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Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? #5267419 11/14/19 06:11 PM
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SouthDakotaDad Offline OP
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Bought a nice used car that came with two brand new front tires. Rear ones were garbage, so I bought two more and threw them on the back.

The vehicle steers perfectly straight even under hard braking and tracks perfectly at highway speeds or at slower speeds.

Is an alignment absolutely necessary at this point or can I just get by with a balance and rotate at the proper intervals?

The tires that were put on were 50 something dollar Chinese tires, Ironman brand, as a placeholder until I get better tires next year.


2015 Corolla LE, 1.8, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
2012 Scion XB 2.4, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267423 11/14/19 06:15 PM
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ctechbob Offline
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Well, maybe, maybe not.

If the car drives well then maybe not, but, the car is also new to you, so you don't know if it is going to chew through those new tires or not. A car can drive perfectly fine and still have an alignment that will chew up the tires. I would say, have it checked, that way you won't be spending even more money when you get your newer/better tires in a year.

Plus, since the car is new to you, putting it up on the rack with a good alignment tech will spot any concerns that you might need to address with the suspension before they become a problem.


2008 Acura TL Type S-155k*
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Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267428 11/14/19 06:23 PM
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JohnnyJohnson Online Content
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Well only if you want to insure in even wear and longevity of your tires but say its your car and money.


2004 Corolla 137331
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Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267429 11/14/19 06:24 PM
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motts Offline
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No

Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267435 11/14/19 06:29 PM
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Gebo Online Content
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Alignments are funny things. I went to a shop and got my LS430 aligned and 2 weeks later went and got it aligned at another place and you would not believe the differences. Sorta makes me wonder....


'98 LEX LS400 300K
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Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267441 11/14/19 06:33 PM
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No


2019 VW Tiguan SE Now: Castrol Professional OE LL IV 0W20 & OE VW/Mann
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Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: Gebo] #5267449 11/14/19 06:42 PM
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SouthDakotaDad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Alignments are funny things. I went to a shop and got my LS430 aligned and 2 weeks later went and got it aligned at another place and you would not believe the differences. Sorta makes me wonder....


It does make you wonder. Differences between technicians talents, machine brand differences, etc., could definitely get multiple readings on the same vehicle.


2015 Corolla LE, 1.8, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
2012 Scion XB 2.4, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: ctechbob] #5267452 11/14/19 06:44 PM
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SouthDakotaDad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ctechbob
Well, maybe, maybe not.

If the car drives well then maybe not, but, the car is also new to you, so you don't know if it is going to chew through those new tires or not. A car can drive perfectly fine and still have an alignment that will chew up the tires. I would say, have it checked, that way you won't be spending even more money when you get your newer/better tires in a year.

Plus, since the car is new to you, putting it up on the rack with a good alignment tech will spot any concerns that you might need to address with the suspension before they become a problem.


The car has just over 20,000 miles on it and I got a real good look around under there when I fluid filmed it. You might be right though, just spend the 70 bucks for trained folks to do their thing might be prudent.


2015 Corolla LE, 1.8, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
2012 Scion XB 2.4, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267461 11/14/19 06:51 PM
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92saturnsl2 Offline
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If you don't get an alignment, you run the risk of premature tire wear and possibly replacing tires a year down the road instead of several.

If you do get an alignment, you run the risk of the alignment already being fine and throwing $70 down the toilet-- or some idiot messing the alignment up. I'm about 50/50 for good alignments at chain stores (I avoid them like the plague, but basically only places near me that do alignments). Half the time the car is great for the whole set of tires, the other half the time the car comes back with the steering wheel crooked, or a pull to one side or the other. I've not had any luck getting a shop to re-do an alignment, they always come back and say it's good-- so instead I take it somewhere else, spend another $70 and have them fix the first shop's mistake. I just chalk it up to the cost of getting an alignment.

