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 ExtremeContact DWS

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 ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.82
 
 

2004 Porsche Cayenne S
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Sisters, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
May 08, 2014

THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BEST TIRE THAT I HAVE EVER OWNED. THEY ARE QUIET, SMOOTH, AND COMFORTABLE. BUT, BEST OF ALL THEY GIVE ME A FEELING OF COMPLETE ASSURANCE IN MOST EVERY CONDITION. I DO USE A STUDLESS SNOW TIRE IN THE WINTER FOR THE SNOW AND ICE WE HAVE HERE IN CENTRAL OREGON. BUT FOR DRIVING THE I-5 CORRIDOR IN DRY AND RAIN AND DRIVING OVER MOUNTAIN PASSES WHERE WE ENCOUNTER RAIN, SLUSH AND LIGHT SNOW, THESE TIRES ARE PERFECT. I RECOMMEND THEM TO ANYONE, IN ANY TYPE OF VEHICLE - PASSENGER CARS AND SUV'S. IF THERE IS A BETTER TIRE OUT THERE, I HAVEN'T FOUND IT. AND THE WEAR INDICATORS THAT TELL YOU WHEN THEY ARE NO LONGER GOOD FOR LIGHT SNOW AND ONLY WET AND DRY, AND THEN ONLY DRY ARE INNOVATIVE AND WELCOME! IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE BEST, THIS IS IT.

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
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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.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Carving Edge

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.

Pirelli Winter Carving Edge Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

1993 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 7,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 7,000 Miles on Tires
May 07, 2014

Bought these tires in December. These were my first snow tires, and I picked a great winter (82" of snow this winter). The only times I got stuck were when I tried going through +10" of frozen snow and the small civic bottomed out. On the roads I had nothing but fun, easily passing suv's. Everyone always puts blizzaks on a pedestal, but I would recommend these as an underdog overperformer.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin LTX A/T 2

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.

Michelin LTX A/T 2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2008 Toyota 4Runner 4wd Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 75,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 75,000 Miles on Tires
May 25, 2014

I have been extremely pleased with these tires. The tread wear for an SUV is amazing. I plan to replace these before winter so that I have good snow traction, but who knows how many more miles they could go. These tires are quiet and perform well in all conditions. The only comment was that they needed to be force balanced initially. The only tire I would buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus

Tuesday, July 8, 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.

Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2010 BMW X5 xDrive35d
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
May 17, 2014

Running on run flat tires was the worst tire experience I have ever had within my 40 years of driving.The stiff sidewalks transmit noise. No more bang from pot holes and my X5 is now quiet at high speeds. I purchased one of the last discontinued X5 factory spares kits, but a tow service membership is a great all-around protection whether with or without a spare. My old run flat tires lasted for 30 thousand painful miles and the lower cost of the new non run flat tires equates to 20 thousand miles to break even. This SUV is now set up to run on the highway and is not going to see much off-road adventure that would justify stronger sidewalls. This is my summer tire and so far so good. Just completed my 500 mile trip from the Sacramento Valley to the Central Oregon Coast up the I 5 corridor. The diesel motor loved the added grip and mini vans faded away thru the mountains.

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.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Destination A/T

Thursday, June 5, 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.

Firestone Destination A/T Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.47
 
 

2005 Volvo XC90 2.5T FWD
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Rockville, MD
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
May 13, 2014

So this is my second set. I put 70000 on the first set and the right rear developed a slow leak. Went to the local Firestone dealer and he said these tires need to be replaced. I said they have plenty of tread. He said after 4 years the side walls have had too much sun and wear. You do not want a blow out at 80 mph. These tires have been driven close to 100 mph across Texas in the summer. They have handled Stevens Pass Washington in snow storms. They have been on soft sand in Hawaii, Washington and Maryland. I'm in the military and move a lot. Logging trails in Washington and Louisiana . Ice storms in Maryland and Washington. I carried chains in the winter in Washington, but never used them. I think the law thought I was 4x4. If I rode on sand often I'd get something else. I tow occasionally, light boats and utility trailers. They are not the quietest or smoothest tires. They do not have aggressive AT tread, but for a great all around SUV tire I think they are an awesome value. I change the oil every 5 k and rotate the tires every 10 k. Check the air about once a month. I hope to put over 250k on the Volvo. If I do I'll be on my third set of Destination ATs. I'm going to put them on my pickup as soon as the ome wear out. The ome on the Volvo didn't last 20 k. I do not own stock in Firestone.

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.

MOTO METAL Wheels Now Available at Tire Rack

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

At the request of many drivers, we now offer the MOTO METAL line of wheels for popular late-model trucks and SUVs. Launching the line at Tire Rack with seven styles, MOTO METAL wheels feature a variety of finishes that include black painted, chrome and black with milled accents.

Drawing inspiration from Southern California's motocross community, MOTO METAL takes street looks and adapts them to their wheel designs. Using top performance metrics, MOTO METAL utilizes unique styling characteristics. Some designs feature flat, deep lips, milled accents and removable inserts allowing drivers to further customize their wheels. Take a look at some of the wheels now available from MOTO METAL:

Search by vehicle to find MOTO METAL wheels for your application.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus AS RH07

Thursday, May 15, 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.


Hankook Ventus AS RH07Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.6

2008 Mercedes-Benz GL450
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 7,500
Location: Batavia, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 7,500 Miles on Tires
January 30, 2013

I purchased these tires because the reviews on the most of the other options were poor. The tires have so far been a very good. The ride is soft and comfortable with very little noise. The wear rate has been good so far. The dealer just rotated them and reported no problems other then some very minor side wall issues. I think he was more interested in pointing something wrong out since I didn’t get the tires from that dealer.

These tires are great in the rain. No sliding or hydroplaning at all. We had an ice storm recently and the tires didn't do that great but the road was almost all ice. If there is any place I am disappointed it's in their performance in the snow. They are adequate but could be better. They lack the traction I’ve had with other SUV tires. They weren’t bad, just ok. Overall, so far, these tires have performed very well for the price.