Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, April 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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.38

2001 Lexus IS300
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Kansas City, KS
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
March 02, 2014

I bought this set after reading reviews online and was more geared towards reliability. After getting them installed, I could tell right away how much quieter, responsiveness, and clean (with a notable brand name) looking this set is. I haven't put that much time on these tires and the weather here in KS is pretty unpredictable. I will always have backup tools and stuff for crazy snow/ice days but just to make it home with these tires will boost my confidence. I will re-evaluate again after having some time behind the wheel and going to places where I can really get on them without fear of slipping on ice/snow. It's like driving a new car almost since the tread noise has made it really quiet.

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!.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60

Friday, November 8, 2013 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: 9.45

2006 Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Portage, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2013

I purchased a rear wheel drive Mercedes Benz E320 CDI this fall and was concerned with handling this winter. Living in Michigan we see all types of winter driving conditions.
I went online to the Tire Rack website and researched tires for winter driving and with their customer service support selected the Bridgstone Blizzak 225/55R16 WS60 tires. I am extremely satisfied with my purchase and would recommend them to anyone. The ride is excellent and quiet. The traction on snow and ice surpasses my expectations.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Monday, April 29, 2013 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 Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.86

2009 Scion xD
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Puyallup, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
April 24, 2013

After reading online about another Scion XD owner getting the Pirelli P7 Plus in 215/55/16 I decided to try them out. WOW! What an incredibly smooth, and well handling tire. My little Scion no longer feels bouncy, or harsh over bad roads. I glide down the road with precision steering control. A much appreciated change in my cars handling, and ride comfort. And, I too, really like the look of the 215/55 w/Motegi wheels on my XD.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Monday, February 11, 2013 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.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.73

2012 BMW M3 Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Manhasset, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
February 09, 2013

I cannot believe there are no reviews on this tire anywhere online!

When I was searching for winter tires for my M3 I really wanted a tire that would get me through light or heavy snow, but with a strong emphasis on not sacrificing dry cold conditions.

I was tempted to go with a Blizzak LM-60, but there were a few reasons I decided not to.
1. The factory recommended tire for the M3 is a Pilot Alpin 3 (since 2008), this could be considered the newest update, so that held some weight.
2. I could not break myself away from the fact that the PA4 is V speed rated and the Blizzak H rated. Am I going to drive 150 in the snow? no I am not... but the Pilot Alpin is designed for speed, so that has to trickle down for every day driving performance.
3. I also like the Assymetrical design of the tire and the snow sipes which are angled (most likely for snow turning performance, and I feel this really helps the snow grip performance when turning.

The size I chose was 245/40 r 18 which I decided because I wanted to have the exact same size front as the summer setup. The factory recommends 235 but this has not at all been an issue.

The PA4 is wider than other 245 tires by just a few mm's according to the specs.
I mounted them square on 4 identical 9.5 inch wide wheels for rotation purposes, and there is enough side wall tire that the wheel is not sticking out.

They drive safely in ice/snow and grip well, but have a tremendous amount of grip in the cold dry, and do not at all feel like they sacrifice steering response or grip from the factory summer sport michelins. (when driving in the cold)

I chose the Michelins PA4 over the LM-60 because to me COLD dry and wet driving performance is more important and actually measurable to me. Face it, if the snow gets deep enough eventually any low car is going to get stuck, so for just a few inches of snow a few times a year, why give up all of that FUN dry grip performance?

What About TPMS Sensors for My Winter Wheels?

Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

An often overlooked aspect during the Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package research process is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Starting with the 2008 model year, Federal regulations require TPMS on all passenger vehicles. Most use a direct system which attaches a pressure sensor to the vehicle's wheels. An in-vehicle receiver warns the driver if the pressure in any tire falls below a predetermined level. Direct systems are typically more accurate and reliable and most are able to indicate which tire is underinflated. To learn more about the differences in TPMS sensors, read "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems."

While these sensors vary in price, they are worth the cost as they provide a safety feature to your driving experience. While not required in most states, it is recommended that you maintain the system with your winter tires and wheels. In some locations, vehicle inspection regulations require operating tire pressure monitoring sensors on every vehicle that came with TPMS as Original Equipment. The following states require the TPMS to be functional in order to pass inspection:

  • Hawaii
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also recently modified how installers must deal with these systems when it comes to swapping wheels and tires. To help verify the latest information for your application and how these rules may affect your vehicle, contact one of our sales specialists for assistance. 

