Michelin CrossClimate+ 18" tires for Tesla Model 3 are better in snow & rain, protect rims, cost less, but reduce range

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 31 2020 (updated on Jun 27 2020) in
  • Efficiency
  • Review
  • Tesla
  • presskit-700x232

    Note, your Model 3 range might be reduced by as much as 10% with CrossClimate+ tires, at least in the winter. I've decided the trade-off is worth it for me here in New England, see more details below my March 06 2020 update/conclusions, and Electric vehicles are changing the future of auto maintenance - Tires and glass emerge as dominant consumables of the EV era.

    CrossClimate-Plus-treated-with-Carfidant-Ultimate-Tire-Shine-Spray.JPG

    Four little contact patches of rubber are all that is between you and the road in your powerful Tesla. My Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD was made in November of 2018, and it came with the OEM tires that Tesla uses for all North American Model 3s ordered with the default/standard 18" wheel size: Michelin Primacy MXM4 P235/45R18 XL 98W. See also Michelin Primacy Product Page and Tire Rack listing, and Michelin CrossClimate+ Product Page and Tire Rack listing. I had 26,400 miles of mostly highway miles and between 4/32 and 5/32" in tread depth on mine before I proactively replaced all four of them this week. FYI, Tesla had inspected them 3 times for wear in my 13 months of ownership, and Tesla rotated them once at 12,000 miles at my home, using Mobile Service. Given my wife and I sometimes need to get to work even when it snows or rains, and given it's the middle of winter here in New England right now, it was time for a new set of tires.

    TireRackListing

    If you're the TLDR sort, you can skip on down to the video where I test for curb protection and noise levels, my conclusions, and my handy shopping links.


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    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    Research

    I started at Tesla Shop, where you'll find the Model 3 18" Aero Wheel and Winter Tire Package for $2,000, and you can't buy those Pirelli Winter Sottozero tires separately, and they're the Sottozero 2, not the better Sottozero 3 tires.

    snowflake-on-tire.JPG

    So a couple of weeks ago I set out to do some research for another solution. One with that three peak mountain snowflake, but still good year-round. I quickly decided that I wasn't going to invest the time, money, and considerable space required to store a complete set of 4 tires mounted on rims. This was basically required back when I lived in Ithaca NY with a Honda Civic, but not so much living here in Southern New England just 30 miles from the temperature-moderating Atlantic Ocean, so we really don't drive on snow pack very often around here. Certainly not enough to justify the considerable cost of dedicated snows.

    I thought about what I wanted in my next tire, and documented them in this order of priority:

    1. a little better tread life rating than the original tires, for a more economical overall cost of ownership
    2. better performance in snow
    3. better performance in heavy rain
    4. a little less noise would be a bonus, but not essential

    After a pretty exhaustive search, seen in the See Also section below, it quickly became evident that getting a tire with all 4 of my preferences and noise reducing foam inside and low rolling resistance was going to be impossible. Every tire selection is a set of compromises. Gladly, one tire kept popping to the very top of various lists and ratings, the Michelin CrossClimate+, introduced in early 2017, here's the press release:

    • Michelin CrossClimate+ tyres offer consistent through-life traction in snow

      Set for a January/February 2017 launch in 15- to 18-inch tyre sizes, Michelin CrossClimate+ fitments expand on the range’s unique status as a summer tyre with winter capabilities by offering excellent traction on snow-covered roads, from the first mile to the last – with little difference in performance as the tyre tread wears down.

    I believe that the popularity in the Tesla Model 3 greatly contributing to Michelin finally offering this desirable tire in the required P235/45R18 XL 98W size, load, and weight rating in mid-2019. Also interesting to note that the photo at the top of this article from Michelin's CrossClimate+ Product Page Mfg Part Number 18884 UPC 086699188847 actually features a Tesla Model 3 wheel!

    One notable example of the top ratings is on TireRack.com home page. After entering in an 2018 Tesla Model 3 18", there it was, the CrossClimate+, right on top of the list of 37 choices compatible with my ride.

    Load Range

    skytopia

    I tried veering away from the OE (Original Equipment) spec'd (or higher) tires for a bit, finding this popular reddit thread Comparison of best Model 3 compatible tires (18", 19", 20"), sourced from Tirerack.com ratings that includes many tires that don't quite have the same load rating. It also has a pointer to the source of that amazing table of data at skytopia:

    I also found this very helpful review, which features a CrossClimate+ in a slightly wider size:

    all-season-tires-for-the-tesla-model-3-to-keep-things-simple-and-hopefully-safer-cheaper-in-the-long-run

    Wider Tire Size? No, not for me.

    IMG_8986
    Rear underside view of my Tesla Model 3 right rear CrossClimate+ tire in the same P235/45R18 size as the OEM tire.

    Note the author uses a slightly wide tire, to avoid curb rash, and says the noise levels are a little less than the OEM tire. When I began checking online and also contacting local shops for pricing of installation, balancing, 4 wheel alignment, and TPMS sensor reset, I ran into issues with anybody willing to use a tire other than the exact same size and same load rating (or higher). I'd also rather not have a speedometer that isn't perfectly accurate.

    So after an exhaustive search of the next best choices in the list, in the end, I decided to go with the CrossClimate+, crossing my fingers that I'd be able to actually measure whether the sound level was less at 65 mph, using the same test methodology I used here. Read onward to see and hear the results!

    Compare

    Created with data from the table at Skyptopia, and list prices from Michelin MXM4 and CrossClimate+.

