Introducing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3: Summer Tire Grip with All-Season Capability

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Michelin's Pilot Sport A/S 3 aims to set a new level of grip for an all-season tire. Usually when comparing an all-season and summer tire, it would be expected that you would sacrifice a certain amount of "summer time" grip to have a tire you can drive in all seasons. Michelin's new Pilot Sport A/S 3 is designed to provide grip you would expect from a dedicated summer tire, while also providing traction in colder weather.

The Pilot Sport A/S 3 replaces the highly successful Pilot Sport A/S Plus. During Michelin's internal testing, the Pilot Sport A/S 3 provided more grip on a dry autocross than the Continental ExtremeContact DW and Pirelli P Zero Nero (both are dedicated summer tires).

 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3


Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires feature Michelin’s Helio compound made with sunflower oil combined with their Extreme Silica Technology to increase traction at low temperatures and on wet roads. Molded into an aggressive asymmetric tread pattern inspired by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, its 4-, 5- or 6-rib designs are tuned to complement tire width and feature more rubber and rigid blocks on their outboard shoulders to provide high levels of lateral grip that offer as much dry cornering capability as some competitive summer performance tires. Wide circumferential grooves help resist hydroplaning and enhance wet traction. 3-D Variable Thickness Sipe Technology and unique biting edges in the tread grooves enhance cold weather snow mobility for all-season performance.

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is offered in two performance categories, Ultra High Performance All-Season and High Performance All-Season. If you're looking to enjoy the grip of a summer tire with the capabilities of an all-season tire, be sure to strongly consider the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3.

What is a Cryo-Treated Brake Rotor?

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When shopping for the best brake rotors for your vehicle you've probably come across the term "cryo-treated." Since this technology is relatively new in the brake component market, many have never heard of the term or know what it means.

Cryo-treated rotors are actually cryogenically treated in addition to standard heat treating. Deep cryogenic treating is a one-time, homogenous process that permanently and dramatically improves the performance and useful life of metals in everything from brake rotors and performance engines to machine tools and gun barrels. Using a proprietary computer-controlled process, the metal is cooled slowly to deep cryogenic temperatures (-300°F), and slowly returned to room temperature, then heat-tempered as the final step. Computer technology allows the regulation of temperatures to 1 degree, accurately manipulating the cryo treatment in accordance with the mass of the part it's being applied to.

Although not apparent to the naked eye, the improvements to the metal are significant. Deep cryogenic processing creates dramatic increases in abrasive wear resistance and durability. The increases in tensile strength, toughness and stability couple with the release of internal residual stresses.

 Centric High Carbon 125 Series Cryo_treated Rotor
Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series
Cryo-Treated Rotor
 StopTech Cryo-SportStop Drilled Rotor
StopTech Cryo-SportStop
Drilled Rotor


A cryo-treated rotor will be more resistant against wear and warping than conventional heat treated rotors. If you're looking for the most durable replacement rotor with outstanding ability to withstand warping, a cryo-treated rotor will definitely be worth the extra expense.

Shop by vehicle to see if there's a cryo-treated rotor for your application. 

TPMS Sensors Available at Tire Rack

Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Since tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) haven't been around long as standard equipment on new vehicles, most drivers have never dealt with having to service or replace them until recently. Whether you're replacing an old faulty tire pressure monitor or purchasing a new set for a Tire & Wheel Package, we have TPMS senors for almost any vehicle.

The most common question regarding TPMS is: "When I buy new wheels and tires, do I need to purchase new TPMS sensors?" The answer isn't always easy, however different options are available. In most cases, it's actually less expensive to buy the TPMS senors from us with your new wheels and tires. A benefit of ordering a Tire & Wheel Package is our free Hunter Road Force Balance. When you receive your new tire and wheel set-up, they can be bolted right onto the vehicle.

Typically, customers that choose not to buy new TPMS sensors move their existing senors from their old wheels to the new. In this case, we often ship the wheel and tire unmounted and the customer will pay a shop to dismount the old wheel and tire to get the TPMS sensor installed in their new wheels and then mount and balance the tires to the wheel. Typically, once you add up the labor to move your existing sensors to your new wheels and tires, it costs about the same as buying new sensors.

