Winter is coming, and it’s essential to stay safe with winter tires. As the weather changes, roads can become slicker with ice and snow resulting in less traction for regular tires. That’s why it is important to equip your Tesla Model 3 with winter tires.
What are the best winter tires for the Tesla Model 3?
- Pirelli Sottozero 2 or 3
- Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
- Hankook Winter I*cept Evo2
- Michelin Pilot Alpin 4
- Michelin X-Ice 3
- Nokian Hakkapelitas 8
- Bridgestone Blizzaks WS80
Pirelli Sottozero 2 or 3
The Pirelli Sottozero tires are the highest rated by Tesla owners and the only tires officially recommended by Tesla. The tread pattern is designed to handle snow and ice. These are available in most Tesla shops. The Pirelli Sottozero tires are more expensive, but one of the top recommendations for winter tires.
Not only are Pirelli Sottozeros capable in snow, but they also perform well in ice and rain. They are a great tire for any kind of weather driving you’ll be doing.
Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
Looking for a less expensive option? The Dunlop Winter Maxx 2’s are a cheaper version of Tesla’s recommended winter tires. The Dunlop Winter Maxx tires come highly reviewed by Tesla drivers as well as other drivers since these tires fit on a variety of vehicles.
The wide tread on the Dunlop Winter Maxx 2’s allow for more tread to ice traction. As a driver, you will have a lot more control of the wheels when using these tires.
Hankook Winter I*cept Evo2
The Hankook Winter tires are known for providing a quiet and comfortable ride. Many winter tires can become very noisy, but not the Hankook tires. If you live in a snowy place, the Hankook Winter I*cept Evo2 are great for snow. Reviews come mixed for performance with ice, but these tires can handle the snow.
There is an increase in road noise associated with the Hankook Winter I*cept Evo2 tires. However, most winter tires will result in a louder drive.
Michelin Pilot Alpin 4
The Michelin tires were initially designed for Porches, but they will fit on a Tesla Model 3. These were specially made for cold-weather Porsche drivers, so you’ll be in good company with the Michelin set of tires on your Tesla Model 3.
The Michelin Pilot Alpin 4 come highly reviewed. Although they were originally designed for high-end vehicles, many users report successful use with other models of cars.
Michelin X-Ice 3
The Michelin X-Ice 3 were specially designed to reduce fuel consumption in traditional vehicles. They will no doubt help you conserve energy while driving your Tesla in the winter. The Michelin X-Ice 3’s are great for sedans, coupes, and small SUVs.
It is recommended that you purchase these tires in sets of four to avoid mixing with other tires, even previous models of the Michelin X-Ice.
Nokian Hakkapelitas 8
The Nokian Hakkapelitas 8 tires are another highly reviewed alternative to the standard Tesla recommended winter tires. These Hakkapelitas provide a solid grip on ice and snow. The Hakkapelitas provide responsive steering and quick breaking to ensure you are safe in the harsh weather conditions. Nokian is a Finnish brand.
The Nokian Hakkapelitas 8 are studded winter tires, which make them different than the other tires on the list. The stud helps to increase grip on the road while also breaking ice apart.
Bridgestone Blizzaks WS80
The Bridgestone Blizzaks are highly reviewed and rated by consumers. These winter tires provide excellent traction. Their design allows to distribute the force of the vehicle evenly among the ground providing for additional stability while driving in even the worst of conditions.
The Bridgestone Blizzak tires are great for the value of the tire. They also come with Bridgestone’s tire warranty.
Why Do You Need Winter Tires?
Winter tires are an essential safety piece that you can add to your Tesla for more extreme weather conditions. If you’re new to colder weather, you might be wondering why you need to switch out your tires for a seasonal change.
Cold weather stiffens regular tires causing them to lose traction. If you have your regular tires on, you will lose traction from the tire’s expansion as well as the snow and/or ice on the road.
The deep tread and different tread patterns on winter tires reduce snow build-up in your tire. Snow build-up in the tread can result in the loss of traction.
Deep sipes, which are slits in the tires, break through the water better and prevent hydroplaning. These deep sipes are a common feature of winter tires.
