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Car Question?
Old 01-10-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
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Car Question?

My rust bucket needs new tires and alignment soon. It's going to need new front brake pads and rotors this year too, but not yet. Wondering if getting alignment done now could be undone by new brake pads and rotors later? I'm way too cheap to pay for another alignment in the same year.

Not sure I can trust respective service depts to give me the best answer. TIA...
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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A change of brake pads and rotors should not effect an wheel alignment.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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For my two cents I'd have the brakes and tires done first and then the alignment. Theoretically it shouldn't make any difference but I don't trust service shops.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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For my two cents I'd have the brakes and tires done first and then the alignment. Theoretically it shouldn't make any difference but I don't trust service shops.
The brakes have at least 10k good miles left, unfortunately the tires and alignment are needed now, so I'd like to avoid doing all three now if I can avoid it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
My rust bucket needs new tires and alignment soon. It's going to need new front brake pads and rotors this year too, but not yet. Wondering if getting alignment done now could be undone by new brake pads and rotors later? I'm way too cheap to pay for another alignment in the same year.

Not sure I can trust respective service depts to give me the best answer. TIA...
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
A change of brake pads and rotors should not effect an wheel alignment.
As mentioned.... it does not affect a wheel alignment...

But I would ask if your car needs an alignment.... or can they even align it I had a 95 Chevy and took it in to get an alignment... they tested it and one wheel was slightly out, but they said that it was in such a way they could not adjust...
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Alignment.
Old 01-10-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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Alignment.

First, it won't matter if you get the brakes and rotors later.

Second, I would shop around and find a shop that will sell you a 3 yr or 5 year alignment. At the NTB near me an alignment is 79$. A 3 year alignment is about $130. NTB will do an alignment ANYTIME I ask during those three years. It is also transferable if I sell the vehicle for another vehicle.

The reason I do this is that early in my driving career I bought a set of 60K tires. They lasted 30K. They wore out because I didn't rotate them, didn't balance them and I never had an alignment. I learned the value of 1) rotating the tires, 2) balancing them and 3) doing an alignment. I live in an area of the country where we have snow and salt that creates potholes. I took it back once after hitting a pothole and it was way out of alignment. I now take it in for an alignment every 3 months or when I know I hit a pothole. My tires last a LOT longer.

If tires are $400-$600 installed and I can double the life of the tires with alignment for $130, then it saves me (half tire price - alignment price) or between $70 [200-130] and $170 [300-130]. I drive 20-25K per year.

If you take this approach, you just take it back and get another alignment for "free" when you get the brakes and rotors. It is also great when you buy new tires, you just take it in and get an alignment w/the new tires!

BTW, aggressive recommendations are 1/yr or every 15K miles. Least aggressive approach is to watch for:
  • your car seems to be drifting to one side, even when you think you're driving straight
  • your steering wheel vibrates
  • you are driving straight, but your steering wheel isn't centered
  • you notice tire wear
What I believe based on experience is the by the time you notice any one of these symptoms, you've altered the tire pattern on the tires and they don't drive right which leads to lower fuel mileage, shorter tire life, more frequent alignments and problems that can't be fixed with alignment or balancing. YMMV (LOL!!!!)


Hope this helps!
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by REattempt View Post
Second, I would shop around and find a shop that will sell you a 3 yr or 5 year alignment. At the NTB near me an alignment is 79$. A 3 year alignment is about $130. NTB will do an alignment ANYTIME I ask during those three years. It is also transferable if I sell the vehicle for another vehicle... I now take it in for an alignment every 3 months or when I know I hit a pothole. My tires last a LOT longer.
I'm going to look into this. My gas mileage dropped a couple of miles/gal after my last tire rotation and I recently thought I detected a slight pull to the left. I like the idea of just stopping in for a periodic alignment.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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A change of brake pads and rotors should not effect an wheel alignment.
+1 I would have the tires and alignment done now, and the brake pads and rotors done later when they need to be done.

Like the ol'man used to say if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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How do you know the rotors need turned? Unless the rotors are grooved, I just replace the pads (which I do myself). Or maybe you meant replace the rotors, which should only be required if they are under spec for thickness.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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How do you know the rotors need turned? Unless the rotors are grooved, I just replace the pads (which I do myself). Or maybe you meant replace the rotors, which should only be required if they are under spec for thickness.
  • Rotors have 125K miles on them,
  • just before the car stops I can feel them "wobble" and
  • when I had the rear pads replaced (by a friend who owns a shop) about 6 months ago he told me I could probably get another year out of the fronts, but then I'd have to do pads and rotors...
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