Model 3 handling in the snow?

Model 3 handling in the snow?

So I have the performance AWD model 3 and it snowed a bit in VA yesterday evening. I thought as long as I'm going straight and driving sensibly it shouldn't be an issue. I was surprised to find that the handling was pretty terrible for the weather. There were mini coopers and camrys blowing past me but due to the car slipping every time I took it off a track I had to be extra careful and slow driving. Anyone else driven in the snow with the stock tires and what's been your experience?

Bighorn | December 10, 2018

20 inch summer tires? Definitely a bad idea.

jimglas | December 10, 2018

Mine does fine with the 18" stock tires. One of the reasons I didn't go with the 20's

wiboater4 | December 10, 2018

Rear wheel drive??, Did you put it in chill mode to help and set regenerative braking to low? Everyone I've talked to said Tesla's are great in snow. I've only driven in about 2 inches of wet heavy snow so far and it was fine but that was in town driving, not at highway speeds .

howard | December 10, 2018

Tires tires. I put 18” Wheels and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 on and it is awesome.

TM3Q | December 10, 2018

I use winter tires Pirelli 18 inch as it’s mandatory to have them in our province. One important thing to do is set the regeneration at lowest point otherwise you will lose control on slippery road (like in a curb) when you release acceleration pedal.

coleAK | December 10, 2018

So I’m guessing you have the 20” wheels. If so I posted this on a different thread. The #1 factor in traction is tires. Not AWD but Tires.

And straight from Michelin’s web site: “ The Pilot Sport 4S excels in warm dry and wet conditions, so like all Max Performance Summer tires, is not intended to be serviced, stored nor driven in near- and below-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice”

Put a set of Nokian Hakkapeleta’s on a RWD sportscar and on snow/ice it will drive circles around any vehicle with those Pilot 4s tires.

coleAK | December 10, 2018

And my model 3 AWD is doing great on roads entirely covered in snow/ice since before Haloween in Alaska. I’m running Nokian Hakka 9 on the 18” wheels.

Chnowak | December 10, 2018

Agreed - this is 100% tires here. If you have the stock summer 20" tires, that is about as bad as it can get for snow performance. At least with the 18-19 wheels you get all seasons which even that would be an improvement vs. what you're working with.

I would either leave the car at home, or get a set of winter tires if you expect to be doing this again in the future.

Kahn | December 10, 2018

same x-ice 3 18"

coleAK | December 10, 2018

Really makes me think Tesla should have went with the pilot a/s 3+ on the performance 3. So at least it would be an all season tire. Just for the example like this in VA, probably only sees snow a few times a winter so putting on snows would be impractical.

Other manufactures do the same thing with AWD vehicles using OEM max performance summer tires: BMW did it for years on the x5, Porsche Cayenne turbo, Subaru WRX STI, Audi RS’s,... are just a few I can think of.

gmkellogg | December 10, 2018

I imagine the performance 20" tires would be horrible in snow. I have the AWD 18" and have driven through one show shower and one all out blizzard and haven't had any major issues. Noticed some slippage, but the car quickly corrected.

jwins | December 10, 2018

I have an AWD with 18" Blizzaks and I was still able to slide the car on this icy corner coming onto my street.

andy.connor.e | December 10, 2018

Anyone with RWD? How is that holding up for you?

jordanrichard | December 10, 2018

Were you expected something different, driving on summer performance tires........?

RedPillSucks | December 10, 2018

@jwins, even an AWD car will have problems when driven on ice. All that AWD does is give you better traction, it doesn't make it impossible for the car to slip or get stuck.

lilbean | December 10, 2018

@Bighorn, if I don’t have winter tires, is it enough to just put chains on?

mamafuzbot | December 10, 2018

We had 3-4" about a month ago. LR RWD 18" was slipping anywhere the plow hadn't come by. I used chill and limited regen. I used slip start once to get out of a jam, which did help, but it took some maneuvering. My MINI would have handled that level of snow easily. That weekend, I ordered 18" Michelin X-Ice Xi3 that will be installed on Friday.

drbob | December 10, 2018

Crazy to drive on summer tires in winter conditions. You basically have no traction.

I put Flow One F1 18 x 8.5 wheels and 235/45R18 Michelin CrossClimate+ tires on my P3D+ and should be ready for anything in the Mid-Atlantic region.

spuzzz123 | December 10, 2018

You guys (commenters) are telling me that 20” summer tires on an awd vehicle perform significantly worse than stock tires on fwd Camry’s and minicoopers? I don’t believe it. I’m more inclined to believe op is exaggerating or doesn’t know how to drive in snow

Chnowak | December 10, 2018

@ spuzzz123 - 100% yes that is true. Without question summer tires on AWD perform substantially worse than an all season or snow tire on a FWD car. The rubber is not designed to operate in temps near what you'd reach when you get to snowy conditions, and the tread is not made to grip in the snow at all. If they don't grip at all you've got 4 wheels that can't grip, vs. two which can with other tires.

