Love is...Autocrossing. And Tire Rack.

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

A happy couple, fun with cars and Tire Rack. A perfect marriage in our book.

Angie and Woody Rogers, both Tire Rack employees, placed their first Tire Rack orders back in 1990 before even knowing each other.

Later they met and the rest is (autocross) history.

Woody, who began autocrossing in 1989, convinced Angie to come to an event for their first date. It wasn't long before Angie got behind the wheel and gave it a try herself. The motoring couple continued to compete in local, regional and national level autocross competitions around the country. And many sets of tires later, Angie eventually went on to win two SCCA National Autocross Championships!

Both joined the Tire Rack team on the same day in the summer of 1999. Woody has turned his love of tires and ample time behind the wheel into his role as one of Tire Rack's product information specialists and tire test program coordinator, while Angie has blended her graphic design training and management skills into her current role as print media buyer.

This time of year, you'll find them prepping their 2002 S2000 for yet another season of competition in the SCCA's STR class.

What's Installed? Woody Comments.

Dunlop245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza ZII Tires

"Chosen because it's an all-around performance leader. This tire is well suited to the task, and inspires confidence to push hard and place the car very exactly, both of which are critical to going fast."

TRMotorsports17x9.0 TRMotorsports C3 Light Grey Wheels

"These wheels have the correct fit plus light weight and economical pricing. It costs nearly twice as much to save just two pounds per wheel."

KW KW Clubsport Coil-Over Kit

"We've used KW Coil-Overs before, and they proved to deliver excellent damping control and a wide range of adjustability."

Eibach SpringsFront Anti-Roll Bar

"The Eibach Front Anti-Roll Bar is hollow for reduced weight and the two-way adjustability on the S2000 fitment helps tune handling as needed."

Intercomp 4" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

"Big enough to see from the moon, and always spot on accurate."

AquapelGlass Treatment

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

"The combination of Aquapel and PIAA Super Silicone wipers makes a great pair to assure visibility during even the heaviest downpour."

Braille Auto Lightweight Racing Battery (Carbon Wrap w/Mount) 6 lbs.

"Saving weight is an important part of this project, and this should shave nearly 40 lbs. from the car while still having plenty of cranking power."

SPCSPC Adjustable Ball Joint

"Installed in the front upper control arms, the SPC ball joints add additional adjustment range to the OEM suspension so we can get sufficient negative camber to optimize tire performance."

Added Sense of Security with Continental's ContiComfortKit

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Many owners of new vehicles are often surprised to find that their car, truck or SUV purchased in the last few years lacks a spare tire. In an effort to reduce weight and increase usable cargo space, many automakers are now relying on supplying roadside assistance in place of a temporary or full-size spare tire.

While nothing can take the place of a spare tire in the event of an emergency, there are steps you can take to make sure you're not left stranded. One step includes the purchase of the ContiComfortKit from Continental.

Continental's ContiComfortKit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. The ContiComfortKit combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in the vehicle.


  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (more secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity L.E.D. supplemental work light

ContiComfortKits can also be used as a stand-alone compressor without the sealant activated. When drivers use the kit in this mode, the ContiComfortKit can be used for periodic tire maintenance to compensate for tire pressure losses over time or due to changes in ambient temperature. And in the case of a very slow leak, the ContiComfortKit can restore sufficient pressure without requiring the use of sealant to drive the vehicle to a nearby shop.

The Continental ContiComfortKit is a great solution for assistance with a roadside emergency and is available with free shipping.

Do I have to Put Run-Flat Tires on My BMW?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

When it comes to tires for a BMW, many aren't pleased with the harsh ride and short treadlife of the Original Equipment run-flat tires. However, many owners are unsure if they're able to make the switch to a standard tire. The answer is not as difficult as you might think.

BMWs can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, the same is true when switching to dedicated winter tires. It's important to note that in most cases, the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you decide to make the switch to non-run-flat tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car.

A solution to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures, making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or to a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Another option worth considering is buying a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will wear out the spare tire before it becomes too old.

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until roadside service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for roadside service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat tire.

