Hella Lighting Products, Ford F150 2004-2007

Thursday, September 9, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Looking for some additional lighting options for your 2004-2007 Ford F-150? Hella Lighting has developed some aftermarket lighting options that include LED Tail Lights, Blackout Head Lamp Kits and also Halogen or Xenon Driving Lamps.

Check out the Hella Lighting products below for the Ford F-150.

Hella F150 Blackout Head Lamp KitHella F-150 LED Tail Light/Third Brake Light Kit
Hella F-150 Grille Kit w/Halogen Driving LampsHella F-150 Grille Kit w/Xenon Driving Lamps

Speed Rating. Why is it Important?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 by Ethan Burns
Speed ratings are as follows:

S: 112 mph
T: 118 mph
U: 124 mph
H: 130 mph
V: 149 mph
Z: Was the highest rating in the 1980s at 150 + mph

With the advent of new sports cars that well exceeded the 150 mph barrier, the tire industry adopted a few new speed ratings:

W: 168 mph
Y: 186 mph

Every tire that is produced is tested to see how fast it can be driven on before failure. If an automaker builds a car that is capable of speeds of 131 miles an hour, they absolutely need to install a tire that is capable of this speed. An H-rated tire that is known to be tested up to 130 mph, so the automaker would have to move up to the next speed rating (V).

While there are no specific state or federal laws that I am aware of regulating what aftermarket tire can be installed on your vehicle, there is still a liability to the tire companies that sell and install the tires. Moving to a lower speed rating may also have adverse affects on your car's handling.

We recommend that your maintain your car's original speed rating or move to a higher speed rating in search of better performance.

Read more about speed ratings. You can also search by vehicle to see the recommended tires and speed ratings for your car, light truck or SUV.

Are your wipers and lights ready for darker weather?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
As summer winds down, our long days filled with sunshine are getting shorter. Soon enough, the sun will set at earlier hours, forcing us to drive home from work under the moon. And as temperatures drop, so does the rain until it eventually turns into snow. Rest assured, you've still got some time before all of those changes take place—which means it's the opportune time to make sure your vehicle is ready, starting with your wiper blades.

Tire Rack sells a number of decent options, including the Ultimate® Hook-Lock Wiper Blade from Valeo. And when you purchase one, we'll throw in the second free of charge.

You'll also want to make sure that your lighting is up-to-speed. Obviously, it's an essential component of your vehicle. Especially when the sun refuses to shine. We stock a number of different aftermarket lighting products from reputable brands like Hella and PIAA. You can shop by vehicle for a detailed list of suitable options.

To include aftermarket tires and wheels in that search, enter the Upgrade Garage. We'll show you everything we've got that would work on your vehicle. It's the most efficient way to shop Tire Rack.

COMING SOON: New O.Z. Racing Wheels for the Porsche GT3!

Friday, July 16, 2010 by Tire Rack Team

Back in 1971, O.Z. Racing became a leader in the light alloy, aftermarket wheel industry—and that's a position they have yet to give up. New O.Z. wheels continue to impress us at Tire Rack, the newest of which is without exception.

O.Z. has unveiled their Superforgiata wheel, shown at right, which will take its place in our inventory later this year. It's a single-piece, forged wheel that comes in a small variety of fitments. And it works wonders with Porsche's center-lock application. Since these wheels are still going through production, we only know that they'll be lightweight—even lighter than BBS and Champion wheels. Specifically for Porsche applications, the 19x8.5 size is expected to be just under 17 pounds.

In addition to the Superforgiata, we are excited to announce another O.Z. aftermarket wheel that will be added to our inventory—a special version of the Ultraleggera HLT. Like the Superforgiata, it will also mesh perfectly with the center-lock application found on the Porsche GT3. Look for it in our inventory this fall.

If you can't wait for these new wheels, feel free to shop our current collection of O.Z. Racing wheels to find the perfect set for your vehicle.

Sparco Pista wheels look great on this Mitsubishi Lancer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Mitsubishi Lancer with Sparco Pista WheelsO.Z. Racing partners with Sparco to create an exclusive collection of wheels that embody both brands' commitment to aftermarket design principles. Both brands are also heavily involved in motorsports, which means every Sparco wheel is made to perform.

With five different Sparco wheels in stock, Tire Rack is proud to offer these aftermarket wheels to drivers of sporty coupes and sedans—like the Mitsubishi Lancer, shown at right with Sparco Pista wheels. We think the light grey finish complements the darker details of the vehicle's trim. But will it look good on your vehicle? Enter the Upgrade Garage and we'll show you. 

Shop all Sparco wheels.

A bright idea.

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Gavin Carpenter
Did you know we carry replacement bulbs?

If you enter your vehicle’s year, make and model in our Upgrade Garage, we may have the means to illuminate your future, or at least a couple dozen feet in front of you.

I have used a couple bulbs in the past.PIAA The PIAA Xtreme White Plus is by far my favorite, and the best bulb we carry.  Not only did my visibility increase, but I also got a few good comments from my friends on how clean they looked without making my car look like I had tinted or cheezy-looking aftermarket lighting.

