Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Thursday, May 31, 2012 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.


Kumho Ecsta 4XReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.22

2005 Ford Focus ZX5
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Edmonton, AB
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
May 23, 2012

Bought these to replace my OE Pirelli P6 All Seasons. The new set of Kumho Ecsta 4X (+1 size) is terrific - a clear step up from the Pirelli's in nearly every regard. They're a bit of a harder ride (might be due to the +1), but the dry traction is spectacular and the steering response is exceptional. Excellent on-centre feel and great communication through the wheel.

The Ecsta 4X is quiet on smooth pavement but on poor roads, not so much.

We had a bit of a late snowstorm last April, a couple weeks after I had the tires mounted (I use dedicated winter tires here in Alberta). The Ecsta 4X's highly asymmetric tread seems to contribute to poor cornering on snow/ice, although straight line traction (including braking) is acceptable for an all-season tire. I definitely would not recommend this tire for use year-round in Canada or the regions with serious winter conditions.

Probably the best thing about the Ecsta 4X is the price. Far cheaper than my car's OE tire, despite being clearly better. Ordered online from Canada, the shipping and other non-product fees constituted about 1/3 of the total price but still far cheaper than buying locally. Great deal, Tire Rack!

Bilstein versus KONI Shocks

Friday, May 25, 2012 by Gary Stanley

As many sports cars have been coming out of storage and back into their summer wheel and tire set-ups, I've been getting a lot of inquiries about replacement performance shocks. Shocks play a vital role in a vehicle's handling characteristics. Replacing worn shocks with a new set of performance shocks not only will increase handling, but also improve the responsiveness and shorten braking distances.

Looking at the options offered by KONI and Bilstein is a good place to start your search. With lifetime warranties offered and decades of producing durable and rugged shocks, you'll be very excited with the performance they bring your vehicle.

While both brands produce great products, KONI's shocks have the added benefit of a product that's adjustable for rebound. Stiffer settings mean more responsive handling, while softer settings give a smoother and more comfortable ride. This allows the enthusiast to tune the shock to their personal preference in regards to this compromise.

And if new tires are also needed, take a look at all our special offers available.

If you're looking to buy shock absorbers online, be sure to shop by vehicle.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, May 18, 2012 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.


Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.6

2003 BMW X5 3.0i
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Miles driven on tires: 20
Location: Folsom, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20 Miles on Tires
March 31, 2010

Just put these on my 2003 X5 3.0 Sport this morning. Took them out for adrive to get a feel for them having come off of Michelin Latitude Tour HPs. I ran the Latitude's for 42k miles which is high for this tire on the X5 (negative camber kills inside treads).



While early, the difference between the Latitude and Envigor is, the Michelin has a slightly softer sidewall giving a more supple ride whole the Envigor has a slightly stiffer feel. Turning is super easy on the Envigor and you can easily feel the tread set in a full turn while accelerating.



On bumps, again the Envigos is slightly more stout while the Latitudes has a little more cushion. Having the Sport suspension on the X5 I am okay with this difference as it does not make the ride uncomfortable or harsh.



Braking grip feel good, very similar the Latitudes. Acceleration felt normal, good grip and no squealing or slippage.



I bought the Envigor base upon what I was reading online about the tire and it abilities. For $100 less per tire than the Latitude's I believe Yokohama is delivering high value to the market with the Envigor.



Being a business person, one can assume that 30% the cost of a product is advertising expense. So with the Latitude costing around $260 per tire for my car, that means $75 per tire can be advertising which means the value proposition difference between the Latitudes and Envigors is pretty close.



Overall, with such a short ownership experience to date, I am happy with my initial impression and will report back over time. If I get another 42k miles from these Envigors I will consider my choice fabulous as I saved over $300 choosing the Yokohama Envigors over the Michelin Latitude Tour HPs.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 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 TechnologyReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29

2005 Honda Element LX
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Miles driven on tires: 800
Location: Miami, FL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 800 Miles on Tires
May 09, 2012

