Excellent Winter / Snow Tire Options for Your E-Series Mercedes-Benz E350, E550 and E63

Friday, February 8, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class? Both options are excellent vehicles, but we've seen a spike in drivers going the E-Class route.

Have you just picked up an E-Class Sedan, Coupe or Cabriolet? If so, and you live in the Snowbelt region, your E-Class is going to need to be equipped with a set of dedicated winter / snow tires. Given the wide variety of E-Class drivers, both Studless Ice and Snow and Performance Winter / Snow tires may be appropriate. Take a look at "Which Winter Performance Category is Right for You?" to see which winter tire is appropriate for how and where you drive.

Winter / Snow Tire Size

Depending on your exact model, Original Equipment sizes range between 17" and 19" including staggered (wider rear tire) fitments. An optimum winter size for most E350 drivers is 235/45R17. The heavier E550 excels with a 245/45R17 size. While the large brakes of the E63 require the use of either 18" or 19" wheels. Given the E63's prodigious horsepower and torque, most E63 drivers are best served by 255/40R18 in the front and 285/35R18 in the rear on 18" wheels or 255/35R19 in the front and 285/30R19 in the rear on 19" wheels.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The E-Class uses valve-stem-mounted direct TPMS sensors priced at $62* each. You can register the TPMS sensors yourself by following the instructions in the owner's manual. There's no additional cost to install the sensors as part of our free mount and balance.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for E350 4MATIC

Since you've selected your E350 4MATIC for ultimate safety in the worst conditions, I recommend 235/45R17 Studless Ice and Snow Bridgestone Blizzak WS70s on 17x8 44mm offset bright silver Sport Edition ST3 wheels at $1440*.

235/45-17 Studless Ice and Snow Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 $179*
235/45R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
17x8 5-112 44 ET Bright Silver Sport Edition ST3 $119*
17x8 5-112 44ET Sport Edition ST3


Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for RWD E350

If you're a spirited driver who chose a rear-wheel drive E350 for its emphasis on handling, then the 245/45R17 Performance Winter / Snow Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II is a better choice. Four of these tires mounted and balanced on Sport Edition ST3 wheels is currently $1488*.

245/45-17 Performance Winter Pirelli Winter 210 Sotto Serie II $191*
245/45R17 Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
17x8 5-112 44 ET Bright Silver Sport Edition ST3 $119*
17x8 5-112 44 ET Sport Edition ST3

 

Don't Hibernate Your Camaro

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel
The Camaro is definitely one of those cars that everybody seems to love. If you're a Camaro driver who lives up north, you'll need winter / snow tires to keep your vehicle safe. Given the wide variety of Camaro trim levels and drivers' needs, both the Studless Ice and Snow and Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow tire options should be considered.

Winter / Snow Tire Sizes

Depending on your trim level and engine, your Original Equipment tires may have one of the following set-ups: 245/55-18 or 245/50-19 on all four corners, or the staggered set-up of 245/45-20 on the front and 275/40-20 on the rear or 245/40-21 on the front and 275/35-21 on the rear.

If you live in a harsh winter area like Green Bay, Wisconsin that receives lots of snow and you can moderate how hard you drive when the temperatures are warm and the roads are dry, then you should look at 225/65-17 Studless Ice and Snow tires. Camaro SS drivers should consider 235/55-19 Studless Ice and Snow tires since 17" wheels won't clear the O.E. Brembo brakes.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Your Camaro uses a valve-stem-mounted Direct TPMS. O.E. sensors are $50* each and installation is part of our standard mounting and balancing. Your Camaro won't automatically learn the new sensors but you can initialize them yourself by following the instructions in your owner's manual.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Studless Ice and Snow)

A great Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a Studless Ice and Snow tire option would be the 225/65-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 on the 17x8 Moda EB1 at $1,116** plus shipping.

235/65-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
225/65-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
17x8 35mm offset Hyper Silver Moda EB1
17x8 35mm offset Moda EB1

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow)

A Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package to consider with a Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow tire would be the 245/50-19 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow on the 19x8.5 Sport Edition WX5 at $1,720** plus shipping.

