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.

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.

Spring Showers Causing Poor Visibility?

Friday, May 4, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Valeo wiper blades can help ensure that your windshield is kept free of heavy rain and dangerous streaks. 

While traditional blades use a frame structure that can easily ice up and restrict the blade from coming into contact with a portion of the windshield surface during winter months, Valeo wipers rely on a center locking design and a flexible blade that allows them to operate free of this troublesome old technology. For roughly the same cost as an over-the-counter blade, these blades are not only superior, but also very cost-effective. Moreover, these blades feature more contact patches for cleaner passes time and time again.

If you're considering either the ULTIMATE Wiper Blades or OE Wiper Blades, both options utilize Tec-3 technology:

  • Rubber wiping element combines synthetic and natural rubber with a patented, bonded protective coating
  • Synthetic rubber upper body provides resistance to permanent set deformity in high temperatures and a superior wipe in all temperatures
  • Natural rubber wiping edge provides improved wiping quality and is flexible in cold conditions
  • Protective coating reduces chatter and squeaking noise during the life of the blade and makes them last longer than standard blades

Take a look at what consumers have said about their experience with the Valeo ULTIMATE Wiper Blades:

"I've had these wipers for over a year and they are just as good as the day I put them on. Living in Iowa is a great test for them: snow, ice, sleet and lots of rain. I can even see at night in the pouring rain. Love them and would never put anything else on [my vehicle]." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2000 Subaru Legacy GT Limited

"I've been using Valeo wipers for over five years and I am extremely satisfied with their performance and durability. I've used them on all my cars and have found them to clean the windshield significantly better than standard O.E. or refill blades.Valeo wipers are also ten times easier to install than the O.E. wipers and look so much better, too." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

Customers also love the ULTIMATE OE Wiper Blades, see for your self:

"The car is parked outside 24/7/365 exposed to all weather conditions. We have driven in all types of weather as well as long highway trips and local daily driving since installation, and these blades have performed extremely well under all conditions." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2006 Volkswagen Passat Sedan 3.6L

 "I have purchased these wipers several times in the past, they are by far the best wipers I have used." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2005 Ford

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.

Keep Your Windshield Clear in the Rain

Friday, January 13, 2012 by Alex Mouroulis
Aquapel Glass TreatmentIf you have ever used a Rain-X product and felt it helped your vision in the rain, then you should take a look at Aquapel Glass Treatment. The primary advantage Aquapel has over Rain-X is durability. It's been my experience that Rain-X lasts a few weeks.
However, when I used Aquapel Glass Treatment on my vehicles, I noticed it lasted for about six months while reducing the friction that makes a wiper blade judder as it wipes. The key when applying Aquapel is to apply when the temperature is at least 40 degrees or higher. Personally, Aquapel is one of my favorite automotive products and is much easier to buff back off the window than Rain-X.

A good set of wiper blades will also help provide excellent visibility. I have enjoyed the performance of Valeo wiper blades. Typically, my blades last about 18 months even though I'm very picky about how well they work. One huge safety advantage of Aquapel is how well the windshield will bead water. Viewing the picture above, you can see how the product gives drivers the peace of mind when driving during rainy conditions.   

Increase Winter Visibility with Valeo

Monday, November 14, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
Valeo Wiper Blades Valeo wiper blades can help ensure that your windshield is kept free of the elements this winter season. 

While traditional blades use a frame structure that can easily ice up and restrict the blade from coming into contact with a portion of the windshield surface, Valeo wipers rely on a center locking design and a flexible blade that allows them to operate free of this troublesome old technology. For roughly the same cost as an over-the-counter blade these blades are not only superior, but also very cost-effective.

Take a look at what a consumer said about their experience with the Valeo ULTIMATE Wiper Blades:

"I've had these wipers for over a year and they are just as good as the day I put them on. Living in Iowa is a great test for them: snow, ice, sleet and lots of rain. I can even see at night in the pouring rain. Love them and would never put anything else on [my vehicle]." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2000 Subaru Legacy GT Limited

And this winter, while it's recommended that you review snow tire ratings and purchase the proper car tires and wheels for winter driving, don't underestimate the importance of a good set of wiper blades. While we're known primarily as a car tire store, Tire Rack has the selection of wiper blades to make sure you see the roads safely this winter season.

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 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.

Valeo Windshield Wiper Blades

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 by Chad Hocker
Valeo ULTIMATE Wiper Blade

Valeo ULTIMATE® Windshield Wiper Blades are available at Tire Rack and are designed to work with many different cars trucks and SUVs.

What can you expect from the Valeo ULTIMATE Wiper Blades?

  • All-weather design resisting cold weather and icing conditions
  • Aerodynamic design reducing vibration, judder and noise
  • Ultra flat blade for improved driver visibility

I have used these blades on the family's vehicles and do agree they are a good buy, work well and sit low on the windshield.

Here is one of the latest customer comments on the Valeo blades:

"Bought some on a buy one get one free deal. Liked them so much all my cars have them now. Long lasting and they don't skip. Here in Seattle they get put to use too. I like them because they aren't noisy when there isn't enough rain to lubricate them but is enough to make it hard to see." — Tire Rack Consumer Review

Check to see which size is needed for your vehicle.

Forza Hybrid Silicone Wiper Blades from PIAA

Monday, June 7, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
In the market for a new set of wiper blades? Tired of listening to your old blades drag across your windshield every time you clean it? Consider the Forza Hybrid Silicone wiper blades from PIAA.

A side-spring frame design creates just the right amount of pressure to keep the blade touching your windshield every second it's in action.

