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Old 01-16-2013, 12:59 PM
Boraxo Boraxo is offline
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Location: Danville, CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 602
Mein Auto: ED 330i
Alignment - how often and where?

So there are about a hundred threads on alignment issues but did not see either of these questions addressed directly.

(1) Assuming you don't notice a problem, how often do you have your wheels aligned? I was told to have this done once a year, particularly when driving in urban areas such as SF, LA, DC etc. where the roads are in poor condition, full of potholes, curbs get hit when parking, etc. However most service is done based on mileage so does this mean 15k miles?

Now I realize that there are some who will opine "if it isn't broken..." but having been burned with tires that went prematurely bald due to alignment I would rather spend $100-200 as "insurance" than spend $1200 for new tires when that could be avoided. My past set went 40-50k miles. But that still begs the question "how often is enough" assuming you are not careening all over the road when driving?

(2) Where do you have your alignments done? I was told by the local BMW service adviser that they do a 4-wheel alignment which takes 2 hours, and thus the price is $199. Obviously this is a lot higher than the local tire shops which run closer to $80-100 and have you out the door in 30-60 minutes. The local indy shops run $149, again for a 2 hour job. So is it worth paying extra or is this just dealer puffing?
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