Tire sizing, types (compounds), and recommendations:
Tires are one of the most (if not the most) important components of your vehicle. It is your only attachment to the road so we feel like you should make an educated decision when choosing your tires.
Most of our size recommendations are paired with their perspective wheel sizes in the guide above. If you wish to deviate from these recommended sizes please do so with care. If you need help or are not sure how to calculate appropriate tires sizes outside of our recommendation please contact us:
Summer, Winter, All-Season? You’re probably wondering how to pick the right tire for your Model 3. Well, guess what, we have a blog completely dedicated to explaining how to choose the right type of tire: MODBARGAINS TIRE GUIDE: GET A GRIP
The quick summary of that article if you don’t want to read through it all:
Winter Tires – “Do you get moderate to heavy snow in the winter? You’re gonna need some winter tires, no question.”
All-Season Tires – “If you live in the right climate they (All-Season Tires) will be decent in every situation you will encounter. The “right climate” we speak of is one that does not experience severe winters, leaning more towards hot summers and moderate winters. If temperatures pretty much always stay above freezing in your area and you rarely encounter snow these will work very well for you.”
Summer Tires – “If you live in a more temperate climate you should reflect on your priorities before deciding if you want a set of all-seasons or summer tires for your car. Just to recap, all-seasons are going to generally be a bit quieter, last you a fair amount longer, and will be cheaper. Summer tires will give you more thrills but for more bills. Road holding, braking, and acceleration will all be better, but at the cost of faster wear and a higher price point.”
Winter Tires are pretty straight forward. The rubber used in winter tires is specifically engineered to remain malleable in sub-freezing temperatures. The tread is designed to provide traction on snow and ice. These weather focused elements make them unsuitable for driving in every other weather condition. You generally won’t buy these for a set of nice aftermarket wheels so we won’t talk about them much.
All-Season Tires tend to have some variety to them when it comes to compounds. The All-Season tires that come on the Model 3 equipped with 18 & 19 inch wheels are both “Grand Touring” meaning they are engineered for a balance between Handling, Noise, Comfort, Longevity, and decent versatility of traction in Dry, Wet, and Light Snow conditions. They all the jack of all trades, master of none tires that are fine if you aren’t looking for excitement when it comes to your driving experience. We find most of our customers lean towards improved performance so the “Grand Touring” category is generally not something we recommend. Though if you are purchasing wheels of the same diameter as your factory wheels in a square setup there is a good chance you can reuse your stock tires which will serve you fine and be cost effective. The “Performance & High Performance” All-Season Tire categories are kind of a weak middle ground and we generally don’t recommend them. The most popular All Season Tires we see customers order are from the “UHP (Ultra High Performance)” category. When you need an All-Season Tire (or just want more miles out of your tires) but don’t want to sacrifice much performance these tires strike a decent balance. Our two top sellers are the Continental DWS06 and the General G-Max AS-05.
Based on an evolution of the previously highly acclaimed DWS series, Continental further improved the breed with a focus of even longer tread life and side wall strength while also improving on Dry Wet and Snow traction.
Summer Tires we could talk about for hours, but we will try and keep this brief. The name can be a bit misleading. Summer tires are not solely good in hot weather. They actually tend to perform better than All-Season tires in the wet and even cooler temperatures, so don’t be scared off if you live somewhere that rains a lot. Just remember that if you encounter snow at all where you drive, we recommend All-Season or dedicated Winter Tires.
Summer tires have 5 different categories: “Grand Touring”, “High Performance”, “Ultra High Performance (UHP)”, “Max Performance”, and “Extreme Performance”. We generally don’t recommend Grand Touring or High Performance Summer Tires because you’re getting similar performance to a UHP All-Season tire without the versatility and often don’t last as long. It is also important to note that Extreme Performance tires are not typical for anything outside of pure performance cars that see a lot of aggressive driving and typically regular track time. They wear out very quickly but give you the best handling and traction at the cost of longevity (you’d be lucky to get more than 10-15k miles out of them driving conservatively). Knowing this and that most of you out there reading this are enthusiasts, we are going to mainly recommend UHP and Max Performance Summer tires.
Ultra High Performance (UHP) Summer Tires:
When it comes to UHP tires there is no shortage of options. Within this category you have a wide variety of tread patterns and Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG*) ratings which encompass treadwear & traction grades. Typically higher treadwear means your tires will last a bit longer, though treadwear numbers vary between manufacturers because of the testing procedure.
*UTQG Treadwear Grades are open to some interpretation by tire manufacturer rating is determined after the tire has only experienced “a little treadwear” as it goes through the 7,200 miles test phase. Because of this, manufacturers can extrapolate their raw wear data when they are assigning Treadwear Grades. In truth, all treadwear ratings need to be taken with a grain of salt because some testing departments are more optimistic than others. However, it is safe to compare treadwear grades between tires from the same manufacturer as they will be internally consistent with their testing procedures and processing of the data results.
Just keep that in mind when considering any set of tires that have a higher or lower rated treadwear grade as a 220 treadwear tire could easily last as long as another brand’s 300 treadwear tire.
Max Performance Summer Tires:
Our favorite tire category is definitely Max Performance. With over 80% of our tire sales falling into this category, we’d consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable about them.
If you have any additional questions about wheels and tires for your Model 3 please free to reach out to us:
Stock Fitments (Page 1)
Effects of lowering on fitments (Page 1)
How different setups will affect the Model 3’s Performance and Range (page 2)
Wheel Spacers (page 3)
Stock Height Fitments (page 4)
Lowered Fitments (page 5)
Aggressive (lowered) Fitments (page 6)
Recommended Wheel Brands & Models (page 7)
Tire sizing & types (compounds) (page 8)