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 me, and within a couple years I joined the team.
Like most of us here, I am a car enthusiast. I really enjoy the tire testing we do here, especially the track tests, and it is fun to talk to enthusiasts from all over the country and around the world.
Before I start talking about everything else, let me tell you a little about myself. I have been working at Tire Rack since 2005.
Often times I receive calls from customers who are curious about changing the wheel size on their vehicle. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the difference in wheel sizes:
Can I use a different wheel size than what came on my car? Yes. There are often sizes that'll work very well on a vehicle even though they were not originally installed on it. When you search by vehicle on our website, all the options listed have been verified to fit. This also allows us to show you the specific price for the wheel you need for your vehicle.
Why do you need to know my vehicle? We need to know your vehicle to ensure a proper fit. Experience has taught us that searching by wheel size, offset and/or bolt pattern alone aren't specific enough criteria to ensure an exact fitment. Attention to detail prevents vibration, wheel and tire interference and unbalanced handling. Read "Why Shop for Wheels by First Selecting a Vehicle?" to see what we check so the wheels you order are a fit for your car.
How does Tire Rack know what will fit my vehicle? So glad you asked! Because there are numerous wheel/vehicle combinations, this often means each wheel has to be individually tested on the vehicle either manually or electronically using Computer Aided Deign (CAD) data. Some of the items we verify to ensure a proper fit include:
- Bolt Pattern
- Centerbore Diameter
- Hub Diameter
- Load Capacity
- Lug Hardware
- Suspension Components Clearance
Take a look at "How We Know What Fits" to see how we offer Tire & Wheel Packages that are specifically designed for your vehicle.
Will the new size throw off my speedometer/odometer? No. If you stick with a proper plus- or minus-sized tire, the speedometer and odometer will still function correctly. To learn more about this topic, check out our tech article, "The Plus Concept."
Will I have to change anything else on my vehicle? Typically, the answer is no. The vast majority of our wheel fitments will bolt right on. We do list some specialized wheel fitments that are designed for vehicles used in racing, with lifted suspensions or modified fenders. Any wheels requiring modification are noted as such.
Will my vehicle's ride or handling be affected? It depends on the size. Plus or minus one inch from the original wheel is not usually very noticeable. Bigger wheels generally have sportier handling but a harder ride. Smaller wheels have a softer ride and more flex in the tire's sidewall.
I shopped for a Tire & Wheel Package, but I only see wheels. What's going on? Creating a Tire & Wheel Package is a two-part process. First, you choose the wheel you want, then you choose a tire to go with it. As tire enthusiasts, we don't believe that the same tire is right for every driver, so we let you choose the tire that's best for you.
The RC-G4 is Enkei Racing Series' design for rally use. It's constructed using Enkei's MAT technology for optimum strength and light weight.
MAT combines Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The flow forming process produces a finer, more even aluminum structure, yielding a light yet strong wheel.
In addition to advanced manufacturing, the RC-G4 has been carefully designed for the demands of rallying. The large center area helps prevent debris and gravel from lodging in the brake system, while the many short spokes optimize strength and allow cooling air to reach the brakes.
Enkei's state-of-the-art construction and quality control, combined with carefully optimized design give these wheels excellent resistance to impacts, stresses and damage.
The contour of the barrel and face of the wheel are designed to optimize brake clearance. This allows for the largest possible calipers and rotors within a 15" wheel. Proven in use on Group N rally cars, these wheels are truly race ready!
Winter is the coldest and darkest time of the year. That makes it the perfect time for some of our new products to help keep the cold, gloom and lethargy at bay.
Just because the weather is colder doesn't mean that you have to give up on outdoor activities. Our new Sport-Tek® Sport-Wick Stretch Half-Zip Pullovers are perfect as an outer layer when exercising in milder winter weather, or as an inner layer in more severe winter conditions.
The moisture wicking Sport-Tek material keeps you dry, while the 10% spandex allows the garment to move with you without slowing you down. These high-tech pullovers are available in both a black and grey color for men and women.