TPMS Sensor
TPMS Sensor
 Band Stlye - TPMS Sensor
Band Style - TPMS Sensor


TPMS as standard equipment on new vehicles has certainly made drivers more aware of their air pressure and roadways safer in the process. Studies have shown that running tires with too little air pressure is not uncommon. It's been estimated that about one out of every four vehicles on the road is running on underinflated tires. This also means that one out of every four drivers is needlessly sacrificing their vehicle's fuel economy and handling, as well as reducing their tires' durability and treadlife.

Tires aren't invincible. They are made of individual layers of fabric and steel encased in rubber. If a tire is allowed to run low on air pressure, the rubber is forced to stretch beyond the elastic limits of the fabric and steel reinforcing cords. When this happens, the bond between the various materials can weaken. If this is allowed to continue, it will eventually break the bonds between the various materials and cause the tire to fail. Even if the tire doesn't fail immediately, once a tire is weakened, it won't heal after being reinflated to the proper pressure. So if a tire has been allowed to run nearly flat for a period of time, the tire should be replaced, not simply repaired or reinflated.

Shop by vehicle to find your dream set of wheels, and if you're purchasing a set with a black finish, don't forget the optional black TPMS valve parts.

What Are the Best Brake Rotors for My Car?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When choosing a new rotor, the fist question should be: "Are you happy with the current stopping power of your vehicle or would you like to increase the braking performance?" 

Tire Rack offers many rotors which will be direct Original Equipment replacement rotors, like the Centric Plain 120 Series and Brembo Replacement Rotor. These rotors maintain the same braking performance as the Original Equipment.

 Centric Plain 120 Series
Centric Plain 120 Series Rotor
 Brembo Replacement Rotor
Brembo Replacement Rotor


If you're looking to increase performance or style, you may want to choose a slotted or drilled rotor like the Brembo Sport Slotted Rotor or the StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor. Some high performance vehicles like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi even come built from the factory with slotted or drilled rotors. In cases like this, these items would be direct Original Equipment replacements. 

 Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors
Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors
 StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor
StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor


The science behind the slotted and drilled rotors is during heavy braking. These rotors get so hot that when the brake pad makes contact with the rotor, it'll release exhaust gases from humidity, rain or road grime and tiny air bubbles are trapped between the rotor and pads. This gives you a spongy, unresponsive pedal feel until all gases have escaped after a few moments. The drilled or slotted areas on the rotor provide the exhaust gases a quicker route to escape, therefore, letting the pad make contact with the rotor quicker.

To view the full list of brake rotors offered for your application, shop by vehicle.

What are the Best Tires for a Mazda3?

Monday, July 8, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The Mazda3 has always been known for its sharp handling and performance orientated drive train. These cars are as much fun to drive as some higher priced high-end sports cars for a fraction of the price. Mazda's lineup has always appealed to the enthusiast crowd with most models geared toward performance engines, crisp handling and a sleek sporty styling.

When it comes time to choose tires for your Mazda3, why not pick a tire that complements the attributes Mazda built into this fun-to-drive model. The most common sizes for the Mazda3 are 205/55R16 and 205/50R17.

 Michelin Pilot Sort A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sort A/S 3
 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS


For all-season use, the best two choices come from the Ultra High Performance All-Season category: the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 and Continental ExtremeContact DWS. The Michelin provides unsurpassed dry and wet road traction which exceeds even some of today's best dedicated summer tires. Continental's ExtremeContact DWS has long been a great performer with the highest levels of snow and ice traction offered from an all-season tire.

 Bridgestone Potenza S04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


When it comes to dedicated summer tires that provide high levels of dry and wet weather traction, the favorites are the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position and Continental ExtremeContact DW. Bridgestone's Potenza S-04 Pole Position is truly a well-rounded choice that provides the very best dry and wet performance but does not sacrifice ride comfort or road noise. The Continental is a great summer performer with good steering feel and wet road capability. It also has one of the highest rankings for treadwear in the Max Performance Summer category.

