Ice, Ice Baby!

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
That's right kids, it's time once again to drive expensive BMWs on an ice rink!!

Tire Rack has been putting winter tires through the ringer for the last couple of years by equipping our test vehicles with some popular choices and testing their mettle on glare ice. This year we tested the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Dunlop Graspic DS-3, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, and the new kid on the block, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70.

Now, driving on glare ice does present some problems. If you're like me and just a little clumsy, one false move and WHAM! It's a visit to Ouchtown! But the slickness of the ice is where we really get a feel for the tires' performance in situations where the weather is less than desirable.

The Blizzak tire has been the industry standard for years, providing top notch snow and ice traction compared to its competitors. This year is no different with the WS70, but the gap seems to have been narrowed a bit. Continental has stepped up their game with the ExtremeWinterContact. It handled very well as we made the turns. The X-Ice Xi2 also did very well, and the top three were very close. The Graspic DS-3 lagged a little behind and was the only tire to take out some cones on the turn. Acceleration and braking were all pretty close with these four tires. Complete results will be online soon.

Ultimately, you can't go wrong with any of these winter tires. The snow and ice traction from a winter tire is roughly double what it is with an all-season. When winter safety is a concern, Tire Rack for great deals on studless ice and snow tires!

Snow Tire Testing on an Indoor Ice Rink

Thursday, August 5, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Today I tested the Bridestone Blizzak WS70, the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Dunlop Graspic DS-3 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Studless Ice and Snow tires.

The test took place on an indoor ice rink and let me tell you that it's always a fun learning experience to be able to test these tires back-to-back on glare ice.

All four tires were good in acceleration and braking with the Continental and Michelin tires at the top of the scale followed by the Bridgestones and Dunlops. In the area of handling and cornering on ice, I found the Continental to be first and the Michelin second with Bridgestone close to the Michelin and the Dunlop in fourth place.

Please be advised that even the lowest ranked studless snow tire is twice as effective on ice compared to any all-season tire.

Watch for complete snow tire test results online.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Studless Ice and Snow Tire

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 by Bart Blackburn
Yesterday I had the opportunity to test four different Studless Ice and Snow winter tires. Comparisons were conducted on an indoor hockey rink here in South Bend, Indiana and included acceleration and braking tests along with a cornering demonstration.

We drove on the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, Dunlop Graspic DS-3, Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. As in years past the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 provided the most control for acceleration and braking and was head and shoulders above the others in the cornering demonstration.

These are not your father's snow tires! All the results will be online soon! Check this page frequently.

Testing Ultra High Performance All-Season tires.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 by Henry Carlson
This week, I tested the Dunlop SP Sport Signature, Pirelli PZero Nero All Season, Sumitomo HTR
A/S P01
and the Yokohama AVID ENVigor, Ultra High Performance All-Season tires.

On our 6.6-mile Read World Road Ride, the weather was sunny and 89 degrees. I found all four tires to have good handling and they were all very quiet, except the Pirelli, which had a slight hum. The Sumitomo had the best ride and the Pirelli was a bit harsh.

On our Performance Test Track Drive, the weather was hot and humid and the track was dry. I found all four tires to be comparable in handling, cornering and braking and was impressed with all of them considering that they are all-season tires.

Watch for our completed test results online.

Ultra High Performance All-Season Tire Testing

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 by Colin .
I recently tested Ultra High Performance All-Season tires on a Real World Road Ride and Performance Test Track Drive.
dunlop sport signature




Yokohama AVID ENVigor




During the Real World Road Ride, I found the Sumitomo and Pirelli to have the quietest ride and best comfort. The Dunlop was my least favorite in those areas. But during the dry Performance Test Track Drive, I found the Dunlop to have excellent cornering, handling and braking. The Sumitomo and Pirelli were also very good. When driving on the Yokohamas, though, the vehicle did not feel nearly as planted around corners or through the slalom.

