Wheels are an integral part of your car and you may already be familiar with how they work and the basic functionality behind their mechanism. In a new car, the wheels are in perfect alignment and are perpendicular to the road but over time with prolonged use, the wheels tend to move out of alignment and they require servicing. The focus of this blog is on the wheel alignment cost and its significance.
A proper wheel alignment is crucial for the longevity of your car, increases your fuel efficiency, and guards your suspension, ensuring the safety of passengers. It is essential for driving straight which makes steering nearly effortless. The wheel alignment cost may depend on a lot of factors but do not shy away from spending some money to get your wheels realigned.
Routine maintenance and service of your wheels is a key prerequisite to ensuring a safe ride for you and your passengers. Unaligned wheels are one of the most common issues faced by car owners and can lead to early wear on your tyres, your car leaning one way, or even cause accidents.
A wheel alignment service requires a specially trained automotive expert who is responsible for readjusting the angle of your car’s wheels so they are attuned to the manufacturer’s specifications.
It is best to get a professional’s help because it requires technical expertise and the use of digital equipment that offers more precision and proper results in way less time.
Even though it is termed a wheel alignment, the actual process of adjustment is carried out to the suspension. Please note that wheel alignment is not the same as wheel balancing, which compensates for the weight of the wheel.
Three key measurements are checked and adjusted when carrying out a wheel alignment:
All three of these measures affect the steering, stability, and lifespan of the tires and other components of the wheel and suspension of your car.
How much does a typical wheel alignment cost?
As discussed above the cost of an alignment is based on many factors: thesuspension system, alignment type, make and model of car, one-time or lifetime alignment, vehicle modifications, etc.
But typically the number of wheels is a major factor that affects the cost of wheel alignment the most: A front-end wheel alignment service, which includes only the front two wheels of the car, generally costs anywhere between $50 to $90. Whereas, vehicles that need four-wheel alignments tend to cost more, mostly $100 to $150.
If your vehicle has certain parts that need any kind of modifications, repairs, or replacements, that will make your overall cost of wheel alignment to be higher.
So if it needs an extra hour or two of labor, you might be charged another $200 in addition to the average alignment price of $90.
Purchasing a lifetime alignment service can be a great deal if you are sure that you will get alignments done at the same service center which will make it worth your money. So, if the average cost of an alignment is $80 and a lifetime alignment costs $210, you will save much more especially If you live somewhere with uneven roads or frequently take your automobile off-road, opting for lifetime alignments is, without a doubt, the way to go.
Also, if you own a highly luxurious or exotic car, you can expect to be charged more for wheel alignment.
Some automobile repair shops in Adelaide, Australia may perform an alignment check for free; but, the cost of any kind of alignment process starts at $90. The price may vary based on location, but some country-wide chains may charge uniform rates everywhere.
Why is it so necessary to have your wheels aligned?
To a lot of car owners, a correctly aligned car may not appear very critical, but it may end up in expensive repairs if ignored. When the wheels move out of alignment, it negatively impacts the overall suspension and steering system, which can cause major issues like early onset of wear and tear on your tires.
Here are three major reasons why it is necessary to have your wheels aligned:
1. Increases the lifespan of your wheels
Wheels that are not aligned properly will result in faster deterioration and uneven wear down of your tires, requiring you to replace them early. Correctly aligned wheels will increase the longevity of your wheels, when the tires are aligned, they work together in conformity, and you can cover long distances without having to worry about wheel replacements before its due.
2. Better fuel economy
When your car wheels aren’t aligned properly, they don’t consistently work together. Due to this, your car’s engine is compelled to work a lot more to get your car to move forward, consequently reducing the fuel economy of your car. So in order to prevent that from happening it is necessary to have your wheels aligned.
3. Crucial for safe driving
Wheels that are not aligned properly will make your car veer to one side, or make your ride bumpy or jolt frequently making it detrimental to you and your passenger’s safety and if your tires give out you might be left stranded in the middle of the road, needing a tire change.
This is why it is absolutely necessary to have your wheels aligned.
4. Proper handling
If your car’s wheels are not aligned as they should be, you will find it harder to steer. You may even at times have to grip the steering wheel at an inconvenient angle to drive the car straight, or to avoid it from getting pulled to one side. Not being able to handle the steering of your car increases the possibility of getting into an accident. Correct wheel alignment lets you drive safely and smoothly while maintaining the stable handling of your car.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Alignment
Now that we have discussed why it is absolutely necessary to have your wheels aligned, let us tell you about the pricing of wheel alignment and the factors that influence it:
1. Make and model of your car
The make and model of the vehicle determine how much a wheel alignment would cost. While some vehicles only need a two-wheel alignment because of how their real axle is built, some vehicles may need a four-wheel alignment. In the case of a four-wheel alignment, you might have to pay double what you would otherwise pay for a front-end or two-wheel alignment.
Do not ask the mechanic to do a front-end alignment, (to save some money) even though your car needs a four-wheel alignment because this may result in misaligned wheels, you can just take your car to an automobile center that charges the same price for all make and models.
High-end cars, especially the ones with active steering or adaptive suspension system, may need more specialized procedures for adjustment.
2. Type of alignment-digital or manual
The type of alignment manual or digital is another factor that affects the cost. Upfront, a digital alignment may cost more but will save you money in the long haul with its high level of precision. Auto service centers usually charge more for digital alignment services because of the cost of equipment and skill.
On the other hand, a manual alignment is quite cheaper in comparison and is performed by measuring the tires by hand with the help of a string but offers less precision than digital alignment.
A manual process is relatively easier to carry out and is much less pricey than a digital alignment. Although it is said to be less precise, manual alignment is carried out on even 200-mph drag racers, so if manual alignment best fits your budget, go ahead.
3. State of the suspension system
If any part of the steering or suspension system of your vehicle is damaged or worn out, the automobile shop will charge more for wheel alignment. This is because these damaged parts will need a repair or replacement before the wheels can be aligned properly. The cost of the replacement parts and labor will be added over and above the cost of the alignment service.
The sum and substance
Remember the cost of getting an alignment is way lesser than what you would eventually have to pay if you decide to skip it. Neglecting this simple yet crucial preventative step will need frequent tire replacements, on top of that, driving with unaligned wheels could also damage other components. So we recommend making wheel alignment a part of your routine maintenance to avoid other costly repairs to your car.