I own a 2005 Honda Element which is a terrific vehicle, the best I have ever owned, but one of the negatives of this vehicle is that the box construction amplifies tire and road noise. When I first got this truck, I added carpets which helped lower the road noise. I then changed the tires for Goodyear TripleTred tires as the noise ratings on TireRack were low for those tires, and other issues such as wet traction, handling etc. were well rated. When new, the TripleTred Goodyears were pretty quiet good in the rain, and gave me about 38,000 miles of wear. I recently needed to replace my tires again and after doing extensive online research, I chose Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus tires. I am EXTREMELY satisfied with these tires. My Element feels almost like a regular luxury sedan on all but the most rough roads. Amazingly quiet, excellent wet handling, and just smooth as can be. My truck is considerably quieter than it ever was before. I purchased these from TireRack.com at a very reasonable cost. At this time, Continental includes a free Barnes and Noble Nook reader as a rebate. That was not a main reason for my purchasing these tires, but it is a nice bonus. The claimed increased gas mileage has not panned out for me, or at least only a very small gas mileage increase. My alignment shop (I highly recommend Ken Heiden's "The Alignment Factory" in Miami) suggested a cold tire pressure of 38 psi and even at that pressure, the ride is extremely comfortable. I believe that you will be very pleased with these tires on a Honda Element as well and other vehicles as well.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Monday, April 23, 2012 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 DWSReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.86

1996 Volvo 850 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: AUSTRALIA, XX
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 19, 2012

I purchased these mostly to take advantage of the strong Aussie dollar and also because my tyre size is a bit uncommon here and subsequently choice is less and cost is more.
In the end bought a superior tyre online for less than an average one from a shop. Shipping was pretty expensive I thought but that's the norm it seems buying online from the states. On the plus side,the tyres were dispatched and landed down under in just a couple of days which I thought was pretty impressive.
I wouldn't call myself an aggressive driver but still, don't mind throwing it about a few corners (we've all got our faves don't we)on the odd occasion.
The tyres have worn pretty well which I would attribute to getting a dynamic wheel alignment following fitting as advised by my mechanic. Grip, cornering and wet performance are excellent and they coped with 1 in 100 year rain event we had at Christmas time wonderfully which is just what I needed as had all the family in the car at the time.
Unfortunately I hit a pretty nasty pothole at speed while on a country trip and when I inspected it at my destination, saw that the tyre had a rather large egg in the sidewall. Subsequently, a couple of weeks later my daughter hit another pothole with the same wheel and she blew. (The tyre that is. My daughter wouldn't do that. She's a nice girl.)
Unfortunately the shipping cost for two tyres is nearly the same as four and while I was keen to get some more Conti's, it just wasn't economically feasible :( I have replaced two of the Conti's with a Falken Z92 so we'll see how that goes.
If i have to buy a full set again I'll be looking at Tire rack. If I just need one or two, it's probably more economic to buy local but you takes your chances as far as choice.
Drive Safe
Longy

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Parada Spec-X

Thursday, April 12, 2012 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.

Yokohama Parada Spec-X Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.86
 
 

2012 Chevrolet Equinox
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
March 26, 2012

When I upgraded my 2012 Chevrolet Equinox for the 17" Goodyear tires and factory rims I want to go big so I went to a 22" set. I researched online every tire that is manufactured in the size P255/35/22. My first set of tires were Toyo Proxes TR-4. These tires were noisy and rough riding. I hated these tires so much I swapped them out only after 100 miles for a set of Yokohama Parada Spec-X. Yes it cost me several hundred dollars but it was worth every penny. These Yokohama tires are wonderful. I finally have a quiet ride and smooth like I'm driving in a luxury vehicle. I was worried that since I had very little rubber between the rim and road I would have a rough ride but not with the Yokohama tires. You would think there was much more tire. Even the wet handling is outstanding I was traveling a little to fast in the rain the other day and had to make a quick right hand turn but didn't slide at all. I would highly recommend this tire to anyone in the market for a large diameter tire for the small SUV or Truck. I only hope that when it comes time to replace these tires in a few years they still manufacture this tire so I can purchase another set. Only time will tell how many miles I will get from this set of tires. I will update to let everyone know how I like them after one year of driving.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 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.

Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star SpecReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.14

2010 BMW 128i Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: Rowlett, Tx
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
February 02, 2012

