Peace of Mind

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by Porter Pryde

Like many families, you may be planning a summer trip that involves packing up the car and possibly loading the pull behind camper or trailer. But after you have checked and adjusted the tire air pressure, how do you ensure that your trailer tires maintain the proper air pressure throughout your trip? Besides visually inspecting your trailer tires at gas stops, you can monitor trailer tire air pressure while you drive by installing a retro-fit tire pressure monitoring system.

At Tire Rack, we have two systems available that when installed will assure you that your tires are properly inflated.

Dill TPMS Dill High-pressure Retro-fit Trailer Tire Pressure Monitor

  • Provides real-time monitoring of four tires
  • Can be installed on most any 4-wheel application
  • Alerts for low- or high-pressure, air leaks and temperatures changes
  • Mounts inside of tire on wheel (wheel and tire breakdown required to install)



Accutire TPMSAccutire External Retro-Fit TPMS

  • Ideal solution for vehicles without O.E. TPMS
  • Receiver plugs into 12-volt outlet
  • Sensors are screw-on valve caps (no breakdown of wheel and tire required)

Check out these innovative solutions before starting out on your next family vacation.  The peace of mind you will have knowing that your trailer tires are properly inflated is invaluable.  After all, you have enough to worry about, like, where the next rest stop is.

Tires Can Get Old, Too

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by Porter Pryde
I have been to a lot of car shows over the years, both as a spectator and a participant. I love the cars that have been fastidiously restored as well as the ones in original, unrestored condition. The one thing that amazes me is that an owner can spend so much time keeping a car in top condition and yet, ignore the tires completely. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a pristine example of a classic car only to find ragged, worn out tires supporting it.

Not only can a tire wear out, but it can also age. Even if your tire has plenty of tread depth left it can show signs of age and need replacement.  The most notable indicator that a tire is old is the presence of numerous, tiny cracks in the sidewall.


DETAIL SHOWING AGE CRACKS IN TIRE SIDEWALL

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The tires used on vehicles that are driven infrequently or accumulate low annual mileage are more likely to experience cracking because long periods of parking or storage interrupt "working" the rubber. In addition to being an annoyance to show car owners, this condition often frustrates motor home and recreational vehicle owners who only take occasional trips and cannot even park their vehicle in a garage or shaded area. Using tire covers at least minimizes direct exposure to sunlight.

Air Pressure vs Tire Size

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Porter Pryde
As many of us know, one of the easiest ways to improve the looks of your vehicle is to select a new tire and wheel package.  "Inching up" your wheel diameter provides a lower profile tire with a larger contact patch affording greater traction and steering response. But what about the tire air pressure?

One of the most common questions I hear is "what is the proper air pressure for my low profile tires?" 

Your vehicle manufacturer recommends an optimum tire pressure found in your owner's manual or a sticker in your door jamb or gas filler door. What is surprising is that even if the tire size changes, the recommended air pressure remains the same. In other words, the air volume from one tire size to another may be different but the recommended air pressure is unaffected.

Tire Rack makes it easy to monitor your air pressure by offering a variety of air gauges and tire pressure monitors. For the ultimate in convenience, check out the Psiclops XPRS. The XPRS allows you to preselect your air pressure and ensures even pressure from tire to tire.

Psiclops XPRS 



Psiclops XPRS

Vintage VW Tire Size Options

Thursday, April 29, 2010 by Porter Pryde
Some of us at Tire Rack have been inflicted with vintage car-itis and I have the rarest strain of this as an air-cooled VW enthusiast. So, it is reasonable to ask, "what tires do you have for my 30 plus-year old Beetle or Karmann Ghia that will fit without modification?"
  • There are a number of tire options that Tire Rack can provide that will maintain your vintage look, yet offer modern ride, control and traction.
My 1970 Karmann Ghia was originally fitted with 5.6x15 bias tires. I opted for a wider radial tire, roughly equal in height, size 195/60-15. 

The 195/60-15 offers many tire choices, including the following All-Season Touring and Summer Performance tires:

General Altimax HP

General Altimax HP



Kuhmo Ecsta LX Platinum

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum


Pirelli P4 Four Seasons

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons


Sumitomo HTR 200

Sumitomo HTR 200

Naturally, 195/60-15 is not the only tire size option we have available to us. The following tire sizes should work for your air-cooled ride as well. Because of the age of these vehicles it is impossible to predict every application and so, it is imperative to confirm the following fitments to your car.

Tire Size               Tire Diameter          Required Wheel Width
 
205/50-15             23.1"                       5.5"
195/60-15             24.2"                       5.5"
185/65-15             24.7"                       5" and 5.5"
175/65-15             23.9"                       5" and 5.5"

Getting the Right Wheel Fit

Thursday, April 29, 2010 by Porter Pryde
I often get asked why our website requires you to shop for a wheel by vehicle. Why can't you select a bolt pattern to see what wheels are available? Quite simply, the correct bolt pattern is a small piece in the wheel fitment puzzle and alone, does not guarantee a fit.

Other items we measure or verify:

Below is a diagram showing the relative position of the main suspension and brake components and the potential points of contact with the wheel.

 component clearance  

As you can see, the wheel diameter, wheel width and wheel offset all contribute to the placement of the wheel on your vehicle. The offset of a wheel is a description of the location of the mounting surface compared to the wheel center. For example, an 8" wide wheel with a zero offset would have the mounting surface exactly in the center. A positive offset moves the wheel toward the center of the vehicle and a negative offset moves the wheel outboard of the vehicle.

You may have noticed that when you do view wheels by vehicle, you may see a range of offsets for your wheels. Which one is right? It is not uncommon for wheels fitted to the same vehicle to have slightly different offsets. This is particularly true when the wheel widths differ.
 
You can be confident that when you shop for wheels by vehicle on our web site, the wheel will fit your vehicle with no problems, rubbing or obstruction. If you want fitment confirmation before you buy, just give us a call.

Summer Fun

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by Porter Pryde
Neighbor proclaims Bridgestone Potenza RE 760  as "great!"

As I was winding through the gaggle of parents and kids at the school bus stop in front of my house this morning, my neighbor, Bob leaned through my open window saying "these are great."

Bob was referring to the Bridgestone Potenza RE 760 Sport tires he had picked just two days earlier for his '03 Audi A4 1.8T. Bob liked the dry and wet traction and quiet ride these tire provide. You may, too, if you are looking for a great combination of performance and ride comfort in a summer tire. There is plenty of summer fun in these Ultra High Performance Summer tires.


Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

Talk'n Tires

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by Porter Pryde

The new Michelin Pilot Sport All Season Plus has been available for just about a year now and that is just about how long I have had my set on my Jetta.  By now, they have been subjected to a full cycle of Midwest weather and driving conditions and have proven themselves versatile and capable. 

My initial concern was how would these All Season tires behave in Winter weather.  We have deep snow and icy roads around here that would keep sensible people home.  After the usual first snow storm slip and slide, the tires, or my driving, settled down to a predictable level of steering and brake input providing a confident ride.  Traction on wet roads was very impressive with lots of grip in light and heavy rain.

For maximum traction in snow, nothing beats a dedicated Winter tire and if that is what you need, you should check out our Winter tire and wheel packages.  Otherwise, for a combination of very good ride comfort, predictable handling and braking in a wide range of weather, the Pilot Sport All Season Plus is a tire to take seriously.