Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

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kjvmartin
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Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by kjvmartin »

I'm a Costco fanatic, but till recently I was also a Discount Tire customer for about 16 years. Costco lured me away from Discount Tire with a great special right at the time I was due to replace my last set of tires. I saved about $120 and enjoyed browsing Costco during the hour it took them to do the installation. It's generally the same product and services offered at Discount Tire with free air checks, rotations, balances, and warranty.

They put a sticker on my window to come back at 83,000 miles for the first rotation. I had the day off last Friday so the wife, kid, and I decided to go do our shopping while the tires were rotated. I was at exactly 83,000 miles on the tires. I was quoted a FOUR hour wait time for the tire rotation. I asked to make an appointment for Saturday and was told appointments are only available Monday-Friday from 1p.m. to 4p.m, and the first open appointment wasn't until August. Fine, I thought, I'll go back Saturday earlier and drop off the car. I tried calling ahead of time to check, but no one answered the phone after several attempts. My wife followed me to Costco and I was told they were not taking any additional tire rotations that day. This was at about lunch time. The salesman advised that people tend to camp outside the door before they open and my best chance of getting things done was to arrive 30-45 minutes before the store opens on a weekday, which is not feasible for me.

So, having spoken to the manager, they later left me a voicemail with a 9a.m. Saturday appointment which was a time of their choosing, not mine.

Anyone else had issues dealing with Costco Tires or is this unique to my local store?

kjv
Jags4186
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Jags4186 »

Just because something is free doesn't mean it's worth it.

Just go pay someone $25 to rotate your tires on your schedule.
SuperGrafx
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by SuperGrafx »

Yet another reason why I find Costco to be overrated in every respect.
Big Dog
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Big Dog »

Been a long-time Costco tire buyer, but yes that is the experience.

For the 'free' rotation and balance, I usually get to my local store at the opening time (Saturday or Sunday) and its usually a ~3 hour time slot for completion. Fortunately, its not far from the house, so I jog home after drop off and have the wife take me back in the pm to pick up the car.

Personally, I find it worth the hassle, since it really isn't in my situation.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by BobDaBlob »

FWIW, I've had similar experience at Sam's...and finally let my membership lapse last year after realizing the main driver for keeping it was Tires...and junk food...my local does not sell wine :annoyed
And yeah, DW would go about 1/2 hour before they opened on a weekday...
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tyrion
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by tyrion »

It can be busy. I usually line up about 15 minutes before it opens on the weekend, or pay the extra $10 to have the tires rotated when I get the oil changed.

My Costco opens at 9:30 on Saturday. Sounds like they are trying to do you a favor and let you jump the weekend line.
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Youngblood
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Youngblood »

Yes, after purchasing a set of four tires it was almost four hours before they were mounted and ready to go.

Last week I had my first tire rotation and dreaded going in even after making an appointment. This time, I only had to wait an hour and a half.

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sport
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by sport »

Apparently, some Costco stores are busier than others. The store near us is very busy, but not that busy. Of course, it is easier to get in on weekdays rather than weekends. If there is another Costco store in your area, you might inquire to see if they are also as busy as the one you are trying to get into.
fareastwarriors
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by fareastwarriors »

The Costco's in my area are really busy. I usually expect at least 2 hours wait. Often times I go when they just open and the wait is only an hour or so.
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Topic Author
kjvmartin
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by kjvmartin »

Interesting.

When I bought the tires, it was simple and rather quick. I ordered them, they arrived the next day, they called me in, and they were installed within an hour. I had no idea that was an abnormally quick install. Discount Tire generally had me in and out inside of 30 minutes for my free tire rotation, and they're usually running very busy operation too.

