Model 3 Replacement Tire Discussion (OEM sizes only)

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Mad Hungarian

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#1
Hi all,

Since I often get the question "What is the best replacement tire for my Model 3?" and there are SO many possible answers based on what qualities you value in a tire, I thought we should start a dedicated thread for it. Despite Trevor's fancy title bestowed upon me I am definitely NOT the end-all-be-all repository of tire knowledge here, by now through sheer experience of trying so many different replacement tire solutions in so many different regions and conditions the TOO Hive Mind should be a much more powerful collective resource to figure out and share what works best for each owner and their particular needs. Knowing this I really hope those of you who've already replaced tires will chime in with your experiences.

Note this thread is ONLY to discuss direct replacement of the 235/45R18, 235/40R19 and 235/35R20 sizes that come OE on Model 3.
If you want to talk different sizes of tires or any kind of wheel changes we have a good thread for this broad topic already going here in Maintenance, the Wheel/Tyre Discussion, or a whole slew of such threads over in Customizing and Modifications.
So please, let's stick to strictly straight-up tire replacement here as much as possible.

When asking for recommendations, please be as specific as you can. One of the most useful and concise things you can do is make a list of the top things you seek and rank them in importance. This will really help us all zero in on what we think is a match, e.g.:

1. Ride Comfort
2. Low noise
3. Range / Low rolling resistance
4. Cost
5. Tread wear / Durability
6. Performance / Handling
7. Other thing(s) important to you, etc.

Likewise when answering and describing your experiences / giving advice about the OE tires or replacements you may have tried you can do the same kind of ranking as above for what you liked and disliked about them.

Or conversely in both asking or answering you can do like me and write a long, over dramatic story about your relationship history with former tires, the thrill of new loves, the despair of dashed hopes and broken dreams, and finally finding your perfect match.
I will LOVE this, however no guarantees everyone else here will not nod off halfway through.
The choice is yours :)
 
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SoFlaModel3

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#2
I'm coming up on tires very, so here it goes...

First of all, is that a typo or is there a different spec in Canada? My tires are 235/40R19

Now for the actual question, it seems the only "quiet" tires is to go right back to the Conti ProContact RX tires. Do you think I am reading too much into just how quiet these tires are? The main reason behind my question is that on highways that haven't been paved in a while (most down here) the car is insanely loud at speed where as when I hit freshly paved road it's silent. I like the silence, but more so worried about a louder tire being even worse on those older patches of road.

PS, I'd love to save money (without sacrifice of course) and my local tire shop has me at $1,170 USD for the 4 tires mounted and balanced. That's about $120 more than Tire Rack so it seems fair.

What say you oh wise one? ;)

Thanks in advance!
 

TM3LRPW

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#3
Asking for recommendations to replace the stock Areo tires on my M3 LR RWD:

1. Low noise
2. Ride Comfort
3. Tread wear /Durability
4. Cost
5. Performance / Handling

I live in North Texas, mostly city daily driving with the occasional vacation road trip.
Any help would be appreciated.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#4
I'm coming up on tires very, so here it goes...

First of all, is that a typo or is there a different spec in Canada? My tires are 235/40R19

Now for the actual question, it seems the only "quiet" tires is to go right back to the Conti ProContact RX tires. Do you think I am reading too much into just how quiet these tires are? The main reason behind my question is that on highways that haven't been paved in a while (most down here) the car is insanely loud at speed where as when I hit freshly paved road it's silent. I like the silence, but more so worried about a louder tire being even worse on those older patches of road.

PS, I'd love to save money (without sacrifice of course) and my local tire shop has me at $1,170 USD for the 4 tires mounted and balanced. That's about $120 more than Tire Rack so it seems fair.

What say you oh wise one? ;)

Thanks in advance!
Definitely a typo (fixed :)).

One that I really like for its all-around competence in this size is Yokohama's Advan Sport A/S, very reasonably priced, definitely on the quieter side of the spectrum (although probably not quite as quiet as the Contis) and has a nice lively, fun feel to it while still offering good comfort.

It's too bad Conti doesn't offer their stellar ExtremeContact DWS 06 in this size, it performs significantly better than the more touring-oriented LX and isn't really much louder. Conti does however offer their PureContact LS, which is about as comfy as you can get in this size but still performs OK. I did have its immediate predecessor, PureContact, on the car for the trip to Florida this February and those were definitely on the noisy side but did a fantastic job at handling every condition imaginable on that trip with ease. Apparently this new LS version is much quieter, but I haven't yet tried it myself.

