Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Thursday, December 29, 2011 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: 7.73

2006 Honda Civic SI Coupe
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 15000
Location: Westlake, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 15000 Miles on Tires
December 02, 2011

I was nervous about buying this tire at first, but after reading reviews here and elsewhere online, I decided to take the plunge just before Winter of '09. After two whole winters (and starting a third), the snow performance of these tires continue to leave me satisfied. I have intentionally put my little FWD Civic in nasty situations (unplowed parking lot after 12" of snow? why not!) and have never gotten stuck with these tires on the car. I've owned Hakkapelittas, and Blizzaks, and the Altimax Artic is a comparable contender to both at a fraction of the price.

The biggest detractor from these tires is their sidewalls. I expect a bit of softness in a snow tire, but these go to extremes. My car feels like it's "floating" at highway speeds, and requires some extra wheel input to keep it straight. When it's dry out, taking turns at speed in these tires will leave you guessing every time. Throughout the turn, the tires never settle, so you're constantly on edge trying to manage through the turn. Steering response is horrid as the sidewall turns to mush from any inputs. That said, lateral grip is impressive for such a cheap tire once you can tame the sidewall.

Overall, once you get the hang of the poor sidewall performance, the snow and ice performance makes you forget you ever doubted the tire.

Winter / Snow Tires for Winter's Worst Conditions

Friday, November 18, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires are three of the top contenders in the Studless Ice and Snow category. The old approach to winter was that tires with aggressive tread patterns and studs were the best way to handle winter driving. It's been our experience that the advanced Studless Ice and Snow traction technologies have surpassed the studded tire. Watch "Testing Winter Weather Specialists - Studless Ice and Snow Tires" to see how tires in this performance category deliver excellent traction in winter's worst conditions. The following three tires offer slush, snow and ice traction that easily surpasses even the best all-season tires:

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak
WS70
Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice
Xi2
Continental ExtremeWinterContact
Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Take a look at what some customers are saying about their experience with the Blizzak WS70, X-Ice Xi2 and ExtremeWinterContact:

"This snow tire never disappointed during last winter's record snow fall (98 inches) here in eastern Massachusetts. As long as I had ground clearance they went through every drift and snow bank they were challenged with. My driveway has an upward-sloping incline which frequently ices over, and these tires always made the climb without slipping or losing grip." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2010 Volvo XC70 3.2 AWD (Bridgestone Blizzak WS70)

"For years I considered the G35 as a car requiring two lanes to safely drive in the snow. I purchased the X-Ice Xi2 with the expectation that I could at least endure driving in snow. Honestly, I was greatly surprised at how easy to drive in the snow this car has become and feel like now I could thread a needle with it. A greater surprise is how great the car performs on wet pavement. Definitely these tires transformed the car from barely livable in the winter with all season tires to a point where I do not care much about the type of winter weather I will encounter." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2005 Infiniti G35 Sedan (Michelin X-Ice Xi2)

" I just purchased these [Continental winter tires] and had them installed Saturday. Sunday night the first freezing rain and snowfall hit. By Monday morning we had a few inches of slush and snow sitting on a layer of ice. I tried to get these tires to slide in a corner and couldn't. I tried slamming on the brakes to engage ABS, and instead the car just stopped. It was like driving with my summer tires on sticky pavement. There were accidents all around me, but I had zero issues." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 BMW 335i (Continental ExtremeWinterContact)

And when it comes time to make your tire buy online, shop by vehicle to find the perfect winter / snow tire for your vehicle.

Wheels & Tires for the 2011-2012 VW Jetta

Friday, November 4, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Despite what some automotive experts say, I really like the new Volkswagen Jetta. And, if the original Jetta tires and wheels are not to your liking, some aftermarket car rims and tires could really increase the vehicle's style.

As you try to envision how a given wheel will fit on your car, keep in mind that the offset spec effects the overall look. How would the 17x7.5 5-112 bolt pattern 45mm offset Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin look on the car, even though your Original Equipment wheels are 16" in diameter and 6.5" with a 50mm offset? To help you gain a better picture of how these Enkei rims would sit on your vehicle, look at where your valve stems sit and picture them moving 17mm (roughly 3/4") out towards the fender.

Manufacturers will determine what sizes of wheels they'll make, as not all wheels come in all sizes. However, when you purchase wheels from Tire Rack, you can be assured the wheel you order is a perfect match for your vehicle. To see how we get the proper fitments for each vehicle, read "How We Know What Fits."

