Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.88
 
 

1990 Volvo 780 Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: West Boylston, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
December 27, 2013

If you are a fan of the Gislaved Nordfrost tire, but you either can't find them or they are too expensive, look no further. This IS the Nordfrost III tire as cast with the General Tire brand.

Anyone who knows about the Volvo 780 Bertoné knows it is a fair weather car. But with these tires (studded) I am fully confident again in winter driving. These replaced my Toyo snow tires which had horrible damp/moist road traction. More than one I had sever oversteer in cornering with VERY light throttle. With these Generals, the exact same corner with similar or even wetter conditions held up much better.

I had these studded and to be honest with the windows open at slow speeds, it sounds like one is driving on a gravel road. But the satisfaction of mounting a crest with a RWD vehicle while others even with AWD are foundering makes me feel like I made the right choice.

I chose studded tires as part of my daily commute includes an area prone to black ice that does not get salted as it adjoins a watershed. The Toyos were "okay" with their "walnut embedded grit" but the studded tires are superior.

Best of all, in stopping these actually allow my older ABS system to function even in snow. Cornering performance is also much improved. It's all good that you can "go" in snow, but stopping and avoiding is just as important. Something many people tend to forget when deciding what tires to choose for snow. IMO, All-Season tires are *NOT* adequate replacements for snow tires.

Note to those interested in studding. They are noisy. If you are sensitive to road noise, or do not live in a salt restricted area with a lot of frozen run-off, you probably don't need to stud the tires. BUT, they do make a difference in emergency stopping.

Another note, if these are using the same tread compound as Nordfrost tires, you really need to stop using them if temperatures are averaging above 40-50° otherwise they can wear out faster than expected.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Friday, February 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.

General Altimax HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.45
 
 

2007 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Rego Park, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
December 17, 2013

Bought those to replace factory's Continental's.
Pros: about $100 of savings for a 4-set, good ride quality, noise is acceptable, good handling and responsiveness.
Cons: terrible on light slow or ice relative to competitors, wears off quickly (30K miles for me, though I'm a spirited driver).
After those I bought a set of Michelin Primacy MXV4 which was $150 more but with snow / ice performance dramatically improved and lasted 45K miles instead of 30K - the Micheline turned to be cheaper per mile plus additional winter safety.
Now I ordered Pirelli Cinturato P7 - will see if those are any better.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43

Monday, February 3, 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.

General AltiMAX RT43 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

2012 Subaru Forester
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 09, 2013

I put these on my SO's Forester to replace the OE Dueler H/T which were just about the worst tires ever made. She travels 45 minutes to work each way so I wanted a dependable tire that would handle occasionally significant snowfalls.

These tires are very good in dry and wet conditions. They have a nice smooth ride with minimal noise at any speed. The steering response in dry conditions so far feels like they're summer performance tires, I am very impressed. They have a little trouble braking in heavy rain but nothing that the ABS can't work out.

We just had 6" of dry powder snowfall so I took it out a few miles to test them out on suburban unplowed roadways with a temperature of around +20F. They performed very well for an all-season tire. Starting up and stopping were no problem even with Subaru's VDC turned off. The ABS kicked in a few times during moderate breaking but that is expected with any tire in the snow.

I found an icy parking lot that was recently plowed (the snow as very packed and icy). I did some cornering and braking tests there and I was less than impressed. The car understeered dramatically (traction control can't correct understeer) and the ABS kicked in immediately during braking. That is to be expected on ice with an all-season tire, but I feel it could be better.

Overall these tires are good. I rate them well in dry and wet conditions as well as deep and light snow, but average in ice traction.

I will review them again at 15,000 miles of treadware and answer if I would buy again.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Optimo H426

Friday, January 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.

Hankook Optimo H426 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.62
 
 

2003 Volkswagen Golf GL TDi
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Miles driven on tires: 26,000
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 26,000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2014

Put these on about a year and a half ago; great tires while they were on (quiet and pretty grippy) but after about 26,000 miles the tread was down to 3/32. I got them replaced for the prorated warranty amount, but had to pay for installation of the new tires and chose to get the road hazard warranty which worked out to pretty much the same amount that I got back from the warranty (120 for install + warranty, 132 back on the cost of the tires).

