Snow Tires

Snow Tires

I'm expecting the delivery of my model 3 next week and was wondering, if anyone who has one in areas where there is significant snow, do you need to get snow tires for it or are all weather ones good enough?

mattjpeterson | September 14, 2018

I would get snow tires for any car in a location with significant snow.

Bighorn | September 14, 2018


gballant4570 | September 14, 2018

The last snow tires I bought were in 1988. I have lived for the past 25 years in northern Maryland, in an area where there have been 3, 4 and 5 ft weeks at times in the winter. I have a long stone driveway uphill for about 900 ft. All season radials and front wheel drive on one car, rear wheel drive on the rest, were fine - along with a neighbor with a couple of fair sized tractors for driveway clearing.

After what I've heard about M3 RWD, it's at least as good in the snow as any I've had during that time. These days I have a 4WD pick up as a convenience, running aggressive tread all year. That is just because I've gotten older, and lazier. Of course snow tires that get changed out seasonally run against the grain of lazy.... and 2 or 3 ft of snow still requires the neighbor.

skappag | September 14, 2018

26 years in Minnesota...never had AWD or Snow tires... always driven FWD with all season tires... no accidents. Sure, AWD and Snow tires can be helpful....ultimately its how you drive that matters.

brianguy | September 14, 2018

Once you have driven with winter tires, such as Blizzak, you never want to go back to all season tires in the winter. Winter tires make a huge difference. To me, the cost of the tires is worth it due to reducing the risk of an accident. Costco is a great place to get winter tires when on sale.

mironskii | September 15, 2018

Québec province has a law that from Dec. 1st to March 15th, snow tire are mandatory.

Its not even a concern up here.

FWD ok, but when you tried AWD in Montréal winter hazards, you never want to get back...

It really depends on where you live...

Btw, my car sliiped into a ditch on the last winter storm late april. Big snow fall, had Subaru Impreza with winter tire Pirelli Winter IceZero, but still my car slipped anyway...

aus1ander | September 15, 2018

@skappag If you drive on winter tires for one season, you will never go back. No matter how good of a winter driver you are, snow tires are very forgiving of occasional mistakes which we all make. I’ve been driving in Midwest winters for 20 years and have used snow tires the last 4 years and will never go back.

skappag | September 15, 2018

@aus1ander, I know.. can't wait for my AWD Model 3 with winter tires.

BostonPilot | September 16, 2018

@brianguy et all, yup - I've had Blizzaks on my Subaru STis for the last 13 years and would never go back. Not strictly required, but lots and lots of fun to go bombing around in the snow.

On the Model 3 I'm going to try something different - a tire that's less squirmy ... give up some of the grip in snow to get better grip on dry cold pavement. We don't get *that* many snow storms in a winter, most of the time the roads are either cold+dry or a little bit of slush/packed snow. Nothing a performance winter tire (not all season) can't handle.

M3P+ so no choice in having a second set of wheels... Probably won't be out driving it in as deep snow as I did the Subaru... Still looking forward to see how good the car is in winter driving.

wiboater4 | September 16, 2018

Where I am in wisconsin most of the time the roads are plowed so I am going to try it with just the factory tires and see how it handles. I have a 4 WD pickup if things get really bad. I haven't run snow tires on a car in over 30 years here.

BlueMeanie | September 16, 2018

Will be using Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3. Winter is unpredictable in Cincinnati and I haven't driven RWD in winter before (always FWD or AWD).

mynamemeansdog | September 16, 2018

I'm thinking of getting the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 on mine. Any thoughts?

I'm excited that I can finally buy a US made car that I like.. So I thought I'd try and put US made tires on it too... just so I can point out that my electric.. or hippy car is more "Murican" than any of my republican coworker's haha.

wayne | September 16, 2018

I also will be getting the Michelin Pilot Alpins. Recommended by a couple knowledgeable toys dealers.

lswall46 | September 16, 2018

I too will be getting winter tires. Getting my AWD TM3 next week with 19" sport wheels. What is everyone doing for wheels for the winter tires. I am thinking of going with the standard Tesla 18". Any thoughts of others?

neil.weinstock | September 16, 2018

I'll be getting snows. I live on a hill and it can be tricky. I've been using snow tires on my various cars (all FWD until this one) for... I dunno, probably 25 years or so.

One thing commonly lost in the discussion of FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD... none of those help you *stop*, and that can be one of the biggest problems in the snow. Only snow tires will help with that.

wayne | September 16, 2018

I will be swapping tires onto the original rims. This prevents headaches getting the tire pressure sensors to reinitialize. Also I have had problems with aftermarket rims getting bent by potholes in the past.

However the 19” rims with winter tires from Tesla look like an option.

