AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Gimmickry drapes over the auto industry these days like Snuggies on impulsive Christmas shoppers. Sometimes they’re useful, but in other cases, it’s too much bull to bear.
A survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has revealed that 13 percent of vehicles on the road today have at least one bald tire.
When it comes to the auto industry, oil isn’t the only thing imported from foreign countries and subject to supply issues and price spikes. The same is true of the rubber in your car’s tires, though a solution could lie in a simple, resilient weed that grows freely across the American southwest.
Tires have been filling up landfills for years and using up natural resources which cannot be replaced, a process that will be changed if Bridgestone’s new sustainable tires can gain some market share.
Maybe you’ve been in this situation: stuck on the side of a road, a punctured tire needing to be changed out for the spare one in the trunk. You have a pair of options, do you choose to change the tire yourself, or do you call for roadside assistance. Both options can take a while to get you back on the road, especially if you’ve never changed a tire yourself before. And even if you have, sometimes it can take some serious elbow grease.
Bridgestone announced a development in tire printing technology last month that allows new stylistic possibilities.
White-wall tires and white lettering harken back to cars with cranks, though neither the tires nor the cars are common today. Bridgestone wanted to change that by finding a solution for bright designs printed onto the sidewall of tires that can maintain high durability, won’t discolor and require less weight added to the construction, thereby aiding fuel efficiency.
Multi-colored tires can further encourage vehicle personalization and offer a unique avenue for companies to take in advertising. Rather than tire shopping out of necessity, this may create a sort of customer that makes tire purchases for recreation.
Thanks to a new development in ink technology, unique multi-colored patterns or images from photographs can be printed onto a Bridgestone tire’s sidewall. These inks are extremely resistant to discoloration and are strong against external damage onto the tire’s surface. Bridgestone believes in a future of colorful, lightweight and fuel efficient tires that they think could change the tire industry.
Bridgestone has not announced when their whimsical wheel wrapping will be available but promises to bring this technology to market soon. Who knew that pictures could be the new black?
GALLERY: Mult-colored Bridgstone Tires
Is it time to pick up a new set of tires for your vehicle? Wouldn’t you rather win a set than have to buy four new tires? Here’s your chance – Toyo Tires is giving away a set of tires every week for the next 17 weeks, as well as the grand prize of a Dodge Durango.
Just by entering the contest, you could win a set of Toyo Tires or you could be driving off into the sunset in a brand new, custom 2011 Dodge Durango Heat Edition 4X4 that comes complete with 22” Toyo Proxes STII Tires on 22” Savini Forged SV28C wheels, T-Rex 4-piece flat black mesh grill, Magnaflow exhaust system, upgraded Alpine Audio Entertainment System and black leather interior with blue stitching.
It’s easy to enter – just go to the Toyo Tires Contest Page, fill out the entry form below and hit submit. While you’re there check out the complete line of Toyo Tires, or like them on Facebook to see exclusive photos and video. The contest is going on now so don’t wait too long to enter.
Want to win $500 towards a set of tires? You could be the lucky winner of a Discount Tire voucher for 500 big ones just be filling out a survey being put on by AutoGuide.com and J.D. Power.
The AutoGuide Audience Survey will ask questions regarding how social media and other online tools help influence your decision with respect to buying a car. The short survey can be filled out here and the data will be analyzed by J.D. Power as a means of helping discover what social media tools are used most by vehicle buyers. One participant will be randomly selected to win $500 towards a set of tires from Discount Tire.
Those Canadians have to put a lot of thought into their tires. Seasonal weather conditions alone are enough to make their heads spin. So how do they pick a tire that’s right for their car? Well, the crafty Canucks at Canadian Tire just made the process a whole lot easier with its online tire store and Help Me Choose feature.
Canadian Tire’s new online tire store was designed to make buying tires and wheels online easier. Customers can browse over 8,000 products and make informed purchase decisions. They can search based on vehicle, model year, tire size, tire type, and brand, as well as build a custom selected tire and wheel package.
If consumers want to see how different tire brand stack up next to the competition, they can use the site’s enhanced product comparison capabilities and make an informed choice using detailed product information. There is also a handy “Help Me Choose” feature that takes consumers through the purchase process so they can make the right decisions for their vehicles.
