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  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #34 is available now with topics timestamped. We covered Tesla's rollercoaster prices, Toyota pushing junk science, Mike's new Model 3, Optimizing track mode for snow driving, FSD V11 apparently coming by the end of this week, and more. You can watch and check out the chat replay on YouTube.

Oops, driving car in icy condition and car slipped on ice and hit a curb hard

Well, S happens. I was driving around a tight curve today when a car coming towards me was in my lane. I had to jump the curb to get out of the way. One rim is really bad, but I am alive. The car that was one my side of the road never stopped. Such is life...but pretty pissed off? Yes I am.
My wife curbed the wheels of our Tesla one time and didn't even realize that she caused any damage. After looking at the design of the wheels, I was far more annoyed at Tesla than I was at anyone else. The damage cost me $160 to fix. These wheels are designed such that the first thing that touches the curb is the rim. In a lot of other cars I've owned, the first thing that would touch the curb if you go too far over is the tire's sidewall. If my other cars had wheels designed like Tesla's, there would have been curb marks all over the place from small mistakes when parallel parking over the years. But now we know that you've just gotta be extra careful with this car because it has a really crappy wheel design. Of course, I don't think a better design would have saved the OP or anyone else hitting the curb that hard but just touching the curb at less than 1/2 mph shouldn't cause the type of damage that it does on these cars...
 
The wheel design isn't "bad", it's a deliberate effort to improve range at the expense of curb-tolerance.
A trapezoidal sidewall that blends smoothly into the wheel face is far more aerodynamic than the bulging sidewalls and rim-protector ridges of yesteryear.

This type of wheel/tire pairing is becoming commonplace throughout the industry, gas or electric, and is unfortunately conflicting with the style trends of ever larger wheels and lower profile tires. So it's no surprise that Tesla is one of the worst offenders, given their focus on both style and efficiency.
 
The wheel design isn't "bad", it's a deliberate effort to improve range at the expense of curb-tolerance.
A trapezoidal sidewall that blends smoothly into the wheel face is far more aerodynamic than the bulging sidewalls and rim-protector ridges of yesteryear.

This type of wheel/tire pairing is becoming commonplace throughout the industry, gas or electric, and is unfortunately conflicting with the style trends of ever larger wheels and lower profile tires. So it's no surprise that Tesla is one of the worst offenders, given their focus on both style and efficiency.
I figured it had to do with aerodynamics. But still, how much do you think it even reduces the Wh/mi consumed? Because even at 50¢/kWh, I could buy 320 kWh worth of electricity with the $160 I had to spend to fix the damage. If it reduces average consumption by 20 Wh/mi (which I doubt, but let's just assume that; impact of the aero covers was found to be around 8-18 Wh/mi, speed dependent of course), then it would take 16,000 miles of driving to make up for it. And I don't pay anything close to 50¢/kWh in the first place so the actual payback mileage is probably closer to 30,000-50,000 miles. We haven't made any parking mistakes since then but judging from the wheels I see on Tesla vehicles around here, people make mistakes far more often than once every 30-50k miles.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
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USA
Well, S happens. I was driving around a tight curve today when a car coming towards me was in my lane. I had to jump the curb to get out of the way. One rim is really bad, but I am alive. The car that was one my side of the road never stopped. Such is life...but pretty pissed off? Yes I am.
@RSpanner That sucks. Did you get a dashcam recording from the car to prove to your insurance you weren't at fault? (Even if you can't make out the other party's license plate.)

Years ago on a snowy two lane mountain road, a big piece of equipment (think tractor-style snow plow) was being towed in the opposite direction and started sliding right at me. Looked hefty enough to crush us in a regular car. I made the same decision as you, swerved off the road to avoid it. Luckily I only got stuck in the snowbank without reaching the rocky slope right behind it, AND the tow crew stopped to pull me out. They saw what happened.

If I remember right they had the back of the plow hitched with a cable to a truck behind it, so they had the idea to prevent this, but it wasn't enough.
 
@RSpanner That sucks. Did you get a dashcam recording from the car to prove to your insurance you weren't at fault? (Even if you can't make out the other party's license plate.)

Years ago on a snowy two lane mountain road, a big piece of equipment (think tractor-style snow plow) was being towed in the opposite direction and started sliding right at me. Looked hefty enough to crush us in a regular car. I made the same decision as you, swerved off the road to avoid it. Luckily I only got stuck in the snowbank without reaching the rocky slope right behind it, AND the tow crew stopped to pull me out. They saw what happened.

If I remember right they had the back of the plow hitched with a cable to a truck behind it, so they had the idea to prevent this, but it wasn't enough.
No, it was off, long story on that. It was first thing in the morning. On another topic sort of, I wonder what damage could or may be happening on bearings, drive shafts ( hell, I haven't studied the running gear components ) on Tesla's....from slamming into curbs..
 

samchops

New Member
Nov 18, 2022
3
12
Denver
Great first post with dashcam and everything! Welcome!