To view available non-run-flat tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Quick Tips for Holiday Travel

Thursday, December 12, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

If holiday travel plans take you states away, or just a few miles down the road, it's best to make sure your car and tires are ready. Hopefully some of these travel tips will help you have a safe journey to your destination.

Check Your Battery

We take them for granted, but they can be a major inconvenience when low on charge or dead. Many batteries can be difficult to jump or replace when the car is packed. If you need a replacement before you leave for your trip, take a look at our selection from Braille.

Check Your Tire's Air Pressure

Making sure your tires are inflated properly will help stability, MPG, wear and load carrying capacity. Check out our handheld air pressure gauges to ensure your tires are at the recommended pressure.

This also includes checking the air pressure of your spare tire. Often times many people forget to make sure their spare tire is inflated properly in case it needs to be used. For more information on ensuring your spare tire is used correctly and safely, read "Spare Tire Use."

Properly Torque Your Wheels

Proper lug nut torque is a critical step in ensuring safe travel. The torque spec for your vehicle will be listed in the owner's manual. When installing new wheels, you should re-torque the wheel lugs after driving the first 50 to 100 miles in case the clamping loads have changed following the initial installation. Our high quality torque wrench is perfect for the job.

Inspect Your Wiper Blades

Other items that we sometimes forget about are wiper blades. When snow builds up on your windshield, you need to make sure you can clear it properly and quickly. Our selection of PIAA and Valeo wipers work exceptionally well in winter conditions.

Measure Your Tires' Tread Depth

A tire will lose its wet and snow traction as it wears. Tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32" of remaining tread depth. If snow-covered roads are a concern, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth to maintain good mobility. You need more tread depth in snow because your tires need to compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. Our Digital Tread Depth Gauge is a quick and compact way to check your depth.

If you still need a set of winter / snow tires for this season, take a look the options available for your vehicle.

No Spare Tire? We've Got the Option for You!

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the last several years, many car manufacturers (particularly BMW) have been switching to run-flat tires as Original Equipment with the advertised benefit of up to 50 miles of driving range once the tire has completely deflated. This ability can be very convenient when weather or other conditions do not allow for the driver to safely install a spare tire. 

With the addition of run-flat tires, most manufacturers will typically remove the spare tire and jack from the car. Even more interesting, many new cars with conventional tires are being delivered without a spare tire as well. With or without run-flat tires, what option is there in the event of a flat tire? Continental has the answer with their ContiComfortKit.

The Continental ContiComfortKit can easily restore sufficient pressure and seal many small punctures, allowing the tire to be used on a temporary basis until a garage or tire shop is found. In many cases, car owners have elected to purchase a full size wheel and tire to have available for longer trips or when driving in rural areas where help may be hard to find. We can help you find an inexpensive wheel (either steel or aluminum alloy) and tire combination that can be used for an extended period of time!

Continental ContiComfortKit Features:
  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (More secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity LED supplemental work light

Every ContiComfortKit has a "use before" date printed on a seal that's placed adjacent to the instructions of the face of the ContiComfortKit. The date identifies the latex liquid tire sealant's forty-eight month life span from the time the sealant was bottled. If you already own a ContiComfortKit and the "use before" date is reached, you should replace the sealant canister with a new one by ordering ContiComfortKit Replacement Parts.

Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Are you looking for a gift for the car enthusiast in your life? The following items would make a perfect stocking stuffer for them and be a great addition to their garage or vehicle.

Accutire's Excursion Road Kit includes a variety of items that a driver will need in case of a roadside emergency. It can easily be stored in your trunk, and the soft sided bag has a reflective strip to alert oncoming drivers of where you are. This kit includes:

  • Double-Sided Carry Bag
  • Reflective Strip on Back of Bag
  • Tire Gauge
  • 10 Foot, 8-Gauge Jumper Cables with Vinyl Coated Clamps
  • 250 psi Air Compressor with Gauge
  • Emergency Warning Triangle
  • (2) LED Hand-Charged Flashlights
  • Gloves with Dimples for Improved Gripping
  • Poncho
  • Emergency Whistle with Lanyard
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Philips Head Screwdriver
  • Pliers with Vinyl Grips
  • Duct Tape
  • Utility Knife
  • Bungee Cord
  • Shop Cloth
  • Cable Ties
  • First Aid Supplies

Our Cordless Impact Wrench Kit weighs only 5.9 lbs. and provides power in a lightweight design. It features a variable speed, forward or reverse direction, and a bright LED light. The wrench also has a built in cooling fan to prevent against overheating.





