O.Z. Racing Tuner System Wheels

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Spring is here and what better time than now to outfit your vehicle with a set of O.Z. Racing Tuner System wheels. In 2006, Tire Rack became the North American distributor for O.Z. Racing wheels. This partnership includes O.Z. Racing's prestigious, custom 3-piece wheel program -- O.Z. Racing Tuner System. This program helps expand fitment limitations normally found with one-piece wheels. Additional brake clearance and maximum outer lip depth are just some of the benefits this system provides. Applications are available for many of the world's most exotic cars including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, as well as a wide variety of luxury and performance cars.

How does the process work? O.Z. Racing Tuner System's 3-piece wheel components -- wheel center, inner rim section and outer rim section -- are produced in the same facility, with the same machinery and using the same technology as F1 race wheels. Rim diameters are available in 18", 19", 20" and 22" with inner rim widths of 5.5" to 9.5" and outer rim widths of 1" to 4" possible. Tire Rack's complete, in-house inventory of all 3-piece wheel components means quick turn-around with assembled wheels shipping within 1-2 days of order receipt.

Precise wheel assembly is performed at Tire Rack using an exacting process that maintains and enhances the structural integrity originally built into each individual wheel component. O.Z. Racing Tuner System supplies a proprietary fastener specific to its 3-piece wheels to ensure the highest level of structural integrity. These fasteners alone do not guarantee a properly assembled wheel and tightening. Thus, Tire Rack uses a factory-certified Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Fastening System to tighten O.Z. Racing Tuner System's proprietary fasteners.

The assembly torque of these critical fasteners is controlled and repeatable to less than 1/2%. Tire Rack's fastening system produces traceable measurements of torque to spec every time. In fact, wheels custom-assembled at Tire Rack are shipped with a computerized print out that shows in detail the settings used to assemble each wheel. Proper torque (fasteners tightened to spec so they won't break or loosen) and run-out (radial and lateral roundness for vibration-free rides) are recorded.

Once assembled, each O.Z. Racing Tuner System 3-piece wheel gets a unique serial number noted on a sticker placed on the inside of the wheel near the valve stem.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining 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 process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Friday, February 28, 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.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.3
 
 

2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan 2.5 GT Limited
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,500
Location: Richmond, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,500 Miles on Tires
February 23, 2014

These tires are excellent for winter-rated rubber on dry and wet roads, with progressive and predictable traction loss as you approach their limit while cornering. They are plenty capable of propelling my Subaru Legacy 2.5GT through over a foot of snow, although they are obviously aided by the AWD system's viscous limited slip differentials in this task. At speed, they maintain traction and stability through slush and shallow snow on the road.

On light snow and ice, they brake well but not as well as a fully dedicated snow/winter tire. This is to be expected, however, as these are designed for performance cars in areas with milder winters, where snows happens but infrequently. The trade off is far superior dry and wet traction than fully dedicated winter tires, with handling and braking comparable to some summer tires. Steering response compared to a summer tire is noticeably slower, due to the softer winter rubber compound.

Regardless, these will allow you to enjoy your car throughout the winter months without sacrificing much of the handling, braking, and cornering enjoyed on summer tires during the rest of the year. I highly recommend them, and they are a great deal for the price.

What Makes Your Track Car Stop?

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Race season is near and you've bought a fresh set of competition tires, lightweight wheels and sport suspension, but what about your braking system? Hawk Performance offers a wide selection of performance friction material for your autocross or road race car. Take a look at the following options from Hawk and see if one is right for your vehicle. 

HP Plus Plus Race Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus disc brake pads are designed for sports cars, coupes and sedans for driving in autocross, Solo II and many “track day” applications. Also, the Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Black Track Only Pads

Black Track Only Pads feature an all-purpose competition compound for use on lower temp and torque applications. They're commonly used on the rear axle of vehicles when using Blue 9012 compounds on the front axle. These pads are also recommended for dirt circle track and driving school/lapping days.

Blue 9012 Track Only Pads

Hawk's most popular Motorsport Compound offers excellent modulation and braking power for a wide variety of applications. A strong initial bite combines with exceptional pedal feel to give drivers confidence during road racing and stage rally events. Blue 9012 Track Only Pads are popular with experienced lapping day and driving school participants.

HT-10 Track Only Pads

This pad is for road racing or pavement circle track use that requires more torque than the Blue 9012.

