Love is...Autocrossing. And Tire Rack.

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

A happy couple, fun with cars and Tire Rack. A perfect marriage in our book.

Angie and Woody Rogers, both Tire Rack employees, placed their first Tire Rack orders back in 1990 before even knowing each other.

Later they met and the rest is (autocross) history.

Woody, who began autocrossing in 1989, convinced Angie to come to an event for their first date. It wasn't long before Angie got behind the wheel and gave it a try herself. The motoring couple continued to compete in local, regional and national level autocross competitions around the country. And many sets of tires later, Angie eventually went on to win two SCCA National Autocross Championships!


Both joined the Tire Rack team on the same day in the summer of 1999. Woody has turned his love of tires and ample time behind the wheel into his role as one of Tire Rack's product information specialists and tire test program coordinator, while Angie has blended her graphic design training and management skills into her current role as print media buyer.

This time of year, you'll find them prepping their 2002 S2000 for yet another season of competition in the SCCA's STR class.


What's Installed? Woody Comments.

Dunlop245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza ZII Tires

"Chosen because it's an all-around performance leader. This tire is well suited to the task, and inspires confidence to push hard and place the car very exactly, both of which are critical to going fast."

TRMotorsports17x9.0 TRMotorsports C3 Light Grey Wheels

"These wheels have the correct fit plus light weight and economical pricing. It costs nearly twice as much to save just two pounds per wheel."

KW KW Clubsport Coil-Over Kit

"We've used KW Coil-Overs before, and they proved to deliver excellent damping control and a wide range of adjustability."

Eibach SpringsFront Anti-Roll Bar

"The Eibach Front Anti-Roll Bar is hollow for reduced weight and the two-way adjustability on the S2000 fitment helps tune handling as needed."

Intercomp 4" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

"Big enough to see from the moon, and always spot on accurate."

AquapelGlass Treatment

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

"The combination of Aquapel and PIAA Super Silicone wipers makes a great pair to assure visibility during even the heaviest downpour."

Braille Auto Lightweight Racing Battery (Carbon Wrap w/Mount) 6 lbs.

"Saving weight is an important part of this project, and this should shave nearly 40 lbs. from the car while still having plenty of cranking power."

SPCSPC Adjustable Ball Joint

"Installed in the front upper control arms, the SPC ball joints add additional adjustment range to the OEM suspension so we can get sufficient negative camber to optimize tire performance."

Increase Visibility with PIAA Bulbs

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Whether it's endurance racing, rally, off-road or for the street, PIAA has committed to manufacture world-class automotive products that drivers can use with pride and confidence. Today, PIAA upholds that commitment by combining desirable products with the latest technology to make night and inclement weather driving as safe as possible.

If your car or truck's factory bulbs are still functioning, yet not up to the task of fully illuminating the road surface, consider a simple upgrade from PIAA. PIAA's line-up of Extreme White, Super Plasma, Ion Yellow and Night-Tech bulbs are all designed to use your vehicle's pre-existing connectors and are a simple plug-and-play upgrade.

Utilizing similar levels of power, PIAA bulbs increase light output and are a cost-effective enhancement to almost every vehicle. Unlike a full HID conversion kit, these bulbs install in minutes and do not require any in-depth knowledge of electric systems to install.

Shop by vehicle to shine some light on your commute.

Quick Tips for Holiday Travel

Thursday, December 12, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

If holiday travel plans take you states away, or just a few miles down the road, it's best to make sure your car and tires are ready. Hopefully some of these travel tips will help you have a safe journey to your destination.

Check Your Battery

We take them for granted, but they can be a major inconvenience when low on charge or dead. Many batteries can be difficult to jump or replace when the car is packed. If you need a replacement before you leave for your trip, take a look at our selection from Braille.

Check Your Tire's Air Pressure

Making sure your tires are inflated properly will help stability, MPG, wear and load carrying capacity. Check out our handheld air pressure gauges to ensure your tires are at the recommended pressure.

This also includes checking the air pressure of your spare tire. Often times many people forget to make sure their spare tire is inflated properly in case it needs to be used. For more information on ensuring your spare tire is used correctly and safely, read "Spare Tire Use."

