Restore Ride Quality with KYB Shocks and Struts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

If you're looking to restore ride comfort and replace your worn-out factory shocks, take a look at the KYB line of suspension products. Their shocks and struts are reasonably priced and feature a lifetime warranty when used with factory springs. 

KYB has been recognized around the world as a leader in the design and production of state-of-the-art gas shocks and struts. They employ a process of continuous refinement and improvement of their products since its founding over 50 years ago.

KYB's most popular model, the GR-2, features dampening rates that are similar to factory for a familiar feel and an emphasis on ride quality. If you are using an aftermarket lowering spring and have a need for an adjustable shock up to the task of effectively controlling your high performance car, be sure to check out the KYB AGX Adjustable. Depending on the application, the AGX Adjustable features 4-8 way adjustability that controls both compression and rebound with the turn of a knob.

Also, when you purchase any four KYB Shocks, Struts or Strut-Plus before April 30, you can receive a $40 mail-in rebate.

Introducing the Dunlop Direzza DZ102

Friday, April 11, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

A new release for this spring season is the Dunlop Direzza DZ102. This tire, a direct replacement for the Direzza DZ101, features many improvements to build upon from the mark set by its predecessor. The DZ101 was always reasonably well liked in its category due to its low cost and strong dry grip. However, it suffered slightly because of noise comfort and treadwear.

DZ102 tires feature a higher treadwear rating that should increase the life expectancy of the tire. The tire delivers head-turning performance in warm, dry and wet conditions. It also has a less pronounced, but still directional tread pattern, that aims to cut down noise. Like the DZ101, the DZ102 is classified as an Ultra High Performance Summer tire and retains one of the better price-points in the class. Now through May 31, 2014, when you purchase a set of four Dunlop Direzza DZ102 tires, you can receive a $40 Tire Rack Prepaid MasterCard by mail-in rebate.

With winter finally over, expect test results on this tire and many others in the coming months!

Raise Ride Height and Go Big with Traxda Lift and Level Kits

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

"How big of a tire can I install on my truck?" This question is one I receive on almost a daily basis. While each truck is different and some can occasionally accept taller tires with the factory suspension in place, the easiest way to insure proper fitment of a taller or wider tire is to increase the amount of travel between the top of the tire and fender well.

Leveling kits increase the amount of clearance on the front axles between one and three inches on average and will often enable the owner to increase tire size without rubbing issues. Most trucks tend to have a rake from the factory that causes the front of the truck to sit lower in the front when the bed is unloaded. With a leveling kit, this rake can be corrected and clearances improved.

Traxda Lift and Level Kits relocate the mounting point of the spring that holds the truck up without changing the location of the stock suspension arms. Installation of this kit allows for use of up to 35" tall tires (17"-26" rims, stock offset, depending on application) without rubbing. Most kits are a direct bolt-on style, simple and easy to install with nothing more than common hand tools and require no modifications to your vehicle. The kits retain stock ride quality.

Lift and Level Kit Features:

  • Precision laser cut solid steel technology engineered to exact tolerances
  • Does not change preload
  • Maintains stock ride quality on most vehicles
  • Requires no disassembly of the strut
  • Depending on application, stock shocks or stock-length aftermarket shocks can be used
  • Shock brackets included where applicable
  • Alignment specs provided
  • Truck can be returned to stock when required
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Search by vehicle to find a Traxda Lift and Level Kit for your truck.

Introducing the New O.Z. Racing Leggera HLT

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Spring will be underway shortly and that means many new wheel styles will be available. While there are many fresh designs that have caught my eye, none has impressed me more than the new Leggera HLT from O.Z. Racing.

The Leggera HLT, with its split 5-spoke design, is clean, well made and has an excellent bright race grey finish. It's also light, something we expect after having carried O.Z. Racing's Ultraleggera and Superleggera wheels for quite some time. The Leggera HLT is available in 17"-20" rim diameters with most of the popular widths, offsets and bolt patterns being represented.

O.Z. Racing never compromises on quality and complies with all official regulations, including the stringent rules of T.U.V., the German control office. They constantly submit their wheels to multiple comprehensive testing to measure road stress. And to detect minute flaws, wheels are put under pressure in a specially designed water tank and scanned for hidden flaws by X-ray. Further examination is done by computer and electron microscopes. Finally, an anti-corrosion treatment is given, followed by a protective lacquer coating and final cleaning.

Search by vehicle to see if this new O.Z. Racing is a fit for your car.

iON Air Pro Camera or $70 Rebate With Purchase of Continental Tires

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Lately it seems that Continental has been on a roll when it comes to manufacturing class-leading tires. The company is known for producing tires with a moderate price point with excellent characteristics. While often there are faster times recorded on other brands in the dry, many Continental tires seem to excel in the wet and light snow (all-season tires).

