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Moving to Vancouver, thinking about winter tires, seeking comments on my plan

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,198
13,848
San Mateo, CA
This summer my wife and I are moving back to Canada. Specifically, to Vancouver, a place we love but have never lived in before. Currently on our Model X and Model 3 Dual Motor (edit: purchased in the US, can be legally imported into B.C.) we have the OEM tires. 85km miles on the X, it has it’s second set of tires on 20” wheels, same tire type as when we purchased, Continental Cross Contact LX Sport with lots of tread remaining. Not suitable for the winter climate in Vancouver is my guess. The 3 has 44km on it, OEM Continental tires on 19” wheels, also not suitable for winter. They will likely need to be replaced in the near future after another 10km.

So tell me if this makes sense:

We primarily use the X to tow our Safari Condo Alto travel trailer. During winter in Vancouver we could easily avoid using the car when roads are potentially icy or snow-covered, and therefore not have to get a set of winter tires for it.

I’m thinking that for the 3 I get a set of winter-capable tires that I just leave on year-round. They won’t be as energy efficient but my summer trips will be done using the X to tow our trailer. I won’t do much summer driving with the 3. Note: I am retired and my wife runs her business from home so we won’t be doing any commuting and will not be putting many kilometers on our cars when living in Vancouver.

The 3 can be our winter car, with tires that will be safe for use to go to Cypress Bowl for snowshoeing and skiing, and for more local use when roads are icy or snowy. No need to take the X for winter sports trips. This way I won’t need to change tires every winter season.

So given how I use my cars, any significant downside to leaving winter tires on my Model 3 all year?

Looking through This thread it seems the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 are a popular winter tire for the Model 3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 - Winter tires / Nokian Tires Would they be safe to use in summer weather in BC?

Thanks for your comments.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,198
13,848
San Mateo, CA
Yes I have checked and I can legally import them, and I will be using a specialist company, Can-Am Auto Importers to assist me. Thank you.

That said, do you have any comments about my winter tire plan as I described in my post?
 

Tony_YYZ

Tezler Guru
Apr 7, 2016
1,962
2,109
Caledon, ON Canada
Yes I have checked and I can legally import them, and I will be using a specialist company, Can-Am Auto Importers to assist me. Thank you.

That said, do you have any comments about my winter tire plan as I described in my post?
I think it depends on the area of Vancouver you are moving to. Lots of people get by with using All Weather tires (Not all season). A popular model is the Nokian WRG4.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,198
13,848
San Mateo, CA
Found this article by Nokian Three reasons why you shouldn't drive winter tires during spring and summer.

Summary:

1. Winter tires wear down quickly in warm weather

2. Wet asphalt is challenging for winter tires

3. In summer, winter tires steer slowly and feel unstable to drive


The article recommends “all season” tires as a solution, and for the Model 3 with 19” wheels that means this tire Nokian Tyres One - PREMIUM ALL-SEASON TIRE FOR PASSENGER VEHICLES, CUVS & SUVS / Nokian Tires

So perhaps I have now answered my own question. ;)
 
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richrootes

Member
Aug 31, 2014
484
466
North Vancouver
That’s great news - I know others have tried and faced pushback when attempting to get the necessary modifications carried out

If you’re heading to the lower mainland, unless you’re planning on going up to Whistler or further than Hope in the winter, you’ll be fine with all seasons

We fit winter tyres purely because we do head out in those directions - but to get up Cypress, as long as your tyres have the M+S symbol you’ll be just fine. The road is ploughed and salted whenever there’s any snowfall

If it does ever snow below around 500ft, it never lasts long - we’ve had no significant cover this year

Let me know if you need anything else answered - good luck with the move
 

Tony_YYZ

Tezler Guru
Apr 7, 2016
1,962
2,109
Caledon, ON Canada
I missed the part where where you said you would use winter tires year round. That’s a big nono. They will perform like crap in the warmer temps and be less safe overall. Plus the fact that they’ll wear down very quickly.

Check my previous reply regarding the All Weather tires.
 

X.l.r.8

Supporting Member
Feb 18, 2018
1,428
906
Toronto/Miami
+1 for the all weather nokians, I used them on my cayenne to drive back and forth to Miami in wintertime. I wouldn’t use all seasons, period.
 

f-stop

Active Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,463
1,408
Vancouver BC, Canada
Found this article by Nokian Three reasons why you shouldn't drive winter tires during spring and summer.

Summary:

1. Winter tires wear down quickly in warm weather

2. Wet asphalt is challenging for winter tires

3. In summer, winter tires steer slowly and feel unstable to drive


The article recommends “all season” tires as a solution, and for the Model 3 with 19” wheels that means this tire Nokian Tyres One - PREMIUM ALL-SEASON TIRE FOR PASSENGER VEHICLES, CUVS & SUVS / Nokian Tires

So perhaps I have now answered my own question. ;)
yes winter tires year-round is a bad idea for reasons mentioned

instead of "all-season", check out Nokian's "all-weather" tires like the previously mentioned WRG4. Note "all-weather" are NOT the same as "all-season"
Basically they are a true winter-rated tire that are fine to leave on for warmer seasons. Much better winter performance than all-seasons.

while I have separate dedicated summer and winter tires (Hakka R2) for my Model S, we have the prior generation Nokian WRG3-SUV tires on our CR-V year-round here in Vancouver
 

TLej

Little-Known Member
Dec 29, 2015
483
478
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I run WRG4s year-round (G3s prior to this set). If it works in Edmonton, you'll be fine in Vancouver. And they're actually really good in the rain, which you're more likely to care about in Vancouver. They definitely are not performance summer tires though, if you like to drive fast. I don't so they're fine for me.
 
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RiverBrick

Active Member
Mar 23, 2014
2,508
1,719
Mount Washington Valley
If you're going to be in the Mountains frequently you're best off with dedicated Winter tires and a second set of all-season tires for the other half of the year.

For Vancouver Winter use with a lot of rain All-weathers are better, though.
 

dmd2005

Active Member
Oct 5, 2015
1,155
981
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Definitely an all weather tire if you plan to run a single set of tires and wheels year round. Winter tires in the summer will wear fast and stopping distance is not great in warm weather compared to the all weather. You’ll need M+S or snowflake mountain symbol tires to travel certain regions in the province in the winter.
 

Vawlkus

Active Member
Feb 28, 2017
1,548
792
Halifax
Check the laws where you want to go: I’m on the East coast and there are places where it’s illegal to drive on winter tires during the summer season (most Quebec I think).
 

Greatsave35

Member
Jan 20, 2021
9
9
Canada
Correct choice. Vancouver lifer here. Wet and hydroplaning Performance matters. Barely ever freezes anymore but will rain for weeks at a time in the winter. Huge puddles on roads and highways. Wider channels on the treads to push water away help immensely on our smooth highways...
 
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thor_2019

Member
Jul 5, 2019
52
95
Vancouver, BC
Stock M+S all seasons work great for the model 3 in Vancouver area. Michelin MXMV4 I think. I've even used these for travel to and from the interior as they are rated for snow. They are not excellent for winter but they are a decent comprise. If you plan to regularly climb into the mountains a seperate set of high quality winters is recommended.

Dual Motor M3 is also highly recommended, rain, snow, ice all make the abilities of the car increase greatly over the rear drive ones. IMO even more important than tires.

All mountain passes require snowflake tires or M+S from Oct 1-Mar 31
 

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