As far as traction in snow, I drove in some light snow and they were OK, but not very good (comparing them to the 4 sets of other tires that were all about the same price). I have an under powered car and there was some slipping under acceleration, even light acceleration.

They wore evenly; I rotated according to my vehicle manufacturer's specifications (10K) and kept them inflated WARM at 40-42 PSI. Most of my suspension is pretty new. I corner briskly but am otherwise not an aggressive driver.

Would not buy again, but tread life is really important to me.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S

Monday, January 27, 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.

Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.14
 
 

2004 Toyota Tundra Extra Cab 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Montclair, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
January 06, 2014

I've been through three sets of these tires and they have all been out-of-round, which caused annoying vibrations and steering wheel shimmy. I really liked the look of these tires, but it was not worth the constant annoyance caused by the vibrations. Had them road-force balanced multiple times and all four tires from the most recent set were under 8 lbs (very good), but the vibrations were still there. Road force matching only works if the wheel has a heavy/light spot as well. My wheels were pretty much perfect so there was nothing that could have been done. I replaced the Geolanders with a set of Michelin Latitude Tours and the vibrations are now gone. I will never buy Yokohama again.

 

Goodyear's Wrangler All-Terrian Adventure with Kevlar Does it All

Thursday, January 9, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar is Goodyear's newest On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tire slated to replace the highly popular Wrangler SilentArmor. Last year, Goodyear provided us an opportunity to experience this tire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of America's top areas for outdoor recreational activities. They offered several on-road and dirt-road experiences behind the wheel of a variety of SUVs and pick-up trucks in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains.

Most notably, our team felt the tire provided a quiet and comfortable ride. Also, the tire's open shoulders and multi-faceted tread blocks delivered predictable steering response and traction on dirt.

 Goodyear Wrangler Adventure All-Terrain with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler Adventure All-Terrain with Kevlar
 Goodyear Wrangler Adventure All-Terrain with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler Adventure All-Terrain with Kevlar


Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires are developed for light truck drivers looking to combine on-road competence with off-road versatility. Offered in Standard Load sizes for half-ton vehicles, the tire is also available in Pro-Grade Load Range E sizes for three-quarter and one-ton pick-up trucks, vans and SUVs that regularly haul or tow heavy loads.

This new addition to the Goodyear line-up features a longwearing, specialized rubber tread compound (Pro-Grade tires use an even more chip- and chunk-resistant tread compound that enhances wear in high-torque applications). These compounds are molded into a multi-faceted symmetric tread design that combines rugged looks along with on-road comfort and off-road traction. Open shoulder blocks and traction ridges at the base of the outboard circumferential grooves help clear mud and snow (Pro-Grade tires meet the industry's severe snow service requirements and are branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol).

If you're in the market for an On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tire that can deliver superior ride comfort and road noise, while combining off-road versatility then consider the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar.

No Spare Tire? We've Got the Option for You!

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the last several years, many car manufacturers (particularly BMW) have been switching to run-flat tires as Original Equipment with the advertised benefit of up to 50 miles of driving range once the tire has completely deflated. This ability can be very convenient when weather or other conditions do not allow for the driver to safely install a spare tire. 

With the addition of run-flat tires, most manufacturers will typically remove the spare tire and jack from the car. Even more interesting, many new cars with conventional tires are being delivered without a spare tire as well. With or without run-flat tires, what option is there in the event of a flat tire? Continental has the answer with their ContiComfortKit.

The Continental ContiComfortKit can easily restore sufficient pressure and seal many small punctures, allowing the tire to be used on a temporary basis until a garage or tire shop is found. In many cases, car owners have elected to purchase a full size wheel and tire to have available for longer trips or when driving in rural areas where help may be hard to find. We can help you find an inexpensive wheel (either steel or aluminum alloy) and tire combination that can be used for an extended period of time!