HT-14 Track Only Pads

HT-14 Track Only Pads are designed for vehicles that achieve high top speeds and require repeated high deceleration rates during road race competition. Drivers of Sports Car/GT and higher horsepower, open wheel applications will consider this pad.


Hawk HP Plus Race

Hawk Black Track Only Pads

Hawk DTC-60 Track Only Pads


DTC-60 Track Only Pads

Hawk's latest formulation for excellent torque control and modulation for wheel-to-wheel competition. DTC-60 pads can be combined with the DTC-70 when less torque is desired on the rear axle. Road race and asphalt circle track cars will benefit from using these pads from Hawk.

DTC-70 Track Only Pads

A higher torque version of the DTC-60, this compound is designed for vehicles with high top speeds that require repeated high deceleration rates. It can be used on the front or rear axle or combined with the DTC-60 if split friction between the front and rear axles is desired.

Search by vehicle to see all brake options available for your application.

Free Shipping at Tire Rack on Parts and Accessories Orders Over $50

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Starting this week, we've made some changes in regards to the way we handle our shipping charges. Free shipping is now offered on all products in the parts and accessories categories (shown below). Eligible products purchased must total $50 or more (not including taxes) to qualify for free shipping.

Accessory items that qualify for free shipping include:

Free shipping offer does not apply to tire and wheel purchases. This offer is valid only to retail customers in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Upgrade Your Vehicle's Performance with Brembo Brakes

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Brembo is the brake component manufacturer many race teams, enthusiasts and daily drivers depend on to give their vehicle the increased braking performance they demand.

To Brembo, racing is the most advanced experimental laboratory for assessing the success of its products. Teams equipped with Brembo brakes have won hundreds of automobile and motorcycle racing championships in such internationally recognized racing organizations as Formula 1, CART, NASCAR, FIA World Rally and Superbike.

Their race-inspired braking systems and components are used as Original Equipment on the world’s finest passenger cars and light trucks. Vehicle manufacturers using Brembo components include BMW, Porsche and Ferrari, along with specific applications for such automobiles as Mercedes-Benz, Dodge Viper and the Ford Mustang Cobra.

 Brembo Sport Drilled Rotors
Brembo Sport Drilled Rotors
 Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors
Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors


Tire Rack offers Brembo pads and rotors for most vehicles which are a simple upgrade to your vehicle's performance and style. We also offer Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads, as well as Brembo Replacement Rotors, Brembo Sport Drilled Rotors and Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors.

Brembo Sport Drilled Rotor:

  • Gold finish
  • For everyday use, as well as high performance street and highway driving
  • Matches O.E. dimensions
  • Bold, aggressive appearance

Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors:

  • Gold finish
  • For everyday use, as well as high performance street and track driving
  • Matches O.E. dimensions
  • Race-ready look

Shop by vehicle and view the full line of brake products offered for your driving needs. When it comes time to find the best braking components for your vehicle, consider upgrading your performance with Brembo brake pads and rotors.

Why You Need Winter / Snow Tires

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Many people are not convinced of the advantages of winter / snow tires. With traction control, ABS, stability systems and all-wheel drive systems, some drivers think those are enough to get by when weather turns bad. There's no arguing that all of these help the driver, however none of them increase the amount of available traction.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock brakes, commonly referred to as ABS, monitor wheel spin rate during braking for wheel lock up. The vehicle's electronics can then release pressure at each individual corner in order to maintain steering and directional stability on slippery surfaces. A winter tire will delay the intervention of anti-lock brakes by providing more traction before that impending lock up occurs and allows for shorter stopping distances.

Traction Control

This system watches for wheel spin during acceleration. When slip is detected, power is reduced or brakes applied to regain control. Again, much like ABS, having more friction through the use of winter tires will delay this system from stepping in, allowing for quicker acceleration on wintry surfaces.

Stability Systems

This takes the idea of traction control and ABS to the next level. The vehicle's electronics are looking at what it deems to be the intended course, things such as speed, direction, steering input, throttle position, g-forces and more are quickly calculated. When it becomes apparent things are going sideways, the controls already in place for traction and anti-lock brakes step in to try and right the ship. A winter tire, by providing more traction, will keep this system from stepping in for a longer period, again keeping the driver safely in control in more situations.

