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.

Get Organized for Spring with These Three Storage Solutions

Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Did you purchase a new Tire & Wheel Package for this summer and now have a set of mounted winter tires and wheels with no place to go? We offer great solutions for you to consider when it comes to storing your second set of tires.

Seasonal Tire Totes fit a variety of tire and wheel sizes and include a carrying handle that is especially useful when transporting tires. These totes use a very strong velcro closure system that allows you to actually carry a tire mounted on a wheel using the sewn-in handle. Sold in sets of four, the Seasonal Tire Totes are very handy for moving tires from your vehicle to your attic, basement or the storage area in your garage. 

The Tire Garage is a durable and rugged way to keep a stack of tires or wheels protected from UV degradation and neatly out of site. Featuring a seamless look, this storage option cleans easily, retains it color and strength after years of normal use.

Our Tire Storage Rack can help you maximize your storage area by getting your tires and wheel off of the floor. Unlike other similar products, our wall-mounted tire rack is purposely built for safely storing wheels and tires and can be adjusted to accommodate mounted wheels of various dimensions.  

With your summer tires now on, let us help you store your additional sets properly!

Continental TrueContact Replaces ProContact with EcoPlus Technology

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Continental has been on a roll! First, they introduced the ExtremeContact DWS which quickly became a customer favorite in our customer survey data. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tire set the bar for winter snow traction in its category while still being competitive with good wet and dry traction.  

Next, Continental released another winner with the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. This tire is currently ranked number one in our Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category. It's praised by customers for its outstanding combination of ride, wear and traction in a variety of weather conditions.  

Recently, the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology equaled or bested the top Grand Touring All-Season tires from Michelin and Bridgestone while coming in at a lower price-point. For more information on this tire, read "Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology vs. ContiProContact."

Now, Continental is set to have another big winner, this time in the Standard Touring All-Season category, with the new TrueContact. This new tire is replacing the ProContact with EcoPlus Technology. The ProContact with EcoPlus Technology is ranked second in the category. Will the new TrueContact be able to claim the top spot?  

 Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental True Contact
Continental
TrueContact


TrueContact tires have vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves to improve snow traction, as well as Continental's Comfort Ride Technology to provide an even smoother ride. These features and other improvements include a treadlife warranty of 90,000 miles. Is the TrueContact right for you? Search by vehicle and find out!

Best New Tires for Honda Civic

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Many drivers of the Honda Civic are looking for tires that provide a good combination of treadwear, ride quality and all-season traction. Safety and reliability are also top considerations among Civic drivers. Since the Honda Civic uses common tire sizes, there are many choices on the market to choose from. In fact, trying to narrow down choices to a few top options can be very difficult!  

Based on my experience testing and selling tires, as well as our millions of miles of customer survey data, the following tires should be consider when choosing your next set. Below are my top recommendations in the most common sizes that are used on the Honda Civic in the past two decades.

1996-2000 Honda Civic (185/65R14)

 General Altimax RT 43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Hankook Optimo H727
Hankook Optimo H727


2001-2005 Honda Civic (185/70R4 or 195/60R15)


2006-20014 Honda Civic (195/65R15 or 205/55R16)

As you can see, the General AltiMAX RT43 is a top recommended choice for all three generations of the Honda Civic. To see what makes this such a great tire, read "The All-Season General AltiMAX RT43 is Number One."

Best All-Weather Tires for Mazda CX-7

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you looking for a great all-season tire for your Mazda CX-7? Then you should take a look at the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Michelin Primacy MXV4. For crossover vehicles like the Mazda CX-7, Acura RDX and Nissan Rogue, consider the top tires from the Grand Touring All-Season and Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season performance categories.  

I've had the Michelin Primacy MXV4 on my Mazda CX-7 for two years. This tire has provided my vehicle with a very smooth and quiet ride, good handling and great wet traction. The Primacy MXV4 offers a large improvement over the factory installed Goodyear Eagle RS-A. My wife and I can hardly believe the difference! For more information on this tire, read "Great Deal on 235/60R18 Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires."

 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy
MXV4
 Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with
EcoPlus Technology


While you're shopping for tires for your CX-7, be sure to strongly consider the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, which is currently the top-rated tire by our customers in its category. Reviewers consistently praise the tire's ride quality, as well as great wet and snow traction. 

If you need additional help choosing the right tire for your CX-7, take a look at our Tire Decision Guide.