One that seems to be getting a lot of favorable impression for its efficiency, durability and notable quietness is the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Not the cheapest choice, but when you factor in Consumer Reports rated it one of the longest lasting UHP tires they ever tested the value proposition is there. A few complaints about grip in the rain though, not unexpected with such a hard compound, so not sure if it's the ultimate pick for the kind of crazy rains you sometimes get in Florida.

No matter what you go with you're going to get noise on those older sections of road down there, especially the concrete stuff. No tire will kill that completely and unfortunately it just stands out so much more in our cars because they're so damn quiet to begin with.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#5
Asking for recommendations to replace the stock Areo tires on my M3 LR RWD:

1. Low noise
2. Ride Comfort
3. Tread wear /Durability
4. Cost
5. Performance / Handling

I live in North Texas, mostly city daily driving with the occasional vacation road trip.
Any help would be appreciated.
Looking at that shopping list it's hard not to put the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus at the top of the list, it certainly nails the first 3 priorities and as it falls mid-range in pricing satisfies the 4th as well.
If it weren't for its relatively quick wearing nature or higher price the OE Michelin Primacy MXM4 would be right there with it, it's really hard to beat this tire as a perfect match for the Model 3 for anyone who drives the car normally or in an occasionally mildly spirited manner.
Still somewhat new but getting nice reviews for all around competency with a focus on comfort is Yokohama's AVID Ascend GT, I'll be curious to see what folks think of it on Model 3 as we see more sets get out there.
There is also the Continental PureContact LS which is suuuuper comfortable, but since I haven't heard back from anyone with a Tesla I'm not sure what the noise level is like on our cars. As I mentioned in the reply to SoFla above, the original was pretty noisy but Conti claims to have reduced that considerably in this new LS version and the reports from ICE owners using them seems to bear that out.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#6
Definitely a typo (fixed :)).

One that I really like for its all-around competence in this size is Yokohama's Advan Sport A/S, very reasonably priced, definitely on the quieter side of the spectrum (although probably not quite as quiet as the Contis) and has a nice lively, fun feel to it while still offering good comfort.

It's too bad Conti doesn't offer their stellar ExtremeContact DWS 06 in this size, it performs significantly better than the more touring-oriented LX and isn't really much louder. Conti does however offer their PureContact LS, which is about as comfy as you can get in this size but still performs OK. I did have its immediate predecessor, PureContact, on the car for the trip to Florida this February and those were definitely on the noisy side but did a fantastic job at handling every condition imaginable on that trip with ease. Apparently this new LS version is much quieter, but I haven't yet tried it myself.

One that seems to be getting a lot of favorable impression for its efficiency, durability and notable quietness is the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Not the cheapest choice, but when you factor in Consumer Reports rated it one of the longest lasting UHP tires they ever tested the value proposition is there. A few complaints about grip in the rain though, not unexpected with such a hard compound, so not sure if it's the ultimate pick for the kind of crazy rains you sometimes get in Florida.

No matter what you go with you're going to get noise on those older sections of road down there, especially the concrete stuff. No tire will kill that completely and unfortunately it just stands out so much more in our cars because they're so damn quiet to begin with.
That's Ian! Looks like the Pirelli comes in at $50/tire and hey I'll take $200!

Will do a bit more reading. I'd hate to stick with the Conti if it's just the foam that doesn't do much anyway.
 

mswlogo

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#8
Looking at that shopping list it's hard not to put the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus at the top of the list, it certainly nails the first 3 priorities and as it falls mid-range in pricing satisfies the 4th as well.
If it weren't for its relatively quick wearing nature or higher price the OE Michelin Primacy MXM4 would be right there with it, it's really hard to beat this tire as a perfect match for the Model 3 for anyone who drives the car normally or in an occasionally mildly spirited manner.
Still somewhat new but getting nice reviews for all around competency with a focus on comfort is Yokohama's AVID Ascend GT, I'll be curious to see what folks think of it on Model 3 as we see more sets get out there.
There is also the Continental PureContact LS which is suuuuper comfortable, but since I haven't heard back from anyone with a Tesla I'm not sure what the noise level is like on our cars. As I mentioned in the reply to SoFla above, the original was pretty noisy but Conti claims to have reduced that considerably in this new LS version and the reports from ICE owners using them seems to bear that out.
Yes, the 19" Pirelli P7+ meets the first 5 bullets. I'm getting the same efficiency as I did with my Primacy Aero's (with covers) !!
I'm sure they don't compete with the OEM Continentals for handling or stopping. But that is more of a performance summer tire.
I love the P7+. Since I'm also running Winter Tires I'll only be putting around 8K miles a year on the P7+. So I don't expect to replace them for at least 5 years.
I run my AWD Performance in Chill and I'm averaging 230 wh/mi for the last 1300 miles with these tires (that's with very little HVAC right now and with Door tag 42 psi cold). Couldn't be happier.