I realize I can get this cheaply during my scheduled oil change, but the tires and oil are on vastly different schedules right now. I'm a few thousand miles away from the oil change. I could make a special trip to the shop just for the rotation, I suppose. Also, part of the "package" I paid for at Costco includes this benefit, so I feel somewhat cheated that they don't adequately staff to provide it. It's not unreasonable to expect an hour or so wait for a job like this.

kjv
spencnor
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by spencnor »

I used to buy all my tires at Costco. Like your experience, I got tired of trying to work around their busy schedule. I didn't want to be inconvienenced by trying to be the first in the morning line up of others buying tires. I now buy at America's Tires. Their prices are comparable. I've had nothing but good experiences with them thus far. I go online and schedule my appointment, show up at the appointed time, and generally wait no more than 45 minutes and I'm out. :D
Last edited by spencnor on Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cindyjrn
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Cindyjrn »

You know if you can use a lug wrench and a jack you can rotate your own tires for free.
hirlaw
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by hirlaw »

Jags4186 wrote:Just because something is free doesn't mean it's worth it.

Just go pay someone $25 to rotate your tires on your schedule.
+1 One reason that I have bought tires at Costco is the free road hazard warranty -- but the long expected wait has dissuaded me from going back to have the tires rotated.
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by CedarWaxWing »

Cindyjrn wrote:You know if you can use a lug wrench and a jack you can rotate your own tires for free.
I used to have my boys do this once or twice... as part of their driver's license education... They seemed to enjoy the first time changing tires... but after two times I felt they were educated.

M
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munemaker
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by munemaker »

The thing about free stuff is it can draw a crowd.
tomd37
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by tomd37 »

My Costco automotive only has 4 or 5 (cannot remember) service bays so their tire service abilities are limited. Although I have purchased the last set of tires for our two cars from Costco, I do not go back for rotation and balancing. I can get both done for $40 by my local repair and maintenance shop who actually will bring me home after dropping the car off and will come and get me, if desired, to pick up the car. I time the tire rotation/balancing to my 5K oil change so it is all done in one visit. Also Costco does not do alignment so that is yet another reason to use my independent shop. We only put 5K miles on each car annually.

Discount Tire is across the street from Costco but they too are very busy. They do have at least twice the number of service bays but do many other services as well. Tire prices are very competitive with Costco.
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keystone
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by keystone »

I buy tires from Costco and am very happy doing it. However, like other posters I prefer to pay my mechanic $25 for tire rotation when I get my oil changed because it's a given that Costco will take several hours and it's not worth my time.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Yet another reason I do all my own work on my car. Turn on the compressor and unwind the hose to get the lugnuts off with the air wrench. Do whatever needs to be done, put stuff away. I don't rotate except for winter/summer/winter changeovers but that's all of 20 minutes with one of my kids helping to get tires in/out of the shed.
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William4u
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by William4u »

I rotate my own tires, but I do not balance them (balancing machines are a little expensive at $2500). I get mine balanced about once a year at Sams, and it is usually an hour or two. I take some reading and go next door to a coffee shop.
curmudgeon
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by curmudgeon »

Costcos in my area (there are three that are reasonably convenient to get to in the course of a week) normally have pretty long waits for tire service. I've bought our tires there for many years, because the combination of price, service, and nationwide reach was attractive. The time factor is getting to the point where I may consider other options. I also rarely buy gas at Costco these days because the lines are too long.

My cars aren't hard on tires, so I don't bother with 5K rotation; instead I do more like 8-12K rotation and am still getting good life out of the tires (60K plus on recent Michelins). My wife doesn't have a work schedule, so it's a bit easier for her to find a less busy slot for the rotations.
quantAndHold
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by quantAndHold »

People rotate their tires?

The only time in 30 years I ever found that my tires actually wore unevenly was when my alignment was off. And then no amount of rotation was going to save them.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Afty
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Afty »

FYI Discount Tire will rotate tires even if you didn't buy them there. But I've found that they have a better selection and comparable prices to Costco anyway.
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Pete12
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Pete12 »

+1 here. I have arrived 30 minutes before opening on a Sunday morning, had 10 people in front of me then waited 3 hours before they got to my car... I think they are a victim of their own success...
barnaclebob
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by barnaclebob »

I guess I'll be sticking with discount tire. I rotate the tires myself every other oil change so I only need Discount tire for the free balancing and road hazard warranty.

