As a general rule, your tires should all have the same tread pattern, construction and size, meaning they should all be the same make, model and age. If they aren’t, you’ll compromise on your car’s control, traction, stability and ride. Mismatched tires could mean tires from different manufacturers, winter tires with all-season tires, run-flat tires with conventional tires or tires with different tread patterns.
Until you can invest in an entire set of tires of the same make and model, and if you’ve only got one mismatched tire in the set, you should put it on the rear. If the tire that had a problem was on the front, take one of your rears and put it on the front to replace it, then put the mismatch tire back on the rear axle. This will probably mean the least impact on handling ...[more]Read More
Rubber is a porous substance, and tires will inevitably lose some air over time due to seepage. Tire pressure is something that’s neglected by many drivers, as an “out of sight – out of mind” sort of condition. Low tire pressure, however, costs money in terms of increased rolling resistance and poorer gas mileage. Tires that are habitually run low on air also wear out prematurely, due to heat buildup and an uneven wear pattern.
The good news is that it’s an easy problem to fix.
For 100 years, tires have used the same valve design (known as a Schrade valve), identical to the valves on bicycle tires. They’re still the same design because the Schrade valve does its job well and there has never been a need to improve on it.
- Don’t rely on the ...[more]
You’ll notice that the stamp on your tire’s sidewall specifies inflation for HOT tires. Why is that?
Pretty simple physics, really. Gases expand with heat, meaning both the temperature of a friction-heated tire and ambient temperature of outside air. A rule of thumb is that for about for about every ten degrees Fahrenheit change in air temperature, your tire’s inflation will fluctuate by about one PSI. In most parts of the United States, the difference between winter and summer temperatures can be as much as a 50-degree spread, meaning a potential fluctuation of five PSI. That’s not even thinking about the 20-degree spread between hot afternoon temperatures and cooler nighttime or early morning temperatures in summer.
Tires that are low by 5 psi will hurt traction, steering re ...[more]Read More
The Ultra Grip is Goodyear’s winter/snow tire, studdable for extreme conditions and designed with a silica-enhanced tread compound for flexibility at freezing temperatures. The Goodyear Ultra Grip features a directional tread design and aggressive tread pattern, with bold shoulder blocks for stability in dry conditions and even treadwear. Wide grooves in the tread help move loose snow and slush away from the tire’s contact patch to resist hydroplaning. Along with sipes cut into the tread for extra biting edges in ice and snow, the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks can accept alternating rows of optional metal studs for hard-packed snow and icy roads (where legal). The Ultra Grip’s tread pattern is tuned and computer-optimized to help ...[more]Read More
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]Read More
Perfect for smaller sedans and crossovers, the Hankook Winter iPike W409 is an affordable winter tire that excels in snow and slush conditions. The Winter iPike W409 uses a winter tread formulation that’s compounded to stay flexible in subfreezing temperatures, for great traction. A wider footprint ensures a smoother ride and more stable handling and cornering on wet or dry pavement, with a dense pattern of sipes at the center tread for improved traction in nasty weather. A unique V-shaped tread pattern helps move water away from the contact patch to fight hydroplaning; the Winter iPike W409 can also be set up with six rows of studs for extreme conditions (where legal).
The Winter iPike W409 is a little noisier than many winter tires, ...[more]Read More
We all have a toolbox in the garage or inside the house, but what about in the trunk of the car? What if you're on the road and you get a flat tire? Do you have everything you need to take care of it from the road?
It's even more important to keep some tools in the car when you're traveling a long distance because you never know what could happen along the way. Check out our list of essential tire tools to have with you at all times and you'll have a little more piece of mind every time you travel. All of these tools can be stored in the trunk or spare tire area of your vehicle.
If you need to remove nails and other foreign objects from a tire, pliers are your best friend. They also come in handy for grabbing small objects in a pinch. ...[more]Read More
There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to all-season tires, so we narrowed it down to ten for you:
- Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Goodyear dependability and quality in a smooth-riding, comfortable all-season tire. The Assurance ComforTred features a shock-absorbing layer of rubber between the tread and steel belts, with densely-packed tread blocks for traction.
- Goodyear Assurance TripleTred The innovative Assurance TripleTred is designed with three distinct sectors of tread; a Dry Zone with large shoulder blocks, a Water Zone with sculpted Aquachannel grooves to move water from the footprint, and an Ice Zone with a tr ...[more]
Snow Tires VS Studded Tires
Remember studded tires? Tires with noisy metal studs driven into the tread? They’re pretty hard to beat for traction in really extreme winter conditions. If your area regularly gets ice and heavy snow, if you live on a hill or out in the country where roads are seldom plowed, or if you have no choice but to put in a lot of miles in winter driving conditions, studded tires (or “studdable”) may be the thing you’re looking for. Remember, though, that studded tires aren’t legal in some states, so do your homework before making that decision.
But let’s talk about “snow tires,” or winter tires. They’ve come a long way in the last few decades…the old truck-style snow tir ...[more]Read More
A big reason why SUVs have become so popular is their versatility, especially in cold climates – even if your SUV never leaves the pavement, it’s pretty handy to have that traction when things get snowy. There are plenty of all-season tire options out there for SUVs, but we took the time to pull together some of our favorites for you:
· Michelin LTX M/S2 – Michelin’s LTX M/S2 is designed with Michelin’s long-wearing, all-season silica-enhanced tread compound, with Michelin’s MaxTouch construction. The rubber compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with stable independent tread blocks and high-density 3-D Active Sipes for all-season traction. Four wide channels, multiple lateral grooves and open slots at the shoulders help move water away from the tire’s contact patch. Internally, the LTX M/S2 features ...[more]Read More