The Adjustable Torque Wrench is a great addition to any tool box. Our 1/2" drive adjustable torque wrench ensures that your vehicle's lug nuts are torqued accurately every time.

  • Measures up to 150 ft./lbs. of torque
  • 5" extension bar and 1/2" to 3/8" adapter
  • Chrome plated hardened steel
  • High impact plastic storage case

To view more gift ideas for your car enthusiast, visit our Gift Guide.

Make Sure Your Spare is Ready for Winter

Thursday, October 3, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

We all know the importance of making sure the tires on our car have the proper inflation pressure. But what about your vehicle's fifth tire? Spare tires are often forgotten about or overlooked when it comes to maintenance. With your everyday tires being tested by summer's heat and your winter / snow tires battling harsh road conditions in the colder months, it's important to make sure you maintain the spare.

During one of our driving school events, we checked the air pressure of each participant's spare tire. Below are some of the findings from our experiment:

  • Mini-spare specifying 60 psi inflated to 43 psi (28% underinflated)
  • Mini-spare specifying 60 psi inflated to 27 psi (55% underinflated)
  • Mini-spare specifying 60 psi inflated to 24 psi (60% underinflated)
  • Mini-spare specifying 60 psi inflated to 18 psi (70% underinflated)
  • Mini-spare specifying 60 psi inflated to 4 psi (93% underinflated)
  • Full-size spare specifying 33 psi inflated to 9 psi (73% underinflated)

Since tires require inflation pressure to provide load capacity, if any of these tires had been placed into service, they would have been underinflated and overloaded. Even if driven on underinflated for a short period of time, the heat generated would have permanently damaged the tire or failed while in use.
With holiday travel just around the corner, below are some tips to keep your spare tire ready when you need it.

  • Learn how to install the spare on your vehicle before you have to. Confirm where the jack is in the vehicle and practice changing a tire.
  • Check your vehicle’s owner's manual and the temporary spare's sidewall for instructions on proper use.
  • Check the spare tire's air pressure with a pressure gauge monthly while checking all other tires on your vehicle.
  • Always confirm the inflation pressure before use and ensure that your spare has the manufacturer recommended inflation.

Road Trip Season

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Summer is here, which for many of us means a vacation, often in the form of a road trip. If you're heading out by car, make sure your tires and other essential systems of your vehicle are ready for the road. Feel free to take a look at our handy road trip maintenance checklist. It gives a short list of things to check to make sure your car or truck is ready to carry you as far as you want to go.

In addition to the basics, here are a couple other items that might help prepare you for your travels:

Continental's ContiComfortKit - A spare tire is the preferred solution to a flat tire for most people, but there are situations where changing a flat may be uncomfortable, impractical or dangerous. Some vehicles may not have space to carry a spare, especially when packed with gear for your adventures. For a quick solution to minor punctures, seal and re-inflate your tire with this handy compressor and sealant kit. The compressor runs off of the vehicle's 12 volt power supply and can be used for inflation with or without activating the sealant cartridge. The compact (9"x 7"x 4") dimensions occupy a minimum amount of cargo space.

Are those tires worn out? Do they look like they have the right pressure? Exactly how much tread is left? Take the guesswork out of your answers with the new digital Tread Depth/ Air Gauge from Accutire. Reads your pressure from 5-99 psi in 1/2 lb. units and measures tread depth in 1/32" increments. Make sure to check the tread depth on the inside, middle and outside areas of the tread; sometimes alignment settings can lead to uneven wear. A car with too much negative camber may have a tire that looks fairly new on the outside shoulder and is down to the cords on the inside edge.

View our accessories to find the products you'll need for safe travels this summer.

Deciding Between Run-Flat and Non-Run-Flat Tires

Thursday, April 25, 2013 by Colin .

