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suggested location near Boston to install winter tires, keep TPMS in tact?

Discussion in 'New England' started by gnychis, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Recently moved to the Boston area. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to take the car to have winter tires installed? I already have the tires, and I just want them to replace the tires on my 19s, keeping the TPMS in tact. Anyone had any good experiences with any specific locations? Not looking to pay an arm and leg, but obviously don't want any issues.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rheazombi

    Rheazombi Member

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  3. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I'd check Tirerack's recommended installers, and find a 5-star rated one nearest to you: http://www.tirerack.com/installer/index.jsp

    I've had excellent results from both Eurotech Advanced Auto in Framingham and Auto Sport Engineering in Stow. I've switched to Auto Sport, since they are closer to my home. They recently did their first mounting of snows on a Tesla (I was at the shop when the owner called to confirm they could mount on 21's).

    BTW, you'll probably want to get an extra set of wheels (and TPMS sensors) for your winter tires. 2 mount and balance jobs/year gets expensive, runs a greater risk of scratching your rims, and isn't really good for the tires, either. If you have 21's, using 19's for winter wheels will let you run much cheaper tires, and save your 21's from pothole damage. I've run a second set of wheels on every car I've ever used snows on, and wouldn't do it any other way.
     
  4. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    +1 @Rheazombi re Wheel DynamiX in Natick. They handle my winter and summer tires for my Tesla and my Prius. They offer a storage option, too.

    +1 @tga - I only used all-season radials until I purchased the Model S. For S, I use 21s (PS 2s) in the summer and switch to 19" rims, TPMS & tires (Nokiaan Hakkapolita R2s) in the winter. Last winter's positive experience forced me to reconsider the all-seasons on the Prius, so now on *that* car I also switch tires for the winter season (but not the rims). Wheel DynamiX stores all my tires/rims in the off-seasons. I'm very happy with the service at WD and with the results on the road.

     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    If you bought your winter tires directly from Tesla, then the Service Center will do the swap for free.
     
  6. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Had spotty results with NTB, who I think is recommended by Tirerack.
     
  7. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    +1 Highly recommend. It's a false economy to save by not buying wheels. Much better and cheaper in the long run to buy a second set of wheels and TPM S.
     
  8. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Thanks a bunch for all of the responses. mspohr and tga: totally hear what you're saying. My factory wheels are 19s and I've been thinking about getting 21s. So maybe I can use this opportunity to buy winter tires, swap them on my 19s and just sell my standard 19 tires. Then, when winter is over buy 21s and tires for them and just swap wheels that point forward.

    I will definitely check out Wheel Dynamix and the others recommended!
     
  9. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Based on your profile and this thread, I'm assuming you're moving from CA to MA. I'd strongly suggest you re-think switching to 21's here; they just don't hold up well with the potholes on our roads. There are lots of threads here about that.

    If I were in you shoes, I'd get some cheap 19's for winter tires and save my factory wheels for summer use (road salt wrecks havoc on wheel finish). When you wear out the all seasons, get some good summer rubber.

    Tire Rack has 19" Rial Lugano's for just over $200. If you need snows, order them at the same time for free mount/balance.
     
  10. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    @Robert.Boston's point shouldn't be overlooked. While I am a happy Wheel DynamiX customer, it's true that Mat Boarman at the Watertown Service Center is looking at all ways to improve the customer experience. Just before I bought my Model S in August, 2013, the Watertown SC would swap tires for you. Maybe even store them. Then, there was an official policy change from the home office and they couldn't do that any more. But a few months ago, I happened to talk to Mat about this and learned that the SC can once again swap tires for you and I believe can also store them nearby (for a fee). One surprise: the storage fee was cheaper at Wheel DynamiX (which also included free wheel/tire swaps, i.e., included in the storage fee). But clearly, depending on where you live, or you relationship with the Service Center, I could see where you might feel better about centralizing your activities at the SC. So... an option to consider!

    For me, I also use WD heavily for my Prius tires and wheels; Xpel paint protection film, which I frequently have peeled and replaced in one area of the car or another, due to some occasional vehicle/object miscalculations; after-market add-on installations; and detailing. Jeff Orlinsky is the owner. Mention my name and watch him grimace. :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I confess all that I read here prior to purchasing my Model S made me worry about the 21s. I've had the Pilot Sport 2s for one partial season (Aug - Nov 2013) and one full season (Apr - Nov 2014) and no pothole problems whatsoever. One problem with a nail. And, at the very end, the inside tread on my rear tires was worn down severely, in all probability due to the high negative camber of the rear suspension. Considering the design and implementation of the suspension, I think I've had a very reasonable experience with my 21s and will be buying new ones next spring.

