Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Parada Spec-X

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.

Yokohama Parada Spec-X Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2007 Ford F150 FX2 Super Cab 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 43,500
Location: Surrey, BC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 43,500 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

Installed on my 2007 F-150 FX2; very nice tire and best bang for the $ in an area like ours [British Columbia by the coast] where rain and snow or ice and dry weather are all unpredictable and can be encountered all during the same day of driving; even in June! Sometimes they will thump for the 1st km or so but are fine when they warm up.
I went over the Coquihala Pass in a January snow storm and passed several vehicles with snow tires that were stuck [not that the
Spec-X are a winter tire but I was happily surprised]. They tracked well [excellently!] through icy ruts even though the 275/55s are wider than most other vehicle tires on the road [so like they were a tad wider than the ruts]. 200 lbs of sand in the back of the empty truck box keeps them working in snow & icy conditions.
In the rain [and we get lots here]; they are superb; no kidding; you'd think you were on dry pavement; hit a big puddle at 120 km/hr and they haven't ever hydroplaned yet.
Cornering: I think the truck would roll over before they would lose traction; I had to learn that the Spec-Xs were better than my vehicle & its suspension and my driving capabilities.
Noise: they are on a truck not a Lincoln Town Car; what can one expect? Having said that: they do not differ with the original tires.
I have a reprogramming chip [and some other mods] and set the maximum vehicle speed to 120 m/hr; I am happily here to report the Spec-X's just cruise along and track well at high speeds; again tire performance & quality exceeds the vehicle's aerodynamics.
Would have liked to see 60K out of them but they have worked well and lasted twice as long as the original Pirelli's our F-150 came with.
I am looking for another set soon; will likely buy the 305/50R20s instead of the 275/55R20s I now have.
Compared to other tires; the Spec-X out rotates other tires in traction, wear and comfort in all settings and I'd agree with that rating.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S

Monday, April 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.

Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3

2006 Honda Ridgeline
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Eugene, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 22, 2008

I've had them long enough to have driven in almost every condition on road, including deep snow, ice, heavy rain, dry highway, secondary roads with tight turns, and some highway cruising. I don't have any meaningful off-road experience to report.

These tires transformed the ride and tire noise levels to those of near car tires in our 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL. We had low-profile Toyo Proxes ST, and while the dry handling was great, that was the only joy I got from them.

The Geolander AT-S, the replacement for the AT-2's,is far better for typical driving (I've had the AT-2's), with the extra sidewall casing belt. It steers very well, and generally does what is asked of it. In my case that's a lot. The Ridgeline puts 'sports' into a truck: it has precise steering, high spring and shock rates, and a fully independent suspension. It drives like a quality sedan. Tires have no where to hide with this vehicle and any flaw or characteristic is made apparent.

I'm mostly amazed at the ride quality, and the near absence any noise. These tires soak up most road imperfections extremely well, especially on expansion joints going over bridges. Yokohama has done a great job balancing everything one needs in a AT rated tire, while giving you (me really, until you buy your own!) what you're hoping for.

I drive pretty briskly, and the handling is just great. I've bought performance tires for nearly 20 years (usually the best of the best) and these remind me of how they handle in the wet. Matter of fact I've yet to slide this truck in either wet or dry condition, and haved provoked them, but never unsettled them yet.

For those that are big on tire wear (it's not a selling feature for me at all), I'm happy to report uniform, but hardly perceptible wear. I don't think most people could even see it. Oh yes, one other thing, these tires do seem to balance quite well, too.

Overall Yokohama makes a great tire for the money. I can't see how a ti

Raise Ride Height and Go Big with Traxda Lift and Level Kits

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

"How big of a tire can I install on my truck?" This question is one I receive on almost a daily basis. While each truck is different and some can occasionally accept taller tires with the factory suspension in place, the easiest way to insure proper fitment of a taller or wider tire is to increase the amount of travel between the top of the tire and fender well.