A few of Continental's most popular models for passenger cars include the ExtremeContact DW, ExtremeContact DWS and the new PureContact with EcoPlus Technology with its 70,000-mile treadlife warranty. If you own a crossover, SUV or light truck, you will want to take a look at the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. The tire is designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces while providing long wear and all-season traction, even in light snow.

With the purchase of a set of four Continental brand passenger or light truck/SUV tires for a total value of $440 or more through April 4, 2014, you can receive a free iON Air Pro™ Wi-Fi Lite HD Camera or a $70 Visa® Prepaid Card.

Free Shipping at Tire Rack on Parts and Accessories Orders Over $50

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Starting this week, we've made some changes in regards to the way we handle our shipping charges. Free shipping is now offered on all products in the parts and accessories categories (shown below). Eligible products purchased must total $50 or more (not including taxes) to qualify for free shipping.

Accessory items that qualify for free shipping include:

Free shipping offer does not apply to tire and wheel purchases. This offer is valid only to retail customers in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Coming Into Stock for the 2014 Season

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

It seems hard to believe, but sooner or later the cold that has gripped most of the country this winter will soon lift and the snow will clear. When this occurs, competition events will be in full swing.

One of last year's hottest and best-selling performers, the Dunlop Direzza ZII, is filtering back into stock, and in many sizes is ready for shipment. This Extreme Performance Summer tire was one of our favorites in an internal test and has achieved much popularity within the ranks of our consumer surveys.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Dunlop Direzza ZII.

"The tires have well exceeded what I expected. I am more confident with these tires than I was with the Original Equipment. The wet traction is something Dunlop should be proud of. I will purchase them again!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door STI Limited

"I am a hardcore amateur racer and I've used the ZIIs on my Cayman and they are incredible. In my opinion, this is the best street tire there is." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Porsche Cayman

The Direzza ZII features a treadwear rating of 200, making it legal for most classes of SCCA and NASA competition. With 26 sizes offered, the ZII offers good market coverage of many popular sizes.

Increase Visibility with PIAA Bulbs

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Whether it's endurance racing, rally, off-road or for the street, PIAA has committed to manufacture world-class automotive products that drivers can use with pride and confidence. Today, PIAA upholds that commitment by combining desirable products with the latest technology to make night and inclement weather driving as safe as possible.

If your car or truck's factory bulbs are still functioning, yet not up to the task of fully illuminating the road surface, consider a simple upgrade from PIAA. PIAA's line-up of Extreme White, Super Plasma, Ion Yellow and Night-Tech bulbs are all designed to use your vehicle's pre-existing connectors and are a simple plug-and-play upgrade.

Utilizing similar levels of power, PIAA bulbs increase light output and are a cost-effective enhancement to almost every vehicle. Unlike a full HID conversion kit, these bulbs install in minutes and do not require any in-depth knowledge of electric systems to install.

Shop by vehicle to shine some light on your commute.

Non-Run-Flat All-Season Tire Option for BMW X5 (20" Wheels)

Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

One of the most difficult vehicles to outfit with all-season tires is the BMW X5 and X6 with staggered 20" wheels. Unfortunately, with the 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tire sizes, there aren't any run-flat options up to the task of performing in snowy conditions.

Luckily, for drivers willing to step away from a run-flat tire, Continental offers a fantastic choice. Their ExtremeContact DWS (DWS for Dry, Wet and Snow) has been one of our highest rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires for quite some time and is available for the X5 and X6. While some tires in the category don't perform well in cold temperatures, the DWS has the highest ratings in the category for light snow and deep snow traction.

The ExtremeContact DWS features Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire is only suitable for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only.

To view all tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Tire Shaving Available at Tire Rack

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

As the number of vehicles on the road with four-wheel or all-wheel drive increases, so does the importance of tire shaving to keep the vehicle's transmission, transfer case and other systems in perfect working condition. Cars and trucks with these systems force all four wheels and tires to spin at the same speed. When differences in tread depth occur, it changes a tire's rotational speed and can cause stress and strain on powertrain over time.

In the event of a flat tire, it's important to measure the tread depth of the tires you wish to keep using a tread depth gauge. Armed with this information, we can then shave down your one replacement tire to match the depth of the other three. This option is great for many drivers as it saves them the cost of having to replace all four tires!

While we don't want to pay for replacement tires after a road hazard incident, tire shaving is a helpful way to lessen the burden of what would otherwise be a much more costly expense. To learn more about tire shaving, read "Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles."

Great Gift Ideas from Tire Rack

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Are you unsure of what to get that loved one for his/her birthday? Perhaps they have been searching for a new Tire & Wheel Package, but you do not know which one to purchase. Maybe they are shopping for dedicated winter / snow tires and you aren't positive of the correct size to purchase.

