Are Your Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome Wheels Looking Bad and Struggling to Hold Air?

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Chrome wheels were a very popular option on the PT Cruiser and they made a nice addition to the retro looking car. However, most owners are now finding out that chrome is not a maintenance-free wheel and is never recommended for use in winter conditions.

Chrome wheels have no protective coating and if used in wintry conditions, or if not frequently washed, they can start to look oxidized or hazy and the chrome finish will begin to peel. This isn't only an esthetics problem, but many find the peeling causes problems with the tire sealing properly to the wheel which can cause a slow leak. Having the tire removed from the wheel and cleaning the bead area of the wheel can help in some cases, but the problem most often always returns.

We offer many low-cost options for replacement that provide a more durable finish. When replacing wheels on the PT Cruiser I recommend to use a painted or clearcoat finish in order to achieve a more durable finish which is more suitable for all-season use.

MSW Type 14

Sport Edition SE-17


Some of the more popular replacement wheels include the MSW Type 14, Sport Edition SE-17 and RIAL Como. Each option is offered with a silver painted finish with a five-spoke design similar to a wheel that would have come on the car new.

If your chrome wheels aren't looking good or are having trouble holding air, shop by vehicle to find a new durable option for your PT Cruiser.

Big Improvements in Snow Traction for Your 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Our test BMWs are fun, but I have really enjoyed our Porsche Cayennes. For a large SUV, the Cayenne can really move. It's a Porsche, so the power is to be expected, but the cornering stability at this size and with this weight is a pleasant surprise.

If you've recently picked up a 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS (Turbo S model is pictured), I'm sure you've also been impressed. Once winter arrived, you quickly discovered that the Original Equipment 295/35R21 Max Performance Summer tires lack even minimum cold weather competence. Don't be too hard on them, their specialty is great dry and wet grip. That's why you need to find the right winter tire for your new Porsche.

Winter / Snow Tire Category

Since tire engineers balance snow grip with dry road handling, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions as you make your choice:

  1. How severe do winters in your area tend to be?
  2. How often will you drive on icy and hard-packed snow roads?
  3. How spirited of a driver are you?

Performance Winter / Snow Wheel & Tire Package

Many spirited drivers in the light blue region of our snowfall map rarely see ice-covered roads for a long period of time, so they are best served by options in the Performance Winter / Snow category. The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for a spirited driver would be the 275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow on the 20x10 5-130 45ET silver painted Andros Spec P.

275/45-20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow N0 $317**
275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion
Ice & Snow
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Andros Spec P $229**
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Painted
Andros Spec P

With the 275/45R20 being about one inch narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21, it's skinny enough to handle a deep snow blizzard, yet wide enough for your Cayenne GTS to remain fun on good weather days.

Studless Ice & Snow Tire & Package

Moderate drivers in the dark blue region of the map who frequently experiences icy roads should search for a tire from the Studless Ice & Snow category. The optimal package for this driver is the 255/55R18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 on 18x8 5-130 50ET silver painted Sport Edition TX8 wheels.

255/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-ICE Xi2 $160**
255/55R18 Michelin Latitude
X-Ice Xi2
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Sport Edition TX8 $155**
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Painted
Sport Edition TX8

255/55R18 is approximately 1.5" narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21 and provides more emphasis on deeper snow traction. Among the 255/55R18 Studless Ice & Snow options, the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 does the best job at balancing ice and packed snow grip with dry road handling.

Create your ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Stop Slipping in the Snow! The Optimal Snow Tire Solution for the 2014 Audi SQ5

Friday, January 3, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Did you get a 2014 Audi SQ5 to fill your need for compact crossover speed? With 354 hp and 346 ft-lbs of torque channeled through Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive, you've got the power to haul.

All good fun until the weatherman calls for some snow. Now, you find your SQ5 slipping and sliding instead of stopping on a dime. You have stressfully discovered that your Original Equipment 255/40R21 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GTs (most common O.E. tire) are lacking snow grip. No worries, with just a few clicks on our website, your SQ5 will be good to go in the snow.

