Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 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.

Firestone Winterforce Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.62
 
 

1986 BMW 735i
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Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Wayne, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
February 20, 2014

2014 In Northern New Jersey, so far has been bringing a snowstorm almost every week, 2 ice storms too. All my cars are (RWD) rear wheel drive and are very bad in snow driving conditions so i decided to buy the Firestone Winterforce tires with Studs installed on all 4 of them just in time before the major snowstorm we had on 2/13/14. I took my e23 BMW 5pd manuel on roads and steep hills that my car could never climb and those firestone winterforce gave so good traction in the snow, i was going almost the speed limit (40mph) of the road, climbing steep uphill through i say 5" of snow on an unplowed road. Actually had fun driving in the snow with no fear of getting stuck, lol. These tires saved me $28,000 from buying an AWD SUV do to harsh weather conditions this year. Also tried driving on black ice in parking lot at work and studs of tires griped through the ice at minimum slippage. Just speachless for 27 year old RWD. Also posted 2 video's on YouTube of my car going through the snow, "Snow Day Cruising BMW 735i (E23)" and video links ; http://youtu.be/HlMoVmECtA8 , http://youtu.be/Stfgt74w0P4

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Thursday, February 20, 2014 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.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

2006 BMW 325i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Deerfield Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
January 08, 2014

I just ordered a pair of 225/40/18 AS-03s for the front of the car and while looking at when I purchased these AS-03s for the rears, I saw that it was July of 2011. It's been about 20,000 miles and the rear tires still look like new. In that period I had totally worn out a front pair of Sumitomos that I had bought from another dealer (my Generals got nailed). This is a rear wheel drive car and the rears outlasted the fronts by a considerable margin. Pretty impressive. And like others have said, these AS-03s are comfortable, and handle great. I can also attest to the wet weather handling. I'm in South Florida where we get plenty of heavy summer rains, and these things track beautifully. All in all, great tires that I will continue to buy if I can ever wear out the ones I have.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 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.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.7
 
 

2003 BMW 745i
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Miles driven on tires: 40
Location: Waterford, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 40 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I live I'm Michigan and this has been the worst winter in a very long time witch is why I decided to get new tires. I must say I completely with this tire and the tire rack. I use to get stuck in driveways with les then a inch of snow, now I feel like I have four wheel drive. They give confidence I never thought I would have in a real real drive car. The price is great, they look good and I would recommend this tires to anyone.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT

Friday, February 7, 2014 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.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.1
 
 

2013 BMW 335i Cabriolet
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: West Harrison, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2014

second pair of these tires originally ran on a 2011 335xdrive coupe. The tires were great especially in snow, I used last set for approximately 26k miles, they were still good and had plenty of treadwear left. Just put these on a RWD convertible with an M sport package. Bought the 17 inch wheels to replace the staggered 19 inch summer rims. Couldn't feel safer with my wife driving it in her commute over the Tappan Zee Bridge in the snow. If you live in a cold weather area, snow tires definitely stop quicker in cold weather!

 

Big Improvements in Snow Traction for Your 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Our test BMWs are fun, but I have really enjoyed our Porsche Cayennes. For a large SUV, the Cayenne can really move. It's a Porsche, so the power is to be expected, but the cornering stability at this size and with this weight is a pleasant surprise.

If you've recently picked up a 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS (Turbo S model is pictured), I'm sure you've also been impressed. Once winter arrived, you quickly discovered that the Original Equipment 295/35R21 Max Performance Summer tires lack even minimum cold weather competence. Don't be too hard on them, their specialty is great dry and wet grip. That's why you need to find the right winter tire for your new Porsche.

Winter / Snow Tire Category

Since tire engineers balance snow grip with dry road handling, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions as you make your choice:

  1. How severe do winters in your area tend to be?
  2. How often will you drive on icy and hard-packed snow roads?
  3. How spirited of a driver are you?

Performance Winter / Snow Wheel & Tire Package

Many spirited drivers in the light blue region of our snowfall map rarely see ice-covered roads for a long period of time, so they are best served by options in the Performance Winter / Snow category. The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for a spirited driver would be the 275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow on the 20x10 5-130 45ET silver painted Andros Spec P.

275/45-20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow N0 $317**
275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion
Ice & Snow
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Andros Spec P $229**
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Painted
Andros Spec P


With the 275/45R20 being about one inch narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21, it's skinny enough to handle a deep snow blizzard, yet wide enough for your Cayenne GTS to remain fun on good weather days.

