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G30 (2017 - Current)
The next generation 5 Series, chassis code G30, arrives at dealers in February 2017. Looking like a scaled down 7 Series and riding on the CLAR platform, the new 5 Series will have a focus on lightweight and sporty performance. Engines options will come from BMW's new B family for the 530 and 540 and a turbocharged V8 for the M550i. Read more about the 2017 5 Series

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  #26  
Old 07-13-2019, 05:04 AM
AF AF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
’Balance’ is a proper distribution of mass weight and moment.

What of an elastomer structure that a pothole might change is the road-force, the stiffness-modulus where the tire is damaged by the pothole.

YOUR tires probably need a road-force balance.
Something tells me you’re an engineer ... I am certainly not but yes when needed I only go to dealers that have the Hunter GSP9700


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  #27  
Old 07-13-2019, 06:01 AM
Shua22 Shua22 is offline
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I've never had an alignment done on a BMW. Every one I have had has been fine for the duration of the 3 year lease. If I owned and planned to keep longer, I might consider it. I am also a low mile driver. ~10K/year.
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  #28  
Old 07-13-2019, 09:13 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shua22 View Post
I've never had an alignment done on a BMW. Every one I have had has been fine for the duration of the 3 year lease. If I owned and planned to keep longer, I might consider it. I am also a low mile driver. ~10K/year.
+1 as I noted above. Alignment is like some other basic service items, dealers push for an alignment even though there is no evidence the service is actually required. It's all about $$$.
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  #29  
Old 07-15-2019, 04:12 PM
miata13 miata13 is offline
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And I as only discovered since working a part-time job at a auto dealership, most Service Advisors are paid on primarily a commission basis...hence, the potential for the "wallet flush" treatment... Buyer beware!
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  #30  
Old 07-15-2019, 04:22 PM
wrp wrp is offline
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Around here alignments at dealers are often at a discounted price - this dealer's price is now $169, and regular price is $362 which seems excessive. But this is an opportunity for dealers to find suspension parts that they say need to be replaced.

https://www.bmwofcatonsville.com/pro...vice-parts.htm
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  #31  
Old 07-15-2019, 04:48 PM
STIHLBOLTS STIHLBOLTS is offline
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Alignments are for after the purchase of new tires, It is news to me that a car would not come from the factory un-aligned. I just have a hard time wrapping that around my head, sell someone a 75,000 car and expect them to go have an alignment done after the purchase.

If the car feels like it is pulling one direction or another or strange wear on the tires, get it checked out, lots of good shops out there for less than $230 a shot, however I know of a few in Tallahassee that like charging $300, so it is market specific.

As far as rotation goes, if you have 8x20 on the front and 9x20 on the rear, you won't be doing any rotation.

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  #32  
Old 07-15-2019, 05:02 PM
Racerjoe Racerjoe is offline
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Needs alignment every year huh? Do you think that would be the same for the guy that uses his as a daily driver and puts 25k miles a year and the guy that owns a convertible and only uses it on very nice days and puts on about 8k miles a year? Never forget a service writer is there to convince you to get service work done..... he makes a commission, the mechanic (or team) make commissions and the dealer makes money the more you spend. My mom called me from a Buick dealership and they had her convinced (and she said go ahead and do the work) 3500 dollars worth of work on a 2500 dollar car. I raised hell with them and had them put it back together and did the few things it actually needed done myself. Be careful and use common sense or get ripped off regularly.
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  #33  
Old 07-15-2019, 05:03 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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Okay, I am startled at what I am reading here. Owned dozens of cars, most as I started to beat the salary trap, purchased new/cash with less than 20 miles on the odometer. Let me itemize issues one ought to consider from my experience (Some above seem to have had consistent experiences.)