When it comes time to replace the tires on your Mazda3, choose one that allows you to unlock the fun your vehicle was designed to offer. Shop by vehicle to view all of the tires available for your Mazda3.

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.

Looking for the Best Off-Road Wheels for Your Jeep? MAMBA Delivers Exceptional Style with Off-Road Strength

Friday, June 21, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Mud never looked so good! That's a mantra many Jeep owners can get behind. Jeep owners want wheels that look as good on the road as they do off of it. MAMBA's off-road style wheels offer tough and rugged individualism, incorporate industrial design and advanced engineering. Perfect for standard height or lifted Jeeps, trucks and SUVs, MAMBA sets the mark high with the philosophy: wheels that look tough should BE tough. 

The most iconic and popular wheel offered by MAMBA is the MR1X. It's featured in both a silver and black painted finish. MR1X wheels have a clean, slightly concave, 5-spoke design for that typical off-road "Jeep" look. MAMBA dials the style up a notch with the black painted M13. The M13 adds a more dimensional design to the 5-spoke wheel and also features subtle silver rivet accents.

 Mamba MR1X - Silver Painted
MAMBA MR1X Silver Painted
 Mamba MR1X - Black Painted
MAMBA MR1X Black Painted
 Mamba M13
MAMBA M13

 

 Mamba M1X
MAMBA M1X
 Mamba M2X
MAMBA M2X


For any Jeep owner that really wants to make a statement, take a look at the M1X and M2X. The M1X and M2X feature a more radical design with a machined face with black painted accents which really add depth and a more three-dimensional look. These wheels make as much of a statement in the city as they do on the trail. 

When it's time to upgrade the wheels on your Jeep, shop by vehicle and view all MAMBA wheels offered to transform your stock Jeep into a more aggressive looking off-road machine

Looking for the Best Coil-Over Kit for the Track or Street? Bilstein is the Answer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When looking to improve the performance of your vehicle, a coil-over kit can provide the most dramatic effects when it comes to reducing body roll, controlling bounce and adjusting ride height. A coil-over kit is best described as a spring, shock and bump stop incorporated into one assembly with the spring encompassing the shock and bump stop. It often uses an adjustable spring perch to allow different vehicle ride heights without changing the springs.

One of the most recognized and trusted names in the suspension industry is Bilstein. When it's time to upgrade the suspension on your vehicle, take a look at their PSS Coil-Over Kit, PSS9 Coil-Over Kit and PSS10 Coil-Over Kit.

 Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit


Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit:

  • Matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster
  • Includes application specific, progressive rate coil springs
  • Set your vehicle low and tight for optimized performance or revert to a more stock-like ride

Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit:

  • Fully adjustable monotube gas shock absorbers offer nine precise compression and rebound settings, from comfort to competition
  • The front and rear progressive rate springs allow for the accurate adjustment of a vehicle's ride height, stance, cornering balance and ride quality to maximize performance
  • Adjuster style differs per vehicle

Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit:

  • "Click" from comfort to competition with no tools or jacking required
  • The PSS10 Coil-Over System, evolved from the PSS9 system, adds a matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster to provide a complete suspension system for your vehicle
  • Ride height adjustable from -1.0" to -1.75" (front) & -1.0" to -1.75" (rear. minimum 1" lowering)
  • Lighter weight reduces wear and tear on suspension components
  • The Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over System offers ten vehicle adjustment settings and includes numbered adjusters at the base of the shock body so you know exactly what setting you are on without counting clicks

All Bilstein gas pressure struts/inserts and gas pressure shock absorbers operate on the same principle. They're designed with the rod pointing down into the strut tube, thereby utilizing the thicker, stouter body portion of the shock absorber to dissipate side loads. Due to the increased diameter and surface of the pressure tube, the Bilstein gas pressure strut/insert or shock is better suited to take increased side loads when compared with the conventional version.