Since I am a big fan of the Jetta TDI let's use this application as an example. For 17" wheels you can choose Volkswagen tires in either 225/45-17 or 235/45-17. If I were picking tires to use here in Indiana, I'd get the 225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 for its combination of great steering response, wet grip and efficiency.

Since the new Jetta uses the indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System with ABS sensors, you don't need to get separate sensors. And when you're looking at our online tire prices for the Michelin Primacy, create a Tire & Wheel Package with the Enkei wheels for $1388* plus shipping.

17x7.5 Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin
17x7.5 Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin
225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4
225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4

Create the perfect Tire & Wheel Package for your Jetta today!

Make Your Winter / Snow Tire Changes Easier

Monday, October 31, 2011 by Ben Rooney
Cordless Impact WrenchThe time to change from summer to winter / snow tires is rapidly approaching. Temperatures on my morning drive were in the 30s coming to work. No snow here yet, but winter is in the air.  

Changing tires that are mounted on wheels is simple to do at home with just a jack and a lug wrench. But spinning all those lug nuts on and off the car can become a bit tedious.  

Last year, for the first time, I installed my Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a cordless impact wrench. This one tool makes a huge difference in the time and effort needed to make the change. To truly appreciate the ease and convenience, do a couple of changes with hand tools only, and then buy the impact wrench.  

Use of the impact wrench is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of cautions to observe:

1. M
ake sure the socket fits the lug securely before you start the impact wrench. Its high power and speed can start rounding off lugs if you are sloppy.  

2. Do not use the impact wrench to torque down your lugs. This can easily lead to harmful over-torquing. As soon as the lug starts to engage with the wheel, stop. Then go back and apply the final torque by hand.    

Aside from seasonal changeovers, the impact wrench is a great time saver for anyone who goes to the track and has a separate set of wheels and competition tires for track use. The tool is appreciated more when you're heading to the track and need to change a track wheel and track tire quickly and easily. When you're looking for car tires online at Tire Rack this winter, be sure to add the cordless impact wrench for the track-rat in your life. 

Best Run-Flat Winter / Snow Tires in 225/45R17

Friday, October 21, 2011 by Gary Stanley
If you have a 2006-2011 BMW 3 Series, odds are you're considering run-flat winter / snow tires in 225/45R17. For the upcoming winter season, there are only two options left in stock: the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT and Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT
Pirelli 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT
Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT

How Do They Compare? 

The Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT would be a noticeable step down in terms of snow and ice traction but would provide better dry grip and steering response compared to the Blizzak LM-25 RFT. In other words, a set of Blizzak LM-25 RFTs would offer your vehicle better winter traction than a set of these Pirelli car tires, but not quite as much dry grip and handling. 

While both options are quality tires, if you live in a light snow area and prefer a tire with better dry grip and faster steering response, but are willing to give up some snow and ice traction to get it, then you should purchase the Sottozero Serie II RFT. However, if you see more mixed conditions, or simply want a safer tire for better traction on ice and snow-covered roads, then I'd suggest the Blizzak LM-25 RFT.

Decision is Made, What's Next?

Buy tires online through Tire Rack, of course. Or, as always, contact one of our sales specialists for pricing and availability. Need an installer? Learn more about our Recommended Installer program by checking out my blog titled, "How Does Our Recommended Installer Program Work." 

Better yet, select a combination of winter / snow tires and rims (wheels) to create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package so you can do the installation yourself.

Looking to Purchase Tires, Wheels Online?

Monday, August 15, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
Wheels by BrandWhile our name suggests we're an online tire retailer, Tire Rack is also an online wheel store. With over 40 different brands to choose from, choosing rims and tires online at one retailer is simple.

And when you choose to shop by vehicle you can be sure you are getting a wheel that is an exact fitment for your car. Through research and testing, our fitment engineers match wheels to particular applications. Items we measure or verify include:
  • Bolt pattern
  • Centerbore diameter
  • Hub diameter
  • Load capacity
  • Lug hardware
  • Suspension components clearance
Read "How We Know What Fits" for detailed information on what we measure. And when you're finished, shop by vehicle to see all the wheels that will fit your car, light truck or SUV.

Install Your Tire & Wheel Package in Just Minutes

Monday, August 1, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
How to Install Your Wheel & Tire PackageCreating Tire and Wheel Packages at Tire Rack allows you to buy car tires online as well as rely on us to be your online wheel store - all in one stop. Mounted, balanced and shipped with all necessary hardware at no additional charge, a package is easy to bolt right on. To make sure the miles in between tire rotations are as pleasant as possible, proper installation of your Tire & Wheel Package is key. Read "How to Install Your Wheel & Tire Package."

