To Stud or Not to Stud for Winter

Friday, October 29, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Firestone WinterforeceThe Firestone Winterforce is an excellent, budget-priced, traction-oriented Studdable Winter / Snow tire.

This tire has an aggressive directional tread pattern coupled with large individualized studdable tread blocks to give improved light and deep snow ice traction to its drivers.

For those drivers who need even more winter traction, these winter tires can accept metal studs.

Which winter tires will work for you? Shop by vehicle today!

Find Your Wheels for Winter

Friday, October 22, 2010 by Grant Edwards

Sport Edition A7Every year, we all spend a great deal of time in the fall winterizing our homes. For example my mother-in-law spares no time in bringing large pallets of insulation wrap and duct tape to my home for all of my windows. In the same vein, we must also winterize our vehicles.

You need winter tires and wheels. If you're like me, you definitely do not want to damage your expensive factory wheels. I recommend a set of our aluminum alloy-based aftermarket wheels.

A popular, affordable brand is from our Sport Edition line -- the Sport Edition A7. This a one-piece, gravity casted, silver painted wheel with overall winter durability, curb appeal and low maintenance.

Create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package and save the cost associated with mounting and balancing winter tires on your current wheels. And save the wear and tear on those wheels!

Begin Winter...Now!

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Michelin X-Ice Xi2Many consider purchasing only two winter tires for their vehicles. Unless you are matching these winter tires to two other identical tires, mixing tires can become a dangerous combination. Watch the video.

Winter tire compounds change every year and have dramatic differences from both all-season tires and other winter tires. Winter rubber compounds, tread designs and tread depths change, too.

A popular winter tire is the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 (shown here). These tires have unprecedented traction control in light and deep snow and will provide reasonable ride comfort, increased biting edges and updated compounds to help conquer all winter conditions.
See test results.

Cross Over Into Winter!

Friday, October 8, 2010 by Grant Edwards

A popular winter wheel for sport utility vehicles or crossover utlity vehicles is the moda EB1. This one-piece, low pressure cast, bright silver painted aluminum alloy wheel is among the most popular for SUV performance because of its overall durability and value.

As you continue done the path of winterizing you vehicle, start here at Tire Rack. Winter and summer packages will add both value and longevity to the life of your passenger sedan, van or SUV.

Check out our winter packages today!

Sport Mode Anyone?

Friday, September 10, 2010 by Grant Edwards

After returning two week ago from a trip to the Mid-Ohio School of driving, I arrived with at least one conclusion in my life. While I am not built for speed, I can drive fast.

But my induction into fatherhood this year has certainly curbed my appeal to drive fast, but my desire for watching racing and learning apex cornering have remained the same. 

One of my favorite Max Performance Summer tires is the Hankook V12 evo K110. This tire is one of the most popular performance tires among driving enthusiasts of all ages. The Hankook's directional tread design coupled with its evacuating grooves give the driver excellent mobility and both wet/dry traction. 

Road Trip?

Friday, September 10, 2010 by Grant Edwards

If you are planning a road trip in the near future, consider updating your tires for a smooth and safe ride! 

The All-Season Tire BFGoodrich Advantage T/A is a perfect option. It is a an excellent Grand Touring All-Season tire that provides its drivers with exceptional noise reduction, ride comfort, and long tread life. The BFGoodrich Advantage T/A  brings high value at a low price.

Ready for Kumho Tires for Your Crossover, SUV or Truck?

Friday, August 20, 2010 by Grant Edwards

Do you needRoad Venture SAT L61 tires for your crossover, SUV, or truck?

Tire Rack's customers have their eye on the Kumho Road Venture SAT KL61. This is an On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tire that combines excellent road manners with a tread design that gives the driver exceptional off-road adaptability.

Gimme a Brake, Hawk!

Friday, August 13, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Tire Rack offers many different automotive products, including brake pads.

Hawk HT-10 Track Pads

 Hawk HT-10 Track Only Pads

Hawk HPS Street/Sport Pads

Hawk HPS Street Pads

Hawk LTS Street/Sport Pads

Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads

Whether you're looking for Hawk HT-10 Track Only Pads for your Porsche 911, or Hawk HPS Street Pads for your Chevy Impala, or a pair of Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads for your Dodge Ram 1500 Quad cab, we have something for you! Hawk HPS Street/Sport Pads have been a popular vehicle application because their designed for overall performance improvements specifically for sport vehicles and sedans by increasing stopping power and offering noise and dust reductions. Find your brakes today!