Four-Wheel and All-Wheel Drive Systems

These systems split the power delivery to front and rear. This takes advantage of the available traction at both ends of the vehicle. The systems do not aid with stopping or turning, which is often overlooked by owners of these vehicles. Additionally, since these vehicles also tend to be larger and heavier, they need more friction to stop and turn. Winter tires provide that additional capability for the stopping and turning, and of course, even more available grip for acceleration.

We have found in our testing that a winter tire can provide up to a 40% increase in available traction. Just imagine what your high tech traction usage aids can do with that! Still not convinced? Then read "Are Front-Wheel Drive and All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving?"

Are All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving If I Have Front-Wheel Drive?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by Doc Horvath

As front-wheel drive cars were first marketed to the United States, one of the major selling points from the manufacturers was that traction would be enhanced by having the weight of the engine over the drive axle (especially in snow). With this in mind, many drivers feel that all-season tires on a FWD vehicle is all you need this winter. To put this statement to the test, we took two identical Honda Civics to a local hockey rink and ran them through a series of acceleration, braking and cornering tests.

We equipped one car with the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 to represent the Studless Ice & Snow category and the other with the Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02, the Standard Touring All-Season option that has been used as Original Equipment by Honda.

Acceleration tests on the ice began with the test cars sitting with their rear tires on the goal line. Allowing the vehicle's traction control to help the driver maximize tire grip, the drivers accelerated as fast as their tires would allow and noted the time they took to cover the 60-feet distance to the center of the ice rink.

The Studless Ice & Snow tires benefited from their superior ice traction and activated the vehicle's traction control less. It only took them 4.505 seconds to complete a run, with their 1.5-second faster acceleration times representing about a 25% improvement over the all-season tire's 6.045 second run.

In a separate test, we measured the distance it took the tires to bring the car to a complete stop from 12 mph (20 km/h). The car's speed was stabilized and the driver fully applied the brakes to engage the vehicle's four-wheel disc anti-lock braking system (ABS) until the vehicle came to a complete stop. When equipped with all-season tires, the car's ABS engaged relatively easy and it took an average of 53.6 feet to stop the Civic. The Studless Ice & Snow tires provided more grip and actually squealed against the ice whenever the ABS activated, bringing the car to a stop in an average of 35.1 feet (34% improvement). Their 18.5 feet shorter stopping distance was over a car length improvement compared to the all-season tires.

To simulate turning at a slippery intersection, our team also drove each tire around a 90-degree right-hand corner marked by traffic cones that represented the outside edge of a driving lane. The Studless Ice & Snow tires offered a secure feel and reached a cornering limit of 11 mph (18 km/h) as they completed the corner without hitting any of the cones. Even with Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) active, testing showed the all-season tires could complete the corner without hitting any cones at a maximum of 8 mph (13 km/h). 

For a complete recap of our test, watch "Are Front-Wheel Drive and All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving?"

Finding the Best Brake Rotors

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

We offer a number of rotor options, including plain, slotted and drilled. Take a look at the differences between each option and determine which style is right for your vehicle.

Most vehicles come with a plain rotor from the factory. If you have been happy with the performance of your factory brakes, take a look at the product line from Centric. Their rotors will perform on a slightly better level in regards to heat dissipation. They also feature a rust inhibitor on the hat and through the venting to keep them looking nice.  

Does your brake pedal feel spongy? This can be caused by gases building up on the rotor face that prevent the pad from connecting quickly and firmly with the rotor. If your car is experiencing this, I would consider the StopTech Sport Slotted Rotor or SportStop Drilled Rotor. This will push those gases out of the way to allow a firmer contact between the pad and rotor. Another factor for this issue is when air or moisture get in the brake lines. To treat, you may want to consider changing your brake fluid and/or bleeding the system.

What happens if I have a vibration in the steering wheel when I apply the brakes? This most likely is the result of a warped rotor. It can happen when excessive heat builds up or a hot rotor quickly cools down. For example, after repeated braking, the rotor is run through a puddle of water. The single best defense against warping is a cryo-treated rotor

Shop by vehicle to find the best brake products for your application.

Best Brake Rotors for Import Cars

Friday, June 28, 2013 by Gary Stanley

For many drivers, a vehicle's braking system is not something they think about much until the vehicle starts to have problems. The most common problems with brakes are typically brake pad noise and brake pedal vibration. Both of these issues can be linked to worn out brake pads or brake rotors. For recommendations on new brake brake pads, read "Picking the Best SUV, Crossover and Truck Brake Pads."

