Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Destination A/T

Thursday, July 31, 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.

Firestone Destination A/T Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.93
 
 

2007 Toyota Tundra CrewMax
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Miles driven on tires: 35,000
Location: Odenton, MD
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 35,000 Miles on Tires
July 02, 2014

I had a set of Michelin LTX A/T2 tires on my truck for 50000 miles before they needed replacement. These Firestone Destination AT's have only 35000 miles on them, and I will be replacing them before the snow flies this year. The Firestone tires were highly rated and were $20/tire cheaper, so I went with a set. They never performed as good as the Michelins. I have had to use 4 wheel drive to climb up a hill on a highway that was covered in about 2" of snow because the truck kept breaking loose. I was even passed by a Kia going up that hill, talk about embarrassing. Now it has started to hydroplane in medium rain storms, even though I have approximately 1/2 of the tread left.
I will be going back to the Michelins later this year.

Add Style to Your Toyota Matrix with Enkei Performance Series Falcon Wheels

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Do you love your Toyota Matrix for being dependable and reliable? Would you like to give it an upgrade and make it stand out a little more? A new set of wheels will do the trick!

Enter our Upgrade Garage to view all options available for your application. Since the vehicle is offered with two different bolt patterns, it's important you correctly enter your vehicle's make, model and year. Selecting the right wheel all comes down to your personal preference, but I really like the Enkei Performance Series Falcon.

16x7 38ET Hyper Silver With Machined Lip $95*
Enkei Performance Series Falcon
16x7 38ET Gunmetal With Machined Lip $95*
Enkei Performance Series Falcon


The angular lines of the spoke design of the wheel echo the overall lines of the car, while two distinctive finishes let you pick the ideal match for your Matrix. With respect to function, the 7" wide 38 mm offset has virtually the same specifications as the 16x6.5" 39 ET Original Equipment Matrix wheel. A set of these wheels are also 100% compatible with your TPMS sensors so your installer can easily move your original sensors over to your new wheels.

Now that you've found a set of wheels to improve your Matrix's look, how are your tires holding up? Why not take advantage of our free mount and balancing to create your own Tire & Wheel Package. The General AltiMAX RT43 offers an outstanding combination of wet grip, road manners and overall handling at a great price. 

Search by vehicle and upgrade the look of your vehicle with a new Tire & Wheel Package.

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 Primacy MXM4

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 Primacy MXM4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.62
 
 

2013 Honda Accord Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
June 06, 2014

Our 2013 Honda Accord Sedan with the Sport Trim Pkg comes with either Goodyear Eagle RS-A2
or Michelin Primacy MXM4. My experience with the Goodyear Eagle RS has been very disappointing and it took my dealer a week to find a 2013 Accord Sport with Michelin Primacy MXM4 on it from the factory. We have a 2009 Civic EX with the Goodyear above on it as it came with them and they are the loudest tire I & my wife have yet to experience. We became spoiled as mostly all of our Accords with the EX & EX-L trim pkg's are equipped with Michelin tires and most models have been superior. The Michelin Primacy MXM4 has been a strong tire for the 2013 Accord Sport as the 18" wheel/tire combo is more of a high performance All Season tire thus the MXM4(4=all season code). We have 15K miles on them and 12K+ of that is highway as we have driven to Florida & back twice and the balance is mostly local weekend driving as we only use the Accord for family trips & summer use. It is not driven from Nov-Apr as we drive to FL in mid-Oct, leave it there until we return in Apr. & drive back to NY in May. It then is driven throughout the summer month's as well as our annual Family Reunion (2-wks in Maine every August). We took delivery of this Accord in Oct. 2012, and 10-days later drove it to Florida. The Michelin Primacy MXM4 are a inch bigger than the tires/wheel pkg's that have come on our prior Accord EX & EXL's which are equipped with 17" alloys with matching Michelin tires. So, as for the 1st 15Kmi, we have been pleased with this tire, and don't expect any major opinion changes over the next 3-yrs. The 2008 Accord we had was an EX, and when traded for the 2013 with the Michelin Primacy MXM4 its Michelin's has 46k miles upon them.So please, try a set of Michelin Primacy MXM4's, you'll be glad you did as you'll start receiving dividends from the investment of your new tires starting when you 1st drive.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 15, 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: 8.88
 
 

2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

Believe it or not I drive my 911 year round. The factory Dunlop tires performed well in the dry, decently in the rain, but wear very quickly and were quite noisy. I had the Michelins installed on an aftermarket set of forged wheels lighter than stock. Right away the noise level was drastically reduced. Also, I could get the Dunlop tires to break away if I tried, the Michelins stick like glue. Handling confidence is up there with an r compound street/track tire. The sidewalls are stiff, but quite frankly I'd prefer that with low profile tires. The ride isn't busy by any means, but you can feel the stiffness of the tires over larger road imperfections. Knowing that my expensive wheels are protected improves driving confidence rather than a softer ride. I run dedicated winter tires on the stock wheels during the colder months, and while they ride much better the 'grip threshold is much lower as to be expected. Running tires without the Porsche "N" designation doesn't worry me in this case as I trust the Michelin brand. I have run Michelin tires on other vehicles with equally great results. The price/performance/wear expectancy of these tires made them an easy choice. I haven't driven enough to gauge wear, but the factory rear Dunlops lasted about 18 months and 7,500 miles before needing replacement. While this is understandable given the performance envelope the car is capable of, the noise level alone turned me off to getting another set. The front tires seem to last twice as long, but for a few bucks more I got a whole set of Michelins as opposed to just replacing the factory rear rubber. If the rear tires last 15,000 miles I will definitely be sticking with them.

