Continental Makes Three of the Best All-Season Tires for Winter Driving

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Given the severe winter season of 2013 -  2014, many drivers are asking which tires have the best snow and ice traction. The answer is simple - the best dedicated winter / snow tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 for cars and Blizzak DM-V1 for crossovers and SUVs, walk away from even the best all-season tires when it comes to traction in snow and on ice. If winter driving safety is of the utmost importance to you, consider a set of dedicated winter tires. You can read more about their importance by taking a look at, "My Story on Winter Tires."

If having a separate set of winter tires isn't in the cards for you, then your next best choice is an aggressive all-season tire. Continental manufacturers some of the best all-season tires for winter driving for passenger cars, performance cars, crossovers and light trucks.  

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact
DWS
 Continental Pure Contact
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental Cross Contact LX20
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


For sporty cars and performance oriented vehicles, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS outperforms the others in its class for winter traction.  For your crossover, SUV or light duty pickup, the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology has some of the best customer feedback for snow traction in a tire designed for street use. For most other vehicles, check out the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology for an all-season tire that works well for winter driving and also has great road manners. All three of these tires are highly regarded in our customer survey data and have performed very well in our in-house testing.  

Shop by vehicle to see which one of these Continental tires is available for your vehicle! 

All-New Dunlop Direzza DZ102 vs. Direzza DZ101

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by Gary Stanley

John Dunlop, the inventor of the pneumatic tire, founded Dunlop back in 1889. With its one hundred plus years in the tire industry, Dunlop has the experience, expertise and technology to produce some of the best tires. Dunlop produces a full line of tires, such as affordable winter / snow tires like the Winter Maxx, and great all-season tires, such as the Signature II

The Direzza tires are their line of Ultra High Performance Summer tires and include leading choices like the Direzza ZII Star Spec and Sport Maxx TT. For those drivers looking for a good bang-for-your-buck summer tire, Dunlop offered the Direzza DZ101. It was a good tire, but it was never a top tire in its class. This is one of the reasons they updated the tire to a newer version, the Direzza DZ102. This new tire offers a rather large improvement over the older DZ101.  


Much like the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport vs. g-Force Sport COMP-2, the new Dunlop Direzza DZ102 has made dramatic improvements. In our testing, the Direzza DZ102 is better in regards to ride noise and ride comfort. It also offers a good ride quality while delivering head-turning performance in warm, dry and wet conditions. For a complete recap of testing, read "Testing Ultra High Performance Summer Tires: New Shoes for Your Sporty Car."

Is it Too Early to Shop for Winter Tires?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Autumn is nearly upon us and that means that winter is not too far away. If you're planning on purchasing winter / snow tires for this upcoming season, should you start shopping now or wait until the threat of snow is near? The snow may be two months or more from arriving, but in the early fall, we have some of the best winter tires from last season in stock.

To review the top choices from last year, read "Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013." In addition to last year's best, shipments of new snow tires are arriving almost daily.  

Here are some additional reasons to purchase now rather than putting off the decision:

  • Clearance prices are available on some top closeout winter tires, like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
  • Given last year's severe winter, snow tires may sell out more quickly this year. 
  • Inventory is best in the early part of autumn, so purchase early and get the tire you really want.  
  • Install your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package at your convenience instead of being at the mercy of the weather.

Keep in mind that choosing one of our Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages means that you may never have to pay for mounting and re-mounting again. Installing your new tires and wheels is easy. See how easy by taking a look at "How to Install Your Tire & Wheel Package."

Is the Best Brake Pad the Hawk High Performance Street 5.0?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Hawk is a top supplier of high performance and heavy-duty brake pads. We've had outstanding experiences and customer feedback on their products since we began selling them over ten years ago.  

The Hawk HPS Street Brake Pads offer great braking performance with low noise and low dust, making it a great choice for most enthusiasts' street cars. If you're looking for low dust as a priority and are willing to give up some braking performance, take a look at the Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads. This option produces even less brake dust to help keep your wheels cleaner in between car washes. For owners of light trucks, SUVs and crossovers, the Hawk LTS Brake Pads are an excellent choice. You can learn more about this product by reading, "Hawk LTS Brake Pads are a Great Choice for Your Truck or SUV."