            Michelin CrossClimate+  | Michelin Primacy MXM4
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Treadlife Warranty Miles  40,000  45,000
    Treadlife Warranty Years       6       6
    Treadwear                    600     500
    Traction                       A       A
    Temp                           A       A
    Tire weight (lbs)             23      25
    Hydro-planing Resistance     9.5       8.4
    Wet Traction                 9.6       8.4
    Cornering Stability          9.4       8.6
    Dry Traction                 9.5       8.9
    Steering Response            9.4       8.6
    Light Snow Traction          9.4       6.7
    Deep Snow Traction           9.3       5.5
    Ice Traction                 8.9       5.2
    Ride Quality                 9.3       8.6
    Noise                        8.3       8.1
    Treadwear Performance        9.4       7.5
    List Price, Per Tire      $217.99   $288.00

    Consumer Reports

    Seeing this rating sort helped reinforce my decision.

    Usable below 4/32" tread depth? Maybe.

    Here's another helpful article to check out:

    • New VS 4mm VS 2mm All Season Tyre Performance

      The drop in performance can be so vast after 4mm that certain countries where "three peak mountain and snowflake" tyres are a legal requirement for winter driving, they can lose their legality after 4mm, meaning you only get to use half of your tyres tread.

      Should this be the case? Michelin have been making alot of noise recently regarding the negative impact of having to scrap a tyre with half its tread life remaining, and their arguments are compelling. Not only are you costing the customer more, but you're also causing a much higher negative environmental impact by doubling natural resourse usage and doubling waste.

    Warranty Claim for the premature wear of my OEM tires? - Yes!

    This part of the tire search process was a nice surprise. Would the tire shop try to handle filing a warranty claim with Michelin?

    Turns out the answer was yes! $207 dollars worth of yes!

    It was this timely forum post by rideincircles in the Tesla Motors Club Recommended tires M3 Long Range, RWD thread that gave me the idea to ask around:

    This comment goes for anyone in this thread. If you need to replace your first set of Michelin MXM4's, go to a Michelin approved dealer like Discount Tire or another store and they can prorate the discount on the tire warranty. My Michelin cross climate new set was $513 out the door and I got a 60% discount on replacing them at 17k miles. Those tires would have cost $1100+ without the warranty. The only major stipulation is that you need to repalce with new Michelin tires.

    I saw a mention on cross climate's above, and they are better on traction and weather than the MXM4's, but they do seem to be less efficient on that front. I did a 4077 mile road trip on them over the Christmas holidays and overall had no issues, but my average was 315 wh/m for my entire trip. I did not have any issues with noise on mine. They seem about equal on that front, just some surfaces are louder than others.

    Found My Dealer/Installer.

    rocky-hill

    So last week I did exactly that, I asked around.

    At first I had an appointment and a price agreement with Pops Tires, who went ahead and ordere the tires from Michelin, only to have to call me back to let me know their Hunter wheel alignment calibration software wasn't ready. Gladly, he didn't leave me back at square one, referring me to Town Fair Tire of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and offering to transfer the tires to them for my installation. While the price I'd be paying was very slightly higher, Town Fair Tire could get me all squared away in 2 days rather than 2 months. They have 99 locations across New England. I let Pops Tires know how much I appreciated their referral, and that I'd look them up again when the time came for my wife's Model 3 tires to be replaced.

    One very nice perk quickly surfaced when talking to Town Fair Tire. They actually offered to try to get me some money back from Michelin, doing all the paperwork for me! That's right, when you stick with the same brand of tire as the original equipment tire, a big added benefit was that you might get a prorated discount on your new purchase. In their experience, customers usually get their check from Michelin in the mail within 60 to 70 days, but sometimes it can take up to 4 months. The process starts with shipping the used 4 tires back to Michelin, presumably for inspection. I'll believe the check when I see it, of course. Treadlife Warranty Miles for the OEM tires was 45,000 miles, but when their OEM, things get a little muddy, and Tesla will only replace the OEM tires with the same exact tires anyway.

    For me, that check is $206.00, which is $51.75 of credit per tire. This was made as as good-will gesture from Michelin for my situation, after Town Fair Tire called them while I was waiting for my vehicle. Your results might vary, and certainly don't assume you'll get anything back. But you can at least ask when you're shopping around.

    Waiting Room Has Cameras.

    Roadie-view--TinkerTry
    Roadie app, directly connected over WiFi to my Roadie about 80' away through a cinder block wall.

    My Roadie actually allowed me to view (almost-live) footage from 4 of my Model 3's built-in cameras while I waited in the waiting area, right over direct-connect WiFi. But I could also look up at the customer lounge's TV monitors for a live video feed from the shop area, along with another screen indicating repair status and approximately how much longer I'd be waiting. My entire visit was a little under 2 hours, as expected.

    IMG_8921
    Names and status.
    IMG_8909
    You can sort of see the shop from from the live video feed.

    Done! Trust, but verify.

    42psi
    • My new tire pressures were set to 40 psi, despite the receipt indicating 42 psi, and despite the Tesla door sill sticker recommending 42 psi. No problem, I set my tires to 42 when I got home, double-checking my garage's compressor measurement by verifying on the Tesla's display that shows real-time TPMS data.
    • My right-front tire's valve stem cap was now silver.
    • All 4 tire's balancing weights were a rather bright silver.

    When I mentioned the bright silver weights that showed up in my pictures, Town Fair Tire offered to swap out my weights for me at no charge, along with getting me my 4th black valve stem. I took them up on that offer today, and it turns out they had to remove all 4 tires to properly scrape the old ones off and put on the new black ones in the same exactly spots.

    Lessons Learned / Tips.

