Average Cost of Wheel Alignment (Front, Back & 4-Wheel).

Although you're aware that regular alignment is important for your vehicle, it might still be difficult to pay the cost. Thankfully, the wheel alignment cost isn’t typically that much. 

We will be taking a close look at how much it costs to align a wheel. We also examine what factors influence this cost and discuss when it’s a good time to get a wheel alignment.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Average Cost of Wheel Alignment
    1. Average Cost of Wheel Alignment by Car Model
  2. What is the Cost of Wheel Alignment?
    1. 1. Lage
    2. 2. Types of service centers
    3. 3. Type of alignment
    4. 4. Type of vehicle
    5. 5. Service Packs
    6. 6. Other Work
  3. What's a wheel alignment?
    1. 1. Toe
    2. 2. Caster
    3. 3. Camber
  4. What to do if your car needs a wheel alignment
  5. Wheel alignment vs. wheel balancing

Average Cost of Wheel Alignment

The alignment may not be expensive if you already have maintenance done, but it could run you $50 to $150. Costs for all four wheels may be higher than $100 or $200 if they are aligned. 

These costs are dependent upon many variables, so the above estimates may not be accurate. The price of your vehicle, where you live and the shop that you visit will all affect how much you pay.

Alignment of 2WD wheelsLow: $50Average: $80High: $150
Four-wheel Drive Wheel AlignmentLow: $80Average: $120High: $200

Average Cost of Wheel Alignment by Car Model

Model CarMin costMax CostAverage cost
Ford F-150$80$150$100
Honda CR-V$100$200$150
Chevrolet Silverado$80$150$100
Ram 1500/2500/3500$80$150$100
Toyota RAV4$100$200$150
Toyota Camry$50$150$80

What is the Cost of Wheel Alignment?

1. Lage

The prices charged at service center offices can vary widely depending on your location. It seems that work on the east and northeast coasts is the most costly. You don't have to live in the same state as you do not need, but your work location will also play a role.

It can sometimes be worth visiting a center for service outside of the city. However, you don’t want to choose a no-name shop in the middle of rural America that lacks experience or the equipment to get the job done right. 

2. Types of service centers

You will spend more if you go to a dealer than you would if you went to your local service center. The dealerships can be more costly than most other locations, yet they employ factory-trained technicians who are familiar with your vehicle.

However, you don’t want to overlook the value of visiting a dedicated tire service center. These locations often offer better deals, and they specialize in tires. 

3. Type of alignment

There are two types of alignment, digital or manual. A manual alignment can help you save money. With the aid of a string, all tires can be measured manually. The length of the string is used by the technician to determine the distance between each tire angle. 

Digital alignment is more expensive due to the additional equipment required. The vehicle is raised on a platform and the sensors attached to each tire. Each tire is measured and adjusted accordingly. This digital alignment will cost extra, but it is worth the investment. 

4. Type of vehicle

A four-wheel alignment is not necessary for every vehicle. You can save money by only having two wheels aligned. An educated tire shop will be able to figure out what’s needed based on your car make and model. 

The alignment may cost you more if your suspension is damaged. Any work that the technician must do more will result in a greater cost. 

5. Service Packs

You can save money by purchasing service packages for your wheel alignments. Local tire shops might have service agreements for alignments that include tire rotations or alignments throughout the entire life of your tires. 

A lifetime agreement costs $250 and the usual alignment is $95, so you'll have already paid the cost of the plan at the third visit. If you are prone to frequent alignments, or travel on bumpy roads with lots of potholes, these service plans may be worth your while. 

6. Other Work

It’s easy to determine what your wheel alignment will cost. The answer is as easy as calling the local service center. However, you don’t know what other parts need to be replaced.

Broken components might mean that you will need to get them replaced before alignment is possible. These repairs and all of the labor required to complete the alignment can add up to the cost average. 

What's a wheel alignment?

The wheel alignment service requires that a technician adjusts the wheel’s angles to meet the manufacturer’s specs. During the wheel alignment process, there are three important measurements. These are the key differences in camber, toe and caster adjustments.

