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Why Buy Your Tires at Costco

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Costco occasionally sends out Passport to Savings, which are glorified coupon books for their warehouses. One of the most important things about this book is if it lists a sale on tires – a frequent event. Buying tires at Costco is typically a little higher than a straight purchase from TireRack.com but after you factor in installation and disposal of old tires (at around $20 total per tire), many times the higher price is justified for the perks. For June, you can save $60 on the purchase of four Michelin tires which for some tires can mean “Buy 3, Get 1 Free.”

Why did I buy my tires from Costco?

  1. Lifetime Warranty Replacement – If for any reason your tire goes flat, Costco will attempt to repair the tire or give you credit for the percentage of tread that remains. If it goes flat and the tire is pretty close to full tread, they just replace it for free. My girlfriend’s Celica had what appeared like an intentionally slashed tire (she was driving on the NJ Turnpike in reality) and Costco replaced the tire free of charge. They’re not supposed to fix intentional problems but they let it slide – it’s pretty subjective I think.
  2. Lifetime Rotation & Balancing – If you figure a rotation and balance at around $15, you can actually stop being a cheapskate and rotate your tires on schedule. The only pain is waiting for the service to be completed, which is quick if you arrive early morning on a weekday.
  3. Inflation with Nitrogen – They use nitrogen which is supposed to keep pressure better than air with changing temperatures. It’s supposed to also stay inflated better. I don’t necessarily believe the hype but whatever. They also inflate to optimal pressures when they rotate and balance. WARNING: That’s why your tires have green inflation tube caps, you cannot put in regular air at the gas station!

The lifetime warranty is the primary reason why I pay the premium to get the tires installed at Costco. If you decide to use Costco, call ahead to make sure the tires are in stock. If they aren’t, all you need is your membership card and a deposit and they will order the tires in. Shipping is free and they usually arrive within seven to ten days. If you don’t happen to have the coupon, they have copies at the register and will probably scan it for you since, in theory since you are a Costco cardholder, you should’ve received it anyway (just tell them you forgot it).

I know of friends who get tires shipped to NTB or a local service station to get them installed but I don’t believe many of those have the warranty like Costco.

To see if you have a Costco nearby, use their Warehouse Locator.

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65 Responses to “Why Buy Your Tires at Costco”

  1. DM says:

    My Dad’s old 1975 Ford F250 had steel rims. They lasted for a VERY long time with just using air. We loaded the crap out of that truck and never had problems with air leaking.
    Now, the truck rusted out 20 years later, but the rims and tires were fine.

  2. Lee W says:

    I bought $700 worth of Michellin tire at Costco because of the lifetime warrenty and $75 off cupon made the tire a good deal
    22,000 miles later I return to have them balence and rotated. I go to pick up the car, am told they balence all four tire but were not able to rotate them becuse the front tires were worn to 4/32 and the rears were at 8/32 and Michellin’s policy did not allow them to put the more worn tires on the rear. I soon discovered the rear wheel were not even removed let alone balenced! I complaind and they removed the rears and balenced them but refused to rotate them. Now they want me to leave the more worn tires on the front (front wheel drive) and wear them out even faster.
    I will not buy tires from Costco again. They are dishonest and lazy.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s because the recommendation is every 6-8k miles for rotation. Anytime the tread difference is more than 3/32nd’s between the front and rears a rotation cannot be performed. Costco follows what Michelin’s policy on tire rotation says. Your lack of maintenance is what cost you, not Costco. You should always have the deeper tread tires on the rear anyways, per RMA, Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone, Safety First!

    • brad says:

      22.000 miles and you call THEM lazy? sheesh

  3. Nick in NC says:

    Costco is the best place to buy tires.

    I hit a nail and had to get it fixed. The little “plug fix’ doesn’t work worth anything, it does leak over time. Been there.
    I went to Midas and they charge $10 for a plug and $25 for a patch.
    The patch is the very best, it is a huge rubber layer that goes on the inside and bonds with the tire. Like the horrible blue jean patches from the 70′s.

    These are done FREE at Costco if you bought the tires from them.

    If you every drive to Lowe’s or Home Depot STAY AWAY from the drive under area, it is full of nails from macho guys and their trucks.

