The Complete Wheel Alignment Cost Guide

Location: United States

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Having an alignment performed is a key component of automotive maintenance. This will directly impact the longevity and performance of your tires. Additionally, it can greatly improve the response and feel of driving your car, giving it a smooth and safe ride.

A proper alignment will reduce vibrations and maintain a straight trajectory without pulling to either side of the road. There are many service centers that can perform an alignment with the average wheel alignment cost being $75 for a single alignment up to $200 for an extended warranty. This is a very important preventative maintenance procedure to have completed as it will ensure the safety of your vehicle’s operation. We recommend that you use the pricing for alignments from major retailers below as a guide, and shop around your local area to find a good deal.

Tire Alignment Cost Comparison

There are two different types of service options which are a four wheel alignment and a front wheel alignment. The four wheel will always be more expensive, but is highly recommended due to the minor difference in cost. With a front end alignment, only two of the wheels will be fixed. Some companies will charge more for a truck alignment since they are larger and harder to work with, so keep this in mind as you are requesting quotes and comparing information.

Mostly all service centers and dealerships will be able to align your tires, but keep in mind that the cost varies greatly between different companies. You can also inquire to your preferred mechanic, shop or dealership for their pricing. We have compiled the prices from national companies that offer an adjustment service below.

Firestone

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
One Time 1 Year 12,000 $80
Lifetime Unlimited Unlimited $170

Goodyear

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
Single Service 6 Months 6,000 $100

Sears

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
Since Service 6 Months 6,000 $85
One Year Service 1 Year Unlimited $115
Three Year Service 3 Years Unlimited $165

Walmart

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
Front n/a n/a $50
4 Wheel  n/a n/a $75

NTB

car Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
One Time n/a n/a $90
One Year 6 Months Unlimited $125
Three Year Unlimited Unlimited $180
truck
One Time n/a n/a $105
One Year 6 Months 6000 $140
Three Year Unlimited Unlimited $235

Pep Boys

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
One Time 3 Months 4,000 $85
One Year 1 Year 12,000 $110

Mr. Tire

Length of Warranty Maximum Miles Average Price
One Time n/a n/a $50

cars in dealership service shopThere are a few different options available when selecting your service provider. A one time alignment will only be performed once and carries a warranty for a set period of time or miles, whichever comes first. Some companies choose to offer a one year service which will provide an extended warranty and additional alignments performed free of charge for this defined duration. There are also longer agreements available which could save you money in the long run if you drive often or if the roads in your area are bad. These contracts are available for three years with some choosing to offer a lifetime guarantee.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Automotive alignment is the direction and angle in which the tires point while sitting on the road. The wheels are connected to your automobile through an advanced suspension system which provides comfortable driving conditions, but easily falls out of alignment from use and road hazards such as potholes. If you do not have a proper auto alignment, not only will it impact the quality of your ride, but it will also cause the tires to wear down unevenly which costs you a lot of money to replace them. There are a few different checkpoints that are analyzed during this service to ensure that the angles are optimal and set as recommended by the manufacturer.

Wheel Caster DrawingCaster: The angle between the upper and lower ball joint of the steering mechanism which comes in contact with the wheel assembly. This will create an adjustable axis which can be fine tuned in two directions. If you notice any disruptions in your ability to steer the car with ease at high speeds then this might be the problem.

Wheel Camber DrawingCamber: The angle between the road and the tire. This determines how much of the tire comes in contact with the road and can effect how the tires wear. The weight of the car will apply a force from the road onto the rubber of the tire giving you traction and control. If this angle is not set correctly then you will experience possible slippage which is a serious safety concern.

Wheel Toe Drawing

Toe: The angle between the tires while pointing forwards. Each of the wheel sets should be parallel to help the car move without anything getting in the way. The specific settings which are calibrated at rest depend on the car being front or rear wheel. All specifications are provided by the manufacturer which will be checked during the alignment.

Benefits of Getting an Alignment

  • Enhance the performance of your tires.
  • Ensure safe operation of your vehicle.
  • Increased fuel efficiency.
  • Extend the life of your tires.
  • Smooth and comfortable driving.

What Is Included With An Alignment?

