Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.6

2011 BMW 335i Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: San Diego, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
June 15, 2012

One thing I didn't realize about my 335 was that I'd be changing the rear tires every 15K. Then I was even more scared when I realized that the stock Brigestone Potenza RFT's were 860 bucks for two tires. I started researching and found a bunch of tires that were non run flats that were much cheaper. Great! Then I found some that people love to AutoX with and were only 200 bucks a piece! Awesome! I autox from time to time and was stoked. I debated on the whole run flat thing, but the consensus among anyone that knows anything is that run flats ----. So I jumped. I put the Hankook Ventus V12's on.

I was pumped, it was supposed to be a superior sticky AutoX tire that was quieter and softer for 50% the cost. WOW. So I started driving on my new tires. Definitely quieter. Definitely good grip. Pulled on to the highway. All of a sudden the car starts tramming hard. Then the back end starts flapping in the wind like I had marshmellows on the back. They were terrible. I had no idea how anyone under the age of 65 liked those tires. Horrible. I was then told that nothing will suit my fancy other than run flats if I wanted that stiff responsiveness. So I researched and found these guys.

What a difference. Better performance than runflats, quieter, grippier, excellent steering response and cheaper. Not by much, but cheaper. A definite no brainer. Best tire for the money.

A 2012 Street Tire Auto-X Favorite: Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Although the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec's name is a bit taxing, its popularity and test results have been quite clear. As one of the top Extreme Performance Summer tires, the Z1 Star Spec has been a hit among drivers looking to be competitive in street tire racing classes which demand a treadwear of 140 or higher.

It seems that the creation of a new class, dubbed Street Mod Street or SMS for short in SCCA's SOLO II category, has added to the Dunlop's popularity. This class allows drivers of highly modified vehicles to use the Star Spec as a more cost-effective alternative to R-compound tires. Where as before in Street Modified, the only way to be truly competitive was to run a low tread depth tire (2-4/32") and extremely soft compound (Hoosier A6). Now drivers can enjoy tires that can be driven to the event, wear much longer and are easier on the budget -- all while staying class competitive.

Recently, I went to a SCCA event in Fort Wayne, Indiana and counted approximately 15 cars using this tire. The types of cars varied greatly and included the SMS class winner in a well-prepared Acura Integra, as well as two newer body style Mustang GTs, an E46 BMW M3 and a handful of Miatas. Given the large amount of available sizes ranging from 14-18", the tire's low price point and phenomenal track times, I can't say that I was surprised at what I saw.

If you're looking to outfit your sports car, sports sedan or grassroots racer with a competitive street tire, then watch "Testing the New Extremes of Extreme Performance Summer Tires" and see how this tire can help you enjoy driving more.

Installation is Even Easier!

Thursday, March 15, 2012 by Gary Stanley

Concerned about where to have your new tires installed? No worries, we have an extensive list of Recommended Installers who are ready to handle your installation needs at a great price. Also, this list just got quite a bit larger! 

We are pleased to announce that all 800+ Sears Auto Center locations have joined our Recommended Installer program as of February 1, 2012.

This addition represents the first time we'll have an installer group strategically located within mainstream shopping destinations, as Sears Auto Center locations are directly connected to shopping malls. These new locations to our program will add to the convenience of getting your tires installed, but also help you pass the time with many stores and shops near Sears Auto Centers. 

Not only will these new locations be convenient, but they also offer a very competitive price. To see prices, view the chart below. Note that the "Series" of the tire is the second part of the tire's size. For example, a 205/65R15 is a 65 Series tire. More information on sidewall aspect ratio can be found by reading "Tire Size Guide."

  • 60 Series and up        $12.00
  • 50-55 Series               $12.00
  • 40-45 Series               $15.00
  • 35 Series and lower    $19.00

We have also added an enhanced map feature showing the locations of each installer along with the corresponding number of where they rank in the listing based on ratings and distance. Also, you can link directly to MapQuest for exact directions to the installer’s location. This new feature will help ensure that the installer you choose is close to your home or office.





Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5

2009 Audi TTS 2.0T Quattro Roadster
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Laguna Niguel, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 26, 2012

Great tire - I have a long commute and was looking for a tire that had high performance characteristics but with a bit more mileage since I tend to accumulate miles quickly on this car.. Nice compromise. Handling sharpness and steering response is a step down from the oem conti sport contact 3's that came on this car when new. However, these are super quiet, smooth, handle rain very well, and have barely worn 10000 miles in.. I probably wouldn't like these if i auto crossed this car - but for a fun commuter, these are perfect..


How to Get Your New Tires Installed

Friday, March 2, 2012 by Alex Mouroulis

We offer many options when it comes to shipping destinations. Many customers prefer to receive their order at home so they can take their tires to an installation facility. We are able to ship to your place of work, home or alternate address. There's also the option of shipping directly to your local garage.

If you don't have a garage in mind, be sure to find one of our independent Recommended Installers near you. We've carefully screened each facility to ensure they have the right equipment and experience to satisfactorily serve our customers. In fact, to become a Recommended Installer a company must:

  • Use proper mounting and balancing equipment including touchless or rim clamp, European-style tire changers and high-speed computer spin balancers.
  • Employ properly trained technicians capable of safely performing damage-free installations.
  • Be an automotive business that can offer additional services to customers (alignments, complete repairs, auto detailing, etc.)
  • Possess a positive attitude and the ability to treat Tire Rack's customers with the highest level of professional courtesy.

Only after these criteria are met is a company approved to be a Recommended Installer for Tire Rack. So go ahead and find one near you.

Wheels for Your New Elantra

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Do you remember the Hyundai Excel? It was Hyundai's first serious push into U.S. market. Well, if you can conjure up an image or recollection of the vehicle, you can appreciate how far Hyundai has come with the new Elantra.

The 2011-2012 Elantra GLS is a nice-looking car at a reasonable price. If you feel like adding a little sportiness to your car, you can easily do so without spending a lot of money.

From 15" to 20" sizing, there are over 100 different wheel options available. With new wheel styles being introduced and some classic wheels on clearance, there are plenty of ways to add flavor on any budget. For example, the Sport Tuning 15" wheels are currently marked down to $49-$55* per wheel.

15x6.5 42mm offset Machined With Black Accent Sport Tuning T5 $55*
Sport Tuning T5 $55*
15x6.5 42mm offset Machined With Black Accent $49*
Sport Tuning T6 $49*
15x6.5 42mm offset Machined With Black Accent Sport Tuning T10 $55*
Sport Tuning T10 $55*

Your Elantra GLS either came with 15" wheels on the 195/65-15 Hankook Optimo H426 or optional 16" wheels running on the 205/55-16 Continental ContiProContact or 205/55-16 Hankook Optimo H426. Regardless if you have the 15" or 16" set-up, or even want larger wheels, be sure to find a Recommended Installer near your home or office for easy installation.

Are you wondering how a two-toned wheel will work with Elantra's overall styling? You can get a pretty good idea by taking a look at this wheel style on the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe which debuted at the Chicago Auto Show:

2011-2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS FAQ:

  1. Will the Sport Tuning Wheels accept my original Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors? Yes, your installer can move your existing TPMS sensor to these wheels.
  2. I also want to get new tires. Can Tire Rack mount, balance and deliver the tires and wheels so they're ready to be installed? Yes, if you decide to purchase tires, we offer free mounting and balancing. I would consider the Yokohama AVID ENVigor as a good choice to improve overall performance and wet grip. The total for this Tire & Wheel Package with the Sport Tuning T6 is $668.***

*Limited stock, prices subject to change

***Including TPMS sensors, excluding shipping

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR Z III

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Sumitomo HTR Z IIIReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.5

2003 Ford Focus SVT
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 18000
Location: Allen, Tx
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 18000 Miles on Tires
November 30, 2011

I was quite surprised how well these tires preformed. When new, they were quiet, very responsive, and overall comfortable on the road.

Now that they have 18000 and some change on them, they've begun to dull. The noise over rough surfaces has increased and the response has become average. I can't really complain, they took some auto-x in the summer combined with all-around spirited driving and have lasted almost as long as other tires that made MANY long trips.