Continental ContiComfortKit Features:
  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (More secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity LED supplemental work light

Every ContiComfortKit has a "use before" date printed on a seal that's placed adjacent to the instructions of the face of the ContiComfortKit. The date identifies the latex liquid tire sealant's forty-eight month life span from the time the sealant was bottled. If you already own a ContiComfortKit and the "use before" date is reached, you should replace the sealant canister with a new one by ordering ContiComfortKit Replacement Parts.

Best Toyota Avalon Tires

Monday, November 25, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Toyota's full size sedan, the Avalon, has been a very popular vehicle for many years. Most owners hold on to their vehicle for a long time and eventually need replacement tires.

It's difficult to go wrong with a set of Michelins. And, the best choice for the Avalon is the Primacy MXV4. This top-rated Grand Touring All-Season tire does it all. Along with offering a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride, the Primacy MXV4 provides excellent year-round traction, including in light snow. The tire also comes with a 60,000-mile treadlife warranty.

If you're looking for a great performance tire, then take a look at the Continental ExtremeContact DWS. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tire has one of the highest ratings when it comes to winter 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" wears away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road capabilities. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only.

Do you live in an area where winter / snow tires will be needed? Then look no further than the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. I always say if you can't get through the snow with this tire, then you should just stay home. The WS70 is the fourth generation of Bridgestone WinterBiter tires designed to deliver wintertime traction and control that inspires driver confidence. Blizzak WS70 tires meet the industry's severe snow service requirements and are branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol

Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy
MXV4
Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact
DWS
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
Bridgestone Blizzak
WS70


To view all options available for your Toyota Avalon, shop by vehicle.

Best Performance Winter / Snow Tires 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

A Performance Winter / Snow tire provides the perfect blend of excellent snow and ice traction, while providing great dry road steering response and handling. These tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. They're available in many of the low sidewall profiles, large wheel diameter sizes used on sporty coupes and luxury sedans, as well as several crossover and sport utility vehicles.

 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60


Currently, two tires that rank very highly in overall winter performance are the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D and Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60. Both of these tires have high marks in light snow, deep snow and ice traction. However, both of these tires are being replaced and phased out by newer and improved models in the 2013 winter season. The newest Dunlop is the SP Winter Sport 4D, while the new Bridgestone model is the Blizzak LM-32. Both are built off their successful predecessors and are expected to be top winter performers as well.

 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
 Pirelli Winter Sottozero
Pirelli Winter Sottozero


When it comes to dry performance, the top tires in the category are the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero. These two tires provided the highest level of dry road steering response and handling, but still have a dedicated winter rubber compound for enhanced snow, ice and cold weather driving.

So, if you drive a high performance vehicle which will experience snow, ice and freezing temperatures, but don't want to take the fun out of your daily commute, look for a Performance Winter / Snow tire for your vehicle today!

Deciding When to Put on Winter Tires

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Colin .

On my way into work last week, I noticed the road crews had put salt down due to some early season ice. Here in South Bend, Indiana, we've also experienced some light flurries. However, I will not be putting on my winter tires until later in November because highs this week are expected to reach the low 60s. If I lived somewhere like Rapid City, South Dakota that has already shoveled out of one storm and is expecting another, I would be driving on snow tires. 

Since tire tread depth is one of the key elements to a winter tire's performance, it is best to maximize their life by only using them when necessary. A winter tire will start to lose quite a bit of its traction once it's worn down to approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth. Many winter / snow tires have a "snow platform" molded into their tread to show you when it's time to replace them. Also, as a tire wears, it loses its tread design features that provide its biting edges. For example, look at the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 (photo above) at full tread depth and you will see the grooves and siping that give this tire its traction. Those will gradually disappear as the tire wears.

What makes a tire like the Blizzak so special during the winter months? It features dual tread compounds consisting of outer tread cap and underlying base compounds. When viewed through a microscope, the outer Blizzak Multicell compound resembles the appearance of Swiss cheese because it has millions of uniformly distributed microscopic pores that are constantly being exposed as the tread surface wears. In addition to providing thousands of miniature biting edges, the tire's pores help wick away the thin layer of water that often develops on top of snow packed and icy roads, allowing the biting edges to better adhere to the surface for more traction. The underlying base compound is a standard winter tread compound.

