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do I need an alignment when buying new car tires?


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Four new tires for a Subaru sedan.  I Google searched this question, and got conflicting information.

Anyone here have an informed opinion?  It's around $100 to $150 extra.  I don't know if it's needed, or they're just trying to upsell.

Thanks!

Edited by Madison22
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2 minutes ago, IUFLA said:

First, who are you buying the tires from?

The 3 things I always went by was does the car pull to one side? Does the steering wheel come back to center after make ng a turn? Do your tires show abnormal wear? 

Those are good indicators. Abnormal wear called cupping is also a good sign of worn out shocks or struts. 

If tires are not the exact oem spec they may need an alignment anyway. 

Edited by mrflynn03
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Thanks, guys!  Much appreciated.

I have quotes from the dealer, and from the local Firestone franchise.  Similar prices.

I've had no issues with tire wear, pulling, steering wheel placement, or anything else. 

Supposedly, these are better tires than what came with the new car.  I don't know if I need that upgrade, either.

The alignment is "only" $100 or more for 4 tires.  I hate wasting money if it's just a hustle.  But maybe it's insurance to avoid a problem down the road (HA!  See what I did there?).

Google search gives mixed answers.  The people who sell alignment say you need it.  Others say if you haven't had problems in the past, you don't. 

I trust HSN more than Google.

 

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8 hours ago, Madison22 said:

Thanks, guys!  Much appreciated.

I have quotes from the dealer, and from the local Firestone franchise.  Similar prices.

I've had no issues with tire wear, pulling, steering wheel placement, or anything else. 

Supposedly, these are better tires than what came with the new car.  I don't know if I need that upgrade, either.

The alignment is "only" $100 or more for 4 tires.  I hate wasting money if it's just a hustle.  But maybe it's insurance to avoid a problem down the road (HA!  See what I did there?).

Google search gives mixed answers.  The people who sell alignment say you need it.  Others say if you haven't had problems in the past, you don't. 

I trust HSN more than Google.

 

I figured it was 4 wheel. No point in aligning any more than the front 2. The rear doesn't have any steering components.

If your car has 100,000+ miles and never been aligned I'd call a brake and wheel shop and ask for a quote on front wheel alignment.  Should be $35-50. They'll inspect ball joints and tie rods at a minimum.  Can't do an alignment on worn our parts. 

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Gone are the days of loose bearing cages you needed to clean and grease. Heck I had a 60 that adjusted camber with washers. Now a days with everything sealed there isn’t reason for realignment unless there has been damage. If you’re car is tracking right without any unusual tire wear, the only thing you need to do is a good inspection. Make sure the grease/dust boots are not damaged! Look for any damage like dents or nicks and you should be good to go.

JMHO

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48 minutes ago, Drroogh said:

Gone are the days of loose bearing cages you needed to clean and grease. Heck I had a 60 that adjusted camber with washers. Now a days with everything sealed there isn’t reason for realignment unless there has been damage. If you’re car is tracking right without any unusual tire wear, the only thing you need to do is a good inspection. Make sure the grease/dust boots are not damaged! Look for any damage like dents or nicks and you should be good to go.

JMHO

Everything is just cheap and disposable now. I've got a pile of old axles, rotors, and hub assemblies. Too heavy for trash too small of a load for the dump. 

Can't even get rotors turned anymore. Make good boat anchors though. 

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3 minutes ago, mrflynn03 said:

Everything is just cheap and disposable now. I've got a pile of old axles, rotors, and hub assemblies. Too heavy for trash too small of a load for the dump. 

Can't even get rotors turned anymore. Make good boat anchors though. 

Yep, pretty much everything. TV’s, appliances, furniture, you name it, it’s disposable! Heck even whole cars anymore!

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My last big job about 3 years ago I replaced lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods on my old car on both sides. $50 for inner tie rod tool and $150 for parts. Took about 3 hours. I did a diy alignment with a tape measure and 2 pieces of tape until I could get it to a shop. Alignment cost me $35.

As I get older my vehicles get younger and I can afford to pay for a little more work than I used to. I rarely do an oil change anymore. It's worth the extra $20. 

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One thing that hasn't been brought up that I would consider is the miles on your car and how long you want to keep it. If you are seeing no abnormal tire wear and no pulling, you are probably ok.  If you haven't had an alignment in 100k miles, I might go for it to protect the investment in the new tires and set you up for the next 100k miles.

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