Will definitely pick up another set in the spring.

215/45-17 Tires for Your Toyobaru

Thursday, December 8, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
After what seems like decades on the concept car show circuit, Toyota and Subaru are beginning to release production versions of the Toyobaru. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota FT-86 (Scion FR-S in North America) are premiering at the Tokyo Auto Show. On paper, the Toyobaru checks all the right boxes with rear-wheel drive for proper handling, proper engine placement for balance and low weight for overall performance. 

Along with showing the car at the Tokyo Auto Show, the Toyobaru partnership lent out a few test cars. The consensus is that Toyota and Subaru have really hit one out of the park, way out of the park, like beyond Waveland Avenue. 

Right now, hundreds of driving enthusiasts are dreaming of the Toyobaru that'll soon be parked in their garage. If they're truly hardcore, then they are already dreaming about the vehicle's tires, too. We know the Toyobaru will run 215/45-17, but it isn't clear what Original Equipment tire will be picked.

What if the 215/45-17 O.E. tire chosen for the Toyobaru isn't what I'm looking for, what should I purchase as a replacement? Subaru plans to sell the BRZ at a higher price point relative to the FR-S. Hopefully, this will allow Subaru to equip the vehicle with a set of the Dunlop SP Sport 600 on the production BRZ. These Dunlop performance tires are the Original Equipment on the 2011-2012 Subaru Impreza STI and their reputation was honed as the O.E. on the 2008 Nissan GT-R, and Nissan used the SP Sport 600 on their record-breaking Nurburgring runs.

The Scion FR-S will be priced more aggressively so Toyota may try keep the car in budget by using the 215/45-17 Grand Touring All-Season Michelin Primacy MXM4, O.E. on the Lexus CT 200h. Fortunately, there are several 215/45-17 tires suitable for the Scion FR-S. If I'm going to spend money on a new car, I'd want to great tires at a good price.

215/45-17 Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec
215/45-17 Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec
215/45-17 Hankook RS-3
215/45-17 Hankook
215/45-17 Kumho Ecsta XS
215/45-17 Kumho
Ecsta XS

The Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec ($143*), Hankook R-S3 ($129*) and Kumho Ecsta XS ($129*) are all good choices but I'd select the Z1 Star Spec for it's versatility. It has great steering response, awesome dry grip and it performs decently in the wet. The Hankook RS-3 is slightly quicker in dry conditions, but gives up a lot when it comes to wet grip. The Kumho has great dry grip but has a numb steering response relative to the RS-3 and the Z1 Star Spec. They also suffer from average wet grip. 

Thank you Toyobaru for taking the road less traveled and letting us take our roads a little bit faster.

*Prices subject to change

General AltiMAX Arctic vs. Firestone Winterforce

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Are you still researching winter / snow tires? Well, Thanksgiving has just passed us by and it's time to pare down your list and decide what tires are right for your vehicle. And to help you with your decision, take a look at two options available in the Studdable Winter/Snow category: the Firestone Winterforce and General AltiMAX Arctic.

Firestone Winterforce
Firestone Winterforce
General AltiMAX Arctic
General AltiMAX Arctic

While a set of these Firestone auto tires and General winter tires can be studded ($15 per tire), most drivers are better off running them unstudded. Our testing found that driving without studs gives most drivers a better balance of snow traction, dry and wet road performance and ice grip.

Both tires are good choices but the General AltiMAX Arctic outperforms the Winterforce in many areas. The Firestone and General tires are comparable in moderate and deep snow, however the AltiMAX Arctic performs better in dry road handling, packed snow, ice and wet grip. Although all winter tires have tread noise, the AltiMAX Arctic has the added bonus of being significantly quieter. Customers agree with our test results as well, as this winter / snow tire is currently the top-rated tire in our Tire Survey Results.

General is owned by German tire manufacturer Continental, who supplies Original Equipment tires to many automobile manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen. So it's really no surprise that the AltiMAX Arctic is engineered so well to be a set of General truck tires for light duty applications, as well as a set of winter / snow tires for your SUV, coupe, sedan, minivan or crossover.