Sunset comes early this time of year. Safe driving requires looking ahead to be prepared for any upcoming obstacles. Driving on snowy or icy roads means that you will need extra time to complete any necessary braking or steering. When driving at night, do your car's headlights project far enough down the road?
If the answer is no, the Hella Optilux H.I.D. Driving Kit may be the solution. These compact driving lamps utilize the same xenon technology found in high-end H.I.D. headlights. With their compact size, light weight and durable construction, these lights are designed to stand up to the most demanding conditions. The kit comes complete with mounting instructions, mounting brackets and wiring harness.
For the most part, Tire Rack carries tires for passenger cars and light trucks. However, we do offer some options for heavier vehicles that require 19.5" wheels.
The Michelin XRV is aimed primarily at the recreational vehicle market. Featuring heavy-duty construction and a smooth, stable, straight-rib tread pattern, this tire is ideal for RVs used on the highway. It uses a cool-running tread compound molded into a shallow, stable tread design to reduce heat for greater durability and reduced squirm for enhanced handling. Currently, this Highway Rib Summer tire is available in a 225/70R19.5 and 245/70R19.5 size.
Continental's HSR is designed to be used on the steer (generally front) axle of medium-duty commercial vehicles. They can be used in conjunction with the Continental HDR which is designed for use on the drive axle. These Continental tires feature a rugged steel internal construction and a damage-resistant compound to accommodate use off of the pavement. Both Continentals are available in 225/70R19.5. The HDR is also offered in a 245/70R19.5 size.
In size 8R19.5, we offer the Bridgestone R187. This tire is designed with a smooth-rolling highway tread that provides good wet and dry traction. It also features an all-steel construction and a deep 16/32" tread depth.
Whether you're looking for a tire for a 19.5" wheel or a different size, shopping by size will give you the options that are a match for your application.
I was having lunch with a colleague today, and he was telling me that when he took his summer tires off, the inside edge was down to the cords and the outside was almost at full tread depth. He guessed the culprit was excessive negative camber, probably from his custom springs settling lower than they were when the alignment was set.
The life of a tire expert usually means that we're paying attention to the tires of many other people: customers first and foremost, but also friends and relatives. Sometimes that means we forget to pay enough attention to our own. I have seen my colleagues (and yes, sometimes myself) running with tires over-inflated or under-inflated. Or driving with too much negative camber, bent wheels, winter tires in the summer, and numerous other sins against proper tire care.
While defects do happen, modern tires from reputable brands tend to have extremely good quality control. But since everything the car does goes through the tires, it's the tires that often show the results of other problems.
Next time you see strange or premature wear on your tires, talk to an expert about what might be causing it. Finding the real problem early will often save you a lot of expense and frustration later.
To make sure you get the most out of your tires, check out our Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual. This manual also has links to relevant articles about checking air pressure, proper rotation and other topics on properly caring for your tires.
Myth 1: If your vehicle has front-wheel drive, you only need two winter / snow tires.
On a front-wheel drive vehicle, the front tires do the steering, accelerating and most of the braking. If the front tires are doing the majority of the work, how important could those rear tires be? When driving in a straight line, they're not so important, but when it comes to turning, it's a different story.
When making a turn, the front wheels initiate the change in direction, but for the driver to retain control, the rear tires need to follow accurately behind. If the front is gripping and the rear is sliding, the rear of the car wants to continue in a straight line while the front follows the intended path. This can lead to loose, tail-out oversteer, and if not quickly corrected can cause a complete spin-out.
Stability control systems that are designed to prevent spins and loss of control can only work to optimize the available traction. They can't create traction that doesn't exist. If the rear tires aren't gripping, stability control is often not enough to save a spin.
We tested this myth using Honda Civics on an ice rink to demonstrate the difference between two and four winter / snow tires on a FWD car.
