Tires Make an Impact

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 by AJ Vest

As part of the TireWise campaign, the White House released a fact sheet regarding tires and how they impact travel safety and the environment. In this fact sheet, it states that every year there are roughly 11,000 tire-related vehicle crashes. In one day last year, the Colorado Department of Transportation assisted in 22 drivers that spun out and blocked traffic. Nineteen of those drivers had bald tires, according to the Colorado DOT. Many of these incidents can be avoided with simple, proper care of tires and use on your vehicle.

The White House fact sheet also makes a point that if 10 million drivers keep their tires properly inflated, it would save nearly $500 million dollars and 1.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution. This does not take into account the potential tire-related vehicle crashes it could save. Low rolling resistance tires can also make an impact on the environment, and drivers could save up to $80 per year in fuel costs and can avoid up to 560 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution, when properly used. For more information on low rolling resistance tires, take a look at "Fuel Efficiency and Your Vehicle."

                
Always be #thinkingabouttires before you hit the road by checking your tires' pressure!

 

Michelin Tires Make a Great Choice for Almost Any Vehicle

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Michelin is recognized by many as one of the top car and truck tire manufacturers in the world. They are the company that created the first radial tire and have been at the cutting edge of design and technology ever since. Many of their tires rank at or near the top of nationally recognized tests and customer survey data. Depending on the tire's performance category, Michelin tires offer the following benefits over most of their competitors:

  • Superior wet traction
  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Outstanding dry grip
  • Generous wear warranty, even on most performance tires
  • Eco-friendly design and low rolling resistance
 Michelin LTX M/S2
Michelin LTX M/S2
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


For street-driven trucks, larger crossovers and SUVs, check out the Michelin LTX M/S2. This is the top-rated tire in the Highway All-Season performance category, and for good reason! Our customers praise its wet and snow traction, quiet and smooth ride and long treadwear.  

If you have a sedan, wagon or smaller crossover that's your daily driver, then check out the Premier A/S. An innovative tread design and compound allows the tire to maintain great wet traction even as the tire wears down. In addition to great wet traction, the Premier A/S features a good ride quality and performance that has placed it on top in a recent test of Grand Touring All-Season tires.

Even Michelin's flagship summer performance tire, the Pilot Super Sport, has good ride quality and a wear warranty. The latter is quite rare to see in a summer performance tire. The Pilot Super Sport is a fantastic tire that I've installed on one of my vehicles. You can read about my experience with the tire by taking a look at, "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update."

New Year. New Tires.

Monday, December 29, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

New tires part of your new year’s resolution? If your plan is to make your life better in any number of ways, add new tires to that list as you resolve to drive more safely. (Gotta like that perfect segue.)

A driver’s ability to control their vehicle depends on the traction between their tires and the road. Whether you live in Minnesota and experience rough winters, or in Florida and slosh through heavy rains, the proper tire allows you to handle the conditions Mother Nature throws your way. Mathematically it lays out like this: if snow-covered roads are a concern, it’s time to replace your tires when they reach approximately 6/32” of remaining tread depth. For rain and wet roads, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 4/32” of remaining tread depth.

What Honest Abe Doesn’t Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths

When do I need to replace my tires? Simply use a tire gauge or pull some spare change from your pocket to find out. Place a quarter into the tread grooves of your tires and if part of Washington’s head is covered, you have more than 4/32” of tread depth remaining. With a penny to measure tread depth, place it into the tread grooves and if the top of the Lincoln Memorial is covered, your tires have more than 6/32” of remaining tread depth.

Now there’s just one more thing: your new tires will require a break-in period for optimum performance.

Safety first. Happy New Year!

Introducing the Eibach All-Terrain Lift Kit for Jeep Wranglers

Monday, December 22, 2014 by Turk Turkleton

The new All-Terrain Lift Kit from Eibach offers suspension lift options for two-door and four-door Jeep Wranglers that are looking to improve off-road capability and make room under the Jeep JK for larger tires and wheels. This lift kit will raise the front between 2.5" and 3.5" and raise the rear approximately 2" to 3" so you have room to fit 35" tires on wheels that have about a 4.5" backspacing. 2012+ Jeeps with the 3.6L Pentastar engine will need some modification to the Y-Pipe in the exhaust where it crosses under the front driveshaft due to a more extreme angle. When you flex the front suspension, the driveshaft gets closer to the crossover pipe in the exhaust, which can make contact on a lifted Jeep and eventually wear down the boot in the middle of the stock driveshaft and cause it to fail.