    Jacking-and-Lifting
    1. When contacting potential installers, be sure they can:
      a. order 4 of this exact tire, Michelin CrossClimate+ 235/45R18 XL 98Y.
      b. lift your vehicle safely, with jack pads, in exactly the right 4 spots.
      c. handle warranty claim for the OEM tires, aka Original Equipment (OE) tires.
    2. Bring a printout of pages 168 and 182 of the Model 3 Owner's Manual to hand to the installer, which show the jack lift points, and the Lug Nut Torque of 129 lb. ft. / 175 Nm. Note my receipt indicated they used 129 lb. ft.
    3. Bring your Lifting Jack Pads to hand to the installer. Don't take their word for it, politely ask if you can see the lift and that it actually only touches the jack points.
    4. Mention you'd like the residue from the old weights removed if possible, and that you'd prefer dark colored weights when balancing your new tires.

    Curb Rash Protection? Some is better than none.

    What a nice surprise to find that not only is the noise level not any worse, but I seem to now have a bit of curb rash protection too! I wasn't really a fan of those rim guards anyway, and one of mine started to peel off after about 10,000 miles. I only have a slight curb rash on the right front tire during a very low speed Auto-park gone wrong session in Montreal, curbing the right front wheel on a rough stone curb. It’s nice to know that low speed curb incidents are far less likely to result in rim damage with these tires.

    made-in-spain.JPG
    Clearly marked MADE IN SPAIN

    Note that the Skytopia table indicates that the CrossClimate+ offer "Fringe protect (Flange shield / Rim protection ridge), and lists TBD for the OEM tires. TireRack also mentions that the country of origin is the Spain & Canary Islands.

    Long Term Concerns? Rolling resistance/range is an open question.

    I've done about 40 highway miles and another 35 miles around town, and I can safely say that the sound levels don't seem to be any different. Handling is excellent, with no chirp off the line even when flooring it. When there are tiny stones sprinkled on the road, I'd say these tires pick them up and fling them into the wheel wells at very low speeds, but that's about all I noticed. The weather has been been good, so I can't yet report my gut feel on their performance in wet and snowy conditions. But considering the huge difference in ratings between these and the OEM tires, I've got little reason to worry about that.

    Consumer-Reports-CrossClimate-Plus
    Consumer Reports. Click image to visit source article.

    It is worth noting that folks have notice a possible decrease in efficiency compared to the OEM tires, but results are varied. For example,
    Consumer Reports has it as the lowest rolling resistance of their tire roundup here:

    See also:

    So yes, I knew the rolling resistance might be higher, but it's going to be very hard to know how much higher. Will my range be less? Yes, but probably not by enough to really notice.

    I can see why Tesla chose the OEM tires that they did. The foam inside to suppress noise in some circumstances sounds compelling on spec sheets, as does the low rolling resistance for their most efficient and affordable default 18" wheel choice to hit desired EPA ratings. Here in the New England and the NYC area where winter potholes are common, I really can't see wanting 19" or 20" wheels anyway, damage from them is very expensive not to mention inconvenient. There has also been considerable discussion about the rims sticking out further than the tire rubber on the OEM tires for aerodynamics reasons, which equates to increased range. Naturally, you'd expect an OEM to put high MPGe tires to achieve the #1 spot for efficiency.

    Will the CrossClimate+ tires appreciably increase my total cost of ownership? Highly unlikely, especially if I make it more like 35,000 to 50,000 miles on them. Only time will tell. I plan to update this article with wear reports over time.

    Tesla Model 3 Scheduled Maintenance - Tires & Brakes

    Yes, even EVs (Electric Vehicles) need some routine maintenance, including tire rotation, tire and wiper replacement, and in winter climates, brake caliper cleaning and lubrication. Great video about this brake service here. Please always check with Tesla for the latest information. While I'm just linking to the online version of the instruction manual below, you should check the searchable instruction manual on your Tesla Model 3's screen for the latest information.

    Tires
    You can read the Model 3 Owner's Manual's page 155:

    Tire Wear
    Adequate tread depth is important for proper
    tire performance. Tires with a tread depth less
    than 4/32” (3 mm) are more likely to
    hydroplane in wet conditions and should not
    be used. Tires with a tread depth less than
    5/32” (4 mm) do not perform well in snow and
    slush and should not be used when driving in
    winter conditions.
    Model 3 is originally fitted with tires that have
    wear indicators molded into the tread pattern.
    When the tread has been worn down to 4/32”
    (3 mm), the indicators start to appear at the
    surface of the tread pattern, producing the
    effect of a continuous band of rubber across
    the width of the tire. For optimal performance
    and safety, Tesla recommends replacing tires
    before the wear indicators are visible.

    Tire Rotation, Balance, and Wheel Alignment
    Tesla recommends rotating the tires every
    10,000-12,000 miles (16,000-20,000 km).
    Unbalanced wheels (sometimes noticeable as
    vibration through the steering wheel) affect
    vehicle handling and tire life. Even with regular
    use, wheels can get out of balance. Therefore,
    they should be balanced as required.
    If tire wear is uneven (on one side of the tire
    only) or becomes abnormally excessive, check
    the alignment of wheels.
    Note: When replacing only two tires, always
    install the new tires on the rear.

    Brakes
    Model 3 Owner's Manual's page 64:

    Brake Wear
    Model 3 brake pads are equipped with wear
    indicators. A wear indicator is a thin metal
    strip attached to the brake pad that squeals as
    it rubs against the rotor when the pad wears
    down. This squealing sound indicates that the
    brake pads have reached the end of their
    service life and require replacement. To
    replace the brake pads, contact Tesla Service.
    Brakes must be periodically inspected visually
    by removing the tire and wheel. For detailed
    specifications and service limits for rotors and
    brake pads, see Subsystems on page 179.
    Additionally, Tesla recommends cleaning and
    lubricating the brake calipers every year or
    12,500 miles (20,000 km) if in an area where
    roads are salted during winter months.
    Warning: Neglecting to replace worn
    brake pads damages the braking system
    and can result in a braking hazard.

    Tesla Milford Connecticut service charged me $175 for this brake service.

