A Platinum Review for Kumho!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Kumho Ecsta LX PlatinumIt's time to Invest in Platinum! The Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum to be exact!

The tire is designed to blend responsive handling, long wear and a quiet ride with year-round traction to meet the needs of sporty coupe and luxury performance sedan drivers. Here's what one of our customers had to say about the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum:

"I bought these tires to replace the OEM tires that served us faithfully for about 2 yrs but were too soft in the sidewall (I guess they were designed that way to accentuate comfort over handling). These Kumhos have been quite exemplary, and I give them high marks thus far. They are amazingly quiet, handle sharp cornering quite well with no squishy feedback and no squeal (the OEM tires squealed when entering and exiting sharp turn on/off ramps). And, for the price you get top notch performance rivaling the more expensive OEM tires. I will DEFINITELY get these tires again!" -- Tire Rack Customer Review, 2007 Honda Accord

Beef up for Summer Mudding!

Friday, March 18, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Firestone Destination M/TLooking to get the truck a little dirty this summer? The Firestone Destination M/T is designed to meet the needs of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles that desire the look and performance associated with rugged, off-road driving. This Off-Road Maximum Traction tire merges a comprehensive design method with innovative manufacturing features to improve tire comfort, performance and wear.

Whether you have a Dodge Ram, Toyota FJ Cruiser or a Jeep Wrangler, the Destination M/T comes in a variety of sizes from 15" to 20", including wide applications and floatation sizes. Make sure you get back on the path this summer and pick up a set of Firestone Destination M/T tires.

Shop by vehicle to see which tires work best for your vehicle.

Chrome Rims for A Camaro

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Looking for chrome rims for your new Camaro? Take a look at the the following options from Sport Muscle, American Racing Authentic Hot Rod and Ultra:
Sport Muscle Tach (Chrome Plated) American Racing Authentic Hot Rod Torq-Thrust M Ultra Hustler (Chrome Plated)
Sport Muscle Tach

American Racing Authentic
Hot Rod Torq-Thrust M
Ultra Hustler

Shop by vehicle or contact one of our sales specialists for fitment options and pricing.

Wheels with Red Stripes

Friday, March 4, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Looking for a way to stand out at track events or on the street? Separate your vehicle from the rest with wheels that have red stripes.
Enkei Performance KLAMP (Black w/Red Stripe) Breyton Race GTS-R (Black w/Red Stripe)
Enkei Performance KLAMP (Black w/Red Stripe) Breyton Race GTS-R (Black w/Red Stripe)

Motegi Racing MR 116 (Black w/Red Stripe) Motegi Racing MR 117 (Black w/Red Stripe)
Motegi Racing MR 116 (Black w/Red Stripe) Motegi Racing MR 117 (Black w/Red Stripe)

To see which wheel will fit your vehicle, shop by vehicle.

Cure for the Winter Blues!

Saturday, February 26, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Hoosier A6It's time to start thinking about racing season! Whether it's the short, quick bursts of autocross, or the endurance of a road race, Tire Rack has the racing tires you need from Hoosier

The A6 is developed for competition in autocross, time trial and hillclimb events in dry conditions where responsiveness and high levels of grip at lower operating temperatures is beneficial.Hoosier R6

The R6 is designed for road racing events where responsiveness and high levels of grip in dry conditions is desirable.

Note: Hoosier Racing Tires meet Department of Transportation requirements for marking and performance only and are not intended for highway use.

I have seen the light!

Friday, February 18, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
PIAA 9004 Xtreme White PlusIf you are like me and have trouble driving at night, consider upgrading your vehicle's light bulbs. Recently, I decided to help myself out and changed to the PIAA 9004 Xtreme White Plus replacement bulbs.

The PIAA bulbs project a brilliant cool white light that comes very close to the color of expensive High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting systems. Xtreme White Plus replacement bulbs are available for headlights, running lights, turn signals, side marker lights and interior dome lights.

Great tires will help you stop in a hurry, but great bulbs help ensure you see things sooner. Take a look at our selection of driving, fog and accessory lights.

Replacing One Tire on an All-Wheel Drive Vehicle

Saturday, February 12, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
With an all-wheel drive vehicle, it is important to keep all four tires the same model, brand and tread depth.

