A Winter Road Trip on Michelin X-ice Snow Tires


Today I took my first road trip after a snowfall. I had driven a very short distance after the last snowfall the last week of January and was convinced that I needed snow tires. I had in that short drive experienced a very long stopping distance with a very energetic ABS response. This is my first winter in my Model S and the first time I have had a car with RWD of any sort. The Primacy tires which are so sure footed in all other types of weather did not quite meet my expectations.

I have been watching the Tesla Motors Club (TMC)  forums and it’s discussions on the virtues of snow tires for several months. I heard of the various pluses and minuses of the numerous different brands of tires that other members had purchased. The consensus seemed to be that the Pirrelli’s offered by Tesla were not the best tires, especially at the Tesla price point. I have been a fan of Michelin’s since I got my first set of Defenders about 5 years ago. The X-Ice tires have a stellar rating on Tire Rack and among the members of the TMC.

I managed to get a local shop to match the Tire Rack price on the X-Ice and got a full set with road hazard installed for just a bit over $1000. With these new tires I eagerly anticipated the next snow. Of course the next two weeks saw unseasonably warm weather…

That pattern broke last evening. Defying the weekend’s forecasts a cold front blew in from the Northwest bringing with it measurable snowfall.

I had a meeting in a little town about 50 miles away on a 2 lane state highway. Leaving the parking lot of my rectory with a little wiggle from the back end I hit the road.

The state road was mostly cleared and I headed out of Brighton at 55 MPH.  As i got just outside of town the Northwest winds had covered the roadway but for the preceding tracks of cars ahead of me. As the snow was blowing fairly hard I started to limit my speed and the rate that I accelerated from slowdowns.

For the most part the trip was uneventful but I did find that I was very cautious as the snow covered roads became more frequent. The X-ice seemed to have good contact and were relatively sure footed but driving my very expensive  vehicle during inclement weather was a bit nerve racking.

I have since changed back to my All Season tires and I am very glad that the snow is behind me. I am glad that I got the X-ice tires but now know they are not a replacement for careful, cautious and responsible driving.