245/50-19 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow
245/50-19 Pirelli Scorpion
Ice & Snow
19x8.5 Bright Silver 28mm offset Sport Edition WX5
19x8.5 Bright Silver 28mm offset
Sport Edition WX5

2011 Chevy Camaro Winter FAQ:
  1. The Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow is listed as a Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow tire but you're recommending it for my Camaro, why? Because many of today's full-size sport sedans, muscle cars and sports cars share vehicle platforms with smaller crossover and sport utility vehicles, they also share their tall tire sizes. The Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow was introduced in 2003 with selected sizes for crossover vehicles and smaller SUVs. Then, well before the current Camaro became available for enthusiasts, Pirelli began adding 50-, 45- and 40-series T-, H- and V-speed rated tires in 17", 18", 19" and 20" wheel diameters for higher performance crossover vehicle applications. Pirelli chose to put these sizes into their Scorpion family and by doing so, the Scorpion Ice & Snow line also "crossed over" to be appropriate for many of today's car applications that use tall tire sizes. So while the Scorpion Ice & Snow's tire category may seem unusual for a Camaro, its combination of dimensions, wintertime traction and high speed durability are appropriate.

  2. I have 20" wheels as Original Equipment, can I run 20" winter / snow tires? You can run 20" snow tires but there isn't a matching set in a 245/45-20 front and 275/40-20 rear set-up, so you would have to run 245/45-20 on the front and back.
*Prices subject to change
**Including sensors, prices subject to change

Studless Ice and Snow Tires for Your E90 xDrive 3 Series

Thursday, January 19, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Like all 3 Series E90 BMWs, xDrives come with run-flat tires and no spare. It's difficult to engineer a winter tire with good ice grip and the ability to handle the duress of running 50 miles with 0 lbs. of air pressure. Therefore, there are no compatible run-flat winter tires for the xDrive with the ice grip of a Studless Ice and Snow winter / snow tire.

Winter / Snow Tire Size

Depending on engine and trim, your Original Equipment sizing ranges between 16" to 18" with staggered (wider rear tire) options. 

328i xDrives can run either 16" or 17" winter / snow tires while 335i xDrives are limited to 17" or 18" options because 16" wheels won't clear the larger 335i xDrive brakes. Personally, I believe the 205/55-16 Studless Ice and Snow tires would be an ideal fit for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The US-spec E90 3 Series uses valve-stem-mounted Direct TPMS that you can reset yourself by following instructions in your owner's manual.

16" Studless Ice and Snow Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for 328i xDrive

When selecting a Studless Ice and Snow tire for the 328i xDrive, I'd recommend the 205/55-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on 16x7.5 35mm offset Sport Edition A7 wheels in either silver or black for $1044.**

205/55-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
205/55-16 Michelin
X-Ice Xi2
16x7.5 35mm offset Silver Painted Sport Edition A7
16x7.5 35mm offset Silver Painted Sport Edition A7
16x7.5 35mm offset Black Painted Sport Edition A7
16x7.5 35mm offset Black Painted Sport Edition A7

17" Studless Ice and Snow Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for 335i xDrive

For a Studless Ice and Snow tire for the 335i xDrive I'd recommend the 225/45-17 non-run-flat Continental ExtremeWinterContact on the Sport Edition A7 at $1228.**

225/45-17 Continental ExtremeWinterContact
225/45-17 Continental ExtremeWinterContact
17x7.5 32mm offset Silver Painted Sport Edition A7
17x7.5 32mm offset Silver Painted Sport Edition A7
17x7.5 32mm offset Black Painted Sport Edition A7
17x7.5 32mm offset Black Painted Sport Edition A7

2011 BMW xDrive 3 Series FAQ:
  1. Will the Sport Edition A7 accept my O.E. BMW center cap? Yes.
  2. If my vehicle is equipped with the Sport Package or the M Sport Package with wider tires in the back, is it okay to run the same tire size in the front and back? Yes. Since 225/45-17, 255/40-17, 225/40-18 and 255/35-18 are all 25" in overall diameter you'll be maintaining the same overall diameter, therefore this will have no effect on the vehicle's Dynamic Traction Control.
  3. If I'm using my Sport Package or M Sport Package wheels, is it okay to run a narrower size tire on the wider rear rim? Yes, a 17x8.5 wheel will accept a 225/45-17 tire and a 18x8.5 wheel will accept a 225/40-18 tire. Just be more careful when parallel parking because you'll have less rubber protruding beyond the edge of the rim. So, it's easier to scrape a wheel against a curb.
*Prices subject to change
**Prices subject to change, including sensors and excluding shipping

Winter Wheel Fitment for Brembo-Equipped Ford Mustang GTs and GT500s

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Marshall Wisler
Sport Edition F10 Silver PaintedRecently, a wheel has been added to our fitment arsenal that allows for additional winter options on Brembo-equipped 2011-12 Ford Mustang GTs and 2007+ GT500s. These cars, equipped with 14" front brakes and four-piston calipers have until now been very difficult to cost-effectively outfit for the winter.

Having a design that focuses on spoke clearance as well as carefully selected offset, the Sport Edition F10 provides the necessary clearance to avoid brake interference. In addition, it's offered in 18" fitments that allows for more tire selections and additional tire sidewall height that many drivers look for to cushion harsh blows on rough winter roads. 

