Add Style to Your Toyota Matrix with Enkei Performance Series Falcon Wheels

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Do you love your Toyota Matrix for being dependable and reliable? Would you like to give it an upgrade and make it stand out a little more? A new set of wheels will do the trick!

Enter our Upgrade Garage to view all options available for your application. Since the vehicle is offered with two different bolt patterns, it's important you correctly enter your vehicle's make, model and year. Selecting the right wheel all comes down to your personal preference, but I really like the Enkei Performance Series Falcon.

16x7 38ET Hyper Silver With Machined Lip $95*
Enkei Performance Series Falcon
16x7 38ET Gunmetal With Machined Lip $95*
Enkei Performance Series Falcon


The angular lines of the spoke design of the wheel echo the overall lines of the car, while two distinctive finishes let you pick the ideal match for your Matrix. With respect to function, the 7" wide 38 mm offset has virtually the same specifications as the 16x6.5" 39 ET Original Equipment Matrix wheel. A set of these wheels are also 100% compatible with your TPMS sensors so your installer can easily move your original sensors over to your new wheels.

Now that you've found a set of wheels to improve your Matrix's look, how are your tires holding up? Why not take advantage of our free mount and balancing to create your own Tire & Wheel Package. The General AltiMAX RT43 offers an outstanding combination of wet grip, road manners and overall handling at a great price. 

Search by vehicle and upgrade the look of your vehicle with a new Tire & Wheel Package.

Can You Put Non-Run-Flat Tires on Run-Flat Wheels?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Many drivers are uncertain whether they can put non-run-flat tires on wheels that originally came with run-flat tires. The short answer: yes.

Run-flat tires and regular tires that are the same numeric size will have the same physical dimensions, and can fit properly on the same wheels. The only difference with run-flat wheels is they usually have an extra hump behind the bead seat. This hump would help keep the run-flat tire in its proper place on the wheel while driving without air pressure. It does not affect the performance or compatibility of the non-run-flat tire.

A few words of caution: If you are changing to non-run-flat tires from run-flat tires, make sure you have a plan for what you will do in the event that you do have a flat tire. An air compressor and sealant can easily seal a minor puncture. A plug kit can also be useful for a temporary repair. You should have some sort of roadside assistance that you can call if you have a larger puncture. Some cars may have space to store a spare tire, though some cars with run-flats do not have any convenient location for the tire.

If a spare tire is an option, remember that you should maneuver more cautiously when your vehicle is equipped with a Temporary/Compact Spare tire and three standard tires. Any differences in tire traction can reduce vehicle handling and increase braking distances, especially in emergency situations.

Whether you're looking for a set of non-run-flat or run-flat tires, shop by vehicle and view all options available for your application.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 22, 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: 9.12
 
 

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL55
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Loudon, NH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
June 10, 2014

Tires transform the car. It feels like it is all wheel drive. Steering with the throttle is a snap. The limits of the car on the street with these tires have not even be tickled by me; I would need a track for that. The stock Bridgestones are unacceptable and wore quickly. I thought the Hankook V-12s were good until I tried these PSS. I have a set of Pilot Alpin PA-4s on separate AMG wheels for winter use. I do not believe in all-seasons. Frankly, there is no other choice than the PSS unless you want a DOT approved race tire which has its compromises in the wet. The PSS do not.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, July 21, 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: 9.25
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
July 02, 2014

I bought these off a recommendation from fellow BMWCCA members as well as the other Tire Rack reviews. Let me start off by saying that these made it a completely different car! I'd had the Bridgestone RE050A Pole Positions on my stock 19" wheels, and combining those with my Hawk Blue brake pads at the track, I was constantly outbraking my tires. Now that I've changed to square sizes, as well as switched to the Michelin, I'm getting faster lap times, and finding a lot more grip into the corners. I've got one track weekend and about 2500 miles on these so far, and I'm super impressed!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 15, 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: 8.88
 
