Guest Post: Costco Tires – My Experience

September 25th, 2009 · 22 Comments

[This is a guest post from TampaSlim in Portland, who has been a Costco member since 1991.   This is his second guest post; his other post was a response to the Review Policy discussion. This is especially timely, since Costco has a coupon this month for tires.]

To buy again or not!  That is the question I asked myself.  It was that time again.

I was very unhappy with the last set of tires I had on our VW Passat.  The BF Goodrich tires just didn’t last as promised.  We rotate and maintain tire pressure as directed and have proper alignment on the front wheel drive vehicle.  Problem is they only lasted approximately 35,000 miles.

I’ve bought maybe 4 sets of tires for various vehicles from Costco Tires and I’d give them about a C grade overall.  But this last experience really soured me.

The Costco store told me I needed to buy Michelins and get a 60,000 mile tire (funny, I thought, because you promised me 60,000 on the BF’s).  Quote was $553.95  What really got me thinking was the last time I had a “problem” (nail in the tire), I happened to be at the local Les Schwab Center.  They fixed the tire at no charge and fast too.  So I called Les Schwab: $522.00.

The difference really became one of location and service.
I’m curious has Costco Tires been good to you?

~ TampaSlim ~

Update, 2009.09.28:  For those of you looking at this article and wondering about the Costco Tire Center Warranty here’s some information regarding the policy and where you can find more information about it.

All passenger, performance and light truck tires sold through Costco Wholesale are covered by a 5-year Road Hazard Warranty* protecting customers against treadwear damage and tire failure. Costco Wholesale will repair or replace** tires damaged during standard legal vehicle operation.

For completed details download the  Costco Road Hazard Warranty

* Warranty is subject to proper Tire Center
** Replacement tires will be provided in the form of credit toward purchase, determined by remaining tread analysis.


Tags: Coupons · Guest Posts · Household Items · services Share

22 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 phkat // 2013.10.20 at 12:25 pm

    Let me start by saying we LOVE Costco and spend a great deal of money there every month. It’s an hour and a half drive to the nearest Costco. My complaint is only regarding the Tire Service Center.

    Since appointments can’t be made to get our Costco tires rotated, we asked when the best time to come in to have it done ought to be. They told us first thing in the morning.

    So, Friday the 18th of October 2013, we arrived 22 minutes after they opened. (We intended to be there right at opening but got caught in road construction for a few minutes twice.) We went in and were told by the none to friendly “Butch” that it would be at least 3 hours until he could get us in and then it would take 45 minutes to an hour to do the rotation. He didn’t say sorry or act like he gave a rats behind. It felt like he actually wanted us to say, sorry can’t stay. We had medical appointments scheduled for 3 hours out so we couldn’t stay and wait.

    This was our third try at getting rotation at Costco Tire Center with the same result. Our Costco is situated where there is really no where else to go while one waits for 3 or 4 hours. We can kill an hour or so shopping while we get service but 3 or 4 hours is out of the question.

    This amount of wait time is ridiculous. We can’t just drop in and see if they’re busy or not. Why can’t they take appointments at least for out of town folks? We sure had no trouble when we bought our tires there. We’re not going to go somewhere else and have to PAY to have our Costco tires rotated.

    So bottom line for us is that is that this is the last set of tires we buy at Costco. We have a Les Schwab two miles from home that is happy to service us. Before I married my husband I used nothing but LS tires and they were always very convenient. They even came way out of town one time when I had a flat on the highway, to come and change my tire for me. And Les Schwab can be found in tiny towns all over the place. Not just in the bigger places like Costco. Much more convenient if you don’t live near a Costco.