I wanted to change from run-flats to standard tires, and at the same time, I wanted to increase the tire size and reduce the very harsh ride I was gettinging from the factory run flats. My BMW is a 2010 128i with the sport suspension and staggered 17" factory wheels(7" wide front, 7.5" wide rear). I also wanted a spare tire. So heres what I did. I went online and purchased two, new condition used, 7.5" facory wheels to replace the front 7" factory wheels($320.00). I used one front tire and wheel as the spare. I figured out how to strap the spare and jack kit down in the trunk but that's another story. I now have 7.5" wheels on both front and back. I had the Dunlop Star Spec 225/45/17 installed on the front, and Dunlop 245/45/17's installed on the rear. I was a bit concerned when I first started driving it in that it was so sensitive to the road, but after breaking them in with about 300 miles, I couldn't be happier. The harshness has been significantly reduced but it still has the traction and handling that you would expect from a performance vehicle/tire. It also looks FAT with these tires on it. I absolutly love it. I don't know how they will wear long term, but I will post again once I get about 10k miles on um. Oh, one more thing, with four people in it, you might experience a very,, very minor tire rub up in the fender well on the rear tires if you hit an aggressive dip. It's not very noticable,,, ever so slight. I experienced it once in 400 miles of driving. Not a concern for me. Could be more of a problem without a sport suspension. So if that's a concern for you, a 235/45/17 would probably totally eliminate that. Of course the trade off would be a slightly smaller tire. Hope this helps you.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 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 LM-60 RFTReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.9

2007 Lexus RX400h
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Miles driven on tires: 1000
Location: Cleveland, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1000 Miles on Tires
January 11, 2012

I purchased these from Tire Rack about a month ago for Cleveland OH winters. My Lexus RX400h is average to below even though its Partial AWD. With these tires in place, it is a VERY noticeable difference in performance. These tires are outstanding. Seriously, look no further. Absolutely fantastic, such a difference compared to my all seasons that were on there. As a plus Tire Rack is a great company, making it super easy to do all this online.

Tires by Mail Order - How Does This Work?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by Hunter Leffel
Tire RackWhile Tire Rack has been in business for over 30 years, the idea of ordering tires by mail order is new to many people. When looking to buy a new set of tires, there really are only four easy steps:
  1. Research - With the best trained sales specialists in the business, combined with tire test results, tire survey results and tire reviews, nobody has more information available to help with choosing the perfect tire for your vehicle.

  2. Buy - Once you've found the product(s) you're looking for, you can purchase online or over the phone. We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, as well as money order, wire transfer and Western Union.

  3. Deliver - With six strategically located distribution centers, most customers live within proximity of one to receive their order within 1-2 business days. We'll work with you to have your order shipped where it's most convenient, whether that's your home, your mechanic or one of our Recommended Installers.

  4. Install - With a nationwide network of over 8,000 Recommended Installers, finding one near your home or office is easy. With our Price Pledge program, installers display exact quotes for installation services based on tire aspect ratio. Additional or optional related installation fees are also displayed. Find a Recommended Installer to handle your Tire Rack purchase here.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 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.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3DReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.91

2008 Acura RL
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Miles driven on tires: 38000
Location: Mount Vernon, IA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 38000 Miles on Tires
January 20, 2012

These are the best tires I have ever owned, have tried Pirelli, Blizzak, and others, but for the Acura RL, these have been the best. Online to purchase a new set of Dunlop Winter Sport 3D...will never change for this car...Dunlop wins for this family!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 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 WS60Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.64

2008 Kia Spectra Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5000
Location: APO, AE
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5000 Miles on Tires
January 24, 2012

TIreRack has been absolutely AMAZING! I was wary to buy my tires online, but I have not been disappointed! I will only order from them from now on! And when I lost my lug adapter, a new one was sent out no questions asked! AMAZING service and I LOVE my tires!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Optimo H727

Monday, January 16, 2012 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 Optimo H727Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.71

2006 Dodge Caravan SXT
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Miles driven on tires: 1000
Location: LEDYARD, CT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1000 Miles on Tires
January 05, 2012

I PURCHASED THESE TIRES AFTER MONTHS OF RESEARCHING ONLINE FOR THE BEST PRICE FOR OVERALL PERFORMANCE. LIVING IN NEW ENGLAND, WE GET WEATHER OF ALL KINDS, BUT SO FAR NO SNOW, SO I CANT RATE PERFORMANCE ON THAT. HOWEVER, THESE TIRES HAVE PERFORMED GREAT ON THE HEAVY RAIN WE HAD THIS FALL. THE NOISE IS MINIMAL AND THEY FEEL MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE THEN THE PREVIOUS TIRES THAT I HAD BEFORE. I HOPE WE DON'T GET MUCH SNOW THIS WINTER, BUT I AM SURE THESE TIRES WILL LIVE UP TO WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HOW WELL THEY HANDLE. I BOUGHT THEM BASED ON RATING, PRICE AND REBATE. I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THEM TO ANYONE LOOKING FOR A DECENT TIRE FOR AVERAGE DRIVING ON ALL KINDS OF WEATHER.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, January 6, 2012 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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5

2009 Mazda MAZDA3 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 5000
Location: Ottawa, ON
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5000 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2010

I bought these tires after researching them online and finding numerous positive reviews and then I saw the latest Consumer Reports winter tire test that rated them 2nd overall and that clinched it. These tires are rebranded Gislaved NordFrost 3's made in Germany by Continental (Continental owns both the Gislaved and General Tire brands).