    Again, I buy from Costco and have always been totally satisfied. Our two cars and my parents bought there, did a trade up to a prius (love it) and getting new tires at Costco again… set #4. Did I mention fabulous.

  4. Nick in NC says:

    regarding Lee W;

    I find that as difficult to believe as it was to read.
    IF the tires were $700 then they must be for a huge monster truck.
    As I was waiting for mine ($510 with tax and stems etc. then less the $75). I walked around to see the different tires. The most expensive one I found was $149 each which would be $596.

    The price he quoted was most likely inflated as was the story he told.
    Maybe he will learn to spell. Everyone hits a typo once in awhile, but ‘balanced’ “warranty” repeatedly wrong several times… hummm. Does anyone believe that he can tell the difference between 4/32 and 8/32 nor less actually know how to read a measuring device?

    That tells a lot. Maybe he will shop at Wal-mart next time for tires, it would be closer to his trailer park anyway.

    • Julia in IL says:

      No need to be mean Nick.

    • danny says:

      I just had an estimate for my 2010 Rav 4 Sport v6 with 18 inch rims.

      Bridgestone tires were just under $800 with warranty, rotation, etc.
      This included the $70.00 rebate. Michelin actually were a little more.

      Because the sport has a tighter suspension , which I am told is due to compression of springs, 18 inch rims give standard height and more of a problem to find tires at Costco. Other rav 4 models have 16 and 17 inch rims which are easier to find, and cheaper.

      Also, as this car has appearance package, no spare, it had original run flats. Terrible tires, which I have found are a safety hazard on slick roads, snow covered. They tend to skid more easily than other tires. Thus getting rid of run flats, now need to load a spare in the rear compartment.

    • David says:

      My tires were replaced about 600 each and there are tires more expensive than mine. No monster truck, passenger car run flats.

  5. Nick in NC says:

    HOW TO GET 80K MILES FROM A 80K WARRANTY.

    1) ROTATE AS REQUIRED.
    2) BALANCE THEM
    3) ENSURE FRONT END ALIGNMENT IS CORRECT.
    . This will eat a tire in a few thousand miles.

    My first 80K tires lasted 76,490 miles and I changed them. They probably could have gone the extra 3500 but I was going on a trip and it was snow weather up north. Besides the sale was on that week.

  6. Anonymous says:

    our truck tires are old but have way under the 50000 miles for warranty but they are old. the tires are warping and out of round. they were bought in 2005 and costco will not prorate them they say ” the warranty means 5 years or 50000 miles.” no where on the contract does it say 5 years. to me this is an outrage milage is milage not years. Dont say miles if you mean years!!

  7. Winston says:

    DEFINITION OF A MORON: someone who drives around on flattish-tires, looking for a nitrogen equipped Costco. Alternate definition: dumb ash called Nitpicker.

  8. Vince in VA says:

    There is no Lifetime Warranty Replacement. Read your warranty, (printed on the back of your receipt) it is at this URL and it is 60 months.
    http://www.costco.com/Images/Content/Misc/PDF/TIRE.pdf.

  9. Boy Racer says:

    FYI on Nitrogen for your tires. 1) Yes it is a gimmick. 2) It’s okay to mix regular air and Nitrogen. 3) The real reason to use nitrogen is to limit the Delta(T)variable. IE expansion and contraction under HIGH temps. >>>>IE RACE TEMPS approaching vulcanization temps<<<< Thats why we use it on the track for RACE purposes I race cars an bikes there is a HUGE difference with Nitrogen. My grip on my bike is WAY more predictable at speeds, the same with my car. On the road at road speeds you won't notice.

    Long story short: don't pay extra and mix it up and keep your tires properly inflated ladies and gents!

    • travis says:

      The molecular size of nitrogen is physically larger than compressed “air” that we typically use. Therefore the tires stay inflated to the proper psi longer.
      Also as you stated, they are less susceptible to expansion and contraction. Generally netting you better traction and fuel mileage.

  10. Bill Carrick says:

    Does Costco cover the tire repair or replacement if there is not a Costco in the area?

  11. Victor says:

    Costco’s lifetime tire rotation and balancing is not lifetime, but only five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. I just brought my van in the get the free tire rotation and balancing and Costco refused to do it because I bought the tires more than five years ago. I hardly drive this van so the tires have almost no wear, so its not like the tires were worn out.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You CAN add regular air from any gas station to your tires from Costco with the green cap, get a life and learn the facts before writing wrong information.

