Store Tires the Right Way

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Roger Laughlin
With the wall-mounted Tire Storage Rack you can store your tires and wheels properly and out of the way! This heavy-duty, yet economical rack is made of steel and has a durable black painted finish. The rack can vertically store four tires and wheels with up to a 52" capacity, while holding a maximum of 400 pounds.

Tire Storage Rack 

Visit our website or contact a sales specialist with any questions you may have. 

Check Those Tire Pressures!

Monday, September 20, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
It's recommended that you check your tire pressures on a regular basis to help your vehicle deliver the highest possible fuel economy and longest tire life. Tire Rack features Accutire digital air gauges to make it a snap to check your tire pressures. Some of the more popular models are shown below.

Digital Set Point Programmable Air Gauge w/Light

Picture od Accutire's Digital Set Point
Digital Pencil Air Gauge
Picture of Accutire's Digital Pencil Air Gauge
ABS Coated Air Gauge
Picture of Accutire's ABS Coated Air Gauge
Visit Tire Rack, make your selection and start improving your fuel economy and extending the life of your tires today!

Tire Rack Videos

Friday, August 20, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Clip From A Tire Rack VideoVisit the Tire Rack Video Center for your opportunity to view over 50 videos about tires, wheels, suspension, motorsports, and driving schools. You can even take a commercial break and watch or TV ads.

Our videos provide specific information on tire testing by category, panic stopping, winter driving on snow and ice, performance suspension products, eco-focused tires, the One Lap of America driving event and the Street Survival teen driving school.

So grab the popcorn and tune in to our Video Center!

Braille Batteries: Lightweight Power for Your Race Car

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Braille BatteryBraille batteries available at Tire Rack were developed to provide demanding drivers the power they need in a smaller, lighter package for both race and street applications. Braille batteries provide the highest energy-to-weight ratio of any sealed lead acid battery available today. When speed counts, weight is the enemy, so when selecting a Braille battery you can rest assured that due to i's lower weight, it will enhance your acceleration, braking, and handling.

If you are looking for performance you can feel, check out our selection of Braille batteries!

Contact Patch?

Thursday, July 29, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Sample Contact PatchContact patch, two little words that represent a major impact on your vehicle's performance and your safety. A tire's contact patch or as it is often called, the tire's footprint, is normally not much bigger than your hand and often smaller than a professional sport player's shoes, yet, it's the only connection between you and the road!

In wet, dry, or snowy winter conditions, your tire's contact patch controls your acceleration, braking, and corning inputs to the road. In addition, the shape of the contact patch will influence the performance of the tire and the vehicle it's mounted on. Some examples are as follows:

For high performance driving, the tire's contact patch would be wide and rather short as shown below:
 Contact Patch of a High Performance Tire
This shape provides superior traction, cornering stability, and handling for high performance driving in dry and or wet conditions.

A tire for a passenger car or light truck tire would have a contact patch that would be more long and narrow as shown below:

Sample Passanger Car or Light Truck Contact Patch

This shape provides a smoother, quieter ride with predictable handling, and good wet/snow traction.

So the next time you are thinking about the traction (or the lack of it) your tires are providing, take a look at the contact patch on your tires and keep in mind it are the only connection between you and the road and are the only thing controlling your vehicle's weight and speed when motoring down the road. So make sure they are in good shape and well suited for the job you want and need them to do! If you find it's time for you to replace your tires, visit for the best selection and pricing available.

How Can I Tell How Old My Tires Are?

Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Roger Laughlin

How can I tell how old my tires are? The good news: it's very easy to find out! On the sidewall of your tire you will see a DOT Identification Number and the last four digits of the number will reveal the week and year that the tire was actually built.

Example: Post-2000 Production Tire

DOT Code Example

This tire was manufactured during the 51st week of 2007 (LMLR5107).

Example: Pre-2000 Production Tire

D.O.T. Code Example

This tire was manufactured during the 40th week of the 8th year of the decade (DFM408).

For safe operation, the current industry recommendation is to run your tires no longer than 6 years once they have been placed into service no matter how good they appear to be! 

For more detailed information on how to Determine the Age of a Tire or any other tire-related subjects-, please visit the Tire Tech section of our web site at

Where to Install New Pairs of Tires

Thursday, July 15, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “Where do I install my two new tires?" and the answer is, “On the rear, on the rear, on the rear!”

