How often is wheel alignment necessary?

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  #1  
Old 01-02-08, 05:25 PM
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Question How often is wheel alignment necessary?

I recently bought 4 new tires for an 03' Jetta. I want to get an alignment to make sure the tires last as long as possible. My question is how often is an alignment necessary? I have heard that a pot hole can throw the alignment off and I have heard that the alignment will stay the same until parts wear, bend, or break.

At the local tire center, an alignment is $69 and a "lifetime alignment" is $169. Is the lifetime alignment worth the extra $100?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 06:10 PM
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Alignment

Well you do want to get an alignment of course when you have those new tires installed, I don't know what a " lifetime" alignment would be but I'm guessing they're offering you an alignment every so often for free for as long as you own your car ?
I'd just get the one time alignment for now and maybe a year or so later another one if you notice car not going straight when steering wheel on center position or if you see tires wearing out uneven
 
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Old 01-02-08, 06:15 PM
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Lifetime alignment

Thanks for the opinion.

To clarify, the lifetime alignment offers free alignments, tire balancing, and tire rotation every 5,000 miles. If, as you suggest, I might need another alignment next year, I might as well pay the extra $100 to get a free alignment every year as necessary.

Why would a car go out of aligment or do they?
 
  #4  
Old 01-02-08, 06:29 PM
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Cars do go out of alignment all the time
Potholes, wear and tear...
If a suspension part goes, but is not noticed for a while, the vehicle could easily go out

IMO people don't get aligned nearly enough, as they don't readily see alignment problems until they appear as other problems (like oddly worn tires, pulling when braking...etc...), and don't realize ho much a bad alignment can wear/break more stuff...or how much it affect gas mileage!!!!!

I think 169 for an alignment and rotation every 5K is a great idea
The shop won't make much money on it, it's to keep you coming back to their shop, so when you finally do need work done/tires, you'll think of them
 
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Old 01-02-08, 09:21 PM
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Alignment

Originally Posted by grenouille View Post
Thanks for the opinion.

To clarify, the lifetime alignment offers free alignments, tire balancing, and tire rotation every 5,000 miles. If, as you suggest, I might need another alignment next year, I might as well pay the extra $100 to get a free alignment every year as necessary.

Why would a car go out of aligment or do they?

On a final comment, I don't like to pay for future services such as extended protection plans and the like because when you go back to get what you already paid for they treat you like you're trying to borrow money from them
 
  #6  
Old 01-03-08, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by grenouille View Post
Thanks for the opinion.

To clarify, the lifetime alignment offers free alignments, tire balancing, and tire rotation every 5,000 miles. If, as you suggest, I might need another alignment next year, I might as well pay the extra $100 to get a free alignment every year as necessary.

Why would a car go out of aligment or do they?
While the lifetime alignment offer sounds like a good deal i would be a bit skeptical. If the shop is truly offering an alignment every 5,000 miles then they are either going to have to find things wrong quite often or they are going to loose a lot of money. Even if they are simply connecting alignment heads, calibrating, and recording numbers without making any adjustments, the time involved will require them to find something wrong more often than not in order to make a profit.

I generally recommend an alignment once a year and usually in the late spring after most of the potholes have been repaired. Or if symptoms or conditions suggest there may be an alignment problem.
 
  #7  
Old 01-03-08, 11:29 AM
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I agree. Once a year or every 15,000 miles or so.
 
  #8  
Old 01-03-08, 06:02 PM
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I had a lifetime alignment on my 00 VW from Firestone Master Care. I only took it in for one more alignment before selling the car and that was only because I put struts on it. I first bought the plan when I lived in Nashville, TN and had the re-alignment done in Richmond, VA.

They treated me fine and did not try to upsell anything. No complaints, no regrets.
 
  #9  
Old 01-03-08, 07:15 PM
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unless something is damaged or wearing out on your car (high mileage etc), then you should not need frequent alignments. Checking toe and camber is very easy to do yourself, and if you can confirm your tires are basically square and parallel, just a few minutes of your time can save a few hours at the tire shop.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 01-03-08 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Advertising link to personal info website with requests for contributions removed
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