Most established companies will offer a free alignment check to tell you the current condition of your vehicle. You want to make sure that the location has ASE certified technicians working on your vehicle to ensure they are fully capable of completing the repairs professionally. You should be able to schedule an appointment or visit the location for a quick inspection of your car of truck’s current condition. This might include a road test to check on other systems simultaneously. Occasionally you will need to have additional service performed to the suspension system, but do not be forced into having this done. Obtain multiple opinions before allowing a basic alignment to turn into a very expensive visit. The work should only take one hour to complete.

technician performing an alignment

An effective alignment will utilize sensors which are measured by a computer and compared against the specifications recommended for your specific model. The tire and rim assemblies are thoroughly inspected to make sure that all of the weight is evenly distributed across the tire. In addition to all of the checks on the wheels, the suspension system must be considered which holds everything in place. Once this information is verified, the angles of the wheels are calculated. After this has been established, specialized tools are used to finely tune the alignment to provide long lasting benefits.

Most mechanics will recommend that you purchase a 4 wheel alignment and we agree with this to ensure the best results. This service should be completed by a professional who has the tools and equipment necessary to properly diagnose and measure the angles.

When to Get An Alignment

It is recommended that you visit your mechanic for a wheel alignment every 10,000 miles. This can vary based on the condition of the roads and your driving habits. If you live in a place where the roads are more rough and have many potholes, then the service may need to be performed more frequently (every 5,000 miles). Also, the speed at which you take corners and curves will also effect the alignment as horizontal forces are applied in these instances which can slowly pull the wheels outwards. You will hear a noise when turning on dry pavement if you are driving too fast while turning which is related to your alignment. This is not to be confused with the noise coming from the wheels when applying the brakes. If this is the case then you might need to consider brake pad replacement.This is a generalized rule, you should check your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Signs of Bad Alignmentphoto of a road with potholes

  • Your vehicle pulls to either side while driving.
  • Steering is difficult or unstable as speed increases.
  • The car tends to vibrate with extra road noise.
  • The tires show uneven wear or make noise on turns.

Cost of an Alignment vs. New Tires

Having your tires properly aligned will save you a lot of money as new tires are very expensive.

one year three year lifetime new tires
car $90 $180 $200 $600
truck $90 $180 $200 $900

How Can I Save Money on an Alignment?

It is important to take into consideration the different options available when it comes to comparing alignment costs. Although a one time alignment may look attractive due to it’s low cost, the total could add up to a significant amount of money over the lifespan of the car. If you are only going to have the automobile for a short period of time, then this might be the best option to save you money.

If you own cars for a long period of time, then it may be less costly to purchase an extended contract for up to 3 years at a time. There is some up front cost to this, but it makes each individual service cost significantly less than paying one at a time. Keep in mind that if you plan on moving in the near future, that you will not be able to take advantage of this offer since driving to the location would probably cost too much, if it is even an option.

For those that drive more than the average driver and would require multiple alignments every year, then an unlimited plan may be worthwhile. This is the most expensive service offered, but with a high volume of miles being driven every year, your alignment costs could add up very quickly. This is a great investment if you know you will be able to access the location for many visits. Not only will it save you funds for keeping your tires straight, it will also keep your replacement costs down and increase fuel economy.

If your tires are nearing the end of their life, or show signs of heavy and uneven wear, it may be a good idea to replace them. A new set of tires will cost anywhere from $500 – $1,000, but also includes other benefits. You will receive a free alignment from new tires which becomes a 2 for 1. Instead of wasting money on aligning damaged tires, you may want to consider a brand new set.

Total Cost of Wheel Alignments

Average Cost Year 1 Year 5 Year 10
One Time $75 $150 $500 $1000
One Year $125 $125 $625 $1250
Three Year $175 $175 $350 $525
Lifetime $200 $200 $200 $200

*This table is calculated for the average American driver that logs 13,467 miles driven each year.

How To Find Wheel Alignment Deals

The best way to save money is to keep an eye out for car alignment specials. Many local shops and national companies will offer special discounts and savings on this preventative maintenance service. There will often be wheel alignment coupons in your newspaper and circulars that are distributed each week. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and like us on Facebook to receive access to an alignment coupon every month.

How Much Does a Wheel Alignment Cost?

Take a look at what others are paying for an alignment to make sure you are getting a good deal. After your service is complete make sure to submit your experience and we will add it below.

Vehicle Service Cost Company
Impala 4 wheel $205 Dealership
Accord front end $99 Local shop
F-150 4-wheel $150 Mechanic
Sonata 4-wheel $95 Mr. Tire
Sedan 4 Wheel $67.50 Dealership

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