You can probably get away with rotating every 10-15k instead of every 5. Midas will also rotate for free with an oil change if you ask them to. It also allows them to do a brake inspection in the hope that you need brake work done.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by stoptothink »

Afty wrote:FYI Discount Tire will rotate tires even if you didn't buy them there. But I've found that they have a better selection and comparable prices to Costco anyway.
I don't know what their company policy is, but my local Walmart does the same for free, simply because I am in their system as having bought tires and gotten an oil change there before. We get our snow and summer wheels/tires (neither of which were purchased there) switched twice a year and have never paid a penny.

There are countless options that are more convenient than Costco and free (or close to it).
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by alfaspider »

quantAndHold wrote:People rotate their tires?

The only time in 30 years I ever found that my tires actually wore unevenly was when my alignment was off. And then no amount of rotation was going to save them.
If you aren't driving an AWD vehicle with a 50/50 torque distribution, your drive wheels are going to wear more than the non-drive wheels. Even more so if you have a high performance car and use that performance on occasion.

As far as rotations: instead of spending $25 a pop, why not spend $100 for the appropriate tools (jack, jackstands, tire iron, torque wrench) and do it yourself? I can rotate my tires faster than I can drive to the shop and back. I do cheat a little with my impact wrench though :mrgreen:
Tal-
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Tal- »

There are very few companies that I'm truly loyal to, and Les Schwab is one of them. I know that I pay more every time that buy tires, but I also know that I'm paying for convenience and ongoing support.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by quantAndHold »

alfaspider wrote:
quantAndHold wrote:People rotate their tires?

The only time in 30 years I ever found that my tires actually wore unevenly was when my alignment was off. And then no amount of rotation was going to save them.
If you aren't driving an AWD vehicle with a 50/50 torque distribution, your drive wheels are going to wear more than the non-drive wheels.
While that might technically be true, I haven't found that the difference in wear between front and back is enough to be worth the bother.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by sport »

quantAndHold wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
quantAndHold wrote:People rotate their tires?

The only time in 30 years I ever found that my tires actually wore unevenly was when my alignment was off. And then no amount of rotation was going to save them.
If you aren't driving an AWD vehicle with a 50/50 torque distribution, your drive wheels are going to wear more than the non-drive wheels.
While that might technically be true, I haven't found that the difference in wear between front and back is enough to be worth the bother.
I think there may be more difference with front wheel drive cars. It just happens that I recently bought a tread gage and measured the tread on my Camry. It was 5/32 on the front and 7/32 on the rear tires. So, I paid $16 to have them rotated. To me, it is worth that cost.
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RyeWhiskey
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by RyeWhiskey »

Make an appointment. Anytime you walk into Costco tires without one you will wait hours; just my experience. :beer
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by StevieG72 »

I get my tires at Sam's which includes free rotation balancing etc. I think I may have used this service twice, I usually get them rotated at the same time as an oil change.

I agree with previous poster, sometimes free is not worth the hassle.
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JPH
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by JPH »

Thanks for this information. I currently need new tires and was thinking of trying Costco. Now I'll stick with Discount Tires. I've never had anything but great service at Discount Tires and never more than a very reasonable wait for rotation and balancing.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by tibbitts »

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Yet another reason I do all my own work on my car. Turn on the compressor and unwind the hose to get the lugnuts off with the air wrench. Do whatever needs to be done, put stuff away. I don't rotate except for winter/summer/winter changeovers but that's all of 20 minutes with one of my kids helping to get tires in/out of the shed.
Yes but those who aren't familiar with the process should be aware that you may need a serious compressor and impact wrench to break lug nuts free. It's easy to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for d-i-y infrastructure, so it has to be a hobby, not something you do to save money. Many people in this d-i-y situation will break loose and final-tighten by had to avoid wear and tear on the lug nuts, and then just use a gentler tool to run the nuts off/on.
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HueyLD
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by HueyLD »

The Costco in my area opens at 9 a.m. on Tue. And Thu. and it is very easy to get tires rotated and/or balanced on those days.
haystd
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by haystd »

I had the same problem with both Costco and Sams before discovering the local independent was cheaper, quicker, and takes appointments. Perhaps check some local tire stores.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by workingovertime »

I bought my last set of new tires from Discount Tires. I suppose it varies by locations, but the one I have visited several times for free rotations and nail removal, it was all relatively fast and had excellent customer service. It is a a busy location too, but I find that they always have many appointments open when I look online and they seemed to have completed the job each time under an hour.

