Best Replacement Tires for the Honda Odyssey

Thursday, February 27, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

When shopping for tires for the Honda Odyssey most customers tend to look for tires that are quiet, comfortable riding and provide good traction in snow and on ice. Because of the large open space inside the cabin of the minivan, road noise is always an issue. Choosing the right tire can really make a big difference.

A few great options to consider when replacing tires on your Honda Odyssey include the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring, Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Firestone's Precision Touring. All three provide the best blend of ride/noise comfort, all-season traction and price.

 Goodyear Assurance ComorTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
 Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
 Firestone Precision Touring
Firestone Precision Touring


Goodyear's Assurance ComforTred Touring features a mildly asymmetric tread design that combines independent shoulder blocks with notched intermediate and center ribs to blend dry and wet road traction and handling. Four wide circumferential grooves evacuate water from under the tread to enhance wet traction while the tread grooves, notches and sipes form biting edges to deliver all-season traction in light snow.

The tire's internal construction includes a super shock absorbent Comfort Layer of rubber sandwiched between the tread and steel belts to insulate vibration and impacts with expansion joints, potholes and bumps. It also features Goodyear's dual-layer ComfortEdge sidewall supports to provide a balance of ride comfort and handling.

CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology tires from Continental use an all-season tread compound featuring their Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with notched outboard shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs to blend on-road steering response and straight-line stability with reduced noise and enhanced ride comfort. All sizes of the CrossContact LX20 come with a flanged lower sidewall to help reduce the possibility of curb damage to expensive wheels.

The Precision Touring is Firestone's Standard Touring All-Season tire developed for the drivers of coupes, sedans, family minivans and crossover vehicles looking for year-round capability and comfort. Affordably priced, the tire is designed to blend long treadwear, a quiet ride and all-season traction on dry and wet roads, as well as in light snow.

Precision Touring tires mold a silica-enhanced all-season tread compound into a symmetric design featuring wide shoulders flanking interlocking ribs to provide dry road response and handling. Four circumferential grooves help guide water through the tire's footprint for wet traction while multiple notches and sipes provide the biting edges to enhance traction in light snow. The tire's structure includes twin, high tensile steel belts on top of a polyester casing to deliver strength, ride quality and handling.

Be sure to check out our test results and customer survey reviews to help you make a decision on what tire is best for how and where you drive.

Looking for the Best Coil-Over Kit for the Track or Street? Bilstein is the Answer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When looking to improve the performance of your vehicle, a coil-over kit can provide the most dramatic effects when it comes to reducing body roll, controlling bounce and adjusting ride height. A coil-over kit is best described as a spring, shock and bump stop incorporated into one assembly with the spring encompassing the shock and bump stop. It often uses an adjustable spring perch to allow different vehicle ride heights without changing the springs.

One of the most recognized and trusted names in the suspension industry is Bilstein. When it's time to upgrade the suspension on your vehicle, take a look at their PSS Coil-Over Kit, PSS9 Coil-Over Kit and PSS10 Coil-Over Kit.

 Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit


Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit:

  • Matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster
  • Includes application specific, progressive rate coil springs
  • Set your vehicle low and tight for optimized performance or revert to a more stock-like ride

Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit:

  • Fully adjustable monotube gas shock absorbers offer nine precise compression and rebound settings, from comfort to competition
  • The front and rear progressive rate springs allow for the accurate adjustment of a vehicle's ride height, stance, cornering balance and ride quality to maximize performance
  • Adjuster style differs per vehicle

Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit:

  • "Click" from comfort to competition with no tools or jacking required
  • The PSS10 Coil-Over System, evolved from the PSS9 system, adds a matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster to provide a complete suspension system for your vehicle
  • Ride height adjustable from -1.0" to -1.75" (front) & -1.0" to -1.75" (rear. minimum 1" lowering)
  • Lighter weight reduces wear and tear on suspension components
  • The Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over System offers ten vehicle adjustment settings and includes numbered adjusters at the base of the shock body so you know exactly what setting you are on without counting clicks

All Bilstein gas pressure struts/inserts and gas pressure shock absorbers operate on the same principle. They're designed with the rod pointing down into the strut tube, thereby utilizing the thicker, stouter body portion of the shock absorber to dissipate side loads. Due to the increased diameter and surface of the pressure tube, the Bilstein gas pressure strut/insert or shock is better suited to take increased side loads when compared with the conventional version.