And whether you decide to purchase a new set of General AltiMAX Arctic tires or are looking for a set of Firestone tires for sale, use our Upgrade Garage to help you make an informed decision.

Cost-Effective Quality Brake Rotors from Centric

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
As a sales speciCentric Premium Rotoralist at Tire Rack, I get the opportunity to test all of the tires we sell. This includes performance auto tires, Passenger All-Season tires, truck tires and more. Occasionally, I like to step outside the box and review products that don't catch as much attention on our test track as the tires. It's nice being able to recommend all products we carry to customers through first-hand experience.

Having recently purchased a Mitsubishi Eclipse to use during the winter months, this vehicle was long overdue for random maintenance. One project at the top of my list was to fix the vehicle's brake system. Following years of driving abuse, the brake pad's metal backing plate had worn its way into the OEM rotors surface prompting immediate need for replacement brake rotors. 

With the issues that arose from the driving abuse putting me in the market for new rotors, I went with the Centric Premium Rotor for several reasons. Featuring a high quality casting with a good internal cooling vane structure, these rotors help protect against warpage. In addition, the rotor face on both sides is machined to have a cross-hatch design to improve pad bed-in. Once more, these castings are completely dipped in an anti-corrosive material to resist oxidation. From my experience, this final measure is very rarely done and is not found on most cost-effective brands. Without this coating you will most often be left with a rusty rotor that isn't pleasing to the eye and is damaging to the rotor.

And, to help you choose the proper braking equipment for your vehicle, read "Choosing Brake Components." The Centric Premium Rotors have worked well on my new Eclipse and are available at a great price for a large variety of applications.

Shop by vehicle
to find the rotors that will help get rid of your vehicle's unwanted noise and vibration.

Not Enough Space in Your Garage?

Thursday, August 18, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
After you buy auto tires for the summer and winter driving season, what is the best way to store the extra set that is not in use? Providing a seamless look for tire storage, the Tire Garage keeps tires up to 27" in diameter organized while freeing up extra space in your garage.
  • Keeps tires clean and dry
  • Protects tires from UV degradation
  • Universal fit due to unique buckle and internal skirt system
  • Recommended for indoor storage only
Retaining its color and strength after years of use, buy Tire Garage after you purchase new auto tires for the winter and summer season to keep tires clean and protected. Read "Storing Tires" to see how heat and exposure to the elements can influence a tire's aging process.Tire Garage

Michelin LTX Tires

Thursday, August 26, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Michelin has established itself as one of the premium brands in the market today by offering long lasting tread life with a smooth comfortable ride -- Michelin Auto Tires.

Two of Michelin's top pickup tires and SUV tires include the Michelin LTX A/T 2 and the Michelin LTX M/S 2.

Michelin LTX M/S 2 Michelin LTX M/S 2
  • Available in 40 load range, sidewall and size configurations from 15-20 inch
  • Developed to combine long life with all-season capabilities while blending a smooth comfortable ride with year-round traction
  • When compared to the original LTX M/S the new LTX M/S 2 is an evolution in looks and a leap forward in performance with Green X Technology and 3-D Active Sipes
  • Highway All-Season Tire
Michelin LTX A/T 2Michelin LTX A/T 2
  • Available in 36 load range, sidewall and size configurations from 15-20 inch
  • Developed to provide even wear and low noise with year-round traction and the durability expected from rugged off-road tires without forsaking on-road comfort and handling
  • Maximum biting edges dig into nearly any surface for better off-road traction on dirt, mud, gravel and wet grass
  • On-/Off-Road All-Terrain Tire

Maintain Mobility in the Event a Tire is Punctured

Friday, June 25, 2010 by Jonas Paeplow

Auto manufacturers have eliminated the spare tire in many of their new models, opting instead for the use of run-flat tires or a portable tire repair kit. So far the trend has been most prevalent with higher-end vehicles, however General Motors recently introduced its new compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze sans spare tire.

Car makers today believe that the mandated implementation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) over the past several years has significantly reduced the likelihood that a flat tire will leave you stranded. In addition, eliminating the spare, including the jack and tools can reduce the car's weight by over 25 lbs. Decreased weight is one of the ways new car engineers are able to improve fuel economy.