The ability of an all-wheel drive vehicle to divide the engine's horsepower between its four tires is especially useful on loose or slippery surfaces. However, it is important to remember that in order to transfer the power, the all-wheel drive vehicle's driveline mechanically connects the tires to work in unison. Mismatched tires will lead to excessive heat and unwarranted wear until the system fails.

When replacing only one tire, there are a few simple steps to follow:
  1. Have three remaining tire's tread depth measured.
  2. Have new tire shaved to the tread depth of remaining three tires.
  3. Replace damaged tire with same brand, design and tread depth.
For more information, read "Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles."

Rip Through Mud with BFGoodrich

Friday, February 4, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 is currently the top-ranked tire in our Off-Road Maximum Traction category. Consumers like the beefy look and large tread blocks that throw mud from the tire tread. This tire is also being praised for its driveability on highways:

BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2"Prior to installing the KM2s I thought that the old KMs were great, I was wrong...the KM2s are on a whole new playing field! The tread clears easier than the previous style, it's quieter on the road, not as bumpy just before coming to a stop as you go from one tread patch to another. Cornering is greatly improved, sidewall is much stronger and will take the occasional rock scrape with ease. These tires make traveling a muddy road as easy as going down a gravel road. Somehow these things have kept me going when I should have been high centered time and time again. The majority of my driving is on pavement, and these tires are perfectly capable as both being a daily driver or an all out mudding truck. I will definitely be buying these again." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1998 Toyota Tacoma

It's Coming!!

Friday, January 28, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
The long awaited replacement for the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 will be here before you know it! If preliminary testing is any indication, the Pilot Super Sport is going to contend for the crown in the Max Performance Summer tires category.

Pilot Super SportAs of right now, the Pilot Super Sport is exclusive to the limited edition Ferrari 599 GTO, Ferrari's fastest road car ever. If that doesn't give you a sense of what kind of tire Michelin thinks they have, I don't know what does!

Between 35-40 new sizes are expected in April, with a few more expected in May. The sizes will range from 17" to 22" and fit a variety of sports cars including BMWs and Porsches.

Super CarsOur tire testing team recently traveled to the Dubai Autodrome in the United Arab Emirates to get a feel for what this tire can do. I should be typing this article in green because I'm so envious. The crew was able to ride in: AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW M3, Audi R8, Ferrari 458 Italia, Gumpert Apollo, Koenigsegg Agera, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes-Benz SLS, a 1,000 horsepower MKB P1000 Mercedes-Benz SL65, Porsche 911 Turbo, and more.

It goes without saying they came away impressed. While the Pilot Super Sport is not a true track-tire like the Pilot Sport Cup, it certainly has the look of a great Max Performance Summer tire. Read the full write-up of the trip here.

New Z06 Tires

Thursday, January 20, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
Looking to replace your Corvette's Z06 tires this spring? Check out the brand new Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 ROF!

Eagle F1 Supercar G: 2 RunOnFlatThe Eagle F1 Supercar G: 2 (Generation 2) ROF (Run On Flat) features a race-inspired tread compound molded into a unique asymmetric and directional tread design that rewards the driver with a blend of dry road traction combined with wet road confidence. The outer edge of the tire has big shoulder tread blocks for maximum grip, while the inner half of the tire features Aquachannel grooves that were inspired by the extremely popular Eagle F1 GS-D3.

Last February, our tire testing team went to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, Arizona to give the new G: 2 tires a test run. And boy did they come back impressed! Drivers were able to accelerate sooner, brake later, and carry more speed through the corners of every turn; all of which led to faster lap times. 

Check out the full write-up of the trip here and click here to view pricing.

The $64,000 Treadlife Question

Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
How many thousand mile tire is that? What's the treadlife guarantee? I want a 60,000 mile tire.

These are common questions that people ask about treadlife on tires. If you're buying a tire, obviously you'd want to know how long it's supposed to last, right? Unfortunately, treadlife warranties aren't as simple as they seem.

Let's first start with tires that don't include treadlife warranties. Wait...some tires don't have a warranty? Yes, actually quite a few categories of tires do not include treadlife warranties at all:
  • High speed summer performance tires
  • Run flat tires
  • Any LT-rated tire (C, D, or E load range)
  • Most Original Equipment tires
But let's say you DID buy a tire with a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty, the tires are looking a little worn and you're only at 40,000 miles. What can you do about that?