To view our complete test results, read "Why Gamble With Winter Tire Selection When Four of a Kind Always Beats Two Pair?".
Myth 2: If your vehicle has rear-wheel drive, you only need two winter / snow tires.
Two winter / snow tires on a rear-wheel drive vehicle used to be a common configuration. There are two main changes that explain why this is no longer the case.
First, snow tires have improved greatly over the years, therefore the difference in traction is much greater. When winter tires were less effective, they were only giving a boost in traction to the drive wheels to keep people from getting stuck in the snow. Now the difference between winter and all-season tires is big enough that there would be a more obvious imbalance in traction. There have been cases where the traction of the rear wheels pointing straight ahead have overpowered the front wheels' effort to turn, causing vehicles to plow straight ahead into obstacles or incoming traffic while attempting to turn.
Second, there's a much greater emphasis on safety today than there was in decades past. You or your parents may remember the days when seatbelts were optional, dashboards were made of metal, airbags were unheard of and safety mostly meant "don't hit anything." Things that would be dangerously negligent or downright illegal today used to be viewed as perfectly normal.
In summary, the front wheels are responsible for the steering and most of the braking, and it doesn't make sense to shortchange them when it comes to winter traction.
Myth 3: Bridgestone Blizzaks only give half the amount of winter service because the bottom half of the tread is a regular all-season compound.
Like many myths, this one is a distortion of reality. The first 55% of a Blizzak tire, like the WS70 for example, uses the winter Multicell compound. There are taller wear bars that'll indicate when the end of the compound is close. Below this is not an all-season compound, but a standard winter compound. Because the Multicell compound is more flexible, using a standard winter compound for the base makes the tread more stable.
A major point that is often overlooked is that any winter / snow tire, regardless of compound, loses much of its effectiveness when the tread is too shallow. It's not recommended to go through a winter with snow tires of any brand that start the season with less than 6/32" of remaining tread depth.
Blizzak tires will provide optimum traction until they reach the point where they or any other tire should be replaced. Below that depth they're still a winter tire, but the lack of tread depth will compromise effectiveness in deeper snow.
For additional information on this line of tires, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."
We recently added the ANDROS brand of wheels to our lineup. The timing is appropriate because the brand is named for the ANDROS Trophy, a French ice racing series. True to their name, they are designed to tackle winter's toughest conditions.
ANDROS wheels are sturdily constructed and feature finishes designed to hold up to the salt and chemicals often found on winter roads. The designs are fairly simple, which makes cleaning easier. Current models are variations on the 5-spoke theme.
A set of ANDROS wheels combined with winter / snow tires will make an excellent choice for winter driving. While cold, snowy conditions are their primary mission, these simple and durable wheels can be a good option for any climate or road condition.
Available in a wide variety of bolt patterns and with sizes between 16" and 20", shop by vehicle to see which ANDROS wheel is available for your application.
When putting together a Tire & Wheel Package for winter, the MSW Type 14 is often one of the most affordably priced alloy wheel options. Current pricing ranges from $78-$133*, with common 16" applications priced at $89* per wheel. The wheel is available in a wide variety of bolt patterns and offsets to fit popular vehicles.
Alloy wheels tend to cost a little more than steel wheels, but are more resistant to rust, lighter weight and more attractive. For some vehicles, steel wheels may not be available, so in many cases the Type 14 may be the best priced option. When compared to steel wheels, alloy wheels offer the following benefits:
- Enhances the look of your vehicle
- Are manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
- Weigh less than steel wheels and have superior strength
- May be the preferred option for your vehicle based on fitment requirements
- Will allow for better brake clearance (depending on wheel style and brake components installed)
With a simple five-spoke design they are easy to clean and resist the tendency to accumulate packed snow. Proper maintenance is required as finish damage may result in the harshest winter climates where salty and sand are routinely used. Which means your winter wheels will need to be cleaned.