Whether you have a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive car, install your pair of new tires on the rear! The only real exception to this could be a vehicle that has a staggered fitment with different tire sizes on the front and rear.

The reason for the rear installation is new tires on the rear axle will help the driver control their vehicle in wet conditions since the newer, deeper tread tires provide better hydroplaning resistance. With the older, lower tread depth tires on the front, the front tires will tend to lose traction first causing the vehicle to under steer (making the vehicle want to move straight ahead) which can be controlled by releasing the gas pedal to allow the driver to re-gain control of the vehicle!

For more information on where to install new tires, read "Where to Install New Pairs of Tires" in Tire Tech at

Storing Your Tires the Right Way!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Questions about how to store your tires come up almost daily at Tire Rack aand we have several helpful tips and products to help extend the life of your tires!
  1. Before storing, clean each tire with soap and water and let them air dry thoroughly.
  2. Do not apply tire dressings.
  3. Place your tires in an opaque plastic lawn, garden or garbage type bag. Close tightly after removing as much air as possible.
  4. Store the tires in a cool, dry location and away from electric motors as they create ozone, a natural enemy of tires.
Tire Rack offers the following products to assist you in storing your tires:
Picture of Tire Rack Tire Totes

Tire Rack Seasonal Tire Totes
to help keep the tires covered and clean., The totes make it easy to transport your tires, too!

Picture of the Tire Rack Tire Garage

Tire Rack Tire Garage
provides a watertight housing for the outside storage of your tires. 

Picture of the Tire Rack Tire Storage 

Tire Rack Tire Storage Rack
provides off-the-floor storage for your tires.

While nothing will stop the tire from aging, following these steps well help slow the process and allow your tires to meet your driving needs!

Need low dust break pads? Try ceramics!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Hawk Ceramic Pads If you are looking to upgrade your Original Equipment semi-metallic or organic brake pads with a pad that offers smooth, quiet, braking with lower dust output, ceramic pads may just be the answer! Unless your vehicle was equipped with ceramic pads from the factory, you likely notice your wheels are covered with dust within a day or two after washing them - a complaint I hear all too often!

Ceramic pads are designed to deliver the same stopping power and pedal feel as Original Equipment pads, with less dust, lower noise, less vibration and less rotor wear. In addition, ceramic pads dissipate heat better for less brake fade and faster recovery during heavy braking. 

Tire Rack  offers ceramic pads from the following manufacturers:
Akebono Logo Hawk LogoSatisfied Logo

Breaking In Your New Tires

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
A question we often get from our customers is, “Do I need to break in my new tires?" The answer is yes! It is highly recommended that you follow a break-in procedure whenever you purchase a new set of tires.

Easy cornering, braking, and acceleration for the first five hundred miles usually works best. Braking in your new tires this way allows the various components (rubber, steel, and fabric) used in the construction of the tire to slowly work together and to perform their duties within the tire to deliver maximum performance and ride quality.

In addition, it allows the lubricants used to release tires from their molds to wear off the surface of the new tire. Until this lubricant wears away, your new tires will have a reduced level of traction, especially in wet conditions.

By following the tire break-in procedure outlined above, you will set your new tires up for the best possible performance and to deliver results to meet your expectations! For more information on tire break-in and other related tire topics, please visit our web site.

Let Hella Light The Way!

Friday, June 11, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Hella's replacement Headlight, Accessory, and Lightning Kits available from Tire Rack are a great and inexpensive way to upgrade your vehicle's appearance and improve your nighttime driving experience! I personally have the Hella High Performance headlight bulbs in all of my vehicles and I am very pleased with their performance. With their brighter, whiter light output, nighttime driving has never been easier!

For more information, you can also visit Lighting Tech on our web site to find information on Auxiliary Light Types, Bulb Types, Proper Auxiliary Light Aiming and Reflector Types. "What is the Kelvin Scale and Which Bulb Value Should I Choose.

The Race is Over at Indy but it's Still Time For Firestone Tires!

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500: Your tire choice if you are looking for a High Performance Summer only tire with a great blend of wet and dry traction and above average handling! 

Firehawk GT: Your tire choice if you are looking for an High Performance All-Season tire with light snow capability for you sport sedan or coupe!

Firehawk Indy 500: Your tire choice if you are looking for a Performance All-Season tire with light snow capability at a great price!

Destination A/T: Your tire choice if you have a light truck or SUV and you need an all-terrain tire for on- and off-road activities!

