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#4565668 - 11/06/17 08:40 AM Front end alignments
Rat407 Offline

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: North Carolina
Just wondering if anyone else is finding that needing an alignment is just about gone by the way of the dinosaurs?

Our 2008 Acadia never needed an alignment and we had it up to 80 miles. Our 2012 Cruze has 50k and tires are wearing well along with my 2014 Cruze. Had it checked because it seemed to pull ever so slightly to the right and it was good. Turns out the pulling was a little bit of torque steer. When I let off the gas or put it in neutral it tracked straight.

I can't say the same for our 2011 Acadia but that was my fault for hitting a curb and blowing out the left front tire and killing the rim and left rear tire while down in Charleston. Wasn't familiar with the streets it was darkand at 40mph, hitting a curb and having a blowout isn't fun. No fun putting the space saver spare on either at 10pm on a Saturday night. Lucky for us Firestone was open and they had a tire that was our size and the rim held air for long enough for use to get home and me purchase a new one. On a side note, I did get $25 for the bad rim at the recycle yard. smile

My 02 Silverado was aligned over 10yrs ago and the tires on it now are wearing well also.

The roads around here are good but we do have R/R tracks and some rough back country roads that all these vehicles see. As well as trips to PA where we all know the roads are not the best and where I'm from there are a ton of R/R tracks.

Just seems that vehicles have come a long way and I guess our roads as well since alignments are not as common as they use to be, at least for me.

#4565681 - 11/06/17 08:56 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
old1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 941
Loc: Columbus Nebraska
I use to do alignments, originally at 2 different dealerships back in the late 60's, and later at my own shop. But for myself, very very seldom did I need to do an alignment on my own vehicles. Haven't done one for my self for so many years, I can't remember. Although my 65 mustang does pull slightly right, but not enough to bother me , and it doesn't wear the tires.
2014 Fusion 2.5 engine 5/20 QSUD
1965 Mustang 200 c/4 10w30 QS defy
1964 Ford Ranchero 302 c/4 15/40 Delo
1929 ford model A No filters, and 15/40 oil

#4565685 - 11/06/17 08:59 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
WobblyElvis Online   content

Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1237
Loc: Toronto Canada
Manufacturing has improved. At 198,000 miles my car has the original inner and outer tie rods. A lot of things are over sold for obvious reasons. I think defective/unusual tires are the cause of most steering problems these days.

Edited by WobblyElvis (11/06/17 09:00 AM)

#4565690 - 11/06/17 09:05 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
exranger06 Offline

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 3804
Loc: Guilford, CT
If you have to replace tie rods, or replace any suspension component that involves removing the cam/adjuster bolts, you'll need an alignment afterwards to put it back where it should be.
2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)

#4565693 - 11/06/17 09:10 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
fenixguy Offline

Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 306
Loc: NC
OP, I'd love to know where in North Carolina are the roads "good". I've driven in all but about 5 states in the continental US and I think NC has just about the worst roads I've seen. At least top 5 worst in my experience. Of course, I live in the mountains so YMMV. It's a running joke in the family that you can tell when you've crossed into NC from TN, VA, or SC because all the passengers are woke up from the bumps and road noise.

Anyway, I usually get an alignment every time I purchase new tires. Mostly because of how bad the roads are here. It's only about $50 or so if I get the tire shop to do it and there's usually a $100 rebate on the tires I buy.
'16 Frontier SV 4x4-PP/Nissan OEM
'08 CR-V EX AWD-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram TG
'01 Civic EX-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram UG
'00 Civic LX-PYB/Fram UG

#4565703 - 11/06/17 09:26 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1217
Loc: WI
I have to get my Liberty done every few years from making adjustments to the lift. Hard to find a shop that will only charge for a front end alignment, most want to sell a 4 wheel alignment which is dumb since the rear is a solid axle and not adjustable. The dealer actually differentiates and charges only $40.

I get alignments whenever I do front end work. If I don't do any work, then I don't get an alignment unless something feels funny. Sometimes if I have an odd noise I'll go in for an alignment check and let them figure out what the problem is, LOL.
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

#4565706 - 11/06/17 09:29 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
Rat407 Offline

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: North Carolina
I'm in eastern NC. Don't know where NCDOT got the money but they just repaved a ton of back roads here. Really nice now that is where I do a bunch of my cycling miles. Also I-40 just got redone from Wilmington to I-95 and from there to Raleigh it is nice concrete.