Many vehicles come equipped with run-flat tires from the manufacturer. Our sales specialists receive many calls from drivers asking if they can replace their run-flat tires with non-run-flat options. There are a few pros and cons when it comes to changing to a non-run-flat tire.


  • Conventional tires are typically less expensive
  • Better ride quality
  • Longer lasting


  • Many vehicles don't have a spare, therefore you won't be able to drive when you get a flat
  • When leasing a vehicle, many companies often require vehicles sold with run-flats be returned with them

Switching to conventional tires will not negatively affect the vehicle and will fit on Original Equipment wheels. Also, for those that don't have a spare, take a look at the Continental ContiComfortKit that seals and inflates tire punctures. It's capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures that make it possible for you to complete your drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. The ContiComfortKit combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in your vehicle.

I have experienced first-hand the differences between non-run-flat tires and run-flats. The BMW I owned came with 18" wheels and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A RFT tires and I switched to 19" wheels and the Sumitomo HTR Z III. Normally, increasing the wheel diameter has a negative impact on ride quality, however I thought the conventional tires on larger sized wheels actually rode a little better than the 18" run-flats. 

To find the tire that works best for your car, shop by vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.91

2008 Honda Accord Sedan
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 43,000
Location: Vincennes, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 43,000 Miles on Tires
December 16, 2011

I have a heavy foot and usually drive 80mph on most highways but do the speed limits in town. Many times, I will drive faster than 80mph. These tires are my 2nd set. I love them. They are extra-ordinarily fabulous. There are no other tires like them. These tires ought to be standard on all vehicles including trucks. If only I could get them on my 2011 toyota tacoma in a 265/65r17. I've traveled from my home state of Indiana to Montana, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Florida, South Carolina and many other states during mostly the summer time and some during the winter and would not even think about driving there without these tires. I've got them inflated with nitrogen. I've found that the most common reason why many tires do not perform nor last as long as they should due to over-inflation and under-inflation as well. Nitrogen keeps them at proper factory specs. I've witnessed that oil change businesses as well as tire shops and car dealerships will over-inflate your tires. The correct tire pressure is located on the inside of the driver's door. Although I tell these places not to touch my tire pressures, they still do and many times have found my tires over-inflated to their maximum which will make them ride rough, be unresponsive, and will wear out many times faster. These michelin pilot tires are simply put...the best of the best of the best. There are no other tires like them and no other tires will come close to them. I corner fast, brake hard, slide around corners on gravel roads plus I drive fast in wet or snowy or dry conditions. Knocking on wood, I've yet to feel them hydroplane. I suggest buying only these tires and carrying a tire pressure gauge and check them for proper air pressure at least monthly. I've yet to add any additional nitrogen in 45000 miles.


Winter Air Pressure Versus Summer Air Pressure

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 by Gary Stanley

Ever hear of someone changing out "summer air" for "winter air" in their tires? It may sound a bit silly, but that old myth does have a small degree of truth to it. Of course the air itself doesn't need to be changed, but the tire's air pressure does change over time and with changes in ambient temperature. Therefore, when the temperature is changing rapidly, it's a good idea to be extra vigilant during the seasonal transitions. 

While it's always a good idea to frequently monitor your tire's air pressure, it can be especially important to check it as the temperature gets colder. This is because a change of 10 degrees Fahrenheit in air temperature can change your tire's inflation by about one psi. During some winter months the temperature can be 40 degrees Fahrenheit one day and below zero just a few days later - that could mean a 4-5 psi drop in inflation pressure! 

You may think your tires support the weight of your vehicle, however they do not. It's the air pressure inside them that allows the tires to carry load. Maintaining proper air pressure is a must if your tires are to provide the best handling, traction, durability and fuel economy. The above example of a 4-5 psi drop may not sound like much, but consider this: some cars that lose 4 psi could be dropping 12%-15% in overall air pressure! With fuel prices as high as they are today, you can't afford to be negligent about maintaining your tire's air pressure.

We offer several excellent air pressure gauges to help you maintain proper psi and ensure the best performance and safety your tires can provide. 

