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Tire Question - Michigan to Florida in Dec/Jan

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Bgarret, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Bgarret

    Bgarret Model S ownin' Michigan scofflaw

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    Looking for some input. I have 2 sets of tires for my Model S85 RWD -

    21" Continental summer tires
    19" Michelin X Ice winter tires

    I'm planning a road trip from Michigan to the Florida Keys from Mid-December to early January.

    I'm leaning toward keeping the 21" Contis on and hoping the weather doesn't (pun warning) Go South.

    Any thoughts.
     
  2. mongo

    mongo Member

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    #2 mongo, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    I think your Michelins will thank you.

    Are your 21s holding up ok on our Michigan roads?

    Edit: snippet from warranty:
    Winter tires must be used during winter months only. These include the months of September through April, defined as a period beginning on or after September 1st of a given year and ending no later than April 30th
    of the following year. MICHELIN® winter tires require documentation of the timing of the installation and removal of the tires each winter to maintain coverage under the limited warranty for treadwear.

    So you would be covered for tread wear.

    Other thoughts: wheels/tires ride better? 19s may provide better range, depending on rubber sticktion. in the event of road damage, which would you rather replace?
     
  3. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    It seems like a tough call. On one hand, we can get temps up into the 80’s, even in December and January in florida, so I suspect that the winter tires would not do well during the time you are in florida. But on the other hand, you may still have bad weather in the northern states on your drive down and back up and wish you had them.
     
  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    you should go with the summer tires because for the majority of your trip you will not be dealing with winter conditions. if at the beginning of the trip or upon return you encounter a snowy day consider delaying your trip until the roads are cleared.
     
  5. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    Definitely go with the winter tires. One road trip in hot temps won't be that bad for the treadwear, and winter tires work much better in the 80s than summer tires do in 20s. Not to mention that if you were to run across any snow with the summer tires on you'd basically have to park it as even a light dusting will make driving on summer tires impossible.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    apparently you don't drive much in FLA. once he gets through ohio the potential for temps below freezing are minimal.
     
  7. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I'm with you. I have driven RWD Tesla with summer tires in >8 inch snow and in snowy, windy conditions with less accumulation. Recently, within the last month. Unless a true disaster strikes I totally agree with kort677. You'll have far better comfort and quiet with summer tires than you will with winter tires. In addition most of your trip would not have any realistic probability of snow tire desirability anyway. Save the winter tires for next season in the frozen north.
     
  8. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    Shockingly, I am aware that the potential for freezing temperatures in FLA are low.

    I'd much rather be driving on winter tires when its 80 out, than summer tires when its snowing out.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    well we can just agree to disagree, since the majority of the time spent on the journey would be spent in warmer climes, I would as I suggested earlier. use the summer tires and if you happen to encounter a snowy day just take that day off from driving and give the road crews a chance to clear the roads. Interstates and primary roads in that part of the country get cleared fairly quickly and once the snow is cleared you can resume your journey. the point is that using winter/snow tires in the south is not a wise thing to do for extended periods of time.
     
    • Like x 2
  10. Bgarret

    Bgarret Model S ownin' Michigan scofflaw

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    Thanks for everyone's input. From the split on the responses, I'm glad I asked the question. I will let everyone know how it works out.
     
  11. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    What will you do? Despite our different opinions I think we're probably all curious.
    I'm especially curious because I drove in Michigan winters as a teenager, not always with snow tires.
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    I spent almost 2 winter months in CO rockies with the all season OEM tires on the car. and other than one morning after an overnight snow I drove from breck to keystone via the backroads that was more than a bit exciting I had no real problems handling the snowy roads.
     
  13. Bgarret

    Bgarret Model S ownin' Michigan scofflaw

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    Unless there is an early winter (all evidence to the contrary) I will likely drive on the 21" tires to Florida and be careful with any inclement weather. There are a couple wildcards. If Tesla can get going on the Model III and meet the Oct - Dec timeframe, then I might drive my Model S to Florida and trade it in for the III (which I haven't decided if I'm trading my car in, or my wife's ICE.) If none of the above work, I can always grudgingly drive my wife's car with the all season Nokia's, gritting my teeth the whole trip.

    I've driven in poor weather with the 21s, and while not ideal, is still better than some cars I've driven in snow.

    To answer Mongos questions. My 21s have been surprisingly good on Michigans so-called roads. I really like driving on both sets - I love the responsiveness of the 21s in the summer, I like the easier, softer driving on the 19s in the winter. Range is about the same on both.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. Sharpgt

    Sharpgt Member

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    The problem isn't just the potential for snow, Modern high performance tires can't handle temps below 40 degrees.
    In addition to dramatically lowered traction they can actually crack. Not sure there really is a good,solution but personally I'd rather be safe than posssibly stranded or worse. Think how much your trip is going to cost, how much you spend on insurance you hope you never use and consider investing $1000 in a set of high performance all season tires.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  15. IdaX

    IdaX Member

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    Having rolled my (ICE) car due to not having winter tires on once, better some extra expense and tread wear on the winter tires than bein' dead due to an accident on the summer ones.
     
  16. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    You seem to be confusing the difference between All season and Summer tires. All season tires are very different from summer tires. I drove for a few years on our RWD 85 with just all-seasons and it was fine in the snow. Far from ideal of course, but manageable. One year I was a little overzealous switching out my winter tires and got caught in a dusting of snow with the summer tires on. Couldn't even make it up the very slight incline of my street, had to park and walk home.
    On the other hand I've driven on winter tires in 90 degree heat when I had a flat and while I'm sure my emergency stopping distance would have suffered a car length or two, they were quite fine.
     
  17. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    oem are the operative words
     
  18. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    I'd imagine Swan Mountain Road could be a bit dicey.
     
  19. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    it was, the one thing that I learned quickly was to ease into turns, the car has a huge turning radius and hitting a turn with too much speed and you will spin the tail out.
     

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