BMW X5 4.8i and X6 5.0i - 20" Winter Tires

Thursday, October 1, 2009 by BJ Joines
The new BMW X5 4.8i is one of the most powerful and sporty SUVs on the road today. They come equipped with some very large, staggered 20" tires from the factory. Their original factory tires would be either the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx ROF or the Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport RFT. Both of these tires are summer performance run-flat tires. Neither can be driven safely in ice and snow conditions. I've encountered many X5 owners in search of a good winter or all-season tire for this vehicle. Winter capable tire options are extremely limited so I'll outline the best possible options for the X5 4.8.

For winter use with the original wheels:

These Pirelli Scorpions will be an excellent winter tire for those looking to maintain the factory wheels and tire sizes on the vehicle. 

For all-season use with the factory wheels:

315/35R20  Michelin Latitude Tour HP

These are the only tire option that can be used in all weather conditions. This is a great option for those not living in a heavy snow area but where you may see some light snow and freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, these are not run-flat capable tires. 

For winter use with a new wheel and tire package: 

Tire Rack's Preferred Winter Package

255/55R18 Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow RFT   
18x8 Elbrus I05 wheel

This combination is ideal for those drivers looking for the maximum winter traction and a new wheel and tire package. The benefit of using a separate winter wheel and tire package is not having mount and dismount tires on the wheels twice a year. This is a more convenient option and the smaller wheel diameter will offer the best winter traction available. 


Chevrolet Corvette - OE Replica Wheels

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by BJ Joines
If you're looking for a new set of wheels for your Corvette, look no further than the Sport Edition brand for some great options. Sport Edition builds several Corvette replica wheels that look just like the factory wheels but cost just a fraction of the price. They come in a variety of sizes, finishes and designs so you're sure to find something to enhance your Vette!

Here are some of the most popular designs:

Sport Edition C6 - Black, Chrome & Light Grey
Fits: C4 (1992-1996), C5 (1997-2004), C5 Z06 (2001-2004), C6 (2005-present) 
SE C6 - Black 

Sport Edition Z06 - Chrome and Light Grey. 
Fits: C4 (2992-1996), C5 (1997-2004), C5 Z06 (2001-2004), C6 (2005-present), C6 Z06 (2006-Present)

Sport Edition ZR - Bright Satin Silver
Fits: C5 (1997-2004), C5 Z06 (2001-2004), C6 (2005-present) 

Tire Rack will also mount and balance new tires on the wheels before we ship them out to you. So if you need new tires as well, be sure to take advantage of this deal! We carry all the major brands of run flat tires for the Corvettes!

Infiniti G35 Coupe Tires - 18" and 19" Wheel Options.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 by BJ Joines
The Infiniti G35 Coupe comes from the factory equipped with either 17", 18" or 19" wheels, depending on the trimline. I've noticed that many G35 owners have trouble finding the right tires for their cars in the 18" and 19" sizes where the selection is more limited. I've listed some of the best tires available for the G35 for summer, all-season or winter use. 

18" Wheel Package - 225/45R18 (Front) & 245/45R18 (Rear)

Summer Tires

Michelin Pilot Sport PS2                                                        Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

All-Season Tires

Michelin Pilot Sport AS+                                       Bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS Pole Position

Winter Tires
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60                                                       Michelin X-Ice XI2

19" Wheel Package - 225/40R19 (Front) & 245/40R19 (Rear)

Summer Tires

Michelin Pilot Sport PS2                                                             Kumho Ecsta SPT

All-Season Tires

Winter Tires

New Bridgsestone Blizzak Winter / Snow Tires

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 by BJ Joines
Bridgestone has been building some of the best winter tires in the world for many years.  In 2008 and 2009 Bridgestone has introduced several new models of the classic Blizzak. Through the use of new advances in tread compound and design they've improved the winter performance of their line-up. Here's a breakdown of the new additions to the Blizzak lineup. 

Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 

Since it's debut last winter, the WS-60 has proven to offer the best snow and ice traction on the market. It achieves this amazing grip without the use of metal studs; instead using it's directional tread design and advanced multicell tread compound. This studless ice and snow tire is recommended for those seeking to get the absolute best snow and ice traction available for their car. 

Bridgestone Blizzak DMV1

Brand new this season, the Blizzak DMV1 is Bridgestone's light truck and SUV version of the WS-60. While the tread pattern is not exactly the same, it does feature a directional pattern with a multicell compound. These offer the best snow and ice traction on the market for your light truck and SUV. 

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60

This is Bridgestone's performance winter / snow tire for sports cars. The LM-60 uses the same aggressive tread design seen on the Blizzak WS-60 but offers better dry road handling and grip for the clear days. The LM-60 has firmer sidewalls to improve steering response while offering some of the best snow and ice traction available in a performance winter / snow tire. 

Performance Winter Tires - How well do they really work?

Thursday, September 3, 2009 by BJ Joines
When selecting a winter tire that is most appropriate for a vehicle, one needs to factor in many different variables to make a decision. How much snow will the vehicle see? Is there snow or ice on the ground most of the winter or are the roads regularly clear? How "spirited" is the vehicle driven on clear days? A couple of winters ago I asked myself these same questions and decided to change into a performance winter tire. 

I live in the Great Lakes region and we do get a good amount of snow and ice each year. However, our roads and highways are plowed well and often clear of snow for much of the winter. I decided to go with a performance winter tire that I hoped would provide a more sporty feel and crisper steering response than the basic studless ice and snow tires I had run in the past. After running the performance winter tires last season, I couldn't be happier with my selection. 

I purchased the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D tires in size 235/40R18 for my Audi S4. I had some doubts as to how well an 18" performance winter tire would work in the snow. Once that first snow hit, I knew I had made a great decision. The Winter Sport 3D tires were great in the snow despite the wide tread patch and low sidewall profile. As you can see in the picture below, I didn't have any problem getting traction in the deep snow.

The Dunlops really shined on the dry roads as well. They offered much more responsive handling than all of the previous snow tires I'd used. They were also quiet and comfortable on the car. I found them to be a great all-around snow tire that is perfect for those who really love to drive their cars. 

Here are a few of the best Performance Winter / Snow tires available at Tire Rack today:

Dunlop Winter Sport 3D
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Michelin Pilot Alpine PA3
Pirelli Winter 240 SottoZero

Why Ceramic Brake Pads?

Friday, August 28, 2009 by BJ Joines

Replacing the brakes on your car or truck can be a costly venture. Picking out the right brake components is a very important decision. The pads you choose can make the biggest difference in stopping power, cleanliness, noise and longevity. 

Ceramic brake pads have changed the standards for brakes today. Compared to the semi-metallic pads found on most vehicles as original equipment, the ceramic pads are much quieter and produce less dust while not sacrificing any stopping power. For owners that wash their car religiously, the lower dust level alone can save you time and headaches! 

In addition, the ceramic compound is actually less abrasive on the rotor. That reduces the wear on both the pads and rotors. Replacing your brakes less often is always a good thing!

Here are the best ceramic brake pads that we carry:

Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 - King of the Max Performance Tires

Friday, July 10, 2009 by BJ Joines
 For the past 5 years, most performance enthusiasts have agreed that the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2's are the best tires for your warm weather driving needs.  Between then and now, many other companies have taken their best shots at the PS2 tires and few managed to reach its level. 

I have run the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires on my 2004 Audi S4 Cabriolet for the past couple of summers and can attest to their greatness. I've been really happy with the blend of performance and overall ride quality. I've found the Michelins to be fairly smooth riding and very quiet for a max performance tire. In the past, getting a great handling tire meant you would have to deal with an extra harsh ride and lots of tread noise. That's not the case anymore!