Hankook's New Ventus V12 evo2 vs Original Ventus V12 evo K110

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Hankook has been producing tires since 1941 and is the seventh largest tire company in the world. While many of their tires are made in Asian countries, Hankook announced they're planning to build a plant in the United States. Amongst enthusiasts, they're known to produce some of the best value-oriented performance tires. 

While the Max Performance Summer tire of choice on the market is currently the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, not every driver wants to pay the price for the extra performance they may not fully utilize. Since its introduction, the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 has been a customer favorite for drivers looking for a good combination of wet grip, dry grip, ride and wear at a great price. The tire has been an especially popular choice for BMW forum members looking for a great bang-for-the-buck performance tire. 

 Hankook Ventus V12 EVO
Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
 Hankook Ventus V12 EVO2
Hankook Ventus V12 evo2


According to Hankook, their new Ventus V12 evo2 boasts improvements over the Ventus V12 evo K110 in wet and dry grip, while reducing rolling resistance for improved fuel economy. There's also a slight improvement in treadwear.

Hankook is known for making affordable tires, and has kept the price-point on the new Ventus V12 evo2 very close to the original V12 evo K110 in most sizes. We will have a full test of this tire in the summer of 2014, so stay tuned! To learn more about how we test tires, take a look at "Tire Rack's Tire Testing Program."

Best Tires for Subaru Outback

Monday, March 31, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If the tires on your Subaru Outback are nearing replacement, be sure to check out the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. While many drivers associate Pirelli with producing ultra high performance tires for exotic high-end sports cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini, they also make outstanding all-season touring tires. In fact, the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus is currently ranked number one by our customers in the Grand Touring All-Season performance category.  

The tire's great balance of traction, handling and ride quality to go along with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty make the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus an ideal match for many Subaru Outback drivers.  

Take a look at what Outback owners are saying about their experience with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus:

"So glad I did my research with Tire Rack and compared the tires side-by-side. After a full week of research, I went with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus and the difference is amazing. The noise level from my previous Bridgestone Potenza is a 180. The Pirelli is hands down the best tire I've owned!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Subaru Outback Wagon 

"This tire has amazed me since it was installed 10,000 miles ago. Immediately, I noticed a difference in decreased road noise and increased ride comfort over the O.E. Continental. It has been a great tire while driving in heavy rain and an equally as great tire when taking corners a little faster than you should." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

"I bought these tires a month ago to replace tires damaged by road debris. These are by far the best tires I've had on this car, including O.E. Potenzas, Kumho Solus KH16 and two sets of General AltiMAX HPs. These Pirellis are amazing. The car is noticeably quieter and rides smoother - it's like a new car. We have had a snowy winter so far in Connecticut, so I have had many chances to test these on snow and ice. Truly impressive." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean

While you're thinking about tires, check your tires' air pressure since they can lose 1 psi per month. To learn more about this important safety issue, read "Winter Air Pressure Versus Summer Air Pressure."

New Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus Versus Dueler H/L Alenza for Crossovers and SUVs

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Back in 2004, the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza was introduced to premium crossover and SUV drivers as the premier tire of choice. Always a good performer in our Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category, it has been praised by our customers for its quiet ride, great wet traction, wear and good looks. Appropriate vehicle applications and Original Equipment fitments include the Cadillac Escalade, Acura MDX, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML Class, Lexus RX, Buick Enclave and the new Cadillac ATS and ELR. For more on this tire's great reputation and feedback, take a look at "Best Tires for a Street-Driven SUV." 

Bridgestone is known for continually pushing the envelope, and ten years later, has introduced a new and improved version of the H/L Alenza. This new tire is the Dueler H/L Alenza Plus. 

This new version maintains the same appearance, popular sidewall design and efficient tread pattern of the current Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza. That is where the differences end. H/L Alenza Plus tires have a new tread compound that Bridgestone states will improve on the tire's fuel economy by reducing rolling resistance by up to 10% compared to the previous version of the tire without sacrificing wet, dry or snow traction. Bridgestone has also upped the ante for treadwear by offering the tire with an 80,000-mile limited treadwear warranty!

If you're in the market for a premium, quality replacement tire for your crossover or SUV, don't overlook the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus.