Winter / Snow Tire Size

Your Original Equipment Dunlops are not going to perform in snow because their summer compound turns brittle at cold temperatures coupled with a tread size consisting of large tread blocks without biting edges and sipes. A few of you may need to tweak your snow tire widths, but most snowbelt drivers are best served by staying with 255 width tires. The SQ5's 4550 lb. curb weight limits the utility of going skinnier, especially given the spirited nature of many SQ5 drivers.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

As you enter your SQ5 make and model information in our website's Upgrade Garage, we'll ask whether or not you have rubber or metal valve stems. Please go out to your SQ5 and tug at your valve stems. If they move they're rubber, if they don't, they're metal. If they're rubber, your SQ5 uses the ABS-based Indirect TPMS, if they're metal, you'll need Direct TPMS sensors available at $81 per corner. Neither system requires dealer initialization.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

255/50-19 Michelin Latitude X-ICE Xi2 $265*
255/50R19 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
Bright Silver Sport Edition WX5 $159
Bright Silver Sport Edition WX5

I like the Studless Ice & Snow Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2's balance of ice and packed snow grip combined with decent dry road handling. The Sport Edition WX5 provides good value along with being a great match to the SQ5's overall styling.

Now you've got the power and control to make your SQ5 handle anything winter may bring.

Winter / Snow Tires and Wheels for the Tesla Model S

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Are you looking for winter options for your new Tesla Model S? We have the best selection of tires and affordable winter wheels for your vehicle.

If you're looking strictly for a set of dedicated winter tires and you have the stock 19" wheels, take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 or Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D. Both of these are fantastic Performance Winter / Snow tires that will give you optimum winter grip, but maintain the sporty handling characteristics you're accustom to with your Tesla.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Dunlop Winter Sport 3D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Sport Edition WX5
Sport Edition WX5
Rial Lugano
RIAL Lugano

Tesla owners with the 21" dedicated summer tires will definitely need a tire that provides winter grip. We would suggest you downsize to one of the 19" options (as narrower tires are recommended for winter driving) listed above and wrap them on either the Sport Edition WX5 or RIAL Lugano. The WX5 is available in both a black painted and bright silver paint finish, while the Lugano comes in a bright silver paint and titanium gunmetal finish. We can also equip your new Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with TPMS Sensors. Have your Tesla prepared for winter by creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.

Which Winter Performance Category Is Right for You?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow

Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.

Performance Winter / Snow

These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:

Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.


Are Your Chrome Wheels Leaking? Replace Them with Affordable Custom Wheels

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Buy your vehicle and hold onto it for as long as possible. That's typically the best way to get the most out of your car and budget. Obviously, you'll need to maintain and take care of it as best you can.

If your vehicle originally came with chrome wheels and you live in snow country, one challenge you'll probably face is peeling chrome. Eventually this peeling chrome will prevent your wheels from properly sealing against the tire beads. One way of fixing this is by having an installer clean the wheel and use a bead sealant to reduce or eliminate the air loss.

If leaks persist to the point you're still adding air to your tires every morning, then it's time to replace your wheels. A great option to consider is a set of Sport Edition F7 wheels. This five-spoke wheel is available in both a 16" and 17" rim diameter. Sport Edition wheels combine quality, style and price to offer an exceptional value. Using the latest production standards, Sport Edition wheels complement the appearance of many popular vehicles.

Not only could new wheels fix your leaking problem, but your vehicle will look better, too!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Thursday, February 28, 2013 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.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5

2000 Mercedes-Benz C230 Special Edition
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Portland, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2013

It rarely snows in Portland, but some life changes required that we drive over the Cascades to Central Oregon in winter. This is the first set of dedicated winter tires for this car, and I'm very happy with them. I had zero traction issues with my RWD car, even when climbing fairly steep hills with 2-4" of packed snow. No issues descending, either. Sure, I could slide the tail under power if I chose to; but that's not unexpected. At near highway speeds (45-50) in the mountains, I encountered patchy ice with a lot of embedded gravel and chain rutting interspersed with wet pavement at temperatures at or just below freezing. The car tracked beautifully; on occasion I could feel it squirm just a bit but that wasn't even enough motion to light up the ESP warning the car wasn't alarmed by the level of traction. The tires do "sing" more on dry surfaces than my Pilot Sport Al-Seasons, but the level of grip in true winter conditions is far, far superior. I'll only put this set of wheels on when snow threatens or when we need to go over the mountains, so they won't be worn all winter. At this rate I'll get many years of service out of them.


Sport Edition Wheels at Tire Rack

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Sport Edition wheels feature a wide range of styles and sizes to fit a variety of vehicle types. As one of our house brands, these wheels are designed to provide low-cost wheel options and often times offer wheel fitments where there otherwise would be none.

Due to their pricing, Sport Edition wheels are a common choice for customers creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. With many options modeled after traditional five- and six-spoke designs, the brand is also home to many Original Equipment based styles, such as the Cup 4. This one-piece, cast construction wheel is styled for and unique to Porsche vehicles.