While there is no exact date for installing your winter / snow tires, factoring in the temperature and first snowfall are good indicators of when it's time. Don't own winter / snow tires? Shop by vehicle and find the set that's right for how and where you drive.

Replacement Tires for Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Friday, October 25, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Earlier this year, I went to my niece's high school graduation. Unfortunately, after I left to come back home, my brother experienced a tire issue. On Sunday afternoon, he found himself dealing with the problems you can see in the photos below:

Mouseover Text Here
Tire Puncture
Land Rover Ranger Sport Tire Woes Inner Tire Wear
Inner Tire Wear
Land Rover Ranger Sport Tire Woes Inner Tire Wear Top View
Inner Tire Wear


My sister-in-law's 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport already has 25,000 miles on it. And since there was a small diameter wound in the center of the tread, this puncture could be repaired if it didn't have abnormal wear. As you can see, there's excessive wear on the inner shoulder exposing the belt edge strip and sidewall plies. The inner wear could be a pattern with the vehicle's chassis or the alignment is off and running too much negative camber. My brother or sister-in-law should have their dealer check the alignment. If they get the vehicle aligned, the paper will clearly point out what alignment specification was corrected.

I told him that the punctured tire needed to be replaced because of the risk of tread separation at the excessive wear point. It was also advised that he have the other tires checked. He checked and found the same excessive wear on the inside of the other tires. The tires may not have even been rotated and should have been rotated every 5,000 miles.

Of course he emailed me asking what tires he should use to replace his current set. I provided him with the following two options:

  1. Purchase four 275/40ZR20 Michelin Latitude Tour HP tires at $356* each plus shipping. He could rotate the symmetrical non-directional Latitude Tour HPs every 5,000 miles in the X-Pattern. Treadwear will vary with driving style, road conditions and other factors, however my sister-in-law should be able to get more lift from the Latitude Tour HP's all-season compound.
  2. The second option suggested was a set of Yokohama Parada Spec-X tires for $192* plus shipping. It combines impressive looks and confident handling with year-round traction in a wide range of weather conditions, including light snow.  

Shop by vehicle to view all the recommendations for your application.

*Prices subject to change

Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013-2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Colin .

Now's the time to purchase your winter / snow tires! Winter tires are offered in three performance categories: Performance Winter / Snow, Studless Ice & Snow and Studdable Winter / Snow.

Performance Winter / Snow tires are for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for those who want to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs. Studdable Winter / Snow tires provide basic snow traction and/or the additional security by adding optional winter tire studs to enhance traction on ice.

Bridgestone

The Blizzak WS70 and DM-V1 are ranked highly in the Studless Ice & Snow category and continue to score well in our customer feedback. We've been the largest single source of Blizzak studless winter / snow tires in the United States since their introduction in 1993 and have always been impressed with their traction on ice and in snow.   

Dunlop

Dunlop is replacing their very popular Performance Winter / Snow SP Winter Sport 3D with the SP Winter Sport 4D. The tires were developed for sports cars, coupes and sedans that come from the factory equipped with low profile tires mounted on large diameter alloy wheels. They provide dry, wet and snow-covered road competence by delivering traction throughout winter's cold temperatures. Also, when you purchase a set of four SP Winter Sport 3D or 4D winter tires before the end of the year, you can receive a $60 mail-in rebate. View special offer details here.

Michelin

In the Studless Ice & Snow category, take a look at Michelin's X-Ice Xi3, and if you own a light truck or SUV, consider their Latitude X-Ice Xi2. Both tires provide good ice and snow traction, along with predictable handling in cold, dry and wintry conditions. The X-Ice Xi2 meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance that contributes to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions from CO2 gases.

View all the brands of winter / snow tires we carry and find the one that's right for your vehicle.

Best Ford Focus Tires

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by Steve Huffman

One vehicle that has done well for Ford is their fuel efficient Focus. This car recently went through a makeover and has a very sleek design. Many owners will keep their car for thousands of miles and will need to replace their tires. Below are a few good options to consider when the time comes.

Are you looking to improve your vehicle's fuel economy? One of the top tires would be the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology. This Grand Touring All-Season tire offers a very quiet and comfortable ride. Featuring a silica-enhanced, all-season tread compound, the PureContact with EcoPlus Technology incorporates Continental's Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads.

