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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:17 AM
kckc1016 kckc1016 is offline
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Wheel Alignments

Guys, how often do you get a wheel alignment and how much do you usually pay?

Just got my oil changed and the BMW guy recommended I do a wheel alignment for $300. Car drives straight but im just curious to know what you guys do, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:57 AM
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BMW seems to recommend it every time you get new wheels and that's it. Audi is the same way. No tire rotations/alignments (unless you hit something) until you get a new set of tires.

On the other hand, Toyota, etc are quite diff't. Tire rotations every 5k miles and alignments once a year.

I really don't know who to believe
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:58 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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If its straight, leave it alone.

The car needs balancing more regularly though because of the soft wheels. Alignment should last a year at least.

I wouldn't realign more than once a year unless it really needs it.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
BMW seems to recommend it every time you get new wheels and that's it. Audi is the same way. No tire rotations/alignments (unless you hit something) until you get a new set of tires.

On the other hand, Toyota, etc are quite diff't. Tire rotations every 5k miles and alignments once a year.

I really don't know who to believe
That's odd that Toyota recommends annual alignments. Lexus only recommends when you change tires/wheels. Also Lexus warranties the alignment for the first year.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:10 AM
pburleson pburleson is offline
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I had to have a piece of crap Goodyear RFT replaced the other day because of a bubble and they asked if I wanted an alignment. They said it wasn't covered by the tire and wheel warranty and that it was a bit over $600.00. That is incredible...They also said because of the backup camera that the alignment was more difficult. I couldn't understand the logic in that one.
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburleson View Post
I had to have a piece of crap Goodyear RFT replaced the other day because of a bubble and they asked if I wanted an alignment. They said it wasn't covered by the tire and wheel warranty and that it was a bit over $600.00.
What the hell, why would it be $600? Local BMW dealer charges like $249

Quote:

That is incredible...They also said because of the backup camera that the alignment was more difficult. I couldn't understand the logic in that one.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburleson View Post
I had to have a piece of crap Goodyear RFT replaced the other day because of a bubble and they asked if I wanted an alignment. They said it wasn't covered by the tire and wheel warranty and that it was a bit over $600.00. That is incredible...They also said because of the backup camera that the alignment was more difficult. I couldn't understand the logic in that one.
$600 alignment ...... $400 map updates ....... $450 batteries ..... give me a break .... they must think we are an easy mark because we paid up for a BMW

Alignment can go a long time if you don't drive over curbs or into big pot holes.

Even as the first set of tires wears out look at the tread wear pattern when the car is on a lift to see if there is any outer / inner edge unevenness.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:29 AM
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$600 alignment ...... $400 map updates ....... $450 batteries ..... give me a break .... they must think we are an easy mark because we paid up for a BMW
Couldn't have said it better
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:29 AM
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Paying more than $200 for an alignment is retarded. Sorry to all the retarded people out there.
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:46 AM
pburleson pburleson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
What the hell, why would it be $600? Local BMW dealer charges like $249



Who is your local dealer? If I do need an alignment, that is a huge savings! I almost fell out of the chair when he quoted me the price!
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:54 AM
jason60050 jason60050 is offline
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As said above don't get an alignment until you can feel that you need one. The dealer is trying to make money.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:57 AM
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Who is your local dealer? If I do need an alignment, that is a huge savings! I almost fell out of the chair when he quoted me the price!
PM sent
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2012, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Paying more than $200 for an alignment is retarded. Sorry to all the retarded people out there.
Agree. Standard alignment should be $100.

I paid $230 for an IAS alignment at the dealer and I consider that a rip off. I just didn't know if standard alignment shops know how to do a 4 wheel steering setup.
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburleson View Post
I had to have a piece of crap Goodyear RFT replaced the other day because of a bubble and they asked if I wanted an alignment. They said it wasn't covered by the tire and wheel warranty and that it was a bit over $600.00. That is incredible...They also said because of the backup camera that the alignment was more difficult. I couldn't understand the logic in that one.
Lie.

All my cars have backup cameras. With standard 2 wheel steering you just need a shop with a good Hunter setup. The best places are independent alignment specialists. Usually cheaper and better.

Whenever dealer does an alignment i have to take 2-3 trips there to get perfection.
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2012, 02:14 PM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Paying more than $200 for an alignment is retarded. Sorry to all the retarded people out there.
I had this debate 6 months ago when I owned my 550i GT. Apparently the F01. F07, and the F10 have unique suspension settings that require very specialized state of the art equipment to perform a proper alignment - "Graph Alignments". My SA points out that very few independent shops will have this equipment and that this equipment is not optional when it comes to proper alignment on F07s, F10s and F01s.

Speaking to my SA about general alignment issues, excessive wear, active steering and the cost of alignments ....I quote my SA,

"No, it is not because your vehicle has active steering. There are 3 different types of alignments currently on our vehicles:

Conventional Alignments - $239.95
Active Steering Alignments - $379.95
Graph Alignments - $495.95

It's not that the steering has any special system like active steering, it's the actual adjustments for the alignment angles; and how the suspension is set up on the newly designed vehicles. ....