*Prices subject to change
Driving on ice is usually the most hazardous road condition that we experience. Road speeds that feel safe and cautious can suddenly feel wildly out of control when trying to stop or turn. Getting started on a moderate incline can even prove next to impossible.
Each year we simulate these challenging conditions by conducting acceleration, braking and cornering tests at a local ice rink. We outfitted each of our four test cars with one of the leading contenders from the Studless Ice & Snow performance category and measured their capabilities of handling icy conditions.
The reigning champion was Bridgestone's Blizzak WS70 and the tire was still impressive in this year's test. However, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 provided a strong challenge. During testing, the X-Ice Xi3 had the best acceleration, while the Blizzak WS70 felt the most stable in cornering. When it came to braking, the Bridgestone winter tire had a slight edge. And finally, Michelin's option exhibited slightly better road manners than the rest of the competitors.
Two other tires were a part of our test, the Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Goodyear's Ultra Grip Ice WRT. Continental's ExtremeWinterContact was a very good performer, but was slightly behind the leaders. When it came to the Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT, it lagged slightly behind the group in ice performance, though still offering greatly superior traction to anything you'll find in an all-season tire. Before you make your final decision read "Testing the Newest Studless Ice & Snow Winter Tires" for complete results of our testing.
If you live in an area where you will experience icy conditions, consider a Studless Ice & Snow tire. The level of confidence they provide on ice is unparalleled. Do you still have doubts that options from this category can't compete with a studded tire? Then check out this eye-opening test, I had to experience it to believe it.
The Competition Package (ZCP) for the BMW M3 includes 19" wheels that are a half-inch wider than the standard options. We commonly recommend 235/35R19 on the front and 255/35R19 on the rear for a typical M3 Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, but those sizes will give a stretched look on the ZCP wheels. While the 9" and 10" wide wheels are technically within the recommended range for these tire sizes, winter tires tend to run slightly narrow, and the net result is a tire that looks like it's stretched to fit the wheel.
A better solution when using ZCP wheels for winter driving is the combination of 255/35R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires. While the wider sizes are generally not preferred for deep snow use, they're the better choice for this particular wheel application. Bridgestone's Blizzak LM-60 is offered in these size configurations for the 2012-13 winter season. If you need narrower tires for more severe snow and ice conditions, an 18" Winter Tire & Wheel Package would be the recommended size.
See what customers are saying about their experience with the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 to help you in your search for a winter tire:
"Totally impressed with the ice and snow traction from these Blizzaks. Being a rear-wheel drive car, they really hook up and get me going. Deep snow or ice-covered roads are no problem for these. Good job, Bridgestone!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500
"I have had these tires for about two months and I can say that they perform very well in winter conditions. Being a powerful car (2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe), these tires have never come close to slipping when starting and stopping on ice. I fully endorse and recommend these tires to anybody with a smaller, AWD sports car." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe
"This is the premier winter tire, and for good reason. Never again will I go another Wisconsin winter without a set of these. It's literally a night and day difference when driving on this tire in the snow, slush and ice. We recently experienced one of the worst snow storms here in Southeast Wisconsin - part of my area got hit with more than 20" of snow in less than a day. Even in the unplowed driveways and side streets, I was able to get to work the next day with no problems!' -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 Volkswagen GTI
"These tires shined in the Chicago Blizzard in early 2011. When most people were sitting and spinning, I was confidently driving forward." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe Performance Wheel Package
Create a Winter/ Snow Tire & Wheel Package that's right for your application.
While most of the new developments in winter / snow tire technology are in the Studless Ice & Snow performance category, studdable snow tires remain a solid option for winter driving. Studdable winter tires tend to have a little longer treadlife than their studless counterparts, and are often some of the best-priced options in a given size. The combination of long wear and low cost make them an excellent choice for drivers needing a value-oriented winter solution.
The two most common tires in this category are the General AltiMAX Arctic and Firestone Winterforce. These tires come in a variety of sizes and are even offered in some LT versions that are rated for 3/4- and 1-ton vehicles. Both are very capable in the snow, and have received excellent reviews from our customers.
