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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Search by vehicle or tire size—which is best?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
When it comes to picking out new tires, you can't venture a guess. The purchase must be educated, and it must make sense. Your safety on the road, after all, depends on it. So at Tire Rack, we offer a few different ways to reach a purchase decision. The easiest of which is to shop by vehicle.

When you enter your vehicle's make, model and year into our search tool, we will generate a list of tires that perfectly match your vehicle. It's a list that will offer Original Equipment and performance upgrade options, and it can be slimmed down by simply selecting your ideal performance categories. Every tire on your final list is accompanied by links to complete product descriptions, test results, tire reviews, specifications and warranty information.

We think it's the most complete way to search for a tire, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. But if you do know exactly what you want, you just need to find it in a size that fits your vehicle, you can search by tire size. The resulting list will match the tire size you selected, though it won't be specific to any particular vehicle. In this case, always check with a sales specialist if there's any doubt. We want your new tires to fit perfectly!

And finally, if you're in the market for more than just tires, we recommend you use our Upgrade Garage. Not only will we recommend vehicle-specific tires, we'll take it a few steps further. You can see everything we have that would fit on your vehicle. Think wheels, brakes, suspension, wiper blades and more. And the best part—the Upgrade Garage also creates a virtual representation of your vehicle, which allows you to actually see what certain wheels would look like. (Also read "Why Shop for Wheels by First Selecting a Vehicle?")

So really, the search method is up to you. Determine your needs, then search accordingly.

And as always, our sales specialists are on-hand and ready to help should you need it.

Shop for tires by vehicle or size—which is best?

Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
When it comes to picking out new tires, you can't voucher a guess. The purchase must be educated, and it must make sense. Your safety on the road, after all, depends on it. So at Tire Rack, we offer a few different ways to reach a purchase decision. The easiest of which is to shop according to vehicle.

When you enter your vehicle's specifications into our search tool, our system is able to generate a list of tires that perfectly match your vehicle. It's a list that will offer Original Equipment and performance upgrade options, and it can be slimmed down by simply selecting your ideal performance characteristics. Every tire on your final list is accompanied by links to complete product descriptions, test results, tire reviews, specifications and warranty information.

We think it's the most complete way to search for a tire, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. But if you do know exactly what you want, you just need to find it in a size that fits your vehicle, you can search our inventory by tire size. The resulting list will match the tire size you determined, though it won't be specific to any particular vehicle. In this case, always check with a sales specialist if there's any doubt. We want your new tires to fit perfectly!

And finally, if you're in the market for more than just tires, we recommend you use our Upgrade Garage. Not only will we recommend vehicle specific tires, we'll take it a few steps further. You'll get a list of everything in our inventory that would fit on your vehicle. Think wheels, brakes, wiper blades and more. And the best part—the Upgrade Garage also creates a virtual representation of your vehicle, which allows you to actually see what certain tires and wheels would look like.

So really, the search method is up to you. Determine your needs, then search accordingly.

And as always, our sales specialists are on-hand and ready to help should you need it.

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.

Need New Wiper Blades?

Friday, May 7, 2010 by Blake Bauer
Are your current wipers leaving more water on your window then they're wiping off? Do you want a premium wiper but don't want to pay a premium price? Well, you are in luck. We offer Valeo wiper blades for your car. 

              

For a limited time get the Valeo Hook Lock style wiper blade at a buy one get one free special. That is two of these premium wipers for only $19.95* for most applications.

Visit the Tire Rack and look in the Upgrade Garage to see if these are available for your car.

*Cost does not include shipping or any applicable taxes.