If you're looking for a low-cost cast aluminum wheel, search by vehicle to see if a Sport Edition wheel is an option for your car.

Bling on a Budget: 19x9.5 Chrome Sport Edition ST5 Marked Down to $79 for Your S6

Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

One vehicle that really stood out to me at the Detroit Auto Show was an ibis white Audi with traditional chrome wheels.

It's hard to find the right finish for a white car. Silver tends to blend too much with the body color. While a grey or black finish might contrast too much. I tend to believe chrome stands out on a larger white luxury car without being over the top. Wheels are a personal taste and you should go with the look you want.

If you drive an Audi S6 and you like the look of a chrome wheel, then you're going to love the savings on the Sport Edition ST5 marked down from $248 to a closeout price of just $79*.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Sport Edition ST5
Sport Edition ST5

Of course a great deal on wheels isn't complete without the right tire. The 265/35R19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers exceptional grip with decent wear for the Max Performance Summer category. Developed for the driver who cares about how tire technology can enhance their vehicle's performance and safety, the Pilot Super Sport delivers durability, handling and traction while increasing treadlife. For just $1516* plus shipping your Tire & Wheel Package will be mounted, balanced and shipped ready to install.

*Prices subject to change

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Carving Edge

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 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 Winter Carving EdgeReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2013 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 60
Location: Concord, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 60 Miles on Tires
December 14, 2012

Initial impression, which I will update... The tire, as other WRX owners have said, a noticeable difference in handling! However, it is a winter tire with lots of siping for hard snow/ice can't be as stiff as the original Dunlops. I also can't wait for my snow test! The ride is quiet..I'm running them at 42 PSI front, 40 PSI rear....seems like at that pressure you get just enough tread on the road..about 1/2 inch from the shoulder....

Purchased them on a set of TireRack private label wheels....Sport Edition. CANNOT BEAT THE PRICE and the wheel seems to be nicely finished! Seems like a lot of wheel weights which makes me wonder about the manufacturing...but..the balance seems perfect..up to 75.

TireRack is them the NEXT DAY...mounted and balanced. I'll update this in a few weeks after some cold weather/snow miles!

Keep Your Fusion Moving Even When It's Freezing: Winter / Snow Tires for the New Ford Fusion

Monday, December 10, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Although it's no DB5, the new 2013 Ford Fusion sure has a luxury vibe. Initial reports from the automotive press indicate this vehicle performs as well as it looks.

Have you just picked up a 2013 Ford Fusion? In addition to its styling and performance, I'm sure you're impressed with the Fusion's safety features. In a collision, your Fusion protects your family with airbags in the front, side and also at knee level. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winter conditions, four dedicated winter / snow tires will give you the traction, confidence and safe feeling you need to handle roads covered in snow and ice.

Winter / Snow Tire Sizes

The Fusion's Original Equipment tire comes in one of the following sizes: 215/60R16, 235/50R17, 235/45R18 or 235/40R19. With a curb weight of 3,615 lbs. (2.5 liter Auto S), most Fusion drivers are best served by a 215/60R16 tire size. 215/60R16 is narrow enough to cut through moderate and deep snow, but wide enough for packed snow, ice and dry roads.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Ford uses the valve stem direct TPMS system, which you can purchase sensors for $32 per wheel. Your Fusion won't automatically learn the new sensor codes, therefore a Ford dealer will have to initialize them as you switch back and forth between your winter and all-season/summer tires. Are you installing the wheels and sensors yourself? Then the the optional Ford TPMS Triggering Tool is really a must as it allows you to initialize the sensors.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Steel Wheel)

While it's a close decision, I prefer 215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Studless Ice & Snow tires on 16x6.5 50mm offset steel wheels at $860* plus shipping.

215/60-16 Michelin X-ICE Xi3 Studless Ice and Snow
215/60-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
16x6.5 50ET Black Painted Steel Wheel $58*
16x6.5 50ET Black Painted
Steel Wheel $58*

Winter/ Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Alloy Wheel)

For those who prefer a little more style for winter, I'd recommend the 16x7.5 5-108 48mm ET silver painted Sport Edition SE-16 on the same 215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3 at $1064* plus shipping.

215/60-16 Michelin X-ICE Xi3 Studless Ice and Snow
215/60-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
16x7.5 48ET Silver Painted Sport Edition SE-16 $109*
16x7.5 48ET Silver Painted Sport Edition
SE-16 $109*

With the weather changing, be ready by creating your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today.