The All-Season General AltiMAX RT43 is Number One

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by Gary Stanley

With its generous treadwear warranty, great ride quality and class-leading handling and traction, the General AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated) is a customer favorite for tires in the Standard Touring All-Season performance category. In a recent test, we concluded that the tire had impressive traction in both wet and dry conditions, very good handling and reasonable road manners. It finished in first place in our test, "Testing Standard Touring All-Season Tires: Which Tires Strike the Perfect Balance?

The General AltiMAX RT43 is available in a wide range of sizes, making it a great choice for a large variety of vehicles from compact cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, to popular crossovers like the Nissan Rogue. Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with this tire:

"These are the best all-season tires I've ever purchased (and I've bought probably 15-20 sets of tires for various vehicles over the past 15 years, everything from snow tires to racing slicks). They actually defeat the purpose of my snow tires, as they offer about 8/10th of the snowy driving performance of them. This has to be the best all-season tire on the market. It just can't be beat for the price, performance, comfort and treadwear."  -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1985 BMW 535i

"Great tire thus far. Not many miles driven but they have already seen the worst of Pennsylvania's weather and potholes. These tires are impressively quiet, comfortable over bumps and potholes. It's near impossible to avoid them all now, and these tire seem up to the worst of them with no harshness at all. Great tire." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 Subaru Forester

If you're looking for a great set of affordable tires, don't miss out on the General AltiMAX RT43! For more great options for your vehicle, read "Looking for Quiet Tires? Check Out My Top Three Picks!"

Choosing Between Performance Winter / Snow Tires and Studless Ice & Snow Tires

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Gary Stanley

As a moderator of several forums, I have received many questions on snow tires this winter. Recently, a customer had a question about choosing between Studless Ice & Snow tires and Performance Winter / Snow tires:

I’m getting ready to order winter tires and wheels. My concern is that here in Denver, we can have big changes in temperatures. It’s not uncommon to be able to wear short sleeves during February and March, while the ski resorts are getting pounded less than 80 miles away. Given the temperature range, are there any brands I should stay away from that get squirmy when it gets warmer? 95% of my driving is in the Denver area. I only have two clients in the foothills just west of town.

Here was my response to his question:

Most of the tires in the Studless Ice & Snow category like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 will have slower steering response in warmer temperatures, and thus, feel a little squirmy. Of these choices, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 feels the least squirmy, but would still give you outstanding snow and ice traction for the times you have to drive on snow-covered roads. 

If you move to a Performance Winter / Snow tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 or Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, you'll find that these tires have more responsive handling even in warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, there's a noticeable step down in snow and ice traction when compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires.

Are you trying to make a similar decision? You may want to lean towards one of the more aggressive snow tires like those listed above if one or more of the following are true :

  • Your geographical area gets heavy snowfall and/or lake-effect snow.
  • You are often driving on packed snow and ice.
  • You are willing to give up some dry grip and steering response for maximum winter traction.
  • You are a newer driver or want more confidence when driving in winter conditions. 

Choosing between these two performance categories may be difficult and is mostly a personal preference choice for the trade-off between snow traction and dry road handling. When making your decision, keep in mind what are the worst conditions you'll experience. This is the time when you will need traction the most!  You can read about my experience with winter tires by reading, "My Story on Winter Tires."

Is There a Bubble on Your Tire?

Thursday, March 6, 2014 by Gary Stanley

The roads are in particularly rough condition following this season's harsher-than-normal winter. As a result, there are more potholes and ruts in the roads, which are causing many drivers to experience problems with their tires, like sidewall bubbles. 

If you can see a round bulging area protruding on the sidewall of the tire, this is often referred to as a bubble. The bubble is appearing because air from inside the tire is leaking into the carcass and sidewall plys of the tire.

Most bubbles are caused by impact damage from road conditions. When a tire hits a pothole or a sharp object on the road, the force from the weight of the vehicle is focused on a relatively small area of contact. This compresses the tire enough that the inside of the tire's sidewall can be pinched and damaged. This damage to the (normally) air tight inner liner of the tire allows air to seep out, causing the bubble. The impact may not have even been noticed by the driver. 

Some common causes of impact damage are:

  • Potholes
  • Railroad Crossings
  • Speed Bumps
  • Curbs
  • Heavily Damaged Roads 
  • Construction Areas
  • Debris

Sometimes, while rare, a defect in the tire itself can cause a bubble. However, this is very uncommon on tires more than a few months old. A tire shop can inspect the tire to check to see whether the bubble was caused from a defect or from road damage. To do this, the shop will typically mark the bubble, dismount the tire and check for cuts or abrasions in the inner liner of the tire.  