Summer tires are absolutely worthless in snow regardless of how many wheels you have driving the car.

marychristenson | December 10, 2018

Had a 2001 BMW awd delivered to me in MN with summer only tires by mistake. Worst car ever in winter conditions. Really bad. I am old guy always living in MN. Neil Hamrin not Mary my wife.

TM3Q | December 10, 2018

@ spuzzz123 just look at the summer tire manufacturer specification for the operating temperature and you will see that summer tire are useless for cold weather as the rubber will be so rigid and hard that no more traction is available. Summer tires pretty much useless where I live and most of driver buy all season tires for the summer and winter tires for winter. Imagine in my province it's illegal to drive with all season tires in winter so just imagine driving with summer tire on snow...

spuzzz123 | December 10, 2018

OK folks sorry, OP said stock tires, which I took to mean "all season" since that's what they gave me with my 18" crappy aeros. Are 20" stock tires officially "summer tires?" and is that something different than what I have?

Just worrying that my poor man's model 3 RWD with 18" all season aeros are going to put me in a ditch this winter...

spuzzz123 | December 10, 2018

FYI I live in Columbus, OH which is cold, but not a ton of snow, and very flat....I was fine in other front wheel drive ICE cars.

gmkellogg | December 10, 2018

The 20" performance tires are summer tires, if that's what OP has. But OP seemingly has not responded since posting.

mike | December 10, 2018

If you have the PS2's, they are supposed to be horrible in snow.

You are not supposed to drive them below 40 degrees, as the tires can crack.

djharrington | December 10, 2018

The 20” tires are 4S’s, not PS2’s. I drove my 911 turbo in the snow with PS2’s a handful of times. I never got stuck, but certainly would have with steeper roads or deeper snow. If you like going sideways, it’s actually kind of fun ;)

I have the 4S’s from my P3 stored for now and had A/S 3+ put on the stock wheels. I’ve taken the 3 skiing a few times now, with maybe 120mi on a snow surface. They do ok. The car’s ability to quickly change torque/braking on each wheel definitely helps (and is very active if you’re pushing your traction limits). It also helps to not drive faster than traction will allow (and I suppose that’s why I always faired OK in the 911 ... I wasn’t out racing on the snow ... just being careful).

I took the Summer tires out of service purely for the temperature warnings regarding cracking rubber.

BostonPilot | December 10, 2018

Tesla should be advising people (at least in colder climates) about this. My last two Subaru STi the dealer made sure I understood that in no uncertain terms I needed to get a set of winter rims/tires for the car. And he was right, the summer tires are useless in even a tiny amount of snow, and people here have widely posted that the tire manufacturer even says it can damage the summer tires to operate (or even store!) them at low temperature.

Tesla should have an option when you buy the car to get the winter wheels + tires, and in colder months should offer to deliver the car with the winter tires mounted for you. Not a purchase from the store, an option so that they get delivered WITH THE CAR.

djharrington | December 10, 2018

Agree with you, BP. I’m sure there are many folks that buy the Performance car but do not know enough to think of the tire needs themselves. Having driven on the 4S’s and the A/S 3+, there’s not that much of a dry handling limit difference between them that I think it’d be smart for Tesla to offer the 3+ as standard, with an option to select the 4S.

Bighorn | December 10, 2018

I wouldn’t want to drive with chains. They are a low speed, short stretch tool and they have destroyed some Model S suspensions by chewing through aluminum.

calvin940 | December 10, 2018

@howard "@kahn

Ditto here

leo33 | December 10, 2018

@gmkellogg "I have the AWD 18" and have driven through one show shower and one all out blizzard and haven't had any major issues. Noticed some slippage, but the car quickly corrected."

That is much like my experience w AWD and stock 18" tires. In the new snow I found the rear wheels slipping a bit under acceleration, and it was easy to drift around in the corners. Like GMKellogg said, the slipping didn't last long.

I also took it over the pass last night while chains or AWD where required. The stock M&S tires were legal with AWD, so I left the chains in the trunk. I stayed in the main track following the other vehicles straight ahead at thirty-five mph or so. Again, rear wheels slipped and briefly lost traction a few times but I didn't feel the need to stop and put the chains on.

(Settings were chill on, regen low, and slip start off.)

TM3Q | December 10, 2018

I have been seeing "OP" in some posts in this forum and I was wondering what it means?

surfpearl | December 10, 2018

@TM3Q - The OP shorthand stands for "Original Poster" or the person who initiated the said post.

goatea | December 10, 2018

Sorry if this has be covered already but what about the AWD 19” sport wheels (not 20”) in snow?