*Prices subject to change

Steel Rims vs. Alloy Wheels for Winter Use

Monday, November 5, 2012 by Gary Stanley

If you're shopping for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, you'll notice that steel wheels are offered for many vehicles and are more economical than aluminum alloy wheels. Keep in mind that price only tells part of the story. While they may be the right choice for you, be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using steel wheels versus alloy wheels.

Steel Wheels

  • Meet the basic needs of drivers who want the convenience of a winter tire package without the additional cost of an alloy wheel
  • Typically available in black or silver finish depending on the application
  • Basic styling can often be updated with wheel covers
  • Cost less than alloy wheels due to ease of manufacturing and lower material costs

Since steel wheels aren't the sportiest addition to your vehicle, wheel covers will hide the wheels while enhancing your vehicle's appearance. If a good look is especially important to you, alloy wheels may be the way to go! When creating a Winter Tire & Wheel Package, why should you consider an aftermarket alloy wheel? What are the benefits of alloy wheels over steel?

Alloy Wheels 

  • Enhance the look of your vehicle
  • Are manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
  • Weigh less than steel wheels and have often have superior strength
  • May be the preferred option for your vehicle based on fitment requirements
  • Will allow for better brake clearance (depending on wheel style and brake components installed)
  • Some may require proper maintenance as finish damage may result in the harshest winter climates where salt and sand are routinely used
Steel Wheels
Steel Wheels
Sport Edition A7
Sport Edition A7

It's important to remember that alloy wheels may be the only option for your vehicle since steel wheels aren't made to fit every application. To learn more about the benefits of an alloy wheel, read "What is an Alloy Wheel?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Friday, October 19, 2012 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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.88

2010 Toyota Corolla
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Baltimore, MD
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
July 15, 2011

These were installed on a new, stock Corolla LE, on Sport Edition alloys, purchased mounted and balanced from Tire Rack. They were "Plus 1" size vs. the OE tires and steel wheels. This size is an option on the Corolla. The difference between these Continentals and the OE Continental all-season touring tires is unbelievable. Yes, they are a bit more harsh, and slightly noisier, but I estimate that these tires work better in the wet than the OE tires do in the dry. My only complaint is a pronounced low-speed (20 mph) "growl" when coming to a stop. Of course, they are completely unsafe for winter use, but I purchased a set of Michelin Ice winter tires for the OE wheels. As you can tell, I'm not a fan of all-season tires, which I feel are a very poor compromise. These tires do not turn a Corolla into a sports car, but I'm now very comfortable driving the car with these tires in all types of three-season conditions.

Winter / Snow Tires and Wheels for Your Porsche 911

Monday, October 8, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

The Porsche 911 is one of the most sophisticated and fun to drive vehicles on the road today. Many passionate drivers can't imagine putting their 911 in the garage for the winter and with the right equipment the thrill of the Porsche 911 doesn't need to end just because winter has arrived.

Tire Rack offers a wide array of products tailored to the Porsche lineup, like N-Spec tires and winter wheels that'll accept Original Equipment Porsche center caps. The fitment data for each particular model of vehicle will allow you to determine if you can minus size in the winter time. For example, some Porsche 911 (997) models came with 19" wheels, you can save money and have a smoother ride by switching to 18" wheels and tires. For additional information on how selecting a smaller diameter wheel may benefit your winter driving this year, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

When looking for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for a '12 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe (997 chassis), I would recommend the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II tire in a 235/40R18 for the front and 265/40R18 for the rear mounted to Sport Edition Cup 4 wheels in either a silver painted or black painted finish. Tire pressure monitors can also be added for an additional $97*/wheel. Sport Edition Cup 4 wheels can accept your O.E. Porsche center caps or you can purchase replacements for $49*/each.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
Pirelli Winter Sottozero
Serie II
Sport Edition Cup 4 - Silver Finish
Sport Edition Cup 4 Silver Painted
Sport Edtion Cup 4- Black Finish
Sport Edition Cup 4 Black Painted

After purchasing a set of these tires and wheels, you can be sure the fun of driving your Porsche 911 will continue even after the snow has fallen. The Winter Sottozero Serie II is Pirelli's second-generation Performance Winter / Snow tire developed for drivers of premium, high performance vehicles facing challenging wintertime road conditions. Designed not just as a winter / snow tire, but as a seasonal tire suitable for the weather and road conditions typically experienced in parts of the U.S. between November and April, the Winter Sottozero Serie II provides traction and handling in cold, dry, wet and wintry conditions.

Shop by vehicle to find the right Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your Porsche.

*Prices subject to change