Run-flat tires can allow you to continue to drive safely for 50 miles at up to 50 mph in most cases with 0 air pressure in the tire. Unfortunately, run-flat tires are more expensive than their non run-flat counterparts plus ride comfort and in some cases tread life can be less than stellar.

So if you don't have a spare but you don't like the idea of putting run-flat tires back on your car...what do you do?

Continental Tire North America, Inc. has introduced the ContiComfortKit (CCK) to the NorthContiComfortKit American replacement market. This system is designed to temporarily seal a tire puncture and provide extended mobility up to 125 miles.

The ContiComfortKit comfortably restores mobility in a few easy steps. The kit is simply plugged into a 12v power outlet; a flexible hose at the other end is connected to the valve of the flat tire. Once the sealant tank is flipped up, a twelve volt compressor re-inflates the tire at the push of a button and simultaneously fills the tire with a latex based, liquid sealant, which seals the puncture. As a result, the tire can be used at a maximum speed of 50 mph for up to 125 miles. Drivers can get to the nearest tire shop and do not rely on road side assistance. A built-in light allows for easy use even at night.

The CCK is only 9.5" long, 7" wide and 4" high. It weighs only 5.5 pounds and does not require permanent installation. It is simple to use and provides mobility in minutes. It can be easily stored in the trunk of the vehicle. The kit can also be used as a compressor to check and monitor tire pressure through a built-in compressor and tire gauge.

The CCK has already been a success with car manufacturers. Since its introduction, it has obtained original equipment approvals for BMW, Ford and Volvo to name a few.

  • If your new car has no spare and no room to store an extra tire/wheel...
  • If you don't like the stiff ride or the expense of run-flat tires...

To learn more about the ContiComfortKit, watch How to Use the ContiComfortKit.

Matching tires on your four-wheel drive vehicle

Monday, June 14, 2010 by Ethan Burns
Four-wheel drive is not just for trucks anymore. More and more four-wheel drive, also called all-wheel drive or AWD, is turning up on some unlikely cars.
  • Mercedes-Benz calls it 4-matic
  • Volkswagon states 4-motion
  • Infinity and BMW use the letter X or XI in their name
  • Audi uses Quattro
Whatever the moniker, the rule stays the same. Every one of these auto makers recommends that when it's time to replace the tires, all four tires should be replaced at once.

The reason for this is that when the vehicle is rolling in all-wheel drive all four of the tires should be rotating at exactly the same speed. If one new tire (at full tread depth) is introduced to the car, this tire which is actually larger in overall diameter will attempt to rotate slightly slower at less revolutions per minute, than the other three.

This may cause problems with the all-wheel drive unit that will cost far more to repair than the cost of the other three tires. Pay now or pay later. The wise money is on four-of-a-kind.

Tires for your AWD vehicle.

It's National Tire Safety Week!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Yep, that's right! This week is devoted to the tires on your vehicle. It's all about keeping them in top condition so that your safety on the road is never compromised. Proper tire care is extremely simple and truly very easy. And as one of your favorite auto tire stores, Tire Rack is more than willing to help out with expert tire safety tips and vehicle-specific advice.

For example, our Tech Center is loaded with the latest information about tire pressure, alignment, rotation and more. Our easy-to-read articles help you through a variety of common tire issues. We share this information because we firmly believe that if you take care of your tires, they'll last anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 miles.

But if you think it's time for a new set, now's the time to buy. We have a number of Special Offers from some of the top tire brands in our inventory. Not sure what you need? Give our Tire Decision Guide a try. Just answer a series of questions about your vehicle and it'll give you a list of tires that could potentially be your new favorites.

Remember, your vehicle is only as good as the tires it drives on. If yours are less than perfect, it will certainly affect the way your vehicle handles. Which, as you know, can lead to an entire list of problems.

Be tire safe this week. And encourage others to follow along.

Should I go SLOTTED for my rotors?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Mac McNabb
Cryo-Stop RotorSo you just purchased a new Mustang or BMW 335...a new sports car. You have upgraded your tires to the best Bridgestone or Michelin, and have your new wheels on order. Next stop...upgrading brakes!

