Tyred and Tested
Commissioned for Costco
Buying automotive tyres is not something most people look forward to. Depending on your vehicle, it can be expensive and confusing with all kinds of strange terminology and measurements. Costco customers already know the advantages of shopping at Australia’s largest wholesale warehouse store, but did you know you can solve the problem of your new tyres there as well?
“All Costco stores carry a vast range of popular tyres from Bridgestone, Michelin and BFGoodrich covering almost every vehicle on the road as well all the professional equipment required to fit and balance your new set of tyres”, says Katrina Ngo, assistant buyer at Costco.
“Our customers clearly enjoy the convenience of having tyres fitted while they complete their shopping and depending on the time of day, you can expect the job to be finished as you’re checking out your goods or even before.”
Customers already know they save money by shopping at Costco, and it’s the same with tyres.
For example, with one popular brand of premium SUV tyre* you can save around 30 per cent on a set when compared to major competing retailers. And you’ll pay no extra for a lifetime warranty, rotation/balance and hi-tech nitrogen inflation.
Furthermore, you’ll defer this expense longer as well as keep yourself and your precious passengers safe with proper tyre maintenance. It’s not that hard.
Here are some of the most important tyre care factors you need to know.
- Picking the right tyre
|Choosing tyres can be confusing|
Everyone drives differently, on different surfaces, with varying loads in a variety of vehicles, so it follows that you purchase the correct tyre to cover all these bases. Depending on this combination of factors, it may not be the same tyre you bought the car with.
“There is a range of different products out there which all have strengths in different areas, and Bridgestone has developed products to suit all kinds of applications,” Jon Tamblyn, Bridgestone National Technical Field Services & Solutions Development Manager.
“Performance tyres, such as Bridgestone’s Potenza range, are designed to provide the most responsive handling and grip under high loads, while the touring Turanza range provide a quiet and comfortable ride for the everyday family car, and low rolling resistance Ecopia tyres are engineered to use less fuel and perform well in everyday use.
“When it comes to SUV and 4x4 tyres, the same applies. If the majority of your driving is in urban conditions or on the highway, then the most appropriate tyre would be a Highway Terrain tyre, while those who go off-road could select an ‘All Terrain’ product. For premium, high-performance SUVs, tyres such as Bridgestone’s Alenza are most suitable.”
- The importance of pressure checks
|Checking tyre pressure|
One of the most frequently overlooked safety and maintenance factors with tyres is keeping them pumped up. Driving with one or more flat tyres is dangerous. Here’s why.
“More than half of motorists go longer than six weeks without looking at their tyres, when in reality we should be checking pressure at least once a month, says Tamblyn, “Tyre pressure affects the handling of your car and also fuel consumption. Properly inflated tyres ensure the best road contact and will also wear more evenly, last longer with a more comfortable ride.”
When pumping the tyres, be sure to check for any abnormal wear and tear, like shallow tread (less than 1.6mm) and damage.
- Why wheel alignments are important
|Badly worn on outer edge likely because of poor wheel alignment.|
Wheels pointing straight and true makes sense, right?
“When all of your wheels are in line, there is the least amount of resistance from your tyres on the road.
Poorly aligned wheels wear faster and adversely affect the car’s steering.
- Tyre rotations
Swapping tyres around makes sure they all wear evenly and last longer. A really good idea.
“Australian roads are typically uneven, which means that despite running the correct pressure and a perfect wheel alignment, there will still be some uneven wear.”
Rotating tyres every 10,000km is recommended.
While Costco doesn’t currently offer wheel alignment in store, inspection, rotation, puncture repairs, inflation and balancing can all be performed - for free - while you shop, even if you don't need to buy a tyre.
TIP from Katrina: “The best time to get your tyres checked or fitted is mid-afternoon on weekdays, typically between 2pm and 5pm when we are quieter than normal.”
* Michelin Primacy SUV 225/65 R17 102H
|This tyre is badly underinflated and dangerous.|
GOOD TO GO: QUICK TYRE CHECKLIST
Before setting out on a long holiday drive, tick these boxes.
- All tyres correctly inflated. (for best results use hand-held gauge)
- No uneven or abnormal tread wear (min. 1.6mm legal tread depth)
- No damage (splits, tears) to tread or sidewalls
All of these checks can be performed (and corrected as necessary) by your Costco store while you shop for your holiday supplies.