Leveling kits increase the amount of clearance on the front axles between one and three inches on average and will often enable the owner to increase tire size without rubbing issues. Most trucks tend to have a rake from the factory that causes the front of the truck to sit lower in the front when the bed is unloaded. With a leveling kit, this rake can be corrected and clearances improved.

Traxda Lift and Level Kits relocate the mounting point of the spring that holds the truck up without changing the location of the stock suspension arms. Installation of this kit allows for use of up to 35" tall tires (17"-26" rims, stock offset, depending on application) without rubbing. Most kits are a direct bolt-on style, simple and easy to install with nothing more than common hand tools and require no modifications to your vehicle. The kits retain stock ride quality.

Lift and Level Kit Features:

  • Precision laser cut solid steel technology engineered to exact tolerances
  • Does not change preload
  • Maintains stock ride quality on most vehicles
  • Requires no disassembly of the strut
  • Depending on application, stock shocks or stock-length aftermarket shocks can be used
  • Shock brackets included where applicable
  • Alignment specs provided
  • Truck can be returned to stock when required
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Search by vehicle to find a Traxda Lift and Level Kit for your truck.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ProContact GX

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.

Continental ProContact GX Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2

2013 Subaru Outback
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Miles driven on tires: 12,000
Location: Huntington Woods, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 12,000 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2014

These are the OE tires on my Outback, and I already know I will replace them with the same model when it's time. I've had a Subaru before, and several 4WD trucks, but have never had a vehicle track like this one does in the snow. It's like having a 28 MPG tank at my command. We've had a lot of snow in the past couple of weeks and I am astounded at how this vehicle and tire combination shrugs it off. I am not an overly aggressive driver, but I can safely move faster in snow-covered lanes than other vehicles do on the mostly clear ones. I'm (almost) looking forward to more snow so I can these boys out there again, this time looking for especially difficult driving to see how they do. I am also surprised how well this vehicle rides over rutted unpaved roads and potholes, but I'm not sure whether I should credit the tires or the Subaru suspension. I suppose it doesn't matter. The combination makes for the best riding vehicle I've ever had when it comes to really crappy roads.


Performance Engine Upgrades for Your Car, SUV and Pickup

Friday, August 16, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Not only do we offer the best performance wheels, tires and suspension selection for your vehicle, but we also offer performance engine upgrades. I receive many calls from enthusiasts who are overall quite happy with their vehicle, however are looking for a little more power. Hypertech Power Programmers and AIRAID air intake systems are a great addition for the individual looking for safe and reliable horsepower gains.

Founded in 1985, Hypertech has been an industry leader in increasing engine efficiency, horsepower and torque for cars and trucks. Their Max Energy Sport Power Programmer is developed specifically for late model imports, while the Max Energy Power Programmer tunes late model cars and trucks. Some of the expected improvements you'll see from using these products, include:

  • RPM “rev” Limiter
  • Top-Speed Limiter
  • 0-60 mph Electronic Throttle Restriction
  • Read and Clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)
  • Return to Stock or Change Option Settings
  • Internet Updateable

Founded in 1997, AIRAID started developing and manufacturing air intake systems for light trucks and SUVs utilizing the cotton-gauze filter technology. Since then, AIRAID evolved to the next level with the introduction of SynthaMax filters. These 100% synthetic, non-oiled and washable filters are easy to maintain and can be reused by simply washing the filter with a mild household detergent and rinsing. AIRAID offers a wide selection of cold air intakes and air box/air intake tube combinations for your gas or diesel pickup and Jeep. Their QuickFit line has shown to increase airflow between 20% to 200% with horsepower gains from 6hp to 18hp, depending on vehicle.

Industry proven safe power gains from two industry pioneers for your vehicle. Which one is right for you?

Five Common Myths About Using Lowering Springs to Lower Your Car.

Friday, June 21, 2013 by Gary Stanley

If you've already upgraded to performance tires, the next step to improve the handling of your vehicle is to upgrade to a better suspension set-up. Typically, the most cost-effective way to do this is to replace your vehicle's Original Equipment springs with a set of performance lowering springs. Lowering springs lower your car's center of gravity for better handling, but there are many other benefits to using them. To read more about the benefits of using lowering springs, read "Springs for Spring!"