New this year is the Hawk Street High Performance Street 5.0 Brake Pads. The improved pad friction material in this new pad offers more pedal feedback and more consistent performance. Stopping power, brake pedal feel and modulation have been increased, all while keeping the low dust levels of the popular Hawk HPS Street Brake Pads.  


Hawk HPS Street Brake
Pads

Hawk High Performance Street 5.0 Brake Pads

Hawk Performance Ceramic
Pads


The brake pad combines the safety and quality of aerospace design with the braking technology of motorsports for improved performance under heavy braking situations. They are gentle on rotors while still meeting the demands of today's drivers. Shop by vehicle to see if the Hawk High Performance Street  5.0 Brake Pads are available for your application. And don't forget, free shipping is available on brake orders over $50!  

Sneak Peek of New Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Thursday, September 4, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Since the original Bridgestone Blizzak tire was introduced in 1993, Bridgestone has all but dominated the Studless Ice & Snow performance category with their Blizzak line of winter / snow tires. Their multicell winter tread compound dramatically increases winter traction in slippery conditions so much, that it changed perception of what a snow tire can do. These tires actually outperform traditional studded tires without the drawbacks of using metal studs.    

Rather than rest on their laurels, Bridgestone has continually improved each successive generation of their flagship winter tire. Snow and ice traction is job number one when designing a winter tire and Bridgestone has pushed the envelope even further with increased snow and ice traction with the new Blizzak WS80 which replaces the Blizzak WS70. This tire features redesigned zig-zag sipes and new tread compound that increases traction on ice.  

Speaking of ice, I recently had the opportunity to drive on the new Blizzak WS80 on ice at a local ice rink for testing against some other top winter tires including the Michelin X-Ice Xi3. The WS80 delivered results with outstanding ice traction in braking, acceleration and cornering. Stay tuned for complete test results in the near future.  

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80


Bridgestone Blizzak tires aren't just made for cars. If you have a light truck, SUV or crossover, be sure to check out the Blizzak DM-V1. I use this tire on my family crossover vehicle and you can read about my experience with it by checking out, "Best Winter Tires for Snow for Crossovers and SUVs."

Check Out Sumitomo for Affordable Tires

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Who is Sumitomo? Headquartered in Kobe, Japan and involved extensively with the tire industry since 1909, Sumitomo has very close relationships with Dunlop and Goodyear. Sumitomo has produced tires in cooperation with Dunlop and Goodyear for many years. In fact, so much engineering, technology and manufacturing is shared between them that I sometimes refer to Sumitomo as "Goodyear's Japanese subsidiary."

Are Sumitomo tires any good? Yes! Sumitomo offers a full line of great and affordable tires with good performance. I have such confidence in their products that I have used a couple of sets on my own vehicles, as well as installed some on my relatives' vehicles over the years. About ten years ago, I used their Ultra High Performance Summer HTR Z II on a Miata with great success. After enjoying the tire so much, I installed their Max Performance Summer HTR Z III on my BMW M3. I also chose the tire because it bested the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110 in our test of value-priced Max Performance Summer tires.   

 Sumitomo HTRZ III
Sumitomo HTR Z III
 Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P
Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P


Sumitomo doesn't just make good tires for cars, they also makes affordable, good quality tires for sporty SUVs and trucks. The Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P is a good choice to consider in the Street/Sport Truck All-Season performance category. It's designed to enhance appearance and performance by combining sports car performance and a passenger car-like ride with the big wheel plus sized look and load carrying capacity required by light trucks.

You can learn more about Sumitomo tires by reading, "Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 vs. Sumitomo HTRZ III."

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport vs. g-Force Sport COMP-2

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Often times when a tire manufacturer replaces a model of tire, the newer model is slightly better than the previous version. Incremental improvements over the previous generation is what we typically see. Once and awhile, a tire company will completely wow us with a dramatically better product than the one it replaces. BFGoodrich really surprised me with the new g-Force Sport COMP-2!

 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport
 BFGoodrich g-Ford Sport COMP-2
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2


Our customer survey feedback rates the original BFGoodrich g-Force Sport in a tie with the Yokohama S.drive for sixth place in the Ultra High Performance Summer category. Customers see an improvement as the new g-Force Sport COMP-2 is ranked number one!