Begin building your Tire & Wheel Package today!

Purchasing Bridgestone Tires Online?

Saturday, February 5, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
Tire Rack carries a full line of Bridgestone passenger and light truck tires including the Potenza, Turanza and Dueler series. Also see our full selection of Bridgestone Blizzak winter / snow tires. Below are a few options from the Bridgestone collection:

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11
Potenza RE-11

Summer tire developed for sports cars,
sports coupes and performance sedans.
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
Turanza Serenity

All-season tire developed for the drivers of sporty coupes and luxury performance sedans.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Dueler H/L Alenza
All-season light truck tire developed for drivers of premium crossovers and sport utility vehicles.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Blizzak WS70 
Winter tire developed for coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles.

Shop by vehicle
to see which tire works best for your vehicle.

Michelin HydroEdge, Year Two of My Story

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by Chad Hocker
The Michelin HydroEdge has worked well on my Impala. I have had them for two years now and have put 50,000 miles on my car in that time. I use the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 winter tires seasonally, so the Michelin HydroEdge has seen about 14,500 miles and they still look very good.

My daily driving has changed as I have moved. Previously, most of my driving was on the interstate; now it's about half interstate and half country roads/city driving. I am still happy with the overall performance of the Passenger All-Season Michelin HydroEdge. They handle well for the car's capabilities and offer a smooth ride. At times they make a little noise but nothing that is beyond acceptable to me. They are not good in the snow, which is why I have the Blizzaks for winter use. This tire has a 90,000 mile warranty and exceptional hydroplanning resistance.

Don't just take my word for it. Check out some of the other consumer reviews online.

SMichelin HydroEdge with Green X Technolgyince I purchased my HydroEdge tires, Michelin updated the tire with their Green X Technology, which basically allows the tire to roll easier, moving the HydroEdge with Green X Technology into the low rolling resistance tire category.


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.

Hybrid Tires for your Vehicle

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Tire Rack was able to complete tire testing on low rolling resistant tires. Unfortunately, we were not able to use our usual BMW E92 328i test cars because of tire sizing, Instead, we made a switch to the Toyota Prius, which enabled me to get about 28 mpg better than my personal vehicle! Check out the overall average fuel economy data from our Real World Road Ride. The Original Equipment Toyota tires were the Goodyear Integrity, so we used it as the baseline fuel economy tire.

Tire Line Test
MPG*
Gallons/Year
@ 15,000 Miles
% vs.
Baseline
Michelin Energy Saver A/S 53.8 278.8 +4.74%
Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 53.5 280.4 +4.12%
Yokohama dB Super E-Spec 52.8 284.0 +2.81%
Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max 51.6 290.7 +0.37%
Goodyear Integrity 51.4 291.8 ---
Michelin HydroEdge with Green X 51.1 293.5 -0.59%
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred 50.0 300.0 -2.64%
* Our evaluation used Linear Logic ScanGauge II automotive computers to record fuel consumption and Race Technology DL1 data loggers to record true distance travelled.
(offset 6% for Prius Summer E10 regular grade fuel)

Don't worry if you don't have a hybrid car; these tires may still work for you. Select your vehicle and search for low rolling resistant tires (LLR). You can buy these tires online and have them shipped to one of our independent Recommended Installer of your choice.

Read all the results:  When Lean and Green goes Round and Black

Ready, Set, Go

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Jonas Paeplow

Do you have more than one set of tires and wheels for your cars? Are you tired of paying your car dealer to register your tire pressure sensor codes every time you rotate tires or swap out extra sets of tires/wheels?

If you own one or any of the applicable models from the following manufacturers you can avoid those expensive trips to the dealer and store several sets of TPMS sensor codes, for up to 4 separate vehicles, by using the ATEQ TPM QuickSet Reset Tool.

  • Acura
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Infiniti
  • Kia
  • Lexus
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Scion
  • Subaru
  • Toyota

The ATEQ TPM QuickSet Reset Tool is a valuable tool to reset a vehicle's Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) when replacing sensors or swapping tire sets, for instance, from a summer Tire & Wheel Package to a winter package. Additionally, the tool's "swapping tires" function assists you in tracking and recording the TPM sensor information after rotating tires.

ATEQ TPM QuickSet Reset Tool
The PC software (included) provides easy, step-by-step instructions for reset.

