How Much Does A Wheel Alignment Cost?

When your wheels are out of alignment, your tires may wear down on the inside or outside, and your vehicle may pull to one side rather than straight ahead. Toe, camber, and caster are the three main adjustments that can be messed up over time by slamming into potholes and other road bumps. But what is the price of a wheel alignment?

The price of a wheel alignment can vary significantly depending on the tire service center you use and where in the country you live. It would be a good idea to take your car to a tire shop to have the alignment checked out if you haven’t had it done in a while. This will ensure that all of your wheels are correctly aligned.

Let’s look for more info with CarMats about the average price for a wheel adjustment and some related questions in the article below.

Wheel Alignment Symptoms

Steering Wheel Pulling In One Direction

Your wheels are probably out of alignment if you notice that your steering wheel tends to pull in one direction rather than straight ahead. When you are traveling straight down the road, you might also notice that your steering wheel is turned in that particular direction. You should be aware that some roads are slanted to allow for rainwater runoff, which could cause your car to pull in one direction. However, if you are driving on a level, flat road and your steering still pulls in one direction, your car probably needs its wheels aligned.

Excessive Tire Wear

A sign that your wheels need to be aligned is excessive tire wear on the inside or outside of your tires. Your tires may point outward or be positioned so that they aren’t level with the ground if your toe or camber settings are incorrect.

Your tires are made to be flat on the pavement so that tire wear is distributed evenly across the tire surface. However, if your toe or camber settings are not correctly aligned, the wheels won’t align flat with the ground, which can result in excessive wear on the inside or outside of your tires.

There are steps you can take to get the problem fixed if you notice that the inside of your tires is beginning to wear down. Check out my other article for more information on what it means if the inside of your tires are wearing down. It explains what is usually wrong and what you can do to fix the problem.

Wheel Alignment Costs

Depending on where in the country you live and how many local tire shops or mechanics there are nearby, the average cost of a wheel alignment ranges from $80-$130. It’s best to compare prices if there are several tire repair shops in your neighborhood in order to find the best deal.

You might need to call or submit an online quote request for your specific vehicle because many tire service centers require you to request a quote for the service.

Wheel Alignment Adjustments

Camber Angle

The camber adjustment angle enables your tires to rest flat on the ground. Depending on which way the wheels are adjusted, excessive positive or negative camber is where you will start to notice wear on the inside or outside of your tires.

The tops of your tires would protrude further than the bottom of the wheel and tires if your wheels were out of alignment and had too much positive camber. Your tires’ outside edges will begin to deteriorate unevenly in relation to the rest of the tire as a result of this.

If your wheels were set up with too much negative camber, the bottom of the wheel would stick out further than the top, and the tops of the wheels would be angled inwards toward the car. Your tires’ inside edges will begin to deteriorate unevenly and more quickly than the rest of their surface as a result of this.

A new trend is to increase your negative camber to give your car a unique look. This will guarantee that the inside of your tires will wear down quickly and significantly reduce your car’s ability to handle. The less effectively your tires can grip the road, and the more likely it is that they will lose grip during a turn, the less effective they will be.

Toe Angle

Your wheels’ toe angles: make sure that they are pointed straight when you have them in that position.

The inside or outside edges of your tires can wear down more quickly if the toe angle of your wheels is set too far in or too far out, which can lead to uneven tire wear.

The front edge of your wheels will point inward toward the vehicle if your toe angle is adjusted inward. Because it won’t be pointed straight ahead, if your toe angle is adjusted with too much toe-in, your tires may wear out unevenly on the inside edge.

The front edge of your tires will be pointing outward or away from the vehicle if your toe angle is set with too much toe-out. Too much toe-out on a vehicle can result in uneven tire wear on the outer edge of the tire because that area is constantly being pulled.

Caster Angle

The manufacturer of your vehicle specifies the caster angle when they first design the vehicle. This angle refers to the shocks and struts in your vehicle. Positive caster refers to how far away from the front bottom of the vehicle the shocks and struts are on the majority of vehicles on the road. Because of this, the vehicle is more stable at high speeds, and the front of the vehicle is less affected by road imperfections than it would be if the suspension parts were aligned in a negative caster.

Even though the caster of your car can be changed, tire wear is usually caused by the toe and camber. You are looking at a bent suspension part that may need to be replaced if your camber is a problem. If you want to see for yourself, I’ve put a YouTube video below that shows the difference between a negative and a positive caster angle.

How To Align Suspension

Yes, you can save some money by adjusting your suspension yourself, but you’ll need a few specialized tools to be able to read how your wheels need to be adjusted. I personally have never tried to change the alignment of my car’s wheels, so I can’t speak to how challenging it would be, but based on the brief videos on YouTube, it doesn’t seem too challenging to do.

When I notice that my wheels are pulling in one direction or another, I typically just take my car to a tire shop for alignment. My wheels’ alignment can be checked at the tire shop using a digital readout that will show them which wheels require alignment adjustments. I’d much rather leave my car’s alignment to the experts, so I won’t have to worry about doing it incorrectly.

Related Questions

Do I need a 2 or 4-wheel alignment?

The majority of tire shops in my area only perform four-wheel alignments. Typically, if 2 of your wheels need to be aligned, the other 2 will also require alignment.

Your car will be positioned on a wheel alignment machine at a modern tire shop or auto repair facility. This machine can digitally show which wheels need to be aligned and how far out of alignment they are. This way, the service technician can make the necessary changes to each wheel based on the digital measurements from the wheel alignment machine.

Is it bad to drive with bad alignment?

Driving with improper wheel alignment can result in more severe tire wear than if you had a proper alignment. When driving with poor alignment, your steering wheel may pull in one direction rather than straight ahead, which can be dangerous, especially at high speeds. Get your car to a tire shop as soon as possible if you suspect that your alignment needs work.

How long should a wheel alignment last?

Following a wheel alignment, your car should maintain proper wheel alignment for six to twelve months before you notice that your wheels need to be aligned again. This timeline would apply in a typical situation. It’s likely that hitting a large pothole or curb will cause your wheels to become out of alignment.

Can hitting a curb mess up alignment?

Yes, colliding with a curb can seriously affect the alignment of your wheels. It’s unlikely that your wheel alignment was affected if your wheel lightly scrapes a curb while parking. However, your wheel alignment was probably messed up if you recently hit a curb while driving.

Can a bad alignment cause shaking?

Yes, if your alignment is off, it can lead to problems with your tires and steering, which may eventually show up as shaking of the steering wheel or the vehicle itself. If your car shakes more when traveling at high speeds, your tires and wheels are probably out of balance. Low-speed shaking is more of a sign of an alignment problem with the wheels.

How do I know if my car alignment is off?

Instead of proceeding straight down the road, your steering wheel will want to pull to the left or right. Or perhaps you noticed that your tires were wearing excessively on the inside or outside.

Are car wheel alignments free?

No, most mechanics and tire shops charge a fee to align your wheels.If you purchase a full set of tires, a tire shop might offer free alignment for the life of the tires. The majority of tire shops, though, charge extra to align your wheels.

Conclusion

So that you don’t get taken advantage of the next time you have your car’s wheels aligned, hopefully, you now know how much a typical wheel alignment costs. The price of a wheel alignment can vary significantly depending on the tire service center you use and where in the nation you live. Every six to twelve months or whenever you make any changes to the suspension of your car, you should have the wheels aligned on it.

 

Read more:

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How Much Does A Car Chassis Cost?

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