1. Toe

Toe In Toe Out Wheel Alignment

The term to indicate the direction that the tires point is called the "toe". It’s arguably the most critical aspect of any alignment, but it isn’t difficult to alter. You can drive straight with the right toe, without having to adjust the steering wheel. This also makes it safer to turn and protects the tires. You will measure the toe as either toe in, or toe outside.

  • Toe in: Tires are facing inward and pointed inward.
  • Toe out: Turn the tires inward so they face away from each other.

For most vehicles, it’s better to have a mild toe in alignment than a toe out. 

2. Caster

Caster Angle Wheel Alignment

The caster is the angle of the steering axis, or front suspension. This measurement affects how your steering feels but won’t have an impact on the wear of your tires. Caster can either be positive or negative.

  • Positive caster: The steering axis remains tilted slightly toward the vehicle’s rear. This should be where you want your wheel alignment to be. Positive alignment means that the steering wheel will quickly return to its initial position once you have made adjustments or taken a turn. 
  • Negative caster is when the steering axis pulls against what it should. This is most commonly after you have hit something with your vehicle. 

The caster angles of both the right and left sides should almost be equal. The slightest difference could cause difficulty in handling your vehicle. However, caster isn’t something that’s spotted easily without a wheel alignment. 

3. Camber

Camber Wheel Alignment

Camber can be used to indicate whether or not the wheels are leaning inwards. It’s the angle the wheels sit compared to the flat road surface axis. If the camber is not set correctly, it can lead to premature tire wear. Camber can either be positive or negatively described.

  • Positive camber is when the wheels tilt outward and face away from each other.
  • Negative camber - The wheels are tilting towards one another, inward. 

Sometimes, negative camber is a good option to increase your performance. If it’s occurring slightly on the rear wheels, the vehicle takes turns easier because there is more contact with the road. However, too much negative camber can lead to difficulty in steering and premature tire wear. 

It’s also possible to have one wheel with a different camber than the other. The ride will be affected if one side has a negative camber and the other side has a positive. 

RELATED : How long does it take to align a tire?

What to do if your car needs a wheel alignment

An alignment of your wheels is a routine maintenance service. Every six months, or at least 6,000 miles, you should align your wheels. Some prefer to have it done simultaneously with their oil change. Not all vehicles require this service. You might not require service if you are driving on roads that have smooth surfaces and do not encounter rough terrain. 

Use your intuition to determine how often you should have it done. You should check your alignment if you feel something is not right with your ride or your tire pressure is too low. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You should have your wheel aligned if there are any problems or symptoms.

  • This car was involved in an accident.
  • Recently, you have run into a curb or hit a pothole.
  • Tires have started to wear unevenly. 
  • The new tires were installed. If you wish to enjoy the warranty, alignment is necessary.
  • The alignment is also recommended if you have to change a tire early. 
  • Driving makes the roads more noisy.
  • There’s a squealing noise when you take a turn.
  • You can feel vibrations as you steer.
  • A lift kit was recently installed. You might have to align your wheels after you replace suspension or steering parts. 

Although many of these symptoms may be related to other issues, they must always be addressed. 

RELATED : 5 Signs That Your Wheels Are Not Aligned (Why You Should Fix It)

Wheel alignment vs. wheel balancing

The unevenness in the wheels can be compensated by having them balanced. Every wheel is different in weight distribution. If it isn’t evened out, there will be excessive vibration, premature tire wear, and other suspension issues. The vehicle's driving habits may mean that you need the wheels balanced approximately every 6,000 miles.

The wheel alignment isn’t balancing anything. The service is focused on maintaining the alignment of the wheels so that the tires point straight down the road. An alignment is important to ensure that your car moves in the right direction. It also prolongs the life of your tires. 

RELATED: 5 Symptoms of Unbalanced Tires (& Tire Balancing Cost)

These are two different services that can be performed together at one service center. Some tire shops offer combined services that can help you reduce costs. You can save money by bundling your maintenance services. 

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