If the inner edge of the tire is worn out more than the center of the tire, it's going to be a camber angle that is off on the car. If the toe angle was off to the point of causing accelerated tire wear, it would affect the tread wear across the entire tire; not only that, you will feel the car not tracking correctly. This is from my own personal experience, I had an M3 that had alignment issues, and the toe angles were off spec. I was going through rear tires every 8,000 miles. Along with that any of these high performance tires, you aren't going to get more than around 20k in mileage from them. What you gain in performance, you're going to lose in tire life, you've got to understand all the high performance tires are going to be a softer rubber compound and will wear faster. And almost all tires in that wheel size are going to be high ultra-high performance tires.
The car is going to have to be aligned to correct the irregular wear issue, the alignment on this car runs $495.95.

Another point is that the alignments on these cars is not your everyday alignment like on some of the older models. All of the new 7 & 5 series, have new suspension designs. Because of the way the suspension geometry is set up for your car, our technicians have to do a graphed alignment. They have to do initial alignment angle measurements, and they have to actually plot out and graph all the alignment angles prior to making any adjustment to the suspension. Now a conventional alignment, you used to be able to adjust each wheel to whatever specified degree it's supposed to be at following a laser guided sensor; but because of the new suspension geometry and design, a change to one wheel will affect and change the alignment angle on the corresponding side, this is why the initial measurements and graphing is required. This isn't something a regular tire shop is going to be capable of performing, unless they're very very up to date with alignment specs, and specific to BMWs."


In the end, the dealer did an accommodation for me and did the service at a reduced price.

I remain skeptical. There are times when I think I should change my avatar....

Capobranco reporting for fleecing.
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2012, 02:50 PM
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Capobranco - your CA sounds like a Master Fleecer. If only we all had access to such great fleecers we wouldn't have so much trouble with these heavy wallets that are burning holes in our pockets.

I was quite annoyed with BMW recently. When my car was delivered in December, my steering wheel was off center. It tracked straight, so I didn't bother taking it in to fix the steering wheel position until I did the oil change at about 2200 miles. At that time the dealer and BMW USA refused to pay to fix this issue under warranty, claiming the owners manual says this is only covered for 2000 miles. The dealer also quoted me $389.95 for an IAS alignment (this was Vista BMW - a master fleecers which should nobody should do business with).

I called around, and BMW of Pembroke Pines did the IAS alignment for $199.95. So there are big differences in pricing. I agreed to let BMW do it, because my independent Dinan shop quoted me the same price.

That said, a non IAS alignment which includes both toe and camber adjustment should not cost more than $120. A toe only adjustment should cost only $80.

And there is nothing special about these BMWs F10s. The Dinan dealer told me that anyone with latest Hunter setup can do this. IAS requires a bit more experience and time but not special equipment.
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2012, 04:46 PM
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MSgtMel MSgtMel is offline
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+1 Stealth, and if I may, you local independent tire dealer (who more than likely belongs to a larger group) should have a lifetime alignment plan that costs little more than a single alignment. Mine does, and at a minimum they have the specs for the F10 in the following arrangements: standard, sport, sport with IAS and IAS alone. The neat deal is that the service is unlimited, you can have an alignment every time you hit a pothole, curb, rotate your tires, change your tires or yearly whatever your pleasure. If memory serves, the normal charge for alignment no matter the configuration was about $80 and the lifetime deal was $130. Have had it done four times times this past year, 2 times for the LS2s, once for the Primacy HPZP and once for the winters.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:59 PM
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+1 Stealth, and if I may, you local independent tire dealer (who more than likely belongs to a larger group) should have a lifetime alignment plan that costs little more than a single alignment. Mine does, and at a minimum they have the specs for the F10 in the following arrangements: standard, sport, sport with IAS and IAS alone. The neat deal is that the service is unlimited, you can have an alignment every time you hit a pothole, curb, rotate your tires, change your tires or yearly whatever your pleasure. If memory serves, the normal charge for alignment no matter the configuration was about $80 and the lifetime deal was $130. Have had it done four times times this past year, 2 times for the LS2s, once for the Primacy HPZP and once for the winters.
That's a great deal!

Personally I am a bit reluctant to go to a local tire shop though. Their bread and butter is mainstream sedans like the Camry which has only toe adjustment, no camber, and no IAS. I doubt they encounter IAS vehicles with much frequency.

I tend to go to either performance shops who see a lot of BMWs or this guy whose shop is called The Alignment Factory, who draws a real enthusiast crowd, lots of BMWs, and still charges same price as the local tire shop. With IAS I look for shops who may have seen a few GTRs.
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 03-15-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-15-2012, 08:28 PM
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Granted. You've always got to go with who you trust. Fortunately my guy while he has about 60-70% mainstream business (mainly tires) does have a sizable crowd of enthusiasts for tires, wheels and alignments. Cars run the gamut, MB, BMW Audi, Jag, Corvette, Mustang even a Maserati stops by every now and then. But will concede that there probably aren't too many with IAS.
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