It's important to note that sidewall bubbles can't be repaired. The area that's damaged is constantly flexing and moving so a tire patch cannot hold. Additionally, a bubble often indicates the tire has structural damage and is in a weakened state that can fail at any time without warning. No one can predict when a tire with a bubble will fail, but eventually it will. For this reason, a tire should immediately be taken out of service and a spare tire should be used until you can get a matching replacement tire.  

For additional information, take a look at, "Sidewall Separations/Bubbles."

New Dunlop Winter Maxx Tires Installed on My Car

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Gary Stanley

After three years of faithful service, my Michelin X-Ice Xi2 winter / snow tires have finally worn to the point where they needed to be replaced. While they were not bald, the tread depth had worn to about 4/32nds of an inch, which is more shallow than recommended for effective snow traction. Tires at low tread depths can only "nibble" into snow instead of biting through it to find grip. And with this brutal winter season still in full swing, I decided that it was time to be safe rather than sorry. Check out more information about how tread depth can affect snow traction by reading, "Do My Winter / Snow Tires Have Another Year in Them?

Dunlop has been producing studless winter tires for well over a decade beginning with the original Graspic DS-1. Subsequent generations of DS-2 and DS-3 models were well received and popular value-priced Studless Ice & Snow tires. These tires were known for their great deep snow and slush traction, but in general, fell a bit short in packed snow and ice traction compared to the competition from Bridgestone and Michelin. This gap in packed snow and ice traction seemed to be all but closed until Dunlop's introduction of the Winter Maxx.  

The roads were still covered with snow on the day I installed the tires on my 2009 Infiniti G37x Coupe. With a good mix of packed snow and ice, as well as loose snow and fresh powder on some roads, I was able to put the Winter Maxx tires through their paces. I can say with confidence that the tires are at least as good as my old Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires. If you're considering buying a great set of dedicated winter / snow tires for your vehicle at a great value, be sure to take a look at the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're looking for race-winning performance in an autocross or road race tire, look no further than Hoosier Racing tires! Not only are Hoosier tires of outstanding quality, they're made right here in Indiana.

 Hoosier A6
Hoosier A6
 Hoosier R6
Hoosier R6


Manufactured in Plymouth, Indiana, Hoosier's tires are popular for competition use in:

  • Autocross
  • Road Racing
  • High Performance Driving Events
  • Miata Racing
  • Time Attack Racing

While the Hoosier A6 and R6 may look the same, they have different tread compounds. Which Hoosier tire is for you? If you are chasing cones in an autocross event or are a very light road racer, choose the Hoosier A6. This tire heats up very quickly for the short runs that are typical at most autocrossing events.

For heavier cars and most track driving applications, choose the Hoosier R6. It requires more of a gradual warm-up time and provides consistency lap after lap. Two factors that will help steer you to victory!

While Hoosier tires are DOT-legal, they are not intended for highway use. Due to their low tread depth and ultra sticky rubber compound, we recommend that these tires be used on the track only.

How Good Are Sumitomo Tires?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Often times, people associate Sumitomo as a generic tire. In reality, quite the opposite is true! Did you know that Sumitomo is the Japanese subsidiary of Dunlop and traces its beginnings back to 1909? In 1997, Sumitomo and Goodyear formed a joint venture in which they agreed to manufacture tires for each other as well. Sumitomo produces many different types of world-class, affordable tires.  

I've personally had very good experience with the Sumitomo line on my own vehicles. I used the Max Performance Summer Sumitomo HTR Z III tire on my BMW M3. The reason I chose the tire was because of how it performed against other value-priced Max Performance Summer tires.   
 

 Sumitomo HTRZ III
Sumitomo HTR Z III
 Sumitomo Touring LS T
Sumitomo Touring LS T


If you don't have a sports car or need high performance tires, keep in mind that Sumitomo also makes all-season options with long treadwear ratings. If this is more the type of tire you're looking for, take a look at their Touring LS T and HTR A/S P01.  

If you're looking for a great tire at a great price, be sure to take a look at the options available from Sumitomo.

Looking for Quiet Tires? Check Out My Top Three Picks!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Gary Stanley

When shopping for tires, most drivers place a good deal of emphasis on quietness. No one wants to listen to a loud tire on a long trip or have to shout at their passengers to have a conversation. Tire noise can be more than just an annoyance, it can also mask important sounds that affect vehicle performance, maintenance and safety.  