Destination LE: Your tire choice if you have a light truck or SUV and you need a Highway All-Season tire that is quiet, comfortable and is at home in-town or on the highway in dry, wet or light snow conditions!

Destination M/T: Your tire choice if you need to go in loose rock and deep mud!

Destination ST: Your tire choice if you want to turn your sport pickup or sport utility vehicle into a street machine and still have all-season capability!

For a complete list of current rebates available at the Tire Rack please visit our web site at!

Your New Wheel & Tire Owner's Manual

Saturday, May 15, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
Owner's ManualWhether you purchased ASA, BBS, O.Z., or any of the other wheel brands we represent and it's time to install your new tires and wheels, you more than likely have several questions and we have the answers!

Let Tire Rack show you the way with our Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual available for download at This manual covers Tire/Wheel Package Installation, Wheel Lug Torque, Inflation Pressure, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, Rotation, Tire Break-In, and Cleaning. So for all the answers, download your copy in PDF format today!

Tire Rack Customer Survey Glossary of Terms

Saturday, May 15, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
One of the most common questions I get from customers new to Tire Rack is "what do each of the Tire Survey Results rating categories mean?" So, I thought I would take a minute to help clear this up!  

Dry Traction
This is an indication of the tire's ability to corner, brake, and grip during acceleration under dry road conditions.

Wet Traction
This is an indication of the tire's ability to corner, brake, and grip during acceleration under wet road conditions.

Hydroplaning Resistance
This is an indication of the tire's ability to resist hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can occur when a tire can no longer evacuate standing water between the road and the tire's tread causing the tire to lose contact with the road. This normally occurs when driving at moderate to high speeds and can lead to loss of control of the vehicle.

Light Snow Traction
This is an indication of the tire's ability to corner, brake, and grip during acceleration in snow accumulations of up to 4 inches.

Deep Snow Traction
This is an indication of the tire's ability to corner, brake, and grip during acceleration in snow accumulations in excess of 4 inches.

Ice Traction
This is an indication of the tire's ability to corner, brake, and grip during acceleration on ice or hard packed snow conditions.

Cornering Stability

This is an indication of how predictable the tire's response will be to the driver's input when cornering.

Steering Response
This is an indication of how quickly the tire will respond to the driver's steering inputs.

Ride Quality
This is an indication of the ride comfort or how smooth the tire's ride will be.

This is an indication of the noise level that will be emitted by the tire under normal driving conditions.

Tread Wear
This is an indication of how the tread is wearing compared to the expectation of the driver.

Total Miles Reported
This is a total of the all of the miles reported by all of the survey responses we have received for this tire model. 

Would you purchase this tire again?
This is an indication of how satisfied the driver is with the tire's overall performance and if the driver would consider purchasing the same tire again.

So now you have it! To see how your favorite tire selections stack up, visit Tire Research.

Looking for an Option to a Conventional Spare Tire?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by Roger Laughlin

Are you replacing your run-flat tires with conventional tires and looking for an option to a full-size or compact spare? Look no further, just check out the Continental ContiComfortKit available at Tire Rack.

The Continental tire company has developed this product specifically for this application. The Continental ContiComfortKit is a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, with an integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact (7"X9.5"X3.7"), lightweight (5 pounds) unit that is easy to store. When used, you can drive up to 125 miles on the temporary repair at speeds up to 50 miles per hour and the best part is if the tire can be repaired, it can be returned to normal service once repaired. 

Features include:
• 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

See how it works - short video.

For more information visit the Tire Rack.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems On After Market Wheels

Thursday, May 6, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
TPMS SensorAs a Tire Rack retail sales representative, one of the most common questions I have is "If my vehicle came from the factory with a direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and I am going to use aftermarket wheels, what options do I have regarding the TPMS?" It boils down to the following three choices:

1) If you would like to continue the functionally of your TPMS system, Tire Rack can provide the sensors you will need at an additional cost.

2) You can reuse your original sensors by moving them from your old wheels to your new wheels, although it is highly recommended that you order a TPMS replacement hardware kit that includes new seals for your original TPMS sensors. Tire Rack also has these sensor kits (at an extra cost).

3) Finally, you can run your new wheels without sensors and forgo the benefits of your vehicle’s TPMS system. However, this may lead to some rather annoying side effects on most vehicles, e.g., a tone or chime every time you start the vehicle followed by a light on the dash that will remain on until the vehicle is switched off.

The choice is yours! For more information on TPMS systems
. Please visit our site.