“Customers have turned to Canadian Tire for their automotive needs and we are excited to extend our broad assortment of tires and wheels online,” said Allan MacDonald, Senior Vice President, Automotive for Canadian Tire. “The launch of the online tire store not only provides Canadians with a new and innovative resource to help them buy the right tires for their vehicle, it also speaks to our commitment to raising the bar on the customer experience.”
The site offers a user friendly experience, and also includes a product support area that features informational articles, how-to videos, buying guides and FAQs. Once you pick your product, Canadians can have it shipped to a store near them at no extra charge so they can pick it up of have it installed.
If you’re living in the Great White North, head over to www.canadiantire.ca/tires and give the site a whirl.
The only other explanation is that Bugatti is preparing to use the Aventador’s platform for a new supercar of its own but this is quite unlikely. A stock Aventador features 19″ wheels in the front and 20″ wheels in the rear wrapped in 255mm and 355mm tires. The Bugatti is outfitted with 20″ in the front, 21″ in the rear with 265mm and 365mm tires.
This leads us to believe that the Aventador is using this type of hardware because the Lambo is being prepped for more power and needs the extra grip from the larger wheel and tire package The Aventador spotted is also sporting a modified rear end and a new dual exhaust, further strengthening this theory. The stock Aventador is powered by a new 6.5-liter V12 engine that cranks out 700-hp and tops out at 217 mph. The Aventador that was spotted with the makeover is believed to deliver up to 1000-hp and may be capable of hitting 400 km/h or around 248 mph.
[Source: Top Speed]
A few weeks ago, Bentley announced that it had set a world speed record on ice in their Continental Supersports. The modified convertible hit 205.48 mph on a Finnish lakebed, which is no trifling speed. Now, obscure tire manufacturer Nokian has announced that they have bested that record by one mph, with their own special tires—in an Audi, no less.
Just like the Bentley’s record, this speed run was completed in Finland…with a Finnish driver, Janne Laitinen. The record was completed with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded ice tires, commercially available in Finland (naturally). The as-yet unverified record was completed at 206.05mph in the Gulf of Bothnia, between Finland and Sweden, aboard a mildly-modified Audi RS6 sedan.
“Testing at high speeds in demanding conditions forms an important part of our winter tyre development,” said Matti Morri, Nokian technical customer service manager. ”Testing our boundaries can teach us new things, which can then be reflected in all of our products.”
If this record is legitimate, Bentley can be proud that they held onto the previous record for a mere three weeks. Those who threw down money for the Continental Supersports Ice Record Edition are starting to feel nervous, aren’t they?
Another tire game rolls onto the iPhone. Get your engine revving with Kumho Tire Drive.
Kumho Tire USA is behind this free multicar racing game application for fans of speed. The Kumho Tire Drive game puts you behind the wheel of a supercar outfitted with Kumho tires. You take on curvy city streets, as well as famous tracks from around the world. And depending on the weather and track conditions, you can pick which Kumho tires will get you to the finish line first.
But it’s not all about how fast you can go. The game also comes with a garage feature that lets you trade in your points to upgrade your ride. You can turn your basic set of wheels into a classic muscle car or a luxury classic automobile. These points can also be used to modify your supercar with hood scoops, rear spoiler, custom paint and decals.
You can download the app for free from the Apple Store in January, and watch for it to come to Android phones in the near future.
How did we ever amuse ourselves while on the subway, standing in line or just killing time at work before the iPhone came along? It doesn’t matter, because there’s another game you can play while fighting boredom on the go – the ContiTireRace.
The free app from Continental is the first tire game that can be run on the iPhone. In the game, you must make your way around the race track with ContiWinterContact TS 830 as quickly as possible. Along the way, you can collect valuable points that give the rolling tires additional speed and give you better lap times, but watch out for snowy and icy roads that can make driving tricky. Players can manoeuvre their way through the game using either the keys or by tilting the phone.
If you register by December 20, you have the chance to win one of three PlayStation 3 units that Continental will be giving away. All registered players can view their results on the iPhone and see who the reigning champion of the track is.
“With the ContiTireRace, we want to gather experience in the area of eGames and position Continental as brand in the app store,” says Carola Natzel, Manager Business Development E-Business at Continental. “Of course we would like to get young technology fans in particular interested in our company and its products.”