For most drivers, the quietest tires are found in the Passenger All-Season, Standard Touring All-Season and Grand Touring All-Season performance categories.  

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred
Goodyear Assurance
ComforTred
Michelin Defender
Michelin
Defender
Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy
MXV4


For Passenger All-Season tires, the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred and Michelin Energy Saver A/S both received top ratings for noise comfort. While the Goodyear is not available in many sizes, the Michelin is made in quite a few popular fitments ranging from compact cars to crossover vehicles.  

In the Standard Touring All-Season category, the Michelin Defender has consistently received high praise from our customers in regards to its smooth and quiet ride. It's also designed to deliver extra long wear and all-season traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions, even in light snow. 

If you're driving a vehicle that uses tires with higher speed ratings, check out the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus and Michelin Primacy MXV4. The P7 All Season Plus is a relative newcomer with few miles reported in our surveys, but initial feedback has been outstanding. Developed to be environmentally friendly, Pirelli's EcoImpact icons confirm the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air, low noise and long wear. Michelin's Primacy MXV4 offers a quiet, comfortable ride, long treadlife, responsive handling and all-season traction. You can learn about my personal experience with this Michelin tire by reading "Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires Installed on My Crossover."

Best Tires for Nissan Maxima

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Gary Stanley

The Nissan Maxima has been a popular sports sedan for many years due to its great combination of luxury features, sporty handling and room for full-sized adults to fit comfortably in the back seats. I've owned two Nissan Maximas and have fond memories of them. One thing I learned firsthand is that the type of tire you install can make a big difference on this car.    

Some tires can create very annoying road and tire noise, especially at highway speeds. Tires with poor grip and a slow steering response rob the Maxima of its fun-to-drive factor. Choosing an option from either the Grand Touring All-Season or Ultra High Performance All-Season category can improve the vehicle's ride. 


Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

 

 Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus
Technology
 Bridgestone Turanza Serentiy Plus
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
Plus


If you're an aggressive driver or you just prefer sportier handling and a quicker steering response, consider two Ultra High Performance All-Season tires: Continental ExtremeContact DWS and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. Are you someone who can sacrifice some handling and sporty driving for a softer, quieter ride with longer wear? Then focus on the Grand Touring All-Season options: Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology and Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus.

The Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology has performed especially well. To view more about this tire, check out "Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology vs. ContiProContact."

Black Rock Steel Wheels are Perfect for Your Truck

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Gary Stanley

We're proud to announce that we carry Black Rock steel wheels. Manufactured in California, these wheels are specifically engineered for serious off-road and rock climbing applications with fitments available for Jeeps, SUVs and lifted trucks.

Black Rock offers heavy gauge steel wheels that are clear coated and painted black with center caps included at no additional charge. The wheels won't chip or crack and provide a rugged style that also looks great. Some of the more popular fitments for these wheels include the newer Ford F-150 trucks, Ford Expeditions, Chevy Silverado trucks and the Dodge Ram. Also, we offer some of their wider, low offset off-road fitments.


Black Rock 937 Type 8P Steel

Black Rock 942 Type D Steel 17x8


For more steel wheel options for your vehicle, take a look at "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack."

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Best Winter Tires for Snow for Crossovers and SUVs

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Crossovers and SUVs are a very popular vehicle segment and are available from smaller vehicles like the Ford Escape and Nissan Murano, to larger SUVs such as the Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade. There are even high performance models like the Porsche Cayenne and Infiniti FX that have acceleration rivaling that of sports cars.  

Most owners of these vehicles aren't buying them primarily for their off-road capability or 0-60 times, but instead for their desire of a balance of utility, comfort and performance. They also want good all-season traction, including during the winter months. To get the most winter traction, the best option is to install a set of winter / snow tires because they provide much better snow and ice traction compared to their all-season counterparts.

Which winter tires are the best for snow and ice traction for your crossover, light truck or SUV? 

 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter


I would take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 and Pirelli Scorpion Winter. Between the two, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 has better snow and ice traction. Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is a slight step down in snow and ice traction compared to the Blizzak, however it does have better dry road traction and quicker steering response for the days when the roads are dry. These tires aren't just available for SUVs and crossovers, but also make great winter truck tires. 

For more information on the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1, read "Winter Truck Tires."