Centric High Carbon 125 series
Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series Rotor
Stoptech Sport Slotted Cryo Treated Rotor
StopTech Sport Slotted Cryo-Treated Rotor


For a high quality, value-oriented standard replacement rotor, I would suggest the Centric Plain 120 Series and Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series rotors. A step up from generic rotors that are typically sold at local auto parts stores, these rotors are a great value and are equivalent to your vehicle's Original Equipment. In addition to being double ground and mill balanced, they feature a durable and attractive black E-coating for superior corrosion resistance.  

If you're looking for an improvement in durability, more resistance to warping and longer rotor life, I would consider checking out the StopTech Sport Slotted Cryo-Treated Rotor. These rotors have more resistance to cracking, warping and brake fade while delivering two to three times the life of a standard rotor. Given that much of the cost of changing brakes is in shop labor, fewer rotor changes over the life of your vehicle can mean these rotors may actually save you money in the long run while giving better performance. 

To help you in your decision making of purchasing the proper brake product, take a look at "Choosing Brake Components."

Buying the Best Brake Rotors and Pads? It Might Be Time to Change the Brake Fluid!

Friday, June 28, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Brake fluid supplies the caliper hydraulic pressure needed to clamp the brake pads onto the rotor and provide stopping power. It is also subjected to high amounts of heat in disc brake calipers. However, hydraulic braking systems are not 100% sealed from moisture and over time the fluid will retain more and more water. Typically, brake fluid has a dry boiling point of over 500°F, whereas water boils at 212°F.

The problem with too much moisture is that the boiling point of the brake fluid significantly drops to the wet boiling point, which can be around 200°F lower than the dry boiling point. Boiling point is significant because when something reaches its boiling point it vaporizes and vapor is highly compressible. Since fluid is not easily compressed, when you hit the brakes with dry brake fluid it provides a smooth, stiff pedal feel. Yet, when too much moisture is present, the brake fluid boils when in the caliper and compresses, which gives that spongy pedal feel.

 ATE Super Blue Racing Fluid
ATE Super Blue Racing
Fluid
 Brembo Sport.EVO 500 Fluid
Brembo Sport.EVO 500
Fluid
Mouseover Text Here
StopTech STR-660 Ultra Performance Race Brake Fluid


When changing your brake rotors and pads, consider replacing the fluid as well to get the most firm pedal feel and shortest stopping distance. We offer a full line of track and street brake fluid to complete any full service braking system replacement. Most brake fluid systems should be flushed every one to two years in non-track driving conditions and more often when tracking your vehicle.

Shop by vehicle to view all braking components available for your application.

G2 Caliper Paint: A Nice Finishing Touch

Thursday, June 27, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

While I've installed suspension and brakes in the past, it can be some work. This past weekend's task was much easier with the use of G2's Brake Caliper Paint System Set to cover up the factory caliper's tarnished raw casting.

The G2 Caliper Paint System is quite thorough and comes with a can of brake clean, paint color of you choice, hardening resin, stir stick and paint brush. For less than $40 it comes with everything you need to do the job correctly and doesn't require the removal of the brake calipers themselves. While many people resort to spray paint, this method requires masking to avoid overspray and has a finish that isn't temperature resistant to brake heat.

To apply the G2 Caliper Paint System, follow these simple steps:

  1. Properly lift vehicle and place stands.
  2. Remove wheels.
  3. Mix paint and resin, stir for 5 minutes.
  4. Clean calipers using supplied brake cleaned.
  5. Apply paint using supplied brush (Use sparingly as a little goes a long ways.)
  6. Allow a few hours to fully cure.
  7. Install wheels and lower car to ground.
  8. Properly torque all four wheels.

Featuring such an easy installation, anyone that can change a wheel and tire can do this job. While I chose to go with a factory style color (black), a wide range of colors are available to suit your preferences.

G2's Brake Caliper Paint System Set is an easy and cost-effective complement to a Tire & Wheel Package or brake job.

Take a look at these before and after photos of my 2012 Mustang GT to see how much difference the paint can make:

     

What Brake Rotors are Best?

Friday, May 10, 2013 by Colin .

A key component in your brake system is the rotor. A rotor's primary job is to dissipate the heat caused by braking. Eventually the rotor's thickness will wear down to the point where replacement is needed or they need to be replaced due to warping. Which rotors are best for you will depend on your budget and needs. 

