All about me

Before I start talking about everything else, let me tell you a little about myself.  I have been working at Tire Rack since 2005. I first visited the South Bend headquarters in 2003 as a customer looking  to buy a set BMW wheels and tires.  I was impressed with the showroom and test track, and I thought it would be fun to work here.  That idea stayed with...  Read More

What to Buy When the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is Backordered

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is an outstanding tire. It combines top-tier wet and dry traction with responsive handling, making it a benchmark in the Max Performance Summer category. Unfortunately, it has been out of stock in many sizes this summer. So what do you do if the Super Sport has an indefinite backorder in your size? It depends on why you wanted...  Read More

Michelin's Premier Family is Growing

Michelin's Premier A/S is one of the top-rated tires in the Grand Touring All-Season category. It combines the smooth, quiet ride and confident handling we expect from this category, while also offering unique technology that retains better performance as the tire wears down. Traditionally, as a tire wears down some elements of the tread pattern disappear....  Read More

New Website: Using the Installer Search

With the update to our website, the installer search now looks slightly different. In a previous post, we discussed how to select an installer, but there's a new update relevant to the redesigned site. The new installer search from the home page shows a map with installers. Installers with especially high customer survey ratings are highlighted with gold...  Read More

What Does 'XL' Stand For?

Customers are often curious about the 'XL' designation that they see next to the size of certain tires. Because XL is commonly used as an abbreviation for extra large, many of them think that the XL tire will be a different size. When talking about tires, XL really means extra load. These tires can use higher air pressure to support more weight than a...  Read More

Just Installed: PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow Fog Lights

I just finished installation of the PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow bulbs for the fog lights in my BMW. One of my fog lights had gone bad, so naturally it was time for an upgrade. While I enjoy the ultra-bright white of the PIAA Xtreme White Plus bulbs, the yellow-colored bulbs reflect less when used in fog, making them more practical. We do get some mornings with...  Read More

Kumho's Ecsta V720 is SCCA Eligible

SCCA rules require that tires used in stock classes be available in at least six sizes across four rim diameters by April 30th to be approved for competition. The Kumho Ecsta V720, which had very few sizes available when I wrote "Best Autocross Tires for 2015", made it just in time when Kumho delivered six sizes that span 15" through 18" rim diameters. Kumh...  Read More

Best Autocross Tires for 2015

We'll be running tests this summer as usual, but motorsport season is already getting underway. Here's a sneak peak at some of the best options available this year. BFGoodrich is introducing the g-Force Rival S, an autocross optimized version of the Rival. Though this tire is not yet widely available, it looks like a promising addition to the Extreme...  Read More

BFGoodrich Introduces g-Force COMP-2 A/S

In addition to the new g-Force Rival S, BFGoodrich is introducing a new Ultra High Performance All-Season tire, the g-Force COMP-2 A/S. Its directional tread pattern combines form and function, effectively evacuating summer rain and winter slush from the tread area, all while looking sportier than the average all-season tread pattern. The tread blocks wrap...  Read More

How to Tell if a Recommended Installer Does Road Force Balancing

For some vehicles, anything less than perfect balancing of wheels and tires can result in unpleasant vibration at certain speeds. One of the best tools for getting rid of this vibration is Road Force balancing. This advanced balancing spins the tire against a roller to account for any variation in stiffness of the tire's sidewall. It's common for there to be...  Read More

Preview: BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S

This spring, BFGoodrich is introducing the new g-Force Rival S. Building on the successful design of the original g-Force Rival, BFGoodrich is expanding the line to include the S version. The primary difference is a softer compound that will come up to operating temperature faster and yield higher maximum grip. This is ideal for autocross competitors, time...  Read More

You Can Get All-Terrain Tires for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

It's notoriously difficult to find tires for the original Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Staggered sizing and short sidewalls means very few choices, and none of those choices are intended for serious off-road use. And while most SRT8 owners don't plan to venture off the road, a Jeep is still a Jeep! There is always some temptation to head for adventure off the...  Read More

Coming Soon: Bridgestone RE-71R Extreme Performance Summer Tire

The Extreme Performance Summer tire category has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11 has been one of the most popular and well-reviewed tires, but they can't afford to rest on their laurels. The Potenza RE-11A provided a refresh in select sizes to enhance their competitiveness against their newest rivals. And while...  Read More

Staggered Tires: Why or Why Not

I had a question from a customer that surprised me the other day. After doing this for as many years as I have, I tend to think that I've heard it all. We were talking about an older BMW, and he asked me if the original tire sizes were staggered. I replied that they were not. His follow-up question was, "Well, why not? It's not like the car is all-wheel...  Read More

How to Calculate Your Installation Cost at a Recommended Installer

Our Recommended Installer's page is designed to help make installing the tires you get from us simple and convenient. To learn about choosing an installer, take a look at "Updates to Our Recommended Installer Page Help You Find Your Ideal Installer." All of our Recommended Installers take part in our Price Pledge program, meaning that they promise to...  Read More

Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set vs Sportline Spring Set: Which to Choose?

Eibach springs are one of our most popular suspension products. For most applications, Eibach offers both Pro-Kit and Sportline springs. Which one is best? The answer, as always, depends on what you are looking for. The Pro-Kit is an excellent blend of ride and handling. Moderate lowering, usually an inch to an inch and a half, gives a sportier appearance...  Read More

Need Winter Tires for Stock 19" M3 Wheels?

As a high-horsepower RWD car that comes with summer tires, the M3 desperately needs winter tires if you are going to drive it through wintry weather. Both the E90 and F80 M3 commonly come with 19" staggered wheels, which makes snow tires hard to find. In previous years, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 was available in 255/35R19 front and 275/35R19 rear, but...  Read More

Closeout Prices on Popular Sizes of the Blizzak WS70

The Blizzak WS70 was Bridgestone's flagship ice and snow tire through last winter. The introduction of the Blizzak WS80 for this winter has led to the discontinuation of the WS70. However, there are still some popular sizes of this tire in stock and available at closeout prices. Though it doesn't quite equal the performance of the newer WS80, the WS70 is...  Read More

Winter Tires and Wheels for Your New Honda Accord

The 2014 Honda Accord is one of the top-selling cars in America. In most cases, it comes equipped with Michelin or Goodyear all-season tires, which are suitable for mild winters. If you reside in an area that experiences severe winters, with substantial snowfall and icy conditions, a set of winter / snow tires will be a big improvement over your...  Read More

Looking for Winter Tires? 2014 Ice Rink Test is Posted.

Our annual test on a local indoor hockey rink gives us an early look at how this year's winter tires will perform on one of the most challenging driving surfaces there is: a sheet of ice. This year, as we commonly do, we focused on the Studless Ice & Snow performance category. This class of tires includes the most innovative winter compound technology and is...  Read More

How Tough is the New BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2?

Tough enough to drop from an airplane! To demonstrate the enhanced toughness of their new All-Terrain T/A KO2, BFGoodrich mounted them on wheels and dropped them from the sky. With the majority of all-terrain tires' punctures happening in the sidewall area, BFGoodrich paid special attention to reinforcing the sidewalls with technology from their off-road...  Read More