Now there are some technical decisions to make. Solid, dripped, slotted, 2-piece, big brake kit...too many options. Let's tackle slotted/drilled versus solid first.

Do you drive aggressively? Check. Do you plan take the car auto crossing...check. Do you get to the road course...not planning to do that. If this describes you, a solid rotor actually will be the best choice. Here are the physics behind that:

The more mass that you have the more quickly a rotor can disperse heat. This leads us in two directions. First it doesn't pay to turn rotors (takes away valuable mass) and second if you don't need slots and holes (drilled) your brakes will actually cool faster!DBA 4000 Series Rotor

Now if you are looking to run on the track and have successive high-speed stops, then racing rotors are for you. The purpose of a drilled/slotted rotor was actually to dispel gasses that can build up with repeated hard hot laps from high speeds to low speeds. Not necessary for 99% of the road driving we do. 

Now, there always is the aesthetic factor. Drilled/slotted looks are different, and some people find that desirable. That's fine, it isn't going to be greatly detrimental to your stopping power, just remember it is not a performance upgrade as much as it is an aesthetic upgrade!

Under Pressure

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 by Jonas Paeplow

Most vehicle owners do not check tire pressure nearly enough. An American Automobile Association (AAA) poll suggests that 85 percent of motorists do not even know how to check tire pressure.

The most important job a tire has is to support the load to which it is attached. Tires are rated to handle specific loads but only at a predetermined air pressure. By keeping the air pressure set correctly, tire performance, longevity and fuel economy are optimized.

According to tire industry data, 85 percent of all tire air pressure losses are the result of slow leaks that occur over a period of time. Tires typically lose air pressure through natural leakage (permeation) at a rate of about 1 psi per month. In addition, tire manufacturers say that seasonal climatic changes result in air pressure losses of 1 psi for every 10 degrees F decrease in the ambient temperature.

Here in the Midwest, differences between summer and winter temperatures average about 50 degrees F, resulting in a net loss or gain of approximately 5 psi in air pressure. This variation is enough to drastically affect handling, traction and durability of the average tire if the pressure is not adjusted. Even temperature fluctuations during an average day can make a difference. Variations between nighttime and daytime temperatures in this part of the country can average 20 degrees F and result in pressure changes of more than 2 psi.

A tire pressure survey of more than 5,400 vehicles’ conducted in March-May 2009, by the Rubber Manufacturers of America found:

  • Only 9% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires.
  • 50% of vehicles had at least one under inflated tire.
  • 19% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 8 psi

According to government statistics, in the United States, 660 lives are lost and 33,000 are injured every year due to tire pressure related accidents. Improper tire pressure costs an extra $3.7 billion in fuel annually and every year, 4.5 million tires need to be replaced before reaching the end of their designed lifespan. A 10 psi loss of air pressure could result in a corresponding reduction in tire load capacity of 1,000 lbs. Overloading of tires combined with highway speeds will cause tires to overheat and lead to them to fail, prematurely.

Tire inflation pressure should be checked every month and before long trips. To properly check pressure, check tires when cold – before the vehicle is driven. Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure found on a label located on the driver’s door or door pillar or check the owner’s manual.

The most accurate way to check your tire pressure economically is with a digital tire pressure gauge. Two of the finest examples available at Tire Rack are:

The Accutire ABS Coated Air Gauge features heavy-duty construction to withstand shifting around in your glove compartment. Designed to last, it has an angled head and rubber coated handle for easy gripping. The LCD display is large and easy-to-read. If you forget to turn the gauge off, don't worry, it is equipped with automatic shut off. The tire gauge will read within 0.05 psi. The lithium battery will never need to be recharged or replaced. This digital gauge measures air pressure from 5-150 psi in 0.5-pound increments.