For further information on properly checking your tire's air pressure, read "Remember to Check Your Tire Inflation Pressure."

Do I Need to Put Run-Flat Winter Tires On My BMW?

Monday, November 12, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Every year I am asked by BMW drivers with factory installed run-flat tires if they need to stay with a run-flat option when it comes to purchasing winter / snow tires. There is no stipulation or rule that requires run-flat tires to be reinstalled as the dedicated winter tire choice, however there are some drawbacks you should be aware of before making the switch.

The BMW can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, however, in most cases the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you were to decide to make the switch to non-run-flat winter tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car. However, a solutions to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Features and Benefits of the Continental ContiComfortKit:

  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (more secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity LED supplemental work light
 Continental ContiComfort Kit
Continental ContiComfortKit
 Road Hazard
Road Hazard

Another option worth considering is purchasing a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will "wear out" the spare tire before it "ages out."

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires for the winter boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until road side service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for road side service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat winter tire.

To view all available winter options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Summer Road Trip? Use This Maintenance Checklist.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Before setting off on your summer adventures, take some time to check your car over to ensure everything is in good running condition. A little bit of time spent in advance can save a lot of time and trouble on the road. The following is a good basic checklist to help get your vehicle prepared to take you wherever you want to go:

  1. Brakes - Since many traction control systems use the brakes to prevent wheelspin, they may be working extra hard during your winter driving in the snow. Therefore, it's a good idea to get your brake pads inspected once the weather begins to heat up. Checking your pads is easy when replacing your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your summer options since the wheels will be off. There should be a noticeable thickness of pad material between the backing plate and the rotor. If the pads need to be replaced, there are cleaner, higher performing pad compounds available. Take a look at "Brake Pad or Rotor Inspection & Replacement" to gain a better understanding if it's time for new pads.
  2. Lighting - Recruit a friend or family member to stand outside the car while you turn on the vehicle's headlights, high beams, turn signals and step on the brakes. If they tell you one of those lights isn't working properly, take a look at our lighting options from Hella and PIAA to improve your visibility.
  3. Tire Pressure - Proper tire inflation can improve fuel economy, hydroplaning resistance and tire life. Make sure all four tires are inflated to the vehicle's specifications found in your owner's manual or on the door placard. Don't forget to check your spare tire, too. Also, be sure to have an air gauge in your car so you can check your tire's pressure while traveling.
  4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) - These systems only report tires that are significantly under-inflated, so checking tires yourself is still a good idea even if your car has TPMS sensors. While you're checking your tires' air pressure, also inspect them for damage and wear.
  5. Jack and Lug Wrench - If you're relying on a spare tire in case of a flat, make sure that you have a working jack and lug wrench. It's nice to have something to serve as a wheel chock to make sure the car doesn't shift and fall off the jack. Something as simple as a block of wood will do. If you have custom wheels, it's important to make sure the lug wrench fits. The wheels could also have locks, so don't get stranded without the key! And since the lug nuts are different from stock, have some stock lugs for the spare.
  6. Belts and Hoses - Check them for dry, cracking or rotting as the rubber may give way at an inconvenient time. Replacing these items is usually fairly inexpensive, and can save you trouble.
  7. Check Fluids - Checking oil regularly is a good idea for any car, especially older vehicles that may be more prone to leak or burn oil. Even some newer cars can consume up to a quart every 1,000 miles. Make sure to check your coolant as well. Warmer weather can be harder on your cooling system and you want to be sure it's up to the task.
  8. Windshield Wipers - Driving at highway speeds in the rain can be a challenge. Make sure that your wipers have survived the winter in good working order. Even with good wiper blades, consider applying a water-beading treatment from Aquapel to improve your vision in the rain.

What Air Pressure Should I Use in My Tires?

Thursday, June 7, 2012 by Gary Stanley

Many drivTire Placarders understand it's important to monitor the air pressure in their tires. Improperly inflated tires hurt fuel economy and cause irregular and/or rapid tire wear in addition to posing safety problems.  

It's recommend to check your tires' pressure at least once a month and before any long trip. Who really marks their calendar each month with a reminder to check tire pressure? I'll plead guilty that I don't. Instead, I check mine each time I wash my car.

