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Tires & Wheels Spotlight10

What's With The Runflats?

Monday March 31, 2014


Demotivational Poster by Very Demotivational.com

It's been a busy month, and I'll have some major articles coming out soon on reconditioned wheels and the new Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, but I have had some time to work on my email backlog here and there.

So here we have the case of a guy who bought a car that comes with runflat tires and regrets it.

"I recently bought a BMW, which comes with runflats. I admit to being a completely non-car person, and obviously did not ask the right questions, because I was not even aware of the fact that the runflat tires came with the car until I went to buy my winter tires - I didn't even know that there's no spare with the car. Great service at the dealership, right? Had I known, would it have affected my decision to purchase? I don't know, as I don't know whether I would have understood about the disadvantages of the runflats."

Runflats always sound pretty good on paper, but it's that part about understanding the disadvantages that you never really hear about from the dealership. Knowing that they tend to ride like rocks, cost a lot more to replace and make your wheels more vulnerable to impact damage is rather valuable information when making your car-buying decision At the very least, when buying any new car you should really be asking if it has a spare. Runflat tires might make a spare less necessary, but that means you are locked into runflats without one.

So if you've been hit upside the head by runflats, or if you want to know how to avoid it, go ahead and check out Ask The Wheel Doctor: What's With The Runflats?

If you have a question for The Wheel Doctor, you can email me at tires@aboutguide.com or reach me via Twitter @AboutTires.

Not-So-Compact Spare

Friday February 28, 2014


Demotivational Poster by Very Demotivational.com

I get so much email now that I've decided to start a new feature here: Ask the Wheel Doctor! If you have a question for me, you can email me at tires@aboutguide.com or by Twitter @AboutTires.

Our first question is about a not-so-compact spare tire...

Sean,

I just took delivery on a 2014 Audi RS5 Coupe with optional titanium 20in wheels and sport differential. When I looked in the trunk to make sure that the spare wasn't missing, I only found a can of tire sealant, a jack and an air compressor! On questioning the manager at the dealership, he explained that in the quest for gas economy and weight reduction Audi is delivering their cars without spares. He is on their product development committee and stated that they were even thinking of run flats !!! OH NO!!! Say it isn't so. I lost 10 tires in 3 years on the last BMW I owned and won't buy another one. But that's another story.

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Nokian Concept Tire: Retractable Studs

Monday February 17, 2014


Matti Morri, Nokian's Technical Customer Service Manager
All photos © Nokian Tyres

Nokian Tyres has announced a new concept tire. Call it Studs on Demand, or just call it awesome. The tire is a copy of a studded Hakkapeliitta snow tire, but features studs that are recessed below the tread surface. Find yourself on ice and need more grip? With the touch of a button inside the car the studs pop out and Voila! Studded tire! Back on a dry road? Hit the button again and the studs retract so that you're driving on an unstudded tire once again.

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Going Rogue: Parking Lot Autocross

Wednesday February 5, 2014

Well I guess I should've gone ahead and run
But somehow I just couldn't resist the fun
Of chasing them all, just once, around the parking lot.

Well I had 'em all out there steppin' and fetchin'
Like their heads was on fire and their asses was ketchin'
But I figgered I'd better go ahead and split before the cops got there...

-Charlie Daniels Band, "Uneasy Rider"


Steppin' and fetchin'.
All photos © Sean Phillips

It all started when Yokohama got in touch with me to see if they could send me some tires to review. "Sure." I said, because I'm not dumb and I like getting free tires, not to mention the whole "it's my job" thing. I'd be happy to throw some Yokos on the Prius and try them out.

"What tires are you thinking about?"

"Well, we're thinking about the Advan Neova AD08 R's." (See my full review here.)

"Oh my..."

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