General AltiMAX Arctic
Take a look at what customers are saying about their experience with the General AltiMAX Arctic:
"I used the General AltiMAX Arctic tires on my 2008 Honda Fit Sport for three winters in upstate New York, two of which had significant snowfall. These tires exceeded my expectations and provided excellent traction and control. With these snow tires, I was able to drive in heavy snow and on some very icy roads with no difficulty. I highly recommend these tires for the Honda Fit." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Honda Fit Sport
"Excellent winter tire for the money. Transformed my rear-wheel drive Volvo into a snow machine. I have much more confidence driving in the winter than with my all-season tires. We see a wide variation of winter weather in Kentucky so it's nice to feel prepared for anything." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1991 Volvo 940 SE
Also, check out what drivers are saying about the capabilities of the Firestone Winterforce in winter conditions:
"Unbelievable difference from all-season tires. I live in a Pittsburgh neighborhood where we need to climb a substantial hill to get home. If it snows any considerable amount, my neighbors are parking their cars and walking. I climb right up the hills and have no problem getting home. Very impressed! Nice job, Firestone!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Honda Accord Sedan EX 4cyl
"These Winterforce tires have worked superbly on our 2002 Volvo S40. We live in Maine so there is plenty of snow and ice and they work great in all of it. Excellent tire at a very good price." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2002 Volvo S40
Studdable tires are sold without studs by default. Customers who want additional ice traction can opt to add studding for $15 per tire. Some areas do not allow the use of studs, or restrict their use to certain times of year, so make sure to check your local regulations before ordering tires with studs installed. For more information on studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."
The current Volkswagen GTI is one of the most popular cars in the hatchback segment. It usually comes equipped with either summer tires from Bridgestone or all-season options from Pirelli or Dunlop. While these tires work well in the warmer months, they do not have much focus on snow traction. Which means purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package is your best bet for handling the toughest conditions winter has to offer.
For the driving enthusiast on a budget, buying steel wheels with your winter GTI tires can help keep the total cost down. Tire Rack currently has 16x6.5" steel wheels in stock that fit the GTI priced at $58 each (price and availability accurate as of 10/19/12). These wheels will not only fit the GTI, but many other Volkswagen and Audi applications using the 5x112 bolt pattern, including the A3, A4, new (2012+) Beetle, Passat, Golf and Jetta.
Winter weather hasn't yet arrived, but winter / snow tire season is in full swing. Many winter items are stocked seasonally, and October is often the month where we have the widest selection in stock. So be prepared this winter by purchasing early so you'll get the tires and wheels you want.
Many of our customers know about the potential advantages of going to a smaller wheel size when selecting a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. When minus sizing, not only would deep snow traction be enhanced, but the cost of a winter package is usually lower than a package maintaining your vehicle's original size tires and wheels. An additional advantage higher profile tire sizes offer is they feature taller sidewalls and smaller diameter wheels that more easily resist damage associated with winter road hazards and early spring potholes. However, we often receive questions from customers looking for wheels who only see equal or larger sized wheels when shopping, and nothing smaller than what is Original Equipment on their car.
In some cases, the size that's on your vehicle may be the smallest size possible that will still clear your vehicle's brakes. For most cars, it's possible to go smaller, you just have to know where to look. One way is to shop for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package rather than searching for wheels in our website's wheels section. Tire Rack's Preferred Winter Package often feature alternate sizes that combine smaller diameter wheels with narrower, higher profile tires that have equivalent load capacities and overall diameters. Unfortunately, wide, low profile tires have to "plow" a wide path through deep snow, where narrower tires have an easier time. So if you're likely to drive through deep snow this year, you'll want winter / snow tires and wheels in sizes that better help you.
