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Winter tires for my P85

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Bet TSLA, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    I put winter tires on my P85 a few days ago, replacing my stock 19" Michelin Primacy tires with Pirelli Sottozero 3. Took it up to Tahoe and it did fine with a bit of ice and snow and the road but nothing too challenging. It also did fine around home and during long distance travel. Almost as quiet as the Primacy tires. I think my energy efficiency has dropped a bit, but I'm not really sure yet. The handling seems fine, but I haven't done anything to push it.

    There were a couple of problems with getting winter tires from Tesla:
    • winter wheels/tires on the Tesla store were out of stock
    • no appointment at a service center here in the Bay Area could be had any time soon
    • I didn't like the winter tires Tesla chose
    So I went third party. I ordered a set of Pirelli Sottozero 3 tires (245/45R19 102V XL) from Tire Rack (~$1100 with shipping). Why those? Most of my driving will be around home in the Bay Area or on the road to Tahoe and back, so I wanted a tire that would perform well when not in winter conditions -- a compromise. I figured Tesla had made the trade-offs and probably got it about right with their choice of the Pirelli Sottozero. My only issue was that it looked from Tire Rack reviews like the newer 3's were just better than than Series II.

    I had them shipped to Tires Unlimited in West San Jose, one of Tire Rack's premier installers and highly rated on Yelp. Their price for for swapping the new tires in was $60, which was way cheaper than some other choices I checked on. They did a fine job, quick and courteous, and put my old tires in bags in the back of my car. Tire Rack mailed me my receipt and a rebate form good for $60.

    I know of no technical reason for having winter tires on a separate set of wheels. So far as I understand it's just an issue of expense in swapping the tires twice a year (and possibly convenience if you like to do the swap yourself). If that $60 price holds it will be many years before the cost of swapping gets anywhere close to the cost of a new (or even used) set of wheels and TPMS sensors. So I think I'll stick with the one set of wheels for now.

    Hope this is helpful for people trying to figure out how to deal with the winter tire issue.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The Nokian WRG3 "All Weather" tires are highly regarded as an all season tire that is actually as good as a winter tire in the winter, but suitable for year-round use. Possibly another option, especially if you don't want to be bothered with the seasonal swap.
     
  3. chibi_kurochan

    Joined:
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    Hi!
    I'm trying to decide between the Pirelli Sottozero 3 tires (245/45R19 102V XL) OR Michelin X-ICE XI3 (245/45R19 102H XL)

    So if you can give me an update on how your Pirelli held up over time?
    Do you run these all year long or swap with summer tires?
    I'm probably going to ship them to Tires Unlimited in West San Jose per your information.

    thank you!
     
  4. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    The Pirellis have done quite well for me. I've swapped them out over the summer, so I can't tell you anything about how they would hold up to the heat.

    I also continue to be reasonably happy with Tires Unlimited. I've used them to do tires on both my Tesla and my Highlander. No problems. If you can catch a coupon deal their prices are pretty good, otherwise about middlin'.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. chibi_kurochan

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the update!
    I think I will just for with the Pirelli.
    Tire rack has them for $1,011.68 for 4 + $82 Installation cost @ Tires Unlimited.

    Costco only sells Michelin and for the same price as the Pirellis.. thanks again!
    Cheers.
     
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    I've not tried the Sottozero 3 but I've used the Sottozero 2 for 4 seasons. And I've used the Michelin X-Ice for one season.

    The Michelin X-Ice are proper good winter tires. They are slightly less soft than the Nokian R2s, and has slightly worse snow qualities than the R2's. They do give good traction upto about 110km/h, but feel a lot more rubbery than summer tires. Driving agressively at temperatures above freezing is not possible with the X-Ice. Temp above 5C and speeds above 120km/h felt dangerous. They are so sluggish and resisting any turn or brake that I seriously had to limit my speeds on the autobahn.
    So neither the R2 or the X-Ice handles high speeds or temperatures above freezing well.

    The Sottozero on the other hand is very good at temperatures 0C-10C and at speeds above 140km/h. Though they are not really snow tires. They are a bit better than all-season tires on snow and ice, but they want cold and wet or cold and dry, and if there are serious snow you should be driving VERY slow. The Sottozero 3 are supposedly better at snow upto OK, so should be fine if you live somewhere with 3 days of snow every winter. Are you in the 30 days of snow on the actual road I would go with the X-Ice/R2 variants and just not drive as aggressive.

    I'm pretty sure the need for much softer rubber in the X-Ice vs Sottozero variants means you can't get it all.

    Cobos
     
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  7. chibi_kurochan

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    Thank you for the detailed information.
    Actually i just picked up my car from the shop after fitting it with the new Pirelli Sottozero 3. We shall see how it performs between 0C - 25C.
    We live in the bay area, so most days it'll actually be pretty warm throughout winter. We are planning to do a lot of winter driving to the Sierras, Oregon, and Washington mountains. Fingers crossed.

    I might still need to buy chains just in case. Or is this dumb having winter tires and putting chains on them?
     
  8. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Yeah I live in Oslo, which as a well urbanized capital has very efficient snow plowing/salting, so there are hardly any snow on the streets during our winters with temperatures in the -10C to +5C range. For my use the Pirellis has been very good. One day with 10 inches of snow within 6 hours I used the car, but then I should have taken the subway, as that was scary. Traffic was going very slow that day, so no physical danger, but the change of getting a dent that day was propably around 60%.

    The Pirellis might be too soft above 15C. If it's getting that warm regularily I would change to summer tires.

    If I would have liked wintersports, and hence travelled to Norwegian mountains I surely would have had chains with the Pirelli's or maybe even changed into more serious winter tires, ie Nokian R2. But I do not know how snowy the roads up in those mountains are so it's hard to say for sure. I would definitely buy chains and just try them out carefully. Keep in mind they might be very slippery the first about 1000km due to stuff stuck on the tires from manufacturing. So use them down by the sea the first weeks.

    With a P85 you can of course drive very carefully and then perfect tire choice is not that important, but with any spirited driving you need the better option I would say.

    Cobos
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. chibi_kurochan

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    Thank you very much for the valuable information and suggestions!
    Will be taking it up to Tahoe this weekend where temp is between 0C-16C.

    Winter down in south bay probably ranges between 5C-15C on average, it's mostly for the weekend ski trips up the mountains (mostly plowed as well or completely closed if they haven't gotten to it)

    I'm already getting hit on mileage, normally averages ~290Wh/mi on the original GoodYear Eagle Touring, now around 330Wh/mi.. :)
     
  10. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    Yes, exactly why people in the Bay Area need a compromise tire that allows use in relatively warm conditions. Even the drive up to Tahoe is mostly warm and without snow or ice. A difficult problem, not to be solved by serious snow tires. Yes, chains are good to have with you. Also some sort of traction mat isn't a bad idea, although I've gotten by without one.
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. chibi_kurochan

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    Over winter break we are also planning on driving our MS to Washington state, Utah, and Colorado, thus the extreme snow tires i'm putting on right now. We shall see how it goes.
    Thank you all for the inputs.
     
  12. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    The reason that the Pirelli Sottozero 3 tires are a good choice for around here is because they are not "extreme snow tires".
     
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  13. chibi_kurochan

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    Okay, understood. Although tire rack review gave it pretty decent results. And i've noticed the grip feels slightly better (more sticky) than my previous all-season goodyear while turning, might just be psychological.
    Testing Performance Winter / Snow Tires: Which Have the Right Balance of Performance?
     

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