A while back I wrote about the process of buying a second set of wheels and winter tires in preparation for the upcoming New England winter.
I waited until I saw the first flakes of snow and then scheduled to have the wheels put on and wanted to write about the experience.
In preparation for the install (and since i’m still nervous about having non-Tesla people touch the car), I put together a quick Tesla Model S Tire Cheat Sheet for the Tire guys that showed the jack points, had the recommended tire pressures and lug nut torque recommendations.
The installation was simple and quick. The tire place used two heavy duty hand jacks to lift the entire left side of the car, take the tires off, put on the new ones and then repeat on the right side. They used an air wrench to take the nuts off and put them back on before lowering each side.
The air wrench was limited to 100 lbs/ft torque and they hand tightened to the recommend 129 lbs/ft torque after all 4 wheels were on and the car was back on the ground.
The TPMS reset process is simple and has been covered before with some great videos that I found helpful. I also found that while the warning said the reset would take 10 minutes it only took a couple minutes for the reset to take place.
I realized after I did the reset that I was carrying the other wheels in the car at the time and was worried the system would be confused with essentially 8 TPMS sensors to find. Fortunately it correctly set for the new wheels and i’ve had no problems since installation.
New Driving Experience
Driving on the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2’s that I got has been a different experience — the tires feel “squishy”. From my research I expected pretty poor traction for the first few hundred miles (300 miles is a good rule of thumb) so I was extra careful with slower acceleration, tight turns etc for a while. They definitely were slippery in those early miles and my traction control kicked in more than i’ve ever seen it do, especially on wet roads.
After I got about 300 miles on the tires I started pushing them a bit harder and while they’re not as good as the standard Michelin Primacy tires that came on the car in the dry weather and the driving feel, they grip well.
Some owners have had concerns with slippage under heavy acceleration on dry roads and one owner posted a video of his experience. When the video was posted I was still in the break in period so I didn’t get a chance to test the tires until just recently, but when I tried to recreate a similar starting/ending acceleration test I had no traction control kick ins and no feeling of slippage. I took a short video (sorry for the poor quality — doing this while driving isn’t good or particularly safe):
Overall i’ve been happy with the new tires and I love the look of my TST wheels. I’m looking forward to testing them out in snowy/slushy/icy environments where they’re designed to excel.
Its not really correct to judge tires designed for winter conditions against the all season tires which are designed for a different objective.
From all the reviews and reading I did I fully expect these Nokians to get my Model S through the harsh New England winter months in one piece.
Are the Nokian’s producing road noise? If so, is it louder or quieter than that produced by the Michelin Primacy tires? And thanks for the tire change cheat sheet…. nicely done! Keep up the great work!
They’re a bit nosier than the primacys but I’m not too sensitive to road noise.
Glad the cheat sheet was helpful. I kept cobbling one each time I had tire work done so I figured i’d make it more accessible.
Also wondering how the Michelin Primacy’s are wearing on your S85? Could be the topic of a post some day.
So far they seem to be wearing ok but I’m learning on how to know that for sure and doing some study. Definitely a post coming on that front!
lol, thanks. I should have RTM. I must have skipped the section in my original reading since I didn’t get it. Look for an update this weekend.
Love the post. On thing that would be great to add to the cheat sheet would be the instructions on how to put the car in VERY HIGH from an air suspension and JACK mode so the air suspension does not attempt to self level while the wheels are being changed.
Thats a great idea! I don’t have air suspension. Do you know the procedure?
Here is the text from the manual
Follow the steps below to lift Model S. Ensure that any non-Tesla repair facility is aware of these lifting points.
1. Position Model S centrally between the lift posts.
2. If your Model S is equipped with Smart Air Suspension, it automatically self-levels, even when power is off. Use the touchscreen to set the suspension as follows:
• Touch Controls > Driving. • Press the brake pedal, then touch Very High to maximize the height of the suspension. • Touch Jack to disable self-leveling.
When Jack mode is active, Model S displays this indicator light on the instrument panel, along with a message telling you that active suspension is disabled.
3. Position the lift arm pads under the body rails at the locations illustrated. DO NOT position the lift arm pads under the Battery. 4. Adjust the height and position of the lift arm pads to ensure they are correctly located. 5. With assistance, raise the lift, ensuring the lift arm pads remain in their correct positions.
Note: Jack mode cancels when Model S is driven over 4.5 mph (7 km/h).
Warning: If your Model S is equipped with Smart Air Suspension, it automatically self-levels, even when power is off. You MUST disable this system by engaging Jack mode before lifting or jacking. If you do not disable Smart Air Suspension, Model S can attempt to self-level, causing serious damage, bodily injury, or death.
Warning: Never raise Model S when the charge cable is connected, even if charging is not in progress.
Warning: Do not work on an incorrectly support vehicle. Doing so can cause serious damage, bodily injury, or death.
Caution: DO NOT lift from under the Battery. Place the lift arm pads under the body rails only. The locations illustrated are the only approved lifting points for Model S. Lifting at any other points can cause damage. Damage caused by lifting Model S is not covered by the warranty.
118 Model S Owner’s Manual
Hi, just curious how satisfied you are with the Nokians now that we’ve had some real New England snow. I’m seriously considering buying a set now after taking my car out of the garage with about 3″ of snow in the driveway and finding that the Michelins didn’t do very well.
Thanks again for all the great info!
Im planning on doing a post shortly but the net is that I love them. They’ve been great.