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Old 08-19-2016, 09:09 PM
 
1,950 posts, read 2,880,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
The Main Dealers (Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin) both do it as part of a full service at 10,000 miles or every 12 months, so both get done yearly.

WOW! These dealers certainly have little faith in the steering and suspension components of those makes, or is this out-of-warranty and customer pay?

Don in Austin
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:11 PM
 
1,950 posts, read 2,880,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justNancy View Post
My answer (as a consumer, not an auto expert) is....it depends on the car and driving conditions.

My 2001 Hyundai Sonata spent almost as much time in the shop as it did on the road, but one very positive thing about it was the smooth ride it gave me. It had many problems, but after 5 years the original Michelin tires still had tread and the car ran straight. I then purchased a 2006 Camry LE and the front end has frequently been out of alignment. It also eats tires. A former neighbor who owned a Solara told me he's also had trouble with the front end and tires wearing out too quickly.

I'm on this thread because today I had an appointment for an oil change at 1:00. At 2:30 I was still in the waiting room watching Breaking Bad (I just joined NetFlix) I was told they do a thorough inspection, which is what took so long. He then showed me all the service checks performed and told me everything checked out except for the alignment. He even showed me pretty color pictures to explain why my tires will wear unevenly with an improper alignment.

So how do you really know when you need an alignment unless your tires show uneven wear or you feel a pull as you're driving? In May 2014, I bought 4 Yokohama tires which is when I had my last alignment. I always request a 4 wheel balance and an alignment when I buy new tires, so I'm positive I had one done then.

I suppose I could have refused the service today, but I try to have faith in humanity. It was $99 for a 4 wheel alignment and $34.99 for a synthetic blended oil change. I was planning to pay cash for the oil change. Good thing I carry plastic.
Something is very wrong if, indeed, an alignment only lasts one set of tires.

Don in Austin
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:14 PM
 
1,950 posts, read 2,880,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit731 View Post
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.
You can see uneven tire wear in the early stages long before the tires are trashed. If this seems difficult, you can spend under $10 for a tread depth gauge.

And, getting a crappy alignment frequently creates a problem that did not previously exist.

Don in Austin
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,164 posts, read 27,188,875 times
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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
I do them when I get pull or uneven tire wear.

If I do suspension or steering component repair its a part of the repair. Tires for vehicles (at least mine) aren't cheap. My average low end tire runs $150 bucks each. Plus tax, enhanced toad hazard, mounting balancing I'm at about 200. That's for a bottom range tire. My wife's SUV tires were $800.
The tires on my dually run about $1700 bucks to replace them all. I have to run a certain load range so I'm limited in the tires I can use
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:45 AM
 
90 posts, read 39,090 times
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Just did my first one on my 2003 Tacoma after the dealer replaced the frame as part of the rut warranty. The dealer screwed the alignment up so bad I had to get a specialty shop to correct it. I took it back to the dealer 3 times and they couldn't get it right. I'm fighting with Toyota Corporate now to recoup the cost.


If the dealer didn't get their hands on my truck it probably never would have needed and alignment. After all it only has 214K miles on it
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,452 posts, read 71,128,164 times
Reputation: 36499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post

4. Replacement of steering/suspension components that could impact alignment. Particularly anything in the steering linkage such as tie rod ends will cause the critical "toe" setting to be lost.

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Rather amusingly, my son and I have frequently replaced tie rod ends and counted the number of turns required to remove the tie rod and then installed the replacement using the same number of turns. Most of the time, probably 80% or more, we take the car in for an alignment check and we are told it is spot on. Not a very scientific way to prevent loss of toe setting, but it seems to work.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:33 PM
 
2,701 posts, read 4,372,549 times
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When it needs it...
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
2,204 posts, read 2,802,707 times
Reputation: 6516
In 50 years of owning and driving cars and trucks, I have never had to get an alignment. The steering wheel has never been off center. If I have a "pulling" problems, it has always been the brakes, wheels or tires that cause it.

BTW some of my vehicles I've owned for 30 years and put up to 340,000 miles on one of them and the others almost always 200,000.
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