Buying Tires for VW Passat

Hello! I need new tires & want to make sure I am not getting taken advantage of. I am a single female & this is frustrating sometimes. So I am here to try to educate myself, do my due diligence & go back in having done my research.

I have a 2002 VW Passat 1.8T. I do not need performance tires. Middle of the road, good tire. Need to keep the cost down, as I do not make a lot of $, but I also want a decent quality tire. Middle of the road, not bottom of the barrel.

I am in Arizona & Discount Tire has been recommended to me by a few people. We also have Costco & Sam?s Club. I looked on line & all 3 places have different tires, so I could not compare Apples to Apples of the same tire. DT is rec. the Kuhmo Solus KR21. 195/65R/15 for $80. Guy says that is a really good mid-range tire. Their website gives it 5 stars. Sam?s club has a BF Goodrich Tour TA Pro Series 195/65R/15 for $62. Do I need 65M, or would say 50 be ok? They don?t really last 65k anyhow. Which tires should I get?

Not sure if need all 4 (they say I do), but would it be easier to just get all 4 so they can be rotated together, switched out together, etc? I did the penny check & it does look like they are all ready to be changed.

Issue #2 - I had an oil change at Firestone. They told me that I need work on the front right half shaft. I guess it?s the CV Boot? I wrote that down next to the invoice they gave me. The notes said ?remove & inspect or remove & replace axle assembly, one side.? How do I know if they are telling me the truth?

This is all very overwhelming to me, so I need some help. Thank you in advance!!

I have had great success with You simply plug in your info and you get a nice selection back plus you can see what others have purchased and said about them. Also Tirerack will ship the tires directly to a dealer/mechanic near you so they can be installed. I have done this with two different vehicles and received the tires the next day. Very simple. Hope this helps you in the right direction. I can’t be of any help to your second question. Sorry.

Thank you. I will check that website. I prefer to purchase & install them at one local, as I don’t have a private mechanic. But I will check around on that website. Thanks!

You’re welcome. One other thing I like about the site is they give you a list of preferred installer locations so you get a good price as well as a reputable place to have the work done. Good luck and let us know how you make out :slight_smile:

OK, I have 3 quotes & want to choose 1. I need to get this done.

Discount Tire, the Kumho Solus I posted above. 85k warranty. $80 each. All 4 installed, out the door for $412 total.

Costco: Michilan Pilot Exhalto AS. 45k warranty. All 4 intalled, out the door for $380.00

Sam’s Club: BF Goorich Touring Pros. 60 k warranty all 4 out the door, $350

None carry the same tires. Is the Kumho better because it has the 85 k warranty? I have never heard of that brand either.


I would go with the Kumho myself. On the site I mentioned earlier there is a kumho tire for $50 a piece (Solus KH16) and they get pretty good user reviews. Seriously, I would check them out…Order tonight, have them at your dealer (could be the Firestone you mentioned) by tomorrow or saturday and installed…that’s my two Lincoln’s worth…good luck!

Definitely not the Michelin. It is a high performance tire. The rubber compound is softer to make it sticky, which also results in shorter tire life. The BFG tires are not advertised on their web site. They are probably not manufactured anymore. I guess that leaves the Kumhos. They are a premium touring tire; you should be happy with them. And they should last a lot longer than the others, even if not 80,000 miles.

Thanks! I am not a member of Sams or Costco, so for the $50 membership, I can get the Kuhmo’s at Discount Tire for the same price.

Do I really need that good of a tire? Or can I go one step down? I do not need high peformance. I want middle of the road. Is the Kuhmo middle of the road or high performance?

I bought a pair of Kumho Solus tires earlier this year. My expert opinion? Yeah, they work. Waddya expect? They’re round and rubber. And black. It really does not pay to stress too much over tires. Either the Kumhos or the BFGs will serve you well.

Pay little attention to tire warranties. They are pro rata, the lawyers fill them with weasel words, they don’t warranty against road hazards. A 50K-mile warranty and a 200K-mile warranty are of about equal value.

Well then should I just go 1 step down to this?

Kumho Power Star 758
195/65R-15 91T BSW (33338)

$56, 50k

Or is it worth it to spend the $80 on the solus? I do not need high end peformance

I am sure that the website is great for ordering, but I don’t want to mess w/all that. I’d still have to pay for install, valves, etc. DT also has lifetime rotations, so that is nice.

