pmc
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 am
Location: Central Wisconsin

Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:37 am

I've been shopping around for used rims / wheels for my 2013 Leaf for a set of winter snow tires.

Having read here that a range of OEM Altima wheels (2002-2006 ?) will fit the Leaf, I've got a line on some used steel wheels for very reasonable price within a 90 minute drive.

I also found a set of OEM Altima alloys, more expensive and conveniently (!) located 4 hours away.

I can make an excuse to drive to get the alloys but am curious if the weight difference between the steelies and alloys is great enough to justify getting the alloys over the steelies.

FWIW our Leaf commute is roughly 22 miles one way and use roughly 35% of a full charge each direction. So round trip in average temperatures uses roughly 70% charge, so I expect to lose some range once winter hits. This is our first year with the Leaf so haven't experienced winter range loss yet, and if one set of rims would make much difference over the other.

Looking at putting winter Nokkians on these rims.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on which rims you'd go for. :)
2013 SV (6.6kw, no QC) - purchased used 4/2017
JuiceBox 40 Pro .. man, this thing charges fast!

palmermd
Posts: 2442
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:19 pm
Delivery Date: 31 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 1100011011
Location: Hermosa Beach, CA

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:59 am

I could be wrong, but I don't believe there is a huge difference in weight on the factory alloy wheels versus the steel. It is mostly cosmetic. You can get lighter aftermarket wheels, and it can make a difference, but your biggest concern in winter driving range will be due to the use of the heater. Several people have resorted to heated jackets, and the like, to avoid using the heating system too much.
Michael

Leaf since 31 March 2011
Driving electric since 1996


First Bar Loss
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jjeff
Posts: 1486
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:16 pm

I agree with above. While 44 miles may be fine in the spring summer and fall, it can be iffy in a blizzard or sub-zero temps. In such conditions, I've seen my normal 70'ish mile Leaf be below 40 :( with much heater use. It's crazy how conditions can affect range but I guess if you think of ICE vehicles, one that might get 30mpg in the summer could be hard pressed to get 15 in bitter cold conditions.
AFA your tire/rim question, personally I'd stick with the steelies, just don't care for how often AU rims leak, especially in the cold. Weight is probably negligible difference, winter tires on the other hand make a world of difference on the Leaf, making it go from a somewhat decent winter handling car to a very good handling car, I'd suggest them even if it means a slight hit in mileage. Truthfully when it's snowy and very cold I don't think they'll make as much difference as say using the same tires in the summer would, your range will be poor no matter what tires you use :(
Do you have a possibility of charging at your half way point? Even L1 would help a lot, I know it may be hard to believe how much cold/wind and snow can affect your range, but it does :)
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
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pmc
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 am
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:03 pm

Thanks for the replies. :)

Driver 1 has L1 charging available at the halfway point, and she uses it regularly, it has been very handy.

Driver 2 doesn't really have charging available at her school, there is an L2 charger at Nissan that can be used in a pinch. We'll have to see how bad the range hit is once it gets properly cold here.

We've made use of the climate control timer in the morning, which helps for the journey there, we'll have to see how the drivers fare in the winter cold after work/school is done. I'm guessing Driver 2 is going to crank up the heat (along with the tunes) :lol:
2013 SV (6.6kw, no QC) - purchased used 4/2017
JuiceBox 40 Pro .. man, this thing charges fast!

jjeff
Posts: 1486
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:37 am

pmc wrote:Thanks for the replies. :)

Driver 1 has L1 charging available at the halfway point, and she uses it regularly, it has been very handy.

Driver 2 doesn't really have charging available at her school, there is an L2 charger at Nissan that can be used in a pinch. We'll have to see how bad the range hit is once it gets properly cold here.