Find Your Wheel to Live!

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Finding the right wheel for your vehicle can certainly be a challenging experience. We have a large selection of brands that come in many different styles, constructions, and finishes. What aspects of tire and wheel sets are most important to you? Style? Finish? Weight? Warranty? 
Many customers ask about the popular Enkei Racing Series RPF1. Available in a gold, silver, or black finish, this wheel is extremely light and durable, coupled with a clean classic look and feel. Ultimately it comes down to the right fit. Want to see if this wheel is right for your vehicle? Shop by vehicle and see your options for wheels or a Wheel and Tire Package!

Under Pressure?

Friday, July 30, 2010 by Grant Edwards

It is no secret that today's drivers demand performance from their tires.  Load capacity, traction control and temperature durability are all critical factors when selecting your tires. However, none of these performance aspects matter if you do not maintain the correct tire inflation (PSI) for the tires on your vehicle.

Ensuring that you have the correct PSI is one of the best practices you can do to maintain the overall value and longevity of your tires. Keeping your PSI at the proper levels will maximize your tire's performance characteristics, optimize your fuel economy and keep your expected driving experience in tact.

At Tire Rack, we offer a multitude of PSI monitoring devices to help you monitor your tires. On our Air and Tread Depth Gauges page, we provide an extensive list of Intercomp Pressure Gauges and Accutire Air Gauges for your convenience. These devices will help you maintain your tires and keep you safe and satisfied.

Here are some examples:

Intercomp 2.5" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

Acccutire ABS Coated Air Gauge


What Is My Tire Size?

Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Grant Edwards

With the dynamics of vehicle manufacturing always changing, knowing the tire size on your vehicle isn't always predictable. Manufacturers and customers alike are always changing and customizing the wheels and tires of their vehicles. At Tire Rack, we continue our trek to keep you both updated and well-informed on vehicle fitments. 

Many customers have explained to me that they only knew their tire size based on the information provided on our website. But when ordering tires from Tire Rack, I recommend first that you check your vehicle to see the tire size currently installed before shopping for tires.

Where can I see my tire size?

Sidewall MarkingsYour tire size is on the sidewall of your tires.  (225/50-16 in the graphic at left)

Knowing the installed tire size for your vehicle is one of the most important steps for proper wheel and tire fitment. Once you confirm your tire size, you can easily shop for tires based on your vehicle make, model and year.


The Driver Within

Thursday, July 15, 2010 by Grant Edwards
I receive an increasing number of phone calls from customers that want to “just drive.” They are looking for inexpensive tires that specialize in handling, cornering, steering, braking and dry and wet traction. I live vicariously through these customers since I am slowly evolving into fatherhood and minivans.

FDunlopor these vehicle applications, I recommend the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. This tire has excellent performance characteristics for the driver in your family. This inexpensive tire has become the rising phoenix of our Extreme Performance Summer tires when compared to expensive, high-end tire brands.

View our testing results for the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec!

On Tread Life

Thursday, July 8, 2010 by Grant Edwards
I would like to talk about the Uniform Tire Quality Grade Standards (UTQG) rating of a tire. When created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), UTQG ratings were meant to give tire buyers a tangible interpretation of a tire's tread life expectancy, overall traction performance and temperature capabilities. While not an exact science, these UTQG ratings can offer some insight into a tire.

Let’s look at the UTQG’s treadwear ratings (e.g. 700 AA A) since it is one that consumers focus on. In theory, the larger the number, the longer the tread life. In fact, this rating should be just one of the guides for tire selection.

The rating provides a mere glimpse of tread life, not a guarantee. It is an assigned number that a manufacturer stamps on a tire’s sidewall. It is not based on standardized testing by the Department of Transportation, but from independent testing by privately hired vendors. The rating does not indicate how the tires were tested and does not tell what kind of driver one has to be in order to achieve the tread life that the rating indicates. I would recommend that when you are looking for tires, treat the treadwear rating as one of the tools in your tire decision-making process. Making your research exclusive to the treadwear rating will lead to a disappointing experience.

Learn more about treadwear ratings!