Properly Torque Your Wheels

Proper lug nut torque is a critical step in ensuring safe travel. The torque spec for your vehicle will be listed in the owner's manual. When installing new wheels, you should re-torque the wheel lugs after driving the first 50 to 100 miles in case the clamping loads have changed following the initial installation. Our high quality torque wrench is perfect for the job.

Inspect Your Wiper Blades

Other items that we sometimes forget about are wiper blades. When snow builds up on your windshield, you need to make sure you can clear it properly and quickly. Our selection of PIAA and Valeo wipers work exceptionally well in winter conditions.

Measure Your Tires' Tread Depth

A tire will lose its wet and snow traction as it wears. Tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32" of remaining tread depth. If snow-covered roads are a concern, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth to maintain good mobility. You need more tread depth in snow because your tires need to compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. Our Digital Tread Depth Gauge is a quick and compact way to check your depth.

If you still need a set of winter / snow tires for this season, take a look the options available for your vehicle.

With Bad Weather Coming, Make Sure Your Wiper Blades are Ready

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Just like with your tires, it never hurts to be proactive and replace your wiper blades before harsh weather arrives. In most cases, it's easy to tell when your wiper blades are starting to fail as they start to smear or push rain across the windshield instead of wiping it away cleanly. We carry efficient and durable options from PIAA and Valeo that either match your Original Equipment or exceed your current blades in design and efficiency. 

Valeo's ULTIMATE® Wiper Blades feature an aerodynamic design that provide more than 1,500 continuous contact points across the blade that help it minimize the chance that ice or snow will accumulate and affect the blade's performance. Their blades perform so well that they're used as Original Equipment on Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and General Motors applications.

We also carry PIAA wipers, as they use a revolutionary process to infuse their blades with Silicone to maximize durability and effectiveness. PIAA offers their Super Silicone technology in both the traditional frame design (one with a sporty air spoiler to improve high speed performance), as well as the low profile frameless design.

To see what wiper blades are available for your application, shop by vehicle.

Improve Your Driving Visibility with PIAA and Hella Bulbs

Thursday, September 20, 2012 by Steve Huffman

Winter is just around the corner and that means shorter days and longer nights. Many of us will be driving back and forth to work in the dark. The only thing between you and the unknown in front of your vehicle are your headlamps. So don't be the person who neglects them and drives down the road with only one working bulb. If your bulbs need replaced, replace them. Better yet, upgrade your lights so you can enjoy improved visibility during your night drives. High-performance bulbs will help you see clearer, improve your vision distance and get the attention of oncoming traffic. 

With safety at the forefront, your headlamps, sidemarkers, fog lamps, turn signals and tail lamps are all critical in nighttime navigation. Tire Rack proudly offers PIAA and Hella bulbs to improve night and inclement weather driving.

PIAA

Whether it's endurance racing, rally, off-road or for the street, PIAA products are designed for drivers to use with pride and confidence. They combine desirable products with the latest technology to make nights and inclement driving as safe as possible. No matter who you are or what you drive, upgrading to PIAA bulbs can be nothing short of enlightening. Not only will your car get noticed, you'll have improved visibility, too. PIAA's bulbs are SAE and DOT approved, so you can upgrade your vehicle's bulbs and be street legal in all 50 states and Canada.

Hella

Hella has been setting standards in the light technology used to increase active safety and driving comfort. They have lead the way with innovative lighting products for both vehicle manufacturers and driving enthusiasts whose need to see doesn't end when the sun goes down. Hella lights are used to light the way to victory at many of the world's most notable endurance races and rallies. The winning teams have used their lights at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans races, as well as, in International, Club and Pro Rally competition.

Improve your vision and enhance your overall vehicle safety by shopping by vehicle to find the right lights for your application.