While this wheel was crafted to clear factory big brake kits, it will also fit on any 2005+ Mustang.

Driving a powerful, RWD, solid axle car through winter conditions can be challenging enough with any equipment. While you'll still need to be attentive and aware of the vehicle's capabilities, a proper Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package can turn your summer sports car into a year-round, all-weather warrior.

Start enjoying winter driving in your vehicle and build your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Wednesday, January 4, 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.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8

2009 Honda Fit Sport
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1000
Location: Mentor, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1000 Miles on Tires
January 03, 2012

Replaced stock Bridgestone Turanza with 195/60R-15 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 on 15x6.5 Sport Edition F2 Silver wheels for winter. Love the performance in snow/ice/slush in northeast Ohio. Have driven to New York skiing and friends were impressed with the great performance under winter conditions. Tested panic stops and hard turning on ice/snow during daylight hours when no other vehicles were around. Huge improvement in safety and confidence using Blizzaks. Will update with wear data at the end of the season.

Be Safe in Your 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
For the longest time, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord dominated the mid-size sedan game. Recently, however, a new contender has entered the ring - the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. And with many Sonata owners valuing safety over dry road handling, it's best they look at winter /  snow tires in the Studless Ice and Snow performance category.

Snow Tire Size

The GLS and Hybrid versions come equipped with 205/65-16 (215/55-17 is an optional Hybrid size) tires, while the Sonata Limited runs either 215/55-17s (2.4L engine) or 225/45-18s (2.0T). The Sonata SE runs on 225/45-18s in both engine models. For the GLS and Hybrid, 205/65-16 gives optimum balance between deep snow, ice and dry roads. Because 16" wheels won't clear the brakes on the Limited and SE trim levels, this makes 215/55-17 the best choice.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata uses valve-stem mounted TPMS sensors that must be initialized by the dealer to function. We can install sensors ($57* or $64* ea) purchased as part of a Winter / Snow Tire & Whee for free, but your dealer must initialize your sensors in the fall and spring as your summer wheels go back on.

Winter/Snow Tire & Wheel Package for GLS and Hybrid Sonatas

As I covered in a previous blog post, I believe the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 to be a slightly better choice compared to the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, therefore I recommend a package that includes the 205/65-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on steel wheels with the KT962 wheel covers for $735* plus shipping.

Michelin X-Ice Xi2
205/65-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel

Winter/Snow Tire & Wheel Package for Limited and SE Sonatas

The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for the Limited and SE Sonata is the 215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on 17x7.5 50mm offset Sport Edition F7 wheels at $972** plus shipping.

215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
17x7.5 50mm offset Silver Sport Edition F7
17x7.5 50mm offset Silver Sport Edition F7

2011 Hyundai Winter FAQ:
  1. I would prefer not to use the wheels listed above, can I use something different? When you're creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, different wheel options will be provided to allow you to choose the combination that you prefer. 
  2. I live at the North Pole and need a skinnier tire size for more emphasis on deep snow traction, what sizes can I run? There aren't any great super-skinny 16" or 17" choices, as the 195/60-16 (25.2") size is over 1" smaller in diameter compared to the 205/65-16 (26.5"). While 205/55-17s are 25.9" and their overall diameter is comparable, you're restricted to winter / snow tires which aren't great for the North Pole.
  3. I'm leasing my car and will not have it for a long period of time, can I mount winter / snow tires on the vehicle's wheels? If your leased vehicle is equipped with either the 16" or 17" O.E. painted finish wheels, then it's fine to use them as snow wheels. If you have 18" wheels, then you're restricted to the wider 225/45-18 size. This wider tire will plow through deeper snow instead of cutting through it, so using the 18" O.E. wheels aren't ideal.
*Prices subject to change
**Prices subject to change, excluding sensors

BMW Wheels Now Available in Black

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 by Gary Stanley
Sport Edition A7 (Black)
Finding 17" wheels that fit the 2007-2012 BMW 335i isn't easy due to the large brakes on the car. While many feel that the Rial Salerno is a perfect balance of cost, appearance and quality for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package setup, others like the Sport Edition A7 as a lower-cost alternative. 

New for this winter season, the affordable and popular Sport Edition A7 wheel is now in stock in a black painted finish. I've already received many emails and interest in the new color, as the black finish helps hide brake dust and accepts BMW center caps just like the silver painted version of the wheel.   

And with 45 different Sport Edition wheels available, you're sure to find one that suits your driving style.