The other bulb that I used is the Hella HB3/9005 High Performance bulb. HellaIt works well as a standard replacement bulb and lasts a long time. I got a couple of years of use out of my Hellas.

Depending on your vehicle, both of these manufacturers have headlight bulbs, tail light bulbs, accessory bulbs and even full lighting kits. It's vehicle dependent, but PIAA also offers different tinted bulbs.

Featured wheels!

Friday, June 4, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Winter's harsh salt and ice hinders our interest in new aftermarket wheels, but in the summer—a season full of bright sun and clear, usually dry roads—we're all about it. So as we enter into summer, let's take a look at a few of Tire Rack's featured aftermarket wheels.

The Granite Alloy GA13 is an alloy wheel with a painted black finish. The center cap shown comes at no extra charge to you. Granite Alloy wheels work wonderfully on both SUVs and light trucks. And best part—they're all affordably priced, including this new GA13.

This wheel was born to go off-roading! The KMC XD Series Hoss is rugged and tough, and features a painted black finish that looks great on almost any truck or SUV. KMC XD Series wheels are tested on some of the most demanding off-road race courses, which means you'll never have to question their quality.

The GS wheel from Sport Muscle comes in silver painted (shown) and machined finishes, and will complete the look of any contemporary muscle car. Like the GS, all Sport Muscle wheels feature popular, aggressive designs, and come together at a value that anyone can appreciate.

Tire Rack is the exclusive distributor of Bremmer Kraft wheels, including this BR05 with a bright silver finish. Also available in a painted black finish, this wheel is surely an attractive style option for Audis, BMWs, Merecedes-Benzs and Volkswagens. And just like the cars they're mounted on, quality is never a question.

Shop the Upgrade Garage to see, yes...actually see, these wheels on your vehicle. Or, just browse our entire collection of aftermarket wheels.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems On After Market Wheels

Thursday, May 6, 2010 by Roger Laughlin
TPMS SensorAs a Tire Rack retail sales representative, one of the most common questions I have is "If my vehicle came from the factory with a direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and I am going to use aftermarket wheels, what options do I have regarding the TPMS?" It boils down to the following three choices:

1) If you would like to continue the functionally of your TPMS system, Tire Rack can provide the sensors you will need at an additional cost.

2) You can reuse your original sensors by moving them from your old wheels to your new wheels, although it is highly recommended that you order a TPMS replacement hardware kit that includes new seals for your original TPMS sensors. Tire Rack also has these sensor kits (at an extra cost).

3) Finally, you can run your new wheels without sensors and forgo the benefits of your vehicle’s TPMS system. However, this may lead to some rather annoying side effects on most vehicles, e.g., a tone or chime every time you start the vehicle followed by a light on the dash that will remain on until the vehicle is switched off.

The choice is yours! For more information on TPMS systems
. Please visit our site.

How much do you know about the reflectors in your headlights?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
When you think about aftermarket lighting, you think bulb. And while it seems to be that simple, replacement bulbs are actually fairly complicated. One thing often overlooked: the reflector, which directs any light emitted by the bulb through the lens. But, as with most aftermarket components, there are a variety of different reflectors out there. Take a look:

This is a parabolic reflector. It's highly reflective and can be found in a variety of head light bulbs on the market. They are, you might say, the original reflector. Light rays are projected in a parallel line to each other, which helps to create a very tight beam of light. And that means these reflectors aren't typically used when low-beam light patterns are required.

DE light technology reflectors mirror what common slide projectors do with light. The light beam is reflected to a focusing lens that projects it onto the road. Hella is responsible for this innovative approach to replacement bulbs. Unlike the parabolic reflector, they're great for low-beam and fog lamp use.

The last type of reflector uses FF (free-form/free-surface) light technology. High-performance computers optimize the position of the reflector surface in relation to the bulb's position, which produces a higher light output. The entire surface of the reflector is used, in combination with a pattern-free lens, to produce a light beam.

At Tire Rack, we offer a number of replacement bulbs in each of the three categories. To find one for your vehicle, simply search our inventory according to your vehicle.

Tire Rack Has Bridgestone Potenza Tires

Friday, April 30, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Looking for performance car tires? Bridgestone Potenza Tires always seem to find their way to the top of the performance tires review categories.  Check out some of the Potenza tires available today and also some of the more popular Bridgestone tires on right hand side by tread design picture.
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Extreme Performance Summer

Potenza RE-11 (shown at right)

Potenza RE070

Potenza RE070R RFT

Max Performance Summer

Potenza RE050

Potenza RE050 RFT

Potenza RE050ABridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position

Potenza RE050A I RFT

Potenza RE050A II RFT

Potenza RE050A Pole Position (shown at right)

Potenza RE050A Pole Position RFT

Potenza RE050A RFT

Potenza RE050A Scuderia

Potenza S-02

Potenza S-02 A

Potenza S001

Ultra High Performance SummerBridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

Expedia S-01

Potenza RE010

Potenza RE011

Potenza RE030

Potenza RE040

Potenza RE040 RFT

Potenza RE760 Sport (shown at right)

Ultra High Performance All-Season

Potenza RE960AS Pole Position (shown at right)

High Performance All-SeasonBridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position

Potenza G 019 Grid

Potenza RE92

Potenza RE92A

Potenza RE92A RFT

High Performance Summer

Potenza RE93

Tire Rack carries Bridgestone's line of Potenza Tires from the Original Equipment to aftermarket tires for use in dry, wet and even light snow when using the All Season Bridgestone Potenza Tires. 