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 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

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.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.45
 
 

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Miles driven on tires: 20,294
Location: Avon, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20,294 Miles on Tires
July 02, 2014

I drove three Winter seasons on my Blizzak DM-V1s. I kept them at the factory recommended 33 PSI cold inflation pressure. I'm not much of a speeder, but I tend to take what my nephews call "high-G" turns. I tow a boat and trailer that weigh slightly less than 3,000 pounds all Winter; if it's above freezing and I can get on the water somewhere, I go. I've used Blizzaks on several different vehicles and am always impressed by how well they work in snow and on ice. As expected, they feel softer than Summer tires and even slightly "greasy" on warm roads. The shoulder blocks wore fairly quickly on the tires. I began to see the hard base layer underneath the softer tread layer at the beginning of the third season. However, they performed fine, even when backing the boat trailer down a roughly paved boat launch ramp covered by six inches of damp snow and ice. My only complaint is that they make quite a bit of tread noise. But, hey, the aggressive tread is what makes them work so well in deep snow. I'll probably buy another set, since they're the only tires available for my OEM wheels, but I'm not disappointed by that.

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: 9.64
 
 

2003 Audi A8L
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location: West Seneca, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
June 26, 2014

Well, I finally stepped up to the plate and and purchased the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Summer in WNY, so I cannot attest to the performance in the snow as yet. I usually switch to the Blizzacks once late Dec & Jan arrive. The Audi, with the Blizzacks is actually better than my LTZ Suburban (all-wheel drive)in the snow. I have to say, after reading all the comments (positive & negative), that I am SO please with them that I needed to write one of these comment things. They are so quite; the car rides so smooth and handles effortlessly; and there has been "zero" dip in gas mileage. In fact a shade better. I did run GY/Assurance tires on this previously. I really thought they were a good tire, and they were. Not necessarily a cheap tire either, but handled really good overall. I even have them on "the bride's" car. But, from the minute I put these Pirelli's on, all I can say is, "WoW". "It's a joy to open the car door knowing I have to take a drive". My driving range is mixed city/highway, with trips across the state and into the cities I travel. My Driving Habits for the most part are normal. However I do get a little spirited at times. I have my own cadence, and do enjoy downshifting through curves just because I can (not that I need to all the time). It just makes driving fun. The tires, playing an important roll in this experience are critical. Besides the comfort and quiet that I have gotten out of these tires, they perform extremely well. Cruising, Breaking, Gripping in Curves, Overall-performance,they are the best I have had at this point in my career. I am very pleased and wanted to share that with you. I will come back and enter my opinion when the snow flies. We all know "ice is ice" and unless you're in a tank doing 20 MPH, nothing else will stop you.I would highly recommend these tires to anyone, not that any one tire performs the same way on all cars. Safe Drive to all! No Texting; Pull over and rest if you're tired!

Love is...Autocrossing. And Tire Rack.

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

A happy couple, fun with cars and Tire Rack. A perfect marriage in our book.

Angie and Woody Rogers, both Tire Rack employees, placed their first Tire Rack orders back in 1990 before even knowing each other.

Later they met and the rest is (autocross) history.

Woody, who began autocrossing in 1989, convinced Angie to come to an event for their first date. It wasn't long before Angie got behind the wheel and gave it a try herself. The motoring couple continued to compete in local, regional and national level autocross competitions around the country. And many sets of tires later, Angie eventually went on to win two SCCA National Autocross Championships!


Both joined the Tire Rack team on the same day in the summer of 1999. Woody has turned his love of tires and ample time behind the wheel into his role as one of Tire Rack's product information specialists and tire test program coordinator, while Angie has blended her graphic design training and management skills into her current role as print media buyer.

This time of year, you'll find them prepping their 2002 S2000 for yet another season of competition in the SCCA's STR class.


What's Installed? Woody Comments.

Dunlop245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza ZII Tires

"Chosen because it's an all-around performance leader. This tire is well suited to the task, and inspires confidence to push hard and place the car very exactly, both of which are critical to going fast."

TRMotorsports17x9.0 TRMotorsports C3 Light Grey Wheels

"These wheels have the correct fit plus light weight and economical pricing. It costs nearly twice as much to save just two pounds per wheel."

KW KW Clubsport Coil-Over Kit

"We've used KW Coil-Overs before, and they proved to deliver excellent damping control and a wide range of adjustability."

Eibach SpringsFront Anti-Roll Bar

"The Eibach Front Anti-Roll Bar is hollow for reduced weight and the two-way adjustability on the S2000 fitment helps tune handling as needed."

Intercomp 4" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

"Big enough to see from the moon, and always spot on accurate."

AquapelGlass Treatment

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

"The combination of Aquapel and PIAA Super Silicone wipers makes a great pair to assure visibility during even the heaviest downpour."

Braille Auto Lightweight Racing Battery (Carbon Wrap w/Mount) 6 lbs.

"Saving weight is an important part of this project, and this should shave nearly 40 lbs. from the car while still having plenty of cranking power."

SPCSPC Adjustable Ball Joint

"Installed in the front upper control arms, the SPC ball joints add additional adjustment range to the OEM suspension so we can get sufficient negative camber to optimize tire performance."