Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2010 Audi A5 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 39,000
Location: Wilmington, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 39,000 Miles on Tires
April 10, 2014

I replaced the OEM tires with these DWS Extreme. First week, I hated it. The ride and handling doesn't seem right. It turns out I need to have qualified tire center to mount and balance. A co-worked told me to go to a performance shop to have it remount and balance with a Hunter road force balance machine. The ride and handling is much better (almost like a new car). I have taken my car to 145 MPH and I corner hard (70-80 MPH on exit ramps). These tires are great price/performance! A year and half ago, I ran over a tool that fell out of a truck on the high way doing 70 MPH. My left front tire was sliced on the side wall about 3" and some damage to the body. Within seconds, my car indicated low tire pressure. The car remains stable and I know I need to be careful. The tire held up and allowed me to take the next exit and park my car. I had that tire replaced. I may need a new set this fall if the "S" is faded out. If not, I should be able to keep it another year. The most important thing for me is finding a qualified place to do the mount and balance. This is KEY on performance cars and tires.
My friend installed a set of DWS Extreme Contact on his BMW 335. He made through this past winter in Michigan with his rear wheel drive (they had over 100" of snow for the season).

P.S. I noticed I lost about 1-2 MPG when I switch from the OEM tires to the DWS...the price I'm willing to pay for better traction.

I'm told Tire Rack do a great job on mount and balance if you buy tires and rims.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.78
 
 

2004 Mazda MAZDA3 s 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Blue Ash, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
June 03, 2014

Did lots of reviews on TireRack before making my purchase. Bought a set of 18" RX8 wheels for my mazda3 and needed a set of tires to go with. After extensive research these are the tires I chose.

First thing to note, the tires are concave, as in the rim is 'poked' out from the tire. i absolutely LOVE this. it makes the rims stand out much more than most cars on the road. Most cars have tires that are rounded outwards, and most tires have a 'rim gaurd' that protects your rims from road rash. Yes, you are more prone to scratching your rims with these tires, but i am a very careful driver and I make a point to avoid any scratching. The effect of these 'inward' tires portray is outstanding and i love looking at these rims every day.

Tread pattern is definitely neat.. asymmetrical but it looks cool compared to other conventional designs.

Third, this is my first set of brand new tires. I went from a set of Grand Touring Toyo tires to a lower profile Continental tire. I really have not much experience with other tires to compare or base my judgement on but i will say handling is like a charm. Sharp turns get cut thru like a knife thru butter, grip is excellent, not a lot of tire screech unless youre really pushing it. keeping them clean isnt a hassle, and the wear seems pretty good and i drive somewhat harder than most people.

Overall, im VERY happy with the purchase i made even though they were expensive. Never settle for cheaper tires, you get what you pay for and it really shows (my last car had cheap tires). Save up, do your research and buy a good set. They are an investment in your fun, and your health.

Goodyear's Top-Rated Wrangler DuraTrac

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Goodyear has really hit the nail on the head with their On-/Off-Road Commercial Traction Wrangler DuraTrac. It's specifically designed for drivers of multi-purpose full-sized pickups, vans, sport utility and commercial vehicles looking for tires that work both on- and off-road. The Wrangler DuraTrac is developed to be a versatile tire that provides off-road competence in dirt, gravel and mud with on-road composure in dry, wet and wintry conditions.

Wrangler DuraTrac tires feature a rugged chip-resistant tread compound that also guards against chunking and tearing, especially under heavy loads associated with towing. Its symmetric tread design combines large shoulders and highly angled center tread blocks to enhance stability and traction in dry and wet conditions. Self-cleaning, stepped shoulder blocks, zig-zag sipes and Goodyear's TractiveGroove Technology at the base of the circumferential grooves provide thousands of biting edges to improve traction in deep mud and snow. Branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol, it meets industry severe snow service standards and can also be studded. Finally, it features a rim lock that helps prevent wheel slip throughout the life of the tire. 

Take a look at what drivers are saying about their experience with the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac:

"Best tire hands down! 63,000 miles and great in all weather conditions. I tow with my truck 80% of the time. They wear and hook up great! Just getting a new set put on now." - Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2006 Ford F-350 Super Cab

"Love these on my Silverado. Perfect truck tire and the ride is great with very little noise. I've had these in all conditions from dry, wet, mud, sand, snow and ice and they do great." - Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD

Take a look at our survey results and see why the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac is currently the number one tire in its category.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.08
 
 

2008 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Suffield, CT
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
April 17, 2014

I upgraded my 08 Sierra with 18 inch wheels and these tires from the factory size rims and factory tires. I had a set of the Revo's (First gen) on my last truck and really liked them so I wanted to try them again. Overall I have no complaints, good ride, great traction, great wear (with rotation every 6,000 miles and air check every 3,000) The only downside I can say is between 30-40 mph there's a fair amount of tire noise. I know it's a bit agressive, it's no highway tire, its just enough to be noted here (although this truck is much quieter as a whole than my last so it makes it easier to hear noises like that... both diesels) I plan to keep running them without question and would suggest them to anyone that needs a tire thats good anywhere.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

1998 Plymouth Neon Highline Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Everett, WA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 18, 2014

We first bought these tires for my wife's Toyota Yaris. These tires have a bead saver type edge/sidewall and they rubbed on her plastic wheel covers causing a squeak noise on slow speed turns. Kind of annoying. When taking off the snow tires this spring I installed them on the aluminum rims on our Neon and the squeak noise is gone. If you have wheel covers you might choose a different tire.
These tires drive great, they have real good wet traction and have a smooth quiet ride. Minimal wheel weights were used to balance them. This is the start of the second summer for them and they have very little tread wear showing yet.