In four-door JKs, there are aftermarket Y-pipes that will fix this issue, however the two-doors will have to adjust it with an exhaust spacer or Y-pipe modification. You could also fix this with just a smaller diameter, stronger aftermarket driveshaft, since the stock one is so large. When you lift a two-door, the driveshaft angle is more extreme than that in the four-door, so the front driveshaft will likely need to be replaced in a two-door before a four-door. Many people have lifted Jeeps with stock driveshafts for several years before seeing any issues, but in my own JK, I split the boot on the CV joint going into the transfer case in just six months. Beware that new driveshafts may be necessary before long.

Benefits and features of the Eibach All-Terrain Kit:

  • Eibach All-Terrain Lift Springs are precision-engineered for better off-road capability and superior on-road stability and handling
  • Eibach Pro-Truck Shocks are built in the U.S.A. using nitro-coated rods, MAXIMA shock oil and heavy-duty powdercoated bodies
  • Four shocks and four springs to lift all corners
  • Eibach’s million-mile warranty, two-year shock warranty

Our sale of this kit also includes an alignment kit to adjust for caster angle (for bump-steer reduction) and pinion angle to eliminate vibration in the driveshaft and reduce that angle in the driveshaft. Some kits in the market will address this with geometry brackets that essentially move the control arms to adjust for caster and pinion. These are good options for everyday driveability, but for more off-road durability, you will want to get some adjustable control arms to address caster, pinion and axle position. The easiest way to do this is with front and rear upper adjustable control arms, or many people will install lowers in front and uppers in back, either way is sufficient.

When you lift the suspension with stock fixed-length control arms, the axles rotate down and toward the middle, so to re-center the axles, you would need a set of upper and lower adjustable control arms. The front adjustable track bar and rear track bar relocation brackets are to re-center the axles laterally so when you look at the Jeep head on, one side won't appear to have the wheels sticking out further than the other. The last thing this comes with are the bumpstop spacers to keep the bigger tires from smashing the fenders and overcompressing the shocks and the sway bar end links that allow for better flex and smoother on-road handling.

The most important thing to remember when installing a new lift kit like this is to leave the suspension bolts a little loose while the Jeep is jacked up in the air, and wait until it is resting on the ground under its own weight to actually torque everything down to spec. The bushings can get some bind in them if you fail to do this, and this can quickly lead to the infamous "death wobble."

Lastly, the installation instructions from Eibach are awesome. I've installed a lot of parts on many Jeeps, and it is rare to find parts with installation instructions that are as detailed and have color pictures with this much clarity and comprehensiveness!

Start shopping for your Eibach All-Terrain Lift Kit today!

Be Safe in Your Sonata: Winter / Snow Tire Options for Your Sixth-Generation 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata

Monday, December 22, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

For the longest time, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord dominated the mid-size sedan game. Then Hyundai crashed the party with the Sonata!

The sixth-generation 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata has been particularly competitive but it still needs dedicated winter tires for the safest winter handling. When it comes to balancing snow and dry road handling, each one of us has to decide which performance traits we want to emphasize. Most Sonata drivers are likely served by the superior ice and packed snow traction that a Studless Ice & Snow tire offers.

Winter / Snow Tire Size

Always check your tire sidewalls to verify your current size. The GLS and Hybrid versions normally come equipped with 205/65R16 (215/55R17 is an optional Hybrid size) tires, while the Sonata Limited runs either 215/55R17 (2.4L engine) or 225/45R18 (2.0T). The Sonata SE runs on 225/45R18 in both engine models.

