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?"

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.

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 Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, April 3, 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 X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2014 Chevrolet Malibu
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Centennial, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
April 01, 2014

I have used three brands of snows, Pirelli, Blizzaks and these Michelins. I have these on a corporate Malibu. I drive a LOT of city and through the Colorado Rockies and across prairie. I need a tire that will handle in most every temperature and condition and give me good stopping and handling in the city. These tires get worked very hard, especially in the city with quick starts at lights. If you are a city driver you know you may have seconds to make a left and you will tailgate the lumbering Buick, SUV or Camry in front of you to get through.

I will say this is an outstanding tire. I watched the videos here on Tire Rack and I cannot disagree. I love the Pirelli's and this tire in particular. I really cannot tell them apart in my driving so it is subjective. However, the Michelin's are holding up well as I drive a lot in the winter. These tires stay on minimum six months a year.

I took the Malibu out with these in a real slushy snow and it was passable. Nothing does really well in the slush as you ride up on it. I took my other car with Blizzaks and no difference. However, these tires bite, ride and recover well. They are really superb on dry road and warm weather, too. This is what I really appreciate. A Malibu is not a performance car but I drive it pretty hard, chirp the wheels frequently and push the front wheel drive. The back and front stay well planted and predictable. In the worst snow and ice the tires give good grip and minimum sliding with quick recovery. That is all you can ask. If the wear is good I am actually playing with the idea of putting these or some Pirelli winters on my Mini Countryman all year. I kayak and have an idea these will be good in sand and small rock near the rivers. Since I am in Colorado you can actually hit snow 12 months of the year in the mountains.
This is a great all around tire that should meet most needs. You can try and pick minute differences in tires but you will not go wrong with these.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Thursday, April 3, 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 CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.71
 
 

1998 Lincoln Navigator
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Shippensburg, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

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

It's true that these tires can suffer from being out of round. When I first had these mounted and balanced, I got the dreaded hobble. BUT I took them back to my installer and they road forced them, dismounted them, turned them on the wheel, rebalanced them, and they're about as perfect as you can get now. I saw the numbers on the balancer myself because my local shop lets me stand there and watch and talk to them since I've been going there for years as has my entire family.

As long as they hold up I'll be tickled pink. My huge SUV now knows what a straight line is, corners well, grips well, and can almost be driven like a car. These tires are also very quiet, especially for being in the Low Rolling Resistance category. I also picked up a couple highway MPGs over my old All-Terrains, which are still in the shed for winter and fun.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, April 3, 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 X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.89
 
 

2011 Volvo C70 T5
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 200
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 200 Miles on Tires
December 08, 2013

These tires are great in the snow. I got caught in a sudden snow storm in PA and these tires were unstoppable. I was passing cars, trucks & SUVs that were stuck without a single problem. Last year with my "all-season" tires I couldn't even make it up my driveway with a dusting of snow. Given that I bought these tire for their snow & ice handling I am very pleased.

As far as handling is concerned, I've noticed these tire feel slightly softer than my other tires but then these are on 16" wheels vs 18" wheels. I don't drive aggressively so I haven't noticed any degradation under normal driving conditions. So far there is no road noise to speak of and performance on wet roads has been excellent.

Given that these are WINTER tires and if you are buying them you are looking for winter performance I think they are fabulous. I don't know why people stopped buying winter tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce

Tuesday, March 11, 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 Winterforce Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.62
 
 

1986 BMW 735i
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Wayne, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
February 20, 2014

2014 In Northern New Jersey, so far has been bringing a snowstorm almost every week, 2 ice storms too. All my cars are (RWD) rear wheel drive and are very bad in snow driving conditions so i decided to buy the Firestone Winterforce tires with Studs installed on all 4 of them just in time before the major snowstorm we had on 2/13/14. I took my e23 BMW 5pd manuel on roads and steep hills that my car could never climb and those firestone winterforce gave so good traction in the snow, i was going almost the speed limit (40mph) of the road, climbing steep uphill through i say 5" of snow on an unplowed road. Actually had fun driving in the snow with no fear of getting stuck, lol. These tires saved me $28,000 from buying an AWD SUV do to harsh weather conditions this year. Also tried driving on black ice in parking lot at work and studs of tires griped through the ice at minimum slippage. Just speachless for 27 year old RWD. Also posted 2 video's on YouTube of my car going through the snow, "Snow Day Cruising BMW 735i (E23)" and video links ; http://youtu.be/HlMoVmECtA8 , http://youtu.be/Stfgt74w0P4

All-Season Tires for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Friday, March 7, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

With sophisticated all-wheel drive, traction control and weighing 5,622 pounds, you'd expect the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG to dominate in the snow. Surprisingly, this isn't the case because there are no all-season or winter tire choices made in the vehicle's 275/50R20 Original Equipment size. 

Do you own one of these amazing SUVs, but a few inches of snow have you sliding? It's time to get creative with your next tire purchase. 285/50R20 is about 1/2" wider, 3/10" larger in overall diameter, and meets the G63's Load Carrying capacity requirements and fits on the Original Equipment AMG rims. Going with the 285/50R20 size provides you with many dedicated winter / snow and all-season tire options. Snowbelt drivers who want their G63 to excel in the snow should install a set of snow tires.

Even those who reside in a warmer climate, such as Atlanta, should consider all-season tires for their Mercedes-Benz. For a great combination of wet grip, decent light snow traction and good overall handling, the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is hard to beat. Another great option to consider is the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus.

Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Continental CrossContact LX20 $168*
Continental CrossContact LX20
with EcoPlus Technology
Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus $233*
Bridgestone Dueler H/L
Alenza Plus


For more assistance in finding a good set of tires for your vehicle, read "Selecting the Right Tires."

Hard-to-Find Tires for the Toyota Highlander, GMC Acadia, Dodge Journey and MINI Cooper

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Many new SUVs and CUVs are coming equipped with hard-to-find tire sizes. Therefore, when the time comes for replacements, there are often few options to choose from. In almost every case, we work hard to stock these unique Original Equipment sizes (like the 19" and 20" options for the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave). If you're looking for alternative tires, we can often recommend different sizes to provide you more options for your vehicle.

A few examples include:

  • Current generation Toyota Highlanders use a 245/55R19 tire size, but we can guarantee the slightly wider 255/55R19 to work on your Original Equipment wheels.
  • The Dodge Journey uses a unique 225/55R19 tire size, and as an alternative, we can guarantee you can use 235/55R19 tires.  
  • The MINI Cooper Clubman comes with a 205/55R17 run-flat tire that can be tough to get. For a better selection in both run-flat and non-run-flat configurations, the 225/50R17 size is a great option.

When developing alternate tire sizes, we have to maintain the correct load rating as required by the manufacturer and stay within 5% of the original tire's diameter to make sure that none of the vehicle's safety systems are affected. Shop by vehicle and view the tire options available for your application.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

Thursday, February 20, 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.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3
 
 

2011 Toyota RAV4 4wd V6
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Holyoke, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 16, 2014

I drive a 2011 Rav4 all wheel/4wheel drive compact SUV. I had 2 year old all season tires that failed terribly in even the smallest of snowfalls. So after a lot of research I chose these and I am so happy I did. Where I had trouble before, now I don’t. Slush to me is worse than ice, and now it’s no problem, along with deep snow. It just snowed here 12” and I drove through it to see if I could loose traction, I even zig zaged and didn’t. Where I had trouble getting out of snow covered side streets without spinning out, with my blizzak dm v-1’s I pull out into on-coming traffic with no trouble at all. I have a ¾ mile steep up hill I take to go to work and covered with snow I had no problem going up it at all. The first thing in spring I plan to replace them for {Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia (Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season)}

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Defender

Thursday, February 6, 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 Defender Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.55
 
 

2003 Buick Lesabre Custom
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Fanwood, NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

I purchased these tires for my mother’s car mostly with winter weather driving being my main concern, as I tend to use it for commuting to work in snowy bad weather. This car, with the right tires, is a TANK in the snow. It’ll go and stop in anything! After prior bad experience with Good Year tires, I knew I wanted a quality tire from Pirelli or Michelin, so after a lot of research on TR I settled on these tires and was delighted to get a rebate at the time. As for the tires, they’re great. I just had this car in some serious snow storms here in NJ this winter and I commute to Morristown through the Great Swamp, which has tight turns with no shoulder and steep hills and the tires performed great. The one snow day it took me 1.5 hrs to go less than 2 miles in the severely unprepared roads and saw at least 10 accidents, with SUVs hitting snow ploughs, cars in ditches, 5 cars daisy chain crashed together, mult wrecked cars on flat beds going past me, SUVs just sliding down hills with the wheels turned full lock, and tractor trailers just parked on main roads, yet this car with these tires just kept on going with no drama. When you experience driving like this, you take your tires very serious. I plan on getting rid of the worn out POS Good Year Integrity tires on my father’s other Buick with these very same tires. They’re that good, the price isn’t too bad, they ride nice, and the mileage life is high. When it comes to tires, it’s your life, your insurance rates, and the headache of a car accident. Don’t get cheap!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Thursday, February 6, 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 Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.44
 
 

2009 Mazda Mazda6 Sport Sedan
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Columbus, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2014

Recently purchased these tires to replace the factory Michelen tires. I have noticed an immediate reduction in road noise with these tires, and the comfort over pot marked roads has been a great improvement. Today, in Columbus Ohio (2-5-14) we received 6" of snow with a layer of ice over top of it over night. The tires handled it with an amazing amount of ease. Almost zero wheel spin while driving back roads over ice covered roads from the plows, as well as areas the plow missed and my car became the plow. Highway driving over somewhat plowed roads meant lane changes over slush, ice and snow at 30 - 40 mph and I had no issues. Was passing SUV after SUV this morning. Only incident I have had was I hit a rather large pot hole and blew the tire out. I do not think that the tire itself had anything to do with it, as much as it was in regards to the road conditions and the tire size is a low profile tire and they just can't handle impact like that. I would recommend this tire to anyone. I have had Goodyears, Michelen's , etc before and this has been my most remarkable tire to date.

 

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!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3

Monday, January 27, 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 Snowcontrol Serie 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Des Moines, IA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 21, 2014

After a harrowing trip down the icy freeway with my stock tires on my 500 I bought the bullet and ordered a set of these tires and a set of wheels from tire rack. The difference is amazing. I installed the new mounted wheels in a neighbors garage. had to take 4 runs at his driveway to get in the garage. put the wheels on, pulled back in the street and walked right up the driveway with no issues. No more spinning out at icy intersections or wallowing all over the road in the snow. I have never had winter tires before but I will always have them now. The price I paid is a lot less than the cost of a beat up suv that I was thinking of buying just to get around in the winter. Also the service at Tire rack was top notch. Everything I needed was included including new bolts and a spacer ring for each wheel that I didnt know that I needed.