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Would you drive a MS in a winter climate without snow tires?

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
I recently moved to Park City, UT from the SF Bay Area. I've decided to trade in my 2016 MS for a new Raven MX. However, the wait time is 4-8 weeks for a new MX. We've already gotten some snow here in Park City, and there will certainly be more in the next 2 months (assuming it takes the full 8 weeks to get the MX).

I have the 21" wheels on the MS, because when I bought it we weren't planning to move to Park City or spend much time in a winter climate. So, in order to put snow tires on it, I'd have to buy new wheels as well—which means >$2k total.

Doesn't make a lot of sense to me to spend $2k for wheels/snow tires that I'll only use for 4-8 weeks prior to trading my MS in for the new MX.

But since I've never lived in Park City or a winter climate anywhere, I'm not sure how much of a risk it would be to drive the MS without snow tires for the next two months. It has the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on it, which I'm pretty sure are summer performance tires.

What do you think?
 
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JamesBond

Member
Nov 18, 2017
43
29
Washington
The other alternative is to buy chains. Maybe overkill, but you have them in case you need them. I found out via direct experience that the normal summer tires do not work very well at all on heavy snow. No way you can do freeway speeds or even close in them when there's snow on the road.
 

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
Thanks, all. Unfortunately, it's not possible to put either chains or snow tires on 21" wheels. I'm kicking myself for getting these wheels in the first place—I didn't do enough research, so I didn't realize that chains/snow tires weren't possible and that there would be a reduction in range. They look great, but there are definitely downsides!
 

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
I might just have to bite the bullet and get the new wheels and tires, and consider it part of the cost of the trade-in. The good news is that I'm coming out ahead on that. I owe about $36k on the MS, and Tesla gave me a quote for $51k. So even with the wheels/tires and the $7,500 down for the lease, I'll still have a bit leftover. Not ideal, but I want to be safe... and I want my daughter and family to be safe too.
 

A-Wimoweh

Member
Nov 26, 2018
360
201
Jungle
Are you trading in your MS, or doing a private party sale? If selling private party, an extra set of wheels with almost new snow tires on them will help sell the car.
 

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
I was going to trade it in, just to avoid the hassle of selling to a private party. But I did have this thought too: if selling to a private party, especially someone in Park City, the extra set of wheels/snow tires would increase the value. Also, the Michelin summer tires I have on it are practically new. Just got them a few months ago.
 

Zythryn

Model Y custom Warming Stripes wrap.
Mar 18, 2009
2,182
1,278
Minnesota
Is this your families only car?
If so, I’d get the winter tires but not wheels and get them switched out.
If not, you might be able to get away with letting your wife and daughter use the other vehicle that has(?) snow tires.
Summer performance tires are awful in cold, or on snow or ice.
If both cars need to be out on the roads every day, again I would suggest biting the bullet and getting the snow tires.

For any model of car, bigger wheels are generally a bad move. Heavier, more expensive, and more prone to wheel damage.
 

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
No, our other car is a 2019 Subaru Outback that we're getting snow tires for. We can mostly use this, but there will be times when I have to drive the MS.

At this point, I think I'm going to get the new wheels and snow tires. Then I might as well at least try to sell it to a private party first, and if that turns out to be a hassle or take too long, just trade it in and take the hit.

Thanks, everyone.
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
465
NJ
Just try it out in the snow with low regen and on chill mode. If it sucks, bite the bullet. No sense in dropping the money if you find that your're comfortable driving it with a little bit of snow.
 

A-Wimoweh

Member
Nov 26, 2018
360
201
Jungle
Another thing is you can get the 20" wheels for the model X, and with the right size tires, you can run those on your S. Not sure what that size is, or if you can get snow tires in that size. Might be worth checking out. Then you could have a set of dedicated snow tires/wheels when you get your X. Just make sure the load rating would be sufficient for the heavier weight of the X.
Something else to consider... Tesla has a habit of missing their dates. And sometimes the car is not perfect upon delivery. You don't want to be in a position where you have to take the car, even if its not right. Or worse yet, you trade in your car, discoverer a big problem with the X after you have had it a week, and now you can't get your old S back.
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
767
1,016
Ann Arbor, MI
I recently moved to Park City, UT from the SF Bay Area. I've decided to trade in my 2016 MS for a new Raven MX. However, the wait time is 4-8 weeks for a new MX. We've already gotten some snow here in Park City, and there will certainly be more in the next 2 months (assuming it takes the full 8 weeks to get the MX).

