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Stuck in the snow with all season tires, over and over again.

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by yobigd20, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    #1 yobigd20, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
    So philly/south jersey got slammed (relatively speaking) with 5-6 inches of snow on Saturday. I was out on a bachelor party as DD for the bachelor and I was extremely disappointed with the handling on my P85 in this particular snow storm (I've driven fine in other snow storms in the past, but that was when I had goodyears). This is the first winter I've had riding on 255/45ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's. These tires are great in dry and wet weather but when it comes to snow and ice, they suck BAD.

    First every time from a stop they would spin and traction control kicking on.

    We were trying to find parking in philly in a self park lot. Found one place but the car could not make it up the parking garage ramp. Tires would spin and TC kicked on and prevented car from moving. (Fyi it didn't occur to me to take TC off until later, but not sure if that would've helped anyway). So meanwhile there are cars behind me on the ramp and I can't make it up the ramp. They all had to back up on a one way road (again, philly) so I could let the car back out onto the road. Needless to say everybody behind me was pissed.

    Next try ok let's not go up a parking garage ramp but instead try an open lot. One block further good there is one. Ok. Well I couldn't even make it up the 2" bump into the lot. Again, more people behind me pissed. Tires just spinning and TC kicking on. Had to leave since I couldn't even pull into the parking lot.

    I was forced to park on the street in Phily. Not something anyone wants to do in general with any car on a good day, let alone while in the middle of a snow storm. Oh well. We were just going out to dinner and canceled the rest of the night anyway. Fortunately only being there 2 hrs and nobody sideswiped me. That's good.

    On the way home there was one spot where I passed some junker car on a local single lane road and there was someone in an SUV behind me right up my butt going to pass me too. As soon as I changed lanes back to the right after passing i fishtailed out with back end swinging left and the guy in the SUV behind me who was also passing the other guy and now me nearly smashed into me. this was only going 25-30mph too. Coming from years of experience in a Camaro and decades of gaming fishtailing out doesn't really phase me as I know how to control it. Ahole behind me definitely shouldn't have been riding my bumper in this weather too (he was less than a car length behind me, even in dry weather that's extremely too close).

    Anywho onto a local bar we go right near my place and my friends. Got stuck in their parking lot and had to rock it a bit to get in and out.

    After the night I dropped my friend off and went home. Now this was an ordeal. It took me about 20 minutes to make it up my driveway into the garage. My driveway is mostly flat. Maybe a slight incline. It's just stone. With 4-6 inches of snow and ice on top. Totally stuck. And yes air suspension was set to highest. I tried everything. Rocking it. Now I took traction control off and start tearing into it to see if that helped. Eventually the only way I was making any progress was with traction control off and rocking the car back then forward and tearing it. I would go about a foot or two and get stuck again. Wash rinse repeat. Left a zig zag pattern and tore up my driveway a bit.

    So, I gotta say, these tires blow in winter. They are all seasons, but maybe in reality all seasons sans-winter. Oh well. As I plan on moving to central NY finger lakes/syracuse region next year either I'm going to get a second set of dedicated winter tires or I'm going to buy myself an F150 because there's no way in hell this car will make it up my pretty steep driveway up there.

    Attaching a few pics of my driveway adventure. Also fyi my tires are about 7/32" all around so they had plenty of tread left but I guess the compound itself just isn't made for this weather. Certainly the 50/50 weight distribution of the MS didn't seem to help much this night. Oh well. Yes the car is fantastic but just not this night. Honestly it didn't handle any better than my old '97 Camaro did. I guess after 2 years of ownership now this was really my only bad driving experience with it. Again I drove through a much worse snow storm the first year I had the car and I didn't have these issues. I don't want to say the Goodyears actually performed better though. Certainly they never had enough traction on dry weather for the P85 and in wet weather they floated too much. But when it comes to snow vs snow, the goodyears may actually beat the Michelins. Grrr I still can't stand the goodyears though so next winter I guess I'll get those dedicated winter snow tires put on.

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  2. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    I don't know, but where I'm from all-season tires mean for spring, summer and fall, and winter tires mean for winter.
     
  3. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Same here. You have to use snow tires in winter - which are not all-season tires. They don't get as hard and slippery in cold weather as all-season tires but if you drive with them on when it's over about 7C they wear out real fast.
     
  4. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Hi, @yobigd20,

    Your pix shock me because from my experiences the depth of snow and inclinations in the pix look completely unremarkable. I'd've said, no big deal.

    I'm just outside Boston - lotta snow, hills that sound much steeper than what you describe. Overall, my P85+ with 19" Nokiian Hakka R2shas been doing well. A little bit of slip in the rear but then again I'm driving around in blizzards looking for trouble. I have to wonder whether you'd've suffered *any* of your woes if you had been using winter tires. Also makes me think you should try snow tires when you're in the Syracuse area.

    I use 21" PS2s for mid-April to mid-November.

    Alan
     
  5. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    all season = garbage.

    At least spring for some Nokian WR G3's if you must ride them in the summer. Also 255 is too wide and compromises snow performance. Downside 10-20+mm.
     
  6. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    You need winter tires. I had my car in for service and they have me a p85 with Michelin all season. The tires were a death trap. No exaggeration.
     
  7. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Interesting. I drove my P85 in a couple of snow storms while I was in NJ with all seasons... and it performed pretty well. Certainly not as well as with winter tires, but well enough to safely get around. Never been stuck.