Tire Rack works with wheel manufacturers to develop aftermarket wheels that accommodate direct tire pressure monitoring sensors. This results in our ability to provide a wider selection of aftermarket alloy wheel styles that accept Original Equipment direct system components. Our fitment specialists also carefully determine which wheels will be compatible with the vehicle and system installed for customers purchasing Tire & Wheel Packages or wheel upgrades. Search results on our site include notes regarding TPMS sensors and sensors can confidently be purchased online with wheels.

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 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
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

Best Original Equipment Replacement Rotor? Stop and Take a Look to See if Centric is Right for You!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Centric Plain 120 Series RotorsMany vehicles are offered with optional sport packages which usually include upgrades to the engine, wheels, tires and braking system. When replacing your current rotors be sure you're getting the same level of performance from your new rotors. Centric takes the guess work out of purchasing Original Equipment replacement rotors.  

If you own a performance vehicle like the Audi RS4, Porsche 911, Corvette or BMW M3 that came with factory cross-drilled and vented rotors, the Centric Plain 120 Series Rotors will be made to the exact specifications.

Plain 120 Series Rotors feature a layer of Electrocoating that provides long lasting corrosion protection. The black Electrocoating is applied to the entire rotor with the exception of the braking surface which gives a more attractive rust-free appearance when compared to your Original Equipment rotors.

Centric also offers value-added benefits such as balancing, split castings for better heat transfer and a double disc ground braking surface for a non-directional friction area.

When looking for brakes online, be sure to shop by vehicle.

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 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
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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

Wheels & Tires for the 2011-2012 VW Jetta

Friday, November 4, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
Despite what some automotive experts say, I really like the new Volkswagen Jetta. And, if the original Jetta tires and wheels are not to your liking, some aftermarket car rims and tires could really increase the vehicle's style.

As you try to envision how a given wheel will fit on your car, keep in mind that the offset spec effects the overall look. How would the 17x7.5 5-112 bolt pattern 45mm offset Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin look on the car, even though your Original Equipment wheels are 16" in diameter and 6.5" with a 50mm offset? To help you gain a better picture of how these Enkei rims would sit on your vehicle, look at where your valve stems sit and picture them moving 17mm (roughly 3/4") out towards the fender.

Manufacturers will determine what sizes of wheels they'll make, as not all wheels come in all sizes. However, when you purchase wheels from Tire Rack, you can be assured the wheel you order is a perfect match for your vehicle. To see how we get the proper fitments for each vehicle, read "How We Know What Fits."

Since I am a big fan of the Jetta TDI let's use this application as an example. For 17" wheels you can choose Volkswagen tires in either 225/45-17 or 235/45-17. If I were picking tires to use here in Indiana, I'd get the 225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 for its combination of great steering response, wet grip and efficiency.

Since the new Jetta uses the indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System with ABS sensors, you don't need to get separate sensors. And when you're looking at our online tire prices for the Michelin Primacy, create a Tire & Wheel Package with the Enkei wheels for $1388* plus shipping.

17x7.5 Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin
17x7.5 Bright Silver Enkei Tuning Fujin
225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4
225/45-17 Michelin Primacy MXM4

Create the perfect Tire & Wheel Package for your Jetta today!

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.

Looking to Purchase Tires, Wheels Online?

Monday, August 15, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
Wheels by BrandWhile our name suggests we're an online tire retailer, Tire Rack is also an online wheel store. With over 40 different brands to choose from, choosing rims and tires online at one retailer is simple.

And when you choose to shop by vehicle you can be sure you are getting a wheel that is an exact fitment for your car. Through research and testing, our fitment engineers match wheels to particular applications. Items we measure or verify include:
  • Bolt pattern
  • Centerbore diameter
  • Hub diameter
  • Load capacity
  • Lug hardware
  • Suspension components clearance
Read "How We Know What Fits" for detailed information on what we measure. And when you're finished, shop by vehicle to see all the wheels that will fit your car, light truck or SUV.

Install Your Tire & Wheel Package in Just Minutes

Monday, August 1, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
How to Install Your Wheel & Tire PackageCreating Tire and Wheel Packages at Tire Rack allows you to buy car tires online as well as rely on us to be your online wheel store - all in one stop. Mounted, balanced and shipped with all necessary hardware at no additional charge, a package is easy to bolt right on. To make sure the miles in between tire rotations are as pleasant as possible, proper installation of your Tire & Wheel Package is key. Read "How to Install Your Wheel & Tire Package."

Begin building your Tire & Wheel Package today!