Why Doesn't My Car Come with a Spare Tire?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Is the spare tire becoming extinct? With a growing number of vehicles in the United States being sold without one, it could appear that way. In fact, many drivers are unaware they may not have one until they need one.

New cars, trucks and SUVs seldom come with a spare tire, wheel and jack kit due to an increasing demand for fuel economy and storage space. While all of these attributes are positives, they may not be at the forefront of your mind as you lay stranded on the side of the road. Despite not having a spare tire, there are ways to make sure you are prepared.

Many automakers include roadside assistance with the purchase of their vehicles. It's a good idea to program this number into your phone or be sure to keep a copy of the vehicle's reference guide handy (a smaller version of the owner's manual).

Drivers can fix punctures from small nails or screws using a tire inflation kit. We sell the Continental ContiComfortKit that injects a water-soluble sealant into the tire along with compressed air to re-inflate. This unit is simple to use and operates with the vehicle's 12V accessory power source.

The kit makes it possible for you to complete your drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. It also helps you get back on the road quickly, as most passenger car tires that are flat will take less than seven minutes to fill.

Purchase your own spare tire and wheel combo. Dealers often sell donut spare wheels and tires through the parts department. In the event they do not, you can purchase a full size wheel and tire to keep in the trunk. Please note that full size wheels and tires may not fit into the trunk storage compartment beneath the trunk carpeting. You'll also need to make sure you have a jack and lug wrench handy.

To learn more about the spare tires, read "Spare Tire Extinction?"

Which Tires Last the Longest?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

As a consumer shopping for tires, there are many important attributes and characteristics that you should take into consideration. For example, some tires have better wet traction for rainy days, while some are designed to handle winter's toughest conditions. There are tires that focus mostly on maximum dry grip on the race track, and others that are meant to provide a smooth and quiet ride.

Some of these characteristics may be more important to your particular situation than others, but one question that is almost always asked is, "How long will my tires last?" This may even be the most important feature in your tires if you drive many miles on a yearly basis. If you're a driver who has a long daily commute and takes long road trips, consider the following options from a few of our popular performance categories. 

Passenger All-Season

 Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
 Goodyear Assurance ComforTred
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred


Standard Touring All-Season

 General AltiMAX RT43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Michelin Defender
Michelin Defender


Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season 

 Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Bridgestone Dueler H/L
Alenza Plus
 Continental  CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


In order to get the most wear out of your tires, be sure check your tires' air pressures often and keep them inflated to your vehicle's recommended pressures. You'll want to check and adjust the pressure first thing in the morning before rising ambient temperatures, the sun's radiant heat or even driving short distances temporarily warms the tires. For more maintenance tips to increase your tires' performance, life and durability, read "Air Pressure: When and How to Set."

Best Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires in Size 275/55R20

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Gary Stanley

On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires are common for those looking for aggressive tread patterns and some off-road traction. However, many drivers aren't looking for off-road traction and instead drive mostly on the street. These drivers would rather have a tire with a smoother and quieter ride with longer wear. This is what makes tires in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category so appealing to them. The best two options in this category for tire size 275/55R20 are the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza.

CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Bridgestone Dueler
H/L Alenza


If winter traction isn't a priority for you based on the area you live in, I'd suggest the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza for its smooth, quiet ride and outstanding wet traction. Are you going to experience winter conditions while on the road? Are you concerned about snow traction? You don't have to sacrifice much in the way of snow traction when you purchase the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. It provides very good snow traction for an all-season tire, even better than some all-terrain tires.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is currently ranked first in our tire survey results. It has the highest ratings in the following areas compared to other options in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Light snow traction
  • Ride comfort

Curious to see what other drivers are saying about their experience with the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology? Take a look at some of our customer reviews

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5
 
 

2010 Toyota RAV4 4wd V6
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
June 10, 2014

Tire racks review of this tire was bang on. Very happy with the tire like driving a new SUV. Handling and steering and drive comfort are great. Toyo tires which came with the vehicle never handle properly and in wet weather did not have confident in them.

Best All-Terrain Tire Choices for 275/55R20 Size

Monday, June 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Not too long ago, 20-inch tires were rare, exotic and mostly reserved for high-end European SUVs or show vehicles gracing the cover of automobile magazines. Those that were available were ultra high performance tires, often with little to no all-season traction and wore very quickly. This is not the case today. In fact, 20" tires are an option on many popular trucks, SUVs and domestic and import crossovers. 

