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.

Rear Wiper Blades Now Available for Many Crossovers, SUVs and Minivans

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Car, minivan and SUV drivers with a wiper blade on the rear of the vehicle know that these are useful; yet finding a replacement can be challenging. It seems many stores carry a variety of front wiper blades, but for some reason, I have a difficult time finding a rear wiper blade for sale. 

The good news is that we recently started offering Valeo rear wiper blades for a large variety of applications. In fact, I just replaced the rear wiper blade on my 2009 Mazda CX-7. Wow, what a difference! No more cloudy and streaky views of vehicles and the squeaking and chattering every time the rear wiper was in use is now gone.

Here's a list of some of the vehicles we carry rear wiper blades for:

  • Dodge Magnum
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Honda Element
  • Honda Pilot
  • Mercedes-Benz ML (2005 models and newer)
  • MINI Cooper (2005 models and newer)
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Saturn Outlook
  • Subaru Forester (2004 models and newer)
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volvo XC90

Stop compromising your rear window visibility and shop by vehicle to see if a wiper blade is available for your car.

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.

Ultimate All-Season Wipers

Monday, October 24, 2011 by Jonas Paeplow

Be honest, when was the last time you inspected your wiper blades? Are they more than a year old? Do they streak, smear or chatter? Your vehicle's windshield wipers are designed to provide you with a clear, streak-free view of the road in rainy and wet conditions. A clean windshield could mean the difference between you being able to see any given object clearly or trying to focus on a blurred image.

A small but significant percentage of all vehicle accidents result from impaired vision caused by a dirty or damp windshield. In addition, many of the vehicles on the road today have windshield wipers that are beyond their functional lifespan. Fifteen percent of the vehicles inspected during National Car Care Month failed because of worn windshield wiper blades.

Colder weather is rapidly approaching with plenty of rain, sleet, snow and fog. Ice and snow can pack into metal blade frames and cause the blades to malfunction. During these weather conditions, good wiper blades are a necessity. Vehicle owners and drivers should keep in mind that it would be best to inspect windshield wiper blades at least every six months. Windshield wiper blades may not be used frequently but they do get damaged by several factors such as dirt and dust, UV radiation, friction and acid rain.

A good visual inspection of the wiper blade could prevent trouble later on. Look for cracked, nicked or torn rubber, or a discoloration in the blade surface. Next, run your finger along the blade surface and check for hard or brittle rubber or ragged edges. Finally, inspect the plastic or metal wiper body, looking for a bent or damaged frame that could affect wiper performance. If any of these conditions exist, or if the wiper blade has been on the vehicle for more than a year, replace the wiper refill (including Super Graphite Wiper Blades and Silicone Wiper Blades) or better yet the entire blade assembly.

So now that you know you need to replace wiper blades, which wiper should you choose? Why not choose the wiper that gives you the best bang for your buck. When looking for replacement wiper blades, Valeo Ultimate Wiper Blades give you the latest wiper technology at a great price.

 

Valeo Ultimate Wiper Blades



What makes the Valeo aftermarket wipers so good?

  • An attractive, ultra-flat profile.
  • Even blade-to-windshield pressure distribution.
  • Superior aerodynamics attributed to the integrated spoiler.
  • Enhanced aero-acoustics reduce wind noise up to 3dB.
  • No metal superstructure to collect snow & ice.  
  • Advanced Rubber Technology provides smoother and quieter wiping performance
 
even blade-to-windshield distribution     metal frame pressure points


Never underestimate the importance of a fresh set of wiper blades. Not only will they add to your driving safety and peace of mind, but you'll also enjoy a better view of what lies ahead with the "Ultimate" All-Season Wiper Blade.

 

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.

Time to replace wiper blades?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
It's an easy task, we promise.

Tire Rack stocks PIAA replacement blades in both silicone and graphite materials. They come in 12- and 24-inch sizes with pin and hook attachments. You'll want to match the length of the refill to the blade currently installed on your vehicle. PIAA wiper blades may also fit some Original Equipment, even other manufacturer's wiper blade assemblies. You'll just need to make sure there's a square-type claw and top, like the one in the image below.


Search for wiper products by vehicle.

Replacement Lighting by PIAA

Friday, December 4, 2009 by Tire Rack Team

When your headlights stop shining, you'll need replacement lighting that meets—and exceeds—your expectations so that you can continue to drive safely through the dark or in inclement weather. At Tire Rack, we like the PIAA line and offer a number of different replacement lighting products to meet your individual vehicle's needs. Search by vehicle to see a detailed list of options. (And while you're at it, you'll want to check out PIAA wiper blades. It never hurts to have a set of replacement wiper blades on hand.)


Aftermarket Wipers: Upgrade your Stock Blades Today

Monday, October 26, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
At Tire Rack, we offer two aftermarket wiper brands: 

Visionary design. Inspired engineering. Quality components. PIAA's aftermarket wipers help give you a clear view in challenging weather. Plus, they virtually resist the aging process in all climates.


Perfect visibility meets silence and elegance. Regardless of your driving conditions,the aerodynamic design of a Valeo wiper keeps your windshield clean...without all that excess wiper noise.


If you aren't sure what brand is right for you, we recommend you search by vehicle. Or, just give us a call at 800-461-5527. We'd be happy to help you upgrade or replace wiper blades.

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.