    Conclusion

    If these CrossClimate+ tire's life exceeds 30,000, when the time comes for new tires for my wife's 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range+ RWD, I'll probably go with the same exact CrossClimate+ tires as my AWD. Yes, even though she's driving the most efficient car currently sold.

    When it comes time to using Town Fair Tire for my free lifetime tire rotations, I may want to look into using a different location that has a Tesla-compatible lift that I can see for myself.

    If I lived in a climate like southern California where rain and snow are barely considerations, I would possibly just replace the original tires with the same exact tire, because efficiency would then be a bigger priority. But for our one car that we both use when the weather is bad, I just needed something even more likely to avoid accidents in poor weather than the stock tires. The CrossClimate+ seems likely to deliver, at an out-of-pocket cost of $964.34 to our family.

    Noise

    The difference is slight. While ambient lighting was bright enough to disable my dB Meter's LCD display backlight, it failed to be adequate to really see my dB meter on the way to the tire replacement. Still, you can hear a difference. At least on this road surface I tested on, the CrossClimate+ tires are slightly quieter than the OEM tires. This is more apparent when I listen to the video on a quality sound system with deep bass. When I watch on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, it seems to be about the same. Watch the video below and listen for yourself.

    Note that my wife's 2020 Model 3 SR+ has only 1,000 miles on its original tires, so I can still do some comparisons. That said, it will never be apples-to-apples, since mine is a 2018 LR AWD, and there have been numerous engineering changes including some that could affect acoustics.

    Videos

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Michelin CrossClimate+ 18" tires for Tesla Model 3 w/ rim protection and noise levels tested
    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Tesla Model 3 interior noise measurably reduced by inexpensive self-stick car door trim
    Edmunds YouTube Channel - 2017 Tesla Model 3 | Track Test Update | Edmunds
    Dirty Tesla - May 03 2019 - Tesla Model 3 Aero vs Sport Wheels - Comparing Efficiency | Noise | Ride Comfort
    Rich Rebuilds - Oct 13 2019 - video cued to the brake service spot - Servicing your Tesla model 3: The Complete Guide

    Note this comment below the Edmunds video:

    You ignore the effect on range. Not all aspects of performance are aided by the wider tires, higher rolling resistance, and poorer aero. A Tesla engineer estimates a 31 mile loss with this tire package vs stock, a big deal in the EV world especially on longer road trips.

    So higher propensity to pop on potholes, and considerably less range. Given I frequently do long road trips for work, with about 50 Superchargers in 2019 alone, the slight possibility of a boost in cornering performance that 19" wheels could give me wouldn't be worth the trade-off for me.

    Shop

    Michelin-Buy
    Michelin Product Page with FIND A DEALER button.

    Ensuring the reputation of these online sites is your responsibility, not mine. I haven't bought from any of them besides TireRack.com.

    This CrossClimate+ tire size can be a little hard to find online, and be sure your local installer is willing to actually do the installation on a tire bought elsewhere. In my case, Town Fair Tire does not install tires bought elsewhere including online, but they claim to match prices with anyone. They actually have these exact tires in their warehouses, but they aren't listed on their website yet.

    FTC Disclosure: Links in this article below may generate income for TinkerTry:

    TireRackListing

    Here's non-income earning links:

    Price

    My Town Fair Tire Price:
    $ 997.60 Install, balance, 4 wheel alignment, TPMS reset
    $ 103.80 Road Hazard Warranty (optional)


    $ 1101.40  TOTAL (plus your local state sales tax)

    For me, that's minus the $206.00 for the OEM tire warranty, bringing my total down to $895.40 before CT Sales Tax.

    I've got my receipts right here for you just in case you find them helpful, in US dollars.

    PhotoScan1
    PhotoScan2
    PhotoScan3
    PhotoScan4

    Don't Forget To Mail Your Recall Card

    RecallCard
    RecallCardFront

    Alternatively, seems you can visit Michelin here to submit your tires for recall notifications.

    No recalls are listed on NHTSA for the Michelin CrossClimate tire.


    Feb 08 2020 Update

    Of course there are other options out there, here's a 19" tire owner pretty darn happy with his New Falken ZE960 A/S tires:

    The ZE960 is extremely capable, making it the perfect fit for popular vehicles like the BMW 3 and 4 Series, Honda Accord Sport and Tesla Model 3.”

    The ZIEX ZE960 features a 65,000-mile Tread Life Warranty for H and V-rated sizes (45,000 miles for W-rated sizes). Additionally, the tire carries Falken’s Road Hazard Protection, offering free replacement for any damage that occurs during the first two years, or within the first 3/32nds of tread life, whichever comes first.

    Surprisingly little discussion of these on Model 3, at least not yet, not on Skyptopia yet, nor is there much of anything on a Google Search, at least not yet. Not sure if they meet the load rating and speed specs of the OEM tires.


    Feb 10 2020 Update

    1226357346911367168

    On Feb 8th and again today, I did round trips to the Boston area and back, about 100 miles each way.

    Based on these findings, I feel strongly enough about my preliminary look at my TeslaFi data and my first-hand experience that I really needed to change the article title from:
    Michelin CrossClimate+ 18" tires for Tesla Model 3 are better in snow & rain, protect rims, and cost less
    to:
    Michelin CrossClimate+ 18" tires for Tesla Model 3 are better in snow & rain, protect rims, cost less, but reduce range

    It seems my overall consumption may have gone up a bit, somewhere in the vicinity of 10%. I have more analysis to do, but I wanted to give you some preliminary findings to use as you consider your next tires.

