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Huskie

Wheel alignment

18 posts in this topic

I have an 06 Buick Lacrosse and want to get the front end aligned on the next oil change. I was told that they had to do a four wheel alignment on the newer cars, is that correct? How much more will the cost be compared to the old front end only? Thanks.

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They do, the 4 wheel alignment is because of the front wheel drive. It should not be much more than a 2 wheel. Naturally depends on who you use, a dealer might be more than an independent alignment shop. Is there a reason why you are aligning it? are the tires wearing incorrectly? good luck

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The outsidies of both front tires were showing wear after about 30,000 miles, switched them to the back and the same thing was happening again on the front tires. Original tires are at 56,000--time to replace and maybe align.

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I would have it aligned then and insure that the balance and air pressure is correct in the tires. The correct air pressure is the psi listed in the owners manual or on drivers door jamb. Do not go by the tire rating as it may not be correct for the car. Also if you check the air pressure do it prior to driving as the air will expand when heated from driving. Good luck. Jeff

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I would have it aligned then and insure that the balance and air pressure is correct in the tires. The correct air pressure is the psi listed in the owners manual or on drivers door jamb. Do not go by the tire rating as it may not be correct for the car. Also if you check the air pressure do it prior to driving as the air will expand when heated from driving. Good luck. Jeff

Who ever is aligning it should be checking the tire pressures prior to doing the alignment.(standard procedure) Tire balance should be evident with a shake at higher speeds. I sure hope the shop that is putting the new tires on balances them.

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I'm pretty sure the lacrosse has four wheel independent suspension. The rear can have adjustment for camber and toe. The rear needs to be set in order to align the front. If it had a solid rear axle than a rear adjustment isn't always necessary or possible. You would be surprised at how often the rear measurement are off.

Typically the 4 wheel is $10 to $20 more than just a 2 wheel. If the rear is off its money well spent.

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I do alignments all day on Fords, it is very rare that a 4 wheel alignment is needed. Ask them to do a 2 wheel alignment and if the rear is out of spec then do the 4 wheel. If a customer comes in and asks for a 4 wheel alignment but needs no adjustment in the rear I charge for a 2 wheel alignment. I know some people would not be honest enough to do this but I like to sleep at night.

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I'm pretty sure that the Lacrosse is made by GM not Ford? Thats kind of like me saying that I've never ate a sour Honeycrisp and you saying that they can be sour because you eat Grannysmiths all day! grin

I can almost guarantee that at least toe is out of adjustment on at least one side in the rear.

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The outsidies of both front tires were showing wear after about 30,000 miles, switched them to the back and the same thing was happening again on the front tires. Original tires are at 56,000--time to replace and maybe align.

They way your post is written Huskie, I assume the first rotate was done at 30,000 and because of signs of tire wear showing up. I rotate every 10,000 on my cars, but the standard is 15,000 miles.

With purchasing a set of new tires, a wheel alignment is not only a good measure for extending tire life, but also has other benefits. For one, most cases if an alignment is added, this ensures your vehicle will be in the hands of a technician at some point and not just the tire changing guy/kid. For inspection reasons on possible front end issues (and other things a trained eye can find), this is huge. For two, during the initial warranty and the following pro-rated warranty of the tire(s), tire warranty claims are approved by the manufacture much easier if an alignment of some kind was done during the tire installation. If you have abnormal tread wear, side wall failures, manufactures defect or any other warranty issue occur, you will have proof that you as the customer did everything you could to ensure the tires where started off in the best possible way.

Quote:
Do not go by the tire rating as it may not be correct for the car.

Correct! The rating on the side wall of the tire is a MAX pressure rating for that particular tire and not what is recommend for use on the vehicle it is installed on.

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Airjer, I have no idea what a Lacrosse is. What I was stating is that if a customer comes in and wants a 4 wheel alignment and only the front needs to be adjusted, that is all I charge them for. How about you? If the only tires that are wearing are on the front it could be do to driving habits, tire pressures, or alignment.

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I absolutely agree. If the rear is fine than there is no need for an adjustment and therefore no need to do a "four" wheel alignment and no need to charge for it. You don't know until you hang the heads.

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If a customer comes in and requests a 4 wheel alignment on a vehicle that can accept a 4 wheel alignment, that customer will get the heads hung on all four wheels. IMO, if warranted, the customer gets what the customer asks for.

How do you officially know/tell there is no adjustment needed with out hanging the heads on the rear? Or are you saying fishing tech you hang the heads, find out no adjustment is need, walk up and say "no adjustment needed on the rear. Just charge then for a two wheel"? Most tech's I know would want to be paid for a four wheel if they hang the heads for a four wheel. Even when no adjustment is performed.

Now it is another story if every alignment up-sold by a tech is a 4 wheel grin Especially if no rear damaged has occurred and the customer just had one done 15,000 miles ago.

I do think the extra $10-$15 for the upgrade to a 4 wheel align. is worth the tech's time checking it out.

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Shack, with todays modern vehicles and the advancements in alignment technology all for heads need to be hung whether a four wheel or two wheel alignment is done. cool

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Yep, my bad grin

I guess it would depend what machine used and century you are in. grin

Angle and toe, that is right.

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What Airjer said. Our rack all 4 heads need to be hung either way. And yes if it doesn't need any adjustment I let the dispatcher and advisor know that it was just a 2 wheel alignment.

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It worries me at some places that you have a kid that is just out of UTI that knows everything but does know a darn thing checking my tires. We remember the issues with firestone and ford explores and air pressure. This was why i indicated checking the air pressure cold and by the door panel rather than the tire.

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Quote:
We remember the issues with firestone and ford explores and air pressure.

Wasn't this issue due to Ford's recommeded tire inflation for proper ride comfort rather than optimum fuel economy and tire wear? As I recall the tire failiures were due to internal friction due to underinflation. That was Ford's fault and Firestone took the fall. Little industry secret there. Since then the auto manufactures have made their inflation recommendations based on saftey, max tread wear, and max fuel economy.

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They blamed Ford and Firestone for the problem. As I saw it, it was the owner of the vehicles fault but they can't be blamed for there own stupidity or cheapness. At the time I had seen several Explorers come in each week with seperated tires. these tires had 80-90,000 miles on them and they were rated for 60,000 miles. Heck I did it myself because they wore so good. Now throw in the fact that they were driving on crappy roads and the temp was 100 degrees, what do you think is going to happen?

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