We've made use of the climate control timer in the morning, which helps for the journey there, we'll have to see how the drivers fare in the winter cold after work/school is done. I'm guessing Driver 2 is going to crank up the heat (along with the tunes) :lol:

I don't want to scare you but rather make you aware of the issue. I think only a couple times last winter did I have a range around 40 miles, most of the time more like 50-60 even in zero temps, it's sub zero, wind and snow that really eat the range :)
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

pmc
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 am
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:21 am

jjeff wrote:I don't want to scare you but rather make you aware of the issue. I think only a couple times last winter did I have a range around 40 miles, most of the time more like 50-60 even in zero temps, it's sub zero, wind and snow that really eat the range :)


Oh, no worries, I appreciate the info.

Driver 1 commute is at mostly highway speed (65 to 75). Driver 2 commute is 55mph for 50 to 60% of the way (if she doesn't speed...) so I'll bet that will be a factor to consider too.
2013 SV (6.6kw, no QC) - purchased used 4/2017
JuiceBox 40 Pro .. man, this thing charges fast!

specialgreen
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:21 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Mar 2017
Location: Minnesota

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:13 am

There aren’t that many sub-zero days per year; if Driver2 has an alternate route with slower roads, that can add range to compensate for the temp. On my commute, I have a choice of freeway 55mph, county road 45mph, or city street 35mph. Especially when coming home (with a cold car), she may have more time to take the slow route.

Twiggy
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:04 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Jan 2012
Leaf Number: 6061
Location: Minnesota

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:16 pm

Minnesota here, with a '12 LEAF

We have steel rims with Michelin "Ice" snows and they are great. turns the LEAF into a real snow animal.

My wheels came from a Mazda 3; perfect fit.

By the way, cold weather (and head winds) are a bear and you really need to be aware of the range loss due to sub-zero weather. If you can boost charge at work on those days, it is recommended, or as a minimum pre-heat the interior of the car so you get a head start on "comfort". We find the windows fog up pretty fast when super cold, unless there is brilliant sun to clear the glass, so we wind up needing the defroster/heat.

jjeff
Posts: 1486
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:13 pm

Twiggy wrote:Minnesota here, with a '12 LEAF

We have steel rims with Michelin "Ice" snows and they are great. turns the LEAF into a real snow animal.

My wheels came from a Mazda 3; perfect fit.

By the way, cold weather (and head winds) are a bear and you really need to be aware of the range loss due to sub-zero weather. If you can boost charge at work on those days, it is recommended, or as a minimum pre-heat the interior of the car so you get a head start on "comfort". We find the windows fog up pretty fast when super cold, unless there is brilliant sun to clear the glass, so we wind up needing the defroster/heat.

What year Mazda 3?(if it might matter). Also were they originally the same size tire as our 16" Leaf uses? Are you just forgoing the TPMS during the winter then? and live with the light always being on. The OEM Ecopia's aren't too bad but my '12 with California summer tires are CRAP in the snow! but they are almost new and I'd like to use them in the summer and go with the X-ice for winter use.
I agree, blizzards are a real killer for range, I had one trip a few years ago where I was looking for a charge after only 30 miles :(
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

pmc
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 am
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: Steel Rims vs. Alloy ... buying used wheels for winter tires

Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:52 am

Twiggy wrote:Minnesota here, with a '12 LEAF

We have steel rims with Michelin "Ice" snows and they are great. turns the LEAF into a real snow animal.

My wheels came from a Mazda 3; perfect fit.

By the way, cold weather (and head winds) are a bear and you really need to be aware of the range loss due to sub-zero weather. If you can boost charge at work on those days, it is recommended, or as a minimum pre-heat the interior of the car so you get a head start on "comfort". We find the windows fog up pretty fast when super cold, unless there is brilliant sun to clear the glass, so we wind up needing the defroster/heat.


Hi Minnesota, Wisconsin here! Whelp I am ordering the tires... couldn't find any suitable rims locally so I'll just go with steel.

Thanks for the tips on range & cold weather. Driver 1 does have charging at work, so she's fine. Driver 2 really doesn't but there is a Nissan dealer just up the street with a Level 2 she can use to add some juice if needed.

Now to deal with the heater... which isn't working today and it is 1F / -20C ... Brrr :)
2013 SV (6.6kw, no QC) - purchased used 4/2017
JuiceBox 40 Pro .. man, this thing charges fast!

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