Since my Xi3 snows and now the P7+ have no foam now (both quieter than Primacy's with foam BTW) I can add the "Fix-a-flat" goo as part of my emergency kit as well, win win.
 
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Charlie W

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#9
Admittedly, I don't know very much about tires -- which is why I'm glad for this thread. Just now, when I went on the Tire Rack site & entered my car's information (2018, Model 3, 18" wheels, RWD. My car came with Michelin Primacy MXM4s), the "Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season" tire (@ $188.50 for my zip code) was one of the choices. A separate search showed the "Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus" tire (@ $208.50 according to @SoFlaModel3's photo above) -- but it also said "This tire (the Plus) isn't available for your 2018 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive." Might that be because @SoFlaModel3 has dual motors and I don't? Briefly, what's the difference between the "Regular" tire & the "Plus." Just wondering.

~Charlie W
 

Mad Hungarian

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#10
Admittedly, I don't know very much about tires -- which is why I'm glad for this thread. Just now, when I went on the Tire Rack site & entered my car's information (2018, Model 3, 18" wheels, RWD. My car came with Michelin Primacy MXM4s), the "Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season" tire (@ $188.50 for my zip code) was one of the choices. A separate search showed the "Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus" tire (@ $208.50 according to @SoFlaModel3's photo above) -- but it also said "This tire (the Plus) isn't available for your 2018 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive." Might that be because @SoFlaModel3 has dual motors and I don't? Briefly, what's the difference between the "Regular" tire & the "Plus." Just wondering.

~Charlie W
SoFla has 19”, where the P7+ is offered in identical replacement spec. However the reason they’re not showing the Plus version in 18” is because that size doesn’t have the 98 XL (Extra Load) load index of your OE tire, it’s a lower 94 SL (Standard Load) load index. A lot of distributors won’t sell you a tire that has a lower load index number, but in the case of Model 3 this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me as the Performance model comes OE on a 20” with a 92 load index, which is still more than enough to carry the car’s weight.
I see no issues using the 235/45R18 P7+ if you wanted to.
 

P-Lo801

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#11
I posted this in the wheel/tyre thread, so i'll repost it for additional information, to help me make a better informed decision.

These are my priorities in this order:

1. Range - no less than what i'm currently getting with OE MXM4
2. Comfort/noise - willing to take a hit on this knowing that I will not be getting Tesla tires with the foam inserts, but the least possible noise increase preferred
3. Performance - basically want tires that can handle the torque the same way the OEM MXM4s do. I like that when I want to launch it to show off my car's 0-60 to passengers, I get no screeching. I also want it to be able to handle the occasional spirited driving through twists and curves. I will not be doing any tracking on this whatsoever.

Here's what i've narrowed down my choices to:

Continental PureContact LS - i'm leaning towards this because I think it checks off on all of my priorities above. The bonus is that it weighs a little over 23lbs. Combined with the 19" wheels that I just got (forgestar CF5V), which are 20lbs, i'll shave off more than 3lbs each corner compared to my OEM aero setup.

Vredestein Quatrac 5 - Based on the number of reviews on tirerack, these have significantly more than the PureContact LS, and are 3-peak mountain snowflake certified. The cost is also a huge plus. According to the reviews i've read, these can be regarded as summer friendly winter tires. My only hesitation is the weight, which is 26lbs. Would it really make a difference compared to weighing 3lbs more than the LS?

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus - Has the most reviews, and what really catches my attention is the ratings on noise and comfort. Plus, it seems to offer the same performance and range as the other two above. Cost is between the other two as well. Only downside is the wet weather performance, but it's not like i'll be driving spiritedly during rainy conditions anyway.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#12
Be a little careful with that logic because stresses may be different with different aspect ratios. Also tires are not chosen just on the weight of the car they can support. They might be fine but it’s hard to know if they are appropriate for every metric Tesla spec’d the Primacy’s at.
Actually the overall handling and traction characteristics are FAR more affected by choices in the carcass shape, construction materials, compound... hell, even minor adjustments to belt tension will change how the car responds.
The minute you replace the OEM tires with anything else other than the identical units you are for sure going to have a different outcome. The load index is just one of many such variables but choosing a lower one that still exceeds the vehicle's GAWR requirements when correctly inflated is not inherently problematic. I've tested plenty of vehicles with lower LI tires that performed admirably and others with tires that had the OE LI but performed markedly worse in many areas. This is why having an open forum discussing real world experiences with making different choices in the same size so valuable.
 
