Questions about alignments

Joined
Jan 10, 2008
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356
Location
KS
What is a good place to go to get an alignment for the lowest price? I've replaced LCA bushings and messed with traction bars a time or two and never had an alignment done. I noticed the outside tread of my tires is alot more worn then the inside. What do they do, just mess with the caster and camber to get it right? How do they adjust that? Also how often are you supposed to get an alignment and what's it usually cost?
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
4,065
Location
Chicago, IL
on the front wheels there is a toe-in adjustment. thats adjusted by adjusting the length of the tie rod ends. most cars with struts only have one other setting (I cant remember if its caster or camber). its done by moving the strut mounting point with elongated holes or with eccentric mounting points for the struts. on some cars the back struts have an adjustment also. My experience has been that FWD cars with struts stay in alignment alot longer than others. as far as how often? hard to say. it depends alot on how many potholes you hit and how worn your suspension is. obviously a good way to tell when you are overdue is when your tires wear unevenly. I have seen shops charge anywhere from $70-120. some shops will charge more and provide you with a "lifetime" alignment. which sometimes means "lifetime", and sometimes means 5 years. (or some other timeframe) also, some of the "lifetime" alignments are only free for checkups, if an adjustment is needed they charge some token amount. I normally pay for the lifetime alignment cause I know I keep my stuff a long time.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
379
Location
Mi
Some places will screw you and get a second opinion for a suspension part check over.here is one place in my area that loves telling customers that they need their ball joints replaced and there is nothing wrong with them.I have seen some [censored] ones,parts that need replaced and there is 100% nothing wrong with the certain parts on the list
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Messages
8,241
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MI
For once, I agree with wafrederick1. I went to reputable shop. He did the alignment ($60). THEN, told me a tie rod was bad (it was). He offered to replace the $25 dollar part for $120 and offered a "free" realignment. He should have told me about the bad tie rod first, so I could decide what to do BEFORE the alignment. He had me over a barrel, trying to force me to spend more $$ with him. A tie rod is one of the easiest diy repairs. After my experience with this independent alignment specialty shop, I am not sure who to recommend.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Messages
1,639
Location
WA
I had cars aligned at Firestone in the past. They charge $79.00. I never had a problem with them. They have a $15.00 off coupon on their site.
 

7055

Thread starter
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
356
Location
KS
 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
Probably too much toe in [pigeon toed]. Can you get new tires before the alignment?
No, why?
 

7055

Thread starter
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
356
Location
KS
 Originally Posted By: alreadygone
Sometimes, when searching out the absolute lowest dollar supplier, you'll get what you deserve! Bob
Apparently I deserve to pay alot of money? You can spend alot of money and still get a poor alignment. For example, Jiffy Lube overcharges, and sometimes still don't do the work they were paid to do.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,756
Location
CA
I've wasted a lot of money on my very "alignment sensitive" TL. Finally made an appointment at a local and very respected chassis fabrication/race shop. They had a two month back log but the price was on par with the normal quickie shops and the car drives as good as new. I know you get the piece of paper showing the before and after results but maybe the set up or zero out the equipment wrong.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
3,161
Location
North Arkansas
 Originally Posted By: 7055
 Originally Posted By: alreadygone
Sometimes, when searching out the absolute lowest dollar supplier, you'll get what you deserve! Bob
Apparently I deserve to pay alot of money? You can spend alot of money and still get a poor alignment. For example, Jiffy Lube overcharges, and sometimes still don't do the work they were paid to do.
No, but if you base your repair shop decision solely on price you will likely get what you pay for. Ask around locally for references to a independent local shop. Cost and quality is a lot more likely to balance out than at a volume based franchise. Bob
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
24,800
Location
CA
It's hard to say who you should go to, you should find a shop that has up-to-date equipment and knowledgeable technicians. I pay $85 for a 4-wheel alignment at the local Les Schwab and I have been very happy with their work. On most cars, a 4-wheel alignment involves setting the toe. You cannot adjust camber or caster on most cars without having to install an aftermarket alignment kit.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
1,664
Location
louisville ky
My question to a place is not the price...It is what type of equipment do they have and how often it is checked for acuracy...
 
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