Summer Road Trip? Use This Maintenance Checklist.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Before setting off on your summer adventures, take some time to check your car over to ensure everything is in good running condition. A little bit of time spent in advance can save a lot of time and trouble on the road. The following is a good basic checklist to help get your vehicle prepared to take you wherever you want to go:

  1. Brakes - Since many traction control systems use the brakes to prevent wheelspin, they may be working extra hard during your winter driving in the snow. Therefore, it's a good idea to get your brake pads inspected once the weather begins to heat up. Checking your pads is easy when replacing your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your summer options since the wheels will be off. There should be a noticeable thickness of pad material between the backing plate and the rotor. If the pads need to be replaced, there are cleaner, higher performing pad compounds available. Take a look at "Brake Pad or Rotor Inspection & Replacement" to gain a better understanding if it's time for new pads.
     
  2. Lighting - Recruit a friend or family member to stand outside the car while you turn on the vehicle's headlights, high beams, turn signals and step on the brakes. If they tell you one of those lights isn't working properly, take a look at our lighting options from Hella and PIAA to improve your visibility.
     
  3. Tire Pressure - Proper tire inflation can improve fuel economy, hydroplaning resistance and tire life. Make sure all four tires are inflated to the vehicle's specifications found in your owner's manual or on the door placard. Don't forget to check your spare tire, too. Also, be sure to have an air gauge in your car so you can check your tire's pressure while traveling.
     
  4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) - These systems only report tires that are significantly under-inflated, so checking tires yourself is still a good idea even if your car has TPMS sensors. While you're checking your tires' air pressure, also inspect them for damage and wear.
     
  5. Jack and Lug Wrench - If you're relying on a spare tire in case of a flat, make sure that you have a working jack and lug wrench. It's nice to have something to serve as a wheel chock to make sure the car doesn't shift and fall off the jack. Something as simple as a block of wood will do. If you have custom wheels, it's important to make sure the lug wrench fits. The wheels could also have locks, so don't get stranded without the key! And since the lug nuts are different from stock, have some stock lugs for the spare.
     
  6. Belts and Hoses - Check them for dry, cracking or rotting as the rubber may give way at an inconvenient time. Replacing these items is usually fairly inexpensive, and can save you trouble.
     
  7. Check Fluids - Checking oil regularly is a good idea for any car, especially older vehicles that may be more prone to leak or burn oil. Even some newer cars can consume up to a quart every 1,000 miles. Make sure to check your coolant as well. Warmer weather can be harder on your cooling system and you want to be sure it's up to the task.
     
  8. Windshield Wipers - Driving at highway speeds in the rain can be a challenge. Make sure that your wipers have survived the winter in good working order. Even with good wiper blades, consider applying a water-beading treatment from Aquapel to improve your vision in the rain.

Try a Set of PIAA Super Silicone Wipers This Spring

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Spring is a great time for new windshield wipers. Freezing winter temperatures and an icy windshield can damage wiper blades, making them less smooth and effective. With spring's rainy weather coming for much of the country, a fresh set of wiper blades can make a noticeable improvement in wet-weather visibility. 
 

I use PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades on my car. The silicone component of the blade lays down a water-beading film on the windshield every time it wipes. This helps clear the windshield more completely. On occasion, with the right combination of moderate rain and higher speeds, the water just beads up and rolls off without using the wipers at all. For some reason I get way more fun out of this fact than is purely logical. Search by vehicle to see if these wipers are available for your vehicle.

Aftermarket Lighting is a Bright Idea

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by Gavin Carpenter

Do you remembFile:KITT Nose on at Toronto Auto Show 2011.jpger KITT, the sweet car that David Hasselhoff drove in Knight Rider? Oh yeah! With the sweeping red lights in the grille, the four fog lights down low on that all-black 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. Sweet action! 

You, too, could make your Trans Am, Honda, BMW or even your Geo Metro into KITT, minus the supercomputer, with Hella's LEDayFlex Module Daytime Running Lights. However, the lights only come in white and don't sweep back and forth. But you can imagine, can't you?
Photo courtesy of Tabercil

The LEDayFlex Module Daytime Running Lights are currently en vogue with Audi and Ford on many of their current model year vehicles. With a little ingenuity and good placement, they'll look like they were installed by the factory.

