Recently my mechanic suggested I should replace the tires in my car. However, he was against buying the tires at Costco. He said the same Michelin tire sold at Costco will be lower quality then the one bought at the other more specialized place. Is this true?
I suppose only Michelin and Costco know for sure, but I am 99% sure that this is not true. I have been buying Michelin tires at Costco since it was called Price Club. I have gotten up to 90k miles out of them and I have never had a tire purchased at Costco fail.
Well, that is not quite true, I ran over a sharp piece of metal that cut a big gash in a Michelin XZX once about 15 years ago. Costco replaced it.
One thing I noticed about Costco - a year or so ago while I was waiting for my tires, I went down the rack looking at the country of origin on every tire. Every tire in the place was made in USA or Canada. With all the complaints I have read about tires of various brands that came from 3rd world countries, the “Made in USA” on Costco tires gives me a degree of confidence.
I would have no concern over Michelins bought at Costco. Likely they’re newer (a good thing), what with Costco’s fast inventory turnover.
If you’re looking to Costco because of their prices, many of us have found that your locally-owned independent tire dealer also has great prices (and great service). Costco is a popular place to buy tires, but don’t exclude seeing what local independents have to offer.
Assuming we’re talking about the exact same Michelin tire, no, it’s not true. The only difference is the price.
Only a few Michelin lines, like X Radial, are unique to wholesale clubs. Others are the same exact tire as the more expensive tire dealers sell (like LTX).
For years I bought my tires at BJ’s (just like Costco here in the North East). But the one near where I live now has Monroe Muffler/Brake and service running the tire place so I no longer buy my tires from there. Their tire prices are very difficult to beat. I found a local place who’s prices are very good…although BJ’s tires are a little better in price…but NOT worth the hassle dealing with Monroe Muffler.
Overall, BJ’s is just not a class act, when compared with Costco.
Before I terminated my BJ’s membership, every time I walked past their tire shop, I couldn’t help but notice that it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a few decades. If a shop can’t be bothered to keep its work area clean, that also tells me something about their attention to detail with their work, as well as the pride that they take in their work. And, as Mike noted, things definitely changed for the worse when BJ’s tire operation was sublet/outsourced/sold to Monro.
In addition, when I did price comparisons on groceries and electronics, BJ’s invariably came out higher-priced than Costco. The only advantage that I saw at BJ’s was that they had a much larger selection of imported cheeses than Costco. However, that one advantage was not enough to retain me as a BJ’s member.
I’d look at Costco if there was one near me. Closest one is in MA…Paying sales tax off-sets any savings there. The closest one in NH is about 25 miles away.
Costco also has a very good repair warranty on the tires they sell.
If the NAME on the Michelin tire is different at Costco than on the michelin website, then the tire really is different.
Goodyear does it, but I don’t know about Michelin’s policy of building different tires to meet the price demands of the retailer. ie; Goodyear does it for Walmart. You can NOT go to a Goodyear store/shop and buy a Goodyear ‘viva’ tire. It truly is a different, CHEAPER built, cheaper tire, hence it’s different name.
The clue to look for at costco and all the other big retailers, whichever brand you consider, will be the NAME of the TIRE, not just the brand name.
If you go to the Michelin site…you’ll see there are several tires they sell that are only sold to Costo, BJ’s and Sams Club. There are also specific tires they sell to Sears (like the Michelin XC LT4). Not sure if these tires are built any differently. They are just sold exclusively at these stores. That also doesn’t mean they don’t sell any of the OTHER tires. BJ’s sell ALL Michelin tires…NOT just the special ones. Same with Sears.
The key is to look at the ratings on the sides of the tire. Mileage, speed, tread classification (all season, winter, or cruising) load rating, etc. are the things to look at.
Michelin may sell a different model to Costco in order to meet their price demands, but that does not mean it’s an inferior tire. It may have a 40,000 mile wear rating instead of a 60,000 wear rating, or be a “V” speed rating instead of a “Z” speed rating. A michelin tire that meets you rcar’s needs is all you require. Your owner’s manual will give you this information. You need not spend extra at a shop if the Costco tires work for you.
I’ve attached a link to a site that decribes how to read the tire sidewalls.
www.carbibles.com. Visit there to learn what to look for.
Excellent point. Some manufacters do sell specific tires that you will only find a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club and nowhere else, to me this screams “This tire was built to a price.” I would be wary of buying such tires. However I’ve never noticed any such tires at Costco or BJ’s I could be wrong though, as I’ve only bought truck tires from either company and never really looked at what car tires they sell. I’ve bought a set of Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo’s from Costco (Excellent tire IMO) and a set of BFG All-Terrian KO’s from BJ’s (Also a very good tire). I did consider getting a set of Goodyear Wrangler AT/D’s from Sams, but I noticed that I had never seen those tires sold anywhere else before, did some research and found out that there were Walmart/Sams Club only tires. I decided to just by some Goodyear MT/Rs from Tire Rack instead.
VDC, your story about BJ’s reminds me of an old riddle about a town with two barbers. You have to choose between the two barbers. One barber has a great haircut and a clean shop. The other barber has a terrible haircut and a messy shop. I am sure you know the answer to the riddle. The point I am making is that maybe a messy shop isn’t always a sign of carelessness. Sometimes it is a sign that the shop is in high demand, although maybe that wasn’t the case with BJ’s. It is more likely they just didn’t want to pay for the labor to clean the shop, but you never really know.
Hey Mike! I live in Ma. There is a Costco in Nashua, I don’t buy my tires any other place. Service,and the exact same tire Michelin advertises on their site.
Bf Goodrich is another good tire at costco.
They beat Tire rack.
The one in Nashua is the closest one in NH to me…I live on the other side of Salem from there so it’s NOT easy to get to.
I only know about Michelin tires…Not sure about other companies…
I would be wary of buying such tires.
I wouldn’t…Not in the least…In fact I have and they were EXCELLENT tires. The reason the tires are so cheap NOT because they are made cheaply…but because the companies they are made for are GUARANTEEING they’ll buy a certain number of them every year. As with anything the more you buy the cheaper they are.
However I’ve never noticed any such tires at Costco or BJ’s I could be wrong though
Michelin has some tires they only sell to “Clubs” (Sams Club, BJ’s, Costco). The X-Radial-Lt is called a Club-Exclusive tire…Only sold at Sams, BJ’s and Costco).