Studless Ice & Snow Tire & Package

Moderate drivers in the dark blue region of the map who frequently experiences icy roads should search for a tire from the Studless Ice & Snow category. The optimal package for this driver is the 255/55R18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 on 18x8 5-130 50ET silver painted Sport Edition TX8 wheels.

255/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-ICE Xi2 $160**
255/55R18 Michelin Latitude
X-Ice Xi2
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Sport Edition TX8 $155**
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Painted
Sport Edition TX8


255/55R18 is approximately 1.5" narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21 and provides more emphasis on deeper snow traction. Among the 255/55R18 Studless Ice & Snow options, the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 does the best job at balancing ice and packed snow grip with dry road handling.

Create your ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, February 3, 2014 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 Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Miles driven on tires: 9,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,500 Miles on Tires
November 26, 2013

Use these as my street tires, in 255/35R19 front and 275/30R19 rear, mounted on a set of Volk TE37SL wheels (19x9.5" & 19x11") on my extensively modified M3. For reference, track tires are usually PS Cups, or Nitto/Hoosier R-comps.

First off, these are the ONLY Street Tires I have run on this car that aren't immediately overpowered by the brakes, which are StopTech Trophy 6P/4P 380mm/355mm 2pc that I use for competition. Braking distance is better with these than anything else that is daily driveable, and in the wet I have more traction than I would have ever thought possible especially from these widths!

With a quite stiff race suspension, these tires have improved ride quality and decreased noise, with no perceptible change in NVH since new.

Control is phenomenal, with very good feedback and they are very communicative as to their limits, while allowing throttle on oversteer but being perfectly easy to reign back in.

Since going with these for my M3, I have also swapped to them on my GT3 RS and they're every bit as good there.

Another benefit is that they weigh in at about 2.5lbs less than other comparable tires, and in my pursuit of decreasing drivetrain loss as much as absolutely possible, the extra 10lbs of unsprung weight combined with the 28lb from the wheels is immense.

11/10.

 

Non-Run-Flat All-Season Tire Option for BMW X5 (20" Wheels)

Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

One of the most difficult vehicles to outfit with all-season tires is the BMW X5 and X6 with staggered 20" wheels. Unfortunately, with the 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tire sizes, there aren't any run-flat options up to the task of performing in snowy conditions.

Luckily, for drivers willing to step away from a run-flat tire, Continental offers a fantastic choice. Their ExtremeContact DWS (DWS for Dry, Wet and Snow) has been one of our highest rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires for quite some time and is available for the X5 and X6. While some tires in the category don't perform well in cold temperatures, the DWS has the highest ratings in the category for light snow and deep snow traction.

The ExtremeContact DWS features Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire is only suitable for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only.

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

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic LT

Monday, January 27, 2014 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.

General Altimax Arctic LT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09
 
 

2007 BMW 328i Sedan Base Model
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: South Bend, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 20, 2014

I was looking for a great winter tire for my BMW E90 RWD. I have a daily 150 mile commute through the heart of the Indiana-Michigan Lake Effect Region(Kalamazoo-South Bend). I had the tires put on just after Thanksgiving at Tire Rack in South Bend and couldn't be happier with my choice. During the holidays I drove over 1,000 miles visiting family in East Michigan to Southern Illinois. During this trek it took me through the toughest of conditions from black ice, to light-heavy snow and severe drifting. The tires couldn't have handled better in these environments. These tires were made for winter weather! I could not believe how well these handled drifting on I-94. I was able to safely change lanes (through drifted snow) without any pull on the steering wheel. What would normally be a white knuckle drive (primarily worrying about how other cars drive), became somewhat fun! The only complaint is that they have a slower handling response and the car seems to float with highway speeds. But that is to be expected with winter tires with a deeper tread. Overall I would not hesitate in buying this tire again. Thank you General and thank you Tire Rack!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60

Monday, January 27, 2014 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.


Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7

2007 BMW 550i Sedan Sport Package
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
December 26, 2009

I decided to use my OEM wheels to mount these tires. I was somewhat skeptical prior to purchasing them and did a ton of homework. Chicago winters are extremely harsh. Having a sport sedan, I wanted to keep the sporty look during the winter months while maintaining some level of performance. I have driven in ice, (heavy) snow, rain and extreme cold. I felt extremely confident (handling and performance) with these tires. I don't know how other tires perform but I'm sold on these for the long haul.

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Introducing the New Cost-Effective BBS SR!

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

BBS is considered one of the leaders in wheel manufacturing and engineering technology. They are dedicated to pursuing the highest level of technology possible and then applying this experience to the street.

