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Winter tires Size and Wheels Questions

musicious

Member
Apr 11, 2015
236
51
Wheeling, IL
I decided to order Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tires (I assume I'd just use the retailer locator on their site), and will get an extra set of wheels so there is less risk of tire damage while mounting/unmounting.

What size do you recommend if not the standard 245/45R19? I heard smaller may be better. Also for the wheels should I order through Tesla to ensure the TPMS works and then have them mount the Nokians on it or can you tell me where to get good wheels at a decent price outside of Tesla?

Thanks all, sorry if this is covered in the Winter Tire recommendation thread just didnt have time to read it all.
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,180
5,657
Houston, TX
Some winter tire guides sometimes recommend smaller wheels for winter tire use. Usually, this recommendation is for cost reasons -- the smaller wheels are less expensive just due to size, and may be available in steel wheels rather than alloy wheels, which are also less expensive. You then compensate for the wheel diameter difference by sizing the tire so that the total rolling diameter is the same as the summer wheels/tires.

Unfortunately, I don't believe this will work on the Model S. Wheel sizes less than the stock 19" will probably not clear the brake rotors and hubs.

I recommend a used set of 19" stock Tesla wheels, or some people are using the Rial Lugano wheels, which may be slightly less expensive. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 are available in 245/45R19, but will probably have to be ordered by the tire dealer you're working with.

You can get the Rial's through TireRack.com, and they will install a compatible TPMS system if you want. Used Tesla wheels may come with the TPMS system already installed, but be aware that there is an "old" style TPMS and a "new" TPMS. In software version 7.0, tire pressures are available in the instrument cluster only with the newer TPMS sensors.
 

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
215
Eugene, Oregon
The whole point about smaller tires is to change the shape of the contact patch where the tire hits the road. The 245/45R19 Hakka R2s will be a great tire. Check out this video
 

mwulff

Member
Jan 15, 2015
348
25
Danmark
With a car as heavy as the Tesla the only option is to use alloy wheels. I would recommend either the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 if you have snowy winters and the Nokian WR3 if your winters tend to be more slush and wet.

For wheels the options really are the Rial Lugano or Tesla originals. I would personally maybe prefer the original wheels over the rials, some people have had issues with Rial Luganos bending but I can't find the thread at the moment.

Also remind your tire-dealer to lift the car correctly, failure to do so could damage the battery pack.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,806
23,167
Texas
Also remind your tire-dealer to lift the car correctly, failure to do so could damage the battery pack.
Or better yet, do it yourself and save $100 on damaged nuts.

- - - Updated - - -

The whole point about smaller tires is to change the shape of the contact patch where the tire hits the road.
Correct. A narrow, but longer, contact patch will have better traction and braking.

- - - Updated - - -

With a car as heavy as the Tesla the only option is to use alloy wheels.
Steel wheels were used all the time on 6,000 lbs cars in the '50s and '60s. However, I doubt you could find a steel wheel that would fit.
 

JeffS

Member
Oct 7, 2015
239
48
Wisconsin
My studied opinion, keep the same size & profile wheels&tires as your spring/summer/fall all season set.

I just ordered the Rial Lugano wheels and a set of Michelin X-ICE XI3's. It's one of the Tire Rack recommended winter tire package and includes TPMS. Some have had the TPMS program themselves on new wheels, others have had to take them to the service center to have them wave a wand at 'em. I talked to my Ranger and he said the same thing - most will program themselves and pair up without taking it to the service center. You need 433mHz modified sensors. TireRack knows what you need.

There is a lot of discussion here and on the Tire Rack customer review between the SottoZeros, the Blizzaks, the Hakas and the X-Ice3's. That part is all personal preference. Read a lot about them all. There are pluses and minuses to each one. Pick whichever has the most pluses and the least minuses for you.

The wheels themselves - I picked the Rial Lugano Machined with Gunmetal accents - see Tire Rack image below.
Total cost all in is $2,130 and I found a local tire shop that was able to match the price. Paid sales tax but didn't pay shipping, so that was a wash. Bought local which is much better if there's a problem down the road somewhere.

Buying the Rials is more than a little less expensive than buying another set of Tesla wheels. Some people had pothole damage on them, most did not. Even if you get that unlucky, it's nice knowing it's a $200 wheel instead of a $600 wheel.

Rial Lugano Machined with Titan Gunmetal Accent.png
 

shelbri

Member
May 27, 2014
554
223
Sandy Hook, CT
The wheels from Tesla are $300 not $600. I ordered Michelin XIce tires from TireRack and had them shipped directly to my Tesla service center in Milford. They installed them on Tesla rims with TPMS. Total cost including tires, rims, TPMS and balancing/install was under $2500. SC even put my all seasons in plastic bags and placed in my car.
 

JeffS

Member
Oct 7, 2015
239
48
Wisconsin
Just making sure I understand correctly - all-in tax included, your wheels and tires were less than $2500 incl sales tax?

Just trying to figure out what the apples to apples comparison is.
 

StaceyS

Member
Jul 10, 2015
210
49
Bend, OR United States
We recently went the 19" Rial Lugano route as well. Tirerack.com. We got Dunlop Wintersport 3D studless snow tires. I've had these tires on other cars and they've always performed well for me.

The Dunlops are really quiet. I haven't had them in extreme conditions yet, but so far I'm happy.