Additional advantages, based on development strongly influenced by the motorsport industry, include increased stability, improved road handling and accurate steering. And extremely high quality manufacturing and materials as well as a weather resistant coating to resist oxidation, mean Bilsteins will last approximately four times as long as Original Equipment.

For more information on Bilstein products, read "Which Bilstein Replacement Shock or Strut is Best for Your Vehicle?"

Bilstein versus KONI Shocks

Friday, May 25, 2012 by Gary Stanley

As many sports cars have been coming out of storage and back into their summer wheel and tire set-ups, I've been getting a lot of inquiries about replacement performance shocks. Shocks play a vital role in a vehicle's handling characteristics. Replacing worn shocks with a new set of performance shocks not only will increase handling, but also improve the responsiveness and shorten braking distances.

Looking at the options offered by KONI and Bilstein is a good place to start your search. With lifetime warranties offered and decades of producing durable and rugged shocks, you'll be very excited with the performance they bring your vehicle.

While both brands produce great products, KONI's shocks have the added benefit of a product that's adjustable for rebound. Stiffer settings mean more responsive handling, while softer settings give a smoother and more comfortable ride. This allows the enthusiast to tune the shock to their personal preference in regards to this compromise.

And if new tires are also needed, take a look at all our special offers available.

If you're looking to buy shock absorbers online, be sure to shop by vehicle.

 

Suspension Shopping for my BMW 740i Part II

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Having already chosen the Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set for my 1997 740i, it's time to turn my attention to the the shocks and struts, known collectively as dampers. The available options include the Bilstein Touring Class, Bilstein Sport and KYB GR-2. 
 

The Touring Class and GR-2 are similar to one another in that they're both premium quality replacements for the stock dampers. They are valved about 10% firmer than the originals to account for the wear that accumulates in other suspension components over time and their goal is to provide ride and handling that equals or exceeds the Original Equipment.
 

The Bilstein Sport is a high-performance shock absorber designed for use with lowering springs. The mono-tube design, while more expensive to produce, has advantages for heat dissipation, longevity and consistent performance. 
 

Do I spend the money on the Bilstein shocks or save some cash and go back with a factory-equivalent part? The Bilstein Sports are the only replacement shock absorbers that are officially recommended to use with the Pro-Kit springs. Using the Touring Class or GR-2 with lowering springs would void their warranties. While this wouldn't be the first warranty I've ever voided when modifying a vehicle, I think that if I'm going to go through the trouble and expense of replacing them, it's worth doing it right. The Bilstein Sport was the winner and will make a great addition to my BMW 740i.

Great Handling with KONI FSD Damper Set

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Have you started to notice a little wallow in curves? Maybe a little squat on hard acceleration or dive under hard braking? Well, if your vehicle has the aforementioned symptoms, then your shocks and/or struts (dampers) are worn out and it's time for a change.

Normally you'll start to notice damper wear approximately between 75,000-125,000 miles. The exact point when changes occur varies based on how you drive and the conditions of the roads you encounter. Damper wear happens gradually, therefore it can be difficult for a driver to sense it. It may be helpful to have someone else drive and evaluate your vehicle as another driver would have more of a "tabula rasa" perspective.

When the time comes to replace shock absorbers, you should get a damper that gives you proper control in the curves and smooth ride on bumps, tar strips and different road conditions. Proper handling, however, requires a higher rebound setting. A higher rebound setting means a firmer ride on bumps as the vehicle chassis will slam back down as its springs expand.