    Moreover, I love love love the grip and handling of the 21s when I have them on the car. I've also driven the all-season 19s on SC loaner P85s and they're just not as fun. And of course I'm driving 19s for the winter on my car, and darned grateful to have them for the low temperatures and snow (last year and at some point this year), but I certainly feel the difference. I'm not even a car guy! Before the Model S, I drove all-season radials for 34 years, from the first day I received my learner's permit. Didn't really think it mattered. I've certainly changed my mind.

    Having said that, I *have* rashed my tires and rims on occasion. There *is* a greater risk of pothole damage on the 21s. The higher-profile 19s are superior in that regard.

    As @tga correctly notes, there are plenty of threads discussing the dangers of potholes here and in other parts of the world. I wouldn't say that there's a single right answer here; it depends on your goals.

    Alan

     
  11. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Thanks for the responses, again. 21s vs 19s seem to draw as much debate as a presidential candidate on this forum :) But you're right, tga, I did just move from CA to Boston. The car and myself are already there. You certainly do have more potholes, but there's something I love about the look of the 21s and while I expect some damage due to pot holes, I'm not imagining it being THAT bad...

    Pollux: I'll definitely contact the SC to see what they say. Can you buy any tire through the SC? Anyway, I'll call them and ask. But one more thing while I have you in this thread: what is your experience with your Xpel at DynamiX? I have my full hood, front fenders, and rear bumper Xpel'ed from back in CA. Did you have your full car Xpel'ed or only the major impact points?
     
  12. tga

    tga Active Member

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    At the risk of opening a can of worms. I'll throw out that I agree with this, if (and only if) you are going to limit yourself to factory-approved wheels and tire packages. But remember that most of the improved handling with the factory 21's is due to the improved rubber, not wheel size.

    I expect that with the same tires on 19" and 21" wheels, most drivers would not notice much difference, if at all.

    Very good point. I'll add that I still haven't decided if I'm ordering 19's or 21's. I feel like 19's are more "sane", but 21's more fun. :smile:

    I'll also add that my GT3 has 295/30ZR18's in the rear, which have a sidewall height only 3mm greater than the 245/35ZR21's. So far they have survived New England potholes fine, but I don't put a ton of miles on the car (it's a bit harsh on the street). I did ding up a rim once; that was not a pothole, but an off-track *cough* "excursion" *cough*
     
  13. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Hi, @gnychis,

    Any tires through the SC -- I have no idea. A couple of days before I finalized my order, Tesla greatly increased the price on the wheels & tires. Roughly by a factor of two. And started charging separately for the 21s even though I was ordering a P+. So instead of ordering two sets of tires & wheels, I just ordered the P+ with the Pilot Sport 2s on 21" rims. I've been very happy with them. I saved a boatload of money by purchasing some great-looking Rial rims from Wheel DynamiX, along with 19" Nokia H2 winter tires. A great combo: I had been worried about the performance of this heavy, rear-wheel drive car in snow but the combination of the amazing Tesla traction control and the H2s have put those concerns to rest. I have seen other reports that Tesla's winter tires are of average quality/performance, and I know that you can save significant $$$ elsewhere. So while I would definitely ask Mat what he can do for you, I would also be prepared to shop elsewhere.

    Xpel - I have been thrilled with the product and with the service on it from WD. I view WD as "more expensive than average but very good service and honest". And they have shown it multiple times with the Xpel. First, Jeff Orlinsky (the owner), recommended that I save significant money by just wrapping the front half or so of the car. Hood, bumper, and so on. I added in the doors. IIRC, that was about $3K. From other things I've read, I believe I could have saved money by going elsewhere; but less convinced that I would have been equally coddled. Then, I had some "incidents". For example, I punched into an old, crusty snowbank while parking. WD looked it over. The plastic nosecone was a loss and I had to buy a new one from Tesla. What could have been serious scratches on the front bumper peeled right off with the Xpel; WD put down new Xpel and I was done. By comparison, when I had some small scratches on the rear quarter panel from an errant attempt at backing into the Natick showroom's HPWC parking spot, I wound up with no choice but to get body work done. That work at Hollis Auto Body was done very well and professionally at a cost of $1700. The new Xpel was maybe $200 or $300.

    On other occasions, I had some other scratches. I went to WD. They looked it over. They cleaned up and somehow buffed the Xpel and all was fine.