My car was able to recognize the new TPMS sensors. Once I had the new wheels/tires on the car, I took it for a drive. You can reset the TPMS from the touch screen. The reset asks you to drive the car at speeds greater than 25 mph for about 10 minutes. My system reset sooner than that.

We decided to go with the 19" wheel instead of 20" or 21" due to the lessened risk of wheel damage during the winters. I think the risk of hitting a curb covered in snow, a hidden pothole or other road debris is higher in winter, so we felt it would be more prudent to go with more rubber and less wheel.

I think the Luganos are just ok looking. We had a set of TSportlines on order and I was going to go with Hakka R2s, but overall the cost would have been over $3k installed, and the TSportlines were backordered. We needed the tires, so we just went with TireRack. I'm still getting used to how the Luganos look. I like the 21" Turbines better (more "dish"), but I think I can live with the Luganos. (The spokes of the Luganos do bow out from the rim slightly, giving the spinning wheel a bit of a donut-dome shape rather than the dish shape made by the Turbines. Unfortunately, there's no way to see this on Tirerack's website....)
 

JeffS

Member
Oct 7, 2015
239
48
Wisconsin
Something else to consider for the OP - you're looking for wheels and tires that will be used (on average in my past experience with winter tires) 105 days a year. You're in Chicago burbs. I'm in Milwaukee burbs. Call that close-enough. I put mine on around Dec 1st. And take them off around St. Pat's day. That means that the investment is used less than 1/3 of a year. And our cars are more dirty than not in winter.

The other thread went in to awesome detail on the need and benefit of winter tires especially on RWD cars. The whole thread is worth reading. I know from a Jaguar XF that RWD sport sedans can be capable or crippled with little in between, on proper winter tires. If you PM me your email address, I'll take good pictures of my setup when they arrive on Thursday. If that will help.
 

shelbri

Member
May 27, 2014
554
223
Sandy Hook, CT
Just making sure I understand correctly - all-in tax included, your wheels and tires were less than $2500 incl sales tax?

Just trying to figure out what the apples to apples comparison is.

Correct. All in, wheels, tires, TPMS and installation/balancing for under $2,500. Also, the Michelin Ice-X3 were excellent last year as I drove to VT nearly every weekend.

Edit: Memory isn't as good as I thought. Just reviewed invoices and total cost was $2,573 all in. Apologies.
 
Last edited:

donv

Member
Jul 15, 2013
600
49
Lake Jeanclia, OR
I have the Rial Luganos with the X-Ice 3s.

One correction to the above: if you have the old TPMS sensors, not only will it not be able to distinguish the individual tires, but the entire TPMS system will not function. I think they use a different frequency.
 

gimmi80

Member
Mar 30, 2015
199
16
Pittsford, NY
I went with the Tesla wheels and snow tires set.
I know it's not the best, but it's so convenient... they will swap my tires in ranger service. I could not ask for more, very happy.
I don't really need the extra set of wheels, but price @$2500 seems reasonable...
 

P85DEE

Active Member
Oct 10, 2015
1,512
372
TMC
I went with the Tesla wheels and snow tires set.
I know it's not the best, but it's so convenient... they will swap my tires in ranger service. I could not ask for more, very happy.
I don't really need the extra set of wheels, but price @$2500 seems reasonable...

Went the same way.
 

tliving

Member
Mar 8, 2014
751
102
New England, USA
This was all new for me as I never had winter tires/wheels before. I did a bunch of research/reading here then I bought the stuff needed:

Winter tires - Nokian R2s
Winter wheels - 19" TSTs
Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors - via Tirerack (they've been perfect)
Center caps - Via tesla service
“Tire guy” to mount/balance/assemble all the above.

My total cost with taxes/shipping for all of this was $3,398. That was last year.

Very happy with the results.
 

musicious

Member
Apr 11, 2015
236
51
Wheeling, IL
What do you think of the TSW Rivage wheels? A place that can order Nokian tires said they have mounted them on those wheels before for another Tesla owner, I love the clean flat look which I am considering wrapping in Vinyl too :) If I do that what color Vinyl do you think would look good compared to my blue wrap?
RIVAGE SILVER.jpg

IMG952221-1.jpg

10854998_10102799046954429_9077626288275561276_o.jpg
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,234
404
USA
Watch out guys, the tires will have to be 50PSI rated minimum. AFAIK only Sottozeros and another brand I forgot meet this requirement.
 

ToddRLockwood

Active Member
Sep 11, 2012
1,317
74
Burlington, Vermont
I decided to order Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tires (I assume I'd just use the retailer locator on their site), and will get an extra set of wheels so there is less risk of tire damage while mounting/unmounting.

What size do you recommend if not the standard 245/45R19? I heard smaller may be better. Also for the wheels should I order through Tesla to ensure the TPMS works and then have them mount the Nokians on it or can you tell me where to get good wheels at a decent price outside of Tesla?

Thanks all, sorry if this is covered in the Winter Tire recommendation thread just didnt have time to read it all.


I highly recommend going with Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 245/45R19 tires. This is by far the best snow tire I've experienced, and it's rated for the weight of the Model S. Tesla's 19-inch wheels (either the standard or turbine version) will work fine and will insure that your car is more marketable when you sell or trade it back to Tesla. While there are some "nice looking" third-party wheels out there, they could work against you when it comes to warranty coverage on your suspension, as well as the car's resale value.
 

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