With older damper technology, most shock absorbers were designed to offer a good ride or good handling. What if you want both? KONI's FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) Damper Set provides lower rebound forces on higher-frequency piston movements (bumps) but higher rebound forces on lower-frequency movements (turns). KONI originally engineered FSD technology for the Lamborghini Murcielago and FIAT is using it on the new North American FIAT 500 Abarth. In our testing we found the KONI shocks with FSD technology provided our E46 test cars with an amazing balance between ride on our rough northern Indiana roads and proper handling on our autocross track. Although the FSD worked well for us as BMW shocks, they're also compatible with a variety of vehicles including, an Audi A3, MINI Coopers (both R53 and R56), the Mazda 3, Volvo S40, VW Jetta and VW Rabbit.

Thinking about lowering your vehicle when you replace dampers? Take a good look at KONI FSD Damper Set & Springs which combines FSD's with Eibach Pro-Kit Springs.

Koni FSD Damper Set
KONI FSD Damper Set
Koni FSD Damper Set & Springs
KONI FSD Damper Set & Springs

For more assistance in picking the proper damper set, take a look at "Choosing the Optimum Damper for Your Vehicle."

Which Shocks Are Right for My Car?

Monday, October 17, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
KYB Gas-A-JustHave you ever felt that your car bounces more after you go over a bump? It just doesn't feel as connected to the road as it did when it was new? Shock absorbers are an expendable item that has a big effect on your ride quality. When it comes time to replace shocks, you're going to have access to your springs. This is a great time to add lowering springs.

Not every shock is designed for all driving circumstances. There are two major categories for aftermarket shocks: performance and touring.
  • Performance shocks give the firmer ride, and help reduce body roll. They are often combined with lowering springs for the ultimate handling combination.
  • Touring shocks are more focused on a soft, compliant and comfortable ride. Touring shocks add to that supple, luxurious ride by soaking up more impacts and road imperfections.
Listed below are a few terms that will help you better understand the characteristics of a shock adjustment:
  • Compression - The collapsing stroke of a shock, directly correlated to the movement of your axle.
  • Rebound - The return stroke of a shock, directly tied to vehicle pitch and ride quality. To learn more about shocks check out, "Damper Dynamics."

Take a look at a few of the shocks available at Tire Rack:
  • KYB Gas-A-Just: An Original Equipment replacement shock.These are your excellent-value option, as they are self adjusting.
  • KYB Monomax: Increased load control, and a firm planted feel for your light truck or SUV. These shocks have been known to offer a firmer ride, but the trade off is better control. These shocks are self adjusting. They completely transformed my Chevy Blazer back to the consistent like-new handling I missed.
  • Koni STR-T:  A cost-effective performance shock, designed to offer better handling, without a harsh ride.
  • Bilstein 5100 : Designed with the lifted truck or SUV in mind. These are ideal for your Jeep or pickup truck with mild body and suspension lifts. The articulation in off-road circumstances is superb.
Shop by vehicle to find the suspension components that work best for your vehicle.

Bouncing along? Need new shocks?

Saturday, May 14, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
KYB GR-2 ShockHas your chariot lost some of that new car handling and ride? Do you feel like you're on a trampoline after hitting a bump? It might be time to get new shocks and struts (dampers) for your car, truck or SUV. 

Tire Rack offers a wide range of options from Original Equipment style replacements to performance upgrades. The KYB GR-2 line will firm up the ride 5-10% over factory new. KONI and Bilstein offer higher performance options — some with adjustability to give you that "on rails" feeling.

Look to the professionals at Tire Rack for all of your suspension needs. View specs, shock absorber reviews, and pricing for your specific vehicle.

Does it seem like your car bounces too much? Time for new shocks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by Mac McNabb
Eibach SpringsOne of the most over-driven parts on a modern vehicle is the shocks. In most cases, you can feel the difference from a used and new shock with only 40,000 miles on the vehicle. In many cases, people will go more than 100k without changing their shocks and struts. So if you are looking for a smoother ride or better constitution through the corners, replacing the dampers may be for you!

When looking to replace your dampers (generic name for shock absorber) there are a few things KYB Gas Shocksyou need to keep in mind. First, are you planning on using the stock springs or lowering the vehicle? It is vitally important that you match the spring's ride height with a proper damper. 

