Tire replacement: happy with the Continentals (updated)

Tire replacement: happy with the Continentals (updated)

I need to replace my 18” Michelin MXM4s in the next 2 months, I have 26,000 miles on them for my LR RWD. I rotated once at 13,000 miles.

I am leaning towards buying the same tire, but want some input. Should I get a different 18” tire? Upgrade to 19”, which rims? Where should I buy?, Costo, Walmart?

I live in SoCal but ski at Mammoth during the winter, have 18” chains and don’t want to buy snow tires.

RES IPSA | 22 April, 2019

Discount Tire had some good choices. I think the OEM tires there were $1300 installed. They had some similar tires for about $700 installed. I would be interested to find out if a cheaper costing tire still kept the road noise to an acceptable level (i.e. is the sound reducing foam of the OEM tires worth an extra $600?)

Kahn | 22 April, 2019

i am in new england.. got car with 19" tires. bought other 18" rims and put snows on,, just took the stock crap all seasons off the 19" rims and put summer pilot sport 4s on.

JAD | 22 April, 2019

Tires are all about trade offs. There is no best tire, it all depends on what is important to you. Range, ride, handling, wear, cost, noise, all work against each other. Decide what is important to you and read reviews on to see what for best for you

Bighorn | 22 April, 2019

MXM is one of the most pricey options probably because of the Tesla demand aspect. I’ll probably go with the Pilot A/S 3+ or Nokian WRG4s. I’m way past due at 30k miles.

beaver | 22 April, 2019

Thanks for the tips so far. I discovered there are several different versions of the MXM4, only one has the acoustic material that reduces road noise.

@Big I will check out the Pilot A/S. Do you know the noise level compared to MXM4? The Model 3 let’s a lot of road noise in so I am concerned about a louder tire.

In terms of price we gotta factor in mileage lifetime. I think the Pilots have lower mileage rating.

Bighorn | 23 April, 2019

I have a set of A/S 3+s in the shed waiting to go on the Model S—don’t recall them being loud. Wear rating is 500 on both Michelins. Cost now is 193 vs 283. I’ve also bought a few sets of Hankooks over the years for the S—decent tire at a steep discount to OEM. I don’t subscribe to the sound deadening hype.

foodking | 23 April, 2019

I personally like continental dws 06. They were quieter, performed slightly better on dry and snow, but were worse on wet than the A/S. Been a couple years since i bought my last set so i don't know if they have updated versions

Iwantmy3 | 23 April, 2019

I looked up those tires online. They have excellent ratings including decent ratings in the snow. My only other concern would be the effect on mileage/range.

Does anyone know how to best determine what the differences in rolling resistance might do to range for some of the alternate tire choices?

Iwantmy3 | 23 April, 2019

Another tire I am looking at is the Michelin Cross Climate+. It's ratings on are excellent across the board including traction on snow. I have asked Michelin about the relative fuel economy rating of the MXM4 vs. the Cross Climate and they say they are the same.

Right now, this is my first choice as my replacement tire (expected to be this fall).

coleAK | 23 April, 2019

What do you not like about the MXM4? Given you don’t want to switch to winters and do drive into the mountains an all weather like mentioned above Nokian WR G4 would be pretty much perfect.

IHaveArrived | 23 April, 2019

@coleAK, my biggest complaint about the MXM4s is price/performance. They're over $100 PER TIRE more expensive than the Continental DWS06.

@Iwantmy3, careful with reading too much into those TireRack ratings. The ratings come from customer surveys and look to me like they are relative to the tire category. The Michelins are both grand touring tires, whereas the DWS06 is in a higher-performance category. I don't think you can directly compare, for example, the dry performance rating on the Crossclimate and the DWS06. Look at the UTQG traction rating for both, for example -- the DWS06 is AA and the Crossclimate is single A.

coleAK | 23 April, 2019

@ihavearrived. I’d look at the nokian WRG4, continental extreme contact, and Hankook Kinergy 4S. I put the cooper GS5 grand tour on my sons MB e 4matic, I’m impressed so far considering there were $450 for 4 tires. I will add they are his summer set, we run studs in the winter.