    What seemed a bit disconcerting was that my estimates of battery percentage left were off in both directions tonight. When we set out with 100% charge, it said we'd arrive at our destination at 61%, but it wound up being closer to 58%, just a little off. On our way back, it said we'd arrive home with 18% on the GPS trip and on the Trip graph (which I wish I took a picture of). In the end, it wound up being 9%. Yes, there was some light rain or wet roads about 1/2 of the drive in each direction, but still, that's quite a difference, and doesn't match up with many dozens of other nearly identical trips where the estimates had been quite good. In other words, on the Trip Remaining Energy display, I'm now routinely coming up significantly below the predicted gray line. While this may become more accurate over time, it's still worth noting if you're buying this tire and routinely use the full range of your car.

    Trip-Energy-Prediction.JPG

    Feb 11 2020 Update

    I'll need more data and some warmer drier weather to see if the hit in range is significant, and maybe even a chance to try to estimate how big the impact in range is. This is unlikely to be anywhere near as accurate as controlled track testing, however. I had passengers, and keeping them comfortable was a higher priority than trying to control for things like temperature.

    I think there's still value in giving you an early look at the data as I go, to help you be a more informed buyer about what getting stickier tires might really mean in the range-is-important EV world. It's a balancing act, a compromise, a trade-off. I would certainly hope a major trade journal covers this topic in far more detail than I ever could, and I sure wish there were standardized rolling resistance specs were published for every tire out there. I can only hope that the rise of EVs will help bring this issue to the forefront, removing some of the guess-work, and helping shoppers make more informed buying decisions.

    Here's another look at my trips yesterday, from my TeslaFi screenshots.

    2019-12-31-cambridge-mass-to-near-home
    Dec 31 2019 OEM tires, aero wheel covers, 41 psi, clear weather, 6 mph wind, 3 people onboard
    2020-02-08-home-to-cambridge-mass
    Feb 08 2020 CrossClimate+ tires, no aero wheel covers, 40 psi, dry conditions, little wind, 3 people onboard
    2020-02-10-home-to-cambridge-mass
    Feb 10 2020 CrossClimate+ with aero wheel covers, 41 psi, 50% of the trip was light rain/wet roads, little wind, 3 people onboard

    OEM Tires:
    Aero wheel covers, 41 psi, clear weather, 6 mph wind, 3 people onboard:

    • 12/31/2019 Avg Temp Outside 36.5°F, Avg Temp Inside 66.8, Fan Avg 3.9 , 275 Wh/Mile at Avg Speed of 61 MPH, 122.5 MPGe

    CrossClimate+ Tires:
    No aero wheel covers, 40 psi, dry conditions, little wind, 3 people onboard:

    • 2/08/2020 Avg Temp Outside 28.0°F, Avg Temp Inside 65.1, Fan Avg 3.0 , 315 Wh/Mile at Avg Speed 61 MPH, Battery Usage 46%, 107.1 MPGe

    Aero wheel covers, 41 psi, 50% of the trip was light rain/wet roads, little wind, 3 people onboard:

    • 2/10/2020 Avg Temp Outside 40.5°F, Avg Temp Inside 64.3, Fan Avg 3.8 , 314 Wh/Mile at Avg Speed of 64 MPH

    Feb 12 2020 Update

    2020-02-12_22-19-05
    Remarkably similar trips in both directions, including temperatures inside and out, low winds, duration, and average speed. Yet, the efficiency varies by 10%, and I don't understand why. Feel free to leave a comment if you have ideas!

    See also the discussion on twitter here. There has been much discussion about the efficiency of these tires, but TFC207 and I seem to be two of the very few people who have provided some actual numbers.


    Feb 13 2020 Update

    This is an awesome video, and given the potholes around here, I have little need thirst for low profile tires, especially after this explanation of performance differences between the 18"/19"/20" options for the Model 3.

    Engineering Explained - How To Prevent Expensive Tesla Wheel Damage

    Feb 16 2020 Update

    I now have 1,100 miles on these tires after only 2 weeks. It appears that the overall impact of replacing the OE tires is somewhere a bit beyond 10% efficiency loss. I'm reaching out to Michelin for comment, as I'd really like to learn whether this is within expectations. Here's what I wrote:

    I've written quite a technical and very popular article about using the 18 CrossClimate+ tire as an Michelin Primacy MXM4 OE replacement, seen here:
    https://TinkerTry.com/crossclimate-plus-for-tesla-model-3-for-better-performance-and-curb-rash-avoidance
    What I, and others, such as:
    https://twitter.com/TFC207/status/1227787887200153601?s=20
    are experiencing is more than a 10% range loss, so the rolling resistance seems to be higher.

    1) Can you confirm, what are the rolling resistance ratings for the OE Michelin Primacy MXM4 OE and the CrossClimate+ tires?

    2) What is the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S rolling resistance, and would it be a more efficient OE replacement?

    Any and all guidance on whether this sort of range loss is to be expected for stickier tires would be greatly appreciated by me, and my readers.

    Here's what I got back:

    Thank you for contacting Michelin. We apologize for the inconvenience. Due to extremely high email volumes, you may receive a delay in response time of up to 2-5 business days. If your issue is more pressing, please call us at 1-866-866-6605 and we will be glad to assist you.

    I'll update this article if I hear back, and I may give the phone number a try.

    Also worth noting that apparently Town Fair Tire offers up to 30 days replacement from the date of purchase, to choose a different tire, details at townfairtire.com/30-day-tire-test-ride which seems to mean I have until Feb 28th to decide if I'm going to go with another tire.

    1227784946913357825
    Long discussion about the CrossClimate+ effect on range happening on Twitter.
    2020-02-15-CT-to-NYC-and-back-TeslaFi-stats

    Took the Skytopia Table Google Doc original spreadsheet and saved a copy, then got rid of every tire that's not 18", then got rid of any tire showing No for Extra Load. This leaves only 2 contenders in the All Season category:

    • Michelin Primacy Tour A/S (Fringe Protect unknown)
    • Vredestein Quatrac 5 (with Fringe Protect)

    The Michelin Primacy Tour A/S has some TireRack reviews with some concerns over snow handling. The much less expensive Vredestein Quatrac 5 may have concerns about noise. It's not much to go on, just letting you know what I've found so far.