Standard rotors, like those offered from Centric, are a good choice for those who want an Original Equipment replacement. If you want better resistance against warping, the Cryo-Stop rotors are a great choice. They're cryogenically treated for enhanced durability.

Those who wish to upgrade braking performance and appearance of their vehicle can opt for slotted or drilled rotors. StopTech's SportStop Drilled Rotor and Sport Slotted Rotor are both excellent options and reduce brake fade by helping evacuate the surface film of gases that are often released during heavy braking.

For the serious driver who's concerned about performance, take a look at the DBA line. They are all slotted and have a unique ventilation system to maximize heat dissipation. 


Cryo-Stop
Rotor

StopTech SportStop Drilled
Rotor

DBA 5000 Series T3 2-Piece
Rotor


All individual rotors we offer are a direct fit for a vehicle. Shop by vehicle to view the rotors available for application.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Graspic DS-3

Tuesday, March 26, 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.

Dunlop Graspic DS-3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.88
 
 

2008 Ford Focus SES Sedan
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Edgewater, NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
February 10, 2013

Just yesterday we had a blizzard and this was my first opportunity to try out these winter tires. The roads were all covered with snow so it was Perfect to see if the tires are going to perform well in these conditions. First I started with starting and abrupt stopping. I was great! Tires kept grip well and stopped only after a minimal slip (the car had no ABS system). Next test was a hill. Next to exxon gas station across from pathmark. It was pretty steep. I stopped in the middle. Car was not sliding down, I started to step on gas pedal, it was difficult and tires were slipping but we made it! I'm sure I wouldn't make it with all season tires. It was impressive but also a very extreme effort. Next was an empty parking lot were I was slaloming in the snow trying to lose control and make the car fishtail. I failed. Tires did a great job! I couldnt believe it. The difference between all season and winter tires is huge. Last part was a long hill on Goerge Rd, I went uphill no problem, downhill I was hitting brakes to see what happens, every time tires made the car stop with minimal slip. Tires totally passed the test. I was amazed how well they performed and how safe they make you feel. I would totally recommend them. You may need them only a couple of times before they plough but they can make a huge difference when you need them and save you. I was so excited to try them out and I was not disappointed. Great tires for a good price. Buy buy buy!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza

Tuesday, March 19, 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.

Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 50,000
Location: Florissant, MO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 50,000 Miles on Tires
March 17, 2013

Deep snow In 4WD mode: Good traction for take off, cornering and braking are not as good as take off. To be fair braking and cornering are far better than the other traffic on the road in deep snow, it's easy to accelerate past other traffic and to stop and turn. It's just the traction afforded during take off doesn't match the cornering and stopping (probably the 4WD engaged vs 2WD mode). I found my self sliding off the road in deep snow when traveling much faster than traffic. If I slowed to slightly faster than the average traffic I didn't slide in corners and had no braking lockups at all.
Wet conditions 2WD: No hydroplaning through the life of the tread, good braking and cornering in the wet, take off will spin the tires pretty easily but it's a pickup truck so that's expected.
Dry conditions: Good traction for take off, good braking and cornering. In the dry it's a very good tire. Under emergency braking to the point of activating the antilock system the tires tracked straight with no extra input needed maintain directional control. To be fair stability control in the Tundra may have played a part but, in the particular instance a lady pulled out of a gas station in front of me and the guy in the lane next to me. We were both a 40 mph and slammed on the brakes as we fully expected to hit her. She froze when she realized a truck and car were coming at her and that she was about to be hit. We both stopped about 3 to 8 inches from hitting her. The Tundra and Bridgestones didn't slide or slew and no one was hurt. I heard the tires from my truck and the car next to me skidding as the antilocks pulsed on both vehicles.
Ride comfort is very good, steering response very good, tire noise is good but sometimes on concrete the noise is a little louder than asphalt. Tire wear has be good 50,000 miles and there is still some left before the wear bars. Now that they are near the wear bars there is some hint of hydroplaning but they are all but worn out. Light Offroad good

 

Upgrade Your Brakes with G2's Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Doc Horvath

As your vehicle piles on the miles, normal wear and tear can cause your car to look a little tired. For many, a brand new set of aftermarket wheels is the way to give your car a fresh appearance. However, what if a new set of wheels isn't in your budget? To spruce things up, consider the G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set as an easy weekend project. A fresh coat of paint can give a new appearance to any vehicle's brake calipers and drums, while even helping protect them from potentially harmful oils, chemicals and rust.

