Wheel alignment is an essential repair that you can’t ignore. With all increasing in cost of living, people tend to search for ways to save money on everything, including car repairs. Since Walmart continues to offer good deals on many products, we get lots of questions about wheel alignment costs in Walmart.
In addition to answering the question about wheel alignment cost at Walmart, we will compare the wheel alignment price at Walmart and other companies. Also, we would like to give you an overview of what does wheel alignment means? Why do you need to have your car’s wheels aligned? And how to tell that your vehicle needs wheels alignment.
What does wheel alignment mean?
When you buy a certain vehicle, the wheels and tires are positioned in a way that provides the best road contact, gas mileage, long tire life, and smooth ride.
Over time, the tire and the wheels can be shifted or rotated slightly from their original position. That’s why wheel alignment comes into play.
Wheel alignment does not mean adjusting the “wheel’s angle”; it means adjusting the car’s suspension in a way that brings the wheels and the tires into their original position. Thus, your car runs smoother, saves gas, and your tire lasts longer.
While most wheel alignment service brings your wheels back to their manufactured angle, some motorsport or off-road cars might require the uncommon type of wheel alignment. This is because unusual angles help the sports car driver handle the driving more.
Some people refer to wheel alignment as “breaking” or “tracking.” Whatever the name used, wheel alignment should be part of your regular vehicle maintenance.
If you perform a regular wheel alignment, you will always reduce the wear and tear in your tires, have a car that drives straight, and save on fuel.
For more modern cars, wheel alignment might affect some of the systems, and these systems need to be reset before driving the car properly.
For instance, some cars have an Advanced Assistance System like the electronic stability control, lane departure warning, anti-lock brakes, and others. These types of systems need to be reset to make sure that they did not get affected by the car’s alignment.
Why do I need to do wheel alignment?
If you know that your car needs a wheel alignment, you don’t want to ignore it, and you should take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible. Here are some of the problems that you might experience if you ignore wheel alignment:
Uneven tire wear and tear
When the car’s wheels are not aligned properly, the tires will experience uneven tear and wear. If you don’t act quickly, this tear and wear can cause significant damages to the tires and put your safety at risk.
Damage suspension components
When the wheels are not aligned properly, the car’s suspension will be under continuous stress that might lead to complete suspension damage. Therefore, while it might cost you some money to get the wheel-alignment done, you will pay much more on complicated damages if you don’t act fast.
Poor car handling and risk of accidents
At high speeds and when the wheels are misaligned, you will not be able to control your vehicle and probably can get yourself involved in accidents. This is because when driving a misaligned car, your car will shift to one of the two sides. If this happens, you have to keep holding the steering and trying to bring your car back to the center of the road.
More fuel consumption
A car without proper wheel alignment will consume more fuel because the tires are not positioned in their original designed way. The new tire position will affect how the tire will interact with the road and probably increase friction and requires more fuel to power the car.
Wheel alignment cost at Walmart
At Walmart, you can get your car’s front wheels aligned somewhere between $30 and $65, while four-wheel alignment costs from $50 to $95.
While there is no clear list of prices for wheel alignment, the mentioned prices can be a good expectation for how much you will end up paying.
In general, Walmart’s wheel alignment cost is fairly reasonable as compared to other mechanic shops or dealerships.
Of course, wheel alignment is this type of repair that you can’t do on your own. Furthermore, the cost will differ by car’s make, model, and year. Furthermore, the vehicle’s wheel alignment depends on the number of wheels, the length of the warranty, and the labor cost.
No matter what the price is, you must get your car’s wheels aligned. Right after the alignment service is completed, you will feel the change in your driving, car handling, and fuel consumption.
Yes, wheel alignment can cost some money that people might say it’s expensive. What they don’t know is replacing worn tires due to misalignment can cost much more money.
How can I save money on Walmart’s wheel alignment cost?
If you are looking to save money on Walmart’s wheel alignment cost, you can keep an eye on Walmart’s promotions and coupons. It is not uncommon that Walmart provides a lot of these from time to time.
If you decided to take advantage of any Walmart’s promotions for wheel alignment, you need to read the promotion very carefully. A lot of these promotions have terms and conditions that do not allow you to use them along with other certain promotions.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the period of the promotion. For instance, some wheel alignment discounts are only available on certain days of the week or specific seasons. Thus, you don’t want to be excited about a discount and get surprised by the bill.
If you were unclear about a specific promotion, it is good to ask a Walmart member. They are more than happy to provide you more details and clarify things more.
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of alignment service that you are looking for. For instance, you might think that getting a one-time wheel alignment is a good deal and is cheaper. However, if you are going to keep your car for a long time, you might need to consider a longer period wheel alignment services like a lifetime wheel alignment or an extended three-years contract.
That been said, if you are planning to move to another location, you might need to reconsider getting a lifetime or three-year contract wheel alignment at a specific location. This is because it will cost you a lot more money to come back and forth to the mechanic shop from your living location.
How does a wheel alignment cost at Walmart compared to other locations?
For any mechanical repair, it is always recommended that your get at least three quotes from different mechanics, shops, or companies.
While you are interested in getting your wheel alignment done at Walmart, it is good to see a comparison between Walmart’s costs and other agencies.
The following table shows the different wheel alignment services by different agencies as compared to Walmart.
|Four wheels alignment||$80|
|Sears Auto Centers||Standard wheel alignment||$75|
|One-year alignment plan||$95|
|Lifetime wheel alignment||$190|
|Firestone Complete Auto Care||Wheel alignment check||Free|
|Standard wheel alignment||$70|
|Lifetime wheel alignment||$160|
|Goodyear Auto Services||Goodyear Wheel alignment check||Free|
|Front end alignment||$60|
|Pep Boys||Front-wheel alignment||$80|
|Midas||Front end alignment||$70|
|Big O Tires
|Front end tire alignment||$80|
|Standard wheel alignment||$70|
As you might notice, Walmart’s price is considered reasonable. However, more details might be needed about different contract options (i.e., one-time alignment, three years contract, etc.)
What are the signs of bad wheel alignment?
Now we understand the importance of getting a proper wheel alignment to avoid any significant issues. You might be wondering now, how can I tell if my car is due for a wheel alignment?
Well, fortunately, it is relatively easy to detect that your vehicle’s wheel alignment is off-track if you noticed any of the followings:
Car shifts to one side
If you are driving on a straight road, you can perform a quick test to check your vehicle’s wheel alignment. First, you need to make sure that there is no traffic, and it is safe enough to perform the test.
Then, while driving through the straight road, remove your hands off the steering wheel. If you noticed that your car is shifting towards one side, then this might be a sign of bad wheel alignment.
You need to repeat the test one more time to confirm while keeping an eye on the surroundings to stay safe.
If you ensured that the vehicle needs alignment, you must have the service done as soon as possible.
Think about it, and your car is shifting towards one side at a low speed without any traffic. What will happen if you are driving on a highway? Right?
Unbalanced steering wheel
The second thing that you can check to confirm that your car needs wheel alignment is your steering wheel.
Usually, when you are driving on an even straight road, the steering wheel should be centered and balanced right in the middle. Check by looking at the logo in the middle of the steering wheel.
If you noticed that the logo is not in the correct position, even by a small degree, your car is due for wheel alignment.
Vibrating steering wheel
A vibrating steering wheel is something you can’t ignore. If the problem is not because of alignment issues, it could be worse, and it can be due to something more serious.
That been said, anytime you notice a vibrating steering wheel, you must take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic as soon as possible.
Uneven tire wear
Another thing you can check is the depth of your car’s tires rubber. If you noticed a significant difference between one tire’s rubber depth and the other tires, your car’s alignment might need to be fixed.
While the wheel alignment can cause uneven tire wear, other reasons might lead to this wear behavior like tire balancing or tire rotation.
How often does my car need a wheel alignment?
The frequency of vehicle alignment depends mostly on your driving style. In general, most manufacturers recommend that you get a wheel alignment every 10,000 miles. However, if you noticed one of the bad alignment symptoms (e.g., vibrating steering wheel, car shifts to one side, etc.), you must get a wheel alignment immediately before reaching the 10,000 miles.
When it comes to your driving style, if you know that you drive carefully and you are very cautious when driving, you can get a wheel alignment once every three or four years. However, if you know that your driving style is a little different or if you drive mostly on bumpy roads, you need to get wheel alignment ways sooner.
Wheel alignment is needed to bring the tires and wheels back to their original manufactured position to provide smooth riding and better handling.
Wheel alignment is one of the most critical repairs that you can’t ignore despite its price. Wheel alignment cost at Walmart is between $30 and $65 for most front-wheel drives and between $50 and $95 for most four-wheel-drive vehicles.
There are a lot of signs that can tell you your car is due for wheel alignment like the car is shifting to one side, more consumption on fuel, your steering wheel is vibrating, and your car’s tire has uneven wear and tear.
If you ignored the wheel alignment, you will scarify getting more complicated issues with your tires and probably the entire wheel system. Therefore, it is recommended that every 10,000 miles of driving, you need to get a wheel alignment. This way, you can reduce the safety risks and save on fuel consumption.