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Separate set of rims/wheels needed for Winter tires?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by nublarian, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. nublarian

    nublarian New Member

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    I've notice alot of people mentioning that they get a separate set of wheels for their winter tires. I'm assuming this is for alot of folks who have the 21" all-season tires and are going to the smaller 19" tires because they handle better in the winter.

    I currently have the OEM 19" all season tires and am planning on buying same size winter tires. Are there any advantages to buying winter tires and having them mounted on their own separate rims? Is this the better way to go or are you mounting and balancing your all-season and winter tires onto the same rims all the time?

    Please share what you think are the advantages/disadvantages.
     
  2. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Some folks like to protect their OEM rims from the harsh winter environment by having a second set of rims for Winter Snow tire use.
    There is an upside and downside to this.
    Downside: Storage of a set of 4 rims and tires is first. The expense of 4 Tire Pressure Sensors mounted on 4 new rims with probably be about $2K along with the possible expense of having the Tesla "see" the second set of TPS's (may require some codes being set?).

    Upside: You can get a wee bit narrower snow or all season tires which will really grip a lot better in winter conditions. You will just about double the life of your summer tires by not driving them. You will save rash and corrosion on you OEM rims or even bends and cracks on larger rims. And you can see how other rims and tires feel on the car.

    If your calipers will allow it, I would go with 19" rims and tires with a taller sidewall as if you are in a winter climate then potholes probably exist.

    As an aside, Toyota charges $100 for Tire Pressure Sensor coding on my Wife's Prius, once in the fall when the winter rims go on and then again another $100 in the Spring when the summer's go on.

    If you purchase winter tires you should go for LOW ROLLING RESISTANCE tires. A call to Tire Rack can be worth it.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    A few reasons to get a separate set of rims aside from aesthetics or preservation of existing rims:
    • Tires and rims can be damaged mounting and unmounting
    • There is an expense to do so and, depending on how long you intend to keep your vehicle, may significantly defray the cost of rims
    • With a separate set of wheels you can swap them yourself
    • TPMS can be paired to the car via the screen so no need for any "reprogramming" at the service center
    • It's no more difficult to store tires by themselves or while attached to the rims.
     
  4. rapoport3a

    rapoport3a Member

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    Tires should be mounted and dismounted as little as possible, preferably not at all after their initial mount. So having two sets of rims and tires is a good way to proceed.

    The solution I arrived at is all-weather (not all-season) tires. They go on once and stay on, therefore one set of rims only. My research tells me that the best of the lot are Nokian WR G3 tires, which went on our car three days ago in warm weather.

    Tesla recommends only a certain Pirelli tire for winter, which seems good on cold, dry roads and poor in snow or ice. If you have either of the latter, I suggest not getting them.
     
  5. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I bought a 2nd set of 19" rims & TPMS sensors, I bought Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2's for Winter, and for summer use the OEM Goodyear All Seasons.
    I bought the 2nd set of rims/TPMS from a member here that had a set of 19" OEM Goodyears on them, so I have a spare set of OEM tires as well.

    It was also a good deal doing it this way, as I got the 2nd set of tires/wheels/TPMS sensors for $1,800, and then bought the Nokians from a local tire shop who mounted and balanced/installed them for $1,100, so my total cost was about $2,900, less than the $4K Tesla is asking, and I have Nokian Hakka R2's, which are very good in the cold/slush/snow, plus an extra set of OEM rubber for when the summer tires start to wear.

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 - A non-studded tire that offers supreme driving comfort and safety / Nokian Tires
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The 21" tires are all summer performance tires, not all season tires so they would handle even worse in snow.
    All the points above are excellent.
     
  7. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    By having one set of rims you save the expense of tire rotations. If you drive enough, one rotation interval per winter, then you won't be mounting/dismounting tires anymore than you otherwise would.
     
  8. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    While many tires are directional these days, I don't cross sides when I rotate my tires eliminating the need to remount tires. I haven't yet seen uneven wear across the treads after 16k on my OEMs with a rotation at 8k. I do, however, rotate at wheel change time.

    I did the same as mitch672, buying takeoff OEM 19" wheels with Goodyears. Had to buy a new set of TPMS but have a spare set of OEMs, one of which I've used after a sidewall bubble during a curbing incident.
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    LOL....are you against tire rotation or something? tires needs to be rotated semi-frequently to extend tread life...
     
  10. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Wheels. Not tires.
     
  11. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    DOH I'm an idiot today HAHA. brain does not compute.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Lots of the same information can be found in this older thread too
    Winter tire recommendations

    For Salt Lake City, I would think winter tires would be safer. jerry33 knows everything about tires and has said mounting tires onto a rim, taking them off...etc multiple times can harm the tires so separate rims is a good idea.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    While technically you were referring to the act of storing, the "storing process" (i.e. moving them to/from the storage location) is easier with just tires than with rims -- the rims add a lot of weight. (Yes, I'm out of shape.)
     
  14. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    The nice thing about tires (whether attached to the rims or not) is that they roll. :tongue:
     
  15. Papafox

    Papafox Active Member

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    Thanks all for the excellent suggestions. If I were going to be using the winter tires for multiple seasons I would definitely buy wheels for them and leave them on the wheels, but since this is a one-season-only situation (car going to Hawaii), I plan to buy some winter tires (Likely Michelin X-ICE X13s) and then sell them used when I am done. My understanding is that since the tire pressure sensors are associated with the wheel itself, I should not have to spend extra for these sensors, as the current ones will do.

    The good news is that we continue to see snow in the Tahoe area and it looks like an excellent ski season ahead.
     

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