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What Winter Tires are Best Bang for Buck ?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by grboettger, Nov 29, 2016.

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  1. grboettger

    grboettger New Member

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    Just purchased 2014 P85D with 21" wheels with Pilot Sport tires. I live in Reno where we don't see snow all winter on the ground. The Tesla mech recommended I switch to 19" wheels and Pirelli Winter Sottozeros for winter driving. So I'd be looking at wheels and tires. Just wondering what the winter drivers recommend for a cheaper/smarter alternative for wheels and tires. Not really into paying a small fortune. Thanks!!
     
  2. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    19" wheels and winter tires are not going to be "cheap" no matter what you do. There are lower cost options, but not too much lower.

    The Dunlop Winter Maxx is a non-performance winter/snow tire that is the least expensive at $186.55. The Rial Lugano is a good aftermarket wheel at $209.00. You will also need TPMS sensors, you can get them from Tesla for $50.00 each. Total for the this set would be $1782.20, and then you need mounting, balancing, and installation.

    Better tires would be the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 at $246.20, or the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 at $253.46. Those can go on the same Rial Lugano wheels. Package prices would be $2020.80 for the Bridgestones, $2049.84 for the Pirellis.

    If you don't like the Rial logo in the center of the wheel, you can get the version that will take the Tesla caps which would show the Tesla logo. Those wheels are $30 more, so add $120 to each package if you want these.


    Tesla's Slipstream wheels and Pirelli Sottozero tire package is $2500, so some of these packages are approaching that price.
     
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  3. grboettger

    grboettger New Member

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    Thanks for the great info!!
     
  4. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I have the factory Pirelli and wheels. They work great (Third season at Lake Tahoe) but not "cheap" at $2500.
    TireRack has a warehouse just outside Reno near the Gigafactory so shipping is fast and cheap (or you can pick up at the warehouse). If you want to save money, look for one of their tire and wheel packages using one of the winter tires recommended above. Be sure to add TPMS.
     
  5. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    if you don't see much snow on the ground I wouldn't think that having winter tires is imperative. if you do a lot of driving in the snow these are IMHO the best tires on the market
    r2/Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 - Non-studded Tire / Nokian Tires
     
  6. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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    If I could do it over again I wld just get the Tesla offered winter tires.

    Getting Nokian tires, while possibly better, has been a pain to deal with having them installed at another tire shop that I feel.i have to remind them to turn off sas and they broke and then didn't have a proper TPMS replacement and cldnt get their replacement sensor to work. Tesla cldnt get it to work either so I had to buy a TPMS from Tesla and then take it back to tire shop because Tesla won't touch tires that they don't sell..

    overall the hassle isnt worth it and I shld have just gotten the sottozero from tesla so that they could deal with the tires.
     
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  7. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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  8. tls

    tls Member

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    I have never, ever heard anyone say anything good about the Pirelli "snow" tires after trying to use them in real winter conditions. I'd avoid those.

    The Blizzak will perform great when new but is infamously only "half a snow tire" -- to allow them to give a better treadwear rating, the rubber changes halfway through the tread, from the sticky winter compound to something else. You can find yourself fishtailing one day where you had perfectly good traction in worse conditions the day before. Not so cool if you ask me.

    I really would recommend the Nokians. Just prepurchase the actual Tesla sensors and bring them to the tire shop. You probably do have a local shop that can order Nokian tires. If you don't want something as aggressive as the Hakka R2 then the NRW might be a good choice. But there are lots of good snow tires out there from lots of manufacturers; I'd just avoid the Blizzak (because I don't like being ripped off) and the Pirelli (because of poor performance).
     
  9. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    This is my third winter on the Pirelli Sottozeros. They are great. The car never slips or breaks free. Feels like driving on bare pavement. Live in the mountains with lots of snow and ice. I've even intentionally tried to get them to slip by flooring the accelerator and brake pedals but the car is just glued to the road.
     
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  10. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought the Replika R187 rims, Michelin X-ice winter tires and sensors all for $2,636.55 Canadian before tax. Plus $5 each for the centre caps. That's under $2,000 USD. These are also winter approved rims. I've already driven through a blizzard on a mountain highway and the tires held really well to the road. You can see the pics of them on my vehicle here:

    Winter Tires and Rims - Canadian Availability
     
  11. webbbcam

    webbbcam not-so-junior member

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    85D in its second north Idaho winter.

    I purchased the Rial Lugano with the larger hub opening and mounted the Tesla center caps (which were $5 each). They look great.
    Michelin IceX tires with the Tire rack wheel sensors and mount and balance. I don't remember the total price but it was significantly cheaper than buying the Pirellis from Tesla.