I'm due for a new tires again and for this exact reason, I'm leaning towards buying from the again, even if it costs a bit more than places like Costco or Sam's.
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William4u
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by William4u »

haystd wrote:I had the same problem with both Costco and Sams before discovering the local independent was cheaper, quicker, and takes appointments. Perhaps check some local tire stores.
Balancing and rotating cheaper? Local independents often rotate for free, since it takes no time or equipment, but balancing takes time. Only Sams and Cosco give free lifetime balancing and rotating around here. It saves us about $50/year, which adds up over time.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by tacster »

quantAndHold wrote:People rotate their tires?

The only time in 30 years I ever found that my tires actually wore unevenly was when my alignment was off. And then no amount of rotation was going to save them.
+1
This thread motivated me to go out and measure the tread on my pickup tires. They have about 55,000 miles and have never been rotated. Turns out the tread depth is the same on all of them - 7/32. Of course I don't go around doing a lot of hard accelerations, if so obviously the rear tires are going to wear down faster.
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kjvmartin
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by kjvmartin »

RyeWhiskey wrote:Make an appointment. Anytime you walk into Costco tires without one you will wait hours; just my experience. :beer
They take appointments Monday thru Friday from 1pm to 4pm. The next available appointment is in August.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by tomd37 »

Costco service will vary from location to location, depending on consumer demand, size of tire service facility, established store policies, etc. I believe each store will vary and valid comparisons cannot be made online.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by itstoomuch »

My local Les Schwab sometimes have a wait time. I try to avoid Saturdays for any tire work. The tire shops are only trying to maximize labor and profits. New tires make money. Tire rotations do not directly make money
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Cindyjrn »

tibbitts wrote:
Jack FFR1846 wrote:Yet another reason I do all my own work on my car. Turn on the compressor and unwind the hose to get the lugnuts off with the air wrench. Do whatever needs to be done, put stuff away. I don't rotate except for winter/summer/winter changeovers but that's all of 20 minutes with one of my kids helping to get tires in/out of the shed.
Yes but those who aren't familiar with the process should be aware that you may need a serious compressor and impact wrench to break lug nuts free. It's easy to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for d-i-y infrastructure, so it has to be a hobby, not something you do to save money. Many people in this d-i-y situation will break loose and final-tighten by had to avoid wear and tear on the lug nuts, and then just use a gentler tool to run the nuts off/on.
While it's nice to have a compressor and/or a DIY infrastructure, it's certainly not necessary to have those things to rotate your tires. Using the spare, you can do it with a lug wrench, a torque wrench and a single jack.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by haystd »

William4u wrote:Balancing and rotating cheaper? Local independents often rotate for free, since it takes no time or equipment, but balancing takes time. Only Sams and Cosco give free lifetime balancing and rotating around here. It saves us about $50/year, which adds up over time.
Good point, I typically only need a rotation. The surprising thing to me was that the tire prices themselves were quite reasonable at the independents.
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munemaker
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by munemaker »

William4u wrote:
haystd wrote:I had the same problem with both Costco and Sams before discovering the local independent was cheaper, quicker, and takes appointments. Perhaps check some local tire stores.
Balancing and rotating cheaper? Local independents often rotate for free, since it takes no time or equipment, but balancing takes time. Only Sams and Cosco give free lifetime balancing and rotating around here. It saves us about $50/year, which adds up over time.


