As you scour the market for vehicle maintenance services, the cost is a significant consideration. Are you getting a good deal, or are you getting ripped off? If you’re wondering, “How much does tire alignment cost?” you’re at the right place.
Use this guide to help you learn about the process of aligning tires and the costs associated with this service. There are benefits to frequent maintenance like this that could lead to long-term savings. We’ll cover this and more so, read on!
So, how much does tire alignment cost? The answer depends on whether you need a two-wheel or four-wheel service. A two-wheel aligning service can cost anywhere from $50-$75. A four-wheel job will cost more since it requires more work on more tires. For a four-wheel service, you can expect the cost to be upwards of $100.
What Does a Tire Alignment Do?
This process doesn’t impact the wheels at all. It has to do with the car’s suspension, which is the internal mechanism that connects the car and the tires. This service can improve tire performance, enhance longevity, and minimize pulling and vibrating as you drive.
Does Tire Alignment Save Drivers Money Long-Term?
Replacing a tire can be a costly purchase, but it’s a worthwhile investment as it can prevent wear and tear that lead to more frequent replacements. It also keeps your vehicle safer and ready to pass inspections, which can prevent costly damage from accidents. A small maintenance cost can mean big savings long-term.
While a two-wheel or four-wheel service could cost anywhere from $50-100, that is nothing compared to the cost of repairs if you get into an accident. Wear and tear like feathering or camber-wear can be so hazardous that it requires complete replacement to maintain road safety. This damage makes tires more likely to hydroplane or skid on the road. Getting your tires rotated could help to even out the damage, but it just puts off the inevitable costly replacement.
Alignment services that cost around $100 or less are preventative so that you never end up having to pay inflated repair costs due to an accident.
Do You Have to Align All 4 Tires?
Not every tire alignment extends to all four tires. Some vehicles, specifically those with all-wheel-drive, may require a 4-wheel alignment. Other vehicles can opt for a 2-wheel, or front-end, alignment because it is only for the front wheels.
4-Wheel vs. Front-End
These terms not only refer to a different set of parts on the car, but they also indicate different types of alignments.
4-wheel services affect, as the name suggests, all four wheels on the vehicle. The front tires may receive toe or caster adjustments, while the back tires get toe or camber adjustments.
Front-end services refer to adjustments on only the front two tires. These could be toe, caster, camber, or thrust angle alterations.
How Do You Know If You Need an Alignment or Balance?
Signs that you need these services can look very similar to the untrained eye. Balancing and aligning are different services, though. The former refers to fixing the weight distribution, and the latter refers to fixing the suspension.
Read more: How Long Does It Take To Align Tires?
Signs Your Vehicle Needs Balancing
It is typical to have this service conducted when you take your car in for a tire rotation or other maintenance. Risk factors that may require balancing sooner include leaving your car parked for long periods or hitting a pothole.
Vibrations can be a signal to have your tires balanced. It could be in the steering wheel, the floorboard, or the seat. The steering wheel is more likely to indicate issues with the front tires, while the seat tends to correlate to issues with the rear tires.
Signs Your Vehicle Needs an Alignment
Check our guide: How to tell if a tire is directional?
If you are unsure about whether your vehicle may benefit from this service, there are a few methods that you can use to check.
The first way is to take your car for a drive and feel for pulling to the left or right. The second way is to accelerate and feel for a vibration in the steering wheel. While vibration in the steering wheel, floor, and seat can be a sign that you need balancing instead, it could still be due to alignment. These could both be indications that it may be time to bring it into the shop or the dealership.
If you drive straight and your steering wheel tilts off-center, it may be time for a tire alignment. Pulling to either side can also indicate this.
The cost of this service depends on the type of car that you have. Two-wheel and four-wheel alignments are the two types available, with two-wheel being less expensive at about $50-75. Four-wheel alignments cost more because they adjust all four tires on the vehicle. This can be upwards of $100. Both alignment services help to keep the vehicle safe, prevent costly accidents, and stave off replacement costs for new parts by extending the lifespan of your car’s suspension.