QOTD – What Auto-Related Parts or Supplies Have Become Crazy Expensive As of Late?

The other day, having learned that I probably should replace the front wipers on the Highlander, I went to one of the local auto parts stores that starts with the letter A. Ok, there are 2 of those. So for the sake of clarity, this was the one where the second word also starts with A.  That’s as opposed to the one where the second word starts with Z.  I have no preference, both are good for things like wipers and oil, so it’s whatever’s closer at the moment.

Locating the proper size wiper for the 2006 Highlander — a task made much less convenient once the store where both words in the name start with A decided to eliminate the big books where you can look this stuff up — I discovered that a set of windshield wipers would now cost me approximately $40.

Now mind you, this is not intended as a slam on “rain-x”-branded wipers.  As I looked at what was offered on the entire aisle devoted to windshield wipers, I noticed that the rain-x ones were in fact moderately priced. For example, I could easily spend 50% more on various Bosch options. Plus, there were other more costly rain-x wipers with presumably even more “advanced” technology than the “Vision Beam Blade Technology” than that which I had in my hand. By the way, we are now to understand that a strip of rubber is a “technology”.

The former Trico factory in Buffalo, NY as I stumbled across it in the midst of renovations two years ago. Geeze, I hope they kept this archway.


In addition to rain-x and Bosch, there were of course options available from Trico. For all I know, all of these wipers are made by Trico. Alternatively, perhaps Trico is made by whoever makes all of the other brands. Maybe like turtles, it’s Trico all the way down. When it comes right down to it, just how many manufacturers of windshield wipers do we really need?

I expect that they’d keep this sign. Although I doubt most of the future residents would know, or ever question (“Curiosity”? Uhhhhhhhhh.) what “Trico” means as they revel in “a suite of exclusive, lifestyle-oriented amenities”.  Whatever that means.


Perhaps Trico has had to raise prices now that its factory in Buffalo has been turned into condos.  Regardless, the Trico offerings were expensive too.

That said, I bypassed the store brand (maybe 10% less expensive than the rain-x ones I wound up with).

Seriously though, $40 for windshield wipers? For a Toyota? I last bought these a little over two years ago at this same store, and I paid about half of the current going rate. And yes, I checked the price today when I was in the other store. The one where the second word in the name starts with Z.  Same price.  It just seems that the price of windshield wipers has gone through the roof.

Which got me to thinking, and that got me to here…What auto part or supply has in your opinion/observation escalated tremendously in price over the past several years?

That’s the question of the day.