Vehicles also benefit from an improved sportier appearance when lowered. So what stops many drivers from lowering their car? Here are five common myths that often stand in the way. 

Myth 1: If I buy lowering springs, I can't use my original shocks.

Fact: Springs that produce mild lowering of about an inch work well with newer factory shocks. In fact, Eibach's Pro-Kit Spring Set and even their more aggressive Sportline Spring Set are designed around a vehicle's original suspension. 

Myth 2: I will need an expensive alignment kit if I install lowering springs on my car. 

Fact: According to Eibach, a leader in spring engineering and production, most vehicles do not require an alignment kit after installing a set of lowering springs that result in mild lowering of about an inch. 

Myth 3: Lowering my vehicle will hurt the ride quality of the car and make it ride like a truck.

Fact: Some spring sets, like the Eibach Pro-Kit, are designed to maintain much of the car's original suspension travel distance and are only about 15% higher in spring rate to preserve quality. 

Myth 4: Lowering springs will sag and settle in, making the car too low to be practical.

Fact: High quality springs from H&R and Eibach are pre-compressed down to full coil bind and tested before they are shipped. They do not sag. In fact, Eibach warranties their springs for one million miles. 

Myth 5: Upgrading my vehicle's suspension with lowering springs is expensive.

Fact: The price of lowering a vehicle can be as inexpensive as a set of lowering springs, plus the cost of installation. For current pricing of lowering springs for your vehicle, check out our suspension page.

What Size Rims or Wheels Fit My Car?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Upgrading the wheels on a car is one of the most popular modifications drivers like to make. It allows you to add a personal touch, while also helping it stand out in a crowd.

What wheels will fit on your car? Simple. Just use our shop by vehicle feature and we'll show options that are guaranteed to fit your vehicle. In some situations, our site will also let you know if a modification to the vehicle is needed for the wheel to fit. This message will appear under the "Important Notes" section. Situations like this are likely to occur with trucks where a lift kit is used. To ensure the wheel is a perfect match for your vehicle, we measure or verify many items, including:

  • Bolt Pattern
  • Centerbore Diameter
  • Hub Diameter
  • Load Capacity
  • Lug Hardware
  • Suspension Components Clearance

Once you have selected your wheel, the next step is choosing a set of tires that's best for how and where you drive. If you select a wheel diameter that's different than the Original Equipment, you may need a new set of tires. You can shop by size to help you find the tires that are right for your application.

For more information on selecting the proper wheel, read "What is Wheel Offset and Backspace?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Wednesday, May 15, 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.

General Altimax HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09

2007 Ford Crown Victoria
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Bryson City, NC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
April 07, 2013

I have always prefered a Michelin tire, and have had great service from them over the years. The prices are high, and I have wondered if part of that is paying for the name? A few years ago, we purchased a new truck with General tires on it, and the tires performed flawlessly. In fact those 11 year-old Generals were are currently on a farm trailer, and show no signs of dry rot, or other problems. After much thought, I decided to give these Generals a try. These tires are very quiet and smooth. They have great resistance to hydroplaning, which is a feature that I like a lot. The tires are not great in the snow, but than a V-8 powered RWD car is not so great in the snow either. I have a designated AWD winter vehicle, so winter traction does not matter to me. We live in the mountains with lots of winding roads, and tires get punished around here. I have the car set up with a stiff aftermarket suspension, so it rides harsh and corners like a sports car. The car no longer handles like a traditional Crown Victoria. Infact this car has seen an AutoCross track more then once... The OE tires where very soft and the car had a tendency to oversteer with them on it. These tires take the curves very well. So far they have passed the test. I plan to purchase three more sets, one for my wife's Crown Vic, and two sets for our two vintage Pontiac Trans AM show cars. For the price, nothing else compares. General seems to have hit the mark!