Do you want to improve the handling of your Focus? Then take a look at the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2. It combines on-road performance with all-season traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions. Providing Hankook's ideal ultra high performance all-season balance, the tire blends handling and cornering performance with all-season traction, even in light snow.

Finally, with winter quickly approaching, consider the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 as a dedicated winter / snow tire. I use this tire on one of my vehicles and have been able to drive through any winter condition with total confidence. Once you drive on a snow tire like this, you'll never go back to all-season tires for winter driving. The Blizzak WS70's flexible rubber compound significantly improves the tire's grip in cold conditions, while the bite particles attached to the tubes scratch at packed snow and icy surfaces for traction.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Hankook Ventus S1
noble2
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak
WS70


To view all options available for your Ford Focus, shop by vehicle.

Best Minivan Tires

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Steve Huffman

In the early 1980s, Chrysler introduced the Dodge Caravan. More than thirty years later, the Caravan and many other minivan models can be found on the road shuffling families from school, to the grocery store and back home again. These vans quickly replaced the station wagon and have never looked back. Today, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota make up a large portion of the minivan market in America. When looking to replace tires on your minivan, consider the following options.

One of the best tires for a minivan is certainly the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring. This is one of our top-ranked Grand Touring All-Season tires. As the name entails, this is a very smooth, quiet and comfortable riding tire. It also has superior all-season traction and has a very long lasting treadlife.

An option to consider from Michelin is their Defender. Currently the highest rated Standard Touring All-Season tire, it provides excellent year-round traction. This tire has also been designated by Michelin as one of their Green X options, which is engineered to provide better fuel economy. It's also one of the longest lasting tires, as it's offered with a 90,000-mile treadlife warranty.

Another great option for minivan drivers is the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia. While Dueler tires are typically meant for light trucks and SUVs, many of the new minivans are using larger 17" and 18" sizes. This tire makes a great option if you fall in this category. Not only does it have great year-round traction, but it's also a low rolling resistance tire that will help improve your MPG.

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Michelin Defender
Michelin
Defender
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia


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

Are Yokohama Tires Good?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Colin .

Yokohama has been around for many years and makes very good options to fulfill your tire replacement needs.

In the Max Performance Summer category, they recently introduced the ADVAN Sport V105. It's developed for the drivers of high-powered sports cars, sporty coupes and performance sedans who want an increase in agile handling with a more comfortable ride. Based on technology fostered through participation in motorsports and development at the Nurburgring Circuit in Germany (one of the world's most grueling race/test tracks), the tire is designed to promote dry traction and handling.

If you're shopping for something a bit more extreme, then take a look at the ADVAN Neova AD08 R. It's Yokohama's latest Extreme Performance Summer offering and provides an even higher level of dry traction and handling, while giving up some treadlife and ride quality compared to the ADVAN Sport V105.  

If you are looking for an all-season option that offers sporty handling, the AVID ENVigor is available in H- or V- and W-speed ratings. While the tire doesn't offer the high traction and handling attributes of summer tires, it'll last longer and give you some winter traction versatility.

Another all-season option to consider is the AVID TOURING-S. This Standard Touring All-Season tire is developed for the drivers of coupes, sedans and minivans and is engineered to provide good traction, excellent ride qualities and long treadlife.  

For those of you who own a truck, crossover or sport utility vehicle, Yokohama offers the Parada Spec-X. Based on survey results, the tire is rated number one by consumers in the Street/Sport Truck All-Season category. Two additional light truck/SUV tires worth considering, include the Geolandar H/T-S G051 and Geolandar A/T-S

View all Yokohama tires and find the one that's right for how and where you drive.

Toyota RAV4 Tires

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by Steve Huffman

The Toyota RAV4 has come a long way since its 1996 debut. Today, its a very sporty, modern mid-size SUV that's popular with many drivers. If it's time to replace the tires on your RAV4, consider the following options.