Keep Your FIAT 500 Moving This Winter

Friday, November 18, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Once upon on a time, the Alfa Romeo 164, FIAT Spider, Peugeot 505 and Renault Fuego roamed the American streets with their French and Italian charms. Then FIAT said "arrivederci" in 1983, Renault bid us "adieu" in 1987, Peugeot was no longer available in America starting in 1991 and Alfa said "ciao" in 1995. Blandness had apparently won.

Well, FIAT has brought flavor back with the new 500. If you managed to snag one and live in an area that receives snow, your 500 isn't complete as it really needs a set of dedicated winter / snow tires. Given the vehicle's low curb weight, most 500 drivers should install Studless Ice and Snow tires on all four corners.

Snow Tire Size

The 500 Pop and 500 Lounge come equipped with 185/55-15 tires, while the 500 Sport rolls on 195/45-16 tires. 185/55-15 is the ideal size for cutting through moderate and deep snow without compromising ice and dry road grip. To gain a better understanding of how to choose the proper winter / snow tire size, read "Size Selection of Winter Tires / Snow Tires."

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The 500 uses a direct TPMS that has the ability to automatically learn the electronic serial numbers of new sensors by simply driving the vehicle for 15 minutes at 15 mph or faster. TPMS sensors are reasonably priced at $39* each and installation is included with our free mount and balance.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

For the 500, I like the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 for its great balance of ice grip and relatively good steering response. The 185/55-15 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 preserves a fair amount of the car's go-kart nature. As for wheels, the Sport Edition CE in either silver or bright satin would look great. The CE's bright satin finish is a shiny grey that goes well with the vehicle and while it may be a little hard to clean at times, a set would be a great complement to your new Michelin radial tires. This car wheel and tire combination is currently priced at $876*

185/55-15 Michelin X-ICE XI2
185/55-15 Michelin
X-Ice Xi2
15x6.5 40mm Offset Bright Satin Silver Sport Edition CE
15x6.5 40mm Offset Satin
Silver Sport Edition CE
15x6.5 40mm Offset Silver Sport Edition CE
15x6.5 40mm Offset
Silver Sport Edition CE

2012 FIAT 500 Winter FAQs:

1. Will the wheels listed for the Pop also fit the Sport? Yes, the relevant specifications are the same.

2. My 500 has a 4-98 bolt pattern, but Tire Rack sells both 4-98 and 4-100 wheels. How does the 4-100 wheel fit on the 4-98 vehicle? 4-100 wheels are compatible with 4-98 cars by using wobble bolts. Wobble bolts are bolts with floating seats. On the 500, each bolt seat moves slightly upward to accommodate the 4-100 bolt pattern. Since the wheel is centered on the hub by the wheel's centering ring, the wheel and tire assembly runs smoothly. You must use the included wobble bolts.

3. Are there any special installation instructions? Yes, please remove the two locator pins that are on the hub. These locator pins are used solely during the assembly of the car and serve no other function. They will need to be removed so the wheel fits flush against the hub.              

*Excludes shipping

Winter / Snow Tires Keep Sienna Drivers Safe

Friday, October 28, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
"Are we there yet?" It's a question that many Sienna drivers may tire of hearing. They should take solace in the fact that their precious, albeit sometimes annoying cargo is well protected by a bevy of safety features. The 2011 Sienna has seven airbags, ABS, traction control and other safety features which help keep your family safe.

What about safety in snow country? Your all-season tires are a big chink in the armor. Dedicated winter / snow tires and proper winter driving will shield your family from winter's threat. Since many Sienna drivers are concerned about optimum safety in snow and on ice, selecting an option from the Studless Ice and Snow performance category would be an ideal set of Toyota tires.

Snow Tire Size

Front-wheel drive (FWD) Siennas come with either 235/60-17, 235/55-18 or 235/50-19 conventional tires as Original Equipment. While the all-wheel drive (AWD) Sienna is typically equipped with 235/55-18 run-flat tires and no spare. 

In general, a narrower tire is a better selection when sizing a winter / snow tire. Running narrower tires puts more weight, and therefore more grip on your tires. With a very light vehicle, such as the Toyota Yaris, there's less weight on the tires which makes it imperative to run skinnier tires. Given the Sienna's high curb weight, most drivers should stay with a 235/60-17 or 235/55-18 winter / snow tire.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The 2011 Toyota Sienna uses valve stem-mounted TPMS sensors, so sensors will need to be installed in your car wheels for the TPMS to function. Since TPMS sensors have unique serial numbers, your Toyota dealer will have to initialize your "winter" sensors in the fall and your "summer" sensors in the spring.

Original Equipment sensors are available for $38* each and installation is included when you purchase a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. There are no functional issues if you decide to run without sensors, however you'll notice a constant warning light.