The kits are available in 5-Lamp, 6-Lamp, 7-Lamp and 8-Lamp modules. I'm particularly pumped about these kits because they can update an older model vehicle with LEDs. The light modules have safe metal housings which protect the enclosures from the occasional errant rock.Hella LEDayFlex 8-Lamp Module Daytime Running Lights

The LEDayFlex lights include the lighting chains, control units and mounting instructions.

To finish off the look, PIAA has the 2100XT Clear Fog Kit and 2100XT Clear Driving Kit. Both kits include two lamps, wiring harness, relay and switch.

If you're interested in a different option for your vehicle, take a look at all lighting kits available.


PIAA Bulbs for Those Long, Cold Winter Nights!

Monday, October 24, 2011 by Wes .
PIAA 9004 Xtreme White PlusWinter's short days and long nights are approaching. Take control of the darkness with the selection of lighting products from PIAA. When it comes time to replace headlights, the PIAA 9004 Xtreme White Plus throws as much light as possible into the night to make certain you see everything needed to be safe. With its proprietary Xtra high efficiency design, they consume only the normal amount of power to keep your harness cool, while producing light equivalent to 95/120W bulbs. Here's what one consumer had to say about their experience with the PIAA 9004 Xtreme White Plus:

"Great upgrade to stock lights especially if your current bulbs are getting old. I have used them on two of my cars and the difference is noticeable. Have been using them for a year on one car and about four months on another. No problems yet. Highly recommended." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1999 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 Sedan

Available in a variety of different fitments, shop by vehicle to ensure you find the lighting products that work best for your vehicle.

Driving Light Upgrades: A Difference You Can See

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 by Alex Mouroulis
Have you ever felt your headlights were not up to the task they once were? Incandescent lights tend to get dimmer as they age. Some of the following bulb options from PIAA and Hella will be able to improve the lighting capabilities of your vehicle:

PIAA 9005 Intense White Bulbs
PIAA 9005 Intense
White Bulbs
PIAA H4 Super Plasma GT-X
PIAA H4 Super Plasma
GT-X
PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow H3 55W
PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow H3 55W

The PIAA 9005 Intense White Bulbs produce a radiant white beam without a hint of blue. With improved performance and longer life, these bulbs increase output and burn at a much cooler temperature. The H4 Super Plasma GT-X creates light output that is greater than the bulb's rated power consumption and is street-legal in Canada and all 50 U.S. states. While the Plasma Ion Yellow are a great way to improve visibility in inclement weather including extreme fog.

Another great option is the Hella 500 series driving lights, which I have equipped on my Volvo. I use the 500's adjusted slightly higher and wider than my low beams. They are excellent at helping me see objects as I drive down the rural roads of Indiana and Michigan.

To gain a better understanding of what bulbs work best for your vehicle, read "What is the Kelvin Scale and Which Bulb Value Should I Choose?"

Lights For Your Truck

Thursday, April 14, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
PIAA 540 Clear Driving Light KitLooking for aftermarket lights for your SUV or small or mid-size truck?

The PIAA 540 Clear Driving Light Kit packs a big and bold design into a small package. It provides additional protection while enhancing your vehicle’s appearance with its unique black mesh style lens cover. Ultra-thin housing allows for easy do-it-yourself installation.

PIAA 540 Clear Driving Light Kit includes:

•    Two lamps
•    Wiring harness
•    Relay
•    Switch
•    Mesh style covers

Shop by vehicle to see which lighting option works best for your vehicle.

Note: Properly aiming your auxiliary lights is the most important part of the installation process. If the lights are not correctly aimed, they will not achieve maximum performance. For more information on properly aiming your new lights, read:

Proper Auxiliary Light Aiming” 

Tire Rack Helps Replace Headlights

Monday, April 11, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
PIAA 9005 Intense White BulbsIf you are looking to replace headlights, shop by vehicle to see which lights work best for your vehicle.