I've used many winter tires over the last 20 years (Bridgestone WT-02, Michelin Alpin, Blizzak WS-50, Dunlop Winter Sport M3, Blizzak WS-60) and price independent these are without a doubt the best overall with the WS-60 a close second. When you factor in the price of these versus the WS-60s it's not even close.



They have very little noise, ride is excellent, actually even better than my all seasons as I went from 205/50R17 to 205/55R16 for the winters on separate steel rims. If somebody dropped you into the car and asked what type of tires it had you probably would never guess they were winter tires. Of course, not being performance winter tires you do give up some dry traction (most noticeable on the on-ramps) but they are the least "feeling" winter tires I have owned with the exception of the Dunlops, however the Dunlops did not inspire the same level of confidence as the Altimax when the weather turned nasty. They are very stable on the highway and do not exhibit some of the mushiness that affects many winter tires. I can't comment on wear as I've only had them 3 months however if I get at least 3 winters I'll be happy. I only managed 2 winters out of the very soft WS-60s and once the multicell compound wears away on those (55%) you are back to a standard winter compound negating a good portion of their ice traction.



Deep snow, packed snow and ice traction are all very good with the Generals, I have to really slam on the brakes to even engage the ABS. Backing up a sloped driveway after a freezing rain storm I did not slip once. Unlike snow tires of old, wet traction is also very good with no sense of hydroplaning on

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Optimo H727

Thursday, December 29, 2011 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 Optimo H727Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2002 Kia Spectra
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Miles driven on tires: 1500
Location: BUNKER HILL, WV
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1500 Miles on Tires
November 07, 2011

I bought the used Spectra for the gas milage and it came with a fairly new set of tires. Theses tires went 40,000 miles and still had tread left. The handling and road noises were troubling to the point of constant initial checking for loose ball joints, CV joints and rear wheel bearings. Had to be those tires. But they would not wear out. Finally, at 40,000 miles I checked with Tire Rack online and the Hankooks appeared to be the logical choice for an inexpensive car like the KIA.

All road noise gone. Handling is as good as one would expect and wet/dry traction is excellent.

With only 1500 miles so far and no snow events yet a full review isn't possible but I no longer dread driving this car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Thursday, December 29, 2011 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.

General Altimax ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.73

2006 Honda Civic SI Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 15000
Location: Westlake, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 15000 Miles on Tires
December 02, 2011

I was nervous about buying this tire at first, but after reading reviews here and elsewhere online, I decided to take the plunge just before Winter of '09. After two whole winters (and starting a third), the snow performance of these tires continue to leave me satisfied. I have intentionally put my little FWD Civic in nasty situations (unplowed parking lot after 12" of snow? why not!) and have never gotten stuck with these tires on the car. I've owned Hakkapelittas, and Blizzaks, and the Altimax Artic is a comparable contender to both at a fraction of the price.

The biggest detractor from these tires is their sidewalls. I expect a bit of softness in a snow tire, but these go to extremes. My car feels like it's "floating" at highway speeds, and requires some extra wheel input to keep it straight. When it's dry out, taking turns at speed in these tires will leave you guessing every time. Throughout the turn, the tires never settle, so you're constantly on edge trying to manage through the turn. Steering response is horrid as the sidewall turns to mush from any inputs. That said, lateral grip is impressive for such a cheap tire once you can tame the sidewall.

Overall, once you get the hang of the poor sidewall performance, the snow and ice performance makes you forget you ever doubted the tire.

The 411 on Buying Tires from Tire Rack

Friday, December 9, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Tire RackIn our 32 years of helping drivers get the right tires we've had many opportunities to build relationships with loyal enthusiasts. We thank you all for coming back and referring your friends and family. With all these referrals, we get quite a few calls and emails from drivers that are new to Tire Rack and want to know how our business works. 

Take a look at the four easy steps to finding the right products for your vehicle:

Research

We test approximately 40 different tire models every year which provides us detailed and objective information to use throughout our website. And, with feedback from thousands of drivers, we have over 2.7 billion miles in Consumer Reviews. With all this data and a large inventory of products, questions may arise. To get answers you can contact one of our sales specialists or use our website to research the products you would like to purchase.