Winter/Snow Tire & Wheel Packages for FWD Siennas

Wheels and Tire Packages for the front-wheel drive Sienna are available with the 235/60-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 on the 17x7.5 Silver Machined Elbrus I05 for $1012** plus shipping. Plus, the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 is a great contender, however, winter inventory can move quickly, so be sure to place your order well before the snow begins to fall. 

235/60-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
235/60-17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
17x7.5 Silver Machine Elbrus I05
17x7.5 Silver Machine Elbrus I05

The 235/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 on 18x8" Bright Silver Painted Sport Edition SE-14 wheels is priced at $1,224.00** plus shipping.


235/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
18x8
18x8 Bright Silver Sport Edition SE-14

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages for AWD Siennas


Since there are no 235/60-17 run-flat winter / snow tires, AWD Sienna drivers should look at the 235/55-18 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT on Sport Edition SE-14 wheels for $1728*** plus shipping (the LM-60 RFT is the only compatible 235/55-18 run-flat winter / snow tire).

235/55-18 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT
235/55-18 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT
18x8
18x8 Bright Silver Sport Edition SE-14

2011 Toyota Sienna Winter / Snow FAQ:

1. Does Tire Rack offer steel wheels for the 2011 Sienna?

No, there are no compatible 16" or 17" steel wheels currently available.

2. Will my 16" wheels and tires from my old Sienna fit?

No, unfortunately your old 16" wheels won't clear the larger brakes in the 2011 model.

*Prices subject to change
**Prices subject to change, excluding sensors
***Prices subject to change, including senors

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

Winter Tire and Wheel Sets for Porsche Panamera and Cayenne

Thursday, October 20, 2011 by Logan Woodworth
Winter / snow tires offer dramatic improvement in safety and performance in winter conditions including snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This improvement is especially important for vehicles that include Max Performance Summer tires as Original Equipment.
 
The Porsche Panamera and new body style Cayenne commonly come with O.E. Max Performance Summer tires and are dangerous to use in a winter environment. The few all-season Porsche tires available are not well-suited for deep snow and ice.

Tire Rack offers custom Winter/ Snow Tire & Wheel Packages for these vehicles in 18", 19" and 20" diameters. The packages come completely mounted and balanced and have the option of coming with TPMS sensors and Porsche center caps. 

Winter packages for the Panamera start at around $1,800* for the 18" fitment. This package includes the Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II tire and Sport Edition Cup 4 alloy wheel. And after you buy Pirelli tires for your Porsche, read "Breaking In New Winter Tires" to better understand how the personality and handling traits of your new tires are different than your Original Equipment.
Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II
Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II
Sport Edition Cup 4
Sport Edition Cup 4

Winter packages for the Cayenne start at around $1,300* for the 18" fitment. This package includes the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 and the Sport Edition TX8 alloy wheel. This combination of Bridgestone SUV tires and aftermarket wheels will make winter driving a breeze compared to any all weather tires you may find.
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Sport Edition TX8
Sport Edition TX8

Find the right wheels/rims and tires for your vehicle by creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

*Prices subject to change

Classic Style, New Look: Sport Edition A7 Now Available in Black.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by Ben Rooney
The SportSport Edition A7 Black Edition A7 has been a popular wheel both for Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages as well as year-round use. It has been around for years in the silver finish, but is now available in black. Most of the sizes available in black are 17", however there are a few 16" and 18" wheels available. Several of the BMW applications accept the original BMW center cap. Every part number for these Sport Edition wheels in black are currently in stock, so now is the perfect time to pick up a set for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.  

When creating your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, there is an 18" version available for the M3 that does not show up yet on our website for some of the more recent years. Searching by the 2008 model will bring it up, but be aware that the TPMS sensors were different for 2008-09 model compared to 2010-11.

For more information on how we ensure your wheel and tire package is properly balanced and provides you with a vibration-free driving experience, read "Tire & Wheel Package Ride Quality Confirmation."

Create your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!


Winter / Snow Tires for Your 2012 Ford Focus

Friday, October 7, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
In launching the new Focus, Ford made huge improvements across the board and gave North American drivers the enjoyment Focus drivers have been enjoying in Europe. Despite many improvements, the Focus still isn't intrinsically good in the snow. The low curb weight that makes the Focus great at the fuel pump, hurts the vehicle's snow performance.

Overall vehicle weight is still critical, as less weight on your tires means less grip in snow and on ice. Getting a set of dedicated winter / snow tires for your Focus will eradicate any winter driving woes you may encounter. Given the weight issues, most moderate Focus drivers should consider a Studless Ice and Snow tire. And with the Focus' handling abilities, drivers in the milder winter climates may be happier with a Performance Winter/Snow tire.

