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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:33 PM
abfonsy abfonsy is offline
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Location: Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2005 325i
Was this alignment worth it or did I get taken to the cleaners?

Hey all,

With the onset of freezing rain in the area, I finally put my winter tires on and I got a balance and alignment per my shop's suggestion. After looking at the data as a layman, I'm wondering if I got ripped off paying to have the alignment done based on the before and after readings--they didn't mention whether or not my alignment was off to begin with when they gave me the bill and I didn't get the data until after leaving the shop (it was left in my car). The car is a 2005 BMW 325i with around 74k miles. I recently (last July) got T-boned on the right side and had 6k in body and suspension work courtesy of the errant driver's insurance company, so I suspect my alignment wasn't terrible off to start with. My before values all seem to be within the normal realms of what I have tried to Google but trying to gauge whether or not the tweaks they made are worthy of $80 is another kettle of fish. I have no idea if the tweaks were substantial or if I would have been fine without them and just getting the tires installed and balanced. My favorite shop owner retired and I had to find a new place so I'm trying to get a handle on if this new place fleeced me. All of the units not specified are in degrees (ie all the non inches measurements). Thanks for any info you can provide.
Camber: Actual -.12 Before -.16
Caster: Actual 5.23 Before 5.23
Toe: Actual 1/16 in Before 1/16 in
SAI: Actual 14.63 Before 14.66
Included Angle: Actual 14.51 Before 14.51
Camber: Actual -.80 Before -.84
Caster: Actual 5.28 Before 5.28
Toe: Actual 1/16 in Before 0 in
SAI: Actual 15.41 Before 15.45
Included Angle: Actual 14.61 Before 14.61
Cross camber: Actual .69 Before .68
Cross caster: Actual -.05 Before -.05
Total Toe: Actual 1/8 in Before 1/16 in
Cross SAI: Actual -.79 Before -.78
Camber: A -1.85 B -1.84
Toe: A 5/32 in B 1/8 in
Camber: A -.71 B -.52
Toe: A 1/32 in B 1/32 in
Cross Camber: A -1.14 B -1.32
Total Toe: A 5/32 in B 5/32in
Thrust Angle: A .13 B .11
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:11 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Location: Finland
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,582
Mein Auto: '04 e46 Touring M-Sport
Atleast they could have given you discount when they didn't change anything more than that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:56 AM
mr_bean mr_bean is offline
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Location: NJ
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 723
Mein Auto: 2000 328i
Most of the labor in doing an alignment is getting the car set-up on the rig and taking the initial measurement. Even if they didn't make any adjustments, you still would have paid $80.
Was it worth it? Probably not, but hindsight is 20/20.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:42 AM
MINI+BMWtek MINI+BMWtek is offline
BMW master tech
Location: Houston
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 172
Mein Auto: e30 318
man that was cheap!! a quality alignment machine cost 40+k. $ 80 will not even pay for the machine, remember the shop has to pay the tech too. i think you got fleece with your $80 they got an unskilled tech to do it and using an old aligner they have to cut corners to get some profit margin

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