  13. jeffbone says:

    Costco screwed me out of a $60 tire rebate, then refused to honor the “lifetime” balance and rotation. They claimed the car was misaligned even though our regular mechanic checked it out and pronounced it within specs.

    The couple of times I successfully took our other car in for the balance and rotation, we had to wait over an hour for the work to be completed — and this was a slow time in the middle of the week.

    Love Costco for groceries and electronics, but will never buy another set of tires there.

  14. Evan says:

    The main advantage of using nitrogen is that it leaks out slower than regular air…but this isn’t terribly important for most general purpose tires since most of them leak rather slowly in the first place. Nitrogen can be an advantage for people using specialty tires for things such as drag racing and off-road applications. Many “over-sized” tires can leak very quickly. One of the pro-street drag cars I worked on would go flat in the rear in a day, if not quicker. Slicks and E.T. Streets don’t hold air well at all…but then again they’re usually used at terribly low pressures anyway.

  15. Michael says:

    We bought new Michelin summer tires from Costco in Colchester VT and had them mount and balanced and put on the car. Then we drove to Boston. The good news is the car is an Audi so when the left front wheel fell off on the Mass Pike, the car was still manageable.

    The bad news is Costco said they are not responsible because they mounted the wheels correctly!

    Too bad. I guess we are not going to buy anything from Costco for our home or business or car any more. Until now, I liked Costco too.

  16. jack says:

    this is the stupid i have been trying to look for tires i dont even no if they have any this is so dumb just getting bounced around have not seen a single tire yet now this what a poop thank you for nothing

  17. JBO says:

    I would take all of my tire business to Costco if they weren’t so insistant about my having to replace all four tires on my my Toyota Sequoia when all I really need is just two. Their policy, which is not supported by Toyota, is that if there is less than 80% tread remaining on the two good tires that Costco will not sell just two tires. The research that I have done on this indicates that the tire diameter differential between the front and back axle is particularly important on AWD vehicles, but is not so important on 4WD vehicles. Big O Tires and Toyota themselves have no issue with selling and mounting just two tires even when the tires on the other axle have only 40% tread remaining.

  18. K says:

    I have gotten tires at two different Costcos and both times they broke a lug. First time they blames the car. The second I had to fill out a report and go get it fixed myself. Not really feeling like going there again for tires. Costs more time and effort to get the lugs fixed.

  19. ABen says:

    This article could not be further from the truth of how I have been dealt with by Costco. They refused to stand behind their warranty. Their customer service is combative at best, downright demeaning and insulting most of the time. This may be unique to the two Costco stores I have purchased tires from, but I doubt it. Costco simply doesn’t need to care because of the volume of customers it funnels through the store.

  20. Jim says:

    One of my 4 tires got damaged with its sidewall caused from hitting the curb. Does the Costco Warranty cover such damage? Thank you for your comments. – Jim

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have 4 new tires on my car at Costco one of the tire was making a loud noise they said it was not the tire that it was aligment i took it to tire plus they said it was the tire costco did not change that tire i’m never get any more tires from there until they hire employees that knows anything about tire they only know how to put them on and charge you.

  22. Drew says:

    Costco’s rotation policy encourages uneven wear of tires. On my CR-V, the better tires were on the front and they want to move them to the back… but that would only accelerate the unevenness of tire wear even more.

  23. Dave says:

    Don’t buy the nitrogen gimmick, because that’s what it is. Normal air is 4/5 nitrogen anyway, so a rough estimate is that leakage from your tire might be bettered by 20% or less. In street tires, which normally don’t leak very much, you’re not going to notice a difference. If you DO, you have a different problem.

  24. Matt says:

    Wife was backing out of the driveway and backed over some paverstone ripping a huge gash in the sidewall. The tire was completely f$&@ed! I took the tire off,brought it in to Costco and they ordered me a new tire free of charge. They put a spare on till the tire came in and easy peezy. Costco rocks! I know you’re paying for quality however I need a new set for my workvan and I don’t want to spend $700. I’m going to though. Hopefully I make it a habit to rotate often so as to get my money’s worth! Again, Costco rocks!


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