In fact, the silicon rubber blade will coat your windshield with a layer of silicone that promotes continuous water beading. This, of course, helps you maintain a clear view in rain, snow and more. And with a powder coated finish and zinc plating, you won't have to worry about rusty wipers ruining your aesthetics. In addition, the Forza Hybrid features a wind-cheating Aero Cover that actually makes this wiper look quite sleek and contemporary.

You won't be disappointed in a set of PIAA wiper blades. PIAA manufactures world-class wiper blades using the latest technology and extensive methods of testing.

See all PIAA wiper blades at Tire Rack.

Tire Rack Now Accepting PayPal

Thursday, May 20, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Check out with PayPal at Tire RackNow you may use your PayPal account to Buy Tires Online at Tire Rack. All you have to do is go to Tire Rack and let us know what you want and we'll send it your way.

Get your Performance Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Suspension Parts, Windshield Wiper Blades and much more at Tire Rack using your Pay Pal account.

Better wipers - Improving inclement weather visibility

Friday, May 14, 2010 by Adrian Lautaru
With so many wipers available on the market today it is tough to decide which one is most efficient.

The best one I have found is the PIAA Silicone wiper. The rubber blade is enhanced with silicone, which gets transferred to the windshield every time the wipers are used creating a super slick invisible coating which allows rain water to bead into small droplets and slide off with normal wiping. The silicone coating also eliminates chatter and squeaking which I found very common with other wipers.

Tire Rack carries a full line of PIAA wipers from 12-inch to 24-inch sizes to fit most of the vehicles on the road today.

PIAA Wiper Blades

Friday, May 7, 2010 by Walt Walton
Compared to conventional windshield wiper blades, PIAA Super Silicone wiper blades can make a dramatic difference in removing rain and snow from your windshield.

PIAA wiper bladesThe unique feature of each PIAA Super Silicone blade is the silicone material in the blade that not only allows it to sweep more smoothly over the windshield surface, it also leaves an invisible coating of silicone on the windshield that causes water to bead up and not adhere to the surface even when the wipers aren't on.

The silicone film acts much like the rain-repelling treatments sold in automotive parts stores by causing water to form small beads on the windshield surface. Because the material is already in the PIAA Super Silicone blades, the inconvenience of having to periodically re-apply a treatment to the windshield is gone. A small amount of silicone is deposited on the windshield each time the blade sweeps across, and that continues for the life of the blade.

At lower speeds the silicone film makes water and snow easier for the blades to sweep from the surface, and at higher speeds the pressure of air flow accross the windshield means that the wiper blades can be run intermittently or at lower speeds than normally required to keep the windshield clear. Many times at highway speeds the beading action of the silicone film will mean is isn't necessary to even turn the windshield wipers on in rain or snow.

Search for wiper blades by vehicle.

Combat April showers with a new set of aftermarket wipers.

Friday, April 9, 2010 by Tire Rack Team

We love that they lead to May flowers, but if April showers are blocking your view of the road, it might be time for a new set of windshield wiper blades—if you can't see out your windshield, you can't drive safely. And at Tire Rack, safety is always a priority.

Valeo ultimate wiper blades feature an aerodynamic design that reduces vibration and judder, and assures high quality performance at all wiper speeds. And with an ultra flat blade, improved visibility is a guarantee.

"Liked them so much all my cars have them now. Long lasting and they don't skip. Here in Seattle they get put to use, too. I like them because they aren't noisy when there isn't enough rain to lubricate them." — Tire Rack Consumer Review, Honda CRX, WA

Shop Valeo wiper blades.

PIAA Windshield Wiper Blades Available at Tire Rack

Friday, April 9, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Check out PIAA's Line of Windshield Wiper Blades for your vehicle.

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades - The Wiper Blade of Choice for Many Vehicles
PIAA Super Silicone Windshield Wiper Blades

I have been very happy with the PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades I have on my car and would suggest checking to see if they are available in a fit for your vehicle.

When Stock is Just Not Good Enough, Tire Rack Can Help

Monday, March 22, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Now you have the perfect car, well almost...Tire Rack can help improve the performance of your car from the rubber on the road to the car suspension system to engine performance. Check out some of the product areas Tire Rack can help with:There are many tire websites available to use and buy tires from on-line. Tire Rack is commited to testing and offering the best information on the products we have. Find a tire, shock or brake product you like read some reviews or test results about them before buying and then give us feedback on what you thought of the product. We'll post it on our website for other customers to read.

Silicone Wiper Blades: Choose PIAA

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
Though it may seem simple, there is a lot of technology that goes into silicone wiper blades. Studies are done on individual car windshields in different types of weather, which leads to perfectly arched wiper blades that gently remove rain, snow and ice from your line of site. 

Further, a variety of materials are tested to determine the best possible material with which to create the wiper itself. In today's market, we typically see two variations: silicone wiper blades and graphite wiper blades. Both of which are excellent options.

PIAA's Super Silicone wiper blades were designed to be the wiper of choice. The rubber wiper blade coats the windshield with a light layer of silicone during use to promote continuous water beading in the rain. In addition, the silicone assists the blade during movement to prevent excess noise often caused by a blade dragging along the glass.

PIAA also offers a Super Graphite wiper blade. Their exclusive Molybdenum graphite bonding process creates a consistent graphite coating that won't weaken the rubber wiper blade like compound graphite materials. This coating maintains itself throughout the life of the blade, assuring a reliable view without excess noise or streaking. 

See more PIAA wiper blades.

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.