With the release of their new SR, BBS is creating quite a buzz with this new wheel. Featuring an anthracite painted finish, the wheel looks great and is a welcomed addition to the BBS line. Also, with a price point that is lower than other BBS options, a set of SR wheels is a great way to improve the look of your vehicle at a good price. For example, an 18x8" SR wheel for a 2011 BMW 3 Series costs $265*, that's less than half the cost of BBS' popular CH-R.

The BBS SR is offered in 16", 17" and 18" rim diameters and covers many of the popular bolt patterns on the market. It also has the following features:

  • Five Y-shaped spokes
  • One-piece, cast
  • Snap-in, exposed lugs
  • Center cap at no additional charge

Shop by vehicle to see if the new BBS SR is available for your application.

* Prices subject to change

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.

Best Winter / Snow Tires for a BMW 335i

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Colin .

Just like any vehicle, a BMW 335i will really benefit from running winter tires during the colder months. Even if you own the all-wheel drive model, a winter tire will help you steer and stop with confidence in snow and on ice. The most popular winter tires we offer to BMW customers come from Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop. Offerings in this category for the 335i are divided into two performance categories.


Performance Winter / Snow

Tires in this category will keep a lot of the handling you enjoy from your 335i but still provide very good winter traction. The main disadvantage to performance winter tires is that they won't have the same level of ice and snow traction as Studless Ice & Winter tires. If you live in an area that doesn't see large amounts of snow and ice or where the roads are normally plowed, this may be the best category for you.  

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for drivers who want to maximize snow and ice traction without using winter tire studs (if you're interested in studded tires, check out tires in the Studdable Winter / Snow category). These tires will maximize your snow and ice traction by trading in some handling in dry and wet conditions. Some models exhibit this more than others, but none of them offer the precise steering response and cornering stability as a Performance Winter / Snow tire.

Purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package will give you the convenience of switching your tires on your own and ability to downsize your wheels and tires. Downsizing often reduces your overall cost and opens up more options in winter tires. Also, narrower tires will give you better winter traction than a wider option, so if you have a staggered wider rear set-up, switching to a square narrower set-up will help.  

For more help selecting the proper winter tire, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

Which Winter Performance Category Is Right for You?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow

Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.

Performance Winter / Snow

These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:

Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.

 

Are You Looking to Graduate from Your BMW Run-Flat Tires?

Friday, August 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

BMW has a long standing preference of equipping their vehicles with run-flat tires. The benefit of not being stuck on the side of the road with a flat is attractive to a few people. However, the majority feel there may be a compromise in ride quality, noise levels and performance.

Is moving away from run-flats right for you? Since most vehicles with run-flats do not have spares, you must be comfortable with the possibility of having to call a tow truck in the event of a flat tire. If this is beyond your comfort level, you must stay with the run-flat solution. In this case, you should check to see if the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT is available for your vehicle. I believe this tire to be the best run-flat option in the marketplace today.

When talking with customers, many will ask if their original wheels can still be used with non-run-flat tires. They most certainly can!  With some exceptions, such as the PAX system from Honda, your factory original wheel will safely accept a non-run-flat tire. If making the switch to non-run-flats, the installer will need run-flat capable equipment to remove the original tires.

If you decide switching from run-flat tires is the route you'd like to go, consider the following three options.


Michelin Pilot Super
Sport

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology


Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your BMW.

Best BMW Tires for the Summer? My Top Tire Recommendations

Thursday, August 8, 2013 by Gary Stanley

I recently received the following question on a BMW tire and wheel forum that I moderate for members of 2013 BMW 3 Series vehicles:

"I was looking at getting a summer 19" set-up, but after some research, it doesn't sound like I'll get much improvement in performance over an 18" set-up with my style of driving. I live in Minnesota, so I will probably only have them on the car for five months. I don't track my car and only do spirited driving occasionally due to having a wife and kid, but would still like an upgrade over the stock 18' all-seasons when I do.

I was looking at the Continental ExtremeContact DW because of the low price being offered through Tire Rack, but would prefer the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Is there a big difference for the extra $200 between these two options for my style of driving? Also, I want a little more aggressive look, while still maintaining the square set-up. I was looking at Enkei Racing Series PF01 (18x8) all the way around. Can I use a 245/35R18 on those for a little fatter, more aggressive look or should I stick with the stock size?
"

With his style of driving, I recommended the following:

"Given that you only do occasional spirited driving, you'll likely be happy with the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. On the new body of the BMW 3 Series (F30), you have a bit more clearance compared to the older E90 3 Series models, so you can use the stock 225/45R18, 245/40R18 or shorter 245/35R18 sizes with no problem. I personally would lean towards 245/40R18 to keep the same overall diameter while slightly increasing the width compared to the stock size."