Your winter tire and wheel sizes should be based on one of the following:
Your Vehicle's Original Equipment Tire and Wheel Size
While not a dimensional advantage, winter tires and wheels in the Original Equipment size to replace your all-season or summer tires will offer more traction in cold temperatures, slush, snow and ice.
The Tire and Wheel Size from Your Vehicle's Base Model
This is often an easy way to select an appropriate narrow tire for your car, van or truck. While this may only provide a small dimensional difference, a smaller combination (for example, 225/50R17-sized tires to 215/60R16-sized tires on 16" wheels) will reduce your cost while increasing your vehicle's wintertime traction.
A Minus Size Tire and Wheel
Minus Sizing combines taller profile tires with smaller diameter wheels.
Begin finding a smaller diameter wheel for your winter driving by searching for Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package!
We recently completed our ice rink testing of several Studless Ice & Snow tires. One thing that really stuck out to me was how impressive the new Michelin X-Ice Xi3 was in our acceleration and braking tests.
We have not yet compiled all of our test data, but the Xi3 was very competitive and seemed slightly ahead of the highly rated Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 in the straight line portion of the test. The tire also seemed to be close, but slightly behind the Blizzak WS70 when it came to cornering on the ice.
Michelin's X-Ice Xi3 tires were also some of the best handling in their category during our testing on dry roads. Many of the sizes available for the Xi3 are H-speed rated, which is higher than usual for options in the Studless Ice & Snow performance category. This also contributes to superior handling and high speed stability.
On top of many sizes being available in H-speed ratings, most sizes meet Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance. Branded with their Green X symbol provides visual confirmation of the tire's positive contribution to vehicle fuel efficiency and the global environment. The application of the Green X symbol is determined by laboratory testing on a model-by-model, size-by-size basis. It's Michelin's guarantee that the tire provides a level of energy efficiency among the highest in the market for its category without compromising other key characteristics, such as traction and treadwear. For more information on what this symbol on some Michelin tires represent, read "Michelin Green X."
X-Ice Xi3 tires provide a definite advance over the X-Ice Xi2 in traction. The difference is significant enough that Michelin recommends against combining the two tires on the same vehicle. As always, Studless Ice & Snow tires should only be used in sets of four. To see if the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is available for your vehicle, view available sizes.
Tire Rack recently added Rally Armor mud flaps to the long list of products that we already carry. Designed for, and inspired by the messy fun of rally racing, these mud flaps can also be useful for drivers looking to protect their cars from the slush and conditions of winter driving.
Rally Armor is based in New York with all of their facilities located within the United States. They offer a diverse selection of mud flaps, ranging from basic options to race-ready items. In addition to their universal part numbers that'll fit just about any vehicle with some drilling for proper fit, they offer direct-fit applications tailored for some of the most popular rally vehicles.
Vehicles with bolt-on mud flap applications include:
- 1993 - current Subaru Impreza/WRX/STI/Outback Sport
- 1998 - current Subaru Forester
- 2005 – current Subaru Legacy and Outback
- 2004 – current Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3
- 2007 - current Mitsubishi Lancer and Ralliart sedan (no Sportback)
- 2003 - current Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Search by vehicle to find the Rally Armor product that works best for your application.
Do you have the new Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ? Your summer tires are designed for optimum grip and handling in warm weather. However, they'll be skittish in below freezing temperatures and even slicker in the snow. Summer tires combined with light weight and rear-wheel drive make this is a car that definitely needs winter / snow tires if you live in a climate that experiences ice, snow and cold temperatures.
Fortunately, there are a number of good options available. We have a standard recommended Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for buyers looking for the most snow traction for their money. Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 tires and black stamped steel wheels offer maximum snow and ice traction while keeping the cost down. To see why Bridgestone's Blizzak winter tires live up to their reputation, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
If you would like an alloy wheel or a winter / snow tire with a higher speed rating and sportier handling, visit our winter headquarters to browse and build your own package.
If you're looking for an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire at a good price, the General G-MAX AS-03 is worth a consideration.