Additional advantages, based on development strongly influenced by the motorsport industry, include increased stability, improved road handling and accurate steering. And extremely high quality manufacturing and materials as well as a weather resistant coating to resist oxidation, mean Bilsteins will last approximately four times as long as Original Equipment.

For more information on Bilstein products, read "Which Bilstein Replacement Shock or Strut is Best for Your Vehicle?"

When Looking for the Best Brake Rotors and Pads, Don't Forget New Brake Wear Sensors

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The brake wear sensor or brake wear indicator is an added safety feature on many vehicles that warns drivers if the brake pad friction material becomes too low. It's mounted on the back of the brake pad and the sensors monitor and determine the condition of the pads. Brake wear sensors alert the driver it's time to replace brake components with an audible chime or light on the dash. There's a small circuit embedded in the sensor mounted in the brake pad; when the friction material becomes too low the brake rotor wears through the sensor and cuts a circuit. This triggers the vehicle's computer to alert the driver brake service is needed. 

 Centric - Brake Wear Sensor
Centric Brake Wear Sensor
 Brake Caliper
Brake Caliper


It's recommended to replace brake wear senors any time brake pads are replaced. Centric's Brake Wear Sensors are high quality replacement sensors that fit with no modifications needed and are now available at Tire Rack.

  • Original Equipment replacement for vehicles equipped with brake pad wear sensors
  • Monitors the condition of the vehicle’s brake pads
  • Includes all necessary plugs and hardware

All Centric premium brake components are engineered and manufactured using stringent, well-proven production processes and parts that pass the stringent quality assurance standards of O.E. manufacturers as well. Also, Centric’s in-house engineering department analyzes each part to ensure proper performance and fitment for every import and domestic application. This attention to detail guarantees that Centric parts will perform as good as or better than the factory original.

When searching for the best brake rotors and pads for your car, don't forget to replace the brake wear senors. Shop by vehicle to see if replacement brake wear sensors are offered to complete your brake upgrade.

Goodyear vs. Michelin: The Grand Touring All-Season Tire Showdown

Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Many tire buyers know Goodyear and Michelin as two nameplates synonymous with quality, but it can be difficult to compare these premium brands head to head. The Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring and Michelin Primacy MXV4 are one such case as both tires are considered benchmarks of being the smoothest, quietest and longest wearing Grand Touring All-Season tires on the market today. Choosing between the two can be a daunting task. Both the options have been perennial favorites among our customers.

 Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy MXV4


The Assurance ComforTred Touring features a mildly asymmetric tread design that combines independent shoulder blocks with notched intermediate and center ribs to blend dry and wet road traction and handling. Four wide circumferential grooves evacuate water from under the tread to enhance wet traction while the tread grooves, notches and sipes form biting edges that deliver all-season traction in light snow.

Its internal construction includes a super shock absorbent Comfort Layer of rubber sandwiched between the tread and steel belts (that provides on average, 20% more cushion than standard auto tires) to insulate vibration and impacts with expansion joints, potholes and bumps. The tire also features Goodyear's dual-layer ComfortEdge sidewall to provide a balance of ride comfort and handling.

Primacy MXV4 tires feature an all-season tread compound molded into a symmetric design that combines notched shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs. Michelin's Active Sipes alternately lock together and open as needed to provide increased biting edges that grip the road to provide all-season handling, especially in rain and snow.

Advanced MaxTouch Construction results in a tuned footprint shape that allows for long-lasting, even treadwear while their Comfort Control Technology uses computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to reduce vibrations and road noise to deliver a comfortable ride. The tire's internal structure includes twin steel belts reinforced with Michelin's BAZ Technology (spirally wrapped polyamide, Banded At Zero degrees) to reinforce the Primacy MXV4's twin steel belts and provide high-speed durability while enhancing ride comfort.

In our most recent Tire Test Results, we said the Assurance ComforTred Touring was, "A good choice for drivers wanting to blend responsive handling with good road manners" and the Primacy MXV4 was, "A Grand Touring All-Season tire that is a pleasure to drive every day." Before you decide between a Goodyear or Michelin tire, be sure to view our Tire Test Results, Tire Survey Results and Tire Reviews on both tires to see which one will best suit your driving needs.

