Sitting in a snow storm in Michigan thinking about how my delivery will be in the next few weeks got me wondering.... What if I were to take my MS out in the winter and happened to get caught in a snow storm. Does anyone drive in mid west snow? And how has that worked out for ya? BTW I have the 21' wheels..... Don't think I'm selling my Yukon soon.

glaserud | February 22, 2013

My 2c: Driving on non-m+s tires in the snow is void of any kind of sense.
That being said, it behaved very well on Norwegian snow and ice when I test drove it (comparing against a BMW 530GT). 19" studless on it at the time.

cloroxbb | February 22, 2013


1. What part of Michigan?

2. With the incredibly low center of gravity and weight of the car, I hear that it handles very well in the snow or at least better than other vehicles.

Sudre_ | February 22, 2013

I drove my car the other day in St. Louis in 5"s of ice and snow with the 19" tires. The car drove fine. I will admit they might need to improve the wipers. They worked great keeping the window clear but they packed sleet (it was sleeting during my drive) between the wipers and the hood. When I parked I had to chip the ice out with the hood open to get the wipers to seat back where they should. I don't know if I HAD to do that but I felt it was a good idea.

I also took it to a park to have some fun on the non plowed roads. The car drives good with the proper tires. I stopped on some steep hills and had no problems starting again. I had the traction control on. Mileage is reduced when driving thru snow.

David Trushin | February 22, 2013

There are lots of threads on this but the basic conclusion appears to be that the car handles fine on reasonable depth snow with 19" all weathers, but is not snow ready with the standard 21" tires. You will need snow tires if you live in the midwest.

Robert22 | February 23, 2013

I've been driving in snow the last two weekends here in the Boston area. One issue owners should be aware of is the potential for the accumulation of snow and ice inside the wheel well and on the tire itself. This was brought to my attention when on returning from a grocery store run, I was shocked to find the side fender panel at the rear of the headlight literally pulled apart from the adjoining panel and flayed out. At first I thought someone hit me but on closer inspection the panel and all surfaces were pristine. The fender has a tongue in groove insertion and I was tempted to try to reattach it, but waited for a Tesla service center employee to take a look at it. What we surmised was that accumulated snow or ice on the tire swung around and exerted a significant force on the projected tabs inside the wheel well that hold the side fender in place. He snapped it back in without incident instantly curing my hypertension. Take home message: There's not much clearance in the wheel wells for accumulated snow and ice, check them frequently. It would be nice to able to raise the car and have it hold during snow conditions without automatically dropping again at a certain speed. Hopefully a future software update might allow this.

GeirT | February 23, 2013

@ Robert22

A very good point! Living in snow country this is a well known phenomenon; buildup of packed snow/ice in the wheel wells. If the car is in normal and settle to low and there has been a buildup I expect both nasty noise as well as pressure point on 'softer' parts of the well construction.

Way back I had a Citroen CX with the same low/normal/high options. The huge advantage with that car was the high position as standard for snow conditions in normal speed. I really hope that TM will consider this option as it simply will make the car much more versatile for us in colder snowy climates (Norway).

Pungoteague_Dave | February 24, 2013

Don't let anything accumulate in the wheel wells. They are a weak point on the cars. I had a chance to take apart the rear of my S to install the Torklift hitch receiver, which included detaching the fender wells from the bumper. The fender wells are made of a cheap felt/fiber material that is easily bent and deformed, and won't snap back into shape like plastic or ABS. It is much lighter than the plastic liners used on most cars, which may be the reason. It is attached with plastic push-in buttons on the lower edges, and one nut in the middle that keeps it from sagging. The outside edge is simply trapped by the body panels, with no attachments on that edge. The rub is that is has an absorbent felt-like surface so isn't slick and therefore doesn't shed mud and snow like most wheel wells.

I live on a farm with a mile-long gravel and sand driveway, and find that the whole system picks up a lot of dirt that isn't easily hosed off due to the material and design. Not a huge issue for me, but I will avoid driving this car in snow and ice as it is clear there is real potential for permanent damage and for the body panels to separate if slush accumulates. As Robert22 found, driving in snow, ice or mud can cause this part of the car to come apart and potentially cause a safety issue. I will stick to our 4wd pickup on bad days...

glaserud | February 24, 2013

That felt is similar to what's on the diesel-variants of the Audi A6s. I have the same stuff on mine. Good at insulating wheel noise, not so good when it comes to keeping clean.

bsimoes | February 24, 2013

Well, this is not good news. Would some sort of silicone spray be a solution?

Pungoteague_Dave | February 24, 2013

Silicone spray would just soak in. The material seems to be an impregnated fiberboard with a felt surface. The surface is absorbent and has a texture like cloth, so getting it to shed slush or mud isn't likely. Maybe weight savings and relative sound deadening were the goal, but it seems like a strange choice of material compared to the plastic shells found on most cars. Perhaps it is because sound deadening takes precedence on a car this silent. I notice the pebble noise on our driveway a lot more in the S than in other cars mainly because there is no other noise.

Pungoteague_Dave | February 25, 2013

I am starting to think of this car like my 1952 MG-TD. It is great for beautiful, good weather days, but stays inside in the winter. And the MG doesn't have a heater either (ducking). ;^)

The Model S does have more range than the MG... Except when it's cold.