Cars are expensive to own. Not only do we have to concern ourselves with the monthly payment. We also have to be able to afford the normal maintenance that each car requires. From air filter changes to tire rotations, vehicles need a lot of attention. Costco offers great deals on just about everything, but what about maintenance for your vehicle. Would you believe that you can get free tire rotations at Costco? Now there are some things you need to know before running over to your nearest Costco. So keep reading.

So, How Do You Get A  Free Tire Rotation at Costco?

First, Let’s answer the burning question. Yes, Costco does perform free tire rotations.

However, there are two criteria you must meet in order to get a free tire rotations at Costco.

First, you must be a Costco Wholesale member.

Second, in order to receive free tire rotations, you must buy your tires from Costco.

This is because their tire prices include an installation charge of $18.99 per-tire. This includes mounting, lifetime balancing, rotation, flat repair, and air pressure checks. It also includes a new rubber valve stem, and Costco’s Road Hazard Warranty.

Drawbacks of Free Tire Rotations at Costco

While Costco does perform free tire rotations, reviews on the services have not been stellar. According hundreds of reviews on ConsumerAffairs, Costco Tire Centers only have a rating of 1.5 stars out of a possible 5.

For example, a review from this user reported a common complaint of slow service:

Terrible! The Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin location is slow as can be. We purchased 4 tires online and expected tire professionals to be able to simply install them. They told us that there was a 3-4 hour backlog. I’m here checking in after 5 1/2 hours and they say it’s still 30 to 40 mins. What a joke. Never. Never again. They need to hire professionals that can work at a decent pace. Not these lowly paid kids that have no idea what they’re doing. The inconvenience is not worth the money saved. Never again. Costco is a joke! – Paschen of Kenosha, Wisconsin

Another common complaint is general carelessness, or harm that was done to vehicles while receiving a tire rotation. Many consumers, like this one who shared a review on Yelp, commented at the poor level of customer service and difficulty to reach anyone when calling the Costco Tire Centers.

Costco has the best prices on tires. Sadly, the customer service at this Center is not good. The poor installers also have to handle the front end so they take a long time to handle the influx of customers checking in in addition to changing tires. Also, 2 of my tires had large green spots of paint on them and a lot of lube left around the tires.

Also, I tried calling multiple times with no answer or being hung up on. They even answered once, put me on hold for 5 minutes, then I got hung up on. As a whole, I’d say try a different Costco Tire Center. – Kelly R. of Mission Viejo, California

Benefits of  Free Tire Rotations at Costco

The biggest benefit of Costco tire rotations is the price. Tire rotations are free if you purchase tires through Costco. Consumers report that they are often able to score the best deals on tires through Costco Tire Centers. The affordability of the tires plus the additional services offered through Costco Tire Centers may be worth it to some people, such as the individual who left the following 5-star review on ConsumerAffairs:

Ordered 4 90,000 mile tires online with delivery to local Costco and installation. Excellent price – about $40 lower per tire including savings from installation less than Sears. Installation cost was $15 per tire. This included mounting on rims, balancing, old tire disposal fee, road hazard ins, flat repair for 5 years. Lifetime rotation and pressure check, and nitrogen top off. The only disappointment was that they had no appointments available. I showed up just before opening time, but tire department was already open. There were 3 cars ahead of me. I asked how long was the wait. She said 1 hour to 1 1/4 hr. At one hour 16 min, the car was ready to go. Everybody working there were excellent in customer service. Will buy next time at Costco again for sure. –Charles of Lorton, Virginia

So yes, you can get free tire rotations at Costco if you have a Costco membership and purchased your tires through their Tire Centers. If you use them for this service, don’t forget about all the other maintenance that your car requires. Take great care of your car and it will take care of you.

If you need a tire rotation and don’t have a Costco membership or purchased tires through their tire center, then there are other options. See if the business where you purchased your tires offers free tire rotations. Many do like Pep Boys, Sam Club’s and Discount Tires. You can also use services like Groupon to get great deals on tire rotations, although they may not be free they will be cheaper and normally come with an oil change.

Other Free Tire Services at Costco

As mentioned above, Costco tires come with many other free benefits. Let’s break down the lifetime benefits that come along with the free rotations:

Tire Balancing

Balancing is a great service to offer that not many know about. This process ensures that each wheel-and-tire is of equal weight to the other three. If this isn’t done, tires can wear unevenly, causing more frequent replacements and a rougher ride. Utilizing this free service will make sure you get the most out of your tires.

Flat Repair

This is a much better-known term. Basically, if your tire falls victim to a puncture, or very small breach in the rubber, it can typically be repaired. This usually costs anywhere from $20-40. Costco, however, will do this for you for free. Just make sure you don’t drive the car on a flat, or use chemical sealant on it. Both of these interventions can make it more difficult to fix the tire, or even ruin it completely.

Air Pressure Checks

Air pressure is very important, but this benefit really isn’t. You can check your air pressure for free at most gas stations, and can usually find an electric air pressure measurement tool at AutoZone or on Amazon for around $10.

Have you gotten  free  tire rotations at Costco? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

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