Also, we recently tested the newer tire against other top tires in the performance category, including the former top-ranked option, the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval INDY 500. I was a big fan of the Firestone tire when it first came out. You can see how impressed I was with it by reading, "Need Miata Performance Tires? Buy Firestone Tires!" As good as the tire is, the g-Force Sport COMP-2 performed better in our autocross and skidpad testing, as well as the 6.6-mile loop of street driving.  

To view the complete recap of our test, check out "Testing Ultra High Performance Summer Tires."

Install Two New Tires in the Rear or the Front?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Gary Stanley

In an ideal situation, all four of your tires would wear out at the same time. However, if you have forgotten to rotate your tires, your vehicle is out of alignment or you have worn suspension components, you may end up with a situation where only two tires need replacing. For information on properly checking your tires' tread depth, check out, "What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths."

What should you do if two tires still have adequate tread depth remaining and only two need replaced?  First, be sure to match tires. Ideally, all four tires should be the same brand and model. Just as true as with a poker game, four of a kind always beats two pair. After you've found the two matching tires to replace on your vehicle, you'll want to make sure they're installed on the rear axle. This is true for rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. 

Conventional thinking may suggest that new tires be put on the front to help prevent hydroplaning and reduce wet stopping distances. However, the combination of new tires up front and worn tires on the rear can cause some very unpredictable handling characteristics in the wet or snow, which can lead to an oversteer condition that looks like this:
Wheel Spin GIF
Remember, it is best to install new tires on the rear axle. Members of Tire Rack had the opportunity to experience this phenomenon at Michelin's Laurens Proving Grounds. Participants were allowed to drive around a large radius, wet curve in vehicles fitted with tires of different tread depths -- one vehicle with new tires on the rear and half-worn tires on the front and the other with new tires in the front and half-worn tires on the rear. To see learn more about our experience and placing new tires on the rear axle, read "Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?"

Longest-Wearing Z-Rated Performance Tires

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Gary Stanley

What can drivers of sports cars and high performance vehicles with low profile, Z-rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires do if they want to have longer wearing tires? In the past, the best a driver could hope for, in regards to treadwear, was an option that lasted approximately 20,000 miles. This was the case for so long that it has become a common misconception that all low profile tires or tires with a high speed rating have rapid treadwear. On the contrary, there are options available with long treadwear ratings. Three of the best to consider are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 and Continental ExtremeContact DWS.  

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
 Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2
Hankook Ventus S1
noble2
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport
A/S 3


The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 has the best dry grip and quickest steering response among the three and comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Both the Continental ExtremeContact DWS and Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 feature 50,000-mile treadwear warranties and perform a little better in light snow conditions compared to the Pilot Sport A/S 3. All three tires are made in a variety of sizes. Now, even drivers of sports cars like the Chevy Corvette and Ford Mustang can find tires with higher treadwear.  

Shop by size to view all options available for your vehicle.

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

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.

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Since its release a few years ago, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has dominated the Max Performance Summer category, garnering praise from many drivers of high performance cars. Its combination of handling, grip, responsiveness and road manners make it a top choice for the discriminating enthusiast. So much so, that I decided that it was the right choice for my own personal vehicle. Take a look at "Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires Installed on My Car" and "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update" to learn more about my experience with this top-rated tire.

Last year, my Michelin Pilot Super Sports were due for replacement. While I enjoyed their performance and handling for three years, I was impressed with a recent test of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. In this test of four top Max Performance Summer tires, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport finished on top. To many, this was no surprise. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


However, many in our test were surprised at how close the Bridgestone compared favorably to the Pilot Super Sport. On the street and track, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport had faster steering response and a bit more dry grip than the S-04 Pole Position. However, I felt that the Bridgestone summer tire had a bit softer ride quality on the street, while still giving excellent cornering grip and road feel. Many may feel that the S-04 Pole Position has a better balance of ride quality and handling that would suit a vehicle that's driven spiritedly.

My conclusion? The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position is great alternative to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport for those willing to give up a little in terms of ultimate handling and grip for a bit softer ride and lower price-point. Shop by vehicle and see if this Bridgestone tire is available for your application.

Best All-Terrain Tire Choices for 275/55R20 Size

Monday, June 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Not too long ago, 20-inch tires were rare, exotic and mostly reserved for high-end European SUVs or show vehicles gracing the cover of automobile magazines. Those that were available were ultra high performance tires, often with little to no all-season traction and wore very quickly. This is not the case today. In fact, 20" tires are an option on many popular trucks, SUVs and domestic and import crossovers. 