Official results will be online soon. Here is more information on our testing program.

Summer vs. All-Season tires

Monday, July 12, 2010 by Ethan Burns
I recently had a conversation with a driver who wanted to replace two tires.
My first response was, "Sure, what tire do you have on the car now?" He replied, "That doesn’t matter."

I assure you it does matter.

 When only replacing two tires on your car, you should install the same model tire. This will result in the most predictable handling. Keep in mind that when your car was being designed, you certainly wouldn’t hear the engineers say, “Hey Franz, what kind of tires should we put on the rear?” And the other engineer reply, “Oh, that doesn’t matter, use whatever you can find, Hans.”

One of the biggest decisions that you might make is whether to use summer or all-season tires.

A summer tire, like the Bridgestone RE760 Sport, will perform better in dry road cornering and braking than an all-season tire. Summer tires also perform well in the rain; wet traction isn’t an exclusive all-season characteristic. Because it rains in summer, summer tires are made to be quite capable in the wet.

Conversely, if you require some snow traction in the winter and are not planning on using dedicated snow tires, an all-season tire like the Bridgestone G019 Grid will provide longer life and get you through the white stuff.

Never, under any circumstances, mix summer and all-season tires on the same car. This can cause instability and inaccurate handling. If you require just two tires, please write down all the information from your tire sidewalls before giving us a call or selecting your tires online. We won’t steer you wrong.

Testing Eco-Friendly Passenger All-Season Tires

Friday, July 9, 2010 by Colin .
I recently tested the following tires on a Real World Road Ride and Performance Test Track Drive.
kumho solus kr22




Michelin HydroEdge Green X




During the Real World Road Ride, I found all four tires to be somewhat similar in ride quality and handling with the Michelin and Continental slightly ahead of the others. It was on the Performance Test Ttrack Drive and in the wet that their differences really came through. The Kumho was very hard to control on the course. Its braking traction was very poor as well. The Goodyear was much better, followed by the Michelin. My favorite was the Continental.

Official results will be online soon. Here is more information on our testing program.

How do we test tires at Tire Rack?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Our tire tests consist of two parts.

First, we drive on a 6.6 mile Real World Road Ride to get a feel for a tire’s comfort, noise level and handling on all types of road surfaces. Next, we push the tires to their limits during our Performance Test Track Drives. This allows us to test a tire in the areas of emergency braking and steering responsiveness. Our purpose-built track also has a sprinkler system so we can test the tires in rain-like conditions.

Having the opportunity to test tires allows Tire Rack’s sales specialists to understand the best tire for a customer’s unique driving style and vehicle.

Want to learn more? You can watch videos about our tire tests online.

Testing eco-oriented Passenger All-Season tires.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Last week, I tested eco-oriented Passenger All-Season tires -- the Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology, Goodyear Assurance Fuel MaxKumho eco Solus HM KR22 and the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X -- on our 6.6 mile road course.
 
The road course was dry, sunny and temperatures were in the low 70s. I found all four tires to be very comparable in ride quality and noise. In handling, only the Kumho was a bit sluggish. The other three tires handled well for passenger tires.

Later, I was on the test track where conditions were sunny, dry and 79 degrees. I found the Michelins to be the best in braking and handling, the Kumho was the worst and the Continental and Goodyear fell in the middle.
Overall. I would place the Michelin first, the Continental second, the Goodyear third and the Kumho fourth.

Look for complete test results online soon.

Testing Complete for Street/Sport Truck All-Season Tires

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Henry Carlson
We just completed testing the three Street/Sport Truck All-Season tires pictured below.

The Road Ride portion of our test took place on a 6.6-mile loop of expressway, state highway and country roads. Because the weather was partly cloudy and dry, I was able to listen for noise differences between the tires and felt the Kumho was somewhat noisy. In handling, the Pirelli was the best of the three tires.

firestone destination st
kumho ecsta
pirelli  scorpion zero







After testing the tires on the street, it was on to the Performance Track Drive portion of the test. I drove them on our test track that was wet from a recent downpour. The Pirelli tires were the best in handling and braking and the Kumho tires were the worst in cornering. Overall I rank the Pirelli first, the Firestone second and the Kumho third.