Enkei Tuning Series Kojin and Tenji: Traditional Style Meets High-Tech Design

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The introduction of a new wheel design by Enkei is always an event among car enthusiasts. And, the Kojin and Tenjin are no exception. Enkei Tuning Series wheels are a perennial favorite among those looking to upgrade the performance and look of their vehicle with an option that's lightweight, strong and stylish.

 Enkei Tenjin - Black w/ Machined Lip
Enkei Tuning Series Tenjin
(Black w/ Machined Lip)
 Enkei Tenjin - Gunmetal w/ Machined Lip
Enkei Tuning Series Tenjin
(Gunmetal w/ Machined Lip)


The Enkei Tuning Series Kojin takes the traditional five-spoke design and adds just the right contours to give it an aggressive tuner look without being too loud. Enkei Tuning Series' Tenjin is the latest addition to the Enkei lightweight tuning line. In keeping with Enkei’s design philosophy, the Tenjin exhibits nine spokes carefully designed to achieve ultra high rigidity while maintaining low weight and style.


Enkei Tuning Series Kojin
(Matte Silver Painted)

Enkei Tuning Series Kojin
(Black Painted)


Both the Kojin and Tenjin are built using Enkei's state-of-the-art MAT Technology and SPEC-E wheel testing:

MAT Technology

Enkei developed a manufacturing process to produce the next aluminum wheel generation. The Most Advanced Technology (M.A.T.) combines one-piece cast wheel technology with a rim forming technology called spinning process. Using this new technology of casting and rim forming by MAT process is critical to improve the material property and strength of the wheels. Rim-Rolled technology shapes the rim to improve material elongation without sacrificing the wheel's hardness.

SPEC-E

All Enkei wheels are engineered to pass rigorous testing. In fact, Enkei established its own test standard called “Spec-E,” which is tougher than JWL requirements. Enkei’s Spec-E test setting requires a higher drop point in the impact test and 20% more cycles for the rotary bending fatigue and dynamic radial fatigue tests than JWL standards. The Spec-E represents Enkei’s confidence in its technology and quality of their wheels.

What is Wheel Offset?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

One of the most common questions when purchasing wheels is: "What is wheel offset and how do I know which is right for my vehicle?" Tire Rack takes the guess work out of shopping for wheels. One simple trip to our Upgrade Garage will allow you to enter the year, make and model of your vehicle, and view wheels that properly fit your vehicle.

The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. It can be one of three types (measured in millimeters): positive, negative or zero.

  • Zero offset - The hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
  • Positive - The hub mounting surface is toward the front or wheel side of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front-wheel drive cars and newer rear-wheel drive models.
  • Negative - The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheels centerline. "Deep dish" wheels are typically a negative offset.

If the offset of the wheel is not correct for the vehicle, the handling can be adversely affected. When the width of the wheel changes, the offset also changes numerically. Tire Rack has test fitted thousands of vehicles and our extensive database allows us to offer the proper fit for your vehicle.

To view the full list of wheels specifically offered for your car, shop by vehicle and upgrade the look of your vehicle with confidence.

WORX Wheels Now Available at Tire Rack

Friday, May 3, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

WORX wheels are the newest addition to the Ultra line. Ultra also manufacturers Ultra Muscle, Ultra Motorsports Xtreme and Ultra Motorsports wheels. The WORX line of wheels are designed and manufactured as "Serious Truck Wheels" because all WORX wheels are covered by a lifetime structural warranty.

Located in Fullerton, California, WORX takes pride in its workmanship and offers unique styling with a healthy dose of attitude and attention to detail. Available to fit a broad range of light trucks and SUVs, the wheels are developed to accommodate most tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). WORX wheels are offered in different styles and finishes, such as chrome plated, black painted, black painted with spot milling and bright PVD.