One of my favorite tires for this vehicle is the Yokohama Parada Spec-X. This Street/Sport Truck All-Season tire has a great feel. Designed to combine impressive looks and confident handling, it provides excellent year-round traction in North America's wide range of weather conditions, including light snow. The tire also is a quiet option for drivers who don't like road noise.

Another great option for RAV4 owners to look at is the Firestone Destination LE 2. This Highway All-Season tire combines long wear, a comfortable ride and all-season traction. It's not as sporty as the Yokohama, but it offers better all-season traction. The tire is also long-lasting as it comes with a 60,000-mile treadlife warranty.

Finally, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season is the top-rated tire in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category. It reduces rolling resistance and tire weight compared to Pirelli's previous CUV/SUV tire lines to increase fuel economy and lower the vehicle's CO2 emissions. The tire sits in the top spot in its category because it receives high marks in the following areas:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Cornering stability
  • Dry traction
  • Steering response
  • Ride comfort
Yokohama Parada Spec-X
Yokohama Parada
Spec-X
Firestone Destination LE2
Firestone Destination
LE 2
Pirelli Scorpion Verde A/S
Pirelli Scorpion Verde
All Season


Shop by vehicle to view all tire options available for your Toyota RAV4.

What Are the Best Replacement Tires and Size for the Honda Fit Sport?

Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Time for new tires on your beloved Honda Fit Sport? The Original Equipment tires in the 185/55R16 size were available with two options, the Bridgestone Turanza EL470 and Dunlop SP Sport 7000 A/S. These tires, however, didn't fare all that well in our customer survey results. With that in mind, consider the following offerings in the 205/50R16 size. This size is only .1" taller and about 3/4" wider than the original size. It'll mount on to the factory wheel and fit without rubbing or any fitment issue.

In this alternate size you will have options ranging from Passenger All-Season to summer performance tires. To gain an understanding of the differences between tires, read "What Tire Performance Category Do I Need?"


General AltiMAX HP

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Fuzion Touring


The General AltiMAX HP features a directional tread pattern for better wet grip and comes with a 55,000-mile treadlife warranty. Developed to be a smarter tire for smarter drivers, the AltiMAX HP addresses many treadwear quality and year-round traction challenges faced by the drivers of today's sports sedans and coupes. Always attractively priced, the tire is a great bang for your buck.

Continental's ExtremeContact DWS is designed to satisfy year-round driving needs by blending dry and wet road performance with light snow and slush traction. Customers love the tire as it has been ranked number one in the Ultra High Performance All-Season category for quite some time. The tire receives high marks in hydroplaning resistance, wet traction and dry performance, however the thing that sets this tire apart from the rest is its ratings in snow and on ice.

Affordably priced, the Fuzion Touring blends good treadwear, a quiet ride and all-season traction on dry and wet roads. Ranked just outside the top ten in the Grand Touring All-Season category, the tire receives excellent marks in most categories.

View all 205/50R16 sized tires and choose the one that's best for how and where you drive your Honda Fit Sport.

When Looking for the Best Brake Rotors and Pads, Don't Forget New Brake Wear Sensors

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The brake wear sensor or brake wear indicator is an added safety feature on many vehicles that warns drivers if the brake pad friction material becomes too low. It's mounted on the back of the brake pad and the sensors monitor and determine the condition of the pads. Brake wear sensors alert the driver it's time to replace brake components with an audible chime or light on the dash. There's a small circuit embedded in the sensor mounted in the brake pad; when the friction material becomes too low the brake rotor wears through the sensor and cuts a circuit. This triggers the vehicle's computer to alert the driver brake service is needed. 

 Centric - Brake Wear Sensor
Centric Brake Wear Sensor
 Brake Caliper
Brake Caliper


It's recommended to replace brake wear senors any time brake pads are replaced. Centric's Brake Wear Sensors are high quality replacement sensors that fit with no modifications needed and are now available at Tire Rack.

  • Original Equipment replacement for vehicles equipped with brake pad wear sensors
  • Monitors the condition of the vehicle’s brake pads
  • Includes all necessary plugs and hardware

All Centric premium brake components are engineered and manufactured using stringent, well-proven production processes and parts that pass the stringent quality assurance standards of O.E. manufacturers as well. Also, Centric’s in-house engineering department analyzes each part to ensure proper performance and fitment for every import and domestic application. This attention to detail guarantees that Centric parts will perform as good as or better than the factory original.

