One of the key maintenance practices to get the most wear and performance from your car’s tires is front end alignment, which enables you to make sure that the car’s front wheels are running parallel to each other. To get a good alignment, save or get the most out of your money, you have to be extremely careful before making a choice. When it comes to this matter, it is important that you take into account a number of aspects concerning front end alignment cost , which we discuss below.
As with any type of car alignment, your location is the foremost aspect you have to consider. Front end alignment cost varies from state to state. Shops in a particular state will charge you more than shops located in another state; hence, you may end up spending up to $100 for this service. For instance, you can get front end alignment in return for approximately $50 in a shop located in Louisiana; but in Michigan, this price may become double.
The alignment company
Wheel alignments are done at most car dealers, tire dealers and car repair shops.
For some European and Asian high-end vehicle models, it is recommended that the wheel alignment service is rendered by car dealers because only they have the dedicated tools and computer equipment required of such vehicle models. At car dealers, front end alignment cost ranges from $75 to $400.
At car repair shops and tire dealers, front end alignment cost ranges from $20 to $100, depending on the vehicles make and model, the shop location and the warranty, which varies from 6 months or 6,000 miles (whichever comes first) to 1-5 years with unlimited mileage.
To get a proper alignment, make sure to find a certified shop. A searchable directory is provided online by the national Institute for Automotive Excellence. Call several shops first and ask for quotes, providing them the year, make and model of the vehicle. If there is anything custom or unique to the vehicle that may affect the wheel alignment process, be sure to mention it as some shops will not work on custom vehicles.
Some car repair shops, tire shops, car dealers and even gas stations offer wheel alignment discount coupons for new customers. In most cases, these coupons serve as an excellent opportunity to obtain front end alignment service at usually lower than $50. With these coupons, the overall front end alignment cost will range from $40 to $60 regardless of shop location or the alignment company you opt for. If the alignment company has a website, go check the coupons available.
DIY front end alignment
A do-it-yourself front end alignment is not necessarily difficult, but it has to be done correctly. DIY instructions can be found on most car maintenance magazines and websites but usually they require specialized tools such a tow bar, which costs around $30-$250, or a digital camber, which costs around $100-$700. There are also some DIY instructions that require some basic tools and will cost you around $35-$75.