Should alignment be included with new tires?

I’m scheduled to get 2 new tires this week, and it was recommended (by the mechanic) that I get an alignment at the same time. It will cost me an extra $95, on top of the tires. My question: Is it customary to pay extra for an alignment when they’re already installing new tires? Shouldn’t alignment be part of the wheel installation package?


And,for the record, $95 doesn’t seem out of line for an alignment

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Agreed. Alignment is always additional. Been that way since I began driving back in the late '60’s. If you haven’t had it done in a while, you’ll probably be surprised by the difference it makes.

Also no. It is not and should not be included. Checking alignment is a complete different labor operation and depending on the vehicle can be time consuming. Time is money.

In MO & IL $95 is kinda steep but it also depends on the vehicle.

No. Alignment is not part of tire installation. It’s a separate operation.

Your price is right on the money, around here alignment for passenger cars/minivans is $89.95 plus tax.

Some people will say not to get an alignment until you see unusual tire wear, but by then you’ve reduced the life of those tires. I prefer to get an alignment when I get new tires.

On another note, are these tires the same brand and model as your current tires? That’s preferred for safety. (Actually, the safest approach is to have all four tires matching in tread depth as well, but I guess you’ve ruled that out.)

The old tires you’ll be taking off the car are the best indicator of whether you need an alignment or not. If they’ve been rotated during their lifetime and their wear is even, then I wouldn’t get an alignment.

Oh, and if you are only replacing 2 tires, that means you have NOT been rotating your tires enough. But don’t do it now. You’re already stuck in a pattern that you will have to work your way out of.

As to the OP’s question (Shouldn’t alignment be part of the wheel installation package?), I think it depends on how you want to pay for the alignment. In view of the very high cost of modern wheel alignment equipment, plus the labor necessary to do a good alignment, nobody can do it for free.

So, either you opt to pay $95 as a separate line item, or you pay a significantly higher price for your tires in order to pay for the alignment. When the cost of an additional item or service is “folded into” the price of a product, you don’t really know how much you are paying for that additional item or service. As a result, a place that is “giving you a free alignment” may actually be adding a higher (hidden) cost for the alignment to the price of the tires than the shop that follows the normal practice of making the alignment a separate line item on the bill.

The moral of the story is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.


well if you go to NTB tire chain they have a promotion where they lower the tire price IF you get the super tire package which includes an alignment.

Did you have alignment related wear or performance issues with your old tires ? If you didn’t, pass on it.

It is recommended to put the new tires on rear when only buying two tires no matter which end of car is driven. Replacing all four at the same time is best.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This really applies to front end alignments. If your tires wore evenly and lasted as long as you expected them to, then don’t change the settings.

There are risks in getting an alignment, especially at a tire store. They can mess up a perfectly good alignment because either the machine itself is out of calibration, the tech isn’t really qualified or they can make it so that you have to return for new tires a little more frequently.

Town Fair Tire does an alignment every time you buy tires without even telling you. And they do everything in their catacombs, behind their block walls, where the customer cannot see. That’s why I refuse to go to Town Fair Tire.

I’m comfortable with asking the customer if he’d like an alignment. I’m comfortable with recommending one, if the tire tech sees evidence of abnormal wear and shows the customer. I’m not comfortable with “pushing” an alignment. And doing it behind the customer’s back should be punishable by boiling in oil.

Tires cost so much these days, you’d think they’d come with an alignment. But no, they don’t. As mentioned by others here, unless there is a specific reason for an alignment, such as uneven tire wear, pulling, steering wheel not properly centering, me, I’d leave well enough alone.

I only get a wheel alignment when I have some sort of uneven tire wear or have replaced parts that affect alignment. So far, so good, which is probably something on the order of a million miles over the past 40+ years of driving. (Okay, I feel old now.)

A lot of the times when a customer wants tires installed at one of those franchised shops, they are told they need an alignment

Whether they do or not . . .

Does “Alignment” mean the front wheels only or does it include the rear wheels too? Rear wheels can become misaligned too but it’s more likely to happen with the front wheels that might hit a parking curb too hard or a deep pothole. A rear wheel can hit a pothole too but may be more resistant due to that a rear wheel is typically more sturdily mounted on a trailing arm.

I agree, don’t bother with an alignment unless your vehicle had steering pull or the old tires wore unevenly in a manner to indicate the need for an alignment. You can find tire wear pattern pictures with interpretations on the internet. With regular rotations you need to look a little more closely at the tire tread wear and consider the mileage where they have been assuming that you know the previous rotation patterns.


Thanks. I fixed it.

But now your post looks kind of weird. You may want to edit yours.


Thank you…