The G-MAX AS-03 is intended for drivers of sports cars, sporty coupes and high performance sedans who need year-round performance. With a distinctive tread pattern and well balanced grip and handling, this tire is designed for enthusiasts who need to balance performance and practicality. It molds all-season tread compound into a directional tread design featuring stable shoulders, independent intermediate blocks and a continuous center rib to combine dry road handling with hydroplaning resistance and wintertime traction in light snow.
On the performance side:
- A continuous center rib enhances steering feel and consistency.
- V-shaped grooves evacuate water (best wet traction of its class in our recent test)
- Robust internal construction with V- or W- speed ratings (speed rating depends on size)
On the practical side:
- All-season compound allows year-round driving, including light snow
- Treadlife Warranty: 6 years / 40,000 miles
- Priced near or below most of its competitors (prices vary over time and by size)
Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the General G-MAX AS-03:
"Put a set of these on my 2008 CTS and have been very pleased. The car and tires do all that I ask of them. The ride and noise control are both excellent and I am very happy with the tires. Excellent tire and a good price." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Cadillac CTS 3.6L Direct Injection RWD
"I bought these tires as three-season tires for my Protege 5, since I have a set of winter tires as well. I decided to get these performance all-seasons and I am not disappointed in them at all. These are probably the best set of tires I've owned, regardless of price. They handle really well in both wet and dry and do an excellent job of evacuating water from under the tread to prevent hydroplaning. I'd definitely recommend to anyone [who wants] high performance driving with wet weather performance." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Mazda Protege 5
Even though it is still summer on the calendar, this is the time of year when we start thinking about winter / snow tires. The tire manufacturers are starting to deliver their products for this winter.
Many of our longtime customers are already calling to order their Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages. If you have not used winter tires recently, or if you have not had to drive much in the snow before, check out "Winter Tire FAQs."
Since winter tires are built seasonally, they're not always readily available if we run out of stock. Depending on supply and demand, some of the more popular options can sell out before the real winter snowfall arrives. September and October are ideal times to make a winter / snow purchase. Not every winter item has come in stock yet, but most are either here or on their way.
Since our team drives on many of the tires we offer, our testing allows us to recommend the right winter tire for you to handle Mother Nature's toughest conditions. To see how we select the correct tire for your winter driving needs, read " We Know How They Go in Ice and Snow."
Looking for a fun and affordable upgrade for your BRZ or FR-S? Following up on my previous post, the AIRAID MXP Series with Synthamax intake is now in stock for the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S.
We have special pricing on these intakes at this time. In order to conform to AIRAID's minimum advertised pricing, this price is only visible in the shopping cart. To view pricing, click this link and select "see price in cart." You will then have the option to keep the item in your cart, or to remove it and continue shopping.
Note that the link is for a Scion FR-S, but the FR-S and BRZ use the same intake and the same price, as their engines are virtually identical.
The Defender is Michelin's Standard Touring All-Season tire designed for long treadwear and year-round capability. It was developed to replace the HydroEdge with Green X and Harmony in most sizes. Combining the best aspects of the two models it's replacing, the Defender did well in our initial test. To see how the tire compared against other all-season options, read "Testing Passenger and Touring All-Season Tires."
Reviews from our customers continue to come in with positive feedback. Take a look at what drivers are saying about their early experiences with the Michelin Defender:
"Excellent tire. I changed on my Honda Civic Hybrid. The difference was evident. More stable, less noise and better control over the car. I love these tires. It is a Michelin, so it is a great tire." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid
"Quiet! Smooth! Puts the Original Equipment that came on it to shame." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2010 Honda Civic Coupe EX
"Never had tires that rode as good as these. They are quiet and comfortable at highway speeds. Best tire decision I could have made." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1998 Ford Taurus SE Sedan
If you value long treadlife and a smooth ride in an all-season tire for your family car, van, small SUV or crossover, the Michelin Defender is worth a look. View available sizes and prices to see if this tire is available for your vehicle.