  2. 2 Soulpants // 2010.01.30 at 4:47 pm

    I love Costco tires for several reasons. Several have said it already but if your tires were that worn and still under the milage you should qualify for prorated refund. If you need to speak to a manager your problem should be easily remedied. Why I love costco tires…free rotation (They won’t try to sell me anything else. If my cars out of alignment they’ll mention it but they ain’t making no money off of me. Every other place that sells tires either charges rotation or they will “upsale” you on other services when you go in for rotation). It is foolish to simply play the “”I saved 50 bucks” at another tire retailer if that retailer will try to upsale you on other items. As for waiting…guys how often do you buy tires? A little planning goes along way. If you have two cars drop one off and sieze the day! If not be at the warehouse at opening time and starting a leisurely stroll throw your favorite warehouse. Chat with demonstrators or the cell phone guys. Eat 5 rounds of samples and return to the book aisle.

    When I lived in Seattle I loved Les Schwab tires and out of customer loyalty stayed with them. Since moving out of their market I am hooked on Costco tires, my only regret is not having bought some sooner. Also as for free flat repairs(that is why I was a loyal L.S. shopper)…I have found that if I have a flat and need another shop to repair it and they want to charge me, I casually sugest that I bought my last set of tires from a shop that repaired my flat for free! They often will fix it for free!

  3. 3 Eric // 2009.10.15 at 12:26 am

    Let me explain a few things about mileage warranty’s..

    The tire must be worn evenly across the time.

    The tire must be worn down to the tread wear indicators (wear bar)


    If a time shows inside or out side shoulder wear this can void the warranty due to the vehicle being misaligned and or improper inflation.

    In all other cases a Costco Tire center should replace the tires on a prorated amount from miles not received.

    Now one of the reasons Costco Tire center’s have a longer wait time is due to the amount of polices and procedures that are involved in Tire installation… Costco has Always been ahead of the industry as far as safety gos, hand torquing to vehicle spec,Nitrogen inflation,tpms sensors/service packs,torque limited impact guns, and mating service cleaning of hubs and wheels… No other company performs all these things at the price Costco offers!

  4. 4 Denise // 2009.10.03 at 1:27 pm

    I posted earlier but feel like I need to post again. I live where a Costco is quite busy. It had so much business that BJ’s Wholesale Club was forced out of business when it came to town 2 years ago and moved across the street.

    I drive about 30 miles to work in another town – Spartanburg, SC. This is the BEST Costco I’ve ever been in. ALL the people who work there are super friendly. They tell me various things about the store. I went to the tire department about 4 times in the last year before I got tires. They kept telling me I could get a few more months out of my old tires! When I went to get new tires last week they told me they were busy and it would probably be an hour before my car was ready. I prepared to browse since I had just been shopping a few days before. 35 minutes later, my car was ready.

    So, it might be better to shop at Costco in a smaller town. I usually plan to go this one after work because it isn’t as busy as the one where I live.

  5. 5 T M // 2009.09.30 at 1:28 pm

    Even with the mfg. deals (e.g. $70 off a set of 4), the pricing for tires on our cars is always 10-20% less by buying at Tirerack’s site and having a local tire place do the install (check with local installers first, to ensure they will do this, and what they will charge).

    If you do go to Costco for your tires, be sure to do comparison shopping at sites like – there are some great tires out there like Kuhmo and Fuzion that many folks feel equal the Michelin, Pirelli, BF Goodrich equivalents at a fraction of the price.

    Finally, don’t skimp on install options and alignment, get it all – balancing, and 4 wheel alignment, it will ensure your tires last longer, and be safer.

  6. 6 PBJ // 2009.09.29 at 1:56 pm

    I confused. Why would you expect Costco to tell you that Michelins are better tires? Most smart consumers research stuff before they buy. Sorry you had such a bad experience, but you’re smarter for it now.

  7. 7 Tampa Slim // 2009.09.29 at 12:07 pm

    I’m sorry that I haven’t checked in to the blog lately.

    I did ask about the warranty and the particular Costco I went to said it was a Manufactures Warranty not a Costco Warranty and dismissed the conversation. Costco had several attempts to catch or comment to me on the fast tires wear. Costco had rotated the tires previously and did not catch the un-even wear or failed to mention it to my wife.

    With winter coming on – I did not want my lovely wife driving on bad tires. So I returned to costco. They were EXTREMELY BUSY and I waited about 15 minutes before I even spoke with a Tire Tech.