The app is available in English and German and is available for free at the iTunes Store.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has mandated that vehicle tire pressures must be checked during routine service and in line with the recommended factory settings.
The initiative comes as part of a bid to cut down on under-inflated tires, which use more fuel and by extension, emit more greenhouse gases. While the law was initiated in 2009, the law was revised to include maintenance shops but exempts auto body shops, auto glass installers, auto dismantlers, and auto parts retailers.
Despite being well intentioned .here are numerous problems with the law; tire pressures can vary based on the weather, how hot or cold the tires are, and customers with nitrogen filled tires can decline the service if the shop doesn’t have a nitrogen re-filling system. The law also smacks of yet another intrusions of an overly paternalistic government. Perhaps if CARB legislators kept their mouths shut, less hot air would escape, leading to a further reduction in emissions.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
BFGoodrich Tires, a company well known for its innovative and action-packed TV commercials, has drawn inspiration from the animal kingdom for its latest “Bolt On” ad campaign. As you’ll see in the video (after the jump), in the first installment it’s the grip of a tree frog that’s used to illustrate BFG’s point about bolting on grip by installing a set of their high-performance street tires, while the Behind The Scenes video (also after the jump) gives us a taste of some of the other animals we’ll see in future “Bolt On” ads.
Although the animal kingdom analogies will be at the heart of this campaign, the ads also feature two stars in the automotive world and members of the TeamBFG program. Two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hübinette did the stunt driving for the spots and Rally pro Lars Wolfe provided technical and special counsel. The vehicle featured in the broadcast ad is a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X with BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires.
The new campaign features a media plan that includes a variety of television, print and Internet advertising mediums. Kudos to BFGoodrich for thinking outside the box on this campaign and injecting some humor and style into their “Bolt On” ads. We look forward to seeing what animal makes a cameo in the next one.
[Source: BFGoodrich Tires]
For those unfamiliar with the “Donk, Box, and Bubble” trend, here’s a quick tutorial. Donk: A late 1970′s coupe or convertible, generally a GM product, such as a Monte Carlo or Cutlass Coupe, lifted, on hilariously oversized wheels. Box: A mid-1980′s Chevrolet Caprice, lifted, on hilariously oversized wheels. Bubble: A 1990′s Chevrolet Caprice, lifted, on hilariously oversized wheels.
The first time we saw one of these rolling down the street (in South Beach, of course), we thought it must have been someone’s idea of a joke. Car guys can have a sense of humor, right? Wrong. These guys are serious, and although their cars look like roller skates, they clearly have money to throw into their rides. Case and point: the following video, where in a matter of 30 seconds a Box owner completely destroys a set of rear tires. A quick check on Tire Rack reveals that these tires cost nearly $1,200 each. Is YouTube immortality worth $2,400? Hit the jump to find out.
BFGoodrich Tires has long had a passion for racing, both on the tarmac and in the dirt. In a unique move linking their on-road and off-road interests, BFG has just announced an expanded contingency program for five classes in the 2010 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs. This program offers SCCA competitors the chance to race in the BFGoodrich Tires / Wide Open Excursions “Baja Challenge” (BC) race car for the 43rd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in November.
Seats in the Wide Open Excursions BC race car, equipped with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires, will be awarded to drivers who win their class using BFGoodrich tires at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in September. This is in addition to BFG’s existing contingency program that offers SCCA Club Racing National drivers two BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires for first place and one tire for second place. Eligible classes include AS, T2, T3, SSB and SSC.
“Because of our legendary success both on- and off-road, BFGoodrich Tires is uniquely qualified to offer a program like this to our racers,” said Roberts Kukainis, motorsports manager, BFGoodrich Tires. “One thing we know at BFGoodrich Tires is that those who race on our tires are all about fierce competition, and we expect this contingency program to become a race in itself among our SCCA racers.”
The 2010 SCCA National Championship Runoffs will take place Sept. 20-26 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. More than 600 drivers will participate in the event, making it the country’s largest amateur championship. Those who bolt on a set of BFGoodrich tires and display the required decals will be eligible for the contingency.