Yeah, a bunch of suspension components likely shifted, no big deal for an alignment shop to reposition. Those wheels are pretty damaged and possibly bent, consider buying a used set of 4 for ~$2500 from the classifieds here or from Facebook.

Grinding might be something simple like a bent brake rotor shield, or maybe you damaged a wheel bearing? Either way it's a few hundred bucks to fix.

And btw, if you think you should wear a jacket, don't drive on those summer tires. I don't need to tell you what could happen when summer tires get cold.
Thank you so much for the feedback. I'll be taking it to the service center tomorrow and already locked in an option I saw online for some OEM rims, pending what the repair looks like. Do you think it's safe to drive to the service center as is, or do you recommend getting it towed?

Thanks!
 
Its definitely a model 3 or Y P. I am going to bet its also the stock summer tires, which are specifically are unsafe on any snow.
Summer tires turn into hockey pucks below 55 degrees, very dangerous to drive even in dry or wet conditions.. The wheels to a massive impact and absorbs the impact and the body was not damaged, I would strongly suggest as the poster suggested to get the suspension checked out,, you can clearly see based on the impact how fast the driver was going on a slick/frozen tires..
 
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Luckily, I live in a part of Florida that rarely goes below 40 degrees F. Even at that, it would be in the middle of the night, when I’m asleep anyway. On the rare occasion that I do experience 40s - 50s, and I have 0 issues whatsoever.
That's the thing about rare occasions. They are rare. In your case it's not a big deal since it's not a common occurrence. Up here in Canada we can have days where with 70 degree highs that drop to low 40's at night so in the morning drive on summer tires I can spin out at relatively low speeds in the morning driving to work or lose the back end around corners at relatively low speeds on dry roads. Under 50 degrees summer tires are compromised in even dry weather an in the wet can be pretty dangerous. It sounds like the OP was driving on summer tires and the outcome was exactly as expected in those weather conditions.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
14,161
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New Mexico
That's the thing about rare occasions. They are rare. In your case it's not a big deal since it's not a common occurrence. Up here in Canada we can have days where with 70 degree highs that drop to low 40's at night so in the morning drive on summer tires I can spin out at relatively low speeds in the morning driving to work or lose the back end around corners at relatively low speeds on dry roads.

Same here in New Mexico. Does that mean we are neighbors ?

Joking aside, a 'rare' event is not a good reason to ignore it if the outcome is bad. Otherwise, we would not care at all about emergency braking performance. People spend a lot of money to drive a car with high safety engineering, and then they skimp on the one feature that matters the most and costs pennies a day.

Rational, it is not. <<shrug>>
 

tm1v2

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Oct 18, 2021
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@SpicyPaneer @heavyD Have you actually experienced summer tires turning really slippery in 40-50° F? Which tires exactly? I've never experienced that, and I've driven with summer tires in such weather for many years. All the ones I've used grip perfectly fine at those temps, still easily better than a typical allseason. I'm sure summers aren't at their very best in such temps, but they don't turn into hockey pucks!

If you feel my summer tires are unsafe at 40-50° F, then you're saying a tire like the Primacy MXM4 (that often comes on base model Tesla's) is unsafe at any temperature. Which, okay, I might agree with that! 😁

Even my old 200 TW street/track summers that I used back when I did track days, did not turn into hockey pucks at those temps, though I did not run them year round.
 
@SpicyPaneer @heavyD Have you actually experienced summer tires turning really slippery in 40-50° F? Which tires exactly? I've never experienced that, and I've driven with summer tires in such weather for many years. All the ones I've used grip perfectly fine at those temps, still easily better than a typical allseason. I'm sure summers aren't at their very best in such temps, but they don't turn into hockey pucks!

If you feel my summer tires are unsafe at 40-50° F, then you're saying a tire like the Primacy MXM4 (that often comes on base model Tesla's) is unsafe at any temperature. Which, okay, I might agree with that! 😁

Even my old 200 TW street/track summers that I used back when I did track days, did not turn into hockey pucks at those temps, though I did not run them year round.
I have the same tires and drove the car through snow in MD last year fine with them in 20-30 degree weather. Just got to be careful with regenerative breaking if you use it
 
@SpicyPaneer @heavyD Have you actually experienced summer tires turning really slippery in 40-50° F? Which tires exactly? I've never experienced that, and I've driven with summer tires in such weather for many years. All the ones I've used grip perfectly fine at those temps, still easily better than a typical allseason. I'm sure summers aren't at their very best in such temps, but they don't turn into hockey pucks!