    I finally decided that I would finish the Xpel, so I went back to WD to completely cover the car. Subsequently, I incurred scratches in various rear panels (such as the one I had had to repair at Hollis). WD would look over the problems and so far they have all just cleaned up / buffed out.

    I haven't kept precise track, but based on my single repair experience at Hollis, I would guess that the WD/Xpel combo has saved me over $7000 in repair work -- given that I'm not willing to drive this beautiful car around with scratches in the paintwork. The flip side is that I spent around $5K covering the whole car.

    So... I like the Xpel for the protection it has provided the vehicle. I like WD for making every effort to minimize the cost to me, such as by cleaning up the Xpel. They could easily have told me each time that I needed to replace the Xpel and I would have believed that.

    I will not invest in Xpel for my Prius but absolutely will do so again when I buy my next S in August, 2016.

    Alan

    P.S. Another example: I have a small gouge currently in the rear bumper where someone parallel parked their car by braille, likely ramming the screw in a license plate into my bumper. Xpel couldn't save that situation. But what to do? Take the car to Hollis again? WD took a look and said, nah, this piece is plastic rather than aluminum. No need for specialized repair. So they hooked me up with their pals next door for the body work. But I couldn't get the body work done soon due to my schedule. For me, the best solution is to hand the car over for a "spa" week in April, when it will first get the bumper repaired and repainted and then move next door to WD for a new piece of Xpel and detailing. So what to do in the meantime? WD suggested that I might want to live through the winter without peeling and replacing the Xpel currently on the bumper, saving some money, then get the new Xpel in April. But I didn't like the idea of driving through the winter with a compromised piece of Xpel. So I had them peel and replace now, and then it'll have to be done again in April. There was no upsell from WD; it was all my (strong) personal preference.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi, @tga,

    I'll make every effort to keep the can upright so the worms have more difficulty escaping.

    I suspect you have a great deal more experience in this realm than I do, so you're probably right about the relative merits of the rubber versus the wheel size. I've only operated and paid close attention to 19+winter/H2s, 19+all-season (Tesla factory-approved) and 21+summer/PS2s (Tesla factory-approved). The 21+summer/PS2s have a rock-solid feel under acceleration and in turns. The P+ seems to control body roll/motion very well (based on my own experience and reading of the experiences of people with a great deal more sophistication than I have in these matters), but I can definitely feel a difference from the 19+winter/H2s *and* the 19+all-season combinations when compared to each other and when compared against the 21+summer/PS2s. If it weren't for the small detail that the 21+summer/PS2 combination could be lethal in the winter, I'd gladly keep that combination year-round. As you say, it may be the rubber more than the wheel size. Maybe some day I'll have an opportunity to try 19s + a high performance summer tire.

    Alan
     
  14. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    #14 EdA, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    Alan, I'm so disappointed in you, so many posts, so little humor...

    /Ed (another satisfied Wheel Dynamix customer for tires and Xpel)
     
  15. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Well, I talked to two guys at Wheel Dynamix. I talked to one guy who was very peppy and friendly, and then I talked to Jeff and Jeff really wasn't very "warm." I don't know if he was having a bad day, but he really didn't seem very interested in talking to me which is odd given all of the feedback so far. I asked them about the wheels and Xpel, and really Jeff was like "yeah we do both" and that was about it. Seemingly like he wanted to get off the phone or didn't want to deal with me. I told him I just moved from CA and was looking for a new detailer, again just responses like "yeah we detail."

    Wheel DynamiX also wanted about $1350 all said and done for the tires and to mount them. On the other hand, TireRack had them for $975 with a $75 rebate, and a 5 star place in Medford would mount them for $100, bringing the total to $1000, including storage. I couldn't justify the $350 difference, so I just ordered them from TireRack and took the car to "Smooth Automotive" in Medford (Yelp Captcha). Frank, their owner, was extremely friendly when I called him and in person. My car was his first Tesla, but there's really nothing special about the wheels. He was extremely careful with the car and did a great job. I would definitely go back to him for tires.
     
  16. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Glad it all worked out for you, Medf'd is a bit closer to Boston than Natick.
    Might want to make sure your installer torqued the lug nuts to the right setting.

    /Ed
     
  17. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Thanks, Ed! We looked it up and found a TMC post that said 129lb/ft and that's what he used. If that's incorrect, let me know ;)
     
  18. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    @gnychis,

    Sorry your reception at WD wasn't all that one would have hoped but glad that you found a combination of seller and installer who work well for you!

    Alan

     

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