You've got your air pressure gauge in hand and air compressor ready, but some will ask, "How much air pressure should I have in my tires?" Logic might dictate that one would simply check the sidewall of the tire, much like you do on a bicycle tire. However, this would be incorrect. The tire size used on your vehicle is also used on other vehicles and the recommended air pressure is different depending on the vehicle. For example, it may surprise many that a 2006 Acura MDX SUV uses the exact same tire size as a 2010 Chrysler 300 sedan.

Remember that the pressure listed on the sidewall is a maximum pressure only, not a recommended pressure. Instead, use the air pressure recommended in the vehicle's owner's manual or tire information placard label. The placard is typically found in the driver's side doorjamb, like the example in the photo above.

For more information on properly setting your tire pressure, read "Checking Tire Inflation Pressure."

Checking Tire Air Pressure is the Easiest Way to Maximize Your Tire's Life

Thursday, April 12, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

The air pressure in your tires is critical to their maintenance. Tires cost hundreds of dollars, so spending a few minutes every month is a small price to pay to maximize the return on your investment. 

What are the benefits of checking your tire's air pressure? In the case of an underinflated situation, the tire can experience uneven wear on both shoulders. Additionally, fuel economy, cornering and braking are all adversely affected. In severe situations, you can even have a tire failure or blowout. When a tire is overinflated, uneven wear is still likely, but this occurs towards the center of the tire. Overinflation also results in a stiffer ride and smaller contact patch. The smaller contact patch will diminish the traction and cornering capability of the tire.

To learn more about tire pressure and how it can affect your tires, read one of the following tech articles:

Ready to check your tire's pressure? Make sure you have an adequate tread depth gauge or find one here.

Accutire ABS Coated Air Gauge

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by Gavin Carpenter

Having adequate air in your tires is nothing to overlook. You wouldn't want to take a long trip with your gas tank on empty now, would you? An underinflated tire is more prone to early tread wear, bad fuel economy and also affects the handling and braking of the vehicle.

A handy tool to keep in your glove compartment is a tire pressure gauge to ensure you can check your tire's pressure at any time. An outstanding option to consider is the Accutire ABS Coated Air Gauge. The following are some of the key benefits and features to the ABS Coated Air Gauge:

  • Registers pressure levels from 5 to 150 psi on an easy-to-read digital LCD display
  • Rubber handle for easy grip
  • Powered by a permanent lifetime lithium battery
  • Top recommended tire pressure gauge in a popular consumer publication

To gain a better understanding of how to properly check and adjust your tire's inflation pressures, read "Checking Tire Inflation Pressure."

Keep Accurate Tire Pressure

Monday, April 9, 2012 by Alex Mouroulis

Many people don't consider the role tires play on their vehicle. Your tires make contact with the road and the total contact area is about the size of a sheet of paper. Tire sidewalls are extremely pliable and soft; the entire load of your vehicle is carried by the air that fills the tires.

For every 10-degree Fahrenheit shift in ambient air temperature, you can expect a fluctuation of 1 psi in tire pressure. Also, you'll lose on average 1 psi per month just from regular driving. A high quality air gauge or tread depth gauge will help you maintain accurate pressures, maximize your vehicle's tire wear and fuel efficiency.

Accutire Digital Set Point
Accutire Digital Set Point Programmable Air Gauge
Dill Digital Tread Depth
Dill Digital Tread Depth
Intercomp Deluxe 4 inch
Intercomp Deluxe 4" Air Pressure Gauge

It's important that you adjust your air pressure in the morning before you drive more than a few miles, or before rising ambient temperatures or the sun's radiant heat affects it. For more information on the importance of maintaining sufficient air pressure, read "Air Pressure, Temperature Fluctuations."

The Effect Time and Temperature Have on Your Tire's Air Pressure

Friday, January 6, 2012 by Hunter Leffel
Air Pressure, Temperature FluctuationsTo help protect your investment, properly inflated tires will provide your vehicle with great service and long life. Time and temperature are not your friend when it comes to maintaining optimal pressure. As tires are used, the rubber they're made of stretches and conforms to the road with each rotation. This stretching results in about 1 psi of lost air pressure over the course of a month. For example, if your vehicle calls for 32 psi and you do not add air to your tires over a six-month period you could lose almost 20% in air pressure.