 

2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

Believe it or not I drive my 911 year round. The factory Dunlop tires performed well in the dry, decently in the rain, but wear very quickly and were quite noisy. I had the Michelins installed on an aftermarket set of forged wheels lighter than stock. Right away the noise level was drastically reduced. Also, I could get the Dunlop tires to break away if I tried, the Michelins stick like glue. Handling confidence is up there with an r compound street/track tire. The sidewalls are stiff, but quite frankly I'd prefer that with low profile tires. The ride isn't busy by any means, but you can feel the stiffness of the tires over larger road imperfections. Knowing that my expensive wheels are protected improves driving confidence rather than a softer ride. I run dedicated winter tires on the stock wheels during the colder months, and while they ride much better the 'grip threshold is much lower as to be expected. Running tires without the Porsche "N" designation doesn't worry me in this case as I trust the Michelin brand. I have run Michelin tires on other vehicles with equally great results. The price/performance/wear expectancy of these tires made them an easy choice. I haven't driven enough to gauge wear, but the factory rear Dunlops lasted about 18 months and 7,500 miles before needing replacement. While this is understandable given the performance envelope the car is capable of, the noise level alone turned me off to getting another set. The front tires seem to last twice as long, but for a few bucks more I got a whole set of Michelins as opposed to just replacing the factory rear rubber. If the rear tires last 15,000 miles I will definitely be sticking with them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero

Tuesday, July 15, 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 P Zero Nero Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.57
 
 

2013 Mercedes-Benz C350 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
June 30, 2014

These came oem on my mercedes. I have read bad reviews however so far these have been great tires. I can't rotate them due to difference size wheels front and rear. Tires are quiet and tread wear has been great thus far. No need to rebalance them or get an alignment yet. Very happy since the day I bought the car last July.

Marketer Becomes Tire Tester

Monday, July 14, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

After three-and-a-half years on the job, I finally got the call I was waiting for: a chance to be a Tire Rack tire tester! Along with other members of the Tire Rack marketing team, this was OUR opportunity to get behind the wheel of our test BMWs and develop our own opinions on tire performance and truly understand what it takes to get our findings out to our customers.

Having already experienced the Real World Road Ride portion of our tests, I was prepared to look for a tires’ ride, noise and light handling qualities across a variety of conditions. The second part of testing, the Performance Test Track Drives, occurs on our track, and was what I had been waiting all these years to do.

We can see the track from our offices in marketing, we thought we knew what to expect, we were both nervous and excited. As one of our designers said, “I see our testers driving faster than I would want to go. The unfamiliarity of driving another’s car with someone else riding alongside me makes me uncomfortable.”

No worries. We weren't going to be competitive. (The photo at right proves we did take it pretty seriously though)

We got into the cars, we were told to drive at a level that made us comfortable. What made ALL of us comfortable was driving on the set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The tire allowed us to feel like we were in control of the car and have some fun behind the wheel as we slalomed a few cones, took some turns at speed and navigated the skid pad (And did I mention this was all done while our track's sprinkler system kept the course covered in water?). When it came to the Sumitomo Touring LS T tires we also tested, it was a completely different story. We were able to feel the vast difference in performance and gain a deeper respect for the testers out there all season doing what they do while listening to the car and the tires so they can accurately report on performances wins and losses.

Here's my rookie review of the two tires.

When driving on the Pilot Super Sports, I felt as if I could driver faster and take turns at speeds I typically don’t, as the tire gave me that much confidence. Now on the Sumitomo, I was braking much sooner to prepare for a turn. If I didn’t I would end up in the grass (even though I didn’t end up in the grass, I can’t say the same for some of my co-workers).

We didn't do a full test on the wet and dry course. And we're by no means expert testers like our sales specialists (who are our test drivers). But rest assured, you're in good hands when you're relying on the test results you read on the tires we offer. Our testers do this all season long and they've got my respect. And trust.