“BFGoodrich Tires has definitely sweetened the pot for the track guys this season,” said Joel Lipperini, 2009 SCCA SSC class winner. “We are very passionate about racing and winning – we aren’t out here to get rich, we do it all for the excitement on the track. The chance to win championships on the track and in the desert, in the same season, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’ve never raced in Baja, but you better believe that I’ll be at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs pushing my car, my tires and myself to the limit.”
The complete Press Release after the jump.
[Source: BFGoodrich Tires]
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association says that BMW is recalling an unknown number of X5 and X6 SUVs over incorrect tire pressure labels.
According to Inside Line, NHTSA claims not only are the pressures wrong, but the wheel sizing is off as well. “The vehicles are equipped with 20-inch wheels, but the label states that the vehicles were equipped with 19-inch wheels and the stated tire pressure is incorrect for the equipped vehicles. Improper tire inflation can result in premature tire failure or reduced vehicle handling performance, either of which can increase the risk of a crash.
On the other hand, BMW submitted documentation to the federal government stating that the defect will not affect the safety of its vehicles. Owners can contact BMW at (800) 525-7417.
[Source: Inside Line]
To help promote Tire Safety Week (which is on right now), Yokohama Tire Corporation has released a series of short educational videos on its website and YouTube. To start things off with a bang, the first video features off-road racing champion and TV commentator Cameron Steele discussing the importance of properly inflated tires.
“Consumer awareness and education regarding tires is vital,” said Fred Koplin, Yokohama Tire director, marketing communications, “so we designed these short, entertaining videos to help consumers understand just how important tires are, especially since tires are the only part of a vehicle to touch the road.”
The videos in this series will run about two to three minutes in length and deal with a variety of tire safety issues. Just a few of the topics covered include: how to check air pressure, read a sidewall, ways to achieve better fuel efficiency, understanding braking distances and choosing the correct tire for a vehicle. Hosting these episodes will be Steele and his wife Heidi (who also happens to be an off-road racing champion), plus key Yokohama employees.
Watch the first video starring Steele after the jump.
A first in the tire industry, Toyo Tires has just released an online tire fitment guide that’s compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The guide includes information on proper tire sizes, inflation pressures and premium replacement products.
The Tire Finder program — located at http://tirefinder.toyotires.com/ — recognizes an iPhone or iPod Touch and formats viewing for the mobile device screen. To search the comprehensive database of vehicles, fitments and premium replacement tires, users simply select vehicle year, make, model and options from drop-down menus. The result is a list of Toyo brand tires in sizes appropriate for the selected vehicle, ranging from the original equipment size to plus sizes.
“As a company that prides itself on technology and innovation, we are pleased to be the first tire manufacturer in the world with a mobile fitment guide,” said Steve Hutchinson, vice president of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “Consumers and dealers alike want fast, easy access to information. The Toyo Tire Finder meets this demand and places our extensive line of replacement products in their hands.”
[Source: Toyo Tires]
Spring means a lot of things. Cleaning your home from top to bottom. Putting the parkas away until the next snow fall. Switching over from the furnace to air conditioning. But one thing you may not have thought of is taking off your winter tires and putting on the all-seasons.
You may be tempted to keep your snows on all year long, but it’s not a good idea. Winter tires wear out more quickly than their all-season counterparts, and they don’t stop as short on dry and wet surfaces. Mark it on your calendar and take them off once the snow has melted for good.
If you’re attempting to do the job yourself, keep these tips in mind:
- It’s been a long winter, so before you install the all-seasons, clean off as much of the gunk and loose corrosion that’s been built-up on the mating surfaces of the wheel hub and wheel. While you’re at it, clean off the wheel studs or bolts as well.
- Stubborn nut or bolt should be replaced, as you won’t get much clamping force when you reuse damaged nuts or bolts.
- It’s time install the tire. Hand tighten the nuts or bolts and pull out your vehicle owner’s manual on how to do it right (usually in a star pattern). You’ll tighten one, then the second one opposite to the first; and so on. Use the car’s lug wrench to tighten them all firmly in place using this pattern.
- Remove the car jack and use a torque wrench to tighten the wheels to the recommend value (you’ll find this information in most new car manuals or consult your car dealer). You can pick up a quality torque wrench from any auto parts store. Tighten the wheels in the star pattern described in the third step.
- Re-torque the wheels again after taking your car out for a short spin. You’re done!
[Source: Consumer Reports]