Other Winter Accessories For Your Tesla Model 3
In addition to equipping your Tesla Model 3 with winter tires, there are other important items that you can purchase to keep yourself safe throughout the winter.
Rubber Floor Mats
We recommend these. Rubber floor mats will protect the carpet from water and snow. These floor mats are incredibly easy to clean. They will prevent a mildew smell from starting in your Tesla’s carpet.
Thankfully, Tesla recently launched their own all-weather floor mats. These will fit perfectly in your Tesla Model 3, and you won’t have to rely on third-party shops.
We recommend this one. It’s essential to always carry a snow scraper in your car in case of any ice build-up. You can remove any ice build-up on your windows so you can see out of your vehicle. One of the most dangerous things in winter is low visibility, so you want to make sure you can quickly see out of any windows.
We recommend this one. Since the days are shorter during the winter, it’s always important to be prepared by keeping a flashlight (with fully charged batteries) in your car. Hopefully, you never have to use it, but it can be life-saving in the winter. Flashlights are also helpful in checking that your Tesla sensors are clear of any debris.
We recommend this one. It’s easy to throw a warm blanket in the back of your car in case of emergencies. Blankets can also be used in place of using more heat. And, since your heater drains the battery, a blanket can keep you warm while prolonging your Tesla’s battery charge. Blankets can come in handy in any season.
We recommend this one. You can purchase a screen wash to add to your wiper fluid to prevent icing from occurring in the washer fluid as well as on the windshield. It’s always good to add some screen wash to your wiper fluid in the fall to prepare for the winter months.
How Do Teslas Perform in the Winter?
Teslas are best in warmer weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive your Tesla all winter long. Just be aware of some of the limitations of your Tesla Model 3 during the colder winter.
The range is shortened during the winter. Heating the vehicle requires more energy resulting in a shorter range.
Charging can take longer in cold weather. If the battery is cold, it must first warm-up to be charged. Tesla batteries cannot charge while frozen.
Be sure always to keep your sensors clean for Autopilot. Vehicles can get incredibly dirty from the ice, snow, and salt on the roadways. Keep your sensors clean to ensure maximum performance from your Autopilot during the winter.
Using Snow Chains
Remember that show chains should only be used on the rear tires of your Tesla Model 3. Snow chains can cause damage to the suspension of other Tesla models.
Snow chains are used when there is a layer of snow and ice between tire and road. The snow chains are used to create traction. There are a lot of laws surrounding snow chains because if they are misused, they will cause a lot of damage to the streets. Be sure to look up your local laws regarding snow chains before use.
Changing a Tesla Tire
The Tesla Model 3 does not come with a spare, so you might not be familiar with the dos and don’ts of changing a tire on your Tesla. There are some unique things to keep in mind while changing a tire on a Tesla that make it different than other vehicles.
Remember to put your car on “Jack Mode.” Placing the vehicle in the “Jack Mode” will let the Tesla Model 3 know that you’re planning on lifting it so the sensors can adjust appropriately.
Make sure the jack is placed under the jack pad and not the battery. If you lift the car at the battery site, you can cause significant damage to the vehicle’s battery pack.
Your TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sensors will need to be replaced during any tire change.
There’s a lot of small things that can go wrong during a tire change on a Tesla, so unless you’re a pro, it might be beneficial to call support or have your winter tires installed in a shop specializing in Tesla vehicles.
Tips for Driving a Tesla in Winter
- Turn Off Auto-Wipers: This can drain the battery and also cause damage if your windshield is covered in snow or ice. It’s best to turn off the auto-wipers during the winter, so you don’t accidentally cause damage to your windshield or the windshield wiper blades themselves.
- Pre-Heat For the Battery: Pre-heating your Tesla can be an excellent option when it’s freezing out, but it can also help your battery. When you pre-heat the vehicle, the battery will also get heated up, giving it time to acclimate.
- Apply Silicone Lube to Window Seals: This will help prevent your windows from getting stuck with ice or snow. To open the door on your Tesla Model 3, the windows must be rolled down. You don’t want to be locked out of your car in the middle of a snowstorm, so it’s essential to apply lubricant early in the winter to prevent any issues later on.