TM3Q | December 10, 2018

@surfpearl thanks :-)

andy.connor.e | December 10, 2018

My favorite thing to think about, is that people are willing to pay an extra $1500 for larger rims, but wont spend $500 on a good set of winter tires.

lilbean | December 10, 2018

@Bighorn Thanks. I cringe at the sound of chains. It sounds like the car is being wrecked. Thank you.

BostonPilot | December 11, 2018

@goatea - the 19s will have the all season tire... while not nearly as good as dedicated snows, on the AWD vehicle they should work acceptably in all but deep snow extremes...

Elyang | January 3, 2019

rafia.luqman I am having the exact same problem. I have an AWD M3 with 19' all season stock tires. They are the Continental Pro Contact all season tires (235/40R19) and what I found is that the car surprisingly sucks in snow. Even going in a straight line, I am fishtailing. I have put regen breaking on low and acceleration in chill mode. If I make a turn with snow on the ground going around 10-13 miles an hour, I still fishtail. I am scheduling an appt with serivce to see if something is wrong with the traction control as it is enabled. I am hoping it is just bad tires as opposed to a malfunctioning vehicle.

Elyang | January 3, 2019

rafia.luqman I am having the exact same problem. I have an AWD M3 with 19' all season stock tires. They are the Continental Pro Contact all season tires (235/40R19) and what I found is that the car surprisingly sucks in snow. Even going in a straight line, I am fishtailing. I have put regen breaking on low and acceleration in chill mode. If I make a turn with snow on the ground going around 10-13 miles an hour, I still fishtail. I am scheduling an appt with serivce to see if something is wrong with the traction control as it is enabled. I am hoping it is just bad tires as opposed to a malfunctioning vehicle. For context I live in Denver. Has anyone else had this problem?

mmclean708 | January 6, 2019

I have awd 18" m/s (all season) and live in Maine. I have always used low regen in bad weather, and only recently started using chill mode. Huge difference, no fishtailing, steady up and down hills. I do drive slower on bad roads, use much more caution. Drove across a bug patch of black ice...just went over it, no problems. @elyang, check owners manual, I don't think you are supposed to use traction control when driving, that is only if you get stuck in the ditch. Same goes for performance tires, manual says summer only. But remember that rwd and awd in ice vehicles is not the same as Tesla. I am much more relaxed in my 3...I used to insist on studs.

kcheng | January 6, 2019

The 19" and 20" OEM tires are very poor in snow. The 18s on the other hand are surprisingly quite good. Interestingly, I just noticed the post before mine, by mmclean is in Maine, as am I. I was all set to get snow tires, but I thought I'd test the OEM tires in snow, first. They work so well, I'm gonna keep testing them.

AWDTesla | January 7, 2019

Doesnt the performance come with micheline pilot super sports?

Driving those in the winter is a death wish. If you get snow, buy proper winter tires. Theres a reason why rally teams bring mud, dry, wet, snow tires with them to rallies ;) run the right tire in the right conditions. All those other cars doing circles around you are probably running proper tires.

I am a big fan of Subaru. Always swore I'd have one in my driveway due to the winter conditions we get. My model 3 owns my Subaru in the snow....I also run a dedicated winter tire though.

peldor427 | January 7, 2019

I have an AWD with the performance 20" tires. We received an 8" snowfall before my snow wheels and tires came so I tested it. I drove carefully and while it did reasonably well (my street has 10-20 degree inclines) it did slip a little even with Chill Mode and Low Regenerative braking. It recovered well but I would not recommend stock tires with snow or ice (for any car). I've since received and mounted my 18" wheels with Hakkappellita R3 tires and of course it makes a world of difference. Still should enable Chill Mode and Low Regenerative Braking and drive responsibly, but I've taken it up stepp hairpin turns with black ice to a ski mountain, passing trucks and SUVs that were turning around because they were slipping on the ice too much. It will still slip on black ice but it recovers well. I'd consider studs or chains in worse conditions but where I am in Idaho I probably don't need them.

sroh | January 7, 2019

Just drove down from North Lake Tahoe yesterday (Sunday) morning before they closed Hwy 80. AWD with 18" stock Michelin MXV4 all season tires. Handled the snow like a champ; never lost traction. I used low regen and chill acceleration as recommended.

DanFoster1 | January 8, 2019

@Elyang (and others) do you expect traction control to create traction by magic? Cancel your service appointment; BUY WINTER TIRES!

iasifiqbal2 | January 8, 2019

X-ice 3 Baby! You will never go back to whatever...

I got them on my 18s

Model 3 and Michelin X-ice 3 were made for each other ( In the winter anyways )

howard | January 8, 2019

iasifiqbal2 +1 Same

mmclean708 | January 8, 2019

@kcheng I wanted to get snows but the car drained the savings so we decided to wait and see. I will say that today's snow...Tuesday Jan 8...made slush which didn't make my car happy. But front wheel drive doesn't like slush either, and that's what I was driving before October 13! Besides, driving 4ish hours to Boston for tires isn't on my fun list!