Why Doesn't My Car Come with a Spare Tire?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Is the spare tire becoming extinct? With a growing number of vehicles in the United States being sold without one, it could appear that way. In fact, many drivers are unaware they may not have one until they need one.

New cars, trucks and SUVs seldom come with a spare tire, wheel and jack kit due to an increasing demand for fuel economy and storage space. While all of these attributes are positives, they may not be at the forefront of your mind as you lay stranded on the side of the road. Despite not having a spare tire, there are ways to make sure you are prepared.

Many automakers include roadside assistance with the purchase of their vehicles. It's a good idea to program this number into your phone or be sure to keep a copy of the vehicle's reference guide handy (a smaller version of the owner's manual).

Drivers can fix punctures from small nails or screws using a tire inflation kit. We sell the Continental ContiComfortKit that injects a water-soluble sealant into the tire along with compressed air to re-inflate. This unit is simple to use and operates with the vehicle's 12V accessory power source.

The kit makes it possible for you to complete your drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. It also helps you get back on the road quickly, as most passenger car tires that are flat will take less than seven minutes to fill.

Purchase your own spare tire and wheel combo. Dealers often sell donut spare wheels and tires through the parts department. In the event they do not, you can purchase a full size wheel and tire to keep in the trunk. Please note that full size wheels and tires may not fit into the trunk storage compartment beneath the trunk carpeting. You'll also need to make sure you have a jack and lug wrench handy.

To learn more about the spare tires, read "Spare Tire Extinction?"

Which Tires Last the Longest?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

As a consumer shopping for tires, there are many important attributes and characteristics that you should take into consideration. For example, some tires have better wet traction for rainy days, while some are designed to handle winter's toughest conditions. There are tires that focus mostly on maximum dry grip on the race track, and others that are meant to provide a smooth and quiet ride.

Some of these characteristics may be more important to your particular situation than others, but one question that is almost always asked is, "How long will my tires last?" This may even be the most important feature in your tires if you drive many miles on a yearly basis. If you're a driver who has a long daily commute and takes long road trips, consider the following options from a few of our popular performance categories. 

Passenger All-Season

 Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
 Goodyear Assurance ComforTred
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred


Standard Touring All-Season

 General AltiMAX RT43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Michelin Defender
Michelin Defender


Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season 

 Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Bridgestone Dueler H/L
Alenza Plus
 Continental  CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


In order to get the most wear out of your tires, be sure check your tires' air pressures often and keep them inflated to your vehicle's recommended pressures. You'll want to check and adjust the pressure first thing in the morning before rising ambient temperatures, the sun's radiant heat or even driving short distances temporarily warms the tires. For more maintenance tips to increase your tires' performance, life and durability, read "Air Pressure: When and How to Set."

Best Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires in Size 275/55R20

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Gary Stanley

On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires are common for those looking for aggressive tread patterns and some off-road traction. However, many drivers aren't looking for off-road traction and instead drive mostly on the street. These drivers would rather have a tire with a smoother and quieter ride with longer wear. This is what makes tires in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category so appealing to them. The best two options in this category for tire size 275/55R20 are the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza.

CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Bridgestone Dueler
H/L Alenza


If winter traction isn't a priority for you based on the area you live in, I'd suggest the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza for its smooth, quiet ride and outstanding wet traction. Are you going to experience winter conditions while on the road? Are you concerned about snow traction? You don't have to sacrifice much in the way of snow traction when you purchase the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. It provides very good snow traction for an all-season tire, even better than some all-terrain tires.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is currently ranked first in our tire survey results. It has the highest ratings in the following areas compared to other options in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Light snow traction
  • Ride comfort

Curious to see what other drivers are saying about their experience with the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology? Take a look at some of our customer reviews

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

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 Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.6
 
 

2012 Audi S4 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
June 30, 2014

BLUF: I think these tires are awesome. The OEM Continental Sport Contact 3s got a flat; and also were wearing a little weird too at around 20k. So I told the wife since I was deployed to get them replaced with these (new for 2013) Michelin Pilot Sport AS/3s. Since I was away from home I had her send me some pics of them mounted and I was happy with how they looked. She said that she couldn't tell a difference from the Summer Tire Contis. I got home in February and took the S4 for a spirited drive and was extremely satisfied. Tire rack stated these were as close to a summer tire as an all-season could hope to be and they were right. Clearly not as sticky as summers but I'm not tracking or auto-crossing anyway so it didn't matter to me. The ride is great, handles great, and they have been quiet so far. I'm hoping the 500 Tread wear rating holds firm as I'd like to get more than 20k from a tire on this car. I plan on rotating every 5k, front to back and I will update a the 20k mark.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62
 