Revolutionizing the Way You Buy Tires

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Grant Edwards
At Tire Rack, it is no secret that we provide extensive online research, consumer reviews, and tire test results. Customers often select tires based on one feature, but like the layers of an onion, tires have many characteristics. Let's see if we can help simplify your tire buying experience.
  1.  Before you cruise our website, double check the tire size on your vehicle. The size is located on the sidewall of your tires. Make sure you confirm the size on each corner of your vehicle. Write it down on a piece of paper.
  2. Choose Shop by Vehicle. After you select your vehicle you’ll see your tire size options. Select the applicable size or take a look at our best sellers for your vehicle.

    If our list of tires is overwhelming for you, use our Tire Decision Guide to help you narrow your choices down to a performance category that suits your driving style and the conditions in which you drive.

  3.  In search results you can use the filtering tools on the left to get to the certain brands you prefer and more. I recommend filtering by at least three features based on what is most important to you. Treadwear? Price? Summer vs. All-Season Performance? Load Rating?
  4. Once a tire is selected, review all of the tire information. I find it useful to review tires by first looking at the Product Description followed by survey results then test results, and lastly consumer reviews. You can also review warranty information.

Mixing and Matching Tires

Thursday, June 10, 2010 by Grant Edwards

For this week's column, I would like to talk about replacing just one tire for your vehicle, i.e. the "One Tire Syndrome." At Tire Rack, we always recommend to replace all four of your tires at a time so as to meet your vehicle's Original Equipment specifications. If you are matching one tire with your existing three tires that have close-to-new tread life, then that would be OK. If one replaces and matches that one brand new tire with their existing three tires with significantly worn tread life, one could be visiting their installer soon for a suspension and/or alignment checkup.

Check your treaddepth with a quarterThe key for changing tires is balance. If you notice worn tread wear on one tire check the other tires. I'm willing to bet that more than one of those tires on your Mercedes is also worn. If you are searching to replace tires and operating with a budget that doesn't call for four tires try to think in even numbers and make sure those two tires are the same brand and model. Mixing brands of tires is something one should avoid at all times. Tires have personalities--they have different tread patterns, tread depths, and performance characteristics which could lead to an unpredictable driving experience. You won't be the first nor the last person to buy just one tire for your vehicle. We all have consistent expectations, lets keep our tires that way. Go our website, search Tires by Vehicle, and start searching today!

We Test Drive

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Grant Edwards
At Tire Rack, our advice involves the entirety of the automotive experience. Sales specialists receive continuing product education and participate in test driving experiences.

Recently I had the opportunity to drive and compare the Firestone Precision Sport, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Yokohama AVID ENVigor, and Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 tires side-by-side.

I found the the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S to be the most comfortable and noise reduced, while the Firestone Precision Sport and Yokohama AVID ENVigor to have excellent handling and steering. 

This experience means that when you call us for advice on tires and before we recommend tires to you we are also saying "Yes!" to road-testing these tires and sharing our experiences with you.

The full report of these tire comparisons will be available online soon!

Experience Summer

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Summer tires are designed specifically for warm weather, and not intended for cold weather, i.e. snow and or ice driving. At Tire Rack, we offer many different brands of Summer Tires that deliver driving excellence in both dry and wet weather regarding handling, cornering, steering, and braking.

And they rank well in our survey results, too. Take a look at our popular Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 or the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires, as well as the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 or the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.

How We Measure Tires

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Here at Tire Rack, we measure, test, and recommend tires to our customers every day. The great quality of Tire Rack is that we have surveys on all of our tires. On our test track, we drive to compare "like" to "like" tires within the same survey category.

For example, we only compare Ultra-Performance High Season vs. Ultra-High Performance All-Season, not Ultra-High Performance Summer vs. Ultra-High Performance All-Season. As we hopefully approach warmer weather, I invite you to get out, unravel your vehicle from the depths of its garage--and drive. Perform some research, take a look at our tire surveys, and have fun!

Finding the Right Tires

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 by Grant Edwards
Selecting the right tires for your vehicle can be a challenging experience. In this economy, it is no secret that we seek value for our money. We offer many different brands designed to fit your every need.

Which tire characteristics are most important to you? Comfortable ride? Tread life? At Tire Rack, we have consumer surveys on most every tire that we sell. We also conduct road tests on a select number of popular tires. I would invite you to view both our Special Offers and our Tire Survey Results. Together, let's work to find the right tires for you!