    As I was unaware of the pro-rating system, I did not argue the wear issue but simply requested a price based upon the coupon and my particular auto. They pointed to uneven wear on the car and mentioned that I should have bought Michelins, since it’s a better tire (which irritated me – why didn’t they say something before I purchased the first set). I KNOW THAT (I thought) and why didn’t you catch that earlier? I just didn’t get a good feeling from the experience.

    Like I said earlier. I have bought several pairs of tires from Costco in the past and had no problems with them. My reason for posting this blog was not to create a negative story regarding Costco Tires but to inquire from Blog Readers what their experience has been with Costco Tires in general.

    For my family – in this instance – I went shopping and purchased tires from a Tire Shop that also performed an alignment, has multiple and more convenient stores and a solid reputation for service, including free road hazard insurance. That is for me. Your experience and needs will be different.

    Hope this clears up the intent of the guest post. Has Costco Tires been good to you? I was curious if what goes on in the Tire Shop was an isolated instance or was it more common than I thought. Inside the store I am VERY CONFIDENT that what I buy is backed up, but in the Tire Shop I’m not so confident.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for letting me post and comment.

    Kimberly we appreciate the blog!!!

  8. 8 raytseng // 2009.09.29 at 2:45 am

    The tires are not somehow special and any other big tire chain can get Michelins.

    So, in my opinion, all the talk about the particular tires and the warranty is irrelevant as a comment on Costco, but rather is just a rant on buying tires in general.

    For me, boils down to service and price. Costco usually is jam-packed tire center, so you’ll have to leave your car for service and come back hour or 2 later. Sometimes you can’t even get a parking spot even in in the tire center only parking section.

    However, in my experience local tire chains that offer the same service promotions in same price range are also jam packed and have multi-hour waits ; so it’s a wash.

    Go to whatever is more convenient, although for price costco tends to have a price that’s a bit cheaper once you add up all the equivilant nickel and dime extras to get an out the door price.

    In my case, costco is walking distance from work, so the hassle for a multi-hour wait isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

    If this wasn’t the case, perhaps I would just pony up for an independent tire shop that will get you in-and-out in 15min but. Or I’d just have the mechanic do the tire services during other maintenance in one shot(tack on the $20-$40 for rotation and/or front balance check).

    The final thought is that you may also want to take into heavy consideration that you are limited in tire choices at costco to basically Michelin. However, if you are going to get Michelins anyway, their exclusive offering makes prices are very competative, (especially if you wait for coupon).

  9. 9 Costco Fan Boy // 2009.09.28 at 11:23 am

    did not see the update to the post bringing in the warranty link.

    Need to drink some more of that nestle instant coffee , continue the good work.

  10. 10 Kimberly // 2009.09.28 at 11:23 am

    Costco Fan Boy, as you might not have noticed, because I just published it, I did add information about the Costco Tire Center warranty and linked to the full, online information.

  11. 11 Costco Fan Boy // 2009.09.28 at 11:21 am

    Its your blog so you get to run it however you want to 🙂 , but there are also other people who are also equally “addicted” to Costco
    As to your point about comments clarifying the post , i am sure the percent of people continuing to read onto the comments after reading the post is less than 100%

    If your objective is to spread the goodness of Costco , this post does not help as it is based on the experiences/personal constraints faced by one person.
    Why cant an account of experience be enhanced by the addition of what could have been done to enhance the experience ?

  12. 12 Kimberly // 2009.09.28 at 11:06 am

    I am well aware of the guarantee for the Tire Center, as several people have mentioned in their comments. However, that doesn’t mean that the guest poster was able to take advantage of it at his store or in his given situation. Tampa Slim can have an opinion and relate *his* experience, just like anyone else that offers a guest post for inclusion on my blog. I try to be careful about the posts and the information they contain. However, experiences vary by store, location, and management unfortunately. Perhaps he didn’t feel like he wanted to pursue the guarantee or maybe there is some reason for not pursuing the prorated tires promised by the guarantee.