 

1985 BMW M6
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Miles driven on tires: 2,500
Location: Hagerstown, MD
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 2,500 Miles on Tires
July 14, 2014

This is proving to be a great tire. Drove in a blinding rainstorm at 70 mph with no hydroplaning. Road noise is almost non-existent and ride is excellent. For the price you can't beat this tire. It is as good, if not better, than any tire I have owned and this includes Michelin, Yokohama, Pirelli and Continental. I don't plan to drive this car in snow but did want a tire that would perform well in cold temperatures.

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

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.86
 
 

2013 Subaru Outback
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Miles driven on tires: 450
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 450 Miles on Tires
July 16, 2014

I was going to report on this tire at 1000 miles but now at about 450 miles there is much to say. The ride continues to improve and is getting quieter. Handling especially in the dry is also better and the Outback is approaching "tossable" when it comes to going through curves. For those who know the DC beltway (I-495) near the Moron Temple, I can now take those curves at near 70 MPH and the car tracks beautifully.

My first experience with wet braking was good. The tires slid but much less than the OEM Continentals. Dry braking is better and the stopping distances are shorter.

Fuel economy has suffered a bit down about 1 MPG but this is a fair trade off to significantly improved handling and a car that is more fun to drive.

Looking for a Quiet Summer Performance Tire?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Summer tires like the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position are the tires of choice for many enthusiasts and drivers of high performance sports cars. These two tires are great options, and you can see the differences between them by reading, "Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport."

While Max Performance Summer tires offer some of the highest levels of grip and handling on the market, there are quite a few drivers who would be willing to give up a little grip for a smoother and quieter ride. If this sounds like what you're looking for, check out the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW.

Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


Both options provide great wet and dry grip, while still offering good ride qualities. The Bridgestone and Continental have good road feel and steering response that you would expect from a summer performance tire. Their asymmetric tread patterns keep the noise level low and allow you to rotate the tires for even treadwear. The Potenza RE760 Sport is currently ranked second in the Ultra High Performance Summer category, while the ExtremeContact DW sits in fourth in the Max Performance Summer category.

For additional assistance choosing the right tire, take a look at our Tire Decision Guide.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

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.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.86
 
 

2009 Hyundai Sonata
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Ridgefield, CT
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
July 05, 2014

I love these tires. My previous tires(Mastercraft and Hankook), would initially begin spinning before they "caught," whether the ground was dry or wet. The Continentals hold their ground with no spin. They make me feel very secure. Another bonus is the fact that these tires are relatively new for the Continental brand(I think the "Pure" design came out last September, so the tires were manufactured recently. In fact, according to the sidewall, mine were only three weeks old when they were put on my car. No problem with tires sitting around for months or years.
Before I bought these tires, my daughter wouldn't drive my car in the rain. Now, I can't keep her away from it. She noticed the vast improvement immediately.
I am sold on Continentals,(my wife's new Outback came with them, and this is how I was able to test them). In the future, this is the only tire I'll consider.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.55
 
 

2010 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
July 14, 2014

Great tires, superb resistance from hydroplaning at highway speeds, when ya hit a big pool of water it goes through effortlessly. They are great handling, very stable, since I have EIbach pro kit springs and sways on my GTI the suspension is much firmer than stock, so the tires did get noisy after about 50,000miles, they did get the alligator tread smooth one direction, rough the other way when ya rub your hand across them. New ones are smooth and quiet! Got about 54K out of the set, great stuff, very stable and feel great in the GTI. AND cheaper than the stock Conti Contacts from factory, and are a better tire! It's win win win Extreme Contact DWS are great tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

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.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2004 Lexus RX330
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Miles driven on tires: 7,000
Location: Perry, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 7,000 Miles on Tires
July 13, 2014

These tires are a great value and were a great improvement over the Kumho Ecsta that was on the RX 330 previously. The Kumho had much better treadwear than Michelins but were noisy. The Conti's are quieter, ride softer without salvaging handling, do very well wet and dry road conditions. My RX has air suspension, so it rides harder than regular struts I think. But the Contis have softened the ride. I am very pleased with them so far. One note, I did have to have them balanced by a road force balance machine to get the best ride out them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

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.