ABS Coated Air Gauge 

Accutire Digital Set Point Programmable Air Gauge w/Light is an easy-to-use, multi-featured gauge with an extra large, blue, backlit LCD screen and ergonomic styling. It measures psi from 5-99 pounds in 0.5-pound units, and includes the patent-protected Set Point programmable feature which allows for recording the factory-recommended tire pressure for both front and rear tires. Other helpful features include a white LED flashlight to make checking tire pressure at night or in the garage a cinch; an audible pressure signal; auto off; and a five-year manufacturer warranty.

Digital Set Point Programmable Air Gauge w/Light

But my car came equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, why do I still need to check pressures, why not just wait until the light comes on?

The system of computer and sensors to monitor tire pressure is known as Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). A major concern is that drivers of vehicles equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system will become over confident in the capabilities of their system and will be even less likely to confirm their vehicle's cold tire pressure

In the fall of 2000, following several fatal accidents involving tire inflation, tire failure and vehicle rollover, a bill called the Transportation Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD) was signed into law. This law mandates the use of a suitable TPMS technology in order to alert drivers of a severe under-inflation condition of their tires. All new models produced after September 2007 are required to have the system.

There are two types of systems on the market today — indirect and direct. As a tire loses pressure its rotational speed changes relative to the properly inflated tires. Indirect systems use algorithms to interpret signals from wheel speed sensors to detect a deflated tire.

Direct systems use separate pressure transducers mounted in each wheel that detect deflation and then transmit a frequency signal to a control unit which triggers an information lamp on the instrument panel. Both systems still require manual correction of the tire’s air pressure.

So why should you still check your tire pressure manually? Well, its a little like waiting until your oil light comes on before you check your oil, in other words, it could be too late.

A passenger car tire that requires 35 psi on a vehicle with TPMS may not trigger the lamp and warn the driver about pressure loss until it drops to 26 psi depending on the type of system used. Under the same circumstances, a driver of a light truck that calls for 80 psi won't be warned until just 60 psi remains. In both of these cases, significant load capacity has been sacrificed before the driver is warned.

Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive or what type of tires you ride, spending a few minutes every month checking your tires is time well spent. You'll save fuel dollars, premature tire replacement costs and who knows, perhaps you might save someone's life in the process. Isn't that worth it?

C6 Corvette Tires and Wheels (Part 1: Tires)

Friday, May 7, 2010 by Brandon Lorenc
I was talking to one of my Corvette customers the other day and he told me that in his Corvette club most members buy their Corvette Rims and New Automobile Tires from Tire Rack. By far the most popular tires I sell for this car personally are the Firestone Auto Tires, we are also one of the largest Goodyear Tire Dealers and I often sell the Original Equipment Goodyears for this car as well. But for people who don't want the O.E. Corvette Goodyear tires the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Run Flat tires are the most popular. People tend to like them because they are very high performance tires comparable to the Goodyears and usually less expensive.

FH Wide Oval Run Flat

Check back next week for my post on Corvette Rims to go with these tires!

We're not just another tire website.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Tire Rack is your complete source for all things auto tires and wheels. Aside from our collection of rims and tires online, you'll find first-hand product reviews from our sales specialists and Tire Rack consumers alike. We essentially don't hold anything back so that you can make the best purchase possible. And so that you can feel comfortable doing so.

In fact, now is most definitely the time to buy. With the onset of spring, we rolled out (pardon the pun) our biggest and best collection of aftermarket rims and tires to date...and a few other new things, too. Like car suspension products, a brake system upgrade and even a few engine tuning products.

Click here to see it all.

Tire Rack: The easiest way to price tires online.

Monday, April 19, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Shopping for new tires can be exhausting. The pressure is on to make the right decision because your safety depends on it. And when it comes to making that decision, all of the information you need is right here at Tire Rack. We know tires, and we share that with you in a way that makes it super easy to make a tire buy online.

After all, pricing is a pretty important factor in any purchase. But it's not the only factor. When it comes to tires, you'll need specific performance and sizing information. And that's why we give you the opportunity to search our entire inventory according to your vehicle's specifications.

Once you enter this information, you'll have access to a list of auto tires online that we've found to be appropriate for your vehicle. In other words, in just a few minutes you'll have more information that you could possibly imagine—without having to go from retail outlet to retail outlet.

And if you get lucky, your list might include a tire that qualifies for a special offer.