For example, the Intense White Bulbs from PIAA produce a more radiant white beam without any hint of blue. The bulbs have larger glass tubes that increase output while allowing the bulbs to burn at much cooler temperatures. Here is what one of our customers had to say about these particular aftermarket bulbs:

“These make a huge difference. I can’t believe all the things that I didn’t see before…My [previous] lights were not bad, but I thought I would try these to see if they were worth it. The difference is that the white light gives things the same color that they have during the day instead of a shadowy yellow tint…I will only use these in the future.” – Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1997 Buick Park Avenue

PIAA Bulbs

Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
PIAA 9005 Intense White BulbsPIAA is committed to manufacturing world-class automotive products that drivers can use for endurance racing, rally, off-road or for the street.

Replacement lighting options from PIAA will help ensure you are getting the latest technology to make night and inclement weather driving as safe as possible. PIAA bulbs are SAE and DOT approved, which allows you to upgrade your vehicle’s bulbs and be street legal in all 50 states and Canada. 

And with April’s showers in the forecast, be sure to take a look at PIAA’s wiper blades for improved visibility and safety.

Shop by vehicle to see which lighting options work best for your vehicle.

Looking to replace headlights?

Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
Hella PromotionWhen looking for aftermarket lighting options, Tire Rack gives you the option of choosing between three different product categories: headlight bulbs, accessory bulbs and lighting kits.

With over 30 options from Hella and PIAA available in our head light bulbs category, we make it easy to select and replace headlights when you shop by vehicle. New bulbs can provide that brighter, more distinctive look in lighting you’ve seen on other vehicles.

And when you buy Hella accessory lights or performance bulbs you may be eligible to receive up to a $75 gift card by mail. Offer valid on Hella products purchased from in-stock inventory between August 1, 2011 and November 30, 2011. See details here.

Benefits of Aftermarket Lights

Thursday, March 31, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
Lighting 101 Tech ArticleUnfortunately, our need to see doesn’t end when the sun goes down.  With the risk of having an accident about twice as high at night as during the day, lights can play an important factor to your vehicle’s safety.

Even though the lights of modern vehicles are typically sufficient to fulfill legal requirements, they can be added to or improved with an aftermarket lighting system. Many of today’s aftermarket lights are small and emit a very bright and accurate light. 

Tire Rack offers a wide variety of PIAA bulbs and Hella bulbs to help improve the lighting system of your vehicle.

To learn more about lighting systems, read “Lighting 101.”

I have seen the light!

Friday, February 18, 2011 by Tucker Glenn
PIAA 9004 Xtreme White PlusIf you are like me and have trouble driving at night, consider upgrading your vehicle's light bulbs. Recently, I decided to help myself out and changed to the PIAA 9004 Xtreme White Plus replacement bulbs.

The PIAA bulbs project a brilliant cool white light that comes very close to the color of expensive High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting systems. Xtreme White Plus replacement bulbs are available for headlights, running lights, turn signals, side marker lights and interior dome lights.

Great tires will help you stop in a hurry, but great bulbs help ensure you see things sooner. Take a look at our selection of driving, fog and accessory lights.

PIAA Wiper Blades

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
It is easy to overlook the importance of new wiper blades, but Tire Rack offers the latest models from PIAA that will provide cleaner windshields resulting in better visibility.

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper BladesPIAA Super Silicone
The silicone insert ensured greater visibility by coating the windshield with silicone to promote continuous water beading in wet conditions.


PIAA Super Sporza Silicone With Spoiler PIAA Super Sporza Silicone w/Spoiler
The addition of a spoiler keeps the wiper blades in contact with the windshield at higher speeds.


PIAA Forza Hybrid Silicone Wiper Blades
PIAA Forza Hybrid Silicone
Features a frame that provides even and optimal pressure throughout the blade. 

Don't get caught in the rain without a new pair of PIAA wiper blades.

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.

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Piaa Super Silcone Wiper Blades
Looking for wipers that last?

The PIAA Super Silicone Wiper is a great option. I installed a set of the PIAA blades on one of my vehicles in October of 2005 and I'm still using them today. Compared to several other brands I've tried in the past, I'd have to say the PIAA has been my favorite. 

Learn more about PIAA blades or click here to see if a set is available for your vehicle.