The answer to this problem is as easy as buying a Tire Rack gift certificate. The gift certificate is truly the ultimate gift. It's available in $25.00 to $5,000.00 amounts and is deliverable my mail, as a paper certificate, or as an email, which can be sent directly to the recipient in minutes!

Aside from gift cards, Tire Rack also has an assortment of other small items that are a perfect gift to go along with new tires and wheels:

Purchase a Tire Rack gift certificate for the car lover in your life!

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Still Number One

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Having been on the market for over a year-and-a-half, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport still reigns supreme as the highest-rated tire in the Max Performance Summer category. While certain tires may occasionally hold the top spot for a few months, it's quite a rare feat to see such prolonged dominance. 

Frankly, I'm not surprised as this tire was a favorite among the staff during internal testing. Turn-in is crisp, the tire feels nimble, has great breakaway characteristics and an amazing grip level for a 300 treadwear street tire. While sometimes a little higher in price-point than others in its class, this tire really does deliver it all. In addition to being a solid performer, it has also received superior scores for treadlife, ride quality and noise quality. 

Here is a taste of what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the tire:

"The best tires I have ever used for road handling, performance and wear!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 Lexus GS450h

"These are by far the best tires I've ever had. They're quiet and soft. Great ride. Excellent value." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

"Excellent tires! I'm able to corner without hesitation and full confidence. The steering response is great and the tire wear is excellent. I will be buying these tires again, no doubt!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Audi A5 3.2

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

Tire Rack Tire Storage Rack: The Ultimate Storage Solution

Monday, December 30, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

The Tire Storage Rack is a well-engineered solution to help organize your garage and keep extra tires or Tire & Wheel Packages out of the way. With a flexible design that allows room for today's performance-oriented tires and wheels, the Storage Rack can also be adjusted to accommodate less aggressive tire widths.

Its adjustable rack quickly attaches to wall studs providing a convenient and safe storage method. A heavy-duty construction has been load tested to a weight capacity of 400 lbs.

With an inner width of 52" the Tire Rack Tire Storage Rack can accommodate four tires roughly 13" wide. This makes the rack large enough for even the widest of sports car tires and most large truck tires.

The Tire Rack Tire Storage Rack is a great long term solution to keeping your garage floor clean and free of clutter. Tire and wheel storage done right!

Introducing the New Cost-Effective BBS SR!

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

BBS is considered one of the leaders in wheel manufacturing and engineering technology. They are dedicated to pursuing the highest level of technology possible and then applying this experience to the street.

With the release of their new SR, BBS is creating quite a buzz with this new wheel. Featuring an anthracite painted finish, the wheel looks great and is a welcomed addition to the BBS line. Also, with a price point that is lower than other BBS options, a set of SR wheels is a great way to improve the look of your vehicle at a good price. For example, an 18x8" SR wheel for a 2011 BMW 3 Series costs $265*, that's less than half the cost of BBS' popular CH-R.

The BBS SR is offered in 16", 17" and 18" rim diameters and covers many of the popular bolt patterns on the market. It also has the following features:

  • Five Y-shaped spokes
  • One-piece, cast
  • Snap-in, exposed lugs
  • Center cap at no additional charge

Shop by vehicle to see if the new BBS SR is available for your application.

* Prices subject to change

Does My Audi Need Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors?

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Many Audi owners looking for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package this season question whether or not their vehicle is equipped with TPMS sensors. While TPMS has been required on all new vehicles sold in the United States since 2007, not all models use a directly mounted transmitter type pressure sensor to relay this data. 

On many new Audi models, especially those made after 2010, tire pressure is monitored based off of rotational speed. When a tire loses air pressure, the rotational speed of that tire is changed, and while 1-2 psi will not make a large enough difference to trip the system, a loss of perhaps 5-10 psi will. Once the difference in rotational speed is noted by the vehicle's wheel speed sensor, a message is then passed along to the driver.

This new type of ABS monitoring isn't quite as accurate, however it enables customers to purchase a new wheel and tire set without also purchasing direct TPMS sensors.

To find out if your car requires direct TPMS sensors, simply search by vehicle.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 vs Blizzak DM-V1

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Owners of crossover vehicles, small SUVs and even full size cars with large outside diameter tire fitments often call to ask which one of Bridgestone's popular winter / snow tires would work best for their vehicle. For many applications, there may be only one of Bridgestone's Studless Ice & Snow tires offered in a given size, however there are certainly exceptions.