ST70 | 23 April, 2019

what's the warranty? Has anybody tried to fill out a warranty claim?

beaver | 23 April, 2019

I am going to do research on the Pilots, Continentals, and Nokians

lbowroom | 23 April, 2019

ST70, I remember reading about successful warranty claims on the OE tires. Had to confirm even front/rear wear by Michelin shop inspection. I think they were sent a pro rated check.

bpatter123 | 23 April, 2019

I'm a big fan of TireRack- fair prices & consistently good info. Enter your car description and needs in their selector & you come up with good choices with some objective & objective data. I asked about the utility of the foam silencer ring of foam in the OEM tires ( Contis in my case). "We do not have any objective information to compare the sound quality of the tires with foam versus the non foam tires. I would say the foam does reduce the effective rate of using the liquid repair material in the tire. " Ask for best option for you.

Bighorn | 23 April, 2019

I’ve also run through a couple/few sets of Contis—no complaints.

kaushal | 23 April, 2019

Also checkout Costco, every other month they seem to have $130 off on a set of 4 tires.

ST70 | 23 April, 2019

@lbowroom- I'm on my 3rd set of Michelin's on My S...filed the claim through Sears both times.

Lorenzryanc | 24 April, 2019

… and Sears is now going bankrupt. Thanks @St70 :P

derotam | 24 April, 2019

@kaushal, just watch out with Costco if you are wanting to get the acoustic version of the MXM4's. There are 4 different model numbers for the MXM4's and only one is the acoustic version, which so far I have not seen Costco carry.

Zuese50 | 24 April, 2019

I happen to be a partner in a auto repair shop. Our mounted and Road Force Balanced price for a set of MXM4 is 1043.28.

pjug03 | 24 April, 2019

Buy tires from Tire Rack and have them shipped to your place of installation. Will save you about $60 per tire and each tire will come with 2 years of road hazard insurance.

Daryl | 24 April, 2019

Pay close attention to the rated rolling resistance of the new tires. It can make a big difference on range.

A couple of years ago I replaced the tires on my Volt with some Michelins, and range reduced by about 10%. I quickly swapped them out for another set with low rolling resistance ("Ecotopias") and the range went back where it should be. Not a knock on Michelin; they do make low RR tires, but Costco didn't carry them at the time.

Of course there are other considerations such as noise, wear, traction etc. and many of these have trade-offs. There are no perfect tires.

coleAK | 24 April, 2019

Ok. So my OEM MXM4’s have the acoustic on the sidewall. But they did NOT have the foam on the inside of the tire. I know for sure because I personally unmointed them from the 18” Aeros last fall when I switched to my winter Hakka 9’s. I’m looking st them currently unmounted and from the inside of the tire nothing looks different than any other tire. From what I understand there should be a foam layer stuck to the inside of the tire. Like the ones that came on our model S. Anyone else do their own tires? Or actually personally seen them with foam stick to the inside?

I’m taking these tires with my summer rims to the auto hobby shop today to mount up my summer set up since in the next few weeks the roads should be all clear of winter.

Zuese50 | 25 April, 2019

I can confirm that my Stock MXM4's had a 1/2 in of foam around the face. I had them off for my winter tire swap.

IHaveArrived | 25 April, 2019

@coleAK the DWS06's are indeed ContiExtremeContact:

Syed.Hosain | 25 April, 2019

To the OP, if you are willing to live with a bit more treadwear, then I would change away from the MXM4. It is not the best tire that Michelin makes.

I plan to get the tire that Tesla uses for the 19" wheels: the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ... it is not an All-Season or Grand Touring tire (being designed for summer use only - do NOT use in ultra-cold weather or snow), but has much better handling, less groove tracking, and somewhat quieter.

Check out for more information.

