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How Much Does A Wheel Alignment Cost? – Bankrate.com

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The safety features on your vehicle include more than anti-lock brakes, traction control devices and airbags. Your wheels and tires are important in keeping you safe by helping you drive straight, turn corners and stop whenever necessary. To achieve optimal performance, have your vehicle tires properly aligned, which can cost as little as $50 or close to $170.
The process of adjusting your vehicle’s suspension, ensuring your tires connect with the road at the proper angles.
The complete service typically costs anywhere from $50 for a two-wheel alignment to $168 for a full four-wheel alignment, depending on the provider. It should be done about once a year, but the exact timing will depend on your car and driving habits.
Preventive maintenance is critical for keeping you and your passengers safe. Although experts recommend that you should get your tires aligned every one to two years, there are some other signs you should head to the autobody shop.
The cost of an alignment depends on several factors:
The cost of a wheel alignment varies by establishment, type of vehicle and even your ZIP code. Here is a breakdown of the expected cost for a four-wheel vehicle alignment, by state, for a 2022 Toyota Camry according to Kelley Blue Book’s fair repair range.
When you take your car into a shop for an alignment, the technician starts by analyzing angles at three checkpoints — caster, camber and toe — by using an alignment machine and performing a visual inspection.
Some mechanics also take the vehicle on the road for a test drive to check for signs of alignment problems, like a steering wheel that vibrates or a vehicle that veers to the left or right when the steering wheel is in a resting position.
The mechanic then compares the angles with the manufacturer’s recommendations for best performance.
After completing the analysis, the technician places the vehicle on an alignment rack and mounts targets to the wheel ends. The technician then uses the machine to adjust the caster, camber and toe until they are within the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended ranges.
Most mechanics take the vehicle out for another test drive to check the new adjustments and ensure everything functions properly.
Regularly adjusting your vehicle’s alignment offers several benefits that save you time, give you a smoother ride and keep you safer on the road. Tire alignment ensures that your car works as the manufacturer intended. Having improperly aligned tires could lead to worse gas mileage, more wear on your tires and damage to your vehicle’s components.
Properly aligned tires maintain better contact with the road’s surface by extending the life of your tires and reducing skidding on slick roads. This also reduces rolling resistance and better absorbs road shock, resulting in improved gas mileage and a smoother ride on paved surfaces.
During the alignment, your mechanic may discover worn suspension parts, giving you an opportunity to replace them before they turn into a costly or dangerous mechanical problem that takes your car off the road for an extended period.
You can get an alignment done at any local mechanic or auto repair center. If you don’t have a relationship with a mechanic, call around for quotes or use resources like Kelley Blue Book to compare prices in your area.
While you should call ahead for an appointment, the wheel alignment itself should take only about an hour. With that said, the process could take longer if the mechanic finds any underlying issues or needs to replace additional components.
If getting an alignment seems expensive, remember that skipping it could ultimately be more expensive. Forgoing this preventative maintenance means you’ll have to replace the tires more frequently. Driving with unaligned tires could also wear out components like your suspension. Spending a hundred or so dollars each year on tire alignment could save you much more in costly repairs.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
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