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


The member emphasized that his vehicle is a family car and implied that he wouldn't mind giving up a little in terms of grip and handling for a lower cost tire. From our testing and customer feedback, the Continental ExtremeContact DW does just that. The Continental ExtremeContact DW has a slightly softer ride, while the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has more dry grip and a faster steering response.

For more information on the differences between these tires, read "Michelin Pilot Super Sport vs. Continental ExtremeContact DW."

Why Does the Borbet Type CG Have a Cap That Reads "CW"?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Looking over Borbet's line-up, it seems like there's some confusion - the brand is Borbet, the wheel is the Type CG, so why does the cap say "CW"? Actually, CW is another brand within the Borbet family. They specialize in wheels for less common vehicles like vans, trucks and motorhomes. Since we do not carry the full range of CW wheels, we include the Type CG and Type CWC under the Borbet brand.

Both the CG and CWC are specialized to fit Sprinter vans, which are unique applications not covered by many wheel manufacturers. Their thick, closely spaced spokes provide a solid structure to support the weight ratings required for Sprinters. There are several varieties of Sprinters, and some have different bolt patterns, so make sure to use our shop by vehicle feature to ensure a correct fit.

With a history going back to 1881, Borbet is a very well-respected wheel manufacturer. It has supplied wheels for BMW, Audi, VW and Ford among others. Their styles tend to be somewhat conservative, but it's hard to argue with the quality and consistency they have achieved in the challenging business of making alloy wheels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Starting with 2008 model year cars and light trucks, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been required for all new vehicles sold in the United States. While some vehicles (Audi and BMW most recently) use the ABS system (or indirect system) to keep watch for a deflating tire, most use a battery powered sensor (based in the base of the valve stem assembly) to give the most accurate read of your tire pressure. When replacing tires or wheels and tires as a complete package, the presence of these remote sensors can require a few extra steps in the purchase and/or installation process.

Why does my installer charge a "TPMS" service fee for installing new tires?

Many of our Recommended Installers will charge a TPMS service fee as part of new tire installation. When the old tire is being removed from your existing wheel, it's best to remove the TPMS sensor (and the attached valve stem). This avoids any damage caused by breaking the tire bead loose from the wheel as well as seating the new tire onto the wheel. Once the sensor has been removed, it will require a new "O" ring and/or compression ring to seal the sensor properly.

What happens if I do not add new TPMS sensors to my Tire & Wheel Package?

When we sell a set of wheel and tires, we're happy to mount and Road Force balance the tires to the wheels at no cost prior to shipment. Given the TPMS sensors are located inside the wheel (opposite the valve stem hole), the sensors (if requested) need to go in the wheel before the tires are installed. Without the sensors installed, most vehicles will display a warning light and chime upon engine start up (the light will continue to blink as long as the engine is running). Some vehicles may also limit your ability to turn off traction control if you need to "rock" out of a snow drift in winter or even limit engine output. In many states, an active TPMS system is required as part of the state's safety inspection, and any illuminated warning lights may cause the vehicle to fail its annual safety inspection. With your purchase, you can elect to add the correct sensor (at an additional cost) or choose to have your existing sensors removed from your old wheels and installed on the new wheel. If run-flat tires are being purchased with new wheels, new sensors are required.

If I purchase new sensors as part of my Tire & Wheel Package, what else needs to be done before use?

Many vehicles require new TPMS sensors be activated or initialized at an authorized repair facility or dealership. This process normally involves connecting the vehicle to a service computer (via the ODB port under your dashboard) and having a technician load the new sensor's ID codes into the car's computer. Most cars will need to have this activation service performed each time wheels and tires are changed out (like when changing from dedicated winter wheels and tires back to your summer/all-season set). As always, consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer for more information. 

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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 Latitude Tour HP

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 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 Latitude Tour HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2011 BMW X5 xDrive35d Sport Activity
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2013

We have staggered sizes. Center sections on both rear wore to safety bars, requiring replacement. Fronts barely show signs of wear at all. I'm anal on PSI and alignment, and these have worn beautifully and ride/handle even better! Didn't realize they are uni-directional, so I can rotate sides. This is a 3 ton beast with 500lbs of torque and 4-wheel drive, almost always driven hard. Totally sold on these tires (especially over run-flats!), and have replaced with same. Maintained quietness throughout life (hard to imagine with this width), and makes this handle like it's on rails. Can't recommend highly enough.