Year Model Tire Sizes Rim Sizes Tread Width O.E. Hankook Overall Diameter
2011-2014 Sonata GLS (2.4L) P205/65-16 94H 16x6.5 6.1" 26.5"
2011-2014 Sonata Hybrid With 16's as O.E. P205/65-16 94H 16x6.5 6.1" 26.5"
2011-2014 Sonata Hybrid With 17's as O.E. P215/55-17 93V 17x6.5 7.1" 26.2"
2011-2014 Sonata Limited 2.0T 225/45-18/XL 95V 18x7.5 7.3" 25.9"
2011-2014 Sonata Limited 2.4L P215/55-17 93V 17x6.5 7.1" 26.2"
2011-2014 Sonata SE 2.0T 225/45-18/XL 95V 18x7.5 7.3" 25.9"
2011-2014 Sonata SE 2.4L 225/45-18/XL 95V 18x7.5 7.3" 25.9"
  • Step 1: Consider your most common winter driving situations. How often do you see deep snow? Packed snow? Glare ice? Cold dry roads?
  • Step 2: Pick a tire size of appropriate width for the conditions you experience on your drive. For example, if you have a 30-minute commute through farm roads alternatively covered with deep snow or ice, 205/65R16 is narrow enough to cut through deeper snow but wide enough to handle icy roads. If you have a long commute on major highways, 215/55R17 provides better dry road handling without being horribly problematic in deeper snow.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata uses valve-stem mounted TPMS sensors that must be initialized by the dealer or a major shop to function. We can install sensors when purchased as part of a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is great for handling snowy and icy roads. It also does well for dry road handling. The tire is a great option for Sonata drivers, and when paired with a steel wheel creates a great tire and wheel combo to handle winter's toughest conditions. If you're looking for a 17" tire and wheel, look at the 215/55R17 Blizzak WS80 with the Sport Edition A8 wheel.

205/65-16 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80 $108*
205/65R16 Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel


Create your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today and handle all Mother Nature has to throw your way!

Fuel Efficiency and Your Vehicle

Monday, December 22, 2014 by AJ Vest

As part of the TireWise program, the Department of Transportation will finalize a rule to establish a tire fuel efficiency information program so drivers can identify the most energy-efficient tires. To help you better understand fuel efficiency and how a low rolling resistance tire can help, take a look at "Low Rolling Resistance Tires."

A key way to increase your vehicle's efficiency is to change what hits the road - your tires. As the tire market begins to offer more low rolling resistance options, the decision on what to use becomes more focused. In many sizes, Michelin even offers a winter tire with low rolling resistance capabilities with their the X-Ice Xi3.

When it comes to all-season tires, a few of the best tires with low rolling resistance are:

Using an aftermarket wheel that weighs less than your factory wheel is another easy way to increase vehicle efficiency. The best way to find a lightweight wheel is to search by your vehicle's year, make and model, then sort by weight. This will show the lightest wheels first. A few of the popular lighter weighted wheels include:

It is critical to understand that other factors like vehicle maintenance and driving habits are also items to consider when trying to increase efficiency. Tread depth of new tires also plays a roll in fuel economy.

Learn more about the new TireWise campaign and see what changes you can expect in the coming years.

Need Winter Tires for Stock 19" M3 Wheels?

Monday, December 22, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Pirelli Sottozero Serie IIAs a high-horsepower RWD car that comes with summer tires, the M3 desperately needs winter tires if you are going to drive it through wintry weather. Both the E90 and F80 M3 commonly come with 19" staggered wheels, which makes snow tires hard to find.

In previous years, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 was available in 255/35R19 front and 275/35R19 rear, but these have been discontinued and the replacement does not come in both sizes.

This year, the best winter option is the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II, which is in stock in both sizes. With highly effective brickwork sipes, the Sottozero offers a multitude of biting edges to generate snow traction for accelerating, braking and cornering. With a W-speed rating, the Pirelli tire exceeds the performance potential of most other winter tires. Even performance winter tires usually max out at a V-speed rating.

While the M3's low ground clearance and wide tires will limit its effectiveness in deep snow, an M3 (or M4) outfitted with a set of winter tires can be a surprisingly capable vehicle in moderate snow.

To prepare your M3 for the winter, take a look at the current pricing and availability of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II.

Can My Winter Tires Last Another Season?

