the rear wheel electronically activated parking brakes (motorized calipers) are the only thing that prevents the Tesla vehicle from rolling while parked. There is no parking gear, i.e. parking pawl as in a vehicle with an automatic transmission to lock the wheels from turning.

This seems to happen even with all-season tires, not sure about winter tires. There is no clear explanation as to why Tesla vehicle are prone to sliding except maybe the weight of the vehicle causes any snow trapped under the wheels to compress, turn to ice and the tires immediately lose any grip they might have had even a moment earlier.

In the 3rd video, taken in Glasgow, a driver of a Tesla Model 3 loses control while descending a snow and ice covered hill.


Speaking of the third video, I hate it when people laugh at the misfortune of others. If the Tesla had been driving like a fool and ended up sliding down the hill that is one thing... but (unless prior to the vid starting the driver was bragging about AWD winter performance) the driver in this case just seemed to be screwed by gravity.

Keith
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
970
826
United States
Hmm maybe I should get the chains that are offered by Tesla as opposed to a winter setup.

Tire chains are for the rear wheels only, so your steering will still be worthless on the stock summer only tires, and your speed is limited to 30 mph when using tire chains. No way in hell would I use those things on my MYP.

Keith
 
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dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
366
295
Austin, TX
Try adding a WTT topic to the Tesla Parts for Sale channel, make sure you include your location in the title.

You may have to make a road trip but I am sure you will find someone that wants to "trade up" they may even be will to pay for the swap.

Don't know about the challenges of doing a swap ... Maybe a local shop (or discount tires) would get them both up on a lift to do the swap.
 

py0413

Member
Jul 15, 2021
17
21
Vancouver, BC
You can drive your family and yourself safely with a proper set of tires for the condition you have to face. The MYP has Staggered tire setting but your winter set doesn’t need to be staggered. In fact, Tesla recommends 19 inch wheel with 245/55/19 all around for winter tire size. You can easily have a set of 19 inch wheel/tire (aftermarket and
with Tesla spec) which probably costs half of the $4000 you mentioned.

I’ve always use dedicated winter sets for my cars. They are the most important and valuable investment when it comes to operating vehicles in cold/wet/snow. Here in Vancouver BC Canada, we don’t get much snow regularly but it rains a lot and temperature stays under 7° Celsius constantly for at least a couple of months during winter time. I wouldn’t even recommend all-season tires as they can only deal with very minimal snowy/icy situation.

I just picked up my MYP this past Tuesday and I will be ordering a set of 19s with Michelin Pilot Alpin 4 for my winter use. They will come around $2900 Canadian with TPMS. I am sure you can get similar for probably much less in the USA.

Don’t take chances and think you can get by wintery situations by betting your luck and safety. I learned that years ago in a hard way.

Good luck and enjoy your new car safely
 

avs007

Member
May 14, 2021
373
271
PacNW
The cool days we have down in the 20s and 30s aren't a problem as long as there isn't snow on the roads as the harder rubber is ok as long as no snow or ice.
This is absolutely not true. Summer tires will have very little traction in < 50 degree weather. I've run this before... Even if you drive like a granny and feather the gas, it is extremely easy to fishtail. If there is any moisture on the road at all in sub 50 degree weather, even just morning dew, it's even easier to pop the rear end out. There are so many things that can go wrong, even if you try to be "extra careful"... Hit a bump in the middle of a curve... Hit an expansion join in a curve, etc. You are asking for trouble running summer tires in near freezing temperatures, even with zero moisture on the ground.
 

FirstInTown

Member
Sep 22, 2020
185
236
Northern Wi
This is absolutely not true. Summer tires will have very little traction in < 50 degree weather. I've run this before... Even if you drive like a granny and feather the gas, it is extremely easy to fishtail. If there is any moisture on the road at all in sub 50 degree weather, even just morning dew, it's even easier to pop the rear end out. There are so many things that can go wrong, even if you try to be "extra careful"... Hit a bump in the middle of a curve... Hit an expansion join in a curve, etc. You are asking for trouble running summer tires in near freezing temperatures, even with zero moisture on the ground.
Well, my experience is completely different. 2005 Mustang GT 5 spd, V8 with Goodyear Eagle Summer tires. Drove the car until Oct 16s each year as insurance 6 month ended there, so convenience to park for winter. Ave high temp is in low 50's ave low is in the lower 30s. Drove it every year in the rain, mist, whatever the weather was. As long as no ice or snow, never had a problem.

These were the same tires that in 1" snow were PATHETIC and useless.
 

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