What’s the Proper Air Pressure For My Car

Experts and analysts seem to be in agreement on this: the days of cheap oil are finished. As countries compete with each other for oil on a global market, the price of refined fuel and gasoline in the United States may fluctuate somewhat, but it’s likely to stay above $3/gallon for the foreseeable future. That means that every driver needs to be aware of what they need to do to optimize their gas mileage…and that includes tires.

Proper Inflation

You probably already know that proper inflation is vital to fuel economy, and that underinflated tires will not only drop your gas mileage, but will negatively affect handling and drivability. Underinflated tires are also unsafe, building heat that can compromise a tire’s service life and possibly cause tire failur ...[more]

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OE Tires vs. Replacement Tires

Soooo…it’s time to replace the tires on your late-model car. Maybe you weren’t that crazy about the original equipment (OE) tires, or you just want to try something different. Well, here are some things to consider.

The engineers and design teams that worked on your make and model of car selected a specific brand and model of tire for it. All of their formulations for ride comfort, handling, steering response, traction, noise and vibration isolation, roughness and  overall performance used that specific tire as a benchmark (of course, the bid process for tires entered into it as well). A luxury car might have been designed around a grand touring tire with a quiet ride, an eco-friendly hybrid might use a low-rolling-resistance tire, ...[more]

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Goodyear Wrangler vs. Mastercraft Courser

Thinking about heavy-duty all-terrain tires for your truck, 4x4 SUV or Jeep? The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R is a great tire with an excellent reputation, but the Mastercraft Courser is really worth a look too.

Tread Compound

The Wrangler really excels when it comes to tread formulation – Goodyear’s silica/rubber tread compound is sticky and flexible for traction on or off road. But look – the Mastercraft Courser also infuses silica into its tread compound.

Tread Design

The Mastercraft provides excellent traction off-road, with 12% more lateral grooves and an open groove design at the tire’s ...[more]

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SimpleTire Comparison: Hankook Winter i*Pike vs Dunlop Graspic

The Hankook Winter iPike is a great choice for drivers of smaller sedans or crossovers who need an affordable winter tire. The Winter iPike W409’s tread formulation is designed to stay flexible in subfreezing temperatures, with a wider footprint for more positive handling. A dense pattern of sipes at the center of the tread enhance traction in wet, snow and slush, with an innovative V-shaped tread pattern to move water away from the tire’s footprint. The Winter iPike W409 can also be equipped with six rows of studs for extreme conditions (where legal).

The Dunlop Graspic DS-3 is another great choice for cars, minivans and ...[more]

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SimpleTire Review: Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Bridgestone’s Blizzak WS70 is a strong selling winter tire, and for good reason. The Blizzak WS70 is actually the fourth generation of Bridgestone Winter Biter tires, with plenty of technological and design advances to reflect that evolution.

The Blizzak WS70’s tread compound is designed with Bridgestone’s NanoPro-Tech silica-enhanced Tube Multicell formulation on top of their standard winter compound. Tube Multicell technology is designed with thousands of microscopic tubes and cells incorporated into the rubber, helping to wick water away from the tire’s contact patch; as the tire’s tread wears, new pores and tubes are continuously exposed. The compound is also designed for flexibility at freezing te ...[more]

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SimpleTire Roundup: All-Season Tires

For most drivers, all-season tires are exactly what they need, with an internal design, rubber formulation and tread design that maximizes traction and performance in either dry or wet conditions. All-season tires are year-round, without the need to change tires in winter or summer, making them a logical choice for  drivers worldwide. Here are some of our picks for great-performing all-season tires: 

  • Michelin Primacy MXV4 – Michelin’s Primacy MXV4 has a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty and is designed to Michelin’s Green-X standards for low rolling resistance and environmental friendliness. The Primacy MXV4 uses Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction™ design for even weight distribution across the tire footprint ...[more]

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Simple Tire Roundup: Performance Winter Tires

Winter tires have changed and evolved a lot in the last couple of decades…the days of heavy-treaded, noisy “snow tires” (or as your dad might have called them, “mud grips”) are pretty much over with, and many states don’t allow metal-stud tires on pavement. So in winter, you have to cope with glare ice, deep snow, slushy roads and packed snow…but you still want a winter tire that’s quiet and presents decent handling, ride and road manners on dry, clear pavement. So let’s have a look at some of our choices:

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Simple Tire Review: Nokian Hakkapeliitta

Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 

Designed for SUV’s, the Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 is a winter tire that provides excellent, stable handling and first-rate surface grip. Nokian’s ecologically-friendly winter tread compound incorporates rapeseed oil and low-aromatic formulations for grip, flexibility and low rolling resistance, with a double block tread compound for traction in deep snow. Polished main grooves help evacuate snow and slush from the tire’s contact patch; tread wear indicators alert the driver to minimum tread depth. Lastly, the Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 can be set up with studs for extreme condition, where legal.

The Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 is truly a winter tire, with an aggressive tread pattern and higher noise ...[more]

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SimpleTire Review: Toyo Open Country MT

Designed to help full-size trucks, Jeeps and 4x4 SUVs get the job done, the Toyo Open Country MT is a premium all-terrain tire at an affordable price. The innovative hook-shaped tread blocks on the Open Country MT are designed to provide great traction off-road and quiet, predictable performance on the pavement. Scalloped tread blocks hook around the shoulders; the sizable void areas are designed to eject mud and stones for a continuous biting surface that keeps you moving forward in rough terrain. Sipes strategically placed in the tread blocks make the Open Country MT a great choice for snow and wintry conditions (branded with the industry's Mountain + Snowflake stamp on the sidewall).

The Toyo Open Country MT is designed with an off-road rubber formul ...[more]

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What Makes a Winter Tire?

So you might be wondering what the differences are between a winter tire and an all-season tire…actually, the differences are pretty significant.

  • Winter tires are designed with a rubber formulation that stays flexible in sub-freezing temperatures. That flexibility is important to traction in snow and slush, as a summer tire would stiffen and harden below freezing and compromise traction.
  • Winter tires have a more aggressive tread pattern, with deeper voids to help evacuate slush and snow from the tread. They also often feature circumferential grooves to move slush and water away from the tire’s contact patch to avoid hydroplaning.
  • Most tires now feature sipes, a network of tiny cuts in the tread that provide additional biting edges for tract ...[more]

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