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Is a 4-wheel alignment useful or necessary?

mdcatdadmdcatdad Posts: 14
edited April 2014 in Acura

After I had my oil and filter changed in my low-mileage 2008 Acura TL the service "adviser" suggested I have a "4-wheel alignment". I discussed this with my local service station owner, to whom I give routine business not requiring a dealer's knowledge like relining brakes, flushing the cooling system, etc., and he said "we only do 2-wheel alignments" and called the service adviser's suggestion "upselling".

Was he right?

Answers

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085

    Here in Vermont, if the alignment-adjustment points are not regularly moved (and lubed) They just rust in place and you are stuck with the alignment you have. (or purchase a lot of expensive parts to make the wheels adjustable again.)

    At many shops (Sears) you can get 2 alignments for the price of one because they have a warantee on their work. Hence, just before the wararantee-time expires, take back to Sears for a 'free checkup' on the alignment rack.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited April 2014

    @mdcatdad said:
    After I had my oil and filter changed in my low-mileage 2008 Acura TL the service "adviser" suggested I have a "4-wheel alignment". I discussed this with my local service station owner, to whom I give routine business not requiring a dealer's knowledge like relining brakes, flushing the cooling system, etc., and he said "we only do 2-wheel alignments" and called the service adviser's suggestion "upselling".

    Was he right?

    He was not totaly correct.

    On some cars, ONLY the front wheels are adjustable.... hence a 2-wheel alignment is approprate.

    On other cars, the rear wheels are also adjustable.... hence, all 4 wheels should be chacked for alignment.

    In reality.... a 2- wheel alignment is called a "thrust alignment"... the rear wheels are treated as the FIXED point of reference and the front wheel are adjusted to match the rears best as possible.

    A 4-wheel alignment simply gives the tech more adjustment options to get your wheels lined-up to spec.

    Once a vehicle is aligned, it should NEVER need to be aligned again unless suspension-parts wear out or are replaced. (I guess hitting a curb or other accident could bend things too)

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