Studless Ice and Snow Tire Sizes

For the harsher winter climates, 195/65-15 would be the optimum winter tire size in the Studless Ice and Snow category. 195/65-15 is narrow enough to cut through deep snow but wide enough to brake, turn and accelerate on hard-packed snow or ice. Do you often drive on roads that are frequently covered with hard-packed snow? Last winter we had a mix of deep snow, extremely cold weather and a lack of plowing on secondary roads. We often had roads that had been plowed once, but the thin layer of residual snow hardened into ice. The 195/65-15 tire is wide enough to handle these conditions. 

So what is one of the best Winter / Snow Tires & Wheel Package options with a Studless Ice and Snow tire? The 195/65-15 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on 15x6 black painted steel wheels with wheels covers on closeout pricing for a total of $604** plus shipping would be a good choice.

Performance Winter/Snow Tire Sizes

If you're a faster driver that prefers Performance Winter/Snow tires, 215/55-16 accentuates dry weather grip. Although you'll lose some snow grip, 215/55-16 will still be adequate this winter in moderate and deep snow.

If you have made the decision to order a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a Performance Winter/Snow tire, then consider the 215/55-16 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D on 16x7.5 50mm offset Sport Edition F7 wheels at $952* plus shipping. Since the factory offset is 50mm, this wheel won't protrude out abnormally or be unusually recessed compared to the factory 6.5" wide wheel. It will essentially be in the same place relative to the brake rotor and body fender. Check out our tech article, "Offset" to gain a better understanding of how offset can affect your wheels (rims) and tires purchase.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Sport Edition F7
Sport Edition F7

Shop by vehicle to find the tires and wheels that will work best for your vehicle.

*Prices subject to change
**Excluding TPMS sensors

Winter Wheels Make Changing Snow Tires Easier!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
Personally, I own a vehicle that I equip with a dedicated set of winter wheels and tires, while my other vehicle keeps the same wheels on year-round. Having the same set of wheels on my vehicle throughout the year can be a hassle when it comes time to switch tires. In my experience, it's much more convenient to have a dedicated set of wheels that allows me to install snow tires at my convenience, while saving me the cost of mounting and balancing. If you consider mounting and balancing at an average of $20 per tire, and this is done once in the fall and again in the spring, the costs quickly add up. Take a look at a few of our value-oriented winter wheel selections:
Sport Edition D5
Sport Edition D5
Sport Edition CD
Sport Edition CD
Sport Edition A7
Sport Edition A7

If you're debating on whether or not to invest in a set of winter wheels, consider that after a few years of mounting and balancing, you will have already covered the cost of a new set of wheels! And, if you need help on choosing the proper type of wheel for your vehicle this winter, read "Alloy vs. Steel Wheels in Winter Tire & Wheel Packages."

Create your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Make Your 2010+ Outback Even Better in the Snow

Friday, September 16, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Many Subaru Outback drivers chose their vehicle because of its symmetrical all-wheel drive that provides great accelerating and cornering grip in the rain and snow. With all of its advantages, the Outback is still limited by the amount of grip available with each tire. The right snow tire will let you take your vehicle even further.

To gain a better understanding of which snow tire will work best for your vehicle, read "Which Snow Tire: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or Performance Winter / Snow?" Given the vehicle's moderate weight, all-wheel drive dynamics and go-anywhere intentions, I would recommend a Studless Ice and Snow tire.

Snow Tire Sizes

The ideal winter tire size for 2010+ Outbacks with a 2.5L engine is 215/70-16. This size is narrow enough to cut through moderate and deep snow and wide enough to handle hard-packed snow, ice and dry roads. Outbacks with a 3.6L engine should run 225/60-17 as 16" wheels won't clear the larger brakes of the 3.6L Outback.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Each wheel has a valve stem-mounted TPMS sensor that you can run with or without for winter driving. If you decide to run without the TPMS sensors, you'll see a warning light, but there are no functional issues associated with the light. And if you're in need of O.E. TPMS sensors, we have them available for $36* each. Your Subaru dealer will have to initialize your winter sensors in the fall and your summer sensors in the spring. For a better understanding on using TPMS sensors, read "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Servicing."

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for 3.6L Outbacks

For 3.6L engine Outbacks, one of the best package options is the 225/60R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 on 17x7.5" Sport Edition A7 wheels at $936** plus shipping. The Blizzak WS70 uses Bridgestone's NanoPro-Tech silica-enhanced Tube Multicell compound for superior ice and packed-snow grip.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Sport Edition A7
Sport Edition A

*Prices subject to change
**Excluding TPMS sensors

Snow Tires for Your 2005-2011 Porsche 911

Friday, September 9, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Would you like to drive your 2005-2011 Porsche 911 (997 Chassis) twelve months a year? Well, why not invest in a set of dedicated snow tires and do it.