When searching for the best brake rotors and pads for your car, don't forget to replace the brake wear senors. Shop by vehicle to see if replacement brake wear sensors are offered to complete your brake upgrade.

High Mileage Tire Offering from Michelin

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Michelin, one of the most respected names in the business, has always been a brand that's associated with excellent wear and long treadlife. While the company previously offered the Harmony and HydroEdge with Green X with 80,000-mile or higher treadwear warranties, these products have been consolidated and replaced with the Defender. Like its predecessors, the Defender has been extremely well received in regards to excellent treadlife, low noise and a good ride.

The Defender is available in 38 sizes to fit many of today's passenger cars and light-duty crossover vehicles. It features a 90,000-mile treadlife warranty and has proven itself as a capable all-season option. Currently ranked as the top tire in the Standard Touring All-Season category, the Defender receives high marks in the following areas:

  • Dry Traction
  • Steering Response
  • Ride Comfort
  • Treadwear
  • Hydroplaning Resistance
  • Cornering Stability
  • Wet Traction
  • Noise Comfort

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Michelin Defender:

"These are the best tires I have ever purchased. They run quiet and have a soft ride. There is no slipping or sliding on turns and they feel like they are glued to the road." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2010 Toyota Prius IV

"Fantastic tire. Definitely the best tire I have ever had. Extremely quiet, stable and a great ride." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Pontiac Vibe

"The Defenders are quiet and have amazing traction in Oregon rain. No hydroplaning and I get 36 mpg on the freeway. They are on our 2009 Toyota Camry XLE. I'm now buying them for our Cadillac! I have never been more pleased with a tire purchase." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Toyota Camry XLE

Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Starting with 2008 model year cars and light trucks, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been required for all new vehicles sold in the United States. While some vehicles (Audi and BMW most recently) use the ABS system (or indirect system) to keep watch for a deflating tire, most use a battery powered sensor (based in the base of the valve stem assembly) to give the most accurate read of your tire pressure. When replacing tires or wheels and tires as a complete package, the presence of these remote sensors can require a few extra steps in the purchase and/or installation process.

Why does my installer charge a "TPMS" service fee for installing new tires?

Many of our Recommended Installers will charge a TPMS service fee as part of new tire installation. When the old tire is being removed from your existing wheel, it's best to remove the TPMS sensor (and the attached valve stem). This avoids any damage caused by breaking the tire bead loose from the wheel as well as seating the new tire onto the wheel. Once the sensor has been removed, it will require a new "O" ring and/or compression ring to seal the sensor properly.

What happens if I do not add new TPMS sensors to my Tire & Wheel Package?

When we sell a set of wheel and tires, we're happy to mount and Road Force balance the tires to the wheels at no cost prior to shipment. Given the TPMS sensors are located inside the wheel (opposite the valve stem hole), the sensors (if requested) need to go in the wheel before the tires are installed. Without the sensors installed, most vehicles will display a warning light and chime upon engine start up (the light will continue to blink as long as the engine is running). Some vehicles may also limit your ability to turn off traction control if you need to "rock" out of a snow drift in winter or even limit engine output. In many states, an active TPMS system is required as part of the state's safety inspection, and any illuminated warning lights may cause the vehicle to fail its annual safety inspection. With your purchase, you can elect to add the correct sensor (at an additional cost) or choose to have your existing sensors removed from your old wheels and installed on the new wheel. If run-flat tires are being purchased with new wheels, new sensors are required.

If I purchase new sensors as part of my Tire & Wheel Package, what else needs to be done before use?

Many vehicles require new TPMS sensors be activated or initialized at an authorized repair facility or dealership. This process normally involves connecting the vehicle to a service computer (via the ODB port under your dashboard) and having a technician load the new sensor's ID codes into the car's computer. Most cars will need to have this activation service performed each time wheels and tires are changed out (like when changing from dedicated winter wheels and tires back to your summer/all-season set). As always, consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer for more information.