Can You Put Non-Run-Flat Tires on Run-Flat Wheels?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Many drivers are uncertain whether they can put non-run-flat tires on wheels that originally came with run-flat tires. The short answer: yes.

Run-flat tires and regular tires that are the same numeric size will have the same physical dimensions, and can fit properly on the same wheels. The only difference with run-flat wheels is they usually have an extra hump behind the bead seat. This hump would help keep the run-flat tire in its proper place on the wheel while driving without air pressure. It does not affect the performance or compatibility of the non-run-flat tire.

A few words of caution: If you are changing to non-run-flat tires from run-flat tires, make sure you have a plan for what you will do in the event that you do have a flat tire. An air compressor and sealant can easily seal a minor puncture. A plug kit can also be useful for a temporary repair. You should have some sort of roadside assistance that you can call if you have a larger puncture. Some cars may have space to store a spare tire, though some cars with run-flats do not have any convenient location for the tire.

If a spare tire is an option, remember that you should maneuver more cautiously when your vehicle is equipped with a Temporary/Compact Spare tire and three standard tires. Any differences in tire traction can reduce vehicle handling and increase braking distances, especially in emergency situations.

Whether you're looking for a set of non-run-flat or run-flat tires, shop by vehicle and view all options available for your application.

Low Dust Brake Pad Options

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Does your vehicle have squeaking brakes or pads that produce too much dust? You may want to consider a move to a ceramic pad. Ceramic pads leave a lighter trail of dust than traditional pads with a higher metallic content and are typically very quiet. While ceramic pads do not have the necessary heat range to be used effectively in a track environment, they are still appropriate for some spirited drivers.

Ceramic pads meet or exceed all Original Equipment standards for durability, stopping distance and noise. According to durability tests, ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials and outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin - with no sacrifice in noise control, pad life or braking performance.

As mentioned earlier, another characteristic that makes ceramic pads attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. The ingredients in ceramic compounds produce a light-colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to your vehicle's wheels. Consequently, wheels and tires maintain a cleaner appearance longer.

If you're considering a ceramic brake pad for your vehicle, take a look at the following options:

For more information on using a ceramic brake pad on your application, read "Why Ceramic Brake Pads?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 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 Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10

1995 BMW M3
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Miles driven on tires: 6,900
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,900 Miles on Tires
June 14, 2014

Absolutely the BEST Max Performance Summer tire! I have these tires on my 95 ///3, and they actually "transform" the handling of my ///3 to unlimited potential. The feeling whilst driving with these tires is that of a roller coaster. Meaning going around corners, exit/entrance off ramps, rides like my ///3 is "On Rails". Driving makes you want to go faster and these tires feel as if they have no speed limit. Braking is excellent in dry & wet. Driving sideways is must with these (only for the real drivers please :)). One of my favorite features of this Michelin Pilot SS (245/40-17)is that whenever my tires get "Armor All-ed" the shine pops and stays. In addition to; the usual handling (dry & wet), ride comfort, noise, tread-wear, gas mileage etc...the Michelin Pilot SS = Absolutely the BEST Max Performance Summer tire!!!

Marketer Becomes Tire Tester

Monday, July 14, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

After three-and-a-half years on the job, I finally got the call I was waiting for: a chance to be a Tire Rack tire tester! Along with other members of the Tire Rack marketing team, this was OUR opportunity to get behind the wheel of our test BMWs and develop our own opinions on tire performance and truly understand what it takes to get our findings out to our customers.

Having already experienced the Real World Road Ride portion of our tests, I was prepared to look for a tires’ ride, noise and light handling qualities across a variety of conditions. The second part of testing, the Performance Test Track Drives, occurs on our track, and was what I had been waiting all these years to do.

We can see the track from our offices in marketing, we thought we knew what to expect, we were both nervous and excited. As one of our designers said, “I see our testers driving faster than I would want to go. The unfamiliarity of driving another’s car with someone else riding alongside me makes me uncomfortable.”

No worries. We weren't going to be competitive. (The photo at right proves we did take it pretty seriously though)

We got into the cars, we were told to drive at a level that made us comfortable. What made ALL of us comfortable was driving on the set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The tire allowed us to feel like we were in control of the car and have some fun behind the wheel as we slalomed a few cones, took some turns at speed and navigated the skid pad (And did I mention this was all done while our track's sprinkler system kept the course covered in water?). When it came to the Sumitomo Touring LS T tires we also tested, it was a completely different story. We were able to feel the vast difference in performance and gain a deeper respect for the testers out there all season doing what they do while listening to the car and the tires so they can accurately report on performances wins and losses.

Here's my rookie review of the two tires.

When driving on the Pilot Super Sports, I felt as if I could driver faster and take turns at speeds I typically don’t, as the tire gave me that much confidence. Now on the Sumitomo, I was braking much sooner to prepare for a turn. If I didn’t I would end up in the grass (even though I didn’t end up in the grass, I can’t say the same for some of my co-workers).