O.Z. Racing Tuner System Wheels

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Spring is here and what better time than now to outfit your vehicle with a set of O.Z. Racing Tuner System wheels. In 2006, Tire Rack became the North American distributor for O.Z. Racing wheels. This partnership includes O.Z. Racing's prestigious, custom 3-piece wheel program -- O.Z. Racing Tuner System. This program helps expand fitment limitations normally found with one-piece wheels. Additional brake clearance and maximum outer lip depth are just some of the benefits this system provides. Applications are available for many of the world's most exotic cars including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, as well as a wide variety of luxury and performance cars.

How does the process work? O.Z. Racing Tuner System's 3-piece wheel components -- wheel center, inner rim section and outer rim section -- are produced in the same facility, with the same machinery and using the same technology as F1 race wheels. Rim diameters are available in 18", 19", 20" and 22" with inner rim widths of 5.5" to 9.5" and outer rim widths of 1" to 4" possible. Tire Rack's complete, in-house inventory of all 3-piece wheel components means quick turn-around with assembled wheels shipping within 1-2 days of order receipt.

Precise wheel assembly is performed at Tire Rack using an exacting process that maintains and enhances the structural integrity originally built into each individual wheel component. O.Z. Racing Tuner System supplies a proprietary fastener specific to its 3-piece wheels to ensure the highest level of structural integrity. These fasteners alone do not guarantee a properly assembled wheel and tightening. Thus, Tire Rack uses a factory-certified Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Fastening System to tighten O.Z. Racing Tuner System's proprietary fasteners.

The assembly torque of these critical fasteners is controlled and repeatable to less than 1/2%. Tire Rack's fastening system produces traceable measurements of torque to spec every time. In fact, wheels custom-assembled at Tire Rack are shipped with a computerized print out that shows in detail the settings used to assemble each wheel. Proper torque (fasteners tightened to spec so they won't break or loosen) and run-out (radial and lateral roundness for vibration-free rides) are recorded.

Once assembled, each O.Z. Racing Tuner System 3-piece wheel gets a unique serial number noted on a sticker placed on the inside of the wheel near the valve stem.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic LT

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic LT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.27
 
 

2003 GMC Sierra K2500 Ext Cab
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Plymouth, MA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
March 17, 2014

I purchased these tires pre-mounted on new alloy rims and had them studded by tire rack. What a difference all around. My truck is only 2 wheel drive and with the 6.0 liter V8 had huge traction problems in snow and ice. Now it will climb the dirt road hill near my home no matter what is on the ground, I can go places that many front wheel drive cars can't get through. Only caution is the studs need serious break in time before you get aggressive as they tend to float the tires on top of the pavement until they wear in. Steering feels VERY light and disconnected until they bed down.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

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

Friday, March 7, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

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

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

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

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


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

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Sense

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Sense Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.64
 
 

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Noblesville, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 15, 2014

I went from having 18" Pirelli PZero Nero's to buying a 16" rim with these Kumho Sense tires and the difference couldn't have been greater. With the 18's road noise was almost unbearable. You almost couldn't carry on a conversation and the noise was even present at low speeds. Now the cabin is silent. With the 18's any amount of snow meant I was going nowhere. I would get stuck in a parking spot with less than an inch of snow. I almost couldn't turn and acceleration had to be done extremely slowly. Now wherever I point the steering wheel is where I go. I don't have to worry about sliding off the road or getting stuck in a parking spot. These kumho's have even improved my mpg. Before I was getting around 28-30mpg now I'm hitting high 30's. My only regret is waiting so long to downsize my rims. I also want to thank tirerack for the awesome service. I ordered my tire/rim combo on a Saturday and received them on Tuesday. They were shipped right to my door premounted and balanced. All I had to do was bolt them on. I checked with my local tireshop to see what it would cost for the same product and their quote was $200 more. I am definitely going to be doing business again with tirerack. You've just gained a customer for life.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.64
 
 