Of the 20" sizes that are used, one of the most common is 275/55R20. This size is often used on SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. Trucks that commonly use this size include the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150 and can even be used with 20" wheels on newer Toyota Tundras. 

A popular misconception is that one can't find more aggressive On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires in this size. This performance category is one of the most effective in snow traction and light off-road capability in a tire that can be used year-round. Many of the best all-terrain tires on the market are available in this size, such as the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar and Michelin LTX A/T 2.   

 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
 Michelin LTX A/T 2
Michelin LTX
A/T 2


If you're looking for a more street friendly ride and longer wear, I'd suggest the Michelin LTX A/T 2. It compares quite favorably to a long-time favorite that you can learn about by reading, "BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO vs. Michelin LTX A/T 2." For more aggressive snow and off-road traction, consider the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar as your top choice.  

Does your vehicle require a different tire size? Shop by size and view the complete selection available for your vehicle. 

Best Max Performance Summer Tires Versus Best Ultra High Performance Summer Tires

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're like many car enthusiasts, you choose to use summer tires instead of all-seasons in order to get better handling, faster steering response and higher levels of wet and dry grip. And it it's time for new summer tires, you'll want to think about how much handling and grip you'll need, and of course, how much treadwear and ride you're willing give up. Take a look at the options available in the following two performance categories to help with your decision.

Max Performance Summer 

Tires in this category are the best of the best. They're offered by manufacturers for the performance tire market. They utilize the latest technology and materials to produce outstanding performance and handling while still providing good street manners. Two options worth considering are the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position and Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Today's Max Performance Summer tires often equal the grip of D.O.T. race tires of the past. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


Ultra High Performance Summer 

These tires are the next tier down from Max Performance Summer options. This category is designed for those wanting great performance for grip, cornering and handing, but need to do so at a lower cost. Often, tires in this category have slightly longer wear and a bit softer ride than a Max Performance Summer tire. A few options to take a look at are the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 and Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.

 BFGoodrich g-force Sport COMP-2
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2
 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport


I've used the Michelin Pilot Super Sport on my own vehicle and have been very happy with my choice. For more information on this tire, read "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update." 

Michelin Replaces Primacy MXV4 with the New Premier A/S

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Michelin is known in the tire industry and by drivers worldwide for their technology and innovation. In 1946, Michelin produced the first radial tire. In 1992, Michelin introduced high silica rubber compounds and Green X technology. Continuing to develop new and exciting products, this year Michelin released the first tire with Evergrip Technology, the Premier A/S.  

What is Evergrip Technology? Simply stated, it reduces the rate of decline in wet traction. The Michelin Premier A/S retains more of its outstanding wet traction as it wears down. 

There are three main components to how this helps the tire perform:

  • Sunflower oil additive in the rubber compound maintains wet traction even in lower temperatures. 
  • Extreme silica acts to further improve wet traction throughout the life of the tire.
  • Emerging Grooves widen as the tire wears, reducing hydroplaning.  
 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy MXV4
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S


This technology is so effective that Michelin is choosing the Premier A/S as the replacement tire for its top-of-the-line Grand Touring All-Season option, the Primacy MXV4. Already an outstanding tire, I installed the Primacy MXV4 on one of my own vehicles. You can read about my experience with this tire in a post titled, "Best All-Weather Tires for Mazda CX-7."

Why did Michelin place such a focus on wet traction? Keep in mind that accidents are more likely to happen on wet roads compared to dry. Drivers rank the ability to stop when a tire when is worn compared to when new as a top consideration when they're purchasing a new set of tires. The Michelin Premier A/S delivers that additional margin of safety when you need it the most!  

Shop by vehicle to see if this tire is available for your application.

Continental ExtremeContact DW vs. Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Two of the most popular Max Performance Summer tires being discussed on automotive forums lately are the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW. Both options are highly rated and outstanding tires. In our survey results, the Pilot Super Sport is currently ranked first, while the ExtremeContact DW is fourth.

How do the two tires compare? The Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers better handling, steering response and more desirable dry and wet grip. Continental's ExtremeContact DW provides a slightly softer ride than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and a slower steering response as a result.