Features:

  • Compatible with future applications (upgradable online)
  • Advanced stream decoding for faster signal recognition
  • OBDII plug-in extension cable
  • Easy, step-by-step instructions
  • Tire rotation tracking and recording
  • Save and restore old tire configuration
All you need to do is connect the Quickset to your PC and download the current software. Connect the Quickset tool to your car through the OBDII diagnostic link connector under the dash on the driver's side, and retrieve the sensor codes from your existing wheels. Save these codes and any additional codes for a second set and the tool is enabled to switch between "winter" and "summer" wheels or "track" and "street."

Why bother with the hassle of tying up your car and taking valuable time away from your busy schedule? For what it would cost to have the sensor codes reset at the dealer a couple of times you could own the ATEQ TPM QuickSet Reset Tool and make the swap yourself in just a few minutes.

Symmetrical, Asymmetrical or Directional??

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Bart Blackburn
Regardless if you're shopping for Continental Brand Car tires or for your Lincoln Continental, more tires show tread patterns of unique shapes. One of the most frequently asked questions is "I mounted my asymmetric tread car tires purchased online and it looks like two of the tires are running backwards. Did I get two of the wrong tires?" 

The answer is "no," you did not get the wrong tires! The critical part of the tires in question is the outboard side being mounted out. Typically the outboard is going to have bigger tread blocks to stand up to the stresses of cornering better than the smaller tread blocks on the inside of the tread. Between the shoulder tread blocks some tread patterns seem to be running backwards, the significance of this appearance is overshadowed by the necessity to mount the outboard shoulder on the outside of the wheel.

So if you have the appearance of two of the tires running backward when looking at the tread but have the outside sidewall mounted out the tire is mounted correctly.

Below are examples of asymmetrical tread patterns:
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 
Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Tire Rack's Tire Testing Program

Friday, March 12, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
If you've ever made an online tire purchase from Tire Rack or any other car tire dealer, you've probably done some research. And just like you, we like to compare performance tires, too.

Tire Rack's tire testing program is quite the production. First-hand experience with and extensive training on the tires we sell helps our sales specialists provide expert recommendations. We use a 6.6 mile Real World Road Ride loop, as well as our own Performance Test Track.
These two pathways allow us to compare performance tires across a variety of conditions that you drive every day. And on the test track, we can safely test a tire's speed and stopping performance. We can even test winter performance tires in addition to the winter testing we do on a local ice rink.

Read more about Tire Rack's Tire Testing Program, or watch the videos we've put together:

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.

Introducing Tire Rack's latest focal point: Focal Wheels.

Monday, February 15, 2010 by Tire Rack Team

Tire Rack is pleased to announce a new wheel brand in our online wheel storeFocal wheels are tuner wheels that come to us from Ultra Wheel Company. They are designed and engineered specifically for small performance cars using the latest tooling and manufacturing methods. Our Focal selection includes, but is not limited to, the following:

See all Focal wheels.



Reflections on a great winter season!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 by Damon Witters
As I sit here on a day in early February staring at the phone to ring, I have a chance to reflect on what a great winter season it was this year. I was able to help quite a few customers get through the winter and many people purchased before the first snow fall this season.
Winter driving

Let me take a minute to explain how important ordering early can be.

Every year we can always count on the calls for winter product from late September through Christmas.  But this year I saw an animal of a different color I have never seen in my 7 years here:  More calls earlier than in years past.  And I'm not talking the people who woke up and called us with their first cup of coffee here, either.  I'm talking about pro-active people.  You know, the ones you always secretly resent because at the end of the day their to-do lists are always all checked off and they go home with spotless desks!
 
But joking aside, a trend we have seen in the past here at Tire Rack is some scrambling in Mid-December to buy whatever's left because people hoped they could get through the year on all-season tires instead of Blizzaks, or Michelin X-Ice, or any snow tire.  This year we helped quite a few driver in October, and that's a great thing.

Why?  Because it means people are listening.

Listening to their friends who buy snow tires.  Listening to us. Watching the advertising (have you seen our new commercials on TV?  Pretty snazzy.) in both print and online.  Generally "getting it" that winter tires really do get you and your family from A-B more safely.  Helping more people in October this year means that people are excited about getting into safer tires before the white-knuckle trip to work one morning in late November on three-quarter worn all seasons seemed like they would get through one more winter.  It's an exciting trend to see, and we hope it continues. 

Because really, how much fun is it to use the car in front of you to stop?  

If you have not tried a real dedicated snow tire yet, think about putting a set at the top of the list next year.


Early.