Complete Tire Rack team test results are online.

Testing Complete for Ultra High Performance Summer Tires

Thursday, June 10, 2010 by Henry Carlson
I have finished testing the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500, Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 and the Yokohama S.drive Ultra High Performance Summer tires.Tire Testing on our track

On our 6.6 mile road ride, the weather was partly cloudy, 72 degrees and the roads were dry. I thought all of the tires were fairly quiet but the Firestone was the quietest of all four. The Yokohama had the best ride quality and the Firestone was the best handling.

The conditions on the test track were just perfect for pushing these summer tires to their limits, it was 80 degrees and dry. It was an absolute blast!! All four performed very well, but the Firestone was a bit better in braking and overall response in cornering.

Overall, I'd place the the Firestone first, the Yokohama second, the BFG third and the Kumho fourth.

Watch for the complete test results online that will include the wet handling results.

Ate brake pads and rotors for high quality replacement brakes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Gary Stanley
Looking to upgrade from conventional brake pads? 

The Ate (Ah-Tay) brand has been developed by the Continental Teves' group which is responsible for many outstanding original equipment braking and stability control systems. Among these OE applications are the BMW 3-series and Mini Cooper.
 
The pads incorporate vehicle specific formulations which provide excellent performance on a wide variety of applications.  
 
Ate Original Brake Pads European Applications


 

Ate PremiumOne Brake Pads Domestic and Asian Applications

 


 


Don't forget your brake rotors!  

Ate PremiumOne Brake Rotors  have a cool-looking and functional elliptical slotting, Patented RotorLife wear indicator. and a corrosion resistant coating to keep them looking new.




Would you like to know what Ate offers for your car?  Search our online inventory.

High Performance All-Season Tire Testing: Part 2

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Colin .
Test 2  - Track Drive 

Today I tested the following tires on our test track in the wet:



I was surprised that the Michelin did so well considering it's not the newest tire. It did seem to give up some cornering and braking to the Sumitomo and Yokohama though. I really liked the Yokohama and Sumitomo. Their handling, cornering and braking abilities were all very good. The weakest was the Firestone. Its handling in the wet was not very confidence-inspiring. 

I think the Yokohama and Sumitomo are the best overall tires in this group. 

Official results will be online soon but here is more information on our testing program.


Testing Complete on High Performance All-Season tires

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Henry Carlson
I just finished testing the Firestone Precision Sport, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Yokohama AVID ENVigor High Performance All-Season tires.

On our 6.6 mile road course, the weather conditions were light rain so the roads were wet which made it difficult to test for noise levels. I found the Firestone to be the best handling of the four and I was also impressed with its ride comfort.

After the run on our test track I pushed the four tires to their limits on a wet track and found the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 to be the best in all areas of wet handling and braking.

Overall, I'd place the Sumitomo first, Firestone second, Yokohama third and Michelin in fourth.

Watch for complete team test results online.

Tire Rack Now Accepting PayPal

Thursday, May 20, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Check out with PayPal at Tire RackNow you may use your PayPal account to Buy Tires Online at Tire Rack. All you have to do is go to Tire Rack and let us know what you want and we'll send it your way.

Get your Performance Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Suspension Parts, Windshield Wiper Blades and much more at Tire Rack using your Pay Pal account.

High Performance All-Season Tire Testing

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by Colin .
Test 1  - Street Drive

Today I tested the following tires on a warm and sunny day here in Indiana:


I personally found the Sumitomo and Yokohama to be the best overall tires for handling and ride quality. The Michelin and Firestone were not as smooth or quiet and the handling was not as good. I didn't find any of them to be exceptionally noisy though. This is just the first part of our test. During part two we'll tes their handling and braking limits on our track.