    Feb 18 2020 Update

    2020-02-18_15-43-03
    On michelinman.com, the Primacy MXM4 OE tires don't get great reviews, here's an example.

    After some phone tag, I spoke with Michelin at the phone number listed on their contact page, speaking with a representative who had seen my web form information about year and make, but couldn't see the details of my request, which I documented above.

    Here's what I learned from the first representative:
    The Michelin Primacy MXM4 Acoustic tire was first made for Tesla back in 2017.
    The Michelin CrossClimate+ in the Tesla Model 3 18" size came out in 2018.
    They sometimes mark their tires with the word Energy, but not on any of their tires that fit a Tesla. Also, they don't list rolling resistance, which they call "Fuel Efficiency" anywhere on their public specifications web pages, due to competitive concerns. They don't have a PR email address for inquiries either.

    This is what she read off her screen to me:

    • Michelin Primacy MXM4 Acoustic Fuel Efficiency rating 8/10. Recommended.
    • Michelin CrossClimate+ Fuel Efficiency rating 9/10. Substitute.

    I politely thanked her, but forgot to ask about alternatives to the OE and the CrossClimate+. So I called back, and they asked for my name, presumably to track my calls. That's fair.

    Here's what I learned from the second also representative:

    • Michelin Primacy MXM4 Acoustic Fuel Efficiency rating 9/10.
    • Michelin CrossClimate+ Fuel Efficiency rating 9/10.
    • Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Michelin Pilot Sport S are both summer tires
    • Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Fuel Efficiency 9/10.
    • Michelin Primacy Tour A/S 235/45R18 not sold for this car.
    • X-Ice Xi3 Fuel Efficiency rating 10/10. View comparison with CrossClimate+ at Skytopia.
    • Verified that the MXM4 specs she was looking at were for the Acoustic OE tire for Tesla.

    They have no other All Season or Performance All Season tire that they recommend for this vehicle.

    So, one says the CrossClimate is slightly more efficient, the other says their the same. I'd give more weight to the second rep, who took the time to confirm that we were discussing the exact tire size for this car. My suspicion was correct, as I took to DM'ing @MichelinUSA, read onward...


    Feb 19 2020 Update

    Michelin's response was prompt, definitive, and very helpful:

    2020-02-19-paulbraren-twitter-conversation-with-MichelinUSA-via-DM

    Here's a copy-and-paste:

    @paulbraren:

    I have some questions about rolling resistance/fuel efficiency of suitable OE replacement tires on my 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range vehicle, would you be able to assist?

    Michelin Primacy MXM4 P235/45R18 XL 98W Acoustic are the OE tires

    Michelin Primacy MXM4 Acoustic Fuel Efficiency rating?
    Michelin CrossClimate+ Fuel Efficiency rating?

    @MichelinUSA:

    Hi Paul! Thank you for reaching out to Michelin North America.

    While there is no standard fuel efficiency rating across all brands, we have rated our own tires based on how they perform in several categories, including fuel efficiency. We have given both the Primacy MXM4 and the Cross Climate + a rating of 9 out of 10 for fuel efficiency.

    Many factors go in to the rolling resistance of a tire, including how the tire is used and maintained, the age of the tire, and the climate that the tire is in. As a result, we cannot provide more detailed numbers on the fuel efficiency of a tire as it can change on a case by case basis.

    We hope that this answers your question! Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

    We went back and forth a little longer with some clarification, sharing our experience with >10% range loss. The response has some helpful information, seen below. Quality customer experience is so rare, and I'm very thankful when it does happen!

    @MichelinUSA:

    2020-02-19-paulbraren-twitter-conversation-with-MichelinUSA-via-DM-part-2-medium

    Hi Paul,

    In regard to the available All Season tires for the specified vehicle, the two options are the Primacy MXM4 and the Cross Climate +. The only difference between the tire's seasonal options is that the Cross Climate + is an All Weather tire that carries the USTMA Severe Snow Designation, meaning the tire is more capable of handling winter conditions than an All Season tire such as the Primacy MXM4.

    A great way to check for a recommended tire for a specific vehicle is the Tire Finder on our website. Click the link below to see the full list of options for the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range:

    http://social.michel.in/6010TwhEr

    As for contacting our PR team, you can reach out via the appropriate contact located at the link below:

    http://social.michel.in/6011TwhET


    Feb 20 2020 Update

    Added some of what representative 2 had to say above, adding the X-Ice Xi3 that might be a good choice for folks interested in high efficiency winter tires.

    Here's the listing for all 18" Michelin tires suited for the Tesla Model 3.

    Michelin-Green-X-logo-on-Tesla-OE-18-inch-MXM4-tire
    Michelin Green X logo.

    Note that the Green X appears on the OE tire, but it's not clear what that means, with very little info available searching Michelin.com, see first result:
    First/best search result:

    Green X®
    The Michelin® Green X® label guarantees a level of energy efficiency among the highest in the market and reduced CO2 emission while maintaining all the legendary Michelin advantages of long wear, safety, and other performances.


    Feb 27 2020 Update

    Today, I reached out to Michelin PR for comment, I'll update this article if I get an official response that I'm able to publish.

    After about 1,700 miles on these tires over the last 3.5 weeks, I'm likely to keep them. The range loss seems to be coming in at a little under 10% overall, especially as the weather warms. I'm working on getting some driving data ready to share with you to help back this up. Far to early to tell yet.

    Overall, it's very difficult to scientifically test these tires for rolling resistance in the real world, but trends I'm seeing from TeslaFi driving stats are starting to suggest that it's possible these tires won't show as much of a range impact during warmer weather.

