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Old 08-18-2016, 03:18 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,923,700 times
Reputation: 2169

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For those of you who don't live in Michigan, have your alignment checked according to the manufacturer's recommendations. If they tell you it needs an alignment you may want to get a second opinion. If you are confident in the skills and honesty of the first shop then just do it. Your tires will last longer, your car will be easier to drive, and you will get better performance in an emergency.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Alaska
3,084 posts, read 3,158,451 times
Reputation: 5349
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDay1 View Post
How often do you do wheel alignment on your car?

A) Every 5,000 miles
B) Every 10,000 miles
C) Every 50,000 miles
D) Whenever you change tires
E) Never
If it needs it, then I do it during seasonal tire changeover.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:15 PM
 
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,267 posts, read 17,373,032 times
Reputation: 7953
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
For those of you who don't live in Michigan, have your alignment checked according to the manufacturer's recommendations. If they tell you it needs an alignment you may want to get a second opinion. If you are confident in the skills and honesty of the first shop then just do it. Your tires will last longer, your car will be easier to drive, and you will get better performance in an emergency.
Do you think a competent, experienced auto mechanic can tell simply by taking a test drive? The reason I'm asking is that I've been living in Western NC for 1-1/2 years and have used the same shop for repairs and regular maintenance. IMHO the owner has always been fair & honest. Before I left for a road trip in July, I asked him to perform a general inspection to make sure everything was running well. He checked all my belts and hoses, oil, fluids, etc. and took my car on a test drive. No noticeable problems.

As I wrote in my last post, today I had an oil change where I'm staying in Florida and was told my car needed an alignment. The shop's computer printout showed too much tilt. I was going to just pay for the oil change and leave, but after seeing the colorful images of the cambers, I was concerned that a long drive on the interstate might wreck my tires. So it's true that a picture is worth 1,000 words (or in my case $99 plus tax) Now 4 hours later, I'm wondering why they checked the alignment during a standard oil change. Is that customary in some shops?
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:27 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 3,274,693 times
Reputation: 7768
I have a 2007 Toyota Camry with 187,000 miles and have...NEVER..had the front end aligned. I can let go of the steering wheel at 70mph and it goes straight down the road.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:41 PM
 
12,732 posts, read 7,414,610 times
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When getting new tires or whenever it needs it. With it being relatively pothole free here that generally means just when I get new tires.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
41,917 posts, read 54,617,647 times
Reputation: 118199
Your vehicle will tell you, if it's pulling to one side or the other. And the tires will tell the tire salesman at the tire dealer who will tell you if there is uneven wear, cupping etc. Then you align the wheels. An all 4 wheels alignment is usually recommended.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:37 AM
 
33,415 posts, read 30,711,119 times
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i do alignments when i replace suspension parts, or when i feel the need to have it done. usually when i start seeing weird tire wear or the car pulls one way or another.

tires get balanced when i replace them, and when i get a vibration.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:16 AM
 
7,698 posts, read 8,117,374 times
Reputation: 7933
Quote:
Originally Posted by justNancy View Post
I'm wondering why they checked the alignment during a standard oil change. Is that customary in some shops?

Probably.
They have to put vehicle up on a dedicated lift. Set up some expensive equipment. Have a qualified technician. And check.

This is a known scam for many chain shops such as Sears Automotive and many other local chains. Just to tell you that you need an alignment without really checking.

Now if it has been over a year with no alignment it was probably a good idea to get one anyway. But did they check the vehicle on the machine before they advised you it needed one. Probably not with caveat that if the shop had a real slow day and the alignment guy/gal was not busy they could have put it on dedicated lift.

For something such as an oil change it's best to stay with the vehicle and keep an eye out as to where it goes in the shop. And to speak with the mechanic who actually does the oil change. Follow the car at shop.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:20 AM
 
7,698 posts, read 8,117,374 times
Reputation: 7933
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23145tp View Post
I drive about 15,000 a year, I check the alignment every year.


This is the best answer.


Those that state that they wait for a problem . . . well . . . at that point it is probably too late . . . as they have screwed up a good set of tires.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:16 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,882 posts, read 65,337,271 times
Reputation: 41259
I check my tires for unusual/uneven wear weekly, and have it aligned when needed, at the first sign of a problem. That seems to be maybe once over the life of a car, which I'll normally trade in at about 120-130k miles. I'm not about to waste money doing something not necessary to help fatten the wallet of an alignment or tire shop. It's like the oil change places putting 3,000 miles for the next change reminder on a windshield sticker when you have used synthetic blend, which will last 7,500 miles.
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