When is an alignment needed? Technician question

C-ya

Original poster
Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
I know the question can be answered many ways, but based on the readings from an alignment machine, when is it NEEDED? I am getting my swaybar bushings replaced under warranty and part of the inspection (free) was an alignment check. The front was a little off, -0.32. The service writer said when it gets to ±0.5 or greater, it would NEED it. Should I go ahead where I am or can I wait? My tires are brand new, so I don't want to start them down the wrong road (sorry!) wear-wise.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
You NEED it when one of the measurements is out of spec. There are THREE major elements of an alignment, however. Camber, caster, and toe-in. The spec for camber is +/- 0.5 degrees, so I have to assume your shop was talking about that. But you would have a more satisfying conversation with them if you Googled for suspension terminology and went in there with a note pad next time. Some goofball and incompetent shops claim our platform has NO camber and caster adjustment, and you should just walk away from that kind of shop.
 

C-ya

Original poster
Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
It is camber, I forgot to put that in the first post. This is a stealership.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Buy a Firestone lifetime alignment, been absolutely great for me. After the 2nd one it pays for itself, I just call em up and drop it off for an hour every oil change ~5k.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
ScarabEpic22 said:
Buy a Firestone lifetime alignment, been absolutely great for me. After the 2nd one it pays for itself, I just call em up and drop it off for an hour every oil change ~5k.

Yeah I got one of them too. An alignment should be done when struts and hubs are replaced as well.
 

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