    2020-02-27_15-52-30
    278 Wh/Mile is quite good, but notice the average speed was only 51 MPH.

    What's interesting in this first video below is mention of the airflow over the front tires. Once you view the section of video I've cued up for you below, starting right at 18 minutes and 35 seconds, you'll be thinking about the the resistance that curb protection (aka rim protection, fringe protection, flange shield) has. It could help explain some of the range loss you'll see with anything beside OE tires that are optimized for laminar airflow across the wheels and aero covers.

    Tech Forum - Jul 19 2018 - Details of the Tesla Model 3 revealed! And a look into the nooks and crannies.

    See also:

    teslatires-max2-1576529897
    Image thumbnail from Car and Driver, click to view the source article.

    See also:

    purpose-of-front-bumper-side-air-vents
    • Purpose of front bumper side air vents?
      by henchook at Tesla Motors Club forum

      Can anyone explain the purpose of these side air vents on the front bumper of the model 3?

      KenC, Jan 13, 2020
      Probably drag reduction. There's alot of drag created by the front wheel well opening. By diverting air from within the wheel well, via these vents, you can reduce the drag created by the wheel well opening.


    Feb 29 2020 Update

    1233819435074490368-cropped

    I tweeted some thoughts out:

    No means to properly test, but anecdotally seem better in rain, traction is great, no squealing off the line. But, no snow in New England to informally test. ~1,800 miles in 4 wks, range reduction hard to measure, maybe up to 10% in the cold.

    When picking my 2018 Model 3 up from its HW3 retrofit a couple of days ago, I asked Tesla Service of Milford CT if they found anything when inspecting the underside of my Model 3. They saw no issues with the way that my car has been lifted for the tire change, this is good.

    Also got some helpful feedback from Twitter today, 45,000 tire life sounds good.

    1233831176546258945

    Kim Paquette @kimpaquette
    Hey #Tesla twitter- any #Model3 peeps have Michelin CrossClimate+ tires on their cars? I just ordered to replace my 18s - live in New England but don't get a ton of snow where I live. Any comments on how they've handled for you in snow, range hit, noise?

    Tesla Clover Fla @FlaTesla
    idk about snow, but i am getting over 45k miles out of them...


    Mar 01 2020 Update

    orbital-kickstarter
    Excerpt from Orbital's kickstarter page.

    Here's an interesting option, could get a percentage point or two back on range with possibly improved wind resistance. It's a larger wheel cover for 18" wheels, seems that could be a good combo for this slightly wider (due to fringe protection feature) CrossClimate+ tire. Details of this April 26 2020 product at the Kickstarter listing, which has far exceeded its goal:

    55ea0c0a3cee6dda38cd25a003b77932_original
    From Orbital's Kickstarter listing.

    Mar 06 2020 Update

    I have noticed that in very low speed parking lot driving, if there is a lot of sand on the winter-treated pavement, these wheels pick up some of it, and you can hear the noise from some sand getting kicked up onto the mud flaps and wheel wells. This vanishes quickly on the open road, or at anything beyond 10 mph. Not a big deal, just an observation.

    Gladly, in the past 2 weeks, my Tesla's built-in range estimator in the trip computer seems to be doing a much better job of predicting my battery's state of charge upon arrival at my destination, eliminating most of the range anxiety I was feeling that first week of long, rang-stretching trips with these new tires.

    I talked to Michelin customer service today, and learned about the 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee. I was also told that because the Michelin Primacy MXM4 is a Luxury Performance Touring All-Season Tire, but the Michelin CrossClimate+ is a Luxury Performance Touring All-Weather Tire, it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison between them. It's two different product categories.

    Another angle I'm thinking about is that it’s possible their internal testing shows one as rated at 8.5, and the other as 9.4, so they both get rounded off to 9. That math in itself could account for a 10% difference. In other words, saying a tire is 9 out of 10 for rolling resistance isn't a very precise number.

    I'm no tire expert, but giving this some thought, it would seem likely that the reason the CrossClimate+ is apparently less efficient on the Model is is some combination of at least these 3 factors:

    1. a stickier rubber compound in cold weather for better traction, increasing rolling resistance
    2. a wider tire including a flange shield that disturbs airflow around the Tesla Aero wheel covers, increasing wind resistance
    3. a difference in actual rolling resistance measurements lost when Michelin rounds their rolling resistance numbers off

    It sure does seem the EV owner could use an easier, standardized way to comparison shop for tires. Right now, consumers don't get to see a rolling resistance rating printed right on the tire, the tire sticker, or even online.

    I'd love to hear what you think, drop a comment below, and/or jump into this Twitter thread.

    I think I'm done with this topic for now, but as the weather warms, I intend to update this article to let you know how I do with my range ratings. Based on what I see so far, I feel like it's likely I'll be somewhere between 5% to 10% range loss overall during the lifespan of these tires.

    See also just-published new article:

    electric-vehicles-are-changing-the-future-of-auto-maintenance

    Mar 14 2020 Update

    You can see a lot of variability here in this trip data from TeslaFi screenshot, but overall, these figures seem to indicate that the impact on range that these tires may be causing is lessening as the weather warms. I'll be driving this route again, which will give me some more comparison data to have a look at and share.

    2019-03-14-TeslaFi-Wethersfield-CT-to-Cambridge-MA-and-back-efficiency-data-TinkerTry

    Mar 23 2020 Update

    1242070336532774913

    I found some excellent information about storing tires by @IanPavelko about safely storing your off season tires or tires-on-wheels, tweeting:

    This one’s a bit of a hornet’s nest, with even the tire companies disagreeing somewhat with one another on best practices..

    He goes onto to explain what Michelin, Continental, and Yokohama have to say about tire storage.