In order to gain a better understanding of the different types of winter / snow tires, read, "Which Snow Tire: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or Performance Winter / Snow?" You'll find that most 911 drivers are best served with Performance Winter / Snow tires, as tires in this category help preserve the handling for this particular application.

Snow Tire Sizes

Once you've decide on which type of snow tire you would like, your next step is to pick a proper size. Most 911 drivers want to be able to drive their car as much as possible in the winter. The car's ground clearance will limit use, therefore there's little benefit to running skinnier winter tires. So if your 911 came with 235/35-19 front and 295/30-19 rear, you should continue to use these sizes. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Each wheel has a valve stem-mounted TPMS sensor that you can run with or without for winter driving. If you decide to run without the TPMS sensors, you'll see a warning light, but there are no functional issues associated with the light. When you reinstall your summer wheels, the TPMS will work as normal once you've activated the sensors by driving your car. And if you're in need of O.E. TPMS sensors, we have them available for $110* each. For a better understanding on using TPMS sensors, read "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Servicing."

The Best Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for most 911 drivers is 235/35-19 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D front tires and 295/30-19 rear tires on 19x8.5" Sport Edition Cup 4 wheels on the front and 19x11" Sport Edition Cup 4 wheels on the rear at $2,526.00* plus shipping. The wheels will use the original lug bolts and original Porsche center caps.

 

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Sport Edition Cup 4
Sport Edition Cup
*Includes TPMS sensors and prices subject to change

Winter Wonder Wheel: Sport Edition A7

Thursday, September 8, 2011 by Jonas Paeplow
Many of my customers ask, "Why should I purchase an aluminum alloy wheel for use in the winter?"

Pound for pound, aluminum alloy wheels are stronger and lighter than steel in the same size. Any time you can decrease the rolling (unsprung) weight of your vehicle, you potentially increase braking effectiveness and reduce wear and tear on suspension components. Any vehicle weight reduction also goes a long way towards improving fuel economy. Both of these factors alone are a definite plus in winter weather. Aluminum alloy wheels also enhance the appearance of your vehicle and are sized to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs. For a comparison of alloy and steel wheels, read "Alloy vs. Steel Wheels in Winter Tire & Wheel Packages."

Sport Edition A7A great alloy wheel for use in the winter is the Sport Edition A7. It is a gravity cast, anodized aluminum alloy wheel that is primed, powder coated silver with a clear finish coat. The simple casting process keeps cost down and the finish is very resilient against the harsh conditions that winter has to offer. The slightly angled open spoke design stays cleaner and less susceptible to ice and snow build-up.

The Sport Edition A7
comes in over 50 different fitments in 15" through 18" sizes with some sizes available in a new black finish. The Sport Edition A7 is "hub centric" for many BMW and Subaru applications. This can really simplify seasonal change-out without the need for centering rings that can get lost or damaged. BMW owners will find in many cases that they can use their O.E. center cap to add additional curb appeal.

For a sturdy, clean looking, low cost alternative to plain black steel wheels, pick the Winter Wonder Wheel, Sport Edition A7.

Nissan 350Z Tires to Handle Snow

Friday, September 2, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The 350Z is an awesome car for precise street driving and on the track, but not very good in the snow. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of snow tire options to greatly improve the vehicle's winter driving performance.

Visit the winter section of our Upgrade Garage and easily switch between product categories to see a complete fitment guide for your vehicle. You can also create Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages that come with all necessary hardware such as lugs, center caps ,centering rings, etc. that will allow you to switch between your different Tire & Wheel Packages (race, snow, street). To gain a better understanding of which snow tire will work best for your vehicle, read "Which Snow Tire: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or Performance Winter / Snow?

Given the vehicle's light weight and rear-wheel drive dynamics, I would recommend a Studless Ice and Snow tire. One of the best Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages for a 2005 Nissan 350Z would be the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 in 225/50-17 front tires and 225/55-17 for the rear on 17x8" Sport Edition KV5 wheels. 
 

Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Sport Edition KV5
Sport Edition KV5


225/55-17 rear sizing allows the driver to maintain a larger diameter in the rear so the traction control works properly. I like the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tire because it is designed to tackle some of the coldest winter driving conditions and the 225/55-17 is a low rolling resistance tire that confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases. The look of the tire with the Sport Edition KV5's painted silver finish sealed with a clear coat makes for a great winter combination. Sport Edition rims combine quality, style and price to offer an exceptional value. For more information on this environmentally friendly tire, read "Michelin Green X."