 WORX 801 Triad
WORX 801 Triad
 WORX 802 Havoc
WORX 802 Havoc

 

 WORX 803 Beast
WORX 803 Beast
 WORX 805 Tyrant
WORX 805 Tyrant 8-Lug


The WORX 801 Triad has an aggressive look and unique three-spoke design. It's offered in 8-lug configurations for both single rear wheel and dually trucks. WORX 802 Havoc and 805 Tyrant wheels have a rugged off-road appearance with a simulated bead-lock look. The WORX 803 Beast has a more classic and clean looking design with six-split spokes.

To see which WORX wheels are available for your vehicle, shop by vehicle and upgrade the look of your truck or SUV today!

O.Z. Racing's Alleggerita HLT Provides Lightweight Performance and Style for the Street and Track

Thursday, April 25, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

O.Z. Racing's Alleggerita HLT combines the perfect blend of style and functional performance to upgrade your car. The wheel is built using a state-of-the-art one-piece, low-pressure cast which has been shot peened and heat treated for strength and rigidity. It has a real F1 racing pedigree with the HLT manufacturing process. High Light Technology (HLT) is used in the manufacturing of select O.Z. Racing wheels and uses rollers to compress and elongate the material along the barrel of a low-pressure cast aluminum wheel to obtain the desired profile. This process, which is directly derived from O.Z. Racing's experience in F1, produces wheels that are extremely light and strong. The flow forming process and HLT technology combines to create mechanical characteristics similar to those of a forged wheel. This permits a dramatic reduction in wheel weight while enhancing structural rigidity versus a standard cast wheel.

Alleggerita HLT wheels are not only an instant bolt-on performance upgrade for the track or street, they're also an upgrade in style. The Alleggerita HLT is offered in nine different finish options, so it can make the right kind of style statement no matter what you drive. The paint options include:

 OZ Alleggerita HLT Anthracite Painted
O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT Anthracite Painted
 OZ Alleggerita HLT Black Painted
O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT Black Painted
 OZ Alleggerita HLT Blue Painted
O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT Blue Painted


Visit our Upgrade Garage to see if O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT wheels are available for your vehicle, and if they are, be sure to view the option that allows you to view them on your vehicle.

 

N-Spec Tires for Your Porsche

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Porsche vehicles are known throughout the auto industry as one of the most highly engineered driving machines. Their engineers meticulously analyze every aspect of the vehicle's execution from weight savings and balance, all the way down to how the tires perform.

Porsche vehicles from 911 Carreras to Cayennes have tires that are specifically engineered for the vehicle through collaboration between tire manufacturers and Porsche themselves. Original Equipment Porsche tires are commonly referred to as N-Spec tires because the sidewall of the tire will be branded N0, N1, N2 or N3 and so on. The "N" is the designation for Porsche approved tires and the corresponding number identifies the version, with the higher number assigned to newer generations of the tire.

For instance, if you shop by vehicle and look at the 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe, when you choose "View Original Equipment Tires" the website will display all of the tires that may have come on the vehicle as Original Equipment from Porsche. You will find on the list the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2, Pirelli P Zero N2, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0, and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1.

 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2 Porsche
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2 Porsche
 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1 Porsche
Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1 Porsche

 

 Pirelli P Zero N2 Porsche
Pirelli P Zero N2 Porsche
 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0 Porsche
Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0 Porsche


For more information, read "Porsche N-Specification Tire Approvals."

What Are the Longest Lasting Run-Flat Tires for a C6 Chevrolet Corvette?

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

In 1953, Chevrolet introduced America's first true sports car with the revolutionary sleek look of the Corvette. American's have been enamored with this vehicle ever since its humble beginnings when there was no manual transmission made that could handle its unbelievable 150hp. Things have changed since every model came with a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission to the roaring 430hp V8 used in today's C6 models. Most current C6 Corvette (2005-2013) models are equipped with run-flat tires.