Need the Quietest Tire for Your SUV or Light Truck? Consider the Michelin LTX M/S2

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Very few of the pickup trucks and SUVs on the road today will venture off-road. However, many vehicles are still designed with tough off-road suspensions and come equipped with knobby tread tires. If you want to give your truck better on-road manners, consider a set of Michelin LTX M/S2 tires.

Michelin has built a reputation for providing quiet and comfortable tires for passenger cars, as well as durable tires for commercial vehicles. They have used this experience to combine both attributes into their light truck tires, including their newest Highway All-Season tire, the LTX M/S2.

The LTX M/S2 features a symmetric tread design and a long wearing, silica-enhanced, all-season compound to provide a smooth, quiet ride with year-round traction in dry, wet and light snow conditions. With over seven million miles of reported use by our customers, the M/S2 has received high marks for ride and noise comfort. Currently, the tire is ranked second in our Tire Survey Results.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Michelin LTX M/S2:

"Best tires ever purchased. On my third set and would buy again whenever possible." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 GMC Yukon Denali

"As I write this review, I am in the process of ordering a second set of the Michelin LTX M/S2, P275/65R-18 for my Tundra Crewmax. I have 56,000 miles on my old set and probably have another 5,000 or more on the tires (I drive a great deal of highway miles for work). Proper tire rotation has left me with very even wear. They are getting down there, so I want to stage the next set for replacement. Highly recommended tire!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Toyota Tundra

"This is the best set of tires we have ever owned. These Michelins are on my wife's Honda Pilot and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed. They effortlessly handle our winter and the treadlife is outstanding. After witnessing the performance of these tires, I switched the tires on my Toyota to Michelins as well." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 Honda Pilot EX

For the quietest and most durable light truck tire on the market, it's tough to beat Michelin's LTX M/S2. Shop by vehicle to see if the LTX M/S2 is available for your application.

New from Hotchkis: Performance Wheels

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Hotchkis has a long and successful history of offering suspension upgrades for domestic muscle cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, European performance vehicles and Japanese sport compact vehicles. Now they're bringing their expertise in tuning for domestic muscle cars to the wheel market. Launching in 2013, the Hotchkis wheel line-up consists of the H-Sport, Y- Sport and S-Sport. These wheels are designed to fit the current crop of domestic muscle cars: Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.

H-Sport wheels come in a black or silver finish and feature a distinctive 13-spoke design. The Y-Sport is the Hotchkis interpretation of the classic motorsport-style Y-spoke design. Finish options for this wheel include matte graphite silver and machined face with matte graphite accent. Finally, the S-Sport utilizes a sporty and classic split five-spoke design. It comes in a traditional silver finish and a machined with black accent.

As I enjoy playing around and putting wheels on vehicles, I'm especially fond of the Hotchkis S-Sport in machined with black accent on a black Dodge Challenger. View all the new Hotchkis wheels and find the one that you like best for your muscle car!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Tuesday, March 19, 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.

General Altimax HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2004 Volkswagen Touareg V6
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Miles driven on tires: 42,000
Location: Port Washington, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 42,000 Miles on Tires
March 14, 2013

Our Touareg came with 255/60-17 tires from Dunlop. They were throw-aways well before 20K miles. The corners wore off quickly and they became very noisy. This is with the tires inflated to their maximum suggested cold pressure. The replacements were the same size, but from Goodyear. They, too wore the corners off in about 20K to 25K miles and became noisy. Again tire pressure was maintained at the top end of the cold pressure range. The third set was yet another manufacturer and the same size. Same story.

So, for tire set #4, I went to the alternate size 235/65-17 and bought the Generals. It was my guess that the wear problem was suspension related relative to the tire width. These narrower profile tires were better in snow, wet and hard pack/ice. They handled just fine on a 5000 pound truck, but not quite as responsive as the wider, lower profile tire. They've been more than acceptable for towing (5000# fully loaded car trailer) and fine for City/Highway driving. Further, they've been far more comfortable and quiet throughout the 40+K miles so far.

