BMW tire alignment


I have a 3 series BMW ( 09 ) and wanted to get wheel balancing and alignment. BMW dealership is charging $ 225 for it and sears auto is charging half the price. Is there anything special which the dealership will do so that I should pay double the amount. ?

No…However the BMW dealer likely has state of the art Hunter Balancing Machine and alignment rack. Sears more old school. The Hunter Balancing Machine can do dynamic balancing/vibration analysis and read more into balance solving problems a regular balancer cannot.

There are tire shops who have the more more modern equipment also. The tire shops balancing will likely run same as sears or slightly more. Sears is a horror show in my experience recommending work you do not need.

btw if you are having balance problems look here>>> to see who has the equipment

Alignments in my experience have less to do with the equipment but more to do with a very experienced tech performing it.

Thanks for your detailed answer. I am having more of an issue with the alignment I think since my car is pulling to the right if I let go of the steering for a moment.

Before you put it on an alignment machine of any kind, make sure the tire pressures are balanced. There may be a difference between the front and rear tires, but side to side should be within 1 psi of each other, closer is better.

Make sure the wear on each of the tires, side to side is the same. Use a small ruler to measure the tread depth at the center of the tread on each tire. Then measure the tread depth on each circumferential groove on each tire. If the inside groove is deeper or shallower than the outside groove, that does indicate an alignment problem, but note on BMWs, the inner is often shallower than the outside tread because of the camber specs BMW uses.

If the center tread is deeper, then you need to add more pressure to your tires than you have been using, if it is shallower, then reduce the air pressure. Usually you don’t want to adjust more than 3 psi at a time until the tires wear evenly.

You could also have the front tires switched from side to side to see if the pull changes sides, that would be a tire problem. Note though I don’t like to switch radials from side to side and you cannot do it if the tires have a directional tread.