The PaintSystem Sets are available in nine high-gloss, wear-resistant colors that can be selected to complement or contrast a vehicle's primary and/or accent colors. Available colors include: red, yellow, blue, silver, gold, black, purple, green, white, pink and orange.

G2 PaintSystem Sets provide enough materials to paint four brake calipers or two brake calipers and two brake drums. However, vehicles with large brake calipers on the front axle and large brake drums on the rear axle may require two complete PaintSystem Sets to get the job done. The finish is heat resistant to 950º F and best yet, the two-part system does not require caliper removal.

G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Sets Include:

  • Detailed instructions
  • (14 oz.) aerosol can G2 BRAKE Cleaner Spray (1)
  • (4 oz.) metal can Brake Caliper Paint (1)
  • (1 oz.) glass jar PaintSystem Reactor (1)
  • Stir stick
  • Application brush (1)
  • Color decal (1)

Order a G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set today!

Racing Technology Available for the Street: StopTech Big Brake Kits

Thursday, March 14, 2013 by Ben Rooney

When street cars go to the racetrack, the brakes are often the weakest link. While a street car's brakes usually only need to deliver maximum braking force from high speed on emergency occasions, a car on a racetrack uses maximum braking repeatedly, often with very little time to cool down. Overheated brakes quickly lose stopping power, which can lead to slower lap times and/or frightening moments. 

Tire Rack has been carrying StopTech pads and rotors, and now we are pleased to add their Big Brake Kits. Available in rotor diameters from 322mm-380mm (12.7"-15"), they're available for a wide variety of performance-oriented applications. To check brake products available for your car, shop by vehicle

Engineered to the highest standards, StopTech emphasizes rigidity in their calipers for reliable performance under demanding conditions. Their calipers feature a patented bolt-in bridge that enhances stiffness and allows easy access to the brake pads for efficient pad changes. 

The multi-piston calipers use differential piston diameters to precisely manage clamping force across the pad face. This minimizes uneven brake pad wear, particularly taper wear, for consistent performance over the life of the brake pads. The StopTech kits are vehicle-specific designs that maintain optimum brake balance and are 100% compatible with ABS and stability control systems. Calipers can be ordered in red or black finishes.  

Two-piece rotors feature an iron ring under the brake pads for optimum heat dissipation with an aluminum hat to save weight. The iron outer ring is replaceable, while the center hat is retained and bolted to the the new outer ring. Rotors are available in slotted or drilled styles. 

When upgrading your brakes, it's important to make sure that your wheels will fit the new, larger rotor and caliper. You may need bigger wheels than stock to fit the bigger rotors and calipers. StopTech has templates available to check the fit for your wheels. These kits are built to order, so please allow 2-3 weeks lead time when making your purchase. 

If you're thinking about ordering a big brake upgrade, you can look forward to shorter stopping distances, greater fade resistance, better modulation and a firmer brake pedal. In addition, the big brakes with red or black painted calipers will enhance the appearance of your vehicle. They look especially good behind large diameter wheels with open designs. Take a look at our complete line of StopTech products

Ice Traction Comparison of All-Season, Summer and Winter / Snow Tires

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by Gary Stanley

You may already know that winter / snow tires offer increased traction and safety on snowy and slushy roads. However, did you know that the right winter tire can also make a dramatic difference on ice-covered roads? Many drivers assume there's no way for any tire to have real traction on ice. The truth is you can improve braking, acceleration and cornering traction on ice with a set of dedicated winter / snow tires. 

To test the performance of snow tires on ice, we went to a local ice skating rink and drove our test vehicles on the freshly polished ice. It may sound extreme, but testing in this way highlights the differences in tires and allows repeatability in the test. See the photos below from a test we performed comparing three tires from different performance categories. One vehicle was equipped with Bridgestone Blizzaks, one with all-season tires and the last with a set of summer performance tires. 

    

The information below is a recap of our test. Take a look to see how a set of winter / snow tires will improve your acceleration, braking and cornering on an icy surface.

Acceleration

We began by comparing how long it took the test cars to cover the final 60-foot distance to the center of the ice rink as they accelerated for a dead stop. The summer tires relied heavily on the car's traction control to begin their trip and took about 7.4 seconds to cover the 60 feet. The all-season tires relied less on the traction control to initiate their trip down the ice, but still took about 6.5 seconds to complete it. The studless winter / snow tires relied less on traction control and more on their ability to grip the ice. They took only about 4.5 seconds to complete their run.

