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
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
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.

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."

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

Monday, January 27, 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: 9.14
 
 

2010 Toyota Corolla
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: North Miami Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 16, 2014

Recently put four of these tires on my 2010 Toyota Corolla S, they were added after several major upgrade to the car, such as: Bilstein B6 HD Shocks, Eibach lowering springs, TRD rear sway bar & Strut strut brace,car definitely rides better, comfort has increased especially with road imperfections when compare with Michelin own MXM4 tires. Not sure if the MXM4 were too soft and the Bilsteins were too stiff but every road imperfection found their way to me while i was driving. wasnt sure if these would help in anyway to smooth out the ride, but thankfully they do.those who are considering lowering springs and stiff shocks, should give these a try for their stiffer side wall which seem to help absorb bumps better than Grand Touring tires.

 

The Difference Between Eibach's Pro-Kit and Sportline Spring Set

Monday, July 15, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

For customers looking to upgrade their car with lowering springs, Eibach offers two options that are designed to be street friendly, eliminate fender gap and provide an increase in handling and control. Starting with their most conservative option, the Pro-Kit Spring Set is designed for drivers looking for a moderate reduction in ride height, ride quality that closely resembles the factory spring and a moderate increase in spring rate. Pro-Kit springs will typically lower a vehicle .75"-1.5" and can be used with the factory struts and shocks (upgrading your shocks is recommended for maximum performance benefit).

Going a step further, the Eibach Sportline Spring Set will provide an average of 1.5"-2.0" drop in ride height, coupled with a more aggressive spring rate for additional handling benefits. These springs are recommended to be used with a performance strut or shock, such as options from KONI or Bilstein in order to compensate and control the more aggressive spring rate and reduction in travel.

Both springs come with Eibach's 1,000,000-mile warranty which protects the driver against any spring sag or breakage. Also, now through August 31st, you can save 10% when you purchase a select Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set or Sportline Spring Set. View rebate details here.

Five Common Myths About Using Lowering Springs to Lower Your Car.

Friday, June 21, 2013 by Gary Stanley

If you've already upgraded to performance tires, the next step to improve the handling of your vehicle is to upgrade to a better suspension set-up. Typically, the most cost-effective way to do this is to replace your vehicle's Original Equipment springs with a set of performance lowering springs. Lowering springs lower your car's center of gravity for better handling, but there are many other benefits to using them. To read more about the benefits of using lowering springs, read "Springs for Spring!"

Vehicles also benefit from an improved sportier appearance when lowered. So what stops many drivers from lowering their car? Here are five common myths that often stand in the way. 

Myth 1: If I buy lowering springs, I can't use my original shocks.

Fact: Springs that produce mild lowering of about an inch work well with newer factory shocks. In fact, Eibach's Pro-Kit Spring Set and even their more aggressive Sportline Spring Set are designed around a vehicle's original suspension. 

Myth 2: I will need an expensive alignment kit if I install lowering springs on my car. 

Fact: According to Eibach, a leader in spring engineering and production, most vehicles do not require an alignment kit after installing a set of lowering springs that result in mild lowering of about an inch. 

Myth 3: Lowering my vehicle will hurt the ride quality of the car and make it ride like a truck.

Fact: Some spring sets, like the Eibach Pro-Kit, are designed to maintain much of the car's original suspension travel distance and are only about 15% higher in spring rate to preserve quality. 

Myth 4: Lowering springs will sag and settle in, making the car too low to be practical.

Fact: High quality springs from H&R and Eibach are pre-compressed down to full coil bind and tested before they are shipped. They do not sag. In fact, Eibach warranties their springs for one million miles. 

Myth 5: Upgrading my vehicle's suspension with lowering springs is expensive.

Fact: The price of lowering a vehicle can be as inexpensive as a set of lowering springs, plus the cost of installation. For current pricing of lowering springs for your vehicle, check out our suspension page.

Is Camber Correction Necessary When Lowering?

Thursday, June 13, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

One of the byproducts of lowering a vehicle can be an increase in the amount of negative camber. When looking at the wheel and tire assembly, this can be identified when the top side of the wheel/tire slants inward towards the vehicle's center.

Negative camber is a positive trait for those looking to track their cars or drive spiritedly. It helps the car turn in and the tire's contact patch to remain flat when one side of the car is loaded entering a corner. Also, it's not uncommon for some race applications to see as much as five degrees of negative camber. 

Not everyone is looking for large amounts of negative camber for race use. Typically, most passenger vehicles tend not to exceed 1-1.5 degrees as they leave the factory. Having a lesser degree of camber helps with tire wear and is the primary cause for camber correction. Cars with large amounts of negative camber will tend to wear the inside shoulder of the tire more rapidly than the outboard.

If you have lowered your car on a conservative or moderate spring such as an Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set or H&R Sport Spring Set, your camber specs may still be acceptable according to factory spec ranges without any other modification. However, as you begin to look at more aggressive set-ups, such as coilover kits, you may want to consider camber correction if you're interested in the best possible tire life on the street.

