Winter tires for the 21" wheels

Winter tires for the 21" wheels

I didn't expect to get my Model S until late Spring, but received it on the 20th of this month. Because of my original expectation, I didn't bother to purchase Winter tires.

In looking around the web, it appears no one manufactures a winter tire for a 21" wheel, so the only option is the $2,400 Tesla wheel and tire package.

It sure would be nice to just purchase four tires, and have them changed, versus having to have four tires and wheels, which is a lot more expensive.

Anyone have any luck finding a Winter tire for the 21" wheels? Maybe, I just haven't searched in the right places.

sagebrushnw | 22 février 2013

@ andrigtmiller

Since I don't think that there are 21" Winter tires available, the less expensive route would be to by aftermarket 19" wheels (plenty available) and 19" Winter tires.

andrigtmiller | 22 février 2013

Yeah, I thought about that, and haven't checked it out yet. My hesitancy on that, is the tire pressure warning system. I'm not even sure how it works and what's required for the wheels and tires.

jat | 22 février 2013

I have never seen any, which is why Tesla recommends getting 19" wheels with winter tires.

This is the main reason I didn't want 21" wheels -- I didn't want to fool with swapping wheels and having to store whichever ones weren't on the car. A secondary reason was having to replace much more expensive tires much more often.

Theresa | 22 février 2013

andrigtmiller, Probably not the wisest way to go but I live in Iowa, got my car late Nov, and have been driving with the 21" tires since then. We have had a few snowstorms and I have not had any real issues with them. Now I am sure that is because they are so new so next year I am planning to get the 19" tires and wheels. The 21" are not as good as winter tires for sure but they are better than my nearly worn out winter tires on my previous car.

andrigtmiller | 22 février 2013


I have driven is some cold and wet conditions on the current tires already, and that was not bad. I think I might just like you, and just wait until next fall, and the roads here clear very quickly, even when it does snow.

Brian H | 22 février 2013

Swapping entire wheel/tire combos is much easier and much easier on them. Tire swapping machines can damage seals and sidewalls, etc. And often do.

vgrinshpun | 23 février 2013

I've been using winter tires on my RWD car for 8 years. I use set of 16" wheels and winter tires, swapping them to the original 17" set of wheels and tires in my garage every spring. TireRack is very reputable retailer. They will match the wheel and tire set to the car and have pressure monitoring options specific to a car available. While I understand that swapping sets of tires/wheels twice a year is not for everybody, the benefits are very substantial. One has to try driving a car with winter tires to trully appreciate having that edge removed from driving in winter conditions...

TireRack has option of either 19" or 20" wheel and tire sets available for 2013 Model S

mw | 23 février 2013

I live in Ohio and checked very extensively on this. I even begged Telsa to make the 21 in rim styly in the 19 in size. Tire manufacturers make all season tires up to the 20 in size only, period. This is becuase they can't get a deep enough tread on the larger size. My previous car had 17 all season and I have even noticed a difference in driving the Tesla 19 all season. Bigger tire less tread is the bottom line. I went with 19s so I didn't have to do the wheel swap. The spoke pattern has grown on me but I still think the 21s are sexier. So really is comes down to driving conditions in your area and how much risk you want to take driving 21s instead of all seasons. I wasn't about to risk crashing my car in an accident just for the 21s, but that's just me. You have to do what is best for you.

GROC288 | 23 février 2013

My concern on this subject, changing 21” tires and rims to 19” , is how will it affect the speedometer? Is there a setting that will have to be changed?

craig.tesla | 23 février 2013

@Groc288: no, the tires are the same size on the outside.

vgrinshpun | 23 février 2013

Groc288 - The overall diameter is the sum of the diameter of the wheel and height of the tire profile. Larger wheels are used with lower profile tires (lower height of the profile). The difference in the overall diameter between the 19" and 21" wheel/tire set is negligible . Speedometer will not be affected.

GROC288 | 23 février 2013


Pungoteague_Dave | 23 février 2013


There is no difference in exterior diameter between the 21" and 19" wheels/tires. The primary difference is narrower sidewalls on the 21"

shs | 23 février 2013

Someone needs to explain this to Broder.

Brian H | 23 février 2013

Someone needs to explain a lot of things to Broder. But I actually think he pretty much knew EXACTLY what he was doing.

vgrinshpun | 23 février 2013

There is a very simple proof that he knew exactly what he was doing, it was clear even before Elon published the car logs.

The guy charged at Delaware SC to 242 miles and then drove 206 miles to Connecticut SC at which point the remaining range was 0. Ratio of driven miles to range is 206 / 242 = 0.85.

He wrote in his account that he charged in Connecticut to a range he thought he will need to drive to Groton and back: 2 x 79 = 158. So the question is how did he know what range he would need to charge to at the Connecticut SC?? He used the factor he got from his Delaware-Connecticut leg, 0.85, to calculate required charge and charged to 185 miles: 158 / 185 = 0.85.

Why would anybody use a factor which caused running to 0 range on the previous leg? Especially if next leg involves overnight stay without plugging the battery??

Brian H | 24 février 2013

Because you want to put things on a knife-edge, and so you can easily tip them in the direction you want.

jeroens | 24 février 2013

What is the 21 Tire spec on the Model S?

They sell a Winter tire here in EU for 21 Inch 245/35R21 96Y

Contintental SPORTCONTACT 5 for 351 Euro would those work?

jeroens | 24 février 2013

hmmm some sites list them as Winter and some as Summer tires... Looks like they are actually Summer.