Continental ExtremeContact DWReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.14

2009 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan 4Matic Sport Pkg
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Montreal, QC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
June 13, 2014

These tires are amazing compared to the OE Continental that were on my Merc and a lot other tires I've tried in the past. The ride is smoother, quieter and with a lot more grip. I've got the tires installed on a cold rainy day and immediately drove 200 miles on the highway. I was very impressed when the brand new Audi in front of me started hydroplaning on a very wet/slippery portion of the highway while I keep driving as if I was on drive pavement. Definitely an excellent tire for a very reasonable price

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

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.


Continental ExtremeContact DWReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.5

2009 Pontiac G8 GXP
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Miles driven on tires: 14,000
Location: Wallsend, NS
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 14,000 Miles on Tires
July 09, 2014

I drive a Holden Clubsport R8 6.2L manual (G8 GXP) but better. I don't drive the car a lot 15500 miles in 2.5 years but when I do it's very spirited and these tyres I found to be a bit squirmy when new and improved a lot as tread wore a little and are still very good in the wet even with minimal tread. Front tyres still have heaps of tread but rears suffer under the power. Overall a very good tyre and would bye again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

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.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.38
 
 

2012 Ford Focus 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 48,000
Location: Weston, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 48,000 Miles on Tires
July 05, 2014

This is my 3rd review of this tire and I was compelled to write. At 48,000 miles, I still have 5/32 tread left of the original 10/32. The "S" in the DWS system is still visible and it rides and handles like the first day I bought them. I have absolutely no doubt this tire will reach or surpass the claimed 70,000 mile tread life. It is the best tire I have ever owned and is a perfect match for my Ford Focus in the 215/55-17 size. A truly incredible tire, it continues to be outstanding in wet weather and more than holds its own in the dry. South Florida is subject to extremes in weather with torrential rains and blistering heat and the Pure Contact inspires driving confidence no matter the conditions. Get a set-you won't be disappointed.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.62
 
 

2004 Volvo XC90
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Miles driven on tires: 26,000
Location: Selkirk, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 26,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2014

I was recommended these tires by a employee of tire rack (customer service). Wear way too fast for an aggressive driver. I enjoyed the comfort of them completely, had minimal road noise. Seems that the tread is soft rubber compared to other competitors. I enjoyed them while they lasted but not for me again.I didn't really get to drive them during the winter months, but wet traction is not all they hype it to be. I drive a Volvo XC90 which is a heavy vehicle and I can still feel loss of traction during light rain. Hope this review you has helped. Car lovers :)

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

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.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.8
 
 

2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
July 05, 2014

Purchased these continental tires to replace the fading 3 yr old factory installed Hankook H431 tires. I could tell the difference the minute I drove off the dealership lot. These tires are like riding on clouds, even comparing to the Hankook's when new. The road noise is minimal. The ride comfort exceeded expectations. I decided to purchase the pure contact over the extreme contact's because of the eco tech on these. I drive mostly highway, approximately 70 miles a day and I haven't noticed a significant difference in MPG. Too early to comment on tread wear and handling in inclement weather, minimal in southern California. Thus far, I would recommend these tires.

The Continental ContiForceContact Now Available in United States

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

This year, we've added another Streetable Track & Competition tire to our line-up and are pleased to introduce the Continental ContiForceContact. Designed to compete with popular tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and Toyo Proxes R888, the ContiForceContact (80 treadwear) has a compound that's soft enough to be competitive in a track environment, yet suitable for light street use.

Unlike extremely soft race-only applications, such as the Hoosier R6, the ContiForceContact is less likely to pick up road debris and comes up to temperature slightly slower, allowing it to be driven to and from the track. The tire's tread void areas also allow it to be used in the wet. However, while designed to resist hydroplaning, ContiForceContact tires are not recommended for high-speed driving on extremely wet roads with standing water where there is the risk of hydroplaning. This is especially true of shaved or worn tires. Drivers should drive cautiously at reduced speeds in these conditions.

We had an opportunity to test the tire back in March and determined the tire delivers an impressive blend of dry track performance and wet traction. It can also thrill drivers during hot laps with its precise handling and confidence-inspiring demeanor. For a complete recap of our test, read "Continental ContiForceContact: Track Day Magic."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.64
 
 

2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan 4.6
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Miles driven on tires: 28,000
Location: Little Elm, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 28,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2014

Very good tires in wet condition. Above average in any other driving conditions. Poor treadwear. I would give up treadwear for above average wet condition performance.