 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus
ZP
 Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT
Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT


Frequently I hear from C6 Corvette owners: "What are the longest lasting run-flat tires?" Switching to an all-season rubber compound can significantly increase treadlife. For instance, the Max Performance Summer Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP has a UTQG rating of 220, while the Ultra High Performance All-Season Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP has a much higher UTQG rating of 500. Many C6 Corvette owners are willing to give up a bit of ultimate grip in order to switch to run-flat tires that can wear upwards of 30% longer. The two most popular Ultra High Performance All-Season run-flat replacement tires are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP and Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT

The Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP (Zero Pressure) is the Ultra High Performance All-Season run-flat tire member of Michelin's Pilot family of low profile, high-speed tires. Developed in the Original Equipment sizes for Chevrolet Corvette C-5 and C-6 coupe and convertible sports cars, the Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP is designed to temporarily support the weight of the car even after a loss of air pressure, as well as combine enhanced all-weather performance, wet grip and treadwear along with year-round traction, including in light snow.

Bridgestone's Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT tire is developed for drivers looking for enhanced ride quality and all-season traction for sports cars, sports coupes and performance sedans originally equipped with O.E. run-flat tires. It features Bridgestone 3G RFT Technology designed to offer almost the same riding comfort as conventional tires while providing temporary extended mobility for a distance of 50 miles at up to 50 mph even after a puncture has allowed complete air pressure loss. Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT tires provide year-round driving flexibility by offering predictable handling, traction and control on dry and wet roads.

When it's time to replace the tires on your Chevrolet C6 Corvette, be sure to shop by vehicle and view the list of longer wearing all-season run-flat tires.

Improve Performance at the Track with Eibach Lowering Springs

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

An easy and inexpensive way to increase the performance and handling of your vehicle is to add lowering springs. By lowering the vehicle's center of gravity, you can reduce body roll in the turns, dive under braking and squat during acceleration. Eibach offers two different kits, the Pro-Kit Spring Set for performance street use and the more aggressive Sportline Spring Set for autocross and track use.

A key to choosing the one best suited for your needs is the amount of drop the kit can provide. The lower the drop from the spring kit, the lower the center of gravity - which provides the best performance. However, the lower the spring kit drops, the stiffer the ride for everyday driving will become. It's important to choose the Eibach Spring Kit with the appropriate amount of drop for your driving needs.

 Eibach Pro-Kit Set
Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set
 Eibach Sportline Set
Eibach Sportline Spring Set


Eibach's Pro-Kit Spring Set is designed to provide improved handling and improve the look of the vehicle. It's the perfect balance between performance and handling, while still maintaining the original ride quality of the vehicle. Eibach Pro-Kit Springs minimize the fender gap that makes a car look lifted. The Eibach Pro-Kit typically lowers the vehicle 1.00"-1.25" depending upon the application.

If you're looking for the ultimate in track performance, the Eibach Sportline Spring Kit will give your car a low, race-replica look. A radical reduction in wheel well gap and improved handling is achieved for serious track and autocross enthusiasts. The Sportline Kit provides a drop typically between 1.50"-2.00" depending upon the application. This kit is for someone willing to give up some ride quality in exchange for the best cornering grip and turn-in response.

Shop by vehicle to see if an Eibach kit is right for your application. Also, be sure to read "Altitude and Attitude Adjustment" for more information on properly lowering your vehicle.

What Size Tire Do I Need?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The most common question when starting to shop for tires is: "What size do I need?" Luckily, it's very simple to find the appropriate tire size needed for your vehicle. The first step should be writing down the tire sizes marked on the sidewall of all four tires. It's important that you confirm the sizes because there are many cases where the vehicle was manufactured with different size tires on the front and rear.

Now that you know what is currently on your vehicle, we need to determine if the size(s) you have written down is the correct size(s) requested by the vehicle manufacturer. Beginning in 2003, vehicle manufacturers were directed to install information placards. Tire information placards identify the Original Equipment tire sizes and inflation pressures (including the spare), along with the vehicle's weight capacity.

Placards on new vehicles must now be located on the driver's side doorjamb (called the "B-pillar"). If a vehicle doesn't have a B-pillar, then the placard is to be placed on the rear edge of the driver's door. And if the vehicle does not have a B-pillar and the driver's door edge is too narrow, the placard is to be affixed on an inward facing surface next to the driver's seating position.

