I drove my Tesla in a blizzard with summer performance tyres

I used REGEN to stop the EV but there were a couple of instances when the car didn't stop & my heart came into my mouth.

BHPian mobike008 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Tesla Snow Blizzard Drive Feedback

This year, Washington got a ridiculous amount of snow. It was even said that we got 4x more snow than New York which says something about the global weather changes as Seattle was never known for major snow.

Earlier this week (Monday), when we got up in the morning, it was snowing heavily. My wife is scared to drive in such conditions and she asked me to drop her to work (9 miles one way).

I decided to get brave and take the Tesla instead (They are shod with Pirelli Summer Performance Tires and I did read reviews that in snowy conditions they do not provide not much grip) and I had a couple of crazy moments.


I drove the car as if it was normal road conditions and most times used REGEN for slowing down and stopping but, in a couple of instances, I was a little faster than required and had to slam the brakes.

Guess what? Nothing happened. It felt like I stepped on a flat ground and the pedal didn't go in and the car won’t stop. This happened twice and both times my heart came into my mouth.

Another scary moment was a car in the opposite lane (2-lane road) almost came into my lane as his car slid. I had to take evasive action by swerving right and then the Tesla did a nice slide but, traction control brought it back in the lane quickly. Very impressed.

I did enjoy a couple of predictable slides when taking some corners but, I realized that driving the Tesla with tires that are not meant for that season is asking for trouble.

While its technology to provide stability is awesome, driving it with summer performance tires is really risky (I don’t want to spend $2000 to get the tires changed, so will use the car hereafter in dry and rainy weather).

Tesla owner's feedback is appreciated.

Here are some pictures of the snow blizzard which I never saw in a city (usually, it happens around 50 miles away in the mountains).

Snow Blizzard in a city/suburbs- A first for me.

Rosso Diablo got a nice thick foamy moustache after I returned home. Haha!

Our community was unrecognizable as everything turned white.

Here's what BHPian carthick1000 had to say about the matter:

Though NL is scarcely snowy in winter, I don’t take the risk of running summer tires in Winter. Between October/November and March, my Model 3 (and all my past cars) is (were) always on Winter tyres. Also, I drive often to Germany and Winter tyres during these months are mandatory there.

My Model 3 doesn’t need chains or spiked winter tyres in NL as the terrain is almost flat in most places, I still have some chains lying around just in case for those south Germany trips to the Alps. If you are driving in weather conditions under 7degC during some months of the year, having a set of winter tyres is a safe choice. Since the M3 is not your only car, yes, you can skip using it altogether. But I will terribly miss the preconditioning in those winter months if I have to use an ICE car only in winter.

Moreover, a 2.5Ton SUV will take longer to brake or steer in icy conditions than a 1.8Ton Sedan.

Here's what BHPian lexusES350 had to say about the matter:

This was brave of you but a poor choice considering these cars with Summer Performance tires are not meant to be driven in slick conditions let alone in the middle of a super rare blizzard where they don't even salt the roads like in NE US or Canada. I'm glad nothing happened and you and dear Rosso Diablo are fit and fine.

Actually, this is the intended behavior and the car took over to prevent you from going into an uncontrollable slide. On many Tesla forums and Reddit etc. it is recommended to turn off regen breaking and let the car behave like a normal car if one routinely drives in snowy conditions. This helps in avoiding issues where regen brakes send the car into an uncontrollable slide.

During snowy/slick conditions too much braking is the main reason for most uncontrolled slides & accidents. This is why your car's traction control sensed the car would have entered into a slide and instead didn't take your brake inputs and instead let the car roll which prevented it from going into a slide.

As a side note, experienced people recommend that if one ever enters into an uncontrollable slide, apply a slight bit of accelerator and turn the wheels straight which might help regain traction.

Certainly, thanks for acknowledging the truth.

I urge everyone, please for sake of the almighty and of course you, your family and everyone else around you please do not and I request do not ever try to drive a car with Summer Performance tires, especially a car like Tesla with regen brakes.

Too much braking is the most common reason why cars go into an uncontrollable slide and having reduced traction tires like All Seasons/Summer Tires and not using traction control devices like chains results in a case like this. Four-wheel drive/AWD does not prevent these uncontrolled slides. Trying to drive in these conditions without proper tires/chains means a higher likelihood that the car will go into a ditch instead of the destination where you want to go.

This happened just over the weekend during yet another blizzard here in the northern CA mountains - the most probable reason the car was not using Winter tires or Chains and instead had All Season tires which provide a semblance of winter driving capabilities, Summer tires don't even do that.

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