If you feel my summer tires are unsafe at 40-50° F, then you're saying a tire like the Primacy MXM4 (that often comes on base model Tesla's) is unsafe at any temperature. Which, okay, I might agree with that! 😁

Even my old 200 TW street/track summers that I used back when I did track days, did not turn into hockey pucks at those temps, though I did not run them year round.
Yes I have. Michelin PSS on my M2, Continental SportContact 6 on my X3M Competition, Pirelli P Zero on my Mustang GT, etc. You can't drive on them at those temperatures like you can when it's warm outside. I'm not going to get into a debate here because it's your life and you do what you want.
I have the same tires and drove the car through snow in MD last year fine with them in 20-30 degree weather. Just got to be careful with regenerative breaking if you use it
Yeah like I said it's your life and if you want to take risks then have at it. Just hope someone else doesn't have to pay the price for your decision making.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
14,161
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New Mexico
If you feel my summer tires are unsafe at 40-50° F, then you're saying a tire like the Primacy MXM4 (that often comes on base model Tesla's) is unsafe at any temperature. Which, okay, I might agree with that! 😁

This is not a safe/unsafe dichotomy. As it gets colder, tires get stiffer. That is physics.
As a tire gets stiffer, it loses max traction. More physics.

Due to the use of different compounds, the stiffness Vs Temp curve is shifted somewhat. Not huge numbers, but I'l guess up to 5C.

From what I have read, below 40F any summer tyre will be too stiff to provide reasonable emergency braking. I think it is also true (in general terms, anyway) that as the treadwear mileage warranty increases, so does the stiffness at cold(er) temperatures

Have you actually experienced summer tires turning really slippery in 40-50° F?

That is very much the wrong question. Let me suggest a different one: What is the minimal traction you will accept for your winter driving ?
 
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UncertainTimes

Active Member
Aug 7, 2020
1,195
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USA
Thank you so much for the feedback. I'll be taking it to the service center tomorrow and already locked in an option I saw online for some OEM rims, pending what the repair looks like. Do you think it's safe to drive to the service center as is, or do you recommend getting it towed?

Thanks!
If you are indeed still on summer tires then get it towed. Unless you want the other side ruined too then by all means.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,442
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USA
This is not a safe/unsafe dichotomy. As it gets colder, tires get stiffer. That is physics.
As a tire gets stiffer, it loses max traction. More physics.

Due to the use of different compounds, the stiffness Vs Temp curve is shifted somewhat. Not huge numbers, but I'l guess up to 5C.

From what I have read, below 40F any summer tyre will be too stiff to provide reasonable emergency braking. I think it is also true (in general terms, anyway) that as the treadwear mileage warranty increases, so does the stiffness at cold(er) temperatures



That is very much the wrong question. Let me suggest a different one: What is the minimal traction you will accept for your winter driving ?
What is your definition of reasonable emergency braking?

I've used real winter tires, "performance winter" and studless snow & ice. At 40F they had worse traction in all directions (go/stop/corner) than any summer tire I've used. Not even close. Same with non-performance-focused allseasons, though at 40F they are better than winter tires of course.

Again I question whether folks saying "summers are unsafe at 40F" are talking from experience, or if you are extrapolating too far from things you've read. My experience with this has been consistent across several tire models and cars, including swapping between summer/winter/allseason on the same car.

Maybe good modern UHP allseasons would outbrake my summer tires at 40F. I'm really not sure there, but I could believe it. I haven't used any performance allseasons on my own cars in a very long time. Next set of tires for our Model S will probably be a UHP allseason though. (Had it on max performance summers for a while, then non-performance allseasons for its most recent two tire changes.)
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,442
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Yes I have. Michelin PSS on my M2, Continental SportContact 6 on my X3M Competition, Pirelli P Zero on my Mustang GT, etc. You can't drive on them at those temperatures like you can when it's warm outside. I'm not going to get into a debate here because it's your life and you do what you want.
"Can't drive like it's warm out" - sure, I don't argue that.

If you're saying good performance allseasons work better at 40F, I can believe that, I don't have the experience to say either way.

"Unsafe" at 40F though? Have you driven on the typical tires of a random non-gearhead car? Like the MXM4 that come on many non-performance Teslas? Have you tried pushing your car hard on snow tires at 40F? Did you actually feel they were better than summers at 40F? Maybe snow tires have come a long way since I last used any...
 
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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,442
2,132
USA
I wonder if this disconnect is because we're not really thinking about the same scenarios. 40F is 40F but a decision about summer vs winter tires is obviously made based on overall weather and season, not the temperature at a single point in time (not counting racing / special driving events where you might swap wheels/tires just for the event).

In a place where it freezes in the winter, and it happens to hit 40F high on some warmer winter days, would I swap back to summers for that? No of course not.

In a place where it doesn't freeze at all, but 40F is a common evening / early morning winter temperature, would I swap to allseasons just for the mild non-freezing winter? No I would not. I've lived many years in such places and can tell you summer tires work fine year round.

If you'd rather swap to UHP allseasons for non-freezing winter, I see nothing wrong with that, but to me it is overkill. If you say a Tesla on summers at 40F can't brake safely, you are saying the majority of vehicles on the road cannot brake safely, at any temperature (non-performance vehicles using non-performance tires).
 

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