Costco Tyres - rip off?

#22
With the majority of cars being front wheel drive these days, the best tyres should go on the back.

Having less grip on the front means under steer, which is fairly benign and anybody can cope with it. Most people will naturally apply more lock and slow down, although that isn't always the best thing to do.

If the best grip is on the front, that will cause oversteer, or can be caused by lifting off the throttle mid corner. An over steering car needs more talent to save it!

When racing touring cars switched to FWD, the fastest technique for cornering was an abrupt lift off to get the back hanging out, then balance the slide by applying too much power to the front wheels, thereby getting maximum acceleration out of the corner.


A couple of years ago, I was towing a camping trailer with my A6 Avant, four up, kayaks on the roof. We had a rear offside blowout at about 60mph on the M5. Although I felt it go, I genuinely thought it was buffeting from a truck. I slowed down a bit to try to get an idea of what was wrong, but it was certainly drive able for a couple of miles. I don't believe we would have been that lucky if it was a front blowout.
 
#23
The Merc gets through a set of rears every 25-30k miles and fronts every 45-50k (I kid you not). I spend a lot of my time on motorways and don't chuck it round too much. At 90k miles I am on just on my 3rd set of fronts (due to a tracking issue) and have just put my 4th set of rears on with 90,000 on the clock.

To be fair, I did get a nasty tail wag in the MX5 today hooning it round a roundabout and had to do a bit of Ari Vatenen with the wheel (ok it was slippy, and I may have been going a tad quickly, and the traction control light may have come on). The rears have still got 3mm on them but I may think about changing soon.

Anyway, it was nice to know I could still hold a tail wag and keep it on the black stuff. :D
 
#26
With the majority of cars being front wheel drive these days, the best tyres should go on the back.

Having less grip on the front means under steer, which is fairly benign and anybody can cope with it. Most people will naturally apply more lock and slow down, although that isn't always the best thing to do.

If the best grip is on the front, that will cause oversteer, or can be caused by lifting off the throttle mid corner. An over steering car needs more talent to save it!

When racing touring cars switched to FWD, the fastest technique for cornering was an abrupt lift off to get the back hanging out, then balance the slide by applying too much power to the front wheels, thereby getting maximum acceleration out of the corner.


A couple of years ago, I was towing a camping trailer with my A6 Avant, four up, kayaks on the roof. We had a rear offside blowout at about 60mph on the M5. Although I felt it go, I genuinely thought it was buffeting from a truck. I slowed down a bit to try to get an idea of what was wrong, but it was certainly drive able for a couple of miles. I don't believe we would have been that lucky if it was a front blowout.
Your final paragraph is very similar to my experience - 10 seconds or so of "somethings odd" followed by "must be a tyre". Avoided the brakes and, luckily being on a very familiar bit of road, pulled in to the services where there was cover and light (being a dark wet night).

I still feel that this means that the "evidence" in your first few paragraphs is wrong.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#28
Do a Google on Barrys Tyres, Gateshead. £50 a corner all day long.
 
#29
I still feel that this means that the "evidence" in your first few paragraphs is wrong.
The effects are in extremis, at the very edge of the limits, and should never be approached on the public roads.

But, considering the number of holes in hedges around the Cotswolds, a fair few people are reaching those limits, or the limits of their own talent, at an alarmingly frequent rate.

I was always taught, under steer means repair the front of the car, oversteer means repair the back of the car.

I don't care really, as I'm apparently about to be spooned to death :)
 
#31
Saw an offer in store the other day for Goodyears at £52 fitted etc. Popped in today on the way home from work.

"Oh, that's an online only offer, you have to order them in advance on the web"

"But it doesn't say that on the advert"

"It should do, anyway, we have Bridgestones at £71"

I expressed my displeasure, but that's about what I paid for the last set of tyres, so although disgruntled, I was willing to do it. He then explains their "safety" policy to me.

I can have the two new tyres fitted onto the front wheels. They will then take the back wheels, check and balance them and put them on the front, putting the new tyres on the rears.

My incredulity started - "So you're going to take two tyres that you have no idea of the provenance, put them on the driven wheels and put new ones on the rears, and you call this a 'safety' policy?"

Then the penny dropped. Not only will they get to charge me for balancing and re-valving two tyres that don't need it, they can also have a 'policy' that will allow them to say the two rears are somehow defective and need replacing. By which point, I'll be stuck and have to pay regardless. The only way to avoid this, as the ever-so-helpful chap pointed out, was to have all four tyres replaced at the same time.

Anyone see any 'safety' value whatsoever in their policy?

I've been a customer of Costco for many years and this is the first time I've seen anything that's such a blatant rip-off. Makes Kwik Fit's "Ooh, look at your shock absorbers, you need new ones" ploy look almost honest.
Never had a problem. They always put a new tyres on the back ( the AA recommends this) and don’t charge extra for it. They’re usually better value than anywhere else except for motorhome tyres (black circles for these).
 
#34
A chum has a back street tyre place, he recommends blackcircle. He gets paid and does not need to have a huge tyre stock level, its couriered in 24 hours.
Like previous posters, Nothing but praise for Blackcircles.
I use a ford main dealers workshop for fitting tyres to the Mrs and my German cars, no fuss, no drama no additional work sought by the garage, Car booked in,dropped off the night before, fitted with tyres and picked up after I finish work.
 
#36
MOTs are just snapshots, some garages take the p!ss with that...

One local place that used to do the local plod repairs and our 4 company motors got my first private MOT business...once. They claimed the wiper blades needed replacing and on went £20 bosch blades..and the washer jets doidn't work, but they managed to fix them for £25..and a headlight bulb needed replacing for £12, and the brakes really needed looking at soon and tyres...
sadly for them, I had the video of the windscreen being cleaned by squirty jets and decent wiper blades, just round the corner from thier place 5 mins before the MOT. And the receipt from halfords for fitting a headlight bulb the day before (deliberate choice to get a receipt and blamegame potential).

The boss tried not to look sheepish when it took the 'technician' 10 mins to find my 'old' bulb & the box (after the first ones presented with the bill didn't match my car), while I showed him the video.
Local council now does the MOT. Full price, obviously, but no reason for spurious parts and will happily chat about advisories & how close they are to possible fails. And they've changed bulbs, fuses before trying to find a fault.
 
#37
As per above, it is safer to have the best tyres at the rear. Worn rear tyres can also lead to other annoying issues like pulling to one side or making 'tramlining' worse.

I'm just loving the idea of tyres only costing £50ish each!
 
#39
Only once have I used a car with uber cheap tyres on it (Not my choice) A hard wearing compound
It was like driving on blocks of wood - grip was shite (unanimous agreement)
 
#40
I'm going to be a bit controversial here and say that I don't really care how much car drivers pay for their tyres, to be honest. Just as long as they pay for their tyres, and that they are designed to be used by the car. Instead of, like the guy I saw today, driving around in a car that's capable of a top speed of 128 (ish) mph (late model Subaru Impreza saloon) with his front passenger side wheelwell glorying in a space saver tyre, which you know the guy would happily drive with at speeds in mph matching the never-exceed kph limit written on its sidewall while on a motorway and as nearly as fast elsewhere as long as there wasn't a GATSO or a traffic cop around to catch him.

If you can't afford to keep your car in a roadworthy condition, with four decent tyres of a type designed to be used at the full range of speeds and road conditions available for you in your vehicle, don't drive your car. Because if you are doing so, you are a danger to yourself, your passengers, and any poor bastard you run into because your over-stressed space saver tyre that you've been running around on for months blows off of its rim and causes you to have a road traffic collision. It isn't rocket science.
 

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