Of the 20" sizes that are used, one of the most common is 275/55R20. This size is often used on SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. Trucks that commonly use this size include the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150 and can even be used with 20" wheels on newer Toyota Tundras. 

A popular misconception is that one can't find more aggressive On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires in this size. This performance category is one of the most effective in snow traction and light off-road capability in a tire that can be used year-round. Many of the best all-terrain tires on the market are available in this size, such as the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar and Michelin LTX A/T 2.   

 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
 Michelin LTX A/T 2
Michelin LTX
A/T 2


If you're looking for a more street friendly ride and longer wear, I'd suggest the Michelin LTX A/T 2. It compares quite favorably to a long-time favorite that you can learn about by reading, "BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO vs. Michelin LTX A/T 2." For more aggressive snow and off-road traction, consider the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar as your top choice.  

Does your vehicle require a different tire size? Shop by size and view the complete selection available for your vehicle. 

Introducing the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Within the past year, many consumers were disappointed to learn that the popular Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor they had grown to love had been discontinued. Always well liked for its good road manners and capable all- terrain abilities, many feared the replacement would not live up to its predecessor.

Goodyear erased those worries with the introduction of their Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar. Featuring a host of sizes and a tread pattern that closely mirrors the SilentArmor, this new tire has indeed lived up to the expectations of Goodyear loyalists and currently holds the top spot in our consumer driven surveys for On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires. More durable than many other all-terrain tires, the tire's internal structure includes twin, high-tensile steel belts reinforced by a spirally wrapped layer of next-generation DuPont Kevlar cord to combine strength with comfort (Pro-Grade belts feature thicker steel cords reinforced by two layers of spirally wrapped DuPont Kevlar cord).

Last August, we had an opportunity to test the tire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of America's top areas for outdoor recreational activities. Goodyear provided several on-road and dirt-road experiences behind the wheel of a variety of SUVs and pickup trucks in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. During our time testing the tire, we came away impressed with the tire's steering response and traction on dirt. It also provided good grip, predictable handling and capable stopping traction in both wet and dry conditions. For a complete recap of our test, take a look at "Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure Preview."

The Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar is made for most light trucks and features and an abundance of E-Load range options for 3/4-ton and 1-ton applications requiring Extra Load carrying capacity.

Top-Rated Highway All-Season Truck and SUV Tires

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

In the United States, the truck and SUV market is extremely popular with drivers. It should come as no surprise that the tire market for this growing market share has become increasingly competitive. In total, 33 tires in the Highway All-Season performance category are examined by our customers, and two of the most popular are the Michelin LTX M/S2 and Firestone Destination LE 2.

The Michelin LTX M/S2's symmetric tread design of stable independent tread blocks featuring high-density 3-D Active Sipes delivers all-season traction on dry roads and in inclement weather. Four wide circumferential channels, multiple lateral grooves and open shoulder slots promote lateral water evacuation to enhance wet traction and stopping performance.

Firestone's Destination LE 2 is designed to combine long wear, a comfortable ride and all-season traction, even in light snow. It features twin steel belts reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon to provide strength, uniformity and durability on top of a polyester cord body that helps cushion the ride for truck and sport utility vehicle drivers.


Firestone Destination LE 2

Michelin LTX M/S2


Michelin LTX M/S2:

  • Highest-rated tire in the category
  • Available in a large number of sizes
  • 70,000-mile treadlife warranty
  • Large number of D/E load range options

Firestone Destination LE 2:

  • Outstanding value
  • 60,000-mile treadlife warranty
  • Highest score in category for light snow traction
  • Outstanding ride quality

To view all options available for your truck or SUV, shop by vehicle.

Firestone Destination LE 2: Consistent Strong Performance

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

One of our best-selling tires in the Highway All-Season performance category over the past few years has been the Firestone Destination LE 2. Like the original Destination LE before it, the Destination LE 2 has proven itself as a long-lasting, comfortable tire that has good road manners and dependable all-season performance.

Featuring a good amount of biting edge, this Firestone tire has received high marks for its light snow traction. Currently ranked second in its category, the tire also receives high ratings in the following areas:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Cornering stability
  • Steering response
  • Ride comfort
  • Noise comfort

Despite the high consumer rating, the Firestone Destination LE 2 has a modest price-point and frequently bests tires that cost 20-30% more. Offered in 42 sizes, there is a Destination LE 2 for most popular models of light trucks, SUVs and crossovers.