Wal*Mart does as well. I buy my tires from TireRack.com and have Wal*Mart install them. Then I get the free lifetime rotation and balancing (and flat fixing).
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by lazydavid »

sport wrote:I think there may be more difference with front wheel drive cars. It just happens that I recently bought a tread gage and measured the tread on my Camry. It was 5/32 on the front and 7/32 on the rear tires. So, I paid $16 to have them rotated. To me, it is worth that cost.
Rotating is definitely most critical on FWD cars, because they are responsible for all of the acceleration, 80-90% of the braking, and 70-80% of the cornering loads, in addition to carrying more weight since FWD cars tend to be more front-heavy than others. Rear tires don't really do much, so they don't wear quickly. This shifts somewhat in AWD, as the rear tires have a bit more work to do, but the fronts will still wear faster. Just not to the extreme degree often seen with FWD.

Depending on the design and driving style, RWD cars may not need to rotate at all. In fact, BMW prohibits rotating front-to-rear on many of their models, because the suspension geometry is different. And of course, many have staggered wheels/tires so rotating is actually impossible. But both times I replaced the tires on my E46, all 4 were equally worn. And both sets of tires on my E90 (one staggered, one square) appear to be wearing at the same rate.
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Rob54keep
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Rob54keep »

Even at Discount Tires, I usually have to wait 30 min to 1.5 hrs. for a rotation. Depends on the day and how busy they are.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by Non7WoodUser »

Costco seems to lack basic common courtesy when it comes to customer service.
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by lazydavid »

tibbitts wrote:
Jack FFR1846 wrote:Yet another reason I do all my own work on my car. Turn on the compressor and unwind the hose to get the lugnuts off with the air wrench. Do whatever needs to be done, put stuff away. I don't rotate except for winter/summer/winter changeovers but that's all of 20 minutes with one of my kids helping to get tires in/out of the shed.
Yes but those who aren't familiar with the process should be aware that you may need a serious compressor and impact wrench to break lug nuts free. It's easy to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for d-i-y infrastructure, so it has to be a hobby, not something you do to save money. Many people in this d-i-y situation will break loose and final-tighten by had to avoid wear and tear on the lug nuts, and then just use a gentler tool to run the nuts off/on.
No need to spend thousands or heaven-forbid, tens of thousands on a compressor and impact wrench. And you really only need massive torque the very first time you do it, to free the lugs put on by the shop gorilla who tightened them to 4x the factory spec with an unrestricted impact gun. When they're tightened properly--as you or say, Costco, would do it--they come off pretty easy even with a low-end impact.

Impact wrenches do not consume a high volume of air--about 4cfm, the same as a framing nailer--and can therefore run on any compressor, even the little pancake ones that contractors use, or the small torpedo ones aimed at homeowners. Either is trivially easy to find for $100-200. And if the impact wrench is your only use for the air, just skip the compressor entirely and get an electric impact gun. But a compressor is nice to have around for other reasons, like adjusting tire pressure, inflating kids toys, and other things. I choose to have a large one--a 230V oil-lube pump that puts out 18 scfm and has a 60-gallon tank--because I do regularly use some high-volume tools like air ratchets, grinders, and cutoff wheels. But even that was only about $800, and is WAY overkill for 95% of homeowners.

For those that do decide to go this route, I highly recommend looking into a set of torque limiters, such as these, which also come with sockets for all the common lug sizes, plastic-sheathed to prevent scuffing your wheels. I've tested mine several times, and they're within 1 lbft of my calibrated torque wrench, so I no longer even bother with the torque wrench. Just grab the appropriate stick, and tighten the lugs all the way with the impact gun. Correct torque every time, without having to switch tools. Just don't use them when removing the lugs, or you'll be there for a while :mrgreen:
BabyRN
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Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Post by BabyRN »

I see someone wrote that Walmart installs their Tire Rack purchased tires. When I went to the Tire Rack site Walmart did not come up as an installer.Does anyone know if all Walmarts will install Tire Rack tires? Thought that going the Wal Mart route might be smart compared to the local choice because of future moves and there are a lot more Wvmarts than Costcos.
.Although to be honest I don't understand why Walmart would balance and rotate tires for free when you haven't purchased them there. Do they find that people will go and shop while waiting and that offsets them paying someone to do a free service?
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