We didn't do a full test on the wet and dry course. And we're by no means expert testers like our sales specialists (who are our test drivers). But rest assured, you're in good hands when you're relying on the test results you read on the tires we offer. Our testers do this all season long and they've got my respect. And trust.

Here are our expert test results and more about our testing program.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Monday, July 7, 2014 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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.27

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Marinette, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
June 14, 2014

My Jetta Sportwagen came standard with 17" Conti ProContact tires. They were well used up by 50,000 miles. I liked the Conti tires due to good responsiveness and cornering/braking. The Contis were always quite poor in snow, but since I also have a 4x4 available, not a big issue.

The first thing I noticed with the Pirellis is the sudden quiet on the highway! It is difficult to quantify how much quieter the P7s are than those Contis, but the difference is almost shocking. The P7s are great on wet and dry roads and they still provide good feedback in corners. The P7s are obviously better in snow than my worn out tires, but better than the ProContacts ever were in snow. The P7s are NOT great in snow however, so don't think of that as a ringing endorsement. It's more of a "they don't absolutely ----." If you need snow tires, get snow tires people.

I love these P7s because of the quiet, smooth ride, great handling and feedback and somewhat improved snow performance. The P7s are just a better tire in every category in my mind. I thought the Contis were great until I got the P7s.

Continental TrueContact: Strong All-Season Performance and Longevity

Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Summer testing season is underway and one of our latest tests is quite promising for Continental's newest entry to the Standard Touring All-Season market. Tested against several of its competitors, the new Continental TrueContact posted the fastest lap times of the group in the wet and also featured the shortest stopping distances in our 60-0 mph braking test. Long known for good wet performance, Continental continues the trend with this new high mileage offering.

Coupled with strong wet performance, the TrueContact features mile warranties between 80,000 and 90,000 miles depending on speed rating. TrueContact tires use an all-season tread compound that features Continental's Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The compound is molded into a symmetric design that provides continuous tread contact with the road to enhance steering response and handling while three wide circumferential grooves promote hydroplaning resistance and wet traction.

During our short time with the tire, it seemed to deliver on the goals of good road manners plus excellent wet traction. Take a look at "Continental TrueContact Introductory Drive" for a more complete look at this new potential class leader.

Is the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 Building a Lasting Legacy?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

This past weekend the sports world saw two champions add to their legacy. The new U.S. Open champion added another major title to his resume, and the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth N.B.A. title since 1999. There’s something to be said about consistently being on top – a place that’s familiar to the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2.

Since its premiere in our survey results back in February 2013, the tire has only known one spot: on top. It has been the top-ranked tire in the Ultra High Performance Summer category because it receives high marks in several areas: hydroplaning resistance, cornering stability and dry traction.

Honed by decades of BFGoodrich g-Force racing where success on the street begins with winning on the track, the tire is used by the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at Miller Motorsports and Skip Barber Racing for their schools and race series. With racing technology successes incorporated into its design, the g-Force Sport COMP-2 delivers sharp steering response along with wet and dry grip without sacrificing treadwear.

“Accelerate faster. Corner harder. Brake shorter.” This bold statement from BFGoodrich was what we were to expect from the tire when we received it for testing back in July 2012. It definitely impressed! During our time with the tire, it delivered impressive traction, especially in the wet. We determined that it is a very capable Ultra High Performance Summer tire that was ranked first, as it beat out the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 and Yokohama S. drive.

What will the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2’s legacy be when all is said and done? With 17 straight months in first place, it appears it will be go down as one of the best Ultra High Performance Summer tires.

When you buy a set of four BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires before July 12, you can receive a $70 MasterCard Reward Card.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Friday, June 13, 2014 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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.22

2010 Dodge Journey
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Saline, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2014

The factory Kuhmo Solus KH16 tires were getting pretty close to done by 40k miles. As the Kuhmos were lousy performing and obviously didn't wear well, I was looking at the Goodyear Assurance. However, the Goodyears were considerably more expensive than the Kuhmos and didn't review even as well. Then I saw the P7 as new in this size, about the same price as the Kuhmos, and decided to give them a try. (The 800AA rated Conti TruContact was not yet available in my size but might be a good comparison, albeit more expensive.)

What an upgrade! The Journey is not exactly a handling machine, but the P7s made it feel like a totally different car. Far better dry, wet and snow traction, braking and handling, much quieter and gives a better ride. The only drawback was a drop in highway mileage of about 2-3 mpg, which was somewhat surpriasing given the EcoImpact rating of the P7. Probably due to the Kuhmo compound being rock hard - and as such, sacrificing pretty much all performance qualities for a better OEM mileage rating.

It remains to be seen how the P7s wear - but if they wear well, there is no question I would by these again. Highly recommended!