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Winter tires - general experience

idco

Member
Jul 25, 2021
10
1
Seattle, WA
Hey folks, I searched the Model 3 forum, a few short threads, often market specific, curious if owners have more in depth experiences.

My general approach when I get a new car I intend to use in winter is this:
- buy an extra set of wheels + winter package + TPMS from tirerack
- replace all seasons/summer with winter in November, then change back in March (live in Seattle but frequently go skying).

This approach generally works great if I keep a car for at least 4-5 years (which I intend to), since it makes both the regular tires and winter tires last longer, so I replace the tires every 4-5 years. I swap the tires myself, so no extra cost. I get the benefit of the winter tires, which would perform better in cold even without snow and the cost is reasonable, as otherwise there would be extra wear on the regular all seasons anyway.

I don't care too much about looks or low profile, more about decent wet/cold performance, decent wear and road noise/comfort. I like Michelin, since they tend to be comfortable, quiet, good fuel economy and long thread life, especially for the winter versions, when compared to others. For the winter version I generally go an inch smaller in size than standard OEM since that works better in snow. So with that in mind I looked at the winter package options as I just placed an order for a Model 3 LR+.

When I looked at TireRack though, there were a few things that kind of surprised me:
1. There is no 17" option for wheels (I will get the 18"). Has anyone tried 17" for their winter setups for Model 3? I get they might not fit, curious though if anyone investigated.
2. The TPMS option offered by TireRack was like $380. This is insanely pricey, as you can get the sensors for <$100 on Amazon. Anything special about the Tesla TPMS? Or is it just that TireRack is gauging Tesla owners?

I am replacing an Audi A4 quattro which worked great with the setup above with a Model 3 I just ordered. Words of wisdom highly appreciated.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,243
1,086
Quebec City, Canada
The 18" are already small, the performance model runs 20". Not sure 17" would clear the brakes, they are not small as the car is quite heavy. Tire swaps are getting quite pricey with 18" wheels and tpms, with installers charging premiums for size and sensors. Might be CAD80$+tx each time, so ~160+tx every year. After a few years, the second set of (cheap) wheels pays itself. Plus, you can switch in your driveway when snow comes instead of being at the mercy of garage's schedules.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,706
3,363
Maine
Hey folks, I searched the Model 3 forum, a few short threads, often market specific, curious if owners have more in depth experiences.

My general approach when I get a new car I intend to use in winter is this:
- buy an extra set of wheels + winter package + TPMS from tirerack
- replace all seasons/summer with winter in November, then change back in March (live in Seattle but frequently go skying).

This approach generally works great if I keep a car for at least 4-5 years (which I intend to), since it makes both the regular tires and winter tires last longer, so I replace the tires every 4-5 years. I swap the tires myself, so no extra cost. I get the benefit of the winter tires, which would perform better in cold even without snow and the cost is reasonable, as otherwise there would be extra wear on the regular all seasons anyway.

I don't care too much about looks or low profile, more about decent wet/cold performance, decent wear and road noise/comfort. I like Michelin, since they tend to be comfortable, quiet, good fuel economy and long thread life, especially for the winter versions, when compared to others. For the winter version I generally go an inch smaller in size than standard OEM since that works better in snow. So with that in mind I looked at the winter package options as I just placed an order for a Model 3 LR+.

When I looked at TireRack though, there were a few things that kind of surprised me:
1. There is no 17" option for wheels (I will get the 18"). Has anyone tried 17" for their winter setups for Model 3? I get they might not fit, curious though if anyone investigated.
2. The TPMS option offered by TireRack was like $380. This is insanely pricey, as you can get the sensors for <$100 on Amazon. Anything special about the Tesla TPMS? Or is it just that TireRack is gauging Tesla owners?

I am replacing an Audi A4 quattro which worked great with the setup above with a Model 3 I just ordered. Words of wisdom highly appreciated.
Almost exactly my typical approach; however, because of lack of reasonable options 2 yrs ago, on a dedicated set of snows, I instead bought the Vredestein Quatrac5, two winters ago, and have been very pleased with the overall performance. I think now, one would consider the QuatracPro, and of course, one should consider the Michelin CrossClimate2.
 

idco

Member
Jul 25, 2021
10
1
Seattle, WA
Yes. The latest Teslas use Bluetooth based TPMS transmitters. These are unique to Tesla. As far as I know, there are no third party manufacturers, so they have to be purchased from Tesla, either by you or a dealer.
That sucks :( Not a huge deal, but I am not sure why Tesla would want to do that other than squeeze extra margin from Model 3 owners. Regular TPMS are so industry standard that I can't think Tesla actually saves any money with the BT version or that they can add much innovation to TPMS by switching to BT.
 

