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Tire Load Index Question

Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
132
Colorado
I have a set of 225/4518 XL winter tires with 95 load index in my current car and I am considering to get a LR AWD pretty soon and wanted to check if anyone knows whether I could safely use them on the Model 3? Looks like the factory 18 inch tires have 98 load index, has anyone tried to use 95 load index tires on their LR AWD Model 3?
 

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
776
928
NYC
I have a set of 225/4518 XL winter tires with 95 load index in my current car and I am considering to get a LR AWD pretty soon and wanted to check if anyone knows whether I could safely use them on the Model 3? Looks like the factory 18 inch tires have 98 load index, has anyone tried to use 95 load index tires on their LR AWD Model 3?

Here is the info on tire markings, including load index:
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35

Load index of 95 corresponds to a designed load rating of 1,521 lbs per corner, or 6,084 lbs in total.
That's about 50% above Model 3's weight.
TM3 LR weights 3,805 lb, so technically, anything above load index of 79 (or 81 for AWD/P cars) is perfectly safe.
Tesla Model 3 - Wikipedia

Since you can not even buy a Michelin tire (S4, MXX4, etc) in 18+" sizes with a load rating below 84, load rating # is basically a non-issue.

For all practical purposes, any tire of the stock diameter will always have a load rating well above the minimum for your Model 3. I can't even recall the last time I bothered looking at load ratings when shopping for tires.

Your 225/45-18 size is going to be only -0.25" lower than stock, with -1.9% lower speedometer reading. All perfectly fine.
Go for it!

a
 

Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
132
Colorado
Here is the info on tire markings, including load index:
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35

Load index of 95 corresponds to a designed load rating of 1,521 lbs per corner, or 6,084 lbs in total.
That's about 50% above Model 3's weight.
TM3 LR weights 3,805 lb, so technically, anything above load index of 79 (or 81 for AWD/P cars) is perfectly safe.
Tesla Model 3 - Wikipedia

Since you can not even buy a Michelin tire (S4, MXX4, etc) in 18+" sizes with a load rating below 84, load rating # is basically a non-issue.

For all practical purposes, any tire of the stock diameter will always have a load rating well above the minimum for your Model 3. I can't even recall the last time I bothered looking at load ratings when shopping for tires.

Your 225/45-18 size is going to be only -0.25" lower than stock, with -1.9% lower speedometer reading. All perfectly fine.
Go for it!

a

Thanks for the explanation! I guess if you have 4 or 5 adults in the car that can add another 1000 pounds or so to the weight but that still puts it safely under the 6,084 number you calculated. I am not too happy about the slightly lowered ride height when snow/slush requires all the ground clearance you can get but I can live with quarter of an inch drop as long as I don't have to invest on a new set of winter tires...
 

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
776
928
NYC
I am not too happy about the slightly lowered ride height when snow/slush requires all the ground clearance you can get but I can live with quarter of an inch drop as long as I don't have to invest on a new set of winter tires...

1/4" tire diameter drop is also a non-issue.
If you think about it, most tires are sold with 10/32 of tread depth when new, and should be replaced when they get to wear bars at 2/32nds of tread depth remaining. That's 8/32 == 1/4" of tire height variance as an average tire tread wears off.

For clearance, driving into a 1+ feet of snow can be a challenge. Eventually, you will start plowing it with your nose, and as snow compacts under the floor of the car, it will start lifting the wheels off the road. BTDT, not fun.
1/4" of clearance really won't move the needle here.

a
 

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