Some BMW forum members state that the ExtremeContact DW has a softer sidewall compared to other tires in the category. This can be viewed either as a positive feature or a downside depending on what you're looking for in your tire. Softer sidewalls (and slower steering response) result in improved ride quality and less harshness from sharp impacts like rough roads or expansion joints on the highway. 

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


When it comes time to make a purchase, what tire is best for you? Think about your driving style and preferences for ride quality. If you want immediate response when quickly moving the steering wheel from side to side and desire the best dry and wet traction, go with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Are you willing to give up a little steering response for a softer ride? If so, the Continental ExtremeContact DW would be the way to go. Are you still having trouble deciding? For additional help choosing the best tire for your vehicle, visit our Tire Decision Guide.

The New Hoosier A7 Versus the Hoosier A6

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

For many years, drivers looking for race-winning performance in an autocross tire turned to the Hoosier A6. Not only are Hoosier race tires high quality, competitive products, they're made right here in Indiana. Building on the success of the Hoosier A6 is the all-new A7.  

Hoosier's A7 is a DOT-legal slick tread design with alternating five-dash circumferential grooves interrupting the solid grip surface. In addition to the new look of the five-dash grooves, the A7 features a new tread compound designed to extend wear and useable heat cycles. The tire is also designed so that it has less “fall-off” during a long run and less degradation over the life of the tire compared to the previous A6 version.   

The tire's internal structure features a symmetric construction that uses two lightweight steel belts reinforced by a spirally wrapped circumferential nylon cap ply under the tread on top of two nylon cord casing plies. It features a rim recess design on all sizes. Additionally, its symmetric tread design and internal construction allows the tire to be mounted on either side of the car (and later be remounted inside out to further extend its life).

To learn more about tires offered from Hoosier, read "Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

OG by Axis Oldskool Wheels for BMW, Honda and VW

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you the proud owner of a classic BMW 3 Series or Volkswagen Golf from the 1980s or early 1990s? If so, you may have found that some of the modern wheel styles do not look quite "right" on these cars. Available in a 15x8 size with a machined with black accent and gold with machined lip, the Axis OG Oldskool wheel is a great option to give your vehicle that classic look.  

 OG Old Skool by Axis Black Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Machined with Black
Accent
 OG Old Skool by Axis Gold Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Gold with Machined
Lip


The OG by Axis Oldskool is available in size 15x8 only, with a 25mm offset with a 4-100 bolt pattern. These wheels can fit more than just BMW and VWs, some other common vehicle fitments include:

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CRX
  • BMW 2002tii
  • 1977-1991 BMW 3 series
  • VW Cabriolet
  • VW Golf
  • VW Jetta
  • VW Rabbit
  • VW Scirocco 

Please note that while these wheels will bolt up to many of the vehicles listed above, some fender modification and/or suspension changes may be needed due to this wheel's width and relatively aggressive offset. Visit our Upgrade Garage to see if the OG by Axis Oldskool wheel is available for your vehicle.

The Best Run-Flat Tire for Your Passenger Car: Bridgestone's DriveGuard

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Imagine you're on a family vacation traveling with your spouse and children. After a long day of activities, you are heading back to the hotel for some relaxation. The whole family is tired and just ready to get out of the car. Just a few more miles on this busy highway and you'll be there. Suddenly, you hear the sound of a tire blowout.   

With conventional tires, the above scenario involves pulling over to the shoulder and calling for help. You are stuck until help arrives. Or if you were prepared enough to have checked your spare tire's pressure and savvy enough to change your own flat tire, you could attempt to install the replacement yourself. Even a car enthusiast will realize that changing a spare on the shoulder of a busy highway at night is far from ideal.  

Instead, you now have a choice. You can either choose to pull over, or you can continue driving for up to 50 miles at 50 mph. Wouldn't you rather drive your family to safety and simply deal with the problem when it's more convenient? With the new Bridgestone DriveGuard, you get to make that choice!

The ability to decide what's best for you is what having a run-flat tire is all about. In the past, most run-flat tires were stiff riding, fast wearing summer-only tires that were designed for use on a short list of specific vehicles. This is not the case when it comes to the new Grand Touring All-Season tire from Bridgestone. It offers a great ride, all-season traction and a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty. 

Thanks to mandatory tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on most newer vehicles, you can use the Bridgestone DriveGuard on many common 2008 and newer passenger cars like the Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, VW Jetta, Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla. Shop by vehicle to see if the DriveGuard is recommended for your car.