Additionally, the fluctuation in temperature also impacts your tire's psi. The rule of thumb is for every 10 degree Fahrenheit change in ambient temperature, your tire's inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi (up with higher temperatures and down with lower). This means that a properly inflated tire at 85 degrees could lose approximately 5 psi if the temperature were to drop to freezing (32 degrees). To gain a better understanding of how temperature affects your tire's air pressure, read "Air Pressure, Temperature Fluctuations."

As you can tell, frequently checking your tire's pressure is time well spent to ensure optimal performance and wear. Proper inflation helps drivers avoid uneven wear and tire sidewall damage in extreme low pressure situations.

Maintaining sufficient air pressure is required if your tires are going to provide the handling, traction and durability of which they're capable, so take a look at the air and tread depth gauges available so you can monitor your tire's air pressure.

Affordable Tire Gauges from Accutire

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 by Marshall Wisler
With winter in full swing and temperatures dropping across the nation, it's never been more important than now to carefully monitor your tire pressure.

Underinflated tires cause vehicle imbalance, promote irregular wear and can cause load-carrying capacity issues. When the temperature drops, the air inside your tires naturally contracts at a rate of about 1 psi per 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, it is natural for air pressure to permeate through the tire's rubber sidewall at an additional rate of approximately 1 psi per month regardless of temperature. 

Accutire GaugesThis means that if you had set your tire pressure at 36 psi on a 70 degree summer day (six months ago) and the pressure has since dropped to 30 degrees, your tires at this moment could have as little as 26 psi in them.

Checking your tire pressure on a monthly basis takes only a few moments and keeps you and your family protected during these cold winter months.

A wide array of tire pressure gauges are available at several price points including the cost-effective Accutire Digital Pencil Air Gauge and the extremely accurate Accutire Racing Air Gauge that measures to 1/10th a pound of psi pressure.

Snow Tires Part 2: How to Make Your Winter / Snow Tires Last

Friday, December 16, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
Now that you have taken the plunge and made an investment in safety, let's talk about how to maximize the life of your winter / snow tires. Snow tires are truly different, so consider the following factors to ensure you get all you can from your investment.

Winter tires use the same pressure as shown on your door's placard. The key is to set it in the coldest temperatures outside that you will be driving in -  first thing in the morning before you drive and not in the sun. I do this by leaving all my garage doors open for a few hours. Also, I fill and drain my compressor each time it's used. An alternative if you don't want to freeze your garage out is to add a few extra pounds of air pressure to each tire. And, since many vehicle's owner's manuals recommend operating winter tires several psi higher than recommended, read "Higher Tire Pressures for Winter Driving."

Snow tires are soft. You'll want to rotate them regularly and usually more often than your all-season tires. If you're looking for a mile schedule, I rotate mine every 2,500-3,000 miles. I like to keep my winter / snow tires wearing out at the exact same time and matching treadwear keeps them as quiet as possible. The moment I see a 1/32" deviation between axles, I rotate them - you could say I measure tread depth often! Metal tread depth gauges are awesome and that's what I like to use. However, they can tend to get expensive, so if you are looking for something that works well at a great price, take a look at the Dill Digital Tread Depth Gauge.

Rotation Pattern

Designed to stay in contact with the snow and ice, winter / snow tires need to be connected to be effective. As it's not necessary to carry momentum when you have grip, you can reduce the vehicle's wheel spin. My car has Haldex four-wheel drive, the minute my traction light flashes I respond. I pull much larger vehicles out of snow drifts and ditches at less than 2 mph. Remember, keep that connected feeling.  

Each tire manufacturer has their appropriate temperature cutoff, as snow tires wear faster in warm weather. My rule of thumb is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, when the temperature regularly is around this mark, I consider taking the tires off.

Since measuring your tire pressure is so important, be sure to take a look at our selection of air and tread depth gauges.