Most carmakers recommend an alignment check every 12,000 miles or at each scheduled maintenance visit. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, Honda recommends an alignment check every 7,500 miles for its Civic models from 2012 and newer that use low-rolling-resistance tires.
How many miles should you get an alignment? This is a great question and one that doesn’t have a definitive answer. Ultimately, it depends on how your car is driving and how often you drive on rough roads.
If you notice your car pulling to one side or the other, or if your steering feels loose, then it’s probably time for an alignment. Many mechanics recommend getting an alignment every 30,000 miles or so as preventive maintenance. But again, it really depends on your driving habits and conditions.
So if you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask your mechanic for their opinion.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost
If your vehicle is showing signs of uneven or premature tire wear, it may be time for an alignment. But how much does an alignment cost? The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of alignment you need and the shop you visit.
A basic front-end alignment, also called a two-wheel alignment, typically costs between $50 and $100 at most shops. This type of alignment adjusts the angles of just the front wheels, which is fine for most everyday driving. If your vehicle needs a more comprehensive four-wheel alignment, which adjusts all four wheels at once, the price will be higher — usually between $100 and $200.
And if you have a luxury car or SUV with special suspension requirements, expect to pay even more for your alignment. So there you have it: A rough idea of what an alignment might cost you. But remember that every vehicle is different, so it’s always best to consult with a qualified mechanic to get an accurate estimate for your particular situation.
How Long Should an Alignment Last?
An alignment typically lasts anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The length of time it takes to complete an alignment really depends on the severity of the misalignment, how many adjustments need to be made, and the type of vehicle you have. For example, a smaller car with only a few minor adjustments will take less time than a larger truck that needs major adjustments.
How Do You Tell If an Alignment is Needed?
If your vehicle is showing any of the following signs, then it’s time for an alignment:
1. The vehicle pulls to one side when driving on a flat, level surface.
2. The steering wheel is not centered when driving straight ahead.
3. The steering wheel vibrates or shakes when driving at highway speeds. 4. The tires are wearing unevenly (uneven tread wear).
Is 4 Wheel Alignment Necessary?
4 wheel alignment is the process of making sure all four wheels on your car are pointing in the same direction. This is important for a number of reasons:
First, it helps improve your gas mileage.
When your wheels are properly aligned, your car will have less resistance as it moves down the road, which means you’ll use less gas. Second, it extends the life of your tires. When your tires are misaligned, they wear down unevenly, which can lead to premature balding or even blowouts.
Third, it improves handling and stability. If your car’s wheels aren’t properly aligned, it can pull to one side when you’re driving, making it difficult to keep control of the vehicle. This is especially dangerous if you find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to make a quick maneuver.
Fourth, it keeps you safe. In addition to improving handling and stability, proper alignment also reduces stress on other parts of your suspension system and prevents potential accidents caused by tire failure. Overall, 4 wheel alignment is a necessary part of owning a car and something that should be done on a regular basis (typically once per year).
While it may seem like a small thing, maintaining proper alignment can make a big difference in how your car drives and how long its components last.
Do I Need an Alignment After Replacing Tires?
It is not necessary to have an alignment after replacing your tires, unless you are experiencing issues with your vehicle pulling to one side or the other. If your vehicle is driving straight before replacing the tires, it should continue to do so after. However, if you notice that your car starts to pull after getting new tires, then it’s a good idea to get an alignment.
This can be caused by several factors, such as hitting a pothole or curb, or even just normal wear and tear. An alignment will ensure that all four of your tires are pointing in the same direction, which will help improve gas mileage and keep your car driving straight down the road.
How to Tell if Your Car Needs an Alignment
It is recommended that you get an alignment when you have new tires installed, or if your vehicle has been pulling to one side. Most service centers will do a complimentary check of your alignment when you bring your vehicle in for an oil change or other routine maintenance.