Here are our expert test results and more about our testing program.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Friday, July 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.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

1994 Mazda Miata
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

I have these on my supercharged and coilover'd '94 Miata that is strictly a nice-weather car, thus why I can't rate wet characteristics. I have had Potenza RE750s and the set before buying the ZIIs were Potenza RE-11s. The RE-11s were way above the RE750s, and I wore the RE-11s clear down to the rears being completely smooth and looking like go-cart tires... I don't put many miles on this car and those tires lasted 5 years, and due to lack of a garage at the time, they were subjected to very low temps, so the compound was not the best - I decided to destroy them at a local drift event to give me a reason to buy new tires.

That said, I mainly use my Miata as a driver but also I do a lot of very spirited backroading, tarmac rally stages, if you will. I was going to just throw another set of RE-11s on it, but a few friends that autocross suggested I take a look at the ZIIs. After reading reviews, I chose them. Got them from TireRack within 24 hours of ordering!

Now that they're worn in a bit, I'll say, THESE TIRES ARE GREAT! The grip... all the grip. Taking clover-leaf exit ramps with only scrubbing off a few MPH is fantastic! On the backroads, they do work and instill confidence. Very predictable tire. Ride quality is great, very smooth. There is a bit of a howl from these, not sure if it'll worsen or get better as my Miata has some camber from being lowered... but at the end of the day, it's a sports car, sacrifices have to be made. These do feel a bit squishy at times compared to the RE-11s, and I miss the RE-11s appearance - those are much wider tires and the sidewall with a 205/50 on a 6" wide wheel looked awesome... the ZIIs look like a 'normal' tire in comparison, but this also explains the ride quality improvement over bumps.

I'd definitely buy these again. I'm going to take care of these as far as temperature goes and I expect many years out of them. -MazKid

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

Tuesday, July 8, 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.

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2004 BMW 325Ci Cabriolet
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 300
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
July 07, 2014

So far 300 miles on tires. Very quiet, and ride is MUCH better than my Westlake tires on my car when purchased. Will have another review , once I can drive this rear wheel drive car in snow. At posted or above speed limit, smooth ride. Very happy right now.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Monday, July 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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.64
 
 

2003 Audi A8L
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location: West Seneca, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
June 26, 2014

Well, I finally stepped up to the plate and and purchased the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Summer in WNY, so I cannot attest to the performance in the snow as yet. I usually switch to the Blizzacks once late Dec & Jan arrive. The Audi, with the Blizzacks is actually better than my LTZ Suburban (all-wheel drive)in the snow. I have to say, after reading all the comments (positive & negative), that I am SO please with them that I needed to write one of these comment things. They are so quite; the car rides so smooth and handles effortlessly; and there has been "zero" dip in gas mileage. In fact a shade better. I did run GY/Assurance tires on this previously. I really thought they were a good tire, and they were. Not necessarily a cheap tire either, but handled really good overall. I even have them on "the bride's" car. But, from the minute I put these Pirelli's on, all I can say is, "WoW". "It's a joy to open the car door knowing I have to take a drive". My driving range is mixed city/highway, with trips across the state and into the cities I travel. My Driving Habits for the most part are normal. However I do get a little spirited at times. I have my own cadence, and do enjoy downshifting through curves just because I can (not that I need to all the time). It just makes driving fun. The tires, playing an important roll in this experience are critical. Besides the comfort and quiet that I have gotten out of these tires, they perform extremely well. Cruising, Breaking, Gripping in Curves, Overall-performance,they are the best I have had at this point in my career. I am very pleased and wanted to share that with you. I will come back and enter my opinion when the snow flies. We all know "ice is ice" and unless you're in a tank doing 20 MPH, nothing else will stop you.I would highly recommend these tires to anyone, not that any one tire performs the same way on all cars. Safe Drive to all! No Texting; Pull over and rest if you're tired!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Thursday, June 26, 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 Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2012 Volkswagen GTI
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
June 24, 2014

