If you have ever had to replace a car tire – or worse, all four at once – you know it can be an extremely expensive and aggravating experience.
Thankfully, Costco is known for providing excellent customer service that makes shoppers happy, and the company has extended that experience into auto care, including tire installation and servicing.
Curious about how it works? If so, here are 15 things to know before visiting the Costco Tire Center!
15 Things to Know Before Visiting the Costco Tire Center In [currentyear]
1. You Must Be a Member to Utilize the Costco Tire Center
First things first: While non-members can purchase some items from Costco.com, they do not have access to the Costco Tire Center, either tire ordering or installation.
So, in order to receive the full Costco Tire Center experience, you must have at least the $60 Gold Star membership or the $120 Executive membership.
2. Check the Website to See if Your Store Has a Costco Tire Center
Before you get excited about the tire selection and low installation cost, you will also want to make sure that your Costco has a tire center. Not every Costco warehouse does, but it’s easy enough to check.
On the Costco.com homepage, navigate to the blue menu bar where it says “Locations” (at the top, far right side).
Click on that, enter your ZIP and your results will appear in order of distance.
If you see a little tire symbol under the store listing, that location has a Tire Center.
3. It’s Easy to Order Tires and Make an Appointment at the Costco Tire Center
While you can’t order sheet cakes online at Costco, the company does offer online ordering and appointment settings for the Tire Centers.
You can access this convenient service at tires.costco.com/home, where you will use your usual Costco.com account to log in and make the purchase.
The site has you start out by entering your vehicle information or license plate number, or you can search for matching tires by size or item number.
On the results page, you’ll see all the tires that match your vehicle with details, prices, and even any applicable deals running (ex. “Save $150 on a set of 4 w/install”).
You will also see the available manufacturer’s warranty, which is separate from the Costco Tire Center warranty.
Once you choose the tires you want, you proceed to checkout and review the additional charges, including the tire installation fee, any state tire fees, and the TPMS service pack.
Double check that you have chosen the correct Tire Center – that’s where your tires are going to be shipped and where you’ll have to go to have them installed.
After you check out, you will navigate to the separate CostcoTireAppointments.com site, where you will also have to create an account if it’s your first time.
This account is separate from your Costco.com account, but you can use the same information if it’s easier to remember. Next, pick a date that works for you, and you’re set!
4. The Costco Tire Center Offers Great Low Prices (But Not Necessarily the Lowest)
Clark.com remarks that Consumer Reports found Costco has competitive pricing on tires, but they are not always the cheapest option.
However, one area where they can’t be beaten is installation, as the retailer only charges $18.99 per tire to perform this service.
As well, Costco occasionally runs a deal to get people in the door of its centers.
You pay for the tires, and Costco will install them for only one cent per tire!
5. Find the Best Brands at Your Costco Tire Center
While Costco does not extend their Kirkland Signature branding to tires, they do sell three big, recognizable brand names in the tire world, including Bridgestone, Michelin, and BFGoodrich.
6. Time Your Trip to the Costco Tire Center Right, and You Could Save Even More
You’re more likely to get the best price on Costco tires if you can wait for the retailer to run a discount or deal, which it may do several times a year.
You might also see an end-of-year event, where Costco takes a certain amount off the price of four new tires.
7. The Costco Tire Center Experience is Efficient
Efficiency is how Costco manages to sell goods for such low prices, and the company doesn’t skimp on its Tire Centers, either.
The online ordering and appointment booking option really helps, so take advantage of it.
That way, your tires are ready and waiting for you when you walk into the Tire Center.
Finally, you can also obtain walk-in services, but just know that you will be at the mercy of how busy the store is that day.
8. The Costco Tire Center Does Not Perform Alignments
Costco’s Tire Centers don’t perform alignments after installing tires. Alignments are important because they ensure your tires are hitting the pavement in the most efficient manner.
If you want a tire alignment, you’ll have to schedule it with another service.
9. Tires Sold By the Costco Tire Center are Covered By Warranties
There are typically two warranties that Costco tires come with. The first is the manufacturer’s, which is usually a set amount of miles, and the second is Costco’s.
Costco’s Road Hazard Warranty is good for five years and covers tread wear, damage to the tires, and failure by the tires (you can read the entire warranty conditions here).
10. You Get So Much More Than Just Rubber at the Costco Tire Center
Costco Tire Centers really go above and beyond just installing tires for customers. When you buy your tires and have them installed via the Costco Tire Center, you also get free maintenance for those tires for life!
That includes pressure checks, balancing, rotations, and repairs on flats, all for free, all for the lifetime of the tire.
11. There are Some Vehicles the Costco Tire Center Does Not Service
Costco Tire Centers do not service all vehicle types (though they do cover most cars and trucks).
Some tires they cannot service include: golf carts and ATVs, UTVs for street applications, and trailer tires that don’t match the one needing to be changed.
12. You Must Purchase Tires From Costco to Have the Costco Tire Center Install Them
Further, Costco will not install any tires that haven’t been purchased through the Costco Tire Center or Costco.com.
Unfortunately, if you got a great deal on tires at some retailer online, you can’t bring them into the Costco Tire Center to have them complete the installation.
13. Some Find the Costco Tire Center Worth the Price of Membership Alone
When someone asked on Quora if other users found the Costco Tire Center worth the price of a Costco membership on its own, they received quite a few positive responses.
One commenter said, “It is definitely worth it…,” while another remarked, “YES…no disposal fees. No valve fees. Free rotations. I think it’s definitely worth it.”
If the siren call of giant hot dogs and cheap French vodka isn’t enough for you to get a membership, let the Costco Tire Center be your entrée.
14. Once Submitted, Your Order at the Costco Tire Center Can’t Be Cancelled
Once you have submitted your tire order through Costco, there is no cancellation process.
Therefore, be sure that what you’re ordering is exactly what you want. However, if you have accidentally ordered the wrong tires, read on for what you can do about it.
15. You Can Come Into Your Costco Tire Center for a Refund
While you can’t cancel your Costco Tire Center order, you can still get your money back.
Once the tires come into the Tire Center, you’ll have to pay the service desk a visit. Explain what happened and bring your receipt, and they will issue you a refund.
Afterward, you can place another order with the correct tires and begin the process anew.
The Costco Tire Center is a convenient and affordable servicer for your auto needs, with some people claiming that its services are worth the price of a Costco membership alone.
With brand name tires and easy online ordering/appointment booking, Costco helps make a normally painful process hurt a bit less.