A Guide for Wheel Alignment Costs
The benefits of proper wheel alignment go beyond aligning your car’s wheels for better traction, improved ride experience, and great steering response. Aligning your wheels impacts your fuel economy and affects your durability.
It is one thing to understand the need for wheel alignment, but another to know and afford the required wheel alignment.
Wheel alignment isn’t a maintenance routine that you will always do. Getting the best hands to align your wheel will save you much stress and ensure your safety on the road. But how much does a wheel alignment cost? The average cost of a wheel alignment is $90 to $150.
You must understand that there is no general law on how much it will cost to align your wheels. Your location, labor cost, and the number of wheels you want to align affect the cost of your wheel alignment. The cost of a wheel alignment varies when you want to do a front-end or 4-wheel alignment.
Here's all you need to know about wheel alignment costs and procedures.
Table of Contents
- Wheel Alignment Cost: How Much Does It Cost?
- What Influences The Cost Of Wheel Alignment?
- Are Wheel Alignments Worth It?
- How Often Should Alignment Be Done?
- How Do I Check My Alignment?
- Can You Do Your Own Alignment?
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Wheel Alignment Cost: How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of a wheel alignment varies in different regions. It is laughable to expect the same rates across different areas. This is because hourly rates and labor costs vary in different locations.
However, more factors than regions and labor costs determine how much you can pay to align your wheels. This includes whether you are looking for a front-wheel or four-wheel alignment. Nevertheless, on a rough estimate, we believe it will cost you roughly between $90 to $150 to get your wheels aligned.
This also depends on the type of car that you are aligning its wheels.
According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), this is the estimated cost of getting a wheel alignment for a 2022 Acura RDX Sport Utility 4D in the USA. You should notice the price variations in different cities. This is similar to every service center in the world.
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What Influences The Cost Of Wheel Alignment?
1. Type of Vehicle
The type of vehicle that you have depends on the cost of its alignment. This covers the make and model of the car. The truth is that some cars need only a four-wheel alignment, while some cars will work well with a front-end wheel alignment.
This includes the fact that the designs of some luxury cars, or cars with solid rear axles, make their alignment costly because they need to employ a different alignment procedure. For instance: in most regions, you will have to pay $150 for a four-wheel alignment. This is against the $90 fee for a four-wheel alignment.
If you are driving a luxury car, or your car requires some specialized equipment, you must understand that the wheel alignment cost will be expensive. The more difficult and time-consuming the job is, the higher the charges.
Cars with adaptive suspensions and active steering systems are more difficult to handle and cost more. It is advisable that you take these cars to your dealer or a specialist for an efficient alignment.
2. Type of Alignment
The type of alignment done on your vehicle determines its estimated cost. This covers the cost of inspection and the type of machinery used for the alignment. It is important to note that a four-wheel alignment is more expensive than a front-end alignment.
However, it is unwise to resort to only a front-end alignment because you want to save money. Front-end alignment refers to the alignment of your front tires and the two wheels.
Four-wheel alignment or full-wheel alignment handles both front-end alignment and rear suspension alignment. This covers the alignment of all your car’s wheels.
You must understand that there are different costs for digital and manual alignment. There are rising worries about the accuracy of a digital alignment against a manual alignment.
But you must understand that digital alignments are more expensive than manual alignments. This is because of the technology employed in digital alignments to ensure optimal precision in your alignment.
A console-camera software runs diagnostics on your car, printing out the parts that need to be aligned.
The alignment may include toe-in/toe-out, camber, caster, kingpin inclination, or thrust angle alignments. With two people, the process of manual alignment is easier, although precision is not as guaranteed as on digital alignments.
3. Number of Wheels
The number of wheels booked for alignment determines the estimated cost. Most wheel alignment servicemen charge per wheel, although some offer hourly rates. For a two-wheel alignment, you will spend close to $50 to $80, but for four wheels, the cost shoots up to $100 to $200.
4. Additional Costs
Aside from all these, your location and the type of shop you visited will also determine the wheel alignment cost. There are also considerations for extra services carried out on the car in the alignment process.
Some mechanics offer free alignment, but in the event of none, you will pay for the alignment. This includes the cost of balancing or suspension repairs if necessary.
Your mechanic will inspect your car to decide the condition of your suspension and if there are needs for changes. If there are modifications to your vehicle, the cost for alignment will be higher. The truth is that some repair shops will not accept alignment if your car is modified.
For cost-effective options, some shops offer lifetime and one-time alignment services. You will need a lifetime alignment if you will be using your car for a long time.
Are Wheel Alignments Worth It?
Yes. Wheel alignments are worth it because they ensure that your tires don’t wear out quickly and impact your driving experience. It is very necessary that you get your wheels aligned, after every oil change, between intervals of getting a new tire, and at every one or two years of consistent use.
It might be pricey to get your wheels aligned, but it is worth it.
Here are some of the reasons why wheel alignments are worth it.
- Improves Fuel economy
- Smooth Rides
- Improves tire durability
- Reduces frequency of repairs and chances of damages on your suspension.
How Often Should Alignment Be Done?
It is advisable that you get your wheel alignment done every one to two years. Certain situations will make you get a wheel alignment earlier than expected, less, say, every six months.
You will need frequent wheel alignments if you are in the habit of subjecting your wheels to extreme pressure.
If you drive so fast and always on off-road terrains, you need to get a wheel alignment at least every six months.
There are misconceptions about getting a wheel alignment each time to change your tires. This is a half-baked truth. You only need a wheel alignment after changing your tires if the old tires were unaligned.
How Do I Check My Alignment?
To easily identify if you need a wheel alignment, you must know how to check your wheel alignment. It is advisable for you to get a professional to check your wheel alignment, but there’s no harm in learning how to do so yourself.
Here are easy ways to check your wheel alignment without the help of a professional.
- Check your tire threads. If there are irregularities in the wearing of your tires, there are chances that you need a wheel alignment
- Park your car and check if the centerlines of your rear and front tires align. You can use tape and a white spray to do this.
- Take your car for a road test and check for irregularities in your drive pattern.
- Finally, you can take your car to a professional if you are unsure of your diagnosis.
Can You Do Your Own Alignment?
Yes. You can do your own alignment. Although you will need some machines and tools to get it done, we can’t overrule the fact that you can do a DIY alignment anywhere you are.
However, for efficient results and optimal performance, we advise that you hire the services of a serviceman who is professionally trained instead of doing it yourself.
No matter how much a wheel alignment costs, the benefits outnumber the initial cost. You should not try to cut costs by opting for a front wheel alignment when you need a complete wheel alignment or trying to do it yourself when you don’t have professional experience.
Getting a proper wheel alignment will save you many expenses in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an alignment improve gas mileage?
Yes. A proper wheel alignment can improve your gas mileage by at least 10%. Bad alignment reduces your tire’s ability to roll freely. This will result in sludges in your system. You will end up spending more than necessary on gas because your car is not having proper contact with the road.
Does wheel alignment affect acceleration?
Yes. Your wheel alignment can affect and decide if you are getting it right on acceleration or not. Bad alignment causes tire wear and irregular wheel patterns, which will generate lots of frictional effects on your car, putting so much strain on your suspension components and impacting the performance of your brakes.
A wheel alignment will reduce the level of contact your tires make with the road, which can affect acceleration.
Can alignment affect brakes?
Yes. Alignment affects your brakes and can cause brake problems. When your car has alignment problems, it will cause your car to drag to one side, causing a loss of grip on the tires and steering wheel. This will, in turn, affect the response of your brakes on those tires.