These tires are amazing, I bought these to replace to stock all season pirelli zero which where pretty bad, before that I had the conti dws on my bmw, and they where very good, but nothing compared to the michelins, I live in vegas so no need to worryabout snow but i wanted something with a very high tread life and good grip, im apr tuned stage 2 and sometime traction control would flash threw 3rd gear on the pirellis, and anytime i take a corner somewhat aggressively the back end would slide out, and driving with out traction control was horrible, couldnt go anywhere, these michelin tires are completely opposite, my car rids much smoother, back end is much more composed, hardly any wheel spin in 2nd gear, and now i love to drive with traction control off, especially in the summer here in vegas, once these tires heat up, they're very impressive for a all season tire, cant imagine what a extreme summer tire would be like. I would definitely buy these tires again

Love is...Autocrossing. And Tire Rack.

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

A happy couple, fun with cars and Tire Rack. A perfect marriage in our book.

Angie and Woody Rogers, both Tire Rack employees, placed their first Tire Rack orders back in 1990 before even knowing each other.

Later they met and the rest is (autocross) history.

Woody, who began autocrossing in 1989, convinced Angie to come to an event for their first date. It wasn't long before Angie got behind the wheel and gave it a try herself. The motoring couple continued to compete in local, regional and national level autocross competitions around the country. And many sets of tires later, Angie eventually went on to win two SCCA National Autocross Championships!


Both joined the Tire Rack team on the same day in the summer of 1999. Woody has turned his love of tires and ample time behind the wheel into his role as one of Tire Rack's product information specialists and tire test program coordinator, while Angie has blended her graphic design training and management skills into her current role as print media buyer.

This time of year, you'll find them prepping their 2002 S2000 for yet another season of competition in the SCCA's STR class.


What's Installed? Woody Comments.

Dunlop245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza ZII Tires

"Chosen because it's an all-around performance leader. This tire is well suited to the task, and inspires confidence to push hard and place the car very exactly, both of which are critical to going fast."

TRMotorsports17x9.0 TRMotorsports C3 Light Grey Wheels

"These wheels have the correct fit plus light weight and economical pricing. It costs nearly twice as much to save just two pounds per wheel."

KW KW Clubsport Coil-Over Kit

"We've used KW Coil-Overs before, and they proved to deliver excellent damping control and a wide range of adjustability."

Eibach SpringsFront Anti-Roll Bar

"The Eibach Front Anti-Roll Bar is hollow for reduced weight and the two-way adjustability on the S2000 fitment helps tune handling as needed."

Intercomp 4" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

"Big enough to see from the moon, and always spot on accurate."

AquapelGlass Treatment

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

"The combination of Aquapel and PIAA Super Silicone wipers makes a great pair to assure visibility during even the heaviest downpour."

Braille Auto Lightweight Racing Battery (Carbon Wrap w/Mount) 6 lbs.

"Saving weight is an important part of this project, and this should shave nearly 40 lbs. from the car while still having plenty of cranking power."

SPCSPC Adjustable Ball Joint

"Installed in the front upper control arms, the SPC ball joints add additional adjustment range to the OEM suspension so we can get sufficient negative camber to optimize tire performance."

Best Tires for Chevrolet Camaro

Thursday, June 12, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of my favorite American muscle cars. I think the car has a nice blend of old school style and new age design. Two of the most popular packages would be the RS and SS which provide optional 20" staggered tires and wheels. The Camaro RS and SS came from the factory with 245/45R20 in the front and 275/40R20 rear Pirelli P Zero Max Performance Summer tires.

When it comes to replacing tires on the Camaro, many drivers love the summer tires and look to go back to the equivalent level of grip and treadlife when choosing a replacement set, while others don't drive as aggressively and want a tire that provides a better ride and much longer treadlife.