    I back up in NJ last month in another storm in the P85D and it performed very respectably with all seasons as well.

    Also had a snow/ice storm here in NC recently, P85D's all seasons did well enough. Better than SUVs I saw in ditches...
     
  8. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    Thé reviews of the Pilot Sport A/S agree that it's excellent in wet and dry conditions, but that it's weak in the snow. This is compared to other All-Seasons. Snow performance suffers even more compared to dedicated Winter tires.

    4.8/10 Snow rating based on 234 user reviews on tirerack. Perhaps the lowest rating I have ever seen.
     
  9. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    When I first saw the name of the tire, I assumed it wasn't A/S (obviously I misread). But I misread because Pilot Sports are well regarded as summer tires. I hadn't realized they made a A/S. But - all I can think is that they are just barely A/S which the reviews seem to show.

    As you know, tires make a huge difference. This is really a case of tires labeled A/S that aren't really A/S. Might still be an okay choice in a normal winter for you. Getting winter tires in most of NJ is over the top IMO.
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Most all-season tires are not meant for serious snow (more than a light dusting). There are a few, such as Nokian WR-g3, that can handle it--those tires are marked "severe service". What the OP reports is exactly what I'd expect.
     
  11. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Sorry that you had that negative and embarrassing experience with your Tesla.
    I have been doing quite a lot of reading on the winter tires for the Tesla.
    The Nokian Hakkapelitta R2 tires have a wonderful reputation here and on the Volvo site, so I suspect they are really good for snow.
    That is the way I will be going winter tires when I get my Tesla.
    You should check out the Nokian website and find a dealer in your area.
    Tire Rack does not carry Nokian at this time.

    Good luck... baby needs some winter galoshes.
     
  12. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I've had a very different experience with Nokian Hakka R2's on my P85. I highly recommend trying them next winter.
     
  13. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the above recommendations. Fortunately I kept my original 19" OEM's (I currently drive on aftermarket Tsportline 19" TST grey turbine wheels) so it shouldn't be much of a pain to dedicate those to the A/S 3's and the original OEM to I guess these Nokian's everyone is recommending.

    Fyi it was a bit icy this morning and I didn't have any issues getting back out of my driveway. It did melt a bit but there's still 2" or so mixed with slushy and solid ice. Dunno what it was about the fresh snow on Saturday but that just proves to me that those tires won't cut it for syracuse winters.
     
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Also fyi this is the incline I'll have to beat once we move:

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  15. agw

    agw Member

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    I think you'll be fine with the bulldozer :)
    Jokes apart the Michelin are surely great tires but as we suspected, not cut for snow (Roger had a better experience recently though). Winter tires are really the way to go with temperatures so low and snow/ice on the ground. Having said that, the "Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus" have done remarkably well so far in this brutal winter (Maybe it's the "Plus"...). In short, for best of both worlds, get the Michelin and a set of winter tires like the Nokian but if the winter conditions are not too extreme, the Pirelli may be just the right compromise.
     
  16. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Yah putting the summers on the T-Sportlines and the snow tires on the OEM 19" wheels is a great plan.
    You may be able to pick up a deal at the end of the winter season on the snow tires.
    Most dealers do not want to carry that inventory over the next 8 months.

    Regarding the T-Sportlines, how have they held up so far?
    Is the finish robust?
    I was looking at their dark grey 19" turbines for the summer tires.
     
  17. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I love these wheels. They are 0.5" wider than OEM 19s, and 35 offset instead of the stock 40 so they take a 255/45 tire perfectly and they fill out the wheel well giving it a great aggressive look. As soon as I got the wheels I put 3 coats of 22ple VM1 Rim and Metal Coating on before they were mounted. The finish is perfect and extremely shiny and easy to clean. I have over 17k miles on these wheels now and I know I've hit a few good potholes at speed with no issues at all. They were independently tested and passed/exceeded all safety rating etc so def a solid well manufactured wheel. Highly recommend them.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. In fact, I've had the opportunity to drive Tesla loaners with the Pirelli winter tires on three separate "snow days" and even the Pirelli's are awful by comparison. I can only imagine "all seasons" would be just horrible in the conditions the OP describes. This is not a slam against Tesla's handling characteristics... I just think that proper winter tires should be mandatory for all cars in certain locales. The cost is minimal considering two sets of tires will last longer than one, and they just may save you the grief and expense of an avoidable accident.
     
  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yea the cars only as good as the tires you put on them. There's only so much help you're going to get from TC and ABS systems with a bad set of tires on. Again, the Michelin A/S 3's great for dry and wet, not for snow. Goodyears kinda sucky on the dry and wet, but were better on snow. I'm sure these Nokian's will be great on snow. I'll try them out next season.
     
  20. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Just like MKnox and ToodRLockwood have said, get yourself some Nokian Hakkapeliita R2s. I would have plowed right through that snow with no issue...maybe some tiny wiggle as the TC did its job, but no worries at all. I have driven in some similarly gnarly conditions over here in Pittsburgh, and even when the road ahead (especially on hills) is filled with wildly curving tracks from previous cars slipping and sliding, the Nokians let me just plow through like a tank. Obviously you need to drive appropriately for the conditions, but I couldn't be happier with these Nokians. I like them even better than the Michelin Xi3s, which weren't bad at all.
     

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