Treadlife warranties can be difficult to collect on because there very specific qualifications:
  • Documentation of mileage and proper rotation
  • Proper inflation pressure
  • Evenly worn down to 2/32nds of treadlife
It's not easy to meet all of those qualifications, especially since tires are legally unsafe at 2/32nds. But let's say that you've met the qualifications and qualify for a new set of tires. One of the biggest points that is overlooked is that you don't get a new set of free tires from the manufacturer. They offer a pro-rated percentage off a new set. In our example, you've used 40,000 miles of a 60,000 mile warranty. That's 2/3 of the warranty. The manufacturer would give you 1/3 (or 33%) off a new set.

This article in Tire Tech goes into a little more detail, but each individual manufacturer may do things slightly differently. You'll want to make sure to check the fine print on your warranty information to make sure you qualify. And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call!

The snow keeps falling!

Friday, January 7, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
And there is still time to buy winter / snow tires! Granted, the selection isn't what it was a month ago, or even a week ago for that matter.

Here's a little secret not a whole lot of people know about snow tires: they're actually manufactured during the spring! The tire manufacturers come up with a number of tires to produce based on many different factors that include previous year's sales. While everyone else is thinking warm thoughts, the tire manufacturers are gearing up for the cold again. The tires are made through the spring and summer, and we generally start to receive stock on them during September.

Where this becomes very important is that once the tire supply is gone...it's gone! The tires won't go back into production until springtime, so when we do run out, we are out. That's why we always recommend buying early before the snow falls. Don't get me wrong, we still have a lot of snow tires in stock, but the most popular tires in the most popular sizes have either run out already, or are very close.

If it's too late for you this year, remember this tip for next winter. Start thinking about snow before it happens, and that way you won't be left out in the cold! Check and see what we still have in stock for your vehicle.

Color Coordinate your BMW!

Friday, December 31, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
BMW M3The ASA AR9 rim comes with colored spoke and carbon fiber inserts. Shown here is a 2009 BMW M3 with the carbon fiber inserts.

These wheels also come with red and chrome inserts, so you can change the look of your car with ease!

Now is a great time to think about upgrading your ride for 2011 with some new rims from Tire Rack!

Shop for the Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
Shopping for a loved one just got a little easier!

Michelin X-Ice Xi2If you live in the snow belt and are getting hammered with the white stuff, consider the Michelin X-Ice Xi2. Michelin's FleX-Ice silica-based winter tread rubber compound is molded into a directional tread design that helps evacuate water and slush to improve hydroplaning resistance. The tire also did well in our recent ice rink test.

Michelin Pilot Sport PS2Or maybe your Christmas tree is a palm tree...lucky you! The Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 features two different tread rubber compounds that are specifically formulated to combine dry and wet traction with crisp corning and high-speed capability. This tire is a great choice for any sports car.

Unsolicited Feedback...Sort Of!

Friday, December 10, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
Along with most of the country, here in South Bend, Indiana we are getting hit with a bunch of snow. It's that time of year. We get it around the same time every year, and most people are prepared for it. Most people except my mom, that is. She drives a '98 Chevy Monte Carlo and the tires that she had on the vehicle were horrendous! And she knew it!

So, of course, she waits until after the first snowfall of the season to call me and ask if she can get some new tires put on. And the only reason that she did was because her driveway is on a fairly steep incline and she couldn't get up it! I kept pushing her to go for a winter / snow tire. I gave her all the reasons why and finally won her over. Not wanting to spend too much, we decided on the General AltiMAX Arctic without studs.

To put is simply...she's in love with these tires! The biggest change that she noticed is from a dead stop. She puts her foot on the gas, and the car goes. Tire spinning is a thing of the past for her. It further proves our point that all it takes is once to drive on snow tires and you'll be hooked! And I got off light with my Christmas shopping because the tires turned out to be her present! It's a win/win for everyone!

Think About Your Summer Tires in the Winter

Saturday, November 20, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
Direzza Sport Z1 Star SpecWhile a good portion of the country is getting prepped for snow and ice, it's never too early to start thinking about next summer and eventually logging some track time. One of the best tires for the track is the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec.

The Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec is a great combination of streetable performance and grip on the track. If you're interested in pulling up to an event and driving straight out onto the track without having to change your tires, the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec is one of the best. In fact, it's the preferred tire of the Tire Rack Project STR team that finished a fantastic season in the SCCA Solo Competition.

The team brought home:
  • Three divisional championships
  • Two ProSolo class wins
  • Second place overall in the year-end ProSolo class standings
  • Two Tire Rack SCCA National Championship trophy positions (6th and 9th of 51)
  • STRL Tire Rack SCCA National Championship
The Project STR team is already planning for 2011.

Do It Yourself!

Thursday, November 4, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
You just bought an awesome Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package from Tire Rack. Everything showed up at your door and you're ready to tackle Mother Nature for another season of cold white stuff. But why pay someone twice each year to switch your tires and wheels out for you? Do it yourself!

Jack and Jack Stand SetTire Rack's Aluminum Service Jack and Jack Stand Set is a perfect to help you get your package installed in your own garage! A lightweight service jack (only 50 lbs.) can reach a maximum height of 19.5", and can get there in 12 strokes or less, even under load. Set the jack stands using the safety pins and you can have your winter set on in no time!

But don't forget the torque wrench! Make sure those wheels are on tight with an adjustable torque wrench that can accurately measure up to 150 ft/lbs. of torque.

Stop making multiple trips to the shop each year and do it yourself with the help of Tire Rack!

Complete Tire & Wheel Package installation instructions are here.

Easy Winter Wheel Options

Friday, October 29, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
When selecting winter wheels and tires, whether it's for a BMW or an Accord, the same principles hold true regarding wheel finish. Painted finished are the most durable and any machined surfaces need to be covered in a clear coat for winter driving. Chrome and polished wheels are not recommended.

Sport Edition, MSW and Elbrus wheels are all great brands and most of their wheels are going to be perfect for winter use.

Sport Edition F7The Sport Edition F7 is a basic, 5-spoke design that's not flashy, but is easy to clean snow out of! And the silver painted finish is able to stand up to snow and road salt.

MSW Type 12The MSW Type 12 features a split, 5-spoke design in a silver painted finish. The split spokes can be a little more difficult to clean snow out of, but if you're not trudging through the deep stuff too often, it looks pretty cool!

Elbrus I03The Elbrus I03 features a multi-spoke design that has machined areas with an ICE coating. The ICE coating is what protects the machined areas during the rough winter months.

And there's plenty more to choose from! See what fits your vehicle and make your winter driving a little easier!

Time is Running Out!

Friday, October 22, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
Dick Cepek DC-2If you're waiting for a better time to get yourself some new wheels for your truck...STOP WAITING!!

The Dick Cepek DC-2 Wheel Sale is almost over! All DC-2 wheels are 10% off through October 31, 2010. Beef up your F-150 or Silverado with the awesome look of the Dick Cepek DC-2. It features a black painted finished with a machined face to give a great dual color look. Many sizes are also available in more aggressive fitments with negative offsets and wider wheels to accommodate lifted trucks. Dick Cepek wheels are built for the serious off-roader, as well as for the highway. Use our fitment guide and see if these wheels fit your vehicle before the sale is over!

Another Great Michelin Tire

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
There couldn't be a better time to buy than now, right before the snow starts to fly. Michelin has two fantastic options for winter / snow tires in the X-Ice Xi2 and the Pilot Alpin PA3.

The X-Ice Xi2 is a Studdless Ice and Snow tire. This category of tire is characterized by being the best for deep snow and ice, and the Michelin is no exception. The X-Ice Xi2 offers greater flexibility at lower temperatures for the best grip when the weather is at its worst. And the directional tread design helps evacuate water and slush to improve hydroplaning resistance.

The Pilot Aplin PA3 is a Performance Winter / Snow tire. When you drive mostly on dry roads in cold temperatures and want to retain some of the sportiness of your car, this is the tire for you. The Pilot Alpin PA3 is designed to increase driving confidence in cold weather by enhancing traction and handling on dry, wet and snow-covered roads.

Whichever road you choose, you can be certain that you're getting a great tire for winter traction.