Syed.Hosain | 25 April, 2019

By the way, I also plan to increase from 235/45-18 to 245/45-18. These will fit our 7.5" wide rims perfectly, be a little less costly too.

Yes, you will lose a bit of mileage (the wider tire will have slighlty more rolling resistance, particularly if you go with a summer tire like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S) but well worth it, compared to the stock MXM4.

Also, whatever tire you do end up getting, please make sure that you get the highest load index you can - anything under 96 is going to be dangerous for our relatively heavy cars!

ADinM3 | 29 April, 2019

I'm starting my tire replacement quest as well.

I've seen multiple mentions of comparing "rolling resistance" between tire but looking at Tire Rack information and elsewhere I do not see this information? Where are you guys finding this?

Also, can the information on ratings between tire manufacturers be compared? I'm stuggling to place too much faith in the ratings. If so, why would anyone ever buy the MXM4 over the A/S 3+(for example), not to mention the large price difference?

Nakid | 29 April, 2019

@Syed, going from a 235/45/18 to a 245/45/18 will not only give you a wider tire but a taller one as well. That will increase the diameter of the tire giving you more material. It will be a heavier tire as well as more rolling resistance. Both of those will reduce the efficiency and yield a lower range.

coleAK | 29 April, 2019

@ihave... thanks. I will searously look at that tire when it’s time to replace the MXM4’s I’m using in the summer

moabchick | 2 May, 2019

After carefully reading this thread and everything on, I'm ordering the Continental DWS06, having them delivered to Big O. Fingers crossed they make me happy!!!!!

Tuning In | 2 May, 2019

I had DWS06's in two previous car of ours. Good all around tire. Great grip in all conditions. A little bit noisy at highway speeds, but not horrible by any means.

However, it's not a LRR tire so you'll take a hit in range and consumption. To me it's worth losing range to get a proper tire. But more so of a concern if you have a SR.

moabchick | 2 May, 2019

@Tuning In
What does "LRR tire" mean?

Azred50 | 2 May, 2019

Skip the foam, which is costly and provides virtually no value. I think Motor Trend ran the test proving it and my ears concur.

Azred50 | 2 May, 2019

Skip the foam, which is costly and provides virtually no value. I think Motor Trend ran the test proving it and my ears concur.

Azred50 | 2 May, 2019

Skip the foam, which is costly and provides virtually no value. I think Motor Trend ran the test proving it and my ears concur.

RedShift | 2 May, 2019

Tire rack, dude. Follow reviews and ratings there. You can choose by longevity, or quietness or weight even.

Syed.Hosain | 2 May, 2019

@Nakid, "going from a 235/45/18 to a 245/45/18 will not only give you a wider tire but a taller one as well. That will increase the diameter of the tire giving you more material. It will be a heavier tire as well as more rolling resistance. Both of those will reduce the efficiency and yield a lower range."

Yes, I think I even mentioned both those items in my posts as well. I posit the change will be nominal and worth it.

I should also note that tire weights are pretty close enough. Indeed, there are other brands/models of 245/45-18 at Tire Rack that are actually a tad lighter than the 235/45-18 Michelin MXMs. However, the 235/45-18 tires have very few models available, as opposed to the much more common 245/45-18. And, our wheel width is fine for that slightly wider tire - remember it is only a 10mm (1cm) increase in tire width - and our wheel wells can *easily* accommodate the slightly higher section width (depending on tire model).

The radius increase is minor - the change in rolling diameter is such that this will be *about* 1 mph difference at 60 mph. Indeed, this may even fix the fact that the speedometer on my car shows 1 mph *higher* than actual (measured via a GPS app). On some model of tires whose sidewall flexes more than others, a 245/45-18 may actually have a similar revs/mile number (best way to estimate speedometer change). Again, Tire Rack provides these for us to calculate out easily.

My previous car (a 2003 Infiniti M45) also used 235/45-18 stock size tires and I replaced with 245/45-18 after the first set wore out. I have an Excel spreadsheet somewhere showing the minor changes in speedometer readings with various 245/45-18 tires that may be of interest to people.