    This is my second winter with them and the traction on snow and ice is perfect. I have never slipped and would recommend them to anyone in the snow belt.
     
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  12. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Maybe a different question is, why would you need winter tires in Reno?
    If I lived in a place like that, I'd get a set of all seasons and use them year round.

    All season tires can't compete with proper winter tires for cold weather performance, but if you live somewhere that doesn't ever experience those conditions, there's no reason to bother with true winter tires. That said, even in Reno, I wouldn't recommend running summer tires year round, get all seasons instead.
     
  13. tls

    tls Member

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    I suggested the Nokian NRW further up the thread but I have to apologize for brain flatulence on that one. The NRW is (was?) Nokian's "all season" tire. Nokian also makes "all weather" tires -- a milder snow tire than the Hakkas with better dry-road performance and lower rolling resistance -- which are the WR series (WRG2 or WRG3).

    Lots of places -- including parts of the Sierras, right? -- you are required to have traction tires in certain weather conditions. All-season tires justifiably don't cut it; "All-weather" tires a.k.a. mild snows that still pass the snow tire tests and are marked with the snowflake symbol do. There are only a few tires of this kind on the market.

    Sounds like I was unfair to the Pirelli tires. I have heard a few negative things about them from drivers around here and no positive ones, but it sounds like they're working for some. The Tesla traction control is pretty excellent, so it may well be that just about any snow tire will do in most conditions.

    I still swear by the Hakka R2. If I have to have two sets of wheels, I want the burliest full-on snow tire I can get on the winter ones. Admittedly their handling is a little sluggish on dry pavement. At least they're not too loud, though.
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    I'd suggest that winter tires are not something you should cheap-out on. Tires are cheap compared to body damage, so get the ones with the most traction if you live where there is a real winter. Ideally you want a second set of wheels to mount them on--preferably 19" for the Model S.
     
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  15. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Good advice. While my Tesla has been rock solid with the Pirelli winter tires, my daughter just slid off the side of the road in my Land Rover (fortunately, not much damage... low speed). So, I think I need to get new snow tires for it. They do look like they have sufficient tread but obviously not enough for the latest storm. I thought I could get by another winter but it doesn't look like it.
    Lesson learned.
     
  16. jerry33

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

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    Tires on SUVs are often way too large because it makes them look aggressive. Also they are often more M than S. The best qualities for snow tires used in the majority of on-road situations are:

    1. Long narrow contact patch to provide traction and to dig in when slipping sideways.
    2. No larger than they have to be to carry the load so that they wipe away the film of water that makes ice slippery.
    3. Flexible tread and sidewalls to conform to irregularities.

    Note that tires designed for markets other than North America have a snow tire wear bar that indicates when the tire will no longer provide enough traction for winter use.
     
  17. JeffS

    JeffS Member

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    This brief post has little new info, mostly just supporting thoughts.

    I don't know that I would own a full set of winter tires and rims in Reno. But I have never lived there so I may be all wrong in that.

    I am in WI, so winter tires are a real necessity. Not just for the snow, but also for the cold.

    I just swapped my winter set on last weekend. I put them on when temps are consistently under 40 degrees F. The softer rubber makes a big difference on cold roads. At 20°F and below, the compound on the Pilot Sports gets really stiff and pretty useless. The winter set, way better. When temps are in the upper 40s and low 50s though, the winter set is too soft and the handling gets mushy. Plus warmer weather use just eats softer compound winter tires.

    I bought the Lugano 2 tone graphite wheels with Michelin X-Ice 3s with the heavier load rating. I put my summer tires on the Lugano wheels, and moved the winter set to the stock Tesla wheels.

    Oh, and 19s all the way. Opinions vary on this widely, but I don't get enough enjoyment out of buying tires and damaged rims, to run 21s. That's just me though.
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    Here in Texas I run a full set of Nokian WR-g3 severe service all-seasons on a second set of wheels.
     
  19. hingisfan

    hingisfan hingisfan_Mark_V

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    I went with the Rial Lugano with Tesla caps, and Dunlop Winter Maxx, because I work for Goodyear and get a deal on them. The tires are great in snow and ice, but hydroplane very easily in very wet conditions. It was going to be $500 more for Xice3, and $700 more for Hakka R2s. I also skipped the TPMS and went with the Fobo solution, as I can use them all year round.
     
  20. TrevTremaine

    TrevTremaine Member

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    One thing to note is that the Michelin's X-Ice3s come with a 70,000 km (45-50,000 miles) warranty. Depending upon how far you drive, that might be a factor to consider.
     

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