When installing wheels on the 350Z you may notice a steel pin protruding from the front hub mounting surface. This pin is designed to prevent erroneous rotation of the tires. You must remove it with a 12mm wrench so your new wheels will fit flush against the hub.

Affordable Performance From Bridgestone and Sport Edition

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Jonas Paeplow
InBridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport a previous post, I mentioned that my son and I had installed a nice Tire & Wheel Package on his car. We had originally intended to purchase a little lighter, more expensive wheel, but after a fender bender cut into our budget, we began exploring other options. This time using a sharper pencil. We still wanted as good a performing tire and wheel combination as we could now afford. We had already decided to install a plus zero fitment. We increased the tire size and the wheel width without going to a larger diameter wheel.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse GS came equipped with 205/55-16 tires mounted on 16x6" alloy wheels. In place of the stock package we installed 225/50-16 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport tires mounted on 16x7" wheels. This gave us a wider tire with a larger potential contact patch without changing speedometer and odometer accuracy, as both sizes measure the same (24.9") diameter.

The wheel we chose was a great looking, sturdy, lightweight and reasonably priced, Sport Edition D5. We decided on the Sport Edition D5 for several reasons: at 18 lbs. it is relatively light for its size. It is a low-pressure cast (reduces voids in the metal) aluminum alloy wheel that is shot peened to relieve stresses in the finished product. Each wheel then undergoes X-ray and ultrasound inspection to ensure continuity of the casting process. The anodized aluminum alloy wheel is then primed and powder coated silver. Each wheel then receives a high gloss clear finish coat. The finish on this wheel gives it very strong resilience to the harsh elements of sun, Sport Edition D5rain, detergents and even winter weather conditions. The Sport Edition D5 also has the extra benefit of certification standards from JWL and VIA. These quality inspections and tests are much more stringent than those required of wheels manufactured as Original Equipment on many applications. All of this in one wheel at a great low price.

The combination of the wider but lighter wheel reduces rolling or "unsprung" weight and the wider, Ultra High Performance Summer Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport really transformed the handling on this car. It corners like it's on rails now. You truly can afford performance, if you know where and how to look.


Which Snow Tire: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or Performance Winter / Snow?

Friday, August 26, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and your typical winter weather.  The three major categories are: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow tires.

Studless Ice and Snow tires give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads especially if you're a fast driver with a sportier vehicle. To achieve high traction levels on snow and ice they do offer less grip on dry roads and your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs, under hard braking or under hard acceleration.

Studdable Winter / Snow can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give comparable ice and packed snow grip but they will be even less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll lack ice and packed snow grip but perform well in moderate and deep snow.

Performance Winter / Snow 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'll give up ice and packed snow grip. Performance Winter / Snow tires will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice and Snow tires, especially during the warmer early and late winter days.  All snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire, but Performance Winter / Snow tires tend to be quieter.

Specific Tires

Studless Ice and Snow tires tend be available in higher profile tire sizes and include the following:
If you go with Studless Ice and Snow, you should also consider going with a narrower tire as the narrower tire cuts through deeper snow better especially for a lighter car like a MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow  options include the following:
The Altimax Arctic is slightly better in ice and packed snow and is quieter than the the Winterforce. The Winterforce is more effective in deeper snow.

The Performance Winter / Snow tires tires tend to be available in lower profile sizes and include the following:Depending on the exact size, your choices may be previous seasons' versions or SUV/light truck versions of the above tires.

So should you get a Studless Ice and Snow, a Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire?  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, about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice and Snow in 235/40-18 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 offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

If we look at a hypothetical driver in Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with  Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40-18 front and 255/40-18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.

More Snow Tires and Wheels Available For Your BMW X6

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
EquipSport Edition WX5ped with large brakes, the BMW X6 had very few 19" snow tire and wheel options available last winter. However, as snow will be falling before we know it, new options are now available for this application.

The Sport Edition WX5 offers a clean, classic 5-spoke design that will clear larger brakes and will also accept your BMW's original center cap. The Original Equipment X6 tires are run-flats that come with no spare, therefore many drivers may be better off with a run-flat winter tire. For great overall snow performance and goodPirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow RFT handling on dry and wet winter roads, the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow RFT is a good choice.  

Creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel package with this combination would be $2100 plus shipping. However, if you decide you want to move away from run-flat tires, the package is $1760 plus shipping with the non-fun-flat Scorpion Ice & Snow.

And if you decide to purchase the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow RFT, be sure to read "Tips on Mounting Run-Flat Tires" to ensure the set is properly installed.

Prices subject to change