DanFoster1 | September 16, 2018

Thank you, neil.weinstock, I was just about to ask pronchetti and others if they think /stopping/ is critical. For the love of god people, the answer is ALWAYS YES, you need winter tires—it doesn’t matter what kind of car you have. It’s incredibly dangerous to believe that All-Wheel-Drive, antilock brakes, traction control etc. magically make tires grippier than they are in the freezing cold on snow and ice. Does it take near death experiences for people to realize the importance of winter tires? Also: ‘All-Weather’ means ‘Good at nothing in particular.’

neil.weinstock | September 16, 2018

To be fair, there are some all-season tires these days that have better winter traction. The tires on the M3 are not in that category. They'll never be as good as real snow tires of course.

I would never say that someone *has* to get snow tires, but at least I would suggest that folks understand their limitations with regard to stopping, and not think they're invincible because they have either AWD or great traction control. I often observe this invincibility syndrome among drivers of large SUVs, as they cruise the left lane at 70 mph in the middle of a snowstorm.

pronchetti | September 21, 2018

Thanks for all the replies. I'm getting the M3 AWD and I've never used snow tires before in my other AWD cars. I had a Mercedes E550 and it did pretty well with all seasons. I just wasn't sure how/if the car handles any different then a standard gas powered car with regard to braking in winter weather.

miguelcampeau | September 21, 2018

I live in the Montreal area and we have cold and snowy winters.
I'm going with Michelin X-ice Xi3

mikes | September 21, 2018

I agree with everybody that says "real" snow tires are better. Living in Montana I have to deal with winter weather for about 6 month out of the year. It is not only snow, but slush, ice, rain or a mix of all of it. I have been running Blizzak's on a FWD Chrysler and been running X-Ice on a FWD Honda. Would never run with out snow tires on any car in the winter anymore. It is well worth the money and effort. Even if you think you are a good driver there is all these other Idiot's on the road!

Scottupnorth | September 21, 2018

I live in Anchorage and have studded snow tires on my Subaru. Pulling away at a glare ice intersection is like driving on drive pavement. I'll never not use snow tires.
I don't plan on taking delivery of my Model 3 while living in Alaska though......Alaska can be hard on cars and a Tesla seems like too nice a car for here even though there are several around.

jludw32299 | September 21, 2018

We've had the Nokians on our Model 85D for 3 winters and love them. I first used the Nokians on our Volvos, and was hooked. Picking up wife's Model 3 AWD on Monday. Ordering 4 new wheels and going for the Nokians again. I can't say enough about them.

kcheng | September 21, 2018

Would be interested to know if anyone has tried either the Continental DWS model tires, Dry/Wet/Snow, which seem highly rated. Or the Vredestein Quatrac5 which also has amazing ratings and is one of the new three-peak mountain snowflake tires, 3PMSF. Unlike the old M+S tires, which get the M+S based upon having sipes, the 3PMSF tires are tested. The 3PMSF used to be a snow tire test. Also the 3PMSF qualifies for driving in Quebec, where snow tires are mandatory.

rsingh05 | September 22, 2018

@kenccheng - I had conti extremecontact DWS on my AWD 335 many years ago in philadelphia. These are all season tires that worked very well in philly snow.

I would say if you get extreme snow (e.g. Boston in recent years, or worse), or if you have an ICE RWD car, you may need winter tires. Otherwise for moderate snow and AWD, A/S such as DWS are perfectly fine. You could get winter tires and they will be even better, but probably overkill if you drive sensibly in the snow and maintains safe braking distances.

kcheng | September 22, 2018

@rsingh05, thanks for your answer. I'm assuming the 335, is a BMW. I had a 2001 BMW 330xi.

I've always put on snows, ever since the Blizzaks first entered the US market, way back when, but now that I'm older and retired, I don't have to go out if there's fresh snow on the ground and the roads unplowed. Was just wondering since it's clear that snow tire tech, silica, etc., has filtered down to all-season tires, making the possibility that all-seasons might actually be practical. Obviously, you give up the ultimate in snow/ice performance, and you probably don't get as good mileage in dry weather. Maybe the sound is louder too, without the acoustic foam. Then again, one doesn't really know if no one has tried it with their Tesla.

cjleoni | September 23, 2018

Has anyone heard from Tesla about winter tire package for the AWD performance package. Their site to purchase tires clearly states not for AWD performance package on the 18's and the 19s. I suspect this may be due to caliper size.

Have the car now and enjoying the ride but thinking ahead to Oct when the snow starts.