For earlier model vehicles, the information placards can typically be found on:

  • Driver-side door or doorjamb
  • Rear passenger doorjamb of Ford sedans
  • Fuel filler door
  • Glove box or center console door
  • Engine compartment

If the tire size you have written down matches the tire size given on the vehicle's information placard, then you can be assured this is the size you need to shop for. There are many instances where a vehicle has aftermarket wheels or optional tire sizes and the size you have written down does not match the size on the information placard. In this case, you can search for tires by vehicle on our website and just below the Original Equipment size the website will give you optional tire sizes by wheel diameter. 

For additional information, check out our Tire Size Guide.

New Track and Autocross Tires for 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The snow is beginning to melt and the sun is starting to shine a bit longer each day. To most of the country, this marks the beginning of spring, however if you're a car enthusiast, it's the beginning of autocross and track season. Now is the time to remove the car cover and start planning for the race season ahead. With each race season comes a host of new track products and this year is no exception. We have three of the biggest names in the autocross and track tire market introducing new tires for the upcoming season. New this season are the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, Dunlop Direzza ZII and Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A.

All of these tires are new to the Extreme Performance Summer category, which means they're intended to be streetable track tires. If you require a tire that has near R-compound performance, but need it to be durable enough to be driven to and from the track, the Extreme Performance Summer category is for you. For additional tire category information, view "Looking for the Best Autocross Tires?"

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
 Dunlop Direzza ZII
Dunlop Direzza ZII
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A


g-Force Rival tires feature a silica-infused compound molded into asymmetric tread designs that are performance-tuned to match tire width (265mm and narrower sizes feature a 3-rib design, while 275mm and wider sizes use a 4-rib pattern). Large, solid outboard tread blocks and BFGoodrich’s Extreme Tread Edge (ETE) shoulder design wrap the tread compound farther down the sidewalls for predictable feedback and maximum cornering grip from start to finish. Also, the g-Force Rival has just been approved for SCCA use!

Direzza ZII tires have a high-grip tread compound that's molded into a directional design with a continuous center rib flanked by massive shoulders that form a highly rigid tread delivering high levels of dry grip and handling. Two wide circumferential center grooves channel water through the center of the tread design while angled independent grooves help direct water to the sides of the footprint for improved wet traction.

Sharing the tread design of the popular Potenza RE-11, the Potenza RE-11A adds an exclusive tread compound that blends silica with a new long-link carbon black to increase road contact and abrasion resistance. An asymmetric tread design features Bridgestone's 3D Seamless Stealth technology that combines massive independent outboard shoulder blocks interlocked with notches in the circumferential intermediate rib to deliver lateral tread stiffness that's needed to enhance steering response and cornering traction.

To view our full range of track and autocross tires, shop by size and choose an option that best suits your specific vehicle needs.

255/45R20 Tires on the Front of a Dodge Challenger SRT8

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The Dodge Challenger SRT8 is the epitome of the new age American muscle car. A massive HEMI V8 and performance-tuned suspension make the Challenger a top choice among auto buyers looking for vintage-inspired good looks. There are two versions when it comes to the tire packages offered on the Challenger SRT8. Typically, if you're in a region that sees winter weather, the Challenger comes with the 245/45ZR20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires on all four corners. If you're in a warmer climate or opted for the performance tires, the Challenger SRT8 would have come with 245/45ZR20 front and 255/45ZR20 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Max Performance Summer tires.

 Goodyear Eagle RS-A
Goodyear Eagle RS-A
 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar


Since the Challenger SRT8 with Max Performance Summer tires are staggered larger in the rear than in the front, you lose the ability to rotate the tires front-to-back. Although the tires are staggered, the wheels are not and the same 20x9 wheel is used at all four corners.

I have had many Challenger SRT8 owners using the factory Dodge 20x9 wheels with Max Performance Summer tires switch to 255/45R20 in the front. Now that the 255/45R20 tire is used at all four corners, you can have the best of both worlds: wide performance tires and the ability to rotate tires from front-to-back to gain overall treadlife and more even tire wear.

Shop by tire size 255/45R20 to view the options available and reap the benefits of being able to rotate your tires.