Camber correction can be done using camber correction bolts, adjustable control arms or adjustable camber plates. While all of these methods work great, which type you'll need is dependent on your vehicle type.

For more information on camber, read our tech article on alignment.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Monday, April 15, 2013 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 RE-11 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

1998 Ford Mustang Cobra Conv.
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
April 13, 2013

I have a 1998 Mustang Cobra with 280 HP at the rear wheels. I had a set of BFgoodrich g-force sports in 245/45/17 and would spin through 1st and 2nd gear and slide in most hard corners. To be fair, I impacted weight transfer with an Eibach kit that included lowering springs, sway bars etc.(Love the kit) and then I added caster/camber plates and set camber for cornering. That said, the 255/40/17 Potenza RE-11 is a dream come true. Better ride, no wheel spin, no slide in corners. If tread wear isn't a concern (no wear claim or warranty.)Then this is the only tire to consider. I went from years of un certain launches and corners to feeling like a pro behind the wheel. This is the only street tire I will purchase.

 

Eliminate Fender Gap with Eibach Springs

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Looking to get rid of the empty space between the tire and fender arch? Many people think they need to use taller tires to fill the space, but the right way of doing this is with lowering springs. A well tuned set of lowering springs will make the car look better, handle better and unlike oversized tires, it will not make the speedometer, odometer and other systems overestimate vehicle speed and mileage.

The good folks from Eibach dropped by to visit us last week and reminded us of all the wonderful things they do. All Eibach springs, from the popular Pro-Kit springs for street cars, to the special titanium springs they make for the Bugatti Veyron, to the custom springs they manufacture for the premier professional racing series are built to the same standards of quality and durability.

If your car is a daily driver, the Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set is one of the best options available. It gives a nice boost to performance without compromising ride quality. The lowering is usually between 1" and 1.5" depending on the application. This amount of lowering generally doesn't require any special alignment parts to be added in order to obtain a proper alignment. It's recommended to have an alignment done after the springs are installed.

View all Eibach products and choose the one that best fits your vehicle.

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.

Anti-Roll Bars for the Street and Track are Available at Tire Rack

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The anti-roll bar, also called an anti-sway bar, connects the left and right suspensions together and anchors to the vehicle frame. Typically used at the front and rear of the vehicle, the anti-roll bar is commonly used to adjust the handling balance of the vehicle and limit the amount of sway or body roll during cornering.

In essence, an anti-roll bar works as a torsion spring, so as you approach a high speed corner, the vehicle will begin to lean downward toward the outside corner pushing upward on the outside end of the anti-roll bar. The upward movement of the outside end of the anti-roll bar is transferred to the inside end of the anti-roll bar, which responds by also applying the same upward movement to the inside cornering of the suspension. This compresses the inside corner of the suspension while also providing torsion to the anti-roll bar so the outside edge can better resist the upward movement. All this results in a vehicle that'll remain level even while making high-speed corners and keep traction more equal for the inside and outside tires.  

Whether you're looking to increase performance on your daily driver or looking to have the ultimate autocross/road race machine, we offer a wide array of anti-roll bar products

 Eibach Anti-Roll Kit
Eibach Anti-Roll Kit
 H&R Anti-Roll Bar
H&R Anti-Roll Bar
 Hotchkis Sport Anti-Roll Bar
Hotchkis Sport Anti-Roll Bar


Performance Street Anti-Roll Bars:

Eibach Anti-Roll Kit:

  • Further reduces body roll
  • Cold-formed from high strength aircraft grade steel
  • Designed to fit without vehicle modification

H&R Anti-Roll Bar:

  • Perfectly complements H&R springs, coil-overs, performance shocks and cup kits
  • Crafted from spring steel that is stronger, more resilient than other materials
  • Bent on proprietary machines designed by H&R to produce complex curves and a perfect fit

Hotchkis Sport Anti-Roll Bars:

  • Improves handling while reducing body roll
  • Designed for the everyday commuter and occasional road course or track use
  • Includes tubular front and rear anti-roll bars
 Hotchkis AutoX Anti-Roll Bar
Hotchkis AutoX Anti-Roll Bar
 Hotchkis Competiton Anti-Roll Bars
Hotchkis Competition Anti-Roll Bars


Autocross/Track Anti-Roll Bars:

Hotchkis Sport Suspension AutoX Anti-Roll Bar:

  • Improves handling and reduces body roll
  • Track-tested, lightweight, hollow
  • Includes greasable bushings and brackets

Hotchkis Competition Anti-Roll Bars:

  • Designed for the highly competitive road course and autocross course
  • Maximizes tire performance and achieves slight oversteer
  • Tubular front and rear bars with greasable polyurethane bushings, brackets and 90-degree zerk fittings (where applicable)

Shop by vehicle to view all anti-roll bars offered for your daily driver, autocross or road race vehicle. Also, take a look at replacement shocks and struts to complement your new anti-roll bars by reading, "Which Bilstein Replacement Shock or Strut is Best for Your Vehicle?"

