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Automobile suspension alignments
Old 06-27-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
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Automobile suspension alignments

I had recent service at my dealer, and during checkout, as I was pondering the beautiful plaque on the wall naming my service writer as a "super duper service writer", he started going off on me about how I was driving a rolling accident because "one tire is on its last legs."

Hmmm. Due to a nail, I recently had tire service done by my friendly "tires only" shop. I really like the tire shop, since all they do is tires. Tires have 30k, and I asked him what he thought: "You are good for another 10k at least."

My visual shows the same. Nothing close to the wear bars, and wearing looks even all around.

Now I didn't have time to argue with the service writer. I should have dropped everything and asked him to show me the "bad tire" so we could have an argument. He says I really need an alignment and this is proof.

So, he offered me a package of tires and alignment.

But I could care less about alignment. I'm I crazy? Honestly, I swear alignments typically make things WORSE these days. In the last 20 years, I've had little issue with alignment until I had someone go fiddling.

What do you all do? Barring hitting a curb or having a pulling feeling, do you get routine alignments?

As for my service writer... Well, I'm about to quit this stealership. Just tired of the constant upsell. But that is kind of another issue.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:15 PM   #2
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I had the same thing with my dealership. They told me my brakes were bad. I did the back brakes myself, which were close, but the front brakes still have 20K plus miles left on them.

That are commission sales people, nothing more.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
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Unless I see uneven wear (one side of the tire wearing more than the other) or tires on one side of the car wearing faster than the other I don't bother.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:16 PM   #4
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Around here you usually get a free 4-wheel alignment when you buy a set of tires... since we have AWD vehicles, we rotate regularly and usually replace tires in sets and have 4-wheel alignments done then. Nothing other than that unless we bang something really hard or notice uneven tire wear.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:18 PM   #5
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you need to keep your vehicle aligned or your tires will wear unevenly due to camber
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:23 PM   #6
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All these shops are pushing alignments these days. A Hyundai dealer near me even has a policy of checking all incoming cars for repairs/maintenance for wheel alignment. In most cases, it's a scam as most modern era cars have only toe adjustments and you won't need that until you wear out tie rod ends.

And, most cars that leave the assembly plant are aligned and the alignment specifications have fairly generous tolerances to adjust for normal wear. I just rebuilt the front end on my 2003 Jetta and changed ball joints, control arm bushings, struts, stabilizer bar bushings and wheel bearings. The car has 300,000 miles on it and the tires I took off with 80,000 miles on them had normal wear patterns. Firestone did an alignment for me and only toe in/out needed adjustment and that was due to me replacing inner and outer tie rods and ends.

Unless you are banging curbs and bending wheels, front end alignment is not a worry.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:26 PM   #7
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I had to get a 4-wheel alignment after I lifted my forester two inches - it was WAY out of line
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:33 PM   #8
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I had to get a 4-wheel alignment after I lifted my forester two inches - it was WAY out of line
Did you expect anything less? Permanently changing the suspension and steering geometry alters the set alignment.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:37 PM   #9
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Did you expect anything less? Permanently changing the suspension and steering geometry alters the set alignment.
no I didn't - just saying sometimes vehicles need aligned. I've replaced struts and springs on other subarus too, same deal.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:51 PM   #10
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Changing out parts, having an incident, etc. Sure, I understand the need for alignment.

I guess I'll go with my gut and just get a second opinion.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:03 PM   #11
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Yep. Not usually needed. Not even when you buy 4 new tires, unless there was an alignment issue before the new purchase.

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Old 06-27-2016, 04:11 PM   #12
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don't most shops do a free alignment "check" where they put it on the rack?
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:08 PM   #13
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I have the alignment checked when I buy a set of tires, 99% of the time there are no need to do any adjustments.
At the Toyota dealer where I bought my car ALL of the service writers are former salespeople, they used to be pure service writers, no more, all up sale now. Dirtbags, everyone of them.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:09 PM   #14
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Unless I see uneven wear (one side of the tire wearing more than the other) or tires on one side of the car wearing faster than the other I don't bother.
Same here, and that has meant no alignment ever done.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:18 PM   #15
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At the Toyota dealer where I bought my car ALL of the service writers are former salespeople, they used to be pure service writers, no more, all up sale now. Dirtbags, everyone of them.
That pretty much sums up the dealership service department's intent in the majority of locations.

The few (very few) times I had to bring my new VW in for a warranty issue, the upsell was for garbage like "power steering fluid flush" or "injector cleaning". My typical response to the service writer was "show me in the published maintenance schedule where this is needed or recommended at XXXX miles?". That usually shut them up.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:25 PM   #16
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Oh and just to add, I do firmly believe in having the tires rotated on a regular basis, then the chances of uneven ware are slim unless you have a major issue going on.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:29 PM   #17
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Service writers job is to sell as much stuff and service as a gullible sucker er, um, customer will swallow.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:43 PM   #18
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A service writer at a local Honda dealership told me that they are paid on commission and not salaried or hourly any more. Their job is to sell you something whether you need it or not. Shameful.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #19
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I ran a thread a while ago on this. In summary, my Toyota dealer told me the wheels on DW's car were way out of alignment. The tires have 40K miles on them with no uneven wear, and I'm not as good about checking tire pressure as I should be (I usually check/fill them if the idiot light comes on). So I'll have alignment checked when I buy new tires, not at the car dealership. I don't blame the service guys though, caveat emptor, buyers should do some homework IMO.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:04 PM   #20
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The Toyota guy told me my Prius needed an alignment, at 25k miles... Let's just say I called bull----...
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