Monday, December 22, 2014 by Gary Stanley

The early snowfall this season caused many drivers to think about the condition of their tires sooner than they might normally. Drivers who use dedicated winter / snow tires should check the tread depth of their tires every year. Simply because a tire "looks like it has good tread" doesn't mean that the tire is suitable for driving safely in wintry conditions. The more tread depth the tires have, the more effective they will be in loose snow and slush. 

Tires need adequate tread depth so they can bite into the snow. Most winter tires start at 10/32" to 12/32" of tread depth. 6/32" is the minimum tread depth that we recommend for winter driving. It's important to do more than just a quick visual check of your tires' tread depth. While a tread depth gauge is preferred, you can also use U.S. coins by using this method

If you find that your current snow tires have less than 6/32" of tread depth, they're ready to be replaced. For those in this situation, check out a few of our top winter tires.   

For more information on properly checking your tires' tread depth, read "What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths."

Tire Rack and the White House Raise Awareness About Tire Safety

Friday, December 19, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

Earlier this month, the White House announced a new tire safety and efficiency program — TireWise. We are proud to partner with the White House to help raise awareness about tire safety and take action to cut carbon pollution and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Most importantly, we’d aim to help consumers become more educated on the role tires play in safe driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are almost 200 fatalities a year as a result of tire-related crashes, and approximately 11,000 tire-related crashes. Be TireWise.

Along with promoting tire safety, the TireWise campaign will inform drivers on the following topics:

  • Tire buying
  • Tire pressure
  • Treadwear
  • Tire aging
  • Replacing tires

Also, as part of the program, the Department of Transportation will finalize a rule to establish a tire fuel efficiency information program so consumers can identify the most energy-efficient tires. Our guide to fuel-efficient, low rolling resistance tires includes a listing of current tire options that focus on fuel economy as a high priority.

Fuel-Efficient Low Rolling Resistance Tires

At Tire Rack, we do our part, too, by providing test results that include fuel consumption comparisons done in a real-world environment similar to what many experience on their daily drive.

Tire Rack Test Results

Together, let’s be TireWise, save money at the pump, increase efficiency and protect our safety.

Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by AJ Vest

Tire Rack, tire retail partners and several manufacturers recently teamed up with the White House and Department of Transportation (DOT) to introduce a new tire safety and efficiency program, TireWise. As part of the program, the DOT will finalize a rule to establish a tire fuel efficiency program so consumers can identify the most energy-efficient tires.

The best modification anyone can make to a vehicle is to change the tires. This change can help increase your fuel economy by switching to a tire with a low rolling resistance designation.

A tire's ability to easily roll affects your fuel economy. Tread design, tread compound and tire weight also play a factor. Currently, there isn't a standard for measuring a tire's rolling resistance. A tire's eco-friendly designation is given by the tire manufacturer with many different intentions. This can be anything from the way the tire is manufactured, to its ability to roll, to the materials used when building the tire.  

When changing from a worn out tire to a new, low rolling resistant tire, you will likely not instantly increase your fuel economy. This is due to the change in diameter of the tire. Once a tire becomes worn in, you will see the difference the tire can make. Some of the top low rolling resistance tires to consider are the:

For more information on how tires play a part in your vehicle's fuel economy, read "Tire Rolling Resistance Part 1: Understanding Corporate Average Fuel Economy."

Ice Traction Comparison Between All-Season and Winter Tires

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Gary Stanley

You may already know how much more traction winter tires provide on snow-covered roads compared to all-season tires. However, what about icy surfaces? Many drivers think that no matter what tire you drive on, nothing can help you on ice. The truth is that accelerating, cornering and stopping are all dramatically improved with winter tires, even on the slickest road conditions.  

To prove and illustrate how much a difference winter tires can make, we perform testing at a local ice rink. Why? An ice rink provides repeatable and consistent test results while effectively replicating icy intersections that are often found in winter driving.

As you can see in the video, the tires you use make a huge difference on ice.  

The results of this test echo my own experiences over the years of using winter tires on my own vehicles, including the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 on our family crossover. To learn more about my experiences with winter tires, read "My Story on Winter Tires."