Official results will be online soon but here is a more information on our testing program. 







We're not just another tire website.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Tire Rack is your complete source for all things auto tires and wheels. Aside from our collection of rims and tires online, you'll find first-hand product reviews from our sales specialists and Tire Rack consumers alike. We essentially don't hold anything back so that you can make the best purchase possible. And so that you can feel comfortable doing so.

In fact, now is most definitely the time to buy. With the onset of spring, we rolled out (pardon the pun) our biggest and best collection of aftermarket rims and tires to date...and a few other new things, too. Like car suspension products, a brake system upgrade and even a few engine tuning products.

Click here to see it all.

When Stock is Just Not Good Enough, Tire Rack Can Help

Monday, March 22, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Now you have the perfect car, well almost...Tire Rack can help improve the performance of your car from the rubber on the road to the car suspension system to engine performance. Check out some of the product areas Tire Rack can help with:There are many tire websites available to use and buy tires from on-line. Tire Rack is commited to testing and offering the best information on the products we have. Find a tire, shock or brake product you like read some reviews or test results about them before buying and then give us feedback on what you thought of the product. We'll post it on our website for other customers to read.

Akebono ProACT™ Ceramic Disc Brake Pads

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Looking to upgrade from conventional brake pads? Akebono ProACT™ ceramic brakes are an excellent option—they even appear as Original Equipment on some of North America's most popular cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles.

"I chose these pads because I wanted something better than stock, with little fade, and less brake dust that would not eat up my rotors. These fit the bill. I've taken the same pads through two track days and a mountain run and experienced little to no fade and very little dust. Also I experienced NO noise at anytime." — Tire Rack Consumer Review, Lexus GS420, GA

This review, among others, is so positive because of Akebono Ceramic Technology. It works to reduce vibration and harshness. And as ceramic brakes, you'll experience less brake dust, too.

Read more about the Akebono ProACT™ ceramic disc brake pads, then search our brakes online to see which products fit your vehicle.

Brake Pads and Rotors at the Tire Rack, Customize Your Brake System

Thursday, February 18, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Ever thought to buy brake pads and rotors online? With Tire Rack you can buy brake pads and brake rotors of your choice shipped to you, or your installer. Tire Rack has brake components to fit your vehicle broken down into four performance categories to help with the selection process. About a year ago, I noticed my Chevy Impala's brake system was not performing like I remembered. The Impala is used to get me back and forth to work in an efficient manor. All I needed was an Original Equipment replacement level brake product. I selected the Akebono ProACT Ceramic Brake Pads from the Premium Brake Pad category. I always like to use the products  Tire Rack carries to see for myself how they work in the field, so I made the purchase and got to work updating the Impala with my new Akebono ProACT Ceramic Pads.

The Akebono ProAct Ceramic Pads have met my expectations. They work well in rain and dry conditions and do not make a lot of dust. One thing I did notice during winter driving is the Akebono ProAct Ceramic Pads do have a little more initial bite as the front wheels have locked up a few more times than last winter with my O.E. brake pads (no ABS on the Impala). No worries; a small change to my braking style and I'm happy with the overall performance of the brake system on Centric Premium Brake Rotormy car.

Not to forget the brake rotors, as its always a great time to replace brake rotors and brake pads at the same time. The Centric Premium Rotor is a great Original Equipment replacement rotor. One thing I really like about the Centric Premium Rotor is the Electrocoating (E-coating) black finish. The finish really makes the rotors look sharp especially if you have a wheel that shows the rotors or, have a winter wheel that shows the rotor more than the summer wheels.

Check to see which rotors or brake pads work best for your car at Tire Rack. Tire Rack has many brake system options to chose from. I just wanted something like the Original Equipment brake system.  You may want to step it up for some additional performance. Tire Rack can offer you the custom brake pad and rotor package to meet your needs.