2002 Volvo V70 2.4
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 26, 2013

Have owned this car for about 7 years and this vehicle has always been terrible in the snow even with brand new all seasons. Various tire shops had tried to convince me to install a set of winter tires and I always thought they were just trying to sell me something I didn't need. Well this Fall in Minnesota the snow came earlier than normal and finally decided to try winter tires. Purchased 4 used rims from a Volvo salvage yard in Wisconsin and bought a set of 4 General Altimax Arctic tires and Wow! the difference is like night and day!! This FWD car just goes through the snow as if it were an All Wheel Drive vehicle. Easily plowed through 5-6 inches of snow without any difficulty. As an experiment stopped on my uphill driveway with about 4 inches of fresh snow on it. Then started again the tires didn't even spin they just grabbed and off it went. Even with new all seasons there is no way this car would have done that. It would have sat there and spun and the only way I might have made it up the hill would have been to back down and make several runs at it. Great tires for winter, worth every penny, totally satisfied!!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.1
 
 

2013 BMW 335i Cabriolet
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: West Harrison, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2014

second pair of these tires originally ran on a 2011 335xdrive coupe. The tires were great especially in snow, I used last set for approximately 26k miles, they were still good and had plenty of treadwear left. Just put these on a RWD convertible with an M sport package. Bought the 17 inch wheels to replace the staggered 19 inch summer rims. Couldn't feel safer with my wife driving it in her commute over the Tappan Zee Bridge in the snow. If you live in a cold weather area, snow tires definitely stop quicker in cold weather!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.73
 
 

2008 Honda CRV LX
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Towaco, NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 23, 2014

The perfect winter tire. I replaced my all-seasons with a set of these and now I can drive with confidence in the snow. I researched snow tires to death before I decided on these and it was a great decision. When I'm buying tires I spend almost too much time researching online because of the high expense and I want the best for my money. You cant beat the price for the performance. I priced out local shops for 17" tires for my CRV and I ended up saving money by downsizing the wheel to a 16"and going with a rim/wheel combo from tire rack. So far the performance is perfect given the limits of my FWD car. Driving up steep hills with these in FWD will still spin your tires but I can at least pass people that don't obviously have winter tires. My biggest concern with snow and ice driving is cornering and BRAKING! Last week I had to brake hard at a stop light on snow and the ABS didnt even activate. The tires did their job. On the cornering, I still use great caution but I have not had any problems with these so far. If your trying to decide on which snow tire is better than the other and are stuck on a few different brands, stop wasting your time and but the Arctic's!.

 

Best Brake Pads for Low Dust

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Are you tired of constantly cleaning ugly, black brake dust off of your factory or aftermarket rims? If you're willing to give up a small amount of braking capability, you can use ceramic brake pads - which will go a long way in reducing how often you need to clean your rims. These pads produce less brake dust and the dust is a lighter color that doesn't show up on wheels as badly. Ultimately, this leads to wheels maintaining a cleaner appearance.

Many vehicles come from the factory with ceramic brake pads. Most Acura, Lexus and many Honda brake pads are ceramic. Three of the best manufacturers of low dust ceramic brake pads are Akebono, Centric and Hawk.

 Akebono Euro Ceramic
Akebono Euro Ceramic
Pads
 Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic
Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic
Pads
 Hawk Performance Ceramic
Hawk Performance Ceramic
Pads


If you're looking for a little extra stopping power out of your low dust pads, I would lean toward the Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads as they are rated a bit higher for stopping power. However, all ceramic pads offer the following advantages over most of today's standard pads:

  • Very low dust
  • Improved braking over many inexpensive pads
  • Extremely quiet
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life
Shop by vehicle to find a recommended set of low dust brake pads.

Best Nissan Murano Tires for All-Season and Snow Traction.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by Gary Stanley

My in-laws recently purchased a 2010 Nissan Murano SL. They were looking for a crossover SUV to use for traveling and daily driving and this vehicle fit the bill perfectly. While the Murano was in excellent condition, the tires were not. The tires' remaining tread depth measured at 4/32" in the rear and closer to 2/32" in the front. With winter fast approaching, this is not an acceptable tread depth for reliable snow traction that we need in this part of the country. We recommend a minimum tread depth of 6/32" to begin a winter season. Below this depth and the tire is reduced to "nibbling" at the snow rather than biting through it to find traction. 

I prefer winter / snow tires for our area, especially due to the heavy lake effect snowstorms that frequent during the winter months. Winter tires, like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1, have much better winter traction than an all-season option. You can view my experience with this tire on a crossover vehicle by reading "My Story on Winter Tires."

However, my in-laws only to want purchase a single set of tires to use year-round, so I needed to find them an all-season tire with especially good snow traction. Affordable tires with great ride quality, treadwear and wet traction were also high on their priority list. Rather than purchase aftermarket rims, these were to be installed on the factory aluminum alloy wheels. Based on their situation, I recommended three tires, the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia and Firestone Destination LE 2

 CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
 Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia
Bridgestone Dueler H/L
422 Ecopia
 Firestone Destination LE 2
Firestone Destination
LE 2


Which tires did they choose? It would be hard to go wrong with any of these tires as they're all very highly ranked in our customer survey results. After looking over our data, customer reviews and tire tests, they chose the Continental Cross Contact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology for its winter traction and 70,000-mile treadwear warranty.   

To see if your tires are appropriate for winter driving, read "Tread Depth - Why Too Little is Never Enough."