Winter tires ... how do they work

There's more to tires than black, round and hold air. This post should help you understand the mechanics of winter tires When you look closely at any road surface it is really not that smooth as represented by the model in this picture The engineers who design those high grip summer performance tires we love so much, also know this and use it to their...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part II

With the parts checked out, it's time to start tearing down the brakes. Refer to your vehicle's shop manual for the proper wrench sizes for your vehicle. Step 1: Removing the caliper retaining boltsSamuel started by removing the two bolts attaching the brake caliper to the sliding pins on the caliper bracket. These were pretty tight and required some...  Read More

Performance of Performance Winter Tires

I purchased the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D in size 235/40-18 for the front and rear of my BMW 335i.  These tires are part of the performance winter tire category.  As a whole, performance winter tires handle well but give up some traction compared to standard winter tires.   My experience has been mixed.  They do deliver on the handling and perform well in light...  Read More

When is the Best Time to buy Winter Tires at the Best Price?

NOW!!! Yes, it's sunny and 75 degrees most days but snow is coming!!!  We have some great winter tires from Bridgestone at discount closeout pricing.  One Blizzak winter tire to mention is the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 with over 30 sizes in stock ready to ship this winter tire is a great choice.  The buyer of the Blizzak LM-25 would be looking for...  Read More

Brake Job Part 1: The Set Up

Well, my son Samuel finished up the brakes this past Saturday and they are working fine. The rear drum brakes were in good shape so he only had to work on the fronts. The whole process took about two hours from start to finish and he's justifiably proud of himself. I'm going to break this up into a few posts so let's get started!By the way; Samuel was under...  Read More

Disc brake challenge: easy enough for a 13-year-old???

Automotive repair, even on newer vehicles is nothing to be afraid of. To prove my point, I'm going to post a series of reports about my son.He's 13 and he will be performing his first brake job.  If he can do it with a few simple hand tools, you can too!The vehicle in question is our family's 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE. Last weekend he replaced a bad ABS...  Read More

Pull Those Stud Cips!

One of the most common issues we hear about is wheel vibrations after new tires and aftermarket alloy wheels are installed. More often than not, the vibrations are caused by little washers attached to the brake rotor or brake drum. These locking washers are called stud clips.These are found mostly on domestic vehicles produced by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Saturn,...  Read More

Should I Purchase Road Hazard Protection on My Tire Order?

Many times clients are unsure whether to purchase the Road Hazard ProtectionProgram.  I am asked the question what do you think; is it worth it to purchase the Road Hazard Protection?  My answer is this; What gives you more confidence driving your vehicle.  Knowing you have the protection plan if needed?  The road hazard protection program gives you peace of...  Read More

Wider is better some of the time

    Most of the time a wider tire will offer better performing and cornering but, not always.  Without the correct supporting parts and hardware wider tires may not always produce the desired results.    While at a driving school in Utah I was able to participate in an interesting exercise involving different tire and wheel sizes.    Three identical Ford...  Read More

Don't forget the tip! Keeping exhaust clean with Griots Metal Polish.

     Driving 70 miles round trip to work I see a lot of great looking cars. Shiny paint, clean wheels, etc. However, one area people always forget about is their exhaust tips. Kills me to see a great looking car with dull carbon covered exhaust.     I went out to our parking lot and took a few pics of employee's exhaust tips. Many of the cars were washed...  Read More

Get shorty ... or not

    My years of involvement in the automotive industry has seen many trends come and go but, the 1 thing that doesn't change is the enthusiast. You might be a lowrider from Chico, an SCCA autocrosser from Topeka or a 4 wheeler from Moab it doesn't matter, stock is just not good enough for you, or me for that matter.     In this post I am addressing tire load...  Read More

Michelin pulls off a historic upset

Can you really use the term historic when talking about a tire? Some say "yes" some say "no".      If you look at the way in which a tire achieves such status you can make a valid argument for either answer. I think the issue is not, if a tire is 'historic' but, the circumstances which lead a given tire to be placed in a historic position.    Goodyear is...  Read More

I'm back from Gator Country

    I have just returned from a family vacation. In true 'car guy' fashion we covered just over 1850 miles in 8 days. I can report many things but, to make this interesting to more people than my immediate family and friends I will try to keep focused on some of my automotive observations and what can be learned from them.        Our travels went from...  Read More

Sumitomo HTR ZIII....are they worth it?

The answer is YES.My BMW came with the Bridgestone RE050A run flat tires mounted on OE 18" sport package wheels.  I replaced these with 19" wheels and the Sumitomo HTR ZIII in sizes 235/35-19 and 275/30-19.  They handle really well and offer very good dry traction.  They are pretty quiet and their ride quality is good considering their profile. Their tread...  Read More

Run Flats: The Good, the Bad and Getting a Flat

I have taken many calls from people that dislike their run flat tires.  They often end up switching from them to standard tires.  These are the main issues people have with them:They cost more Their ride quality is harsher They wear out faster They are louder My BMW 335i came with the the Bridgestone RE050A run flat tires on my 18" factory wheels.  When I...  Read More

Wheeling and Dealing

I, like many people, like to change the look of my vehicles.  It was no different when I purchased my BMW 335i.  I knew I had to alter the appearance with some aftermarket wheels as soon as possible! This is how it came with the factory 18" sport package wheels and tires My first set of aftermarket wheels were the Avarus AV3 in 19x8.5 and 19x9.5.I was fine...  Read More

Survey data part 2: Great idea, but not foolproof...

I have seen some interesting anomolies. If a tire is the stock tire on your car, it almost allways rated more harshly. The same exact tires can be purchaed aftermarket - as an upgrade. The reviews are much more favorable in this case. I am not sure why this is, but I have seen it in many circumstances.Survey data tends to be extremely favorable on the best...  Read More

General Altimax RT tires for smooth and quiet all season tires.

Today I replaced the tires on my girlfriend's Dodge Caliber.  It takes a bit of an odd size, 215/60R17 so the selection was not all that great.  However I was happy to see that one of the Tire Rack's top rated touring all-season tires, the General Altimax RT is made in the right size and at a very good price.What a difference it made over the loud and...  Read More

Survey data part 1: Great idea, but not foolproof...

I get lots of questions about our customer survey data and making sense of it. Here are a few examples. Can I cross compare survey categories, or tires? Sure you could, but bear in mind different customers have submitted each survey. What tire did they have before as a bench mark? Tire reviews can be skewed and are one individual’s experience.What vehicle do...  Read More


My name is Colin  I am an automotive enthusiast and Sales Specialist with the Tire Rack.  My main role is to help people match their needs with the products we offer.  I also participate in our tire testing program which gives me a unique perspective on the pros and cons of many of the tires we sell. My blog represents my own personal take on the products I...  Read More