To align or not to align


#1

It is early winter here our roads are a mess but my 2002 Kia Sedona mini appears to need an alignment. However with all the pot holes and horrible road conditions would it be a waste of monies at this point. I am going to make sure my front tires are balanced today but not sure if $80 is a worthy investment since I really need back shocks.


#2

@bertrand

I’d replace those shocks and make sure all of the tie rods, control arm bushings, ball joints, etc., are in good shape BEFORE getting that alignment

Here’s some more advice: Don’t get new tires unless you also get an alignment


#3

3 out of four tires in very good condition so tires last of worry.


#4

get it all fixed in the spring. save some money now and get it all repaired when the funds are available. you will chew up your tires fast if your alignment is out. a 3 year tire can be reduced down to 12 months of life it driven with bad alignment. so postpone only 2-3 months, not a year.


#5

@betrand

“3 out of four tires in very good condition”

What’s up with the 4th tire?


#6

U can buy 1 good used tire. About 15 used tire shops in most towns. $30 for tire? Come on man, it’s easy


#7

My vote is to fix the shocks, check the front-end components, and get the alignment now. Otherwise you may be throwing money away by chewing up the current tires far more quickly than usual.


#8

When I bought the van there were four totally different tires on it. 3 in great condition and one in good. Back in 2011 hit a pothole and had to replace one of the great ones now good one is nearing need.


#9

@bertrand

" . . . four totally different tires on it. 3 in great condition . . ."

I’d rather have 4 good tires, all the same brand, versus 3 great, 1 good, all different brands!

" . . . now good one is nearing end."

If that good tire is nearing the end, it’s not that good

C’mon, man!


#10

Why bother getting it aligned. You want all of the car ready for an alignment. And the stars at this time are not aligned for it. Hold off till spring/summer.


#11

What concerns me with doing an alignment now is our roads are in horrible condition due to snow and ice and pot holes.


#12

^

That–precisely–is what would give me pause.
My personal policy has always been to defer wheel alignment until the Spring, after most of the winter potholes have been repaired.


#13

It might be a good idea to inspect the steering and suspension components prior to an alignment. Looseness in tie rods, tie rod ends, ball joints, control arm bushings, etc, make alignment a moot point. Slop anywhere means the alignment spec is wandering as you drive even if the car doesn’t…

A good alignment tech should go over things like this while it’s on the rack prior to making any adjustments.


#14

I looked at used car with 4 different tires. Salesman asked if I was a “car guy”? Is bad tire on front or rear? Front has tie rods while rear usually does not. Rear end is usually pretty robust. Any odd wear there means something big got bent. A tie rod is cheap. Usually <$100 for repair. Tierod$100, tierod+align=200, tierod,align, wheel bearing=450. See progression?