For example, if you own a newer model Honda CRV which employs the use of 225/65R17 tires, you'll find two models of Blizzak tires that are suitable for your SUV. While you could purchase either and be very well suited, there are differences between them.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is designed for lighter vehicles such as small and mid-sized cars and features an extremely soft compound designed to give these vehicles every traction advantage available. The tire is also T-speed rated to provide a more responsive steering feel at speed and retain a more acceptable degree of stability when being pushed into corners. Make no mistake, T-speed rated tires will not set dry track records, however most drivers appreciate the responsiveness they offer when compared to Q-,R- and S-speed rated options.

In contrast, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 is designed for SUVs and light trucks and may wear slightly better than the WS70 when used on a heavier vehicle. The larger tread blocks and slightly less directional design will also more closely resemble that of a "truck" tire. The most negative trait of the DM-V1 is its relatively low R-speed rating. Aside from having a lower top speed of 106 mph, the DM-V1 will not handle as sharply as the T-speed rated WS70. Both make an excellent winter tire option that can handle the snow and ice winter throws at you.

To further research these two tires, take a look at our Tire Survey Results.

Best Tires for MAZDA3

Friday, November 15, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

The MAZDA3 is a very popular vehicle that you can spot on today's streets and highways. It achieves good gas mileage, has a low cost of ownership and makes for a good daily driver. While the car is known to have many strong points, it has also been known to have a lack of sound deadening and isn't the quietest vehicle to drive, especially at highway speeds.


Bridgestone Potenza
RE760 Sport

Michelin Pilot Sport
A/S 3

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology


In fact, road noise is the single most common complaint I receive from MAZDA3 owners as they begin their quest for replacement tires. As such, the following list consists of tires I recommend to MAZDA3 owners based off the expectations of comfort, low tread noise and acceptable levels of treadlife.

If you're also in the market for a set of wheels for your MAZDA3, then create a Tire & Wheel Package.

Incredible Pricing on the BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSI Snow Tire

Friday, November 15, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

For a limited time, we're able to offer extremely low pricing on the BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSI in the select size of 225/70R16. Priced at $67 per tire, or $268 plus shipping for a set of four, this tire will move fast as we head into the busy winter months. 

This Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow tire offers a large amount of biting edges, while its symmetric tread pattern features an optimized sip. It was developed for the drivers of crossovers, SUVs and light-duty pickup trucks looking for the ability to get where they need to go in the worst wintry weather. Winter Slalom KSI tires provide traction that's ready to handle winter's cold, wet, slushy, snowy and icy roads.

Featuring a unique micro-pore rubber compound mix that provides a grip mechanism to generate traction on ice and snow, the tire doesn't compromise much in terms of wet grip. The tire's internal structure includes twin steel belts on top of a polyester casing, while BFGoodrich's ETEC System (Equal Tension Containment) of spirally wrapped nylon provides a consistent footprint and maximizes tread area contact to enhance winter driving control.

When the Winter Slalom KSI is approximately 50 perfect worn, a winter tread depth indicator molded into the tire's design lets you know the remaining tread depth is reaching the end of its ability to provide beneficial snow traction. It's also recommended that drivers install this tire in sets of four only.

Act now before this tire is gone!

KMC XD Series Rockstar Wheels for Your Truck or SUV

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

One of our most popular wheel lines for trucks and SUVs is the XD Series line-up from KMC. Featuring 16 different styles in varying finishes, KMC offers a little something for everyone. The series also has fitment options for 5, 6, and 8 bolt patterns for a large number of make/model fitments.

Of all the wheels we offer in the KMC XD Series line-up, the hottest seller has been the Rockstar. Featuring a traditional 5-spoke pattern but styled with aggressive accents, this wheel looks good and is a winning recipe for a wide variety of trucks. It's available in different diameters and widths and features offset measurements suitable for both stock ride height and lifted applications. Buyers can select between black painted, chrome plated and machined with black accent finishes to match the color theme they are looking for.

Search by vehicle to find a KMC XD Series wheel for your truck or SUV.

The Best Winter / Snow Tires for Dry and Wet Roads

Monday, November 4, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

As we head into the winter season, it's important to remember that not every winter / snow is appropriate for every climate. While northern climates in the United States and most drivers from Canada can find logic with an aggressive Studless Ice & Snow tire, this performance category isn't necessarily for everyone.


Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4


If the majority of your winter is spent on dry plowed roads or wet slush, you may want to consider a Performance Winter / Snow tire. Tires in this category have higher speed ratings than those in a Studless Ice & Snow category and are known for more responsive handling on plowed or wet surfaces. With these higher speed ratings, the tires feel more composed at speed and perform better in transitions with sharp steering inputs. Make no mistake, while Performance Winter / Snow tires may not be quite as favorable in deep snow or on ice as a Studless Ice & Snow tire, they are beyond capable in winter conditions. Two options worth considering in the category are the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D and the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4.

To learn more about the differences between winter performance categories, read "Understanding the Tire Performance Categories for Winter / Snow Tires."