Are you looking for efficiency in all the wrong places?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Connor Klink
Michelin, Bridgestone, and Goodyear have recently started producing low rolling resistance tires to help improve fuel economy. Many think that rolling resistance is a simple thing to evaluate and to place some form of numeric rating on. Regrettably, it is not that easy. There are many things that can affect the rolling resistance of a tire: tire tread compound, rotational mass, weight of the vehicle and the passengers in it, even ambient air temperature. But there are other areas that also affect the efficiency of the vehicle: proper engine maintenance, correct alignment, properly functioning suspension components, and of course the type of driver you are. Many people tend to ignore the overall vehicle, even with the hybrids, and try to follow the hype about tires being the great robber of a vehicle's efficiency. If you take the exact same tires and place them on the same exact cars but the cars are driven by two different types of drivers then you will find the efficiency rating will always be different.  
Goodyear Assurance
featuring Fuel Max Technology
     Bridgestone Ecopia EP422         Michelin Energy Saver A/S

When we tested the low rolling resistance tires, I thought the ride quality tended to feel stiffer than a standard tire and the traction level nowhere near as good. In my own opinion, the wet traction was seriously lacking in all of the low rolling resistance tires compared to standard tires. So when it comes to the tires that my family drives on, I will always looks for traction and safety above all else, and would rather give up on efficiency to achieve a higher level of traction.

You can read more about rolling resistance in the tech articles below:

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 1: Understanding Corporate Average Fuel Economy

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 2: Defining Rolling Resistance

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 3: Changes to Expect When Switching from Worn-Out to New Tires

Is the Most Expensive Tire the Best Tire?

Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Connor Klink
So how can you tell when a tire is worth the cost? Is the most expensive tire the best tire because it is the highest price? Not necessarily, no. But at the same time you'll never find the best tire in an economy-priced model. The first thing I always try to do when a customer asks what I would recommend that won't break the bank, is to qualify the situation. What kind of car are you driving? What type of driver are you: passive, aggressive or somewhere in between? Where do you live and what kind of conditions do you drive your car in? All of these things are factored in when considering the type of tire I would recommend to suit your needs.

If a person tends to be an aggressive driver but lives in a winter weather area, then my recommendation would tend to lean towards Performance All-Season tires such as the Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, or the Yokohama AVID ENVigor.

Bridgestone                        Michelin                           Yokohama
Potenza G019 Grid             Pilot Exalto A/S                AVID ENVigor

Can you get cheaper tires? Sure. You could use the Kumho Ecsta ASX, Fuzion HRi, or the Dunlop SP Sport Signature which would definitely be less expensive.

Kumho                               Fuzion                             Dunlop
Ecsta ASX                          HRi                                 SP Sport Signature

The real question is what are you giving up to save a few dollars. Normally the first characteristic to fly out the window is noise level, the second is wet and cold weather traction, then tread life and ride quality. Since every person tends to have different likes and dislikes it is hard to say what will suit your needs. Some people don't care about noise level. Some people don't care about tread because they just want the best traction. Some people want the best of all worlds and there are others that just want the lowest price.

In the end the most important thing a person should realize isn't necessarily just what fits and how much it costs. It's best to look at what will fulfill the needs you are looking for. If you're the one driving the car then you will have to live with that tire everyday. If the tire is for someone else and you are just doing the research and buying the tire for them, find out what type of driver they are and the conditions they are driving in to make sure that you will be buying a tire that will suit their need. Ensure you're happy with your tires for as long as they're designed to be driven on!

Increase your handling without breaking the bank

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by Connor Klink
Are you looking to increase the way your car handles but you don't want to spend a small fortune doing it? Consider the KYB AGX Adjustable Gas Shocks. With an externally adjustable valve rate you can fine tune your vehicle’s ride to suit your specific needs. Take your car to the track or conquer the streets with this simple upgrade. The KYB AGX Adjustable Gas Shocks are made in hundreds of fitments for vehicles ranging from the Honda Civics to Chevy Camaros. Check out what other customers are saying about the KYB AGX Adjustable Gas Shocks on our survey page.

Maximum Traction on the Track

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Connor Klink
If you are looking for the best traction when autocrossing or road racing, but your class doesn't allow competition tires, then the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec is the tire for you. In the past few years, this tire has become the leading competition tire for autocross, road racing, street and STR class cars. The Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec is available in 25 sizes to fit most cars running in the SCCA series.

Great tires, great prices and trophy-winning performance.