We've gotten more than twice the milage out of these Generals than we got out of any of the previous tires. The product is excellent, but the change in tire profile is what has saved these tires. They aren't as wide and haven't sheered off the corners at all. Treadwear across the entire face is very uniform.

So, if you own a Touareg and are fed up with tire wear, noise and harsh ride, consider going to the taller, narrower profile. There's not much downside and the improvement is very good. Further, the speedometer is spot-on accurate with these tires compared to the original lower profiles. I gave the Altimax Generals mostly 9s with a couple of 8s and 10s. These have by far been the best tires yet in about 120K miles of driving. They probably will see us through the Summer and Fall, but will be replaced before next Winter.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion ATR

Thursday, February 28, 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 Scorpion ATR Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.83

2010 Ford F150 King Ranch 4x4
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Miles driven on tires: 38,000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 38,000 Miles on Tires
February 21, 2013

Came standard on my King Ranch - very familiar with Pirelli, we have Pirelli tires on 3 fine German automobiles, including their respective sets of winter tires. These are quiet and smooth, even at highway speeds. Handling is superb in the dry and still pretty good in the wet. Sure they spin now and again when you pull away from a standstill in the wet, but it's a truck, with a suspension that has to cover a pretty wide range of loads. They do a pretty good job of handling everything from dry pavement to ice and snow, winter tires would be better in ice and snow, performance tire better on dry pavement, but they're a pretty good compromise, performing well across the spectrum. I'm used to changing my P Zeros at 10 to 15,000 miles, so I'm delighted these are only partially worn at 38,000 miles. They're coming on for 4 years old, I might need to replace them before they wear much more, mainly because of the rubber aging and hardening. I'm a big believer in sticking with the brand that the OEM fitted, so I'll replace them with the same.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin LTX M/S2

Wednesday, January 16, 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 LTX M/S2Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.29

2006 Chevrolet Silverado K1500
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Miles driven on tires: 11,400
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 11,400 Miles on Tires
January 05, 2013

These tires have never ridden very well. There's a slight shimmy at 70+ MPH. I've had them rebalanced several times, and inspected, they tell me there's nothing wrong with them. I had the GM dealer replace the two front wheel bearings, inspect the suspension, no issues. The truck has only 47,000 miles on it. I won't buy these again, and may replace them before they wear out.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce UV

Tuesday, January 15, 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.

Firestone Winterforce UVReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.86

2007 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 800
Location: Manchester, TN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 800 Miles on Tires
September 26, 2010

I wouldn't normally post a review until I had put more miles on a set of tires, but thought I would in case there's anyone else out there like me not wanting to spend a fortune on tires but still wanting good handling. Frankly, Firestone would have been the last brand I would normally have bought due to my perception that the company has had too many quality problems, but I honestly don't know if that's accurate or not. At any rate, being in a low budget mode right now I went for these due to the incredible price, the outstanding reviews by owners on this site, and with winter coming up. The reviews are what convinced me. Living in middle Tennessee we don't get the serious snows like in other parts of the country, but last year we got several that were pretty heavy for our area and with some serious ice a couple of times. Nice to know reviewers rank these very high for that type driving in case we get some this year. The tread on these is very deep and aggressive, and look great on the truck in the blackwall. A little squirm when cornering but to be expected on a new tire with deep tread. Rain handling is awesome. They do have a little highway hum, to be expected with a winter tire, but I have a louder than stock exhaust so who cares? The ride quality is pretty good, and this truck has a pretty stiff suspension. They make them in an LT (light truck) 10-ply model, but I got the passenger rated ones since I don't haul much or tow anything. And if anyone is considering going one size wider than the stock 255-70/17's on a 2007 F-150, the 265-70/17's I bought fit fine and with plenty of clearance at the rear shocks and the front suspension arms, and a very minor amount taller. I'll come back and do a follow-up after more miles and more weather. (If you're going to order from these guys, check out Spencer at extension 690, a really professional guy . Got the order right and to me in two days.)