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When you think of your car’s safety features, don’t stop with brakes, traction control, and air bags. Wheels and tires play an important role, too! They help the car drive straight, turn corners, and stop reliably. To help achieve optimal performance, it’s important to have the wheels properly aligned.
The national average for a complete wheel alignment service is between $50 to $168. Although, cost can vary depending on the service provider and the type of alignment.
Wheel alignment should be performed once a year, but it may be required more frequently, depending on your driving style and where you drive. Potholes, gravel, and off-roading can all be hard on your alignment. If you have questions about how often your car’s wheels require alignment, or when your next service should take place, just contact your local Jiffy Lube®. A trained technician will be ready to help.
This is the process of adjusting a car’s steering and suspension, making sure that the tires are connecting with the road surface at the proper angles.
Alignment also ensures that the car steers, rides, and handles as the manufacturer intended.
How much you pay for a wheel alignment can ride on the following factors:
The number of wheels
A front-end alignment (or two wheel alignment), which involves only the front two wheels, typically costs anywhere from $50 to $75. While a four wheel alignment costs more, usually $100 to $168.
Type of car
You may find that the answer to “how much is a wheel alignment” is higher for luxury cars. That’s because some vehicles require specialized equipment or have engineering designs that make the job more difficult and time consuming.
While performing the alignment, the technician may find that more work — like tire balancing or car suspension repairs — is needed. Local labor costs and rates can also vary by city, state, provider, and technician.
Look at it this way: spending $100 or so on properly aligned tires may save you much more in costly repairs. That’s right: skipping this service could cause your tires, steering, and suspension to wear out prematurely. Improperly aligned tires can also result in reduced fuel economy, and who wants to pay more at the pump?
To determine if you need a wheel alignment, the technician will take your car for a test drive to check for signs of alignment problems, such as:
Using an alignment machine and performing a visual inspection, the technician will then analyze the steering angles at three checkpoints.
This is the angle created by drawing an imaginary line between the steering mechanism’s upper and lower ball joints and affects the car’s steering so that it stays at the proper height and has more stability at higher speeds.
This is the angle between the horizontal road and the vertical tire. It determines how much of the tire tread meets the road and can impact how the tires wear.
This is the angle (or distance) between the leading edge of the tires and affects the wear of the tires and stability when turning.
The technician then compares the recorded angles with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
With the help of the alignment machine, the technician adjusts the caster, camber, and toe as needed until they are within the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended ranges.
Lastly, the car is taken on a final test drive to verify that the new adjustments are accurate and have corrected any pre-repair conditions.
There are several benefits to properly aligned tires, here’s what you should know.
So now you know, having properly aligned tires can save you time, provide a smoother ride, and help keep you safer on the road.
Wheel alignment can be performed at many automotive repair facilities including tire retailers, automotive dealerships, specialty shops and independent repair facilities.
The trained technicians at Jiffy Lube® are also ready to perform this service for you. With more than 2,000 locations nationwide, one is sure to be located near you.
While the wheel alignment should only take about an hour, the service may take longer depending upon the technician’s assessment.
At Jiffy Lube, we believe that the more you know about car maintenance, the more confident you’ll feel behind the wheel.
Do you know what to do if you spot a bubble in your tire? Find out here.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.