Mutant

Member
Oct 20, 2020
52
57
Waterloo, ON
That sucks :( Not a huge deal, but I am not sure why Tesla would want to do that other than squeeze extra margin from Model 3 owners. Regular TPMS are so industry standard that I can't think Tesla actually saves any money with the BT version or that they can add much innovation to TPMS by switching to BT.
It was not necessarily to increases margin on the sale of additional TPMS sensors but to increase profitability on the car itself. The car was already equipped with Bluetooth receivers for using phone as key so adding bluetooth TPMS required minimal changes to car. Where older models required a 433 MHz receiver array to sense location TPMS location and probably required licensing payments to Continental for using their system. Deleting this lowered the overall cost of the vehicle. Note, MY was lauched using only bluetooth TPMS whereas M3 moved to this system during refresh (2021).
 

brulaz

Member
Feb 4, 2021
100
29
Ontario Canada
... I think now, one would consider the QuatracPro, and of course, one should consider the Michelin CrossClimate2.
Around here the CrossClimate is considered an "all-weather" tire. Even though it has the triple peak and snowflake rating, you can run it in the summer.
Prolly not as good as dedicated winters and summer tires, but good enough for us and saves the cost and hassle of an extra set of wheels/sensors.
And less waste for our limited driving. We won't end up in 8 years with two sets of tires with lots of rubber left, like we did last time.
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,190
964
Seattle
I never owned winter tires growing up in New England but that's because they actually do a great job of keeping the roads plowed and All-Seasons worked fine. However, because of the wet weather and the skiing here in the PNW, I've decided I'll be getting All-Weather tires (Quatrac Pros or CrossClimate 2) this fall.

I know winter tires are the best option for severe winter driving but All Weathers have some huge benefits to me:
  • Don't have space to store another set of tires
  • Don't have to pay for new wheel/tpms to keep them mounted
  • Don't have to pay to swap/remount your winter/summers/all seasons 2x/year
  • All Weathers perform well in cold temps <40F unlike All Seasons
  • All Weathers perform well in wet weather unlike most Winter tires
  • All Weathers perform similarly to All Seasons in wet/warm weather
All-Seasons are clearly a compromise but All Weathers seem to have very few trade-offs comparatively. I've realized that if I was able to make it up to Steven's Pass for skiing 25x this year in my M3 LR RWD on 19" All-Seasons (w/ the occasional assistance from tire socks), then All Weathers should do the trick for me.
 

Ninety0ne

Member
Jun 28, 2021
64
36
Fortuna Ca
I never owned winter tires growing up in New England but that's because they actually do a great job of keeping the roads plowed and All-Seasons worked fine. However, because of the wet weather and the skiing here in the PNW, I've decided I'll be getting All-Weather tires (Quatrac Pros or CrossClimate 2) this fall.

I know winter tires are the best option for severe winter driving but All Weathers have some huge benefits to me:
  • Don't have space to store another set of tires
  • Don't have to pay for new wheel/tpms to keep them mounted
  • Don't have to pay to swap/remount your winter/summers/all seasons 2x/year
  • All Weathers perform well in cold temps <40F unlike All Seasons
  • All Weathers perform well in wet weather unlike most Winter tires
  • All Weathers perform similarly to All Seasons in wet/warm weather
All-Seasons are clearly a compromise but All Weathers seem to have very few trade-offs comparatively. I've realized that if I was able to make it up to Steven's Pass for skiing 25x this year in my M3 LR RWD on 19" All-Seasons (w/ the occasional assistance from tire socks), then All Weathers should do the trick for me.
I'm curioius if you went with quatrac pro or crossclimate 2, im torn between them right now myself
 
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PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,190
964
Seattle
I'm curioius if you went with quatrac pro or crossclimate 2, im torn between them right now myself
I'm actually waiting for my Model Y so I'll have AWD but will be replacing the OEM conti procontacts w/ likely the Quatrac Pros since it seems like they have improved road comfort and less of an initial range hit like the crossclimates
 
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MG535

3SR+ ordered 7/22 (blue/black/19s). EDD 9/10-16
Jul 22, 2021
135
100
NJ USA
I used the prior generation General Arctimax Arctic on an RWD BMW 330i in metro NYC area and southern New England. No problems and would recommend that brand to anyone.

Also have a family member running Vredesteins (Quatrac4, I think) on an AWD Mercedes E-class, another highly regarded brand.

Very disappointed with Michelin based on using the Premier LTX
 

Ninety0ne

Member
Jun 28, 2021
64
36
Fortuna Ca
I'm actually waiting for my Model Y so I'll have AWD but will be replacing the OEM conti procontacts w/ likely the Quatrac Pros since it seems like they have improved road comfort and less of an initial range hit like the crossclimates
Im getting my quaratracs on tuesday heres to hopefully a good snow season
 
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chinney

Member
Nov 7, 2020
148
117
Ottawa ON
I looked into a 17" set for my new Model 3 when I bought it last year, but all indications were that 18" was the smallest wheel that worked with the vehicle. I am still not absolutely sure about that, but that is my understanding. So I stayed with 18" for my winter wheels.

As for what tire I chose, I went with the Yokohama Winter v905, which is their performance winter tire. It worked extremely well, even in some challenging snow and ice conditions, while also providing a quiet ride with good handling on cold, dry winter roads.
 

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