Can't see? Might need to replace headlights.

Monday, April 12, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
It's unfortunate that head light bulbs can't last forever, Nothing seems to be more annoying than a bulb that burned out. It weakens your view, and has this weird way of making you feel silly as you drive.

Make sure the front end of your car is always in perfect condition with a set of aftermarket lights that at least diminish the frequency at which you'll need to replace headlights. Tire Rack offers Hella lighting and PIAA lighting products, both of which do just that.

Search by vehicle for a list of replacement lighting products, or click here to see a complete list of head light bulbs.

Aftermarket Lighting and the Kelvin Scale

Thursday, February 18, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Aftermarket lighting is about bulbs. But you have to know what bulbs you need in order to make an effective aftermarket lighting purchase. 

Scientifically speaking, a Kelvin is the unit of measurement used to describe the particular hue (color) of a light source. In this case, your headlight. Isn't all light white, you ask. Surprisingly, no. The higher the Kelvin value, the closer the color will be to sunlight which is actually a bluish tint. If you go lower on the Kelvin scale, you'll get more of an amber tint. Stay in the middle, and that's where you'll see the white.

Why does it matter? Different Kelvin values work better in different conditions. Higher values increase visibility at night, while lower values combat fog, snow or rain.

Read more, then search our inventory of aftermarket lighting products.

Did you put aftermarket bulbs on your Ford F150?

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
Aftermarket bulbs increase your margin of safety and enhance the appearance of your vehicle; so if you haven't put them on your F150 yet, you might want to consider the LED Tail Light/Third Brake Light Kit from Hella (shown). The kit includes two tail lights, a cab-mounted stop lamp and a complete set of installation instructions—and installation, of course, is really easy.

In addition, you can add to the kit above with a Grille Kit featuring Halogen or Xenon driving lamps. You can also choose a Blackout Head Lamp Kit.

Search all aftermarket bulbs.

Aftermarket Lighting 101

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
They're aftermarket bulbs. They light the road ahead of you. What's more to know?

A lot, actually:

• A headlight contains the bulb(s), reflector, lens and housing. Newer vehicles feature headlights with replaceable bulbs, however earlier vehicles have sealed-beam headlights where the filament, reflector and lens are combined in a single unit.

• Replaceable bulbs are typically twin-filament with a built-in shield that keeps your low and high beams aimed in the right direction. Low=forward and down. High=straight ahead.

• The bulbs should be as small as possible and accurately fitted, otherwise you'll get a random scattering of light. In other words, reduced performance.

• The headlamp lens actually distributes the light. Grooves in the glass function as prisms, deflecting light while reducing brightness.

Interesting facts, although not the end of our aftermarket lighting story.

Read more, or check out other articles in our Lighting Tech library. Then, search by vehicle to see what aftermarket lighting products could enhance your current lighting system.

Shine on with aftermarket bulbs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
Improve or enhance your Original Equipment lighting system with aftermarket bulbs. You'll increase visibility while driving, that's for sure, and update the style of your current lighting system. It makes your bulbs look good so you can, well...look down the road pretty good, too.

Tire Rack
offers a variety of aftermarket lighting products. Shop by vehicle to find out which aftermarket bulbs would work for you.

PIAA Xtreme White Plus Headlight Bulbs and Super Silicone Wiper Blades Improve Visiblity

Thursday, August 13, 2009 by Chad Hocker
PIAAI have been using the PIAA Xtreme White Plus Headlight Bulbs and also Super Silicone Wiper Blades on my vehicle for some time now. I found it difficult to see PIAA Extreme White Plus Light Bulbsat night, especially in rainy conditions. The PIAA Xtreme White Plus head light bulbs offered me clearer visibility over my OE headlights and the PIAA Super Silicone Aftermarket Wiper Blades kept my windshield much cleaner than my OE wiper blades. 

I have most of the family using the the PIAA wiper blades. Today as I was installing the latest set of PIAA Super Silicone Replacement Blades on my grandparents' car, we were discussing how visibility has improved for them using these two PIAA products. The PIAA headlight bulbs will not be any brighter or show light further down the road. They will, however, allow you PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Bladeto recognize road hazards easier as they project a clearer light down the road. The PIAA lighting and replacement wiper blades are available for most vehicles.