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

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
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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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
Moderator
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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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
 
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
 
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
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Reviving this thread that I started 5 months ago when I lived in California; my wife and I now live in West Vancouver and we are very happy to be there! The summer weather has been fantastic and we’ve been enjoying the many hiking trails that are so close to us. Before moving I installed all weather tires on my Model 3 and have now decided to buy a set of winter tires for my Model X so we can get up into the local mountains for snowshoeing.

My question is; what are the pros and cons of buying just winter tires compared to winter tires on a dedicated set of wheels? I’m leaning towards the latter, as it will be simpler to change one set of wheels for the other, keep my summer wheels from being damaged by twice a year tire swaps, and the storage space required is the same.

Suggestions for winter tires and rims combinations for an X are welcome. The simplest solution, though not the cheapest, seems to be to purchase what Tesla sells at 2015-2020 | Model X 20" Slipstream Wheel and Winter Tire Package

I will search existing threads on this topic. Thank you!
 
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Vawlkus

Active Member
Feb 28, 2017
1,893
1,072
Halifax
I dislike staggered tires, so I got a set of 4 recommended by PMC Tire in Quebec. That was 4 Replika rims and 4 continental winter tires. Came with free TPMS, installed and balanced.

The only real drawbacks to having a second set of rims and tires is the weight fit lifting them in and out of the car, and the fact the even at the 20” size, I could only get 3 tires in the back; one tire had to be set on the middle row of seats. If you’ve got the 5 or 7 seater, with the reclining seats, this won’t be an issue. It’s only the 6 seater where you run into this.
 
I live in the tricities area (port moody) near vancouver. On a rather large hill, seemingly just above the snowline. Due to this, we often have snow or icy conditions when it is just rain everywhere else. So I always have a dedicated winter wheel/tire combo for my vehicles. Sure, it costs a few hundred bucks more than just winter tires and getting them mounted and a lot more than just running all seasons.

But, the first time you start to lose control sliding down the hill... really makes you change your priorities. Being in control of your vehicle when driving is such a nice feeling. :)

And it is so much easier to swap the full wheel/tire combo on the vehicle. Apparently winter tires grip better in the cold weather than all seasons do. So, I think it is a smart choice.

As for what to buy, I dunno. Best of luck with that!
 

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