I have the 21" wheels on the MS, because when I bought it we weren't planning to move to Park City or spend much time in a winter climate. So, in order to put snow tires on it, I'd have to buy new wheels as well—which means >$2k total.

Doesn't make a lot of sense to me to spend $2k for wheels/snow tires that I'll only use for 4-8 weeks prior to trading my MS in for the new MX.

But since I've never lived in Park City or a winter climate anywhere, I'm not sure how much of a risk it would be to drive the MS without snow tires for the next two months. It has the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on it, which I'm pretty sure are summer performance tires.

What do you think?

You can get used wheels for less. Snow tires at Costco (Michelin Ice) came in at under $1K, 19”.

$2K for a set of snow wheels/tires for 8 weeks of use... is it expensive? Not really, all you need to do is slide into one curb hard enough to bend suspension components to a front wheel, and avoiding it for that $2K would have been a bargain. Blow up an airbag, get a Carfax record of an accident for your car, or if there is an injury, that $2K is nothing. Plus your car will perform nicely in the snow, it’ll grip, it’ll be a totally different car in the snow.

They don’t make snows for the 21 inch wheels as I understand. The all wheel drive helps you not get stuck but it does almost nothing to help you stop or steer. My car with 19’s and the all weather stock tires is all over the place in deep snow. Your car with performance summer tires on 21” rims will be worse.

I’m putting snows on it this winter, I bought used wheels, a used set of TPMS sensors, and my snow tires should be in at the local Costco any day now. The wheels I bought have some tiny scuffs, I’m fixing those which isn’t difficult.

It isn’t just 8 weeks of use, it’s 8 weeks of use every year. In 5 years, that’s 40 weeks of use. So it’ll work out to $50 per week for that 40 weeks. And they’ll have some resale value once you move again and no longer need them. That’ll probably get you about half your money back, so that makes your net cost about half.

Best,
David
 
Last edited:
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d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
149
Oxford, England
Thanks, all. Unfortunately, it's not possible to put either chains or snow tires on 21" wheels

Why do you say this? I have 21" wheels and in winter I use the 21" Pirelli Sottozero 3 tyres…

…Actually, I have two sets of rims - both 21" - one with the Michelin Super Sports, and one with the Pirelli Sottozero 3. This is an expensive option - but I do have the top-of-the-range P100D (with Ludicrous) model and I think it's worth it.

Another option is to remove your 21" wheels in the winter and fit 19" wheels with winter tyres attached. Officially, Tesla will say that your autopilot cameras will need to be calibrated - but I'm not sure if this is strictly necessary.
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
767
1,016
Ann Arbor, MI
Why do you say this? I have 21" wheels and in winter I use the 21" Pirelli Sottozero 3 tyres…

…Actually, I have two sets of rims - both 21" - one with the Michelin Super Sports, and one with the Pirelli Sottozero 3. This is an expensive option - but I do have the top-of-the-range P100D (with Ludicrous) model and I think it's worth it.

Another option is to remove your 21" wheels in the winter and fit 19" wheels with winter tyres attached. Officially, Tesla will say that your autopilot cameras will need to be calibrated - but I'm not sure if this is strictly necessary.

I thought the system was self calibrating with 50 or so miles of driving, is that wrong? The only thing that should change is the rolling circumference, but that changes every time you put new tires on with deeper tread, and normal tire replacement doesn’t require recalibration of the car systems. I’m still on original tires, please let me know if I have any of this wrong.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,656
972
Ontario
No, our other car is a 2019 Subaru Outback that we're getting snow tires for. We can mostly use this, but there will be times when I have to drive the MS.

At this point, I think I'm going to get the new wheels and snow tires. Then I might as well at least try to sell it to a private party first, and if that turns out to be a hassle or take too long, just trade it in and take the hit.

Thanks, everyone.
There are are quite a few for sale threads on the forum selling 20 inch Model X wheels. Two of them have winter tires on them. The 20 inch MX wheels will fit your MS perfectly fine. You will just need to put 245/45/20 tires in the front. When you trade in your MS, take the wheels off and use them on the X in the winter and keep the ones that are coming with your new X for the summer. Problem solved.

I am actually going to buy a set of 20 inch used Model X wheels to use as my summer wheels. I have the 19's on now which I will put winter tires on in a month.
 

Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,523
Logan
No, absolutely not. When my car was new I drove it all of about a mile in snow on the factory tires. It was un drivable - I managed to limp it home in 30-40 minutes over that mile and didn't drive it again until new wheels with snow tires were delivered. It's a champ with snow tires and a joke without.

Snows you buy for the S will fit the X. Don't trade in the new wheels.
 

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