Car maintenance and care tips

Knowing the cost of wheel alignment

Wheel alignment cost is often included in the price of new tires. Even when it is not, you should have the service performed because it can not only save you money in the long run but also make your vehicle safer to drive.

Wheel alignment cost is relatively modest when compared with other repair expenses that might result from failing to get the service on a regular basis. It will help your tires wear more evenly, resulting in a longer life. Your suspension system will work much more effectively as well.

There are two kinds of wheel alignment from which you can choose - 2-wheel or 4-wheel. 2-wheel alignments, which are also called front-end alignment, cost between $40 and $70 dollars in most cases. The full service ranges from $50 to $100. Prices vary depending on the garage doing the work and the type of equipment they use.

Alignments are primarily labor-intensive job that does not require parts, so local market forces usually dictate the cost. Most shops offer specials periodically, or you can find coupons to reduce the expense. Work on some trucks, vans and 4-wheel driver vehicles may be slightly more expensive, so be sure to get a firm price quote before authorizing the work.

How to know if the service is necessary

Vehicles that pull to the right or left when you are driving straight may be in need of the service. If you hit a deep pothole hard, it may necessitate a wheel alignment. If you have very uneven wear patterns on your tires, it may indicate that your wheels are out of true.

Vehicles should have alignment once every 12 months or whenever you hit 12,000 miles from your last service. A vehicle’s overall suspension system depends on many individual parts working compatibly with the others to function as intended. These components must be in perfect alignment. One of the best ways to ensure your suspension works properly is to have your wheels aligned.

Another way to avoid unnecessary expenditure is by checking with a tire company. Many offer to check wheel alignment free that will let you know if you need service. Any serious mishap with a curb or pothole should cause you to check your alignment status. It should also be performed routinely at twelve-month intervals for normal driving, and more often with vehicles used for extensive travel.

Wheel alignment, along with tire rotation, helps you get more life from your tires. Your vehicle handles better and you also get fuel savings from a well-maintained vehicle. Under inflated tires can reduce gas mileage by 10% and cause tire tread to wear out 15% more quickly. If your wheels are not properly aligned, then you can lose an additional 5% of your mileage. That adds up to 15% waste on every tank of gas.  Add that to the cost of replacing tires 15% sooner than necessary, and you can easily see why wheel alignment and maintenance can pay for itself.

The expense of seeking professional maintenance can save you money on tires and gasoline. If you need the service, by all means have it done because it makes your vehicle safer to drive and can save you enough money in the long run to pay for itself.