Pirelli P Zero
Pirelli P Zero
 Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


If you're a Camaro owner that loved how the car performed when new and are happy with the ride and treadlife of a summer tire, take a look at staying with the Original Equipment. The tire offers excellent dry road traction. If you want to try something new, consider the Continental ExtremeContact DW which provides noticeably better wet traction and lower road noise.

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
 General G-Max AS-03
General G-MAX AS-03


If you're a Camaro owner who wants the best ride and longest treadlife at the expense of some grip, or would like to occasionally drive the Camaro in light snow, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS or General G-MAX AS-03 are both great options. Each tire would offer better treadlife over the Pirelli summer tire, along with the ability to drive the Camaro in freezing temperatures and light snow.

If it's time to change the tires on your RS or SS Camaro be sure to consider what you want most from your tires and choose something that best fits your everyday driving needs. For more help shopping for Camaro tires, read "Looking to Buy the Best Tire, But Not Sure Which One? Tire Rack Has the Answer!"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Monday, June 9, 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.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2005 Cadillac STS V8
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
May 16, 2014

I've only had these tires for a week, but wow what a difference! I got this car with the OE Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 and was shocked by it's poor performance. With traction control on in the rain, it was normal to have the car hesitate as the rear tires fought for traction. With TC turned off, well, it was a wild ride indeed. Lots of fun but very dangerous for the inexperienced. Snap oversteer ruled the day. In the dry the Michelins were a little better but still very overwhelmed by the Northstar's torque. I've been itching to try a good set of Extreme Performance or Max Performance tires on this car since I got it but waited until the Michelins were used up. I can say that these DWs have transformed the car. It's rained several times in the past week so I've had several opportunities to try out the wet traction. Where normally with TC off (that's how I drive) I would get severe oversteer with normal throttle application (meaning no aggression whatsoever) on turns with very slick asphault, these Contis just bite like crazy. I have to get very aggressive to induce some slip, and when I let off, they come back into line beautifully.

On the highway, at speeds approaching 70 - 80 mph, there is a little vibration in the steering wheel, especially as the tire comes up to temp. They are noticably more noisy than the Michelins but that's to be expected. Ride comfort is good but the stiffer sidewalls are definitely felt. Not a bad thing in my opinion but conservative buyers should be aware. I read a recent review from a Jetta owner giving these tires a bad review stating that turn-in is poor and that he can feel the sidewalls squirming and the only thing I can think of is that his width is way off compared to his wheel width. There is no reason why the experience he describes would happen with properly matched tire widths.

I'll update later as I get more miles on these tires but so far so great!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Defender

Monday, June 9, 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 Defender Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

2009 Honda Fit Sport
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Kansas City, MO
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
June 04, 2014

Okay, bought thise with a set of Enkie PF-01's in 15" so my wife would be happier with the ride. At first I lost about 7 mpg gas mileage. They take quite a while to break in but mileage has slowly increased back to around 42 on the highway (I got used to the 47mpg with the Continental DWS's at 70mph- calculated, not the computor). The Enkie's are a half inch wider & I've lost very little cornering power. These Defenders flat go in the snow. Having a door dent repaired I was left with Hankooks mounted on a Kia. That thing would slide completely through an intersection at less than 10 mph on packed snow. My Fit would easily stop at the same intersection from 35mph with the Defenders. i have boosted presure to 39psi trying to improve mileage but it takes away the ride characteristics. Handling is great, wear is great, steering turn-in is reasonably good, dry & wet cornering is admirable. The steering response saved me major repairs when I dodged a deer on I-49 in the middle of the night. Most other cars would have hit it for sure. Good tires, just plan on poor mileage until they're broken in. Tire Rack is the only place to go, received these tires/wheels in 48 hours from ordering.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Monday, June 9, 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.

Continental ExtremeWinterContact Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.18
 
 

2012 Lexus CT 200h
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
June 04, 2014

The Lexus CT200h is the Lexus version of the Toyota Prius. The Prius has been noted as being terrible in the snow. I was concerned, but bought the car anyway, figuring that snow tires would make a difference. They have made a HUGE difference. The car has a continuously variable transmission CVT, and I don't know how that relates to Traction Control. But I can tell you my experience on the road with it.