- Park in a Garage: It’s recommended by Tesla to always park in a garage or at least under a carport. Parking in a garage will keep your Tesla warmer and prevent a lot of ice build-up. Garages and even covered parking spots are a little warmer, so it will be less likely for your battery to freeze over.
- Battery Won’t Charge if Below Freezing: Remember that your battery will not charge if it is too cold, so it’s best to either charge your vehicle immediately after arriving home or in the early hours of the morning. This is also why it’s crucial to pre-heat your car so that the battery can warm up to be used for driving.
Are Tesla Model 3’s All-Wheel Drive?
All-Wheel Drive vehicles are often recommended for driving in the snow. The recommendation of AWD is due to the motors on both the front and back set of tires allow for more traction.
Older Tesla Model 3’s are only Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD). RWD means that there was only a motor on the back set of wheels.
Tesla recently discontinued the RWD Model 3 and is now only offering Four Wheel Drive (4WD) on all future Model 3’s. 4WD is different than AWD and is better suited for snowy weather as it can handle more rugged terrain.
Tire Tips to Remember
Tires are incredibly crucial as they are what connects you, as the driver, directly to the road. No matter what time of year, it’s important to remember these tire tips and tricks:
- Rotate Your Tires: It is recommended to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Rotating your tires will ensure an even wear on all four tires. Tires do not wear evenly. You’ll want to rotate your tires to prevent uneven wear and a bumpy ride.
- Keep an Eye on Tire Pressure: It’s essential to keep your tire pressure at the recommended pressure. Not sure what that recommended pressure is? Check on the inside of your driver’s side door, and you’ll see a chart showing the optimal PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) is for your make and model. Be sure to check the tire pressure regularly and keep the tires in line. Maintaining the correct tire pressure will create the perfect traction from your tire to the street. You don’t want to be alerted to a low tire from your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
- Check Tread Depth: Tire tread is the amount of rubber that is touching the road. A worn-out tread can result in loss of traction, making it difficult to steer. It’s essential to regularly check your tire tread to ensure your safety while on the road.
The Penny Test
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to test your tire tread is commonly referred to as the Penny Test. It’s a straightforward test that only requires a penny. And, chances are, you probably have an extra penny or two in your car right now.
Take the penny and point Abe’s head towards the tire. Place the penny between the tread ribs of your tire.
You shouldn’t be able to see Abe’s head anymore. This means your tire is within the 2/32″ threshold for tread. However, if you can still see Abe’s head, you’re due for replacing your tires.
Auto shops sell tire gauges that will easily measure your tread, but why spend the money when you can easily use a penny to check on your tire tread?
What Is The Range for a Tesla Model 3?
Under normal circumstances, Tesla Model 3’s have a range of 310 miles. The range of 310 miles is a confirmed figure from Tesla.
Some factors can change the range for your Tesla. Most notably, weather can have an adverse effect on your available range. The typical range for a Tesla Model 3 in winter is 269 miles.
Unfortunately, there is no way to increase the standard range of 310 miles for your Tesla. Many speculate that Tesla will continue to increase the range with newer releases, but this has not been confirmed.
General Winter Driving Tips and Tricks
Driving in winter weather, no matter what kind of vehicle can be incredibly dangerous. Be sure to be safe to avoid any accidents.
It’s best to slow down in the winter. Road conditions can be unknown until you’re skidding on some ice. Drive slow to maintain your vehicle’s traction.
If there is a big storm coming, only drive if necessary. Driving in ice and snow is a dangerous thing, so, during the snowstorms, joy rides are not advised. Keep the car in the garage until the weather clears up.
Remember to increase your stopping distance while driving in the winter. Snow and ice on the road can make stopping more difficult. It’s best to keep extra stopping distance to avoid rear-ending the car in front of you at any sudden stops.
Driving with your lights on, even during the day-time, increases visibility. It does get darker faster in the winter months, but your headlights increase visibility during snowstorms. It’s best to leave them on all winter to stay as safe as possible.
And always allow for extra time to get where you need to go. If it usually takes you fifteen minutes to get to the store, allow for twenty to twenty-five minutes during the winter. Give yourself more time to get where you need to go. Allowing yourself extra time will prevent you from trying to speed and make your drive more relaxed since you’re not racing against the clock.