Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

"New" Versus "Old" 2020 Continental Model X Tires – Lessons Learned from Recent Tire Purchases

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
Background

Recently purchased two NOS (new-old-stock) 2020 front tires at a bargain price for a pre-refresh Model X (see New 2020 20-inch Model X Tires). Hoped to find equivalent, matching rear tires, to build a second (back-up) 20-inch wheel-set. Wanted loose tires, since I may powder-coat some extra 20-inch staggered Slipstream rims I have before mounting the new tires.

Lesson and Observations

First looked ONLINE (e.g., Craig's List, eBay, Amazon, etc.) for bargains on new or near-new rear tires.
  • Most low-mileage tires for sale online are part of (take-off) sets of four, and...
  • most come mounted on wheels (limiting the range of a practical search--shipping is expensive).
  • Sales of used-tires only (no wheels) often involve professionally-repaired tires. (I wanted to avoid those.)
  • At least one new-tire seller on eBay, with several warehouses across the U.S., might have had the tire I was looking for. But buying tires sight-unseen (they could/would not send specific photos or guarantee the tire year), and their "buyer-pays-for-return-shipping" policy was, imo, too risky.
I next tried retail BRICK-AND-MORTAR tire sellers (e.g., America's Tire, Les Schwab, etc.) in my area.
  • Surprisingly, the 2020 Tesla original-equipment Continental tire I was trying to match was, on paper, unavailable. As of 09/2021 Continental lists it as "sold out:" Continental CrossContact LX Sport (03547460000)
  • Local retailers (who normally could order Continental original equipment tires for Tesla cars) were unable to reliably promise a tire to meet my minimum requirements—i.e., (a) "T0" designation, “Conti Silent” version, and original CrossContact LX Sport tread pattern. One store wanted to sell me a Porsche OE tire. (“N0” designation. Not cool. There is also a Mercedes-Benz [“MO”] version. See Continental Original-Equipment Tires.)
  • Although there are many retail tire sellers, most apparently get their stock from a limited number of "middle-man" distributers, so I started hearing the same thing at each retailer--not available.
  • In general tire-buying can be complicated. And making sense of the writing on tires is like reading Egyptian hieroglyphics. In order not to get stuck with a poor choice pushed on you by an assertive salesperson, try to brush up on tire information before-hand. There are several good sites for interpreting tire sidewall markings (for example, see Decoding the markings on the tire sidewall). Try to know exactly what it is that you need/want before entering a tire store.
Finally, I tried TESLA. (Arguably, this could have been my first step. But I had been initially hesitant because of imagined hassle and cost. Ironically, I was partly right.)
  • Using the Tesla App I first scheduled convenient mobile service drop-off of two new tires. Seemingly easy and simple. But through messaging it became clear that they couldn't be sure to exactly match rear tires to my existing front NOS tires.
  • Luckily, via App messaging, the friendly Tesla staff person encouraged me to stop by the closest Tesla Service Center to inspect and purchase a pair of tires in person. Problem seemingly solved. (Having used only mobile service since getting the car in March, I wasn't aware that SCs were open again, or that they had in-person service desks.)
  • But sadly, once at the shiny new Sacramento facility I was told by service desk staff that Tesla does not sell loose tires over the counter--that I would have to make an appointment (for following week) to have tires mounted and balanced, and that this was true at all the nearby Service Centers. I regretfully, and somewhat skeptically, made the appointment to have two tires mounted on wheels the following week. That purchase would of course include additional costs for mounting and balancing the two new tires.
  • Fortunately for me, the Sacramento area now has at least three relatively nearby Service Centers (Sacramento

 
Last edited:

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
The Discount Tire Store website says that the OE Continental Cross Contact LX Sport CSI is “discontinued.”

Discount Tyre is instead recommending Pirelli Scorpion Zero AS Plus.

I ran into similar (possible mis-)information when I discussed looking for replacement tires in Post#1, above. (I am unfamilar with the CSI--"controlled sipe interaction"--designation.) I can envision two plausible explanations:
  1. Due to declining sales or other reasons, a discount retail store no longer offers the OEM (in this case, Continental "T0") tire for the "legacy" (pre-refresh; ~2016 to early 2021) Model X. Obviously such a store will try to promote other brands it carries that fit the Model X.

  2. A new, but still OEM, Continental tire version is still available, if for example you know the correct updated stock number (but a particular store may still not bother to carry it).
The updated version is (or was when I wrote Post #1) still available from Tesla and perhaps other sources. You will probably be sold a “T1” rather than “T0” version.

Otherwise, good alternative aftermarket brands are discussed here and on TMC.
 
Last edited:
Just had three tires replaced at the Tesla service center (which was, reasonably, competitive on pricing with Tire Rack once you factor in mount/balance stuff). I used them because I actually like the Contis and don't mind tires that wear fast and wanted to try the T1 tires. They have the T1 tires there. I'm sure there was a part number change or addendum/dash and that's why wholesalers are showing discontinued on the T0 tires - their inventory systems are all automated but I don't think their application-specific OE tire stuff is - meaning somebody probably has to go in to their system and click a box so the search will spit out yes this is the oe replacement tire

They are round and black. My original front tires were down to about 3/32" at the center and -1/32" at the inner edge. They were toast, at 17,900 miles. The rears got replaced at different times because I whacked one of the rears on a curb about 7000 miles ago and popped it like a party balloon. The remaining rear was in great shape other than the inner tread blocks which were also -1/32". At least 5/32" over the rest of the tread.

Wear is not my primary metric for tires though. I want it to be predictable handlers, not make too much noise around corners when leaned on (this is an amazing feat on the contis considering how tiny the tread blocks are! They almost never squeak or squeal around a cloverleaf or whatever), and work in all the weather I want it to work in, even when I am an absolute twit behind the wheel, and for me the Contis do all that. They just wear out fast.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: avesraggiana
Anyone have thought on the AS 3 Plus vs. Zero? I am getting my refresh on Thursday and it is coming with summer tires. I have a second set of winter wheels, but I am honestly tired of switching every 6 months. I am just going to put all seasons on the day I get it. I want to go Pirelli. I see Verde, AS 3 Plus and Zero.
 
Anyone have thought on the AS 3 Plus vs. Zero? I am getting my refresh on Thursday and it is coming with summer tires. I have a second set of winter wheels, but I am honestly tired of switching every 6 months. I am just going to put all seasons on the day I get it. I want to go Pirelli. I see Verde, AS 3 Plus and Zero.
Can't speak from experience, but I'm ditching the OEM Continentals on my wife's '18 with the Pirelli Scorpion Zero A/S Plus this summer. I'm still planning to switch to the Michelin X-Ice Snow SUVs I got her in November every winter, but I'm expecting the Pirellis will let me narrow the winter tire season. I suspect my Seattle winters (and corresponding abysmal plowing) are worse than how things are for you in NYC. (And hi to RF...just dropped him a message on FB.)
 

Batt Car

Executive, engineer, entrepreneur, author, dad.
Oct 1, 2018
142
112
West Chester PA
Can't speak from experience, but I'm ditching the OEM Continentals on my wife's '18 with the Pirelli Scorpion Zero A/S Plus this summer. I'm still planning to switch to the Michelin X-Ice Snow SUVs I got her in November every winter, but I'm expecting the Pirellis will let me narrow the winter tire season. I suspect my Seattle winters (and corresponding abysmal plowing) are worse than how things are for you in NYC. (And hi to RF...just dropped him a message on FB.)
From experience I can assure you the Pirelli Zero A/S will delight. Most notably they are way more quiet than the Contis.
 
  • Like
Reactions: peety3

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top