Costco’s Tire Centers
save members money,
By Will Fifield
THE ONLY DRAWBACKS I’ve found to having a go-anywhere, do-anything truck is that
the more you go and do, the more rubber you
chew up. And, regardless of where you buy
them, new tires are costly. However, when it’s
time for new tires, Costco Tire Centers offer
premium tires and expert installation at an
To prove it, I priced new tires for my 2000
Ford F150 pickup at Costco, as well as at
Costco’s closest competitors. The results show
that there’s a lot more to the true cost of buying
tires than the sticker price.
tires. I am, however, interested in finding the
best value I can on premium-quality tires.
“Buying the right size of tires for your car
is key,” says Kevin Lutz, manager of Michelin’s
North American customer engineering support. “Costco tire technicians will make sure
that members buy the right tires for their
vehicles because they check the OEM [origi-nal equipment manufacturer] specs for each
vehicle that comes through the Tire Center.”
Every Tire Center employee is a Michelin-certified tire technician. They install tires with
state-of-the-industry equipment using a
10-point procedure that must be checked and
approved by a manager or supervisor before a
vehicle can leave the shop.
Lutz notes that if you’re buying tires for a
used vehicle for the first time, it’s never a good
idea to simply replace the tires that are on the
vehicle with tires that are the same size,
because the previous owner, whether intentionally or mistakenly, may have installed tires
that weren’t designed for the vehicle.
I liked the set of Michelin LTX MS2s that
the tire technician at the Issaquah Costco Tire
Center recommended. They had two models
that fit my vehicle’s OEM specifications in
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78 ;e Costco Connection APRIL 2013
I started comparison shopping at the
Costco Tire Center in Issaquah, Washington.
Costco Tire Centers carry only premium-
brand tires, such as Michelin and Bridgestone,
which are, according to Costco assistant buyer
Justin Blackhurst, the two leading tire brands
globally. Most competitors offer more brands
at various levels of quality and price, but, since
my truck will hurtle down highways at 60
miles per hour or more, often in adverse
weather conditions, often carrying family or
friends, I am not interested in lesser-quality
stock, and I was quoted $183.99 per tire for the
LTX MS2s, with an installed, out-the-door
price of $875.58, before applying the $70 sav-
ings coupon that was running that week.
Costco offers similar coupon promotions
several times a year; they are issued as a cash
credit at the time of purchase rather than a
mail-in coupon, which is what most other tire
retailers who run such promotions offer. The
total with the coupon was $805.58.