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Feathermerchant

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#13
1 Ride Comfort
2 Performance / Handling
3 Range
4 Safe amount of sidewall
5 Quietness


First of all, my preferences are hard for ma to order because they are all very important. #4 is not 1/4 as important as #1 for example.
Second, I did change wheels and tires from the OEM 20" 'performance'. But I retained the stock width. I was after great performance and significantly more range while getting a better ride and more sidewall.
I ended up with 18X85 wheels (OEM size).
The tires I bought are 245/45 18 Michelin Primacy MXM4 1,764lb@50psi They were on sale for $175 each and do not rub.
I am very happy with them.
 

HCD3

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#14
That's Ian! Looks like the Pirelli comes in at $50/tire and hey I'll take $200!

Will do a bit more reading. I'd hate to stick with the Conti if it's just the foam that doesn't do much anyway.
Agreed SoFla. My Contis, to me, aren’t super quiet. I installed the rubber gasket around the roof which doe seem to help. The only noise I hear at speed is the tires. There’s gotta be a quieter tire. I’d give up a little range for quiet.
 

GDN

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#15
Vredestein Quatrac 5 - Based on the number of reviews on tirerack, these have significantly more than the PureContact LS, and are 3-peak mountain snowflake certified. The cost is also a huge plus. According to the reviews i've read, these can be regarded as summer friendly winter tires. My only hesitation is the weight, which is 26lbs. Would it really make a difference compared to weighing 3lbs more than the LS?
I started researching tires a couple of weeks back and came across this tire based on the priority questions at the tirerack website. Also curious if anyone has feedback on this tire or brand? I've never heard of the brand before at all, but for the price and the reviews I almost want to look no further - this seems to be a winner. I just don't know anything about them. Would appreciate any real world feedback with the brand or tire.
 

Mesprit87

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#16
I ran this brand for winter (wintrac pro) and they were quieter than my original Michelin (altough not the grippiest in deep snow). Good quality from my point of view. Used to run quadtrac4 on my corrado and I my Lotus currently run on a set of Vreds too. It is a serious company that's been distributed in Quebec for quite a while. The 5 should be quieter than what I used last winter.
I know the way I sound... No I don't sell them;)
 

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syc1

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SoFlaModel3

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#19
What difference does the tread width between the Pirelli (7.1") vs the Continental (8.2") do? What are the pros/cons?
I don’t know what section width vs tread width is and where the 2 come into play. @Mad Hungarian can you enlighten us on this one?
 

Mad Hungarian

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#20
I don’t know what section width vs tread width is and where the 2 come into play. @Mad Hungarian can you enlighten us on this one?
Sure thing, let's actually take a quick dive into how Euro-metric tire width dimensions really work, like most things in my life it's a bit weirder than you might think...

A common misconception when talking about tires that the width number shown in the size (in this case 235 mm) is a measurement of how wide the tread is. This dimension is actually the Section Width, which in is the widest point of the tire as measured from sidewall-to-sidewall. See the diagram I just borrowed from Continental below.
You may notice there is also an additional dimension called Overall width which is just a hair larger, that would be the Section Width plus the added height of any protruding lettering on the sidewall, but this isn't commonly used for fitment purposes.

1559562532625-png.26498



As we can see, the Tread Width is somewhat narrower than the Section Width and can also vary quite a bit for a given tire size due to differences in the curvature of the shoulder area, where the tread edge meets the sidewall. A tire with a very "square" shoulder will tend to have a wider tread width than one with a much more rounded shape. This is open for the tire company to determine.

Although the measured Section Width dimension IS a defined standard governed by tire manufacturing oversight organizations (in this case the ETRTO), it's interesting to note that the Section Width is not a "fixed" dimension per se, it will vary with the width of the rim you install it on. This is why in all the detailed tire specifications you will see a listing for the Permissible Rim Width range, which shown the narrowest and widest rim widths that the tire may be legally installed on, and also the Measured Rim Width which indicates which exact width of rim the tire was installed and inflated on to obtain the rated Section Width. If that wasn't enough, the rated Section Width very often isn't exactly the dimension we expect either. Here's an excerpt from our tire database that shows the full ETRTO specs for a 235/40R19:

1559565711047-png.26499


Notice something interesting the 14th column, Design - Section Width on measured rim? It says 241, doesn't it? That's not a mistake, this how wide the ETRTO says a 235/40R19 is supposed to be when installed on the specified 8.5" wide rim. So even under the best of circumstances a 235 is NOT really a 235. And for an idea of how much it widens or narrows depending on the width of rim chosen, have a look at the Section Width vs. Rim Width columns at the end.

As to what the pros/cons are of a wider Tread Width vs a narrower one, that's just one of a huge number of variables that go into tire design and it's kind of outside the scope of this thread to get into it (in fact the so is the whole Section-Tread width discussion, but I figured we could cheat a little & kill an oft-asked one). What matters is that the whole package delivers on what it was designed to do.
 
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