Tires with alignment


#1

my dealership says when you buy new tires you should always have your car aligned. i have 60,000 miles on my toyota highlander. it this true?


#2

Alignment is not always necessary when you buy new tires. A good tire dealership would look at tire wear and make a recommendation based on that.

Check this out.


#3

Uh-oh! Are you buying your tires from a new car dealership?! Ah, such innocence is refreshing.

Only buy tires from a tire dealership. In fact, if your vehicle is off warrenty there is no reason to ever go back to the dealership, even for routine maintenance and repair. Find a trustworthy independent mechanic. You will save money.

Anyhoo, it is simply not true that you should get a front wheel alignment with each tire purchase. Few cars need alignment; most don’t. The above post can advise you.


#4

I just got tires at Sears and they were quoted with alignment, as if it went along automatically with mounting, balancing, etc. They didn’t even look at the old tires. Thanks, but no thanks, I said. My '05 Camry with 50,000 miles was not showing any evidence of needing alignment and the old tires wore evenly…


#5

I think it’s a good idea to have the alignment checked. You are investing alot of money in new tires so having the piece of mind knowing the alignment is is within specs might be worth it.

My experience working at Goodyear Tire was that very few vehicles came in with tires wearing perfectly. We would recommend checking the alignment based on tire wear. The alignment check would be free with a purchase of tires. If the alignment was within specs the customer had the satisfaction of knowing the tires would wear evenly.


#6

Guess I’m the odd man out again. Yes, you should have the car put on an alignment rack on a regular basis for these reasons.

Over time, suspension can settle and wear a bit. It does not take much to throw the alignment out of whack.
One good pothole, railroad track, or curb strike can also tweak something enough to put the car out of alignment.

Tire wear is not always an indicator either. I recently replaced both ball joints in someone’s vehicle after one of them broke; luckily they were close to a dead stop when it happened. Both front tires showed no signs of abnormal wear.

A good front end tech will also inspect the suspension parts for any wear, advise you of any potential problems, and should refuse to align a vehicle until a fault is repaired.

I realize that 60k miles is not much but as a tech I can say that I’ve had to replace a lot of tie rods, tie rod ends, and even some ball joints at far less than 60k miles. It all depends on the road surface and how much water and road salt those components have suffered through. JMHO anyway.


#7

Absolutely not. Thats not to say that you shouldn’t get it aligned. I’m only saying that the dealers statement is wrong.

If your tires wore out prematurely or there was evidence of uneven tire wear, then you should get the vehicle aligned. If you had the tires rotated frequently, they may not show any unusual wear patterns, but they would wear out much sooner than expected.

If the tires lasted as long as you expected and there were no unusual wear patterns, then I wouldn’t mess with it. I’ve seen too many alignments messed up by having an alignment done, either by a machine that was out of spec or a “technician” that wasn’t fully trained.

If you suspect that yo may need an alignment, find an experienced front end man with a good reputation, and if you have to pay a little more, it will be worth it just in the extra life you get from the tires.


#8

Guess I’m the odd man out again. Yes, you should have the car put on an alignment rack on a regular basis for these reasons…

I agree, I normally have my alignment checked when I replace tires. My tires usually last about 40K miles (about one year), and I normally stop by a specialty alignment place (not the tire store) and have them check the alignment and take a look at the steering/suspension components. It usually doesn’t need adjusting, but it’s worth the $50 (or whatever) to make sure.


#9

Now that 60,000 miles has been reached, get the alignment checked and every 30,000 miles after. You could save your transmission. Wheels that point in different directions will trash an automatic.