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."

Do Studdable Winter / Snow Tires Come Studded?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

"When I purchase a set of Studdable Winter / Snow tires, will they arrive studded or unstudded?" All studdable winter tires we sell can be sent with or without studs installed. It's important to note that only new tires that have never been driven on can be studded. Tires already driven on cannot be studded nor re-studded.

Studdable Winter / Snow tires without studs are still effective winter tires and many drivers choose not to stud them. If you desire a higher level of traction due to challenging conditions, studs can be added to any tires in this performance category for a $15 charge. 

When placing your order online, simply check the box to add studs when prompted in the checkout.  Because studdable tires are manufactured with different tread depths, studs are manufactured in different lengths that must be matched to the depth of the holes molded in the tire. We will select the correct gauge of stud for your specific tire and ship them out with the studs pressed in.

A Studdable Winter / Snow tire's tread is often lubricated to facilitate stud installation, therefore a special tool is inserted into the molded hole, spreading the tread rubber, and inserting the stud towards the bottom of the hole and retracting. With the stud inserted, the tread rubber compresses around the stud's flat head and cylindrical housing to hold it in place. Because it takes some time for the lubricant to evaporate and the tread rubber to securely compress around the stud, new studded tires require a break-in period.

Some states prohibit studded winter tires completely or restrict them to seasonal use. Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

To learn more about using studded tires in the colder months, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Will My Wheels and Tires Come Mounted and Balanced?

Thursday, October 17, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

"When I order a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, will it come mounted and balanced?" Yes! As an incentive for purchasing wheels and tires at the same time as a package, we will take care of the mount and balance free of charge. In this way, the package will arrive pre-assembled and ready to bolt on to your vehicle. As is standard with most vehicles, lug hardware will also be included free of charge. The rare exception to this rule would be if your selected wheel re-uses Original Equipment lug hardware.

It's also possible to receive your wheels and tires unmounted if you're swapping over tire pressure monitor sensors. If this is the case, simply do not elect to have the wheels and tires mounted when completing your order and proceeding through the checkout phase.

When purchasing tire pressure monitor sensors with your Tire & Wheel Package or you own a vehicle that does not require them, selecting to have the mount and balance done before shipping makes the most sense as it will help you avoid mount and balance fees locally. Create your Tire & Wheel Package today!

Black Rock Steel Wheels Now Available for Trucks

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Looking for more than an aluminum alloy option for your truck? We are pleased to announce the addition of Black Rock wheels to our inventory. With Black Rock now available to customers, there are sixteen new styles to choose from for your Jeep, SUV or lifted truck.  

Steel wheels are a cost effective and popular option for consumers looking for off-road capability or winter use. Black Rock wheels are available in various spoke counts and come with a black painted finish. Options are offered for most 5-, 6- and 8-lug patterns for late-model trucks. Both affordable and durable, Black Rock wheels feature heavy gauge steel rims that won't chip or crack, look great and provide rugged styling for tough off-road conditions.

View all Black Rock wheels available and see if one is right for your application.

Introducing the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

Thursday, October 3, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Dunlop's newest Performance Winter / Snow tire, the SP Winter Sport 4D, is now available for the upcoming winter season. Like the tire it replaces, the SP Winter Sport 3D, the new SP Winter Sport 4D features a directional pattern that has proven to be excellent at evacuating slush and snow. It also retains its high speed rating (V for most sizes) and looks to be a continued acceptable performer on dry and plowed roads.  

Drivers will see only small changes when compared to the older model, with the largest improvement coming in the form on brick styled sipes. Over the past winter season, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D made a name for itself as the highest rated tire in its class.

The tire utilizes a motorsport derived silica-plus tread compound that delivers high levels of grip, particularly on wet roads and in low temperatures. Dunlop's 4D Sipe System combines their 3D sipe technology with transverse sipes to create independent micro-blocks that generate better footprint pressure distribution to enhance snow handling and cornering grip.

Comparing the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 and Blizzak LM-32

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Earlier this year, Bridgestone announced the replacement of its popular Performance Winter / Snow tire, the Blizzak LM-60. While the Bridgestone Blizzak line has always been known for its top-of-the-class winter traction, it has given up ground recently to some models that offer competitive levels of grip, but tend to handle better on dry or wet plowed roads.

The new Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 aims to pick up where the LM-60 left off while increasing steering response and dry road handling. Offered in numerous sizes and featuring speed ratings as high as W (168 mph), the new LM-32 should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a tire that can handle most anything winter throws at it, while still being pleasurable to drive on when conditions aren't as nasty.

Higher speed ratings traditionally correlate directly with on-center feel, lane change responsiveness and sidewall rigidity. The higher the speed rating, the better the tire typically performs under such criteria. With that said, apart from a higher terminal top speed (LM-60 is H-speed rated for 130 mph), the new LM-32 looks to be a better handling tire than its predecessor, but still retains the aggressive directional pattern the Blizzak line is known for.

To learn more about the Blizzak line from Bridgestone, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."

Studless Ice & Snow or Studdable Winter / Snow Tires: Which is Best for You?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

In recent years, Studless Ice & Snow tires have improved greatly. Aggressive tires from this category, such as the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 lead the pack for drivers looking for maximum traction without metal studs. Studless Ice & Snow tires feature soft compounds, deep aggressive tread patterns and lots of tread void for the evacuation of slush and snow.

If you live in an extreme environment you may feel the need to use a Studdable Winter / Snow tire. Studded tires provide an extra amount of bite on ice by using a stud that touches the road between the tire's contact patch. The General AltiMAX Arctic and Firestone Winterforce are included in this category and do not come studded, but can be sent with studs pressed in for an extra $15 a tire. While studs provide a small advantage in the most extreme of environments, they do have their trade-offs. Studded tires are noisy and not allowed in all states. They can also reduce performance in dry and wet conditions. Make no mistake, studded tires are capable but that performance comes at a cost.

Which tire you select will depend on where you live and where and what you drive. If you look around the parking lot at our headquarters in South Bend, Indiana this coming winter, you won't see many, if any studded snow tires because our climate isn't that extreme. If our base camp was located high in the Rockies, the tables might turn. There's simply a case to be made for using different tools for different jobs.

To recap, here are some pros and cons for each category:

Studless Ice & Snow

Pros:

  • Reasonable road manners
  • More than adequate snow and ice performance
  • Friendly on dry and wet roads

Cons:

  • Will give up a slight grip advantage to a studded tire on glare ice

Studdable Winter / Snow

Pros:

  • An extreme tire for extreme environments
  • No more expensive than a Studless Ice & Snow tire

Cons:

  • Road noise
  • Not meant for dry and wet roads
  • Not legal in all areas

Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire that's best for how and where you drive.

Steel Wheels are Arriving!

Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Although it seems hard to believe, the fair weather will soon be fading and half the country will once again be facing another winter season. One of the most popular preparation items that we sell during the winter months are Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages. While these packages can be ordered using alloy wheels in various sizes, many consumers choose to take a more cost-effective approach with a traditional steel wheel.

Steel wheels may not look as nice as an aluminum option, however they are quite durable, serve their intended purpose and cost less than a basic aluminum wheel.

Currently arriving in stock in large quantities, steel wheels will be ready for shipment to get you prepared for the winter weather ahead.