    May 08 2020 Update

    I have some new data for you! A round trip to the Boston area.

    On the way up, we had very light sprinkles for the first 10 miles or so. It was otherwise dry and clear, and 50°F. We obtained 85.8% efficiency (267 Wh/Mile) going up.

    On the way back, just 69.9% efficiency (328 Wh/Mile). What was the primary cause of such a huge difference? Rain. Heavy rain, pretty much the whole way back. It really demonstrates a couple of things:

    • In more moderate temperatures, the CrossClimate+ tires might not be having any adverse effect on range, or a very minimal effect.
    • In heavy rain, a Tesla Model 3 can lose as much as 1/5 of its range.
    • Secondary cause of range loss was probably the wind, but under 10 mph average.
    2020-05-08-route
    This is essentially a round trip, with the route differing only slightly for the last 1.5 miles each way.

    May 27 2020 Update

    I have some more pretty compelling data for you, having recently complete some mask-delivery-related road trips with some notably excellent efficiency, given the warmer weather in the 70s, and the somewhat lower average speeds given the back roads. The point is that the CrossClimate+ tires do seem capable of excellent range when the weather gets warm, at least at 47 PSI. For ride comfort reasons, I may try going back down to 44 PSI and see how that goes.

    2020-05-27_9-21-57
    TeslaFi trip data for Friday, May 22 2020. 249 Wh/Mile going up, and 262 Wh/Mile coming back, with just my wife and I on board.

    Jun 27 2020 Update

    1277001093420113924

    My tweet explains 2020.24.6.1 and a new feature it includes:

    Even though I leave 18” Aero covers on (I need all range), I set to Cap Kit, maybe more range accuracy by offsetting slight range loss from my tires https://tinkertry.com/crossclimate-p...
    Fun side effect - hover car!

    Today, I noticed my lifetime Odometer stats are as follows:
    30,794 miles | 8,4000 kWh | 273 Wh/mi

    I'll need to dig around to find any pictures I might have taken before these tires.

    Today, with wet roads, my wife commented that my car seemed a bit loud, I would say it's possible the CrossClimate+ tires are slightly louder than the OEM tires.


    Photos

    IMG_8893.JPG
    My original Michelin Primacy MXM4 P235/45R18 XL 98W tires.
    IMG_8896.JPG
    Here's what 4/32" tread looks like on the OEM tires after 26,400 miles.
    Town-Fair-Tire-Rocky-Hill-TinkerTry-IMG_8933.JPG
    Jan 29 2020, install day at Town Fair Tire Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
    IMG_8902
    CrossClimate+ 235/45R18 XL 98Y tires.
    Waiting-room-IMG_9027.JPG
    Waiting area, took about an hour and a half, got some work done on my laptop, on my lap.
    IMG_8936
    CrossClimate+ 235/45R18 XL 98Y tires, mounted. It's winter, there's mud, strange that it got past the mud flap though.
    IMG_8938
    Door sill sticker says 42 psi, but they're filled to 40 psi. Fixed it back home.
    IMG_8939.JPG
    Oops, mismatched valve stem cap. They made it right when I went back a couple of days later.
    TinkerTry-Model-3-wheel-cover-kit-IMG_8954.JPG
    Aero Wheel Covers just removed. Time to install the Tesla Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit from Tesla Shop.
    TinkerTry-Model-3-wheel-cover-kit-IMG_8955.JPG
    Tesla Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit from Tesla Shop. Tesla logo wheel cap installed.
    TinkerTry-Model-3-wheel-cover-kit-IMG_8956.JPG
    Tesla Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit from Tesla Shop. Wheel lug caps added.
    IMG_8958.JPG
    IMG_8959.JPG
    IMG_8961.JPG
    IMG_8966
    IMG_9051.JPG
    back-for-the-weight-swap-dashboard-view-IMG_9025.JPG
    Back to Town Fair Tire to swap those weights out at no charge.
    IMG_9026
    Silver weights were bright. They replaced them.
    IMG_9052.JPG
    Black weights sure look better.
    IMG_8977
    Curb rash seems a lot less likely, at least for gentle curb contact at low speeds.
    IMG_8983.JPG
    Spotted this 5" sharp metal on the road on my way home. Safely picked it up to spare somebody else considerable grief.
    IMG_9172.JPG
    On Feb 03 2020, I was asked to swing by to see if their Hunter alignment machine and it's 4 point extensions could fit the Model 3. It turns out they come up a few inches too narrow, so I've been referred to Newington CT's Town Fair Tire instead, for future work.
    CrossClimate-Plus-treated-with-Carfidant-Ultimate-Tire-Shine-Spray.JPG
    On Mar 11 2020, this is how the CrossClimate+ tire looks with freshly-applied highly-rated Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine Spray. We'll see how long it lasts.
    CrossClimate-Plus-treated-with-Carfidant-Ultimate-Tire-Shine-Spray-2-weeks
    On Mar 23 2020, this is how the CrossClimate+ tire looks with 12-day-old Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine Spray. Significantly less shiny, but still decent.

    PAUL68544--Tesla-Referral-Program-Paul-Braren-TinkerTry.PNG

    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    See also at TinkerTry

    All Tesla related videos and articles:

    model-3-lost-profiles-after-hw3-fixed-by-tesla

    tesla-model-3-westport-ct-police-cruiser-tech

    tinkertryd-tesla-charging

    featured

    first-v3-supercharger-in-the-northeastern-us-in-fairfield-connecticut

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    differences-between-2018-and-2020-tesla-model-3

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    experiencing-the-first-falcon-heavy-launch-from-7-miles-away

    elon-musk-powerwall-inspires-world-change

    See also

    1458216-00-A_3

    electric-vehicles-are-changing-the-future-of-auto-maintenance

    Miscellaneous links I found helpful when researching this article, in no particular order: