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Question to Everyone: Why Do You Get Periodic Alignments


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On another Cadillac forum, I was just reading about a gentleman who got ripped off pretty good for front end work that he probably didn't need.

That got me to thinking........

My question is... why does almost everyone have their car aligned periodically ???


My car has over 131,000 miles on it and it has NEVER had an alignment.
I have had it checked a few times at my dealer... but it has never needed alignment.

A lady friend of ours got ripped off for almost $1,000 bucks a couple of years ago at an alignment shop for work that ( I feel ) didn't need to be done.

Shortly after that, I had my car in for an oil change and checkup at my dealer.
I "SPECIFICALLY" asked them to check the front end and the alignment to make sure everything was all ok.
I was fixing to make a 6,000 mile road trip and didn't want any problems while I was far away from home.

They said that all mechanical parts were fine and gave me a pretty color printout of where they checked the alignment and it was well within specs... thumbsup.gif

Now... "The Rest Of The Story"... smile.gif

Over the next few days I went to "SIX" alignment places that advertise free alignment checks...
EVERY ONE OF THEM found things wrong with my car...

Estimates ranged from $250 dollars to over $1,200 dollars... hmmm.gifhmmm.gif

Remember .. I had just had it at my Cadillac Dealer and they said NOTHING was wrong with it.

So that brings me back to me original question...
If it drives good...

If the tires wear evenly...

If it doesn't ROAD WALK...

If it doesn't pull one way or the other...

If it will stay in your lane for several hundred yards while going down the freeway with your hands just slightly off of the steering wheel...

WHY take it in for periodic alignments ???

Please give me your opinions... maybe I am missing something important about having one aligned...

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....

So that brings me back to me original question...

If it drives good...

If the tires wear evenly...

If it doesn't ROAD WALK...

If it doesn't pull one way or the other...

If it will stay in your lane for several hundred yards while going down the freeway with your hands just slightly off of the steering wheel...

WHY take it in for periodic alignments ???

II have been singing that song for years. Maybe the answer is as simple as 'my Daddy told me to have the suspension aligned once a year'. Substitute your favorite role model for Daddy.

Modern vehicles are engineered to be assembled as efficiently as possible (time = money). To that end, suspension components are designed/manufactured to bolt into place and have the camber/caster geometry within spec's. The mounting holes are not slotted or elongated for adjustment.

In fact, the only factory provided adjustment is toe in.

If it ain't broke.....

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Agreed; unless abnormal tire wear, pulling to one side (of the road) or front-end work has been performed, no alignment for me either.

Chuck

'19 CT6, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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The only time I have my vehicles aligned is if I notice uneven tire wear or I replace a suspension component that requires an alignment.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I am a party to the folks that got ripped off. I took my car in for an Un-Cadillac dealer inspection and they told me my rear end needed alignment. I noticed after that the drivers rear tire prematurely wearing out on the edge of the tire. I got under there and found that it was adjusted radically different than the passenger side and in a way that would cause that kind of wear. So much for doing business with that shop again.

Edited by Paul S
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Periodic alignments???? Never heared of! Only done if something is wrong. Guess they are less agressive in Sweden than US....... :)

Goran...

There is no rule here in the US to get them...

On the other Cadillac forum, there are several people that do take the car in at least once a year to get it aligned...

I was just asking to find out if anyone on THIS forum does it... and if so, WHY.

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I don't do that. I have my alignment checked when the suspension or steering has been apart or repaired. There are driveability complaints that will have me looking for a good front-end place:

  • Steering wheel not centered.
  • Asymmetrical feel in the steering on a flat road with little or no wind.
  • Too much pull with slope or camber in the road surface.
  • Issues with tire wear.

I also drive around potholes. The upshot is that my car sees an alignment pit about once every five years, if that.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
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Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I get the Lifetime alignment at Firestone. it's about $95 with a 50%off coupon from the entertainment book. (or you can buy just the coupon on ebay for $4.00) I had the lifetime alignment on my caddy since about 2002, and I only used it the one time. when I get tires real soon, I will use the alignment again mostly for an inspection of the front end to make sure nothing is really wrong. My tires wear a little unevenly, but the 11 year old tires are being replaced because of age not wear. Firestone gives the printout of the before specs, vs. the manufacturer specs. so I can see how off the alignment is.

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There was a time when regular alignments were needed, but never on an annual basis. What I'm saying is that many years ago, back during the days of grease fittings and lube jobs, and the ball joints wearing out every few years, there was a need for an occasional visit to the alignment shop. Most often after replacing a steering knuckle, or idler link....you get the picture. It just doesn't work like that any more. Cars are so much better designed, and all the parts seem to be up to the task at hand...within reason.

Yes, there is still the occasional worn part, and usually that should be followed by an alignment.

These days I watch my tire wear carefully, drive more carefully, and generally drive a LOT less than I did back in those days. Annual alignments are probably being done today for the same reason that 3000 mile oil changes are still being done, no real reason for them either. Just makes a people feel like they is taking care of their car better.

I did have an alignment performed by a certified Cadillac service tech on my 1999 STS, can't even remember the reason now, but I bought it used and it was off a bit, most likely the steering wheel wasn't centered. It was probably wrecked at some point before I owned the car. Never needed one on my 2008 DTS, but it only has 31,000 miles on it right now.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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