Buy

With several different options for making a purchase, such as major credit cards, PayPal (domestic online orders only) or other forms of payment, Tire Rack makes it easy for you to complete your purchase. It's important to note that if you're going to pick up your order, you need to contact one of our sales specialists to place your order.

Deliver

Most of our customers are within one to two business days of our Indiana, Nevada, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana or Georgia distribution centers for quick, cost-effective delivery of purchase. Freight options and shipping charges can be seen after you've added an item to your cart and entered your ZIP Code when prompted. To see shipping costs before you add items to your cart, use the "Shipping Quote" option in search results.

Install


Tire Rack customers generally ship to one of our independent Recommended Installers, their own mechanic, or their home or a dealership. With a national network of over 8,000 Recommend Installers, you're sure to find one that can handle your installation needs near your home or office.  

For example, I've spoken to many Seattle customers who rave about Omni Brake and Alignment (Recommended Installer since 1999). Using the hypothetical situation of Sally who drives a 2009 Volvo C30 T5 with a Direct TPMS and 205/50-17 tires, Omni charges $21 to mount and balance a 50-55 series tire, $2.50 for a rubber valve stem (in this case a TPMS valve core) and $2.50 for disposal. Therefore, her installation cost is $26 per tire. Since Sally chose to have her tires installed at Omni, she also had them shipped directly to them. The Installer receives an email from Tire Rack alerting them of Sally's order, while she receives a shipping and delivery email confirmation from us. At this time, Sally contacts Omni and makes an appointment to get her tires installed and she's on the road with a new set of tires in no time!

How Does Ordering from Tire Rack Work FAQs:
  1. What about warranties? We're an authorized dealer for each of the 17 brands we sell and therefore the tire manufacturer's warranty applies to your Tire Rack purchase.
  2. How old are the tires that I'll receive from Tire Rack? With our automated pulling process, we can't pull a specific DOT Tire Identification Number but we can estimate dates based on recent shipments. We'll record DOT Tire Identification Numbers at the end of the shipping process. Let's say Sally orders the Kumho Ecsta 4X, the last four codes we received were 3011 and 3211 which means two of these tires were made during the 30th week of 2011 and the other two during the 32nd week of 2011, which means Sally's estimated DOT code is 3111.
  3. Can I pick up my order instead of having it shipped? Yes, if you're close to any of our distribution centers, other than Delaware, you may pick-up your order when placed via phone. We don't have a retail license at our Delaware warehouse, therefore retail customers are unable to pick up at this location. Tire and wheel installation is available for $15 per tire at our South Bend, Indiana distribution center but not at our regional warehouses.

Winter / Snow Tires for Winter's Worst Conditions

Friday, November 18, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires are three of the top contenders in the Studless Ice and Snow category. The old approach to winter was that tires with aggressive tread patterns and studs were the best way to handle winter driving. It's been our experience that the advanced Studless Ice and Snow traction technologies have surpassed the studded tire. Watch "Testing Winter Weather Specialists - Studless Ice and Snow Tires" to see how tires in this performance category deliver excellent traction in winter's worst conditions. The following three tires offer slush, snow and ice traction that easily surpasses even the best all-season tires:

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak
WS70
Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice
Xi2
Continental ExtremeWinterContact
Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Take a look at what some customers are saying about their experience with the Blizzak WS70, X-Ice Xi2 and ExtremeWinterContact:

"This snow tire never disappointed during last winter's record snow fall (98 inches) here in eastern Massachusetts. As long as I had ground clearance they went through every drift and snow bank they were challenged with. My driveway has an upward-sloping incline which frequently ices over, and these tires always made the climb without slipping or losing grip." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2010 Volvo XC70 3.2 AWD (Bridgestone Blizzak WS70)

"For years I considered the G35 as a car requiring two lanes to safely drive in the snow. I purchased the X-Ice Xi2 with the expectation that I could at least endure driving in snow. Honestly, I was greatly surprised at how easy to drive in the snow this car has become and feel like now I could thread a needle with it. A greater surprise is how great the car performs on wet pavement. Definitely these tires transformed the car from barely livable in the winter with all season tires to a point where I do not care much about the type of winter weather I will encounter." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2005 Infiniti G35 Sedan (Michelin X-Ice Xi2)

" I just purchased these [Continental winter tires] and had them installed Saturday. Sunday night the first freezing rain and snowfall hit. By Monday morning we had a few inches of slush and snow sitting on a layer of ice. I tried to get these tires to slide in a corner and couldn't. I tried slamming on the brakes to engage ABS, and instead the car just stopped. It was like driving with my summer tires on sticky pavement. There were accidents all around me, but I had zero issues." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 BMW 335i (Continental ExtremeWinterContact)

And when it comes time to make your tire buy online, shop by vehicle to find the perfect winter / snow tire for your vehicle.