How to Prepare Your Car or Truck for Holiday Travel

Friday, December 12, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Like winter seasons before it, this holiday season will be one of the busiest times of the year for travel. Not only will millions of Americans take to the roadways, many will do so in the most unfavorable of conditions.

Few things can dampen the holiday spirit like being stranded with a flat tire along a road in below freezing temperatures on roads that are covered in snow and ice. Before heading out for the holidays, it's a good idea to do the following:

  1. Check your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires not only increase efficiency, but also serve as a measure of protection against potholes and other road debris. Remember that tire pressure will drop roughly one psi every month and an additional psi for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Air pressure gauges only cost a few dollars and should be kept in a glove box or center console.
  2. Check the tread depth and condition of your tires. A tire's winter traction will deteriorate as tread depth diminishes and it's a good idea to begin the winter season with no less than 6/32" of remaining tread depth. Depth can be easily checked using a handheld tread depth gauge
  3. Check the condition of your spare tire. Many spare tires spend years in hiding without being inspected. Make sure it is free of cracking and is properly inflated.
  4. Check the torque of your lug nuts or bolts. Torque spec settings can be found in your owner's manual.
  5. Make sure you have a lug wrench, jack kit and any applicable lock keys accessible or stowed away in a convenient on-board compartment.

Missing something for your trip? View our accessories to help you have a safe driving experience this holiday season.

Best Tires for Your Honda Accord

Friday, December 12, 2014 by AJ Vest

There is no doubt that the Honda Accord is very popular with North American drivers. As there are many Accords on the road, drivers will need to replace their vehicle's tires. But, which one is best for this application?

Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology has been a favorite with drivers for over a year. Our customer feedback surveys and in-house testing have found it to be an excellent choice. The very good ride quality, excellent traction in all conditions and generous treadlife warranty also make this tire very appealing. Continental's specialized tread compound and design propel this tire down the road with less effort which shows the tire's Low Rolling Resistance capabilities to aid in improving fuel economy. 

Another option to consider is the Michelin Premier A/S. Michelin is known to shake up the tire industry and they have done just that with this new tire. The Michelin Premier A/S replaces the long-standing king of Grand Touring All-Season tires, the Michelin Primacy MXV4. Like the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology, the Michelin Premier A/S delivers outstanding ride quality. However, what sets this tire apart from any other on the market is the tread design and compound. As the tire wears, the tread grooves widen and emerging grooves appear, enhancing the tire's wet weather and winter traction. 

Shop by vehicle to see if the Michelin Premier A/S or Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology are available for your application.

Three Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Car Lover in Your Life!

Thursday, December 11, 2014 by Gary Stanley

When you think of Tire Rack, you likely think of our extensive information and selection of tires and wheels. You may have even purchased a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your car to help conquer the snowy conditions this season. Did you know that we offer more than just tires and wheels? In fact, we have a variety of automotive accessories that would make for the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer!

1.  Tire pressure air gauges are a useful and practical gift idea that the car enthusiast in your life will use often. Our most popular air gauge for the casual enthusiast is the AccutireDigital Set Point™ Programmable Air Gauge with Light. This easy-to-use, stylish air gauge includes a bright white L.E.D. light and even allows for programming of the vehicle's recommended air pressures. The L.C.D. display is also back lit for easy viewing.  

2.  Seasonal Tire Totes are more than just bags to store your tires in. Unlike plastic bags, these totes are durable, attractive and have a sturdy carrying handle built in that makes moving tires easy. You won't have to worry about rolling tires around and ending up with dirty hands. They may be difficult to fit into a stocking, but otherwise, make an excellent holiday gift idea. For more ideas on storing tires, check out "Get Organized with These Three Storage Solutions."

3.  Gift certificates make the perfect stocking stuffer for the hard-to-buy car nut. They can be purchased in almost any amount over $25 and can be sent via mail or directly to your lucky recipient's email inbox!  

View all accessories available including apparel, tire storage options, tools and more. And, all accessory orders of $50 or more ship at no charge.