This last winter in Chicago was difficult. LOTS of snow, wet slidey snow, packing so that it was slippery at stops. I drove early in the morning and late at night, before the plows had a chance to clear the streets. I was driving on virgin snow, deep 6" - 8" and more when it drifted. The car drove solidly all winter. I NEVER got stuck, I NEVER had trouble starting out, even if I was on a hill, NEVER had problems changing lanes at posted speeds - yes, posted speeds. I was able to easily drive through those spaces in the intersections where snow has been pushed into high drifts by the plows or passing cars. No problems. I NEVER got stuck, or had to rock my way out of a bad situation. I just drove my car. And it just took me where I wanted to go. No drama, no issues. Isn't that why you buy snow tires?

I have always been a firm believer is snow tires for winter. Spending $800 on tires and spare wheels for this car was a ---send. It drove like a tank all winter long, easily keeping up with the 4WD behemoths on the road, driving wherever I wanted. You won't be disappointed by using this tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Monday, June 9, 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.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2004 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Mill Creek, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
June 07, 2014

Overall for a performance tire at this price it is excellent with a catch. The ride characteristics are great for this category of tire in normal driving conditions, very smooth even on chewed up roads and relatively quite. Tons of traction particularly while corning, more then the Dunlop SP9090s and Goodyear F1 Asymmetrics I've had on the same car. Unlike both those this tire has very soft side walls. This is partly why the grip in the corners is so good as it holds on where the others would start to slide, however this also leads to a lot of side wall deflection - not a big deal in normal driving but if you are doing hard cornering with quick directional change it will be. In such cases there is a fair amount of 'lag' as the tires unload from one side then reload on the other - during this time car has very disconnected feel - steering wheel is turned but you aren't turning yet - depending on the severity of the situation once the tires re-engage it can unsettle the car and in extreme instances has caused the stability control on my car to engage where other tires in the same situation this didn't happen. Upping the PSI above recommended settings mitigate this some at the cost of ride/noise comfort and tread wear.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, June 5, 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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.78
 
 

2004 Mazda MAZDA3 s 4-Door
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Blue Ash, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
June 03, 2014

Did lots of reviews on TireRack before making my purchase. Bought a set of 18" RX8 wheels for my mazda3 and needed a set of tires to go with. After extensive research these are the tires I chose.

First thing to note, the tires are concave, as in the rim is 'poked' out from the tire. i absolutely LOVE this. it makes the rims stand out much more than most cars on the road. Most cars have tires that are rounded outwards, and most tires have a 'rim gaurd' that protects your rims from road rash. Yes, you are more prone to scratching your rims with these tires, but i am a very careful driver and I make a point to avoid any scratching. The effect of these 'inward' tires portray is outstanding and i love looking at these rims every day.

Tread pattern is definitely neat.. asymmetrical but it looks cool compared to other conventional designs.

Third, this is my first set of brand new tires. I went from a set of Grand Touring Toyo tires to a lower profile Continental tire. I really have not much experience with other tires to compare or base my judgement on but i will say handling is like a charm. Sharp turns get cut thru like a knife thru butter, grip is excellent, not a lot of tire screech unless youre really pushing it. keeping them clean isnt a hassle, and the wear seems pretty good and i drive somewhat harder than most people.

Overall, im VERY happy with the purchase i made even though they were expensive. Never settle for cheaper tires, you get what you pay for and it really shows (my last car had cheap tires). Save up, do your research and buy a good set. They are an investment in your fun, and your health.

How to Choose the Correct Track Tires

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Are you heading to your first driving school or lapping day? Or are you already a track veteran who's looking to go even faster? Whenever you go to the track, having the right set of tires is essential to going fast, being safe and having fun.