I think you would do well with the 50K mileage ones at 56 dollars a piece. I mean how much mileage did you get out of the original tires? I don’t think you can go wrong with the website(tirerack) or the discount tire place. I think I should own stock in the website place, I really am a huge fan of them!

Read the tirerack reviews on the lower priced Kumho. Low prices tires that are awful. And apparently wear out quickly.

The Kumho Solus’s are a quality tire that is nearing a Michelin and Bridgestone (top tier) tire at about half the price. I would get those. Life is too short for crappy tires.

Is there a Sears store near you? One with an automotive division? If so, you’ll get a good deal on Kumho Solus HP4 716 - P195/65HR15 at $55. Those are the ones I recently bought. Sears is a good place to get your tires. But you should lean heavily toward a shop that offers free lifetimes balance & rotation – and take advantage!

“I had an oil change at Firestone. They told me that I need work on the front right half shaft. I guess it?s the CV Boot? I wrote that down next to the invoice they gave me. The notes said ?remove & inspect or remove & replace axle assembly, one side.? How do I know if they are telling me the truth?”

A “boot” is a rubber cover that protects the “constant velocity joint” from dirt and water. A CV joint is sort of like a flexible axle that connects the engine and transmission to a driving wheel. A front wheel drive car will have one for each front wheel.

It is not unusual for a boot to be ripped open by debris on the road or to simply get hard with age and crack open. Once it does that, the lubricant for the CV joint leaks out and dirt and water get in. If you catch it right away, you can get by with replacing just the boot. Usually, however, the CV joint has suffered enough damage that it needs to be replaced too.

Tire places are OK for tires. Some are good for suspension and brake work too. In my experience, they are not qualified very far beyond that. I think you need at least one more independent opinion. Since it’s a Passat, try a local VW dealer. They should be qualified and are not necessarily more expensive. For a third opinion, try a good independent shop that has experience with VWs. If you don’t know of one, ask car friends or check Car Talk’s Mechanix files.

Kumhos are respectable tires. I have them on two cars and prefer them to the Bridgestones I have driven. TireRack has an excellent reputation and their web site is a great research tool. If you still can’t decide, they have an 800 number and will answer questions and give advice. Since they sell many brands, you don’t have to worry about their recommending something simply because it’s what they sell even though it may not be the best for you.

The Kuho Solus is not a high performance tire, it is a pemium tire. You will bet better mileage and road hancling than with the lower priced model.

Thanks everone for your input. I had my mom’s boyfriend look at my tires & he says I only need rear’s, not all 4. I am going to get the Kuhmo’s, the model below the 80k. I don’t need that much of a tire. I did print off Sear’s price on the 80k (which is the same price as Discount Tire’s lower moded) to see if they will price match. Mom’s BF said to move the front tires to the rear & get new tires for the front.

CV Boot - he is going ot look at that tonight.

Oil Change - I got it at Firestone, but will not go there again. I don’t trust them. I was told by an ex-boyfriend to never go to Jiffy Lube or other monkey wrench places. The dealer is expensive. I will look on this site for mechanic referrals. I just moved back to AZ from Cali. I had a private mechanic there & need to find one here. Much cheaper than the dealer. I always get synthetic oil.

Do you guys agree about the Jiffy Lube type places?

Oil Change cont:

Do you guys agree about the Jiffy Lube type places? I mean, is an oil change an oil change, or is it worth it to go to a private mechanic or the dealer?


I thought there was a section here that rec. mechanics? Am I imagining things?

Nevermind—I found it!

I’ve bought tires at Sears several times. They have frequent sales. You’ll end up paying about the same as ordering through tirerack. Just say no to the extra road hazzard warranty and say no to the alignment if your tires are wearing evenly. Avoid Firestone like the plague. They’ll ‘Find’ at least 1k worth of work you ‘Need’ before they’ll put on the tires. Most tire stores and Sears don’t do much other mechanical work so there’s not much they can try to push on you. You have to factor in what each place charges for mounting & balancing also. And never use a quick lube. Do it yourself or find a good independent mechanic.