Wheel alignment - 2001 Grand AM


#1

After purchasing new tires, a wheel alignment was due on all 4 wheels. The technician told me the cost was $60. After analyzing the car, I was informed that GM in this model and year no longer made it possible to adjust the camber(adjusting toe was still possible) - camber adjust kits would have to be installed. The repair went from $60 to $240. I never heard of anything like this? Have you?


#2

Yes, I have heard of this.
While I couldn’t give you a list of applicable models, I do know that it is not unusual to need a camber adjustment kit in order to properly align the wheels on some cars nowadays.

That being said, I think that the place that you patronized may well have been running a bait & switch job on you. Nowadays, $60 for a 4-wheel alignment is an unusually low price. And, even with the added cost of a camber adjustment kit, $240 sounds quite high. It sounds to me like they lure people in with that low-ball price and then make their real profit on the marked-up kit needed on some models.


#3

I agree with VDCdriver. Was the place that did the work a local independent shop or a national chain store. Sounds like a chain shop to me.

And, yes, sometimes it’s necessary to install a kit to change certain suspension parameters. This is true for other makes and models, too.


#4

From your post, I didn’t see where the technician said that you needed a camber adjustment, only that you would need a kit in order to adjust the camber. If the camber is within specs, you don’t need the kit, but if you get the kit, you definitely will need the camber adjusted.

Camber kits have become very common lately.


#5

The alignment tech is lying. The camber can be adjusted on your vehicle.

Where the front strut attaches to the steering knuckle are two bolts. One of these bolts is an eccentric bolt. When these two bolts are loosened, and the eccentic bolt is turned it allows the adjustment of the camber.

Get your car out of that shop and find an honest alignment shop.

Tester


#6

Caster…can ve adjusred by loosening all 4 sub-frame bolts, using a pry bar and tightening the bolts with the sub-frame held in the bias that you desire. You can get 1/2 deg. out of it. It helps for those “in spec” but still pulls to the right jobs. If the left doesn’t lead the right by 0 to 1/2 deg., then the car will pull with the road crown (rigt) side . Alignment specs from the manufactureres are pure hogwasj…wide enough so most any big wheel would be in spec…Imagine a car say with 1 deg cater right and 3 deg left…in spec by the book but dangerous because of how much it pulls to the right…Again, the specs a rubish.