Is the Bridgestone Driveguard the New Gold Standard in All-Season Run-Flat Tires?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 by Turk Turkleton

Nobody likes getting a flat tire. The inconvenience of installing a spare tire (if your vehicle comes with one) or waiting for roadside assistance to arrive can be a hassle. A flat tire can really mess up your busy schedule.

One of the benefits to drivers who drive a vehicle equipped with run-flat tires is you don't have to worry about these problems. You can forget about getting stuck on the side of the road and can keep driving even after you get a puncture that causes complete air loss.

When most people think of run-flat tires, they think of a harsh, loud ride, along with a tire that doesn't have a long lifespan and has a high price tag. While this is common with some run-flat tires, Bridgestone is looking to change those thoughts with their DriveGuard.

We tested the tire against one of the smoothest, quietest tires on the road now, the Michelin Primacy MXV4, and the results were pleasantly surprising. The differences in ride quality and handling between the two were not as great as I anticipated. Bridgestone's DriveGuard was only slightly stiffer than the Primacy MXV4, but no more of a variance than you might see on another Grand Touring All-Season conventional tire. The added stiffness did help the DriveGuard in the handling department, as it felt more connected to the road while we were pushing it around our test track.

For those with concerns about longevity, Bridgestone offers the DriveGuard with a 60,000-mile warranty on H- and V-speed rated versions of the tire, and a 50,000-mile warranty on the W-speed rated version. And, to make it even better for drivers, the Bridgestone DriveGuard is one of the most affordable tires in the run-flat category.

Bridgestone DriveGuard tires can be installed on coupes, sedans, wagons and convertibles that are equipped with TPMS sensors. Shop by vehicle and see if the Bridgestone DriveGuard is available for your application.

O.Z. Racing's Newest Wheels

Thursday, December 4, 2014 by AJ Vest

While the calendar may not say it's officially winter, winter conditions have arrived. For many of us, that means one thing: summer is already on our mind! You're probably dreaming about what summer tires and wheels to put on your vehicle. Take a look at the new offerings from O.Z. Racing as they've really set the bar high and will compliment your vehicle well. 

O.Z. Racing recently released the Leggera HLT, which will definitely become a favorite amongst drivers. The Leggera HLT is offered in bright race grey and gold painted. Subaru WRX owners will rejoice as the gold color is iconic for Subaru wheels. It's designed and manufactured in Italy, along with all O.Z. Racing wheels. Each wheel undergoes O.Z.'s HLT (High Light Technology) finish processing that produces a wheel near forged strength and finish quality that is one of the industry's best.


O.Z. Racing Leggera HLT

O.Z. Racing Omnia


Along with the Leggera HLT, O.Z. Racing introduced another new wheel, the Omnia. Designed to compete with other wheels, like the BBS SR, the Omnia retains O.Z. Racing's high quality finish standards, low pressure cast manufacturing and iconic styling. 

Search by vehicle to find O.Z. Racing wheels that are available for your vehicle.

Closeout Prices on Popular Sizes of the Blizzak WS70

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Blizzak WS70 The Blizzak WS70 was Bridgestone's flagship ice and snow tire through last winter. The introduction of the Blizzak WS80 for this winter has led to the discontinuation of the WS70. However, there are still some popular sizes of this tire in stock and available at closeout prices.

Though it doesn't quite equal the performance of the newer WS80, the WS70 is still one of the best winter tires available. As one of our customers from Michigan recently said about the tire when a November snowstorm arrived, "A week after I installed the tires, we received over 24 inches of snow. The tires performed much better in snow and slush and on ice than the Original Equipment all-seasons that came with the car. I did not get stuck once and they plowed through over seven inches of snow without slipping."

With winter already here for many, now is a great time to take advantage of closeout pricing on this strong-performing winter tire. For example, 195/65R15 is one of the most popular passenger car tire sizes and is currently available for $75 per tire. The tire is not only priced lower than many other options, it outperforms a number of them in ice and snow traction.

View all remaining sizes and see if one is a fit for your application.

What Air Pressure to Use When Changing from Run-Flat Tires to Non-Run-Flat Tires

Monday, December 1, 2014 by Gary Stanley

"I've decided to get rid of my run-flat tires that came as Original Equipment on my 2009 BMW 335i Coupe Sport Package and make the switch to non-run-flats. I've heard that I should use higher air pressure, is this true? If so, what tire pressure do you recommend?"