Make Your Winter / Snow Tire Changes Easier

Monday, October 31, 2011 by Ben Rooney
Cordless Impact WrenchThe time to change from summer to winter / snow tires is rapidly approaching. Temperatures on my morning drive were in the 30s coming to work. No snow here yet, but winter is in the air.  

Changing tires that are mounted on wheels is simple to do at home with just a jack and a lug wrench. But spinning all those lug nuts on and off the car can become a bit tedious.  

Last year, for the first time, I installed my Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a cordless impact wrench. This one tool makes a huge difference in the time and effort needed to make the change. To truly appreciate the ease and convenience, do a couple of changes with hand tools only, and then buy the impact wrench.  

Use of the impact wrench is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of cautions to observe:

1. M
ake sure the socket fits the lug securely before you start the impact wrench. Its high power and speed can start rounding off lugs if you are sloppy.  

2. Do not use the impact wrench to torque down your lugs. This can easily lead to harmful over-torquing. As soon as the lug starts to engage with the wheel, stop. Then go back and apply the final torque by hand.    

Aside from seasonal changeovers, the impact wrench is a great time saver for anyone who goes to the track and has a separate set of wheels and competition tires for track use. The tool is appreciated more when you're heading to the track and need to change a track wheel and track tire quickly and easily. When you're looking for car tires online at Tire Rack this winter, be sure to add the cordless impact wrench for the track-rat in your life. 

Four Winter / Snow Tires: Are They Worth It?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
Winter / Snow Tire Testing at Tire RackAt Tire Rack we pride ourselves on real-world testing data that we gather through testing tires on the street and on the track. We also take over a local ice rink and test our vehicles on the ice to simulate packed snow that has become glazed over and turned to ice, as these conditions are very common at intersections during the winter months. To get a better understanding of how we test winter / snow tires, read "We Know How They Go in Ice and Snow."

We have performed quite a few tests on the ice rink, with our rear-wheel drive BMW 3 Series and all-wheel drive Porsche Cayenne. This season we decided to use one of the more popular front-wheel drive vehicles in the U.S., the 2012 Honda Civic. The Civic was equipped with traction control and ABS, as well as front-wheel drive.

We ran two separate tests with one comparing the winter capabilities between a vehicle equipped with four all-season tires against a vehicle with four winter / snow tires. The test results prove that a set of winter / snow tires will make your winter driving much easier as they accelerated quicker and stopped in a shorter period of time. For full results, watch "Are Front-Wheel Drive and All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving?." 

Think you can get away with purchasing only two winter / snow tires? Take a look at "Why Gamble With Winter Tire Selection When Four of a Kind Always Beats Two Pair?" and see why you should buy winter tires in a set of four to make this winter your safest yet.

And when it comes time to price tires online for this winter season, shop by vehicle to find the right winter / snow tire for your vehicle!

Best Run-Flat Winter / Snow Tires in 225/45R17

Friday, October 21, 2011 by Gary Stanley
If you have a 2006-2011 BMW 3 Series, odds are you're considering run-flat winter / snow tires in 225/45R17. For the upcoming winter season, there are only two options left in stock: the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT and Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT
Pirelli 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT
Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT

How Do They Compare? 

The Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II RFT would be a noticeable step down in terms of snow and ice traction but would provide better dry grip and steering response compared to the Blizzak LM-25 RFT. In other words, a set of Blizzak LM-25 RFTs would offer your vehicle better winter traction than a set of these Pirelli car tires, but not quite as much dry grip and handling. 

While both options are quality tires, if you live in a light snow area and prefer a tire with better dry grip and faster steering response, but are willing to give up some snow and ice traction to get it, then you should purchase the Sottozero Serie II RFT. However, if you see more mixed conditions, or simply want a safer tire for better traction on ice and snow-covered roads, then I'd suggest the Blizzak LM-25 RFT.

Decision is Made, What's Next?

Buy tires online through Tire Rack, of course. Or, as always, contact one of our sales specialists for pricing and availability. Need an installer? Learn more about our Recommended Installer program by checking out my blog titled, "How Does Our Recommended Installer Program Work." 

Better yet, select a combination of winter / snow tires and rims (wheels) to create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package so you can do the installation yourself.