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Thread: Driving in the cold on 21" summer tires?

  1. #11
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarlyAdopter View Post
    There's some anecdotal evidence the Continental ExtremeContact DW do OK in cold temperatures in this Porsche forum thread:

    Continental Extreme Contact DW - Page 2 -

    But you've really got to take this with a grain of salt and an ounce of caution.
    Given that the "S" that is missing from the "DW" stands for "Snow", I think I'd want not merely a grain of salt, but a whole lotta salt liberally covering the roadway!

  2. #12
    VIN: #3305 jhs_7645's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for all the info. My plan at this point is to contact a tesla service center (I don't think the one in Portland is open yet) and see if I can acquire a set of 19" from Tesla, but in the mean time, monitor the weather here and drive cautiously. I'll hold off selling my 4Runner until I can get the 19" wheels.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhs_7645 View Post
    Thanks everybody for all the info. My plan at this point is to contact a tesla service center (I don't think the one in Portland is open yet) and see if I can acquire a set of 19" from Tesla, but in the mean time, monitor the weather here and drive cautiously. I'll hold off selling my 4Runner until I can get the 19" wheels.
    There is a service center in Portland... it's not technically open yet, but my did install my dad's 19" wheels about two weeks ago. Basically, if you order the wheel/tire combo from Tesla, they'll make putting them on work.
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  4. #14
    Member dailydriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    It depends on the tires. My Roadster's Yokohama AD07/8 handle freezing temperatures fairly well. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports I had on my Infiniti were, well, terrifying! They're fantastic tires in summer weather, dry or wet, but they are like ice skates in the cold.
    I have the Michelin Pilot Super Sports on my Audi and would totally agree. My previous summer tires were Pirelli P Zeros and they felt like rocks when the temperature dropped. The performance tires on the Model S don't seem too stiff in the colder temperatures so far (although I am replacing them with the winter wheel/tire package shortly).
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  5. #15
    Sponsor (& Model S Owner) pete8314's Avatar
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    So with all this in mind....I'm in north Texas, and have, maybe, 5-10 days per year where it's below zero. In an ideal world where stuff is free, the answer to the question 'Should I have a separate set of winter tires?" would be yes I assume, but in reality, would they be needed? For example, on really cold days, I just take the other car, or WFH, since almost nobody in Tx can drive straight when there's ice on the road. So the reality of me venturing out is slim, to the point where the only time I'd be on the roads with the temp below freezing would be when I drove to the office and it was 'warm', and things froze up during the day.
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  6. #16
    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete8314 View Post
    So with all this in mind....I'm in north Texas, and have, maybe, 5-10 days per year where it's below zero. In an ideal world where stuff is free, the answer to the question 'Should I have a separate set of winter tires?" would be yes I assume, but in reality, would they be needed?
    If you have another car, then drive that on any day where it might get cold. Wunderground has email notification. If you take trips up north during the winter, then that's your justification for a second set of wheels and tires.
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  7. #17
    S Sig #722 mlascano's Avatar
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    I have had my Model S with 21" summer tires for a week now. We haven't had any snow in Cleveland during this time but the temp has been in the 35-45 degree range, rainy weather, dipping down to 30 a couple of days.
    Even though this is my first time driving a car with summer perf tires (all previous ones have had all-seasons), I must say the car feels fine in these conditions.
    I am waiting to have the winter package sent to me from Tesla Chicago Service (back order as many have already noted) and I am told they are taking into consideration the fact that heavy snow is upon us and give priority for delivery to those in heavy winter weather areas. Crossing my fingers, hoping we don't get snow before then. If so, time to park the Model S and back to calling Tesla for delivery updates (déjà vu all over again!)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have had my Model S with 21" summer tires for a week now. We haven't had any snow in Cleveland during this time but the temp has been in the 35-45 degree range, rainy weather, dipping down to 30 a couple of days.
    Even though this is my first time driving a car with summer perf tires (all previous ones have had all-seasons), I must say the car feels fine in these conditions.
    I am waiting to have the winter package sent to me from Tesla Chicago Service (back order as many have already noted) and I am told they are taking into consideration the fact that heavy snow is upon us and give priority for delivery to those in heavy winter weather areas. Crossing my fingers, hoping we don't get snow before then. If so, time to park the Model S and back to calling Tesla for delivery updates (déjà vu all over again!)

  8. #18
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    My current Infiniti has summer tires, and I don't swap into my winter tires unless there is snow and ice or if it drops below freezing. Last winter was very mild, and I drove all winter on them with temps between 32 and 40. Should I expect the Tesla tires to be worse than my Infiniti's? Will I need to swap them out even with temps above freezing? I van't tell if y'all are just being super cautious or if the tires really are that bad in the cold.

  9. #19
    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    I van't tell if y'all are just being super cautious or if the tires really are that bad in the cold.
    With no actual experience on that particular tire, I'm erring on the side of caution. Having tires that turn to wood when it's cold is no fun (been there, done that). In general that's what high performance tires do but there are exceptions. The problem is that even if they are okay on dry pavement when it's cold, hit a patch of ice and you'll have more excitement that most folks want.
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  10. #20
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    I think things have been blown a wee bit out of proportion here.

    i have experience with both Michelin Pilot Sports and Bridgestone Potenzas. they do not "turn to wood" in the cold. even in the teen temperatures, they will work just fine. will they grip if you rip the car around a curve like they would in the summer? no. but they are not in any sense dangerous or un-usable. for normal driving the ride is virtually the same as in warm weather.

    now, when it comes to any kind of frozen precipitation, i can not over-state/exaggerate this enough: SUMMER TIRES ARE ABSOLUTELY USELESS AND VERY DANGEROUS TO DRIVE ON.

    quick story: picked up my brand new BMW 328 with Sport package (Bridgestone Potenza summer performance tires) in January of 2008. second day i had it, i go to the grocery store on a Sunday. mid-day. cloudy with chance of flurries. was dry when i pulled into the store, but when i came out, it has just started a light flurry. no big deal, i thought, home is less than 10 min away. got to my development and the road was juuuust beginning to get a covering, but it was so light you could still see the black road underneath. well i get to a moderately steep hill going 30mph. in the middle of the hill, my car stops going forward, comes to a stop, then starts drifting backwards (all with my foot evenly and lightly on the gas). i ended up on the grass on the side of the road, in someone's yard. could have been a lot worse, but WOW. lesson learned. had to wait 3 days for the snow to melt before i could drive it the half-mile home. so embarrassing.

    long story short: the tires are okay in the cold, NOT okay with any kind of ice/snow whatsoever.

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