Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Alignment needed after ball joints replacement?

edited November -1 in Repair and Maintenance
I just got a new front ball joint and they tacked on and extra $75 for a 4 wheel alignment. Is this need after the ball joint replacement or are the screwing me?
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • edited March 2009

    Yes...If not you could be ruining your $120/each tires.
  • edited March 2009
    There certainly is a group that promotes this addition. Were you asked before hand? Can you accept having a alignment simply because it has been awhile since your last one? What type of car? what type of suspension (upper or lower ball joint).

    Myself I have done hundreds of ball joint replacements on BMW"S and never had to include in a alignment. In discussing this with other mechanics at tech school some guys always do them.

    The shop doesn't want you comming back with a tire wear problem and saying it was caused by the ball joint replacement.(none of mine came back).
  • edited March 2009
    It is a 2001 Hyundai Elantra with about 110k miles. The right front ball joint was replaced. My last alignment was in October, but through the winter I have hit some nasty potholes.

    I was asked if I wanted one and declined, but when I looked at the bill they did one, which is why I was wondering if it was required with work like this. I also rotated my tires/oil change for the visit.

  • edited March 2009
    You should absolutely have a alignment after replacing any steering or suspension component.

  • edited March 2009
    They asked, you declined,nothing is required we have free choice here in the USA. How did the alignment come out (steering centered) I have related my experiences.
  • edited March 2009
    I'm surprized they asked. It's part of doing the job properly.

    Yes, you needed it and no, they did nothing wrong.
  • edited March 2009
    No - alignments are permanent.
  • edited March 2009
    Alignments are permanent? When pigs fly maybe.

    The OP says they've hit nasty potholes over the winter. It only takes one nasty pothole to knock the front end out of alignment or damage something which then leads to the alignment being off.

    Inspecting the alignment is the proper thing to do when any suspension parts are changed as even a few thousandths of an inch here and there with a suspension part can translate to fractions of degrees; or even full degrees.
  • edited March 2009
    YOu are very wrong, tie rod ends are adjustable for toe in and toe out. and the rear and front should be aligned. When parts are worn or replaced in the suspension or steering, IT is mandatory to check and realigned the suspension and steering gear. The only permanent alignment I have seen is on the little wooden race cars that the cub and boy scouts make for the pinewood derby. It doesn't mean that cars can hold alignment when a part is replaced, but how do you know without testing and resetting. Part of the cost of ownership and proper maintenance.
  • edited March 2009
    On most cars, you didn't say what your is, if the wheels were aligned before the ball joints were replaced, then an alignment is not necessary. However, by the time a car needs new ball joints, it probably needs an alignment too.

    Heres the catch-22, it is very difficult (impossible) to do an alignment when the ball joints are worn, so having a recent alignment means that it probably really isn't aligned.

    The bottom line is that you probably needed the alignment.
This discussion has been closed.