Seek Out More Curves to Conquer with Bilstein's B12 Pro-Kit

Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Doc Horvath

Looking for a complete lowering spring and damper kit that'll add improved handling without a big sacrifice in comfort? Then take a look at the Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit. By combining Eibach's proven Pro-Kit springs with specially tuned Bilstein shocks and struts in one complete package, you can get the best that both companies have to offer for the following vehicles:

  • Late model C- and E-Class Mercedes-Benz
  • Fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf
  • Fifth-generation VW GTI

In nearly all cases, the use of a lowering spring requires replacement of the Original Equipment struts and shock as the higher spring rates are more than the O.E. units can handle. For best durability, switching to a performance oriented shock with heavy duty components will maximize the performance of the spring and eliminate the chances of premature wear. Eibach went to one of the best in the suspension industry and asked them to design a durable and responsive companion for their Pro-Kit spring.

Key Features & Benefits of Bilstein's B12 Pro-Kit:

  • Professional Cornering System
  • Lowers up to 40mm
  • Bilstein monotube gas pressure technology
  • Eibach Pro-Kit application-specific progressive rate performance springs

To see if the Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit could improve your vehicle's performance, shop by vehicle.

Sway Bars: A Cost-Effective Suspension Upgrade

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

One of the most simple, yet beneficial upgrades you can make to your suspension set-up is an improved sway bar. Available in front and rear matched kits, or as stand alone front or rear units, sway bars are a great way to reduce unwanted body roll under cornering loads.

If your car is well balanced from the factory, a full sway bar kit is likely the way to go. However, many people will see improvements with just a front or rear bar. Do you have a car that understeers or pushes into corners? A rear sway bar may be what your vehicle needs. In this scenario, a stronger and stiffer rear sway bar will help the car rotate into corners and reduce some of that understeer present in many of today's automobiles.

With options available from Eibach, H&R and Hotchkis, Tire Rack has the suspension products you need to properly fit your vehicle.

Eibach Pro-Kit Springs for the 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Now In Stock

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Have you been waiting for Eibach to release Pro-Kit Springs for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ? Well, they are now in stock and one of my co-workers has already installed them on his BRZ. 

 

 

 

Eibach makes the same Pro-Kit Springs for both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. The average lowering is about an inch for both the front and rear. In addition to looking great, the Eibach Pro-Kit provides a great balance between ride and overall handling. Compared to his BRZ on stock springs, my co-worker has noticed the following:

  1. The car feels like it is stuck to the road, especially when the road is smooth.
  2. There is much less body roll with the Eibach Springs and the car corners better. You can dive into a corner and feel very safe and comfortable with the car.
  3. The feel is very tight when going in and out of corners.

Eibach Pro-Kit FAQ:

  1. What are the Pro-Kit's spring rates? The Eibach Pro-Kit Springs are progressive rate springs. Their rate varies with the amount of spring compression. The more compression, the stiffer the spring. Therefore, minor road imperfections cause less spring compression and will result in the springs working at a lower rate for a better ride compliance.

    During fast cornering, hard braking and rapid acceleration you'll get dynamic weight transfer from front to back, and side to side. Greater weight compresses the springs more so they act at higher rates for better vehicle control.

    The actual spring rate range is 48-200 lbs./in for the front and 103-274 lbs./in for rear.
     
  2. What wheels and tires are on your co-worker's vehicle? He's running 245/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports with 18x8 ET48 5-100 gold O.Z. Racing Alleggerita wheels.

Suspension Shopping for my BMW 740i Part II

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Having already chosen the Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set for my 1997 740i, it's time to turn my attention to the the shocks and struts, known collectively as dampers. The available options include the Bilstein Touring Class, Bilstein Sport and KYB GR-2. 
 

The Touring Class and GR-2 are similar to one another in that they're both premium quality replacements for the stock dampers. They are valved about 10% firmer than the originals to account for the wear that accumulates in other suspension components over time and their goal is to provide ride and handling that equals or exceeds the Original Equipment.
 

The Bilstein Sport is a high-performance shock absorber designed for use with lowering springs. The mono-tube design, while more expensive to produce, has advantages for heat dissipation, longevity and consistent performance. 
 

Do I spend the money on the Bilstein shocks or save some cash and go back with a factory-equivalent part? The Bilstein Sports are the only replacement shock absorbers that are officially recommended to use with the Pro-Kit springs. Using the Touring Class or GR-2 with lowering springs would void their warranties. While this wouldn't be the first warranty I've ever voided when modifying a vehicle, I think that if I'm going to go through the trouble and expense of replacing them, it's worth doing it right. The Bilstein Sport was the winner and will make a great addition to my BMW 740i.