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?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2010 Audi A5 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 39,000
Location: Wilmington, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 39,000 Miles on Tires
April 10, 2014

I replaced the OEM tires with these DWS Extreme. First week, I hated it. The ride and handling doesn't seem right. It turns out I need to have qualified tire center to mount and balance. A co-worked told me to go to a performance shop to have it remount and balance with a Hunter road force balance machine. The ride and handling is much better (almost like a new car). I have taken my car to 145 MPH and I corner hard (70-80 MPH on exit ramps). These tires are great price/performance! A year and half ago, I ran over a tool that fell out of a truck on the high way doing 70 MPH. My left front tire was sliced on the side wall about 3" and some damage to the body. Within seconds, my car indicated low tire pressure. The car remains stable and I know I need to be careful. The tire held up and allowed me to take the next exit and park my car. I had that tire replaced. I may need a new set this fall if the "S" is faded out. If not, I should be able to keep it another year. The most important thing for me is finding a qualified place to do the mount and balance. This is KEY on performance cars and tires.
My friend installed a set of DWS Extreme Contact on his BMW 335. He made through this past winter in Michigan with his rear wheel drive (they had over 100" of snow for the season).

P.S. I noticed I lost about 1-2 MPG when I switch from the OEM tires to the DWS...the price I'm willing to pay for better traction.

I'm told Tire Rack do a great job on mount and balance if you buy tires and rims.

Added Sense of Security with Continental's ContiComfortKit

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Many owners of new vehicles are often surprised to find that their car, truck or SUV purchased in the last few years lacks a spare tire. In an effort to reduce weight and increase usable cargo space, many automakers are now relying on supplying roadside assistance in place of a temporary or full-size spare tire.

While nothing can take the place of a spare tire in the event of an emergency, there are steps you can take to make sure you're not left stranded. One step includes the purchase of the ContiComfortKit from Continental.

Continental's ContiComfortKit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. The ContiComfortKit combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in the vehicle.

Features:

  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (more secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity L.E.D. supplemental work light

ContiComfortKits can also be used as a stand-alone compressor without the sealant activated. When drivers use the kit in this mode, the ContiComfortKit can be used for periodic tire maintenance to compensate for tire pressure losses over time or due to changes in ambient temperature. And in the case of a very slow leak, the ContiComfortKit can restore sufficient pressure without requiring the use of sealant to drive the vehicle to a nearby shop.

The Continental ContiComfortKit is a great solution for assistance with a roadside emergency and is available with free shipping.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin LTX M/S2

Wednesday, April 2, 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 LTX M/S2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.92
 
 

2009 Lexus GX470
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Groveland, IL
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
February 16, 2014

Car came with Dunlop tires. I cannot believe Lexus put those tires on this car. I got rid of them at 25K. I have a 2000 LX 470 and have always been happy with the LTX M/S. These tires are even better. There is nothing bad about this tire. Bought at Tire Rack. Had dealer mount 'em. Better everything: handling, ride, traction and even gas mileage. I hunt, so in addition to city/highway, I do cornfields, creeks and every other type of off-road driving that can be found in the Midwest. The only thing that keeps me from buying a Range Rover Sport is that I cannot find these tires for that truck. I still have my LX 470 and still use the LTX M/S on that truck (it has 287K). I'm not necessarily a Michelin freak. My wife has a Lexus RX and I'm putting Continentals on that. But for the larger SUVs, the LTX M/S is fantastic tire. I like the M/S 2 better than the M/S, but they don't make it for the '00 LX470. When my friends are stuck in their Range Rovers, I'm going strong, mainly because of the traction these tires afford. On the highway, rain, snow, and sun, the tires handle well and are quiet. I'm 63 and have driven a car/truck farther in reverse than most have driven in forward. These tires are simply the best. If they make 'em to fit your vehicle, buy them. You will thank me. I promise. And I don't work for Michelin or anybody else in any auto related industry.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT

Monday, March 3, 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.

Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.75
 
 

2010 BMW 328i xDrive Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Holyoke, MA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
March 02, 2014

I,ve had these tires for a short period,the ride comfort is very good almost feels like a conventional tire. The road noise is a different story these tires are noisey almost pickup truck noise.I'm hoping warmer weather brings a softer tire and less noise.I had the continental ssr all season run flats less noise but harder ride overall the bridgestone is a good tire but they need to fix the tire noise

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Monday, March 3, 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 CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2003 Chevrolet Tahoe 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 14,000
Location: Lords Valley, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 14,000 Miles on Tires
March 02, 2014

First time using Continental tires. Will not be the last time though.
Surprisingly good tire but I did not see an increase in gas mileage although it is a gas guzzling truck.

Is the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology the Best Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tire? Our Customers Think So!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The main concern of many crossover and SUV customers is traction, treadlife and road noise, not always in that order. Continental's CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is a tire that rates highly in all of these key areas.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, currently ranked first in our survey results, is Continental's ecologically friendly Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tire developed to help crossovers, sport utility vehicles and light-duty pickup trucks perform on the highway and in mild off-road conditions. It's designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces, while providing long wear and all-season traction, even in light snow.

 Continental Cross Contact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental Cross Contact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


Continental uses an all-season tread compound featuring their Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with notched outboard shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs to blend on-road steering response and straight-line stability with reduced noise and enhanced ride comfort. Four circumferential grooves enhance wet traction while Continental’s Traction Grooves (featuring ridges in the outboard grooves) promote three-dimensional snow-to-snow traction.

To view the performance ratings for the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, take a look at "Testing Eco-Focused Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tire."