Who likes to throw mud?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 by Connor Klink
Some people like tires that help them go fast. Others like tires that will get them through mud holes on backwoods trails. If you're looking for off-road tires then Tire Rack has the tires for you. Tire Rack carries mildly aggressive all terrain tires like the Firestone Destination A/T  to the mud traction of the Goodyear Wrangler M/T-R Kevlar or the rock crawling traction of the BFGoodrich Krawler T/A. We have the tires to get you through the roughest roads.

Safer driving with better vision. Upgrade your headlights now!

Thursday, May 13, 2010 by Connor Klink
Tire Rack carries PIAA and Hella replacement headlight bulbs to offer you a safer driving experience. If you're not happy with your factory headlight bulb output maybe you should give the PIAA Extreme White bulbs a try in your car. Consider some fog lights or driving lights for those fogged over rainy morning commutes, too. We carry several models and sizes to suit all your needs.

The more you can see the more time you will have to respond. 

Advance Your Performance With Yokohama Advan Tires

Monday, May 10, 2010 by Connor Klink

So you just took possession of your new dream sports car. Did you go with the 911, the M3, the TT, the Supra, or maybe the Lotus. Now you have to ask yourself which tires are you going to use on your new pride and joy? Maybe you should consider a tire from the Yokohama Advan line of performance tires. Yokohama has produced original equipment tires for many sports car companies like BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, and Lotus just to name a few. Yokohama has also provided DOT competition tires for for the Lotus Exige line of street and track cars. 

There are different levels of performance you can look at including Extreme Performance, Max Performance, Ultra high performance, High performance all season, High performance summer only, and DOT Competition tires. Below you can see all the different tread designs in the Yokohama Advan family.

Extreme Performance Summer Only

Yokohama Advan Neova AD07

Yokohama Advan Neova AD08

Max Performance Summer Tire

Yokohama Advan Sport

Ultra High Performance Summer only

Yokohama Advan A043

Yokohama Advan A046

Yokohama Advan A10A

Yokohama Advan A10F

Yokohama Advan A13C

Ultra High Performance All Season

Yokohama Advan A82A

Yokohama Advan S4

High Performance Summer only

Yokohama Advan A11A

Yokohama Advan A680

Streetable Track & Competition

Yokohama Advan A048

Performance Truck summer only

Yokohama Advan S.T.


Original Equipment tires Vs. Aftermarket tires

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Connor Klink
A good percentage of the customers that I talk to with newer cars always seem to be unhappy with the O.E. (Original Equipment) tires that came on the car. One of the most common tires that I see on performance-oriented sedans is the Michelin Pilot HX MXM4. This tire is designed as a Grand Touring All-Season tire that will provide a smooth comfortable ride quality and low noise levels. The problem is that people make the assumption that since the tire is on a car with a lot of power then it must be a performance tire. Surprise! You just bought a car that can go really fast but doesn't offer great handling. This is a situation where maybe the vehicle manufacturer might have offered more than one option for the Original Equipment tire or you may need to purchase a tire that is more suited to your needs.

If you tend to be the type of driver that likes taking the highway interchanges faster than may be posted or when you find an open stretch of road you like to let the ponies under the hood loose then you should most likely be driving on performance-oriented tires. An example of some popular performance tires are the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position, Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, Continental Sport Contact 3, or the Yokohama Advan Sport

However if ride comfort is the most important characteristic to you then you probably should be looking for a touring all-season tire to provide a smoother ride.  An example of some touring tires would be the Michelin Primacy MXV4 Plus, Bridgestone Turanza SerenityKumho Ecsta LX Platinum, or the  Continental Pro Contact.

Most vehicle manufacturers use tires to meet a specific type of characteristic for the vehicle they are designing. Regrettably those characteristics may not always match your style of driving. This is where Tire Rack sales specialists like myself come in. We can help you determine what type of tires may suit your needs better than the tires that came on your car or truck.

Facts about Connor

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by Connor Klink
Hello to all. My name is Connor Klink and I have been working in the automotive industry for around 19 years. My experiences range from selling tires and parts to managing service centers and automotive retail stores. I have more automotive certifications than i can count from various automotive parts companies as well as an ASE certification.

One of the things that I love most about working for the Tire Rack is the tire and product testing. It offers me first hand knowledge of the product which helps me find products to suit my customer needs. Plus the opportunity to drive on the test track every week is a great perk.

Thank you and have a great day,
Connor Klink  |  Sales Specialist

The Tire Rack
7101 Vorden Parkway
South Bend, IN 46628
O: 888 428 8355 ext. 269
O: 574 287 2345 ext. 269
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