Since this is a new-to-you vehicle, do a visual check on all your suspension components. Tie rod ends should have boots intact and no free-play (can be checked by rocking steering wheel back and forth and listening for a click/clunk.) Ball joints should have good boots and no leaking. Struts should be dry and leak free. Sway bar end links (not really related to alignment, but nice to check while you're down there) should have good boots, no leaks and no noticeable slop when you wiggle them. Taking a car in for an alignment that has worn or bad suspension components is a super fast way to flush hard earned money down the toilet. Some shops will advise you to replace worn parts, others will not notice and perform the alignment anyway.

Maybe try a shop that advertises a free alignment check? Though I suspect this is mostly a scheme to get customers in the door and sell them something.


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Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267464 11/14/19 06:56 PM
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Eddie Offline
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I never get an alignment UNLESS it is a prerequisite for the tire warranty. If the old tires are wearing good across the tread and the car shows no pulling or other bad things then no alignment needed IMO.. ED


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267501 11/14/19 07:20 PM
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JLTD Online Shocked
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No, not absolutely required. Just monitor for uneven wear at first.


I use the overseas manual to choose my viscosity.


Hers: 2008 Jeep Liberty 154k, SS 5w30/Amsoil
Looking at options.

His: 2015 4Runner 60k, SS 5w20/Amsoil

Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: JLTD] #5267509 11/14/19 07:35 PM
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Yep … when it’s time for the first rotation … read those front tires closely by comparison with the rear.

You might decide it’s time for an alignment

Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267511 11/14/19 07:38 PM
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motor_oil_madman Online Content
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The tires don't have anything to do with the alignment. the machine aligns the rims, not the tires. It's either aligned or it isn't. If your old tires were wearing funny, then get an alignment.


2007.5 dodge cummins 6.7 liter. Chevron Delo400 15w40. 7000 mile or 250-300hr intervals.

Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5267515 11/14/19 07:44 PM
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SouthDakotaDad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 92saturnsl2
If you don't get an alignment, you run the risk of premature tire wear and possibly replacing tires a year down the road instead of several.

If you do get an alignment, you run the risk of the alignment already being fine and throwing $70 down the toilet-- or some idiot messing the alignment up. I'm about 50/50 for good alignments at chain stores (I avoid them like the plague, but basically only places near me that do alignments). Half the time the car is great for the whole set of tires, the other half the time the car comes back with the steering wheel crooked, or a pull to one side or the other. I've not had any luck getting a shop to re-do an alignment, they always come back and say it's good-- so instead I take it somewhere else, spend another $70 and have them fix the first shop's mistake. I just chalk it up to the cost of getting an alignment.

Since this is a new-to-you vehicle, do a visual check on all your suspension components. Tie rod ends should have boots intact and no free-play (can be checked by rocking steering wheel back and forth and listening for a click/clunk.) Ball joints should have good boots and no leaking. Struts should be dry and leak free. Sway bar end links (not really related to alignment, but nice to check while you're down there) should have good boots, no leaks and no noticeable slop when you wiggle them. Taking a car in for an alignment that has worn or bad suspension components is a super fast way to flush hard earned money down the toilet. Some shops will advise you to replace worn parts, others will not notice and perform the alignment anyway.

Maybe try a shop that advertises a free alignment check? Though I suspect this is mostly a scheme to get customers in the door and sell them something.


Whenever I see complimentary anything, there is always a catch, especially at a tire or a car dealership. haha

I live in a town of almost 200,000 so I am thinking there would be better alternatives to the standard chain store alignment places, because you are right, they often screw it up or make it worse.

That is a great check list for any car owner. Thanks for posting that 92saturn!

Last edited by SouthDakotaDad; 11/14/19 07:45 PM.

2015 Corolla LE, 1.8, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
2012 Scion XB 2.4, QSUD 0w-20, Fram Ultra
Re: Is an alignment absolutely needed after new tires? [Re: SouthDakotaDad] #5267533 11/14/19 07:57 PM
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Saabist Offline
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I don't align unless the old tires have a funky wear pattern. A lot of cars have no adjustments other than front wheel toe-in. (Of course worn parts can cause alignment problems as well.)

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