When it comes to an alignment, you know you need one, but what about a 4 wheel alignment? How much should one cost? Are they a waste of money? We have all of the information about a 4 wheel alignment that you need!
What is an Alignment?
Before we delve into the information you need about a 4 wheel alignment, it may help to have a working definition of what an alignment is. A wheel alignment is an adjustment that an auto professional makes, to a vehicle's suspension. While an alignment is not an adjustment of the wheels or the tires or wheels themselves- a successful alignment is the adjustment of the angles of the tires. The adjustment affects how those tires meet the road.
What Is Included In A 4 Wheel Alignment?
When you talk about a 4-wheel alignment, you’re talking about an adjustment that is made on all four wheels. A four-wheel alignment benefits all-wheel-drive models that have independent suspensions. A four-wheel alignment also includes a caster adjustment as well as a front toe adjustment. With a 4 wheel alignment, the rear wheels receive that toe as well as camber adjustment.
How Do I Know If I Need A 2 Or 4 Wheel Alignment?
For those that love a bit of science with their explanations, we offer the following: An alignment is the geometric suspension system that provides support to a vehicle. Alignment benefits the turning of that vehicle, while keeping the vehicle balanced. All wheels have to be in seamless alignment so that all four tires work in unison, when it comes traveling down the roads, in the same directions.
When you receive a 2 wheel alignment, or commonly referred to as a front wheel alignment, the auto technician performs the alignment and will only adjust the front two wheels. He or she will adjust them so that both of those wheels will travel parallel as you drive your vehicle. As this is the simplest of alignments, may auto techs recommend bypassing this service if you have a modern vehicle, due to the fact that this excludes the rear or the back angels of the wheels.
When you receive a 4 wheel alignment, chances are you have a vehicle that has four separate wheel suspension systems. The technician will take the time to adjust all four wheels. But the adjustment that takes place in the front, will differ to the adjustment that takes place in the rear. Despite the differences in alignment techniques, all tires are adjusted so that they meet the center of the vehicle with specific measurements.
How Much Should A 4 Wheel Alignment Cost?
For smaller vehicles, you can count on spending about $50 or a 4 wheel alignment. But as your car increases in size, you can count on spending more. For lots of larger vehicles, a 4 wheel alignment can cost up to $150.
Vehicles that have four-wheel drive, and SUVs tend to be a bit more expensive when it comes to paying for a 4 wheel alignment. So, setting aside between $150 and $200 for our alignment may be ideal for you.
What are the Some of The Symptoms of a Bad Alignment or Misalignment?
Some of the symptoms of a bad alignment or a misaligned vehicle include:
- Your steering wheel won’t turn to the center after you turn it.
- Your vehicle keeps pulling to one side.
- Your steering wheel is off center.
- Your tires have excessive and uneven wear and tear.
- Your vehicle handling feels loose as you try to operate your car, and more.
How Do Vehicles Lose Their Alignment in the First Place?
Some reasons that cars lose their alignment include:
- Driving or riding over potholes.
- When you drive your car and you hit a curb.
- General wear and tear- your rubber components begin to crack or fracture.
What are Some of the Ways that an Alignment Helps My Car?
Need some great reasons to get your 4 wheel alignment? We have them!
Better Fuel Efficiency
When you have vehicle that has poor or improper alignment, your wheels are not working as one unit. Why? This is due to your vehicle’s engine working harder to propel your vehicle forward. This can reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A proper alignment can allow your engine to work “smarter not harder”, thus saving you money at the pump.
You can Avoid the Expensive Auto Repair
When you drive with a bad or a poor alignment, the components of your vehicle will experience premature and uneven wear and tear. Every time that you hit a pot hole or a bump in the road, both your suspension and steering systems take that hit. So, tires that are not working as a unit to buffer those hits, will cause lots of damage to your car- leading to lofty repair bills. Your car components and car systems will break down a lot sooner than they should. You certainly don’t want them to break down completely, and you face a repair that puts you in a financial bind.
A 4 Wheel Alignment Will Give You a Smoother Driving Experience
We all want to have a smooth and steady drive in our cars. An alignment offers you such. When your vehicle’s wheel alignment is off you will definitely notice it. For example, your car will “drift” to one side. It will feel like someone has taken a huge magnet from the sky, and is pulling you to one side as you drive. Forget the constant adjustments to your steering. This will overcompensate for your poor alignment. You will become a tired, and distracted driver. This spells danger on the road!
You Increase Your Safety
When you take the time to properly maintain your SUV, truck, van or crossover, you are helping that vehicle to run better. You also avoid those unexpected misfortunes and repair bills. And you also increase your safety on the road!
You Give Longer Life To Your Tires
When you get your 4 wheel alignment, you are increasing the life of your tires. A bad or a poor alignment, will cause extensive wear and tear on your tires, leading you to buy new tires, a lot more often than you probably want to. Even tread and balance will help to preserve your tires. So, get that car aligned!
Best Places To Get 4 Wheel Alignment
So, now you have a better understanding of a 4 wheel alignment, where can you get one? We have a few places that offer them!
Firestone Complete Auto Care
If you live near a Firestone Complete Auto Care, then you can receive a 4 wheel alignment. Firestone also offers a host of other services, in addition to your 4 wheel alignment. Their alignment services include: a wheel alignment check, a standard wheel alignment, a lifetime wheel alignment and more. Click here to learn more! Click here to obtain the latest and greatest Firestone Complete Auto Care Offers and coupons!
Need a 4 wheel alignment and you live near a Meineke? Then head on over there. They have top-rated alignment services, that are tailored to your specific vehicle’s needs. Meineke also offers tire inspections too! You can click here to learn more!
You can also get a great value on a 4 wheel alignment at your neighborhood Pep Boys. You can choose from several wheel-alignment service packages- and they even come with warranties. Whether you need a three-month or a lifetime warranty, you can receive it at Pep Boys. The company utilizes state-of the-art computerized wheel alignment techniques to properly align your vehicle. They encourage car owners to schedule an appointment and take advantage of their free alignment check. Then, you can discuss the most cost-effective alignment package for your car and your needs! Click here to learn more!
NTB Tire And Service Centers
If you live near a NTB Tire and Service Center, you can visit your neighbored store for a complete tire alignment. NTB utilizes computer testing, that ensures that your tires are aligned perfectly. For those cars that are in poor alignment, you can choose from a variety of packages. They offer the “1-Year Select”, the “3-Year Advantage” or the “5-Year Premier”. Your alignment packages also include such perks as: free tire inspection, free tire pressure check and more. Click here to learn more!
How Long Does A 4 Wheel Alignment Take?
If you’re getting a 4 wheel alignment, then count on being without your car for about one hour. Have you decided to combine your alignment with other offers? Then you can ask your tech how long your alignment with additional services will last.
If you have too much wear and tear on your tires, then you can count on that alignment service to take a bit longer. Your tech will have to perform service on your steering and suspension system. Your tech will also have to perform service on other components that may take a considerable amount of time.
Should You Get An Alignment Or New Tires First?
Most auto techs will tell you that it doesn’t matter whether you get an alignment before or after you get your brand-new tires installed. May techs agree that the only result worn tires have on your vehicle’s alignment is altered height on the vehicle.
4 Wheel Alignment- Related Content You Should Read!
Did you know that we have a plethora of articles, related to your 4 wheel alignment? Just click on the title below and read more about alignments!
- Wheel Alignment Cost – What is a wheel alignment, how much does it cost, and how often should I get it done?