Braking

We evaluated stopping traction by measuring how many feet it took to come to a complete stop from 10 mph. The limited ice traction of the summer tires caused the car's Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) to work overtime and they took about 47' to stop. While the all-season tires relied less on the car's ABS to control lockup, it took them about 39' 10" to stop the vehicle. The studless winter / snow tires provided the most grip on the ice, taking only about 21' 2" to stop.

Cornering

Our final test was cornering. We compared the cars' ability to turn a 90-degree corner marked by traffic cones at a little over 10 miles per hour. The car equipped with summer tires lost traction shortly after initiating the corner and ran wide at the exit, hitting several of the cones that represented the curb. Even the car's Dynamic Stability Control couldn't restrain the vehicle when its tires lost grip. The car equipped with all-season tires did a better job of initiating the corner but still lost traction and ran wide at the exit, again hitting several of the cones. And finally, the car equipped with studless winter / snow tires offered enough grip to complete the corner without hitting any of the cones.

As you can see, the improvement is very noticeable when a vehicle is equipped with winter tires. I experienced this a few years ago when I purchased my new vehicle. See how winter tires helped me enjoy my new Infiniti by reading "My Story on Winter Tires."

For complete results of our test, check out "Testing on Ice: Winter / Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires."

 

Winter Driving Tips from the Experts at Bridgestone

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Recently, I returned from a two-day training session at Bridgestone's Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Having grown up in the Midwest and driven through many winters, I thought I knew pretty much all I needed to know in terms of safe winter driving habits. Like anything else, there's always more to learn! Using several purpose-built tracks that have a variety of elevation changes and turns, the expert instructors put me through a variety of exercises in both front-wheel (using Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 tires) and all-wheel-drive vehicles (using Blizzak DM-V1 winter tires). 

The Blizzak WS70 features Bridgestone's most aggressive Tube Multicell compound to offer the drivers of coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles the best ice traction. This fourth generation of Bridgestone WinterBiter tire is designed to deliver wintertime traction and control that inspires driver confidence. They were installed on the school's fleet of Lexus ES 350 sedans and proved to make the most of the car's front-wheel-drive system and lighter weight.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 tires use a Multicell Z compound that features microscopic bubbles and tubes to absorb the thin film of water that forms as tires run over packed snow and ice. Designed for pickups, crossovers and sport utility vehicles, the tire focuses on ice traction and braking, as well as wet road handling and hydroplaning resistance to provide winter tire driving competence. Installed on a Lexus GX 460, the Blizzak DM-V1 provided a real solid feel in cornering despite the vehicle's high center of gravity.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


The intent was not only to highlight the enhanced traction that winter / snow tires provide, but also show us some basic, and often overlooked tools to make us better drivers in winter conditions. Of the multitude of exercises we performed, the key lesson I took away from the school was to always pay constant attention to availability of grip and modify your driving to utilize what grip you have to maximize braking and modulate speed. Too much of either can spell disaster when the grip disappears.

For more information on the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, read "Winter Driving Tips."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Tuesday, January 15, 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.


General Altimax ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.18

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 4,800
Location: Brockport, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,800 Miles on Tires
December 29, 2012

Just got 13 inches of new snow from a major storm. Snow drifts were up to 24 inches deep. Finally got to try out these tires in significant snow. They performed flawlessly. Traction in light to deep snow was awesome, no issues at all. I was able to drive thru any depth of snow with no problem at all. Ice traction was equally impressive, no issues at all. I plowed thru 24 inch deep snow drifts like they weren't even there. With these tires I was able to maintain control of the car in any condition. I have a up-hill long driveway and didn't even need to shovel it, I just drove right thru 12-22 inch deep snow and had good grip and control at all times. Best snow tires I have ever had. These tires also perform well in wet snow conditions or just wet roads from rain. No hydroplaning, good traction and response, good braking. As soon as the pavement gets wet these tires come alive. Since they are a snow tire, driving on dry pavement isn't as good as when driving on wet or snow, but they still do a good job. The side walls are a bit soft in hard cornering on dry pavement. Other than that, they perform just fine in dry conditions as well, but their true strength is in wet and snow conditions. Tread wear also seems good. After 4800 miles they still look brand new. These tires, coupled with the AWD system on my Subaru WRX turn hazardous winter driving into fun winter driving. Highly recommend.