Q: Can you recommend a place for 4 wheel alignment? ... with a lifetime warranty

asked by on February 13, 2017

I wore out my Continental tires in 21K miles (60K tire) due to an alignment issue. Now I need to put new tires on and have the wheels re-aligned and periodically have them check the alignment every time I rotate and balance wheels 5 to 6K miles.

My car has 46000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A lifetime warranty is a gimmick designed to get you to buy an alignment but, of most relevance, the offering or existence of such an exaggerated warranty has no relationship WHATSOEVER to the likelihood of a shop actually following the necessary instructions to align your car to the preferred factory specifications. In fact, and this may not be any exaggeration, the shops using "lifetime" marketing gimmicks to reel you in are not the ones most likely to actually do creditable work on your car. The "lifetime" gimmick is designed to drive traffic (pun intended) as opposed to being any indicator of professionalism in the work. Consider, and use, the following criteria in selecting an alignment shop: 1) the shop has modern, calibrated equipment and a significant focus of the business is alignment, collision, frame, or structural work; 2) check complaint volume and do due diligence: run the shop’s name through the BBB, Attorney General, and licensing agencies; 3) Study shop mechanics’ reaction when you verbally indicate that your desire is that the car be set to the preferred settings in the Factory Service Manual. If they look clueless when you make that request, you will NOT get what you are paying for; 4) Does the shop document for you, in writing, the pre and post alignment results? 5) Are they interested in questions and do they provide useful responses?; and 6) Determine the extent to which they will thoroughly test and measure the suspension prior to the alignment. To align a modern motor vehicle, the suspension cannot have ANY excess wear at all. If there is excess wear, all worn parts have to be replaced because alignment tolerances on modern cars are incredibly small (as little as .040 inches on toe for example, which is the equivalent of the combined thickness of ten strands of human hair). Any excess wear at all literally makes it impossible to accurately align a modern vehicle to factory specifications. If you want your vehicle’s suspension inspected by a certified Mechanic to determine if there is misalignment and/or worn suspension parts, please request a suspension inspection and the responding certified Mechanic will get your concerns addressed. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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