  13. 13 Costco Fan Boy // 2009.09.28 at 10:47 am

    Please Edit this post to include a statement that the Guest Poster doesn’t know about the warranty proration offered by Costco.
    Maybe his Costco is badly managed or maybe the guest poster neglected to mention that the current tires were bought at Costco & did not last till the promised warranty period.

    I bought those expensive Michelins , 80k warranty, that everyone likes & guess what they got worn by the time they hit 60k.
    Went in to get them replaced & they were like u bought these here , lets see what the warranty on those were and adjusted the price against my new set of 4 & it was like getting one tire free.

    One request i have for the owner of this site is to vet guest posts , a simple phone call to the tire center can confirm/refute a story.
    Point is to have “correct” information about Costco even if it is damaging to them , not assumptions about Costco.

  14. 14 Melanie // 2009.09.27 at 7:15 pm

    We purchased our last set of Michelins at Costco and our experience was pretty good. Their price (plus a coupon) was $150 less than Discount Tire. I did have to special order them but the wait time was only two days. My only complaint was the wait time to put them on- 2 to 3 hours. My three year old daughter and I spent a lot of time in the food court that day!

  15. 15 Chip Tirestein // 2009.09.26 at 10:54 pm

    Well, to the OP; your first problem is expecting BF Goodrich tires lasting more that 25,000 miles. Dis-reguard their claims or warrenties. BFG are good tyres, but they wear v e r y quick. If you want a tire that last 50,000k or more miles, go with Michelin. Michelin makes tires for most of the heavy-duty commercial industries, and they make a hell of a good tyre. Their side-walls are DOUBLE thickness of all other competitors.

  16. 16 Rickie M // 2009.09.25 at 10:40 pm

    I love Costco and used to get my tires from them but switched to a local tire dealer instead. The reason – it gets too crowded at Costco and I have to wait to long. The local dealer is near my house so I can just walk home and come back later if I want, plus if it needs servicing that takes less time, too. I find Costco’s tire pricing and service to be excellent but then I guess so many other people do that it creates a long wait time. Also, to the OP: if your tires were supposed to last x amount of miles and didn’t, why didn’t you go to Costco and request a prorata refund?

  17. 17 Denise // 2009.09.25 at 5:23 pm

    I just bought tires from Costco on Monday. They cost $450 & that included the $70 off. I did not compare prices. I am most likely a life customer @ Costco and I love their policies for taking things back. These are my first Michelin tires. So far I love them!

  18. 18 meesha.v // 2009.09.25 at 2:48 pm

    sorry I misspoke-rotation and balancing is the service I meant. I could never wait long enough to get it

  19. 19 Pete S. // 2009.09.25 at 2:08 pm

    Meesha.v : Your Costco does alignments?
    The ones in my area do not and that fact is probably going to lead me away from Costco for my next tire purchase.

    Other than the no alignment, I have been happy with Costco tire service.

  20. 20 meesha.v // 2009.09.25 at 9:26 am

    they prorated my Michellin tires-they were warrantied for something like 85k miles,no questions only problem with Costco is I never feel like waiting 2 hrs to get a free alingnment and they never seem to have a slow day,always wait.

  21. 21 Linda M // 2009.09.25 at 8:35 am

    Yes. Costco tires have been great to me. I called around to get quotes and Costo’s quote is ALWAYS cheaper even without the $70 discount for Michelins. It sounds like you need to complain to BF Goodrich about your tires’ longevity. Costco is just the seller and repeats what the tire manufacturer says about the mileage expectation. I seriously doubt that Costco independently tests the tires.

    Even if the other tire seller is $1.95 cheaper on tires, I’d still buy them from Costco. With the two percent rebate (if you have the executive membership), you would get more than $11 back at the end of the year from tires alone.)

  22. 22 tle // 2009.09.25 at 8:29 am

    If the tyre is warrantied for 60K then the cost of the new tire should be prorated. So if Costco sold you that tire then go back to them and ask. I can only get about 20K miles out of my tires and each costs $200 and usually the tires don’t have a mileage warranty.

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