As a moderator of several BMW forums, this is a question I receive often. Switching from run-flats to non-run-flat tires has become more common for BMW drivers.

When changing to a non-run-flat tire, some drivers feel the tires may appear to be underinflated, when in fact, they are not. While you could add more pressure to correct this appearance, this often causes more rapid tread wear in the center portion of the tire. Because of this, we recommend using the same inflation pressure, even when going to non-run-flat tires. 

The vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire inflation pressures have a lot to do with load capacity, handling and a variety of other factors. Vehicle manufacturers, in particular BMW, take the time and effort to tune and test before recommending inflation pressures based on how the vehicle is being loaded and driven. We also strongly discourage going lower than what is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. 

Depending on what year your car was manufactured, the doorjamb placard or owner's manual may show only one inflation pressure recommendation to keep things simple. Usually, the OEM defaults to the worst case scenario of fully loaded and higher speed use, which puts a pretty high psi recommendation on the placard. From a tire durability standpoint, it's better to be 5 psi over than 1 psi under. Therefore, erring to the high side makes some sense, even if not ideal for the way many drivers actually use the vehicle.

Remember that the pressure listed on the sidewall is a maximum pressure only, not a recommended pressure. Instead, use the air pressure recommended in the vehicle's owner's manual or tire information on the placard label. The placard is typically found on the driver's side doorjamb (like the example in the photo above). For more information about recommended inflation pressures, read "What Air Pressure Should I Use in My Tires?"

If you're still unsure about whether or not to change your tires from run-flats to non-run-flats, check out "Ditching Your Run-Flat Tires for Non-Run-Flat Tires on Your BMW? Read This First!

Improving an Icon: The BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO2

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

The original BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO revolutionized the all-terrain market. Its goal was to provide long wear and good street manners without compromising the performance that consumers look for in various extreme conditions. The tire has succeed for years and became an icon in the industry. 

With an increasing number of players in the all-terrain market and a growing level of competition, BFGoodrich sought to improve its iconic tire and provide customers with a tire that reflects the basic principles of the All-Terrain TA KO. They also wanted to enhance the tire with the latest and greatest technologies in tire development.

The new BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO2 features a revised tread compound that wears better than the previous model on both pavement and gravel roads. Another point of emphasis is increased sidewall strength to prevent damage during off-road excursions or encounters with road debris. The basic look of the tire was only changed slightly and now offers a bit more siping for added benefits during winter conditions. Unlike the previous generation tire, every single part number now carries with it a designation for severe snow service.

Dozen more sizes are planned for launch soon and you can search by vehicle to view if this tire is available for your application.

 

Tire Rack Now Publishes Run-Flat Tire Survey Results

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

First-generation run-flat tires left many drivers wanting more from their tires. The harsh ride associated with run-flats caused many to look for replacements as quickly as they could. For those who decided to stay with the tires, they did so only for the peace of mind they provided in case of a flat.

Run-flat tires are praised, though, because they provide temporary extended mobility at speeds up to 50 miles per hour for approximately 50 miles. Are you willing to give up a smoother ride for this added safety? What if you could have this peace of mind AND maintain the smoother ride you prefer? Today’s run-flat tires do just that.

With the improvements in run-flat technology over the past few years, more drivers are choosing to stay with these tires. And with options like the Bridgestone DriveGuard now available that can be installed on your vehicle even if run-flats weren’t Original Equipment, other brands will follow suite and the run-flat market will continue to grow.

We’ve recently started to include run-flat tires in our survey results so that drivers can more accurately compare their options, as well. While we have been sharing run-flat tire consumer reviews for a few years, we now have sufficient survey submissions and reported miles of driving experience to publish the related tire survey results on our website.

For each tire performance category where run-flats tires are available and have reached ample survey submissions, the tire’s results are now published directly below the tires that feature standard constructions. This allows drivers of vehicles that can be equipped with run-flat tires to review our survey results as they search for replacement tires.

To learn more about the capabilities of run-flat tires, take a look at “Run-Flat Tires.”