What type of tires do you need to bring for a track event? Depends on the type of event, the expected conditions and the resources available to you.

Take a look at your available options:

Street Tires 

Some people run their cars on the track with the same tires they use on the street. If you're already driving high performance tires, that set may work for you on the track. This scenario works best when you're attending beginner driving schools, casual lapping days or other events where the focus is more on polishing your skills rather than setting fast lap times. Street tires are not recommended for track use, and driving them in a track environment will most likely void their warranty. Keep in mind that if you overdrive them into corners, you could easily render them useless after only one day at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Pros of Running Street Tires:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Can drive to the track safely.
  • Most street tires perform well in the rain.

Cons of Running Street Tires:

  • Performance - These tires aren't as fast in dry conditions as track tires.
  • Longevity
  • Getting home - What happens if you lose a tire on the track? Do you have an option for getting home?

Extreme Performance Tires

These options are really a subset of street tires, but they're designed to take the abuse of occasional track days. They have more focus on dry traction and responsive handling. Extreme performance tires can be used on an enthusiast oriented daily driver, or mounted on separate wheels for track use. An example of this tire is the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.

Pros of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Grip - Better performance than regular street tires.
  • Durability
  • Value - Last longer at the track than normal street tires.
  • Convenience
  • Versatility

Cons of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Competition - Drivers are at a disadvantage compared to drivers who use dedicated track tires.

Streetable Track Tires 

There are some tires that are essentially track tires, but can be driven to and from the track. They would wear out very quickly if driven daily on the street. These tires will generally have enough tread pattern to handle damp pavement, but will be very prone to hydroplaning. An example of this type of tire is the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.

Pros of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Grip - These tires will outgrip extreme performance tires.
  • Convenient - If you can swap wheels at home, but your car won't carry a second set of wheels to the track, this can be the perfect solution.
  • Versatility - Some of these tires can work as an intermediate tire for damp or drying track conditions.

Cons of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Give up a little grip compared to the most specialized options.
  • Few miles of use as a street tire.
  • Hydroplaning can be an issue if caught in the rain.

Specialized Track Tires

Track tires provide the ultimate in grip. They discard most streetability characteristics in order to deliver the very best lap times. With lots of grip and shoulders that are generally more square, these tires can be more challenging to drive at their limits. They should be mounted on separate wheels and installed at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Hoosier A7.

Pros of Track Tires:

  • Performance - If you are racing to win, track tires are the way to go.
  • Easiest way to turn faster lap times.

Cons of Track Tires:

  • Track tires won't work in the rain. You need a separate set if rain is a possibility.
  • More challenging to drive at the limit.
  • Often requires suspension modification or a specialized set-up.

Are Your Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome Wheels Looking Bad and Struggling to Hold Air?

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Chrome wheels were a very popular option on the PT Cruiser and they made a nice addition to the retro looking car. However, most owners are now finding out that chrome is not a maintenance-free wheel and is never recommended for use in winter conditions.

Chrome wheels have no protective coating and if used in wintry conditions, or if not frequently washed, they can start to look oxidized or hazy and the chrome finish will begin to peel. This isn't only an esthetics problem, but many find the peeling causes problems with the tire sealing properly to the wheel which can cause a slow leak. Having the tire removed from the wheel and cleaning the bead area of the wheel can help in some cases, but the problem most often always returns.

We offer many low-cost options for replacement that provide a more durable finish. When replacing wheels on the PT Cruiser I recommend to use a painted or clearcoat finish in order to achieve a more durable finish which is more suitable for all-season use.


MSW Type 14

Sport Edition SE-17

RIAL Como


Some of the more popular replacement wheels include the MSW Type 14, Sport Edition SE-17 and RIAL Como. Each option is offered with a silver painted finish with a five-spoke design similar to a wheel that would have come on the car new.

If your chrome wheels aren't looking good or are having trouble holding air, shop by vehicle to find a new durable option for your PT Cruiser.