iansmccarthy | November 23, 2018

I also live in Northern Maryland (in the Catoctins at 2000 feet elevation). I have found that I have to have winter tires to get up the last mile to my house. All season tires may be ok for well plowed suburban roads but when you get onto back country roads and substantial uphill stretches you really do need winter tires. However, Tesla seems to have dropped the ball once again and it looks as if there may be delays in delivery of winter tires and wheels. The website is now saying that Canadian deliveries won't be until JANUARY, which is two months after winter officially starts up there

bigbob77 | December 12, 2018

Hello from Milwaukee, WI. It doesn’t matter if you have 4WD, FWD or RWD - dedicated snow tires are crucial to help with braking and handling. Snow tires reduce the braking distance a lot in winter weather. It snows a lot here but even if didn't I would still buy winter tires cuz I cannot compromise the safety of my life and my passengers's lives to save a couple hundred bucks. In September I bought Goodyear winter ultra so I am safe and sound. And I bought used ones so it didn't cost too much

mikes | December 12, 2018

Have been running Michelin X-Ice for about 3 weeks now in winter weather. As expected great performing tire! Was going to buy from Tesla but they were sold out at the time, so I bought from Costco as I have been doing for years. Put the tires to the test on icy on-ramp that I drive daily, put the pedal to the metal, traction control comes on, kept the car straight and best of all still accelerated like a rocket! Real snow tires are a must as you will have to stop quickly due to idiots on the road.

peldor427 | December 12, 2018

i just switched my 20" performance wheels and tires to the 18" TSportline forged wheels with Hakkapellitta R3s for Idaho driving, obviously have a different set of TPMS for these since they are separately mounted. No issues with the resetting - after about 5 minutes driving it 'detected' the change, asked me what size wheels (18") and it started reporting my tire pressures. Not sure why it needed the wheel size, but it was automatic except for answering the question. I'll report back when I find some new snow to test them, but pretty sure they will be great. 20" performance tires weren't horrible, but on steep inclines they would slip/grab/slip and I would not wnat to drive a full winter on them. Don't forget to use Chill mode, Reduced regenerative braking and turn on slip start when applicable!

ksrehman | December 12, 2018

AWD LR - I got Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3's and they are a great match for the car, quiet and low rolling resistance = a little more range in winter. Best studless winter tire available and the price was reasonable, $199 a tire.

coleAK | December 12, 2018

I’m running Nokian Hakka 9’s on 18” aero. AWD LR, Regen Low. The 3 is doing great up in Alaska.

MN_EV_Driver | December 12, 2018

Minnesota here, I just got Michelin X-ice Xi3 tires put on last week (RWD LR). Roads have been clean and clear, so the tires haven't been put to much of a test yet. The only difference I could tell was a bit more hum, but it's nothing bothersome. Regen not affected at all for me.

beerikba | December 12, 2018

Here in Oslo (further north than Anchorage/Alaska), 100% of cars have dual set of tires. All season tires does not exist in practice. Why? There is no question that snow tires are much, much, safer than all season ones. If you use summer tures in the winter, you will be fined (but that only happens because some people are chronically slow to shift to snow tires on Nov 1, when the snow season starts). Studded tires exist, but they carve up the roads and produce massive amounts of dust - creating breathing and other pollution issues. So it is considered bad, especially by environmentally conscious people. btw, 3/4 of cars sold last quarter are plug-in, 2/3 of those pure electric. So far non T3 - but mine and thousands of others will arrive early March....

coleAK | December 12, 2018

^^^ if you are in Oslo Norway (59.9N)they are close but Anchorage (61.2N) is slightly farther north.

In Alaska We have had 6-7 winters of terrable ice, mostly due to a warmer gulf of Alaska. We banned salt over a decade ago (environmental reasons) so most winters my studded tires rarely touch the asphalt. I guess by the same logic as studded tires creating dust you could say that studless are softer compound so “shed” more rubber/oil into the environment and have a shorter lifespan so have a greater environmental waste impact.

They have talked from time to time about banning studs due to road wear but what they did instead is shorten the window we can have them on. Now it’s Oct 15 - May 1 or when the roads are melted off which is usually some time in May

mikes | December 12, 2018

I can see some extreme driving conditions on Alaska roads, so I guess studded tires work well. For most of us we'll be running on mixed surfaces during the winter from dry to icy. The high rated "studless" snow tires are the best choice for that also considering environmental issues. Also, many of these tires will outperform studded tires on ice!

coleAK | December 12, 2018

^^^. I agree I ran Gereral’s or Blizzak for the 8 years I drove (24 years total) I was in Tahoe and used x-Ice the 4 years in the mountains of NE TN. Now >12 years in Alaska and nothing is as good as studded Nokians on super cold (<10F < -12C). ice. I never said anything negative about studless tires or that anyone needs studded. But I will say the winter traction of Nokian hakka’s (studded or studless) are tough to beat. As for tire life I typically got 2 winters out of blizzard, 3 from my x-ice and 7 out of studded hakka’s. I change them out at 7 years no matter what the wear due to recomendations around compound hardening.

The largest disadvantage of studded tires is worse dry/wet traction and “stud tap” at low speeds. I’ll also add I have vehicles currently with Hakka LT, 4,5,7,9 and the 9 have the least stud tap.

hsuru4u | September 11, 2019

i WOUld suggest nokian g4 year round. I would also recommend the new blizzak ws90 thats back ordered now most places. Its bridgestones new snow blizzk replacement.

hsuru4u | September 11, 2019

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3's wear pretty fast in my experience. Try the blizzak ws90