I can see where the mountain area would be worse. I would imagine all those curves and such make it a major pain to pave. Here, everything is flat and straight. LOL

#4565707 - 11/06/17 09:32 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
andyd Offline

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 6739
Loc: Marshfield , MA
The 528e has a tender front end. But the only time it needed a toe check was if the tie rods or center link was replaced. Last few TR changes I was able to re-create the length close enough to prevent tire wear.
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter.

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline bulk 0w20 and ? filter

#4565727 - 11/06/17 10:05 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
zzyzzx Offline

Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4225
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I don't bother aligning my beater, since at 22 years old and 242K miles, I have to wonder how loose some of the components are that might make it a moot point unless I have a really good reason like tire wear issues that I don't have.

#4565741 - 11/06/17 10:16 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: andyd]
Wolf359 Offline

Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4289
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: andyd
The 528e has a tender front end. But the only time it needed a toe check was if the tie rods or center link was replaced. Last few TR changes I was able to re-create the length close enough to prevent tire wear.

Not sure where you're driving, but I'm in the city and I've hit potholes where I instantly knew the alignment was off as the steering wheel was no longer centered afterwards. I usually get a 3 year alignment warranty. Sometimes when I go, it doesn't really seem like it's off, but afterwards they always end up adjusting it a little.

#4565760 - 11/06/17 10:41 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
mcwilly Offline

Registered: 07/31/17
Posts: 83
Loc: Canada
I had to get an alignment once on my 2010 Sti. It was a 4 wheel alignment. I remember the guy saying that it wasn't one of the front tires pulling left. It was a rear tire pushing that direction that needed adjustment.

My alignment knowledge is pretty minimal, that sounded strange, but it has been perfect ever since so he did something right.

Ive been debating getting an alignment on the 2001 echo as I do get vibrations in the steering wheel. But Ive been holding off because it is intermittent and seems to depend on roads and wind conditions more than anything. The wheels seem okay and I have a couple extra sets, so I will likely just grit it out.
2010 Subaru Sti 71,000km
2001 Toyota Echo 228,000km

#4565762 - 11/06/17 10:41 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
andyd Offline

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 6739
Loc: Marshfield , MA
Probably the main difference is that the 30 yr old Bimmer rolls on 195 70 14s What does your car roll on? I drive like a little old lady in town. I'm scared silly of hitting a jaywalker.
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter.

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline bulk 0w20 and ? filter

#4565782 - 11/06/17 11:02 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
JohnnyJohnson Offline

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2145
Loc: Wet side WA
Just got a 4 way alignment when I got my new tires near 5000 miles ago now they are about 300 miles away from rotation. A couple of the settings where out 4 degrees. Everything was adjusted. My old tires had made me suspect by their wear they was a slight need to align the car. Now everything appears to be just fine. Usually I do an alignment when I get new tires though.
2004 Toyota Corolla 118786
Out: QSUD 5W-30 Purolator One 5030 mile OIC
In: Valvoline ML 5w-30 Fram TG4967 117530
2006 Duramax 73712

#4565796 - 11/06/17 11:18 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
StevieC Offline

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I drive a ton of miles for my job and have only needed an alignment on one vehicle I owned and it was used. The Santa Fe in my signature drove its whole life with factory alignment. I replaced one control arm and set it to the same measurement of the old one and kept on driving. I also only rotate my tires with the seasonal tire change and not every 10,000 like I'm told. LOL

Edited by StevieC (11/06/17 11:18 AM)
'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
'06 Hyundai Santa Fe - 535,000km - SSO 0w30 (R.I.P)

#4565826 - 11/06/17 11:51 AM Re: Front end alignments [Re: Rat407]
Thax Offline

Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 780
Loc: VA
I perform a lot of alignments , almost 2 a day. I can say that most vehicles I get on the alignment rack have angle values way off. Now , 90% of the alignments I perform are on KIA's in the D.C metro area so maybe its that. I find it is usually rear camber and toe that are the worst. Key to performing a good alignment is to adjust the rear first ,then the front. Key to getting a good alignment is getting a tech who understands alignment and how to use his/her alignment rack.
97 Grand Prix GTP
11 Jetta 2.5 SE
ASE P2 Parts Specialist
AIA Import Part Specialist
KIA certified Senior Technician, Hybrid certified.

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