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2017 Volkswagen Passat - Alignment

I have a 2017 VW Passat. I’m told it needs a 4-wheel alignment. The problem is, the dealer tells me this comes with a calibration of the adaptive cruise control, to the tune of $600 just for the calibration. What gives? Am I being taken for a ride? Why does wheel alignment generate a need for cruise control calibration?

I checked a couple of VW forums on your behalf and unfortunately it’s true. However, you can always go to an alignment shop rather than the dealer and probably get a better price. Mind you, it will still be expensive but maybe not to the tune of $600.

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If your tires are not unevenly worn, and if the car goes straight down the highway, you are being scammed. Shame on VW for making this more complicated. 3-year-old car needs an alignment? Bad design.

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Not necessarily.
We don’t know whether the OP–or somebody else who drives the car–might have hit a curb, and we don’t know the condition of the roads in his area. If the roads in his area are pockmarked with potholes, it is entirely possible for the alignment to be screwed-up.

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Without knowing what evidence leads to a needs-alignment diagnosis, we can’t be much help here. Are the tires worn unevenly? Did the car suffer an accident or curb strike? Does it “pull” to one side when you are driving? Did you recently buy new tires and an alignment was suggested?

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I appreciate the sentiment, but I was told that new tires = four-wheel alignment, along with a big bill. I decided to ignore all the noise and simply replace the tires. It’s fine and I’m $600 richer.

Took 6 months to pull the trigger? Come back in 6 more months and report on tire wear. Or lack of.

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If there was abnormal tire wear before then your new tires are going to be showing signs of the same in the future.
An alignment on every new car is not a fixed in stone position; not even factoring in potholes, curbs, railroad tracks, and so on.

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I actually pulled that trigger right away. Just took me this long to answer here. I didn’t see any reason to do the alignment, so I didn’t. Tire wear is fine. Handling is fine.

I see. Are you original owner? How many miles btw.

Yep. I bought the car new. It’s my fourth VW (two Passats and two Jettas). The car has 75k miles on it now. I’ll drive VWs or Audis the rest of my days. I love them. I like the German approach to instruments and I like the fact that the layout is good for big folks. I’m 6’6", 280 lbs. and I fit nicely in my Passat.

Were all 4 tires original? Rotated occasionally and worn evenly?