The average car is made up of about 1,800 different parts. But you could argue that none of these parts are more important than the four tires that you put on it. If the tires aren’t able to do their job for one reason or another, it’ll prevent a person from driving around in their car like usual. It’s why it’s so important to make sure that you replace the tires on your car every so often. It’s also why you should pay to have a wheel alignment done on a regular basis. The wheel alignment cost will be well worth it each and every time. Learn more about what a wheel alignment is, what it does, and how it’ll keep your car in great shape below.
What Is a Wheel Alignment?
First things first: Let’s talk a little bit about what a wheel alignment is before we begin discussing the wheel alignment cost and everything else that goes along with a wheel alignment. A wheel alignment is a form of car maintenance that involves adjusting the angles of a car’s wheels so that they’re at the correct angles as stated by an auto manufacturer. At the end of a wheel alignment, all four of a car’s wheels are guaranteed to be aligned properly.
Over the years, the wheel alignment has been tweaked quite a bit. Many, many years ago, mechanics had to manually adjust wheels to ensure that they were aligned. But in this day and age, it’s never been easier for mechanics to carry out wheel alignment. They use special machines that are designed to align the wheels on a car in a very short period of time.
Still, it’s surprising to see how many people don’t realize that they need to have their wheels aligned routinely. They put off wheel alignment, either because of the wheel alignment cost or because they simply don’t know any better, and pay the price for it at some point down the line. It’s essential for you to make sure that you have wheel alignment done as often as necessary.
How Often Should You Get a Wheel Alignment?
Now that you know what a wheel alignment is and how a wheel alignment is performed, you might be wondering how often you should have the wheels on your car aligned. The answer is, well, it all depends. If you drive your car into the ground and put a ton of miles on it, you might need to pay the wheel alignment cost more often than someone who only drives their car casually on weekends.
But generally speaking, most car experts will tell you that you should have wheel alignment done about once every two to three years. That should be enough to keep your car’s wheels aligned at all times. If you want to be extra cautious, you may also want to consider having wheel alignment done every time you have the oil in your car changed. There is no such thing as doing wheel alignment too often.
How Do You Know If You Need a Wheel Alignment?
As long as you have wheel alignment performed at least once every two to three years, you shouldn’t experience any major alignment issues with your car. But if you don’t make it a point to schedule wheel alignment regularly, there is a decent chance that you’re going to end up spotting problems with your alignment before long. It won’t be too difficult to tell that you need to arrange to have wheel alignment done in the near future.
You’ll know that you need to have wheel alignment done and shoulder the wheel alignment cost that comes along with it if:
- The wheels on your car are wearing down a whole lot faster than they should
- You’ve noticed that the wheels on your car aren’t wearing evenly
- You see that your steering wheel has to be crooked in order for you to keep your car driving straight
- Your car is constantly pulling to either the left or the right when you’re driving it
- Your car makes a whole lot of noise when you’re steering it
- You have a set of squealing wheels on your car that just won’t seem to quiet down no matter what you do
Have you experienced any of these things within recent memory? If you have, it might be easy for you to simply ignore them and move on. But that’s the last thing you should do. You should pay the wheel alignment cost to have your car’s wheels brought back into alignment. It’ll make a huge difference in the way in which your car handles.
Can You Drive a Car With Bad Alignment?
If the wheels on your car need to be aligned badly and you don’t do anything about it, it’s not going to cause any major issues right away. You could go ahead and take an entire road trip without seeing any immediate effects in some cases. But you best believe that your car’s bad alignment will catch up with you eventually! It’s only a matter of time before your alignment issues take a toll on your car.
Check out some of the ways that a bad alignment could have an impact on your car:
- Your tires will wear down so much that they will no longer be safe out on the road
- Your tires will start to drag along the road and force you to use more fuel than you would otherwise
- Your tires won’t stop as quickly as you would like when you slam on your brakes and will create many safety issues for you
These things might not affect you too much at first. But if you continue to drive a car with bad alignment around, you’re eventually going to run into trouble. You should pay the wheel alignment cost to have your bad alignment fixed so that you don’t have to be too concerned about them.
Should You Get a Wheel Alignment With New Tires?
Oftentimes, people will choose to get new tires altogether when they notice some of the signs of bad alignment. They think that this will fix their problem and make it go away. It will to some degree, but even if you throw brand-new wheels on your car, you’re still going to have to be concerned about wheel alignment. Most experts will suggest having a wheel alignment done when you have new tires put on your car.
Why? Well, a wheel alignment will make sure that your four new tires are installed on your car correctly and at the right angles. It’ll extend the life of your wheels by leaps and bounds and prevent you from having to replace them anytime soon. It’ll also help you figure out the next time you might need to have an alignment done. It makes all the sense in the world to schedule a wheel alignment to go along with a new tire installation.
How Much Does Wheel Alignment Cost?
When you think about how important it is to do wheel alignment on your car, you might think that it’s a job that’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. But believe it or not, the wheel alignment cost is much lower than the costs associated with most other car maintenance jobs. You can usually have wheel alignment done for somewhere between $65 and $100.
We should point out that this number can change based on a number of factors. Your wheel alignment cost might be higher or lower than this based on:
- The make and model of your car
- The age of your car
- The type of tires on your car
- The condition of your car
- The mechanic who works on your car
It would be smart to call around and get some quotes prior to scheduling wheel alignment for your car. You could save yourself a bundle of money by going with one mechanic over another when it comes to wheel alignment. But whatever you do, don’t let the wheel alignment cost sidetrack you from having alignment done. It’s too important of a task to put on the back burner.
Should You Do Wheel Alignment Yourself or Ask a Professional to Help?
In theory, wheel alignment seems as though it would be a simple enough job. How hard could it really be to make sure the wheels on a car are straight? As it turns out, it is simple—but it’s not easy for someone who doesn’t have the right experience and equipment to get the job done!
If you attempt to align the wheels on your car yourself and you don’t do the job 100 percent right, it could backfire on you in a big way. You could do a lot of damage to your wheels and impact other aspects of your car, like your brakes, as well. You could ultimately end up paying a small fortune to have your car fixed once you’re done.
It’s a much better idea to hire a professional to help you with wheel alignment. Yes, the wheel alignment cost will be a little higher this way. But a mechanic will use their experience and the tools that they have in their garage to pull off the perfect alignment. You’ll have complete confidence in your car’s wheels when you get them back, which isn’t going to be the case if you work on your car yourself.
How Long Does Wheel Alignment Take?
One of the other reasons why you should have a mechanic work on your car’s alignment as opposed to working on it yourself is because they’ll be able to finish the job in a timely fashion. If you attempt to do a wheel alignment yourself, it could very well take you several hours from start to finish, if not longer. That won’t be the case when a mechanic works on your car.
The average mechanic can typically complete a wheel alignment in about an hour. This will be very convenient for those who want to stick around and wait while a wheel alignment is being done. It also makes the wheel alignment cost a pretty good value compared to other auto repair jobs. You’ll be able to save yourself a ton of time by paying just a little bit of money for wheel alignment.
One thing worth noting, though, is that it could potentially take a mechanic a little longer to finish your wheel alignment if there are certain issues that they uncover with your car during the course of performing it. These issues could also send your wheel alignment cost skyrocketing. You might have to pay more to have your wheels aligned if a mechanic spots any problems with your ball joints, your track rod, or your suspension as a whole.
Is Wheel Alignment Worth the Cost?
As we mentioned earlier, the average wheel alignment cost is going to come in at under $100. That is a very small price to pay for those who want to provide their car’s tires with all the protection possible. You could end up getting a few extra years of life out of your tires by bearing the brunt of the wheel alignment cost and having wheel alignment done.
Is It Possible to Sell a Car With Bad Alignment?
Do you have a car with alignment issues that you don’t want anymore? You might not think that it would be possible to sell this kind of car without paying the wheel alignment cost first. But in reality, you can (and should!) consider selling a car with alignment issues if you’re not prepared to do anything about them or if your car isn’t worth enough to warrant spending money on alignment repairs.
Cash Cars Buyer specializes in purchasing cars with all kinds of problems, including ones involving alignment. We’ll help you avoid the wheel alignment cost by paying you cash for your car today. Touch base with us to find out how much your car might be worth.