BilsteinThe next thing to consider is the mounts. If you have struts, many times there are bearings in the mounts because a strut is a damper that handles some of the duties of the suspension (more than just controlling shock... they may be part of the actual steering mechanism or camber adjustment).  It is always recommended to change the mount if you can on the front of your vehicle, and often recommended on the rear as well, especially if you are in the snow belt (rust issues).

So go ahead and get started. Enter your vehicle info and get moving along. A smooth ride awaits!

A new reason to upgrade your suspension

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 by Luke Pavlick
If you are like most people it can be a difficult choice to take off a perfectly good suspension system and replace it. The old adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind. As you may already know if you read my blog post about the family mini-van and the suspension upgrade I used on it you may have thought "a performance suspension on a minivan doesn't make much sense." While that may be true, to some there is another way to look at it. A performance suspension set up like I used to lower our Honda Odyssey can increase your fuel mileage by reducing aerodynamic drag. It's true; in a recent test the Eibach F150 Pro-Kit springs suspension upgrade not only improved every aspect of handling but also fuel efficiency. 



So, in the long run it's almost like getting that much desired aggressive lowered stance and improved handling for free and where I come from free is good. If needed, please feel free to use this new found money saving information to convince your significant other that it is a good and fiscally responsible idea to upgrade the springs and shock absorbers on your car ASAP.

My name is Luke Pavlick and I am a car guy
 
 
   

Before you buy shock absorbers, check out our test results.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
If you need to update your suspension system with replacement shock absorbers, springs or even an anti-sway bar—you'll want to spend some time reading our test results. We get to know our products so that we can recommend the best of the best to you. It's just one way Tire Rack attempts to streamline your purchase process.

Sure, we test tires. But over the years, we've done quite a bit of suspension component testing. We've covered brands like EibachH&R and KONI, and we'll continue to cover even more in the future. Here's a few that might interest you:

"Form and Function: Performance Suspension Upgrades Can Deliver Both"
"Eibach Pro-Kit vs. H&R Sport Spring Ride & Drive"
"KONI FSD Dampers Improve Handling Without the Traditional Sacrifice in Ride Quality"

Whatever you want to upgrade, we know you take it seriously. Without a smooth suspension system, you'll feel every bump in the road. Which means your ride quality and safety levels could be compromised. Get the best.

Shop by vehicle for suspension components.

A Replacement Shock Absorber

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
When you start to feel every last imperfection in the road, odds are you need to replace shock absorbers. Shock absorbers play a very important role in the function of your suspension system. They force heat through a series of valves within the shock body, which controls unwanted suspension movement. 

What does that mean? It means that a shock absorber helps your tires stay in contact with the road's surface. The slightest bit of wear can affect ride quality, handling and balance when the vehicle is in motion. Further translation: It gives you a bumpy ride and, quite possibly, a bruised tailbone. (Suspension Basics)

So, if you need a replacement shock absorber, the KYB GR-2 is designed to return your vehicle to it's original ride quality. Or, you can search our suspension products to see a list of replacement shock absorbers—or consider a performance upgrade—to suit your vehicle specifically.

KONI Damper Set Improves the Mini

Friday, July 10, 2009 by Mark Veldman
After hitting 60,000 miles on the my Mini Cooper S, I could tell it was time (and maybe a little late) for replacement shock absorbers.  The car wasn't settling as quickly after dips in road and small bumps were becoming much more noticeable.  I considered shocks from a few different manufacturers like KYB, KONI and Bilstein.  But after reading the shock absorber reviews on tirerack.com, I decided to go for the KONI FSD Damper Set.  I have had great experiences in the past with Koni shocks, so I had high hopes for the Damper Set.

The customer reviews were correct...the Koni FSD Damper Set was fantastic.  The handling was improved with quicker response to steering inputs and less bounce after bumps or unsettling maneuvers.  But true to the customer feedback, the ride quality actually improved absorbing bumps in a more subtle fashion than the stock shocks.

The Koni FSD Damper Set is a definite step up from standard shock absorbers, but there are also a huge step up in ride quality and performance.