Sorry for the long-winded response, but as you can probably tell, tires are my passion! :) It is literally where all the action happens ... poor tires lead to poor results for acceleration and braking, even if you have powerful cars and large brakes!

TexasBob | 2 May, 2019

Agree with all three of Azred50's posts! Foam makes it difficult to plug the tire as well. (Can be done, speaking from experience, but most dealers and tire shops won't do it.) No more foam for me.

Tuning In | 2 May, 2019

LRR = Low Rolling Resistance. It’s a tire optimized for fuel economy. Lots of car manufacturers use these to get the best EPA rating possible. Also means that they don’t have good traction.

Chiming in on the the foam thing. It works, but it doesn’t reduce the noise level, it helps dampen reverberation. Kind of takes away that bouncing basketball sound when pulling in and out of driveways onto the street. Not enough benefits to make it worthwhile for me.

neilhamrin | 2 May, 2019

have been very happy with discount tire/america's tire. one set of pilot a/s+and felt little difference from original equip mxm's in any measure. this on my model S. will do oem on model P3 when it's time. Michelin the best, IMHO.

ST70 | 2 May, 2019

@Azred50- crap! you said it 3 times....I must skip the foam now!


Syed.Hosain | 3 May, 2019

@neilhamrin | "Michelin the best, IMHO."

Definitely agreed!

Iwantmy3 | 3 May, 2019

I just purchased a set of Michelin Cross Climate+. I was hoping to hold off until later in the year but my tire tread is getting pretty low (25000 miles and minimal tread left on my MXM4s). I was looking for something that would give good summer performance, low rolling resistance, low noise, and still be able to perform in "mild" (0°F) winter days. (I hate having to deal with separate winter tires).

After going through many online reviews, this tire appears to have it all. Time will tell. Ask me next January.

duffeywolvin | 3 May, 2019

@Syed.Hosain Great writeup- thank you!

kaffine | 3 May, 2019

I'm a few thousand miles away from needing new tires. I have been looking at Bridgestone Driveguard tires. They are a run flat tire that gets good reviews on other cars. My mom is using them on her Jetta and I wouldn't know they were run flat from driving the car. Good handling and smooth ride no real difference in ride quality or noise from the Michelin tires she had before. I am a bit worried about the rolling resistance and it reducing range. I haven't found anyone running them on a Tesla to see if the reduce the range or not.

eplaskett | 4 May, 2019


I had Driveguards on my previous car. They do indeed work as advertised; if you suffer a flat or blowout on the highway, you can indeed keep driving on them at a reasonable speed until you can make it somewhere you can safely change your tire, and of course that'd be especially helpful on our cars that have no spares. I will say, however, that the trade-off is that they do seem a bit more prone to blowouts, and and of course once they've been damaged and have performed their "allow you to keep driving" task, they're shot. I think I had three or four blowouts while I had those tires on my car; a large pothole had a very good chance of taking them out. So, if you go with them, definitely purchase a road hazard warranty - something I always do with tires anyways, but especially important with these.

Road noise and ride quality weren't significantly different from other all-season tires I have had, so that's a plus. Handling seemed plenty competent though my last car was not sporty and I didn't drive it as such. I actually seem to recall my gas mileage increasing rather significantly after I installed them, going from 28 or so to 30 mpg on a consistent basis.

If I still regularly drove on the west side of I-285 in Atlanta, I would probably consider these myself, but fortunately the Tesla allows me to drive in the HOV lane on I-75 and so I am avoiding the pothole-ridden 285, where I had most of my blowouts, almost all the time now. (Too many semis on that stretch, most of which are probably overweight.)

beaver | 4 May, 2019

moabchick why did you choose the Continentals?

I am leaning replacing with stock MXM4, I love my M3 and see no strong reason yet to switch and risk another tire... still haven’t bought yet, planning to but on tire rack like I did for my Acura