Wheel Alignment and Tires



I replaced all 4 tires on my 2003 Saturn VUE AWD last April at about 50,000 miles. When I went to get an inspection yesterday, I discovered that I needed two new rear tires. I now have about 70,000 miles on the car and had the tires rotated last Sept.

The auto shop tells me that this is due to the Wheel Alignment which sounds right, but should this happen in this short of a time frame? How often should I have the wheels aligned? Twice a year?

Thanks for any help.


I don’t think a wheel alignment should be necessary twice a year. Had you ever had an alignment before the 50,000 mile mark?

I’m surprised that the tire dealer didn’t notice an unusual wear pattern in the tires that you replaced at 50,000 miles. However, I suppose you could have hit a bump in the road just right to knock the alignment off, or a suspension component could have worn out or failed.

Many tire dealers have alignment facilities to do wheel alignments. These dealers have a vested interest: 1) some tire manufacturers have a pro-rated tread wear-out warranty and 2) it is to the advantage of the tire dealer that the tires they sell you last as long as possible.

I would suggest that you have the alignment done when you purchase the new tires and follow your tire rotation plan and be certain that when having the tire rotation service, the technician checks for unusual tire wear. If the tires are wearing unevenly, then have an alignment right away.


Some vehicles will really mess up rear tires on FWD drive trains. My Saturn vue would start feathering the tires after 5,000 miles. Were your tires all bumpy? I will guess that they were. I would have the alignment checked no more than every two years unless I had trouble with alignment before. Tire rotation every 6,000 miles because it evens up the feathering. I had Bridgestone Dueler tires.