1) No the factory does not set every car to absolute dead center, between the limits, wheel alignment; which includes for every wheel; camber, toe in, caster. BUT, I have never taken delivery of a new factory car, that was so out of spec, that it exceeded those ranges. Thus, the car ran straight and true, as close as any person can tell on modern roads.
2) However, by the time I got my first set of tires (I usually run through a set of 50K Michelins in 25K), I would have the tire guy, run my car up on the alignment rack. And, quite often, we'd find one or more wheels near the limits of one or more of the specs. [Any competent quality tire shop, that has a tire mounting machine that does not touch the rim, will also have an alignment rack, that is precise enough to balance a Ferrari, or such. ]
3) Second however, by that same time, I usually already knew which wheels were out of spec, because the tires would be showing 'slightly' abnormal wear patterns indicative of the particular spec that was out (usually camber or toe). i.e. one tire would have a shoulder more worn then the 3 others.
4) No you do not need to rotate tires every 5K miles, unless you are getting your tires rotated for free, you will spend far more in rotations, than the premature cost of wear to one or more tires, that were out of spec. (I have an impact wrench, multiple car jacks, and used to rotate my tires every oil change. But, now, with staggered wheels, that is a moot point as the tires cannot be rotated.)
5) Lastly, as stated above, driver beware. If you/or the operator of your car, has an affinity for curbs, pot holes, debris, high speed passes through dips in the highway, etc., you probably will push your suspension out of alignment in short order. [Not so amusing to my wife, who used our 1989 supercharged Cougar, I traversed one of those arroyos in the desert highway, at 130+. I used up the entire travel of the suspension, to the bump stops, and then some. The chassis had a permanent flex in it, for the life of the car after. And yes, it needed a 4 wheel alignment at the next tire purchase.]
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  #34  
Old 07-15-2019, 05:16 PM
j_internet j_internet is offline
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You do not need a alignment yearly.

At best when
- Getting new tires
- Having an issue
- Tie rod etc replaced
- there is noticeable uneven wear.

The alignment machines at NTB / Just tires and other big box places are pretty much dummy proof. The only difference from a $89 alignment to $200 with them is the warrantee
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  #35  
Old 07-15-2019, 05:43 PM
Ramdol Ramdol is offline
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Yearly alignment; tire rotation factors

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaphouston View Post
My service guy at the dealership says that I need to have an alignment done on my car every year which runs $230. My car just turned one year end of May. Does anyone else do this yearly? Is it really necessary?
Also telling me I need a rotate and balance on the tires every 5k miles. I'm guessing this is a good idea.
Thanks for any info or suggestions.
Assuming you have same front and rear tire sizes, not to far off in my experience. I did not do the rotation because “they don’t recommend it”, the rears were done well ahead of the fronts. Just bought new tires with alignment. No need for annual unless and when car drifts or pulls; get that looked at promptly. I’m told BMW alignment is “weighted” replicating to some extent an occupied car so unless the cost factor is unbearable, I’d stick with the dealer. I rotate every 5K.
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  #36  
Old 07-15-2019, 06:56 PM
Ipabrew Ipabrew is offline
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Alignment ever year

Gibberish ...
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  #37  
Old 07-15-2019, 10:36 PM
1phillycat 1phillycat is offline
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Alignment after one year

kaphouston, I get an alignment done regularly at Meineke really cheap. I got my last one done August 2018, for around less than $100.00--all-wheel alignment, and my 2012 328i runs just as great as if the BMW dealership did it where I live. New to the forum. Hope this information helps.

1phillycat
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  #38  
Old 07-16-2019, 01:24 AM
MRBIGRED MRBIGRED is offline
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Monster potholes in NYC have caused me to have two alignments, within 6 months, on my 2016 BMW 750i xDrive (purchased new in start of 2017). While BMW Dealerships were the only true places to get a BMW car aligned until recently, as there is a new option out there. About a month ago, MAVIS Discout Tire stores have purchased the equipment to align BMW cars (it has something to do with the cameras in the car). At MAVIS, it's $129.00 versus $279.00 at the dealership. Lovely ridin' car, but expensive to maintain. I am going back to LEXUS (I had the LS 460)....never a problem, nor in the shop, except oil changes!!! Hope this helps....
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  #39  
Old 07-16-2019, 02:23 AM
MRBIGRED MRBIGRED is offline
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BMW's do come aligned from the factory with increased rear camber (I am not an anal retentive BMW BUFF...I googled this! I just get in the car and drive...the rest I have mechanics for!!!).
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  #40  
Old 07-16-2019, 04:18 AM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaphouston View Post
My service guy at the dealership says that I need to have an alignment done on my car every year which runs $230. My car just turned one year end of May. Does anyone else do this yearly? Is it really necessary?
Also telling me I need a rotate and balance on the tires every 5k miles. I'm guessing this is a good idea.
Thanks for any info or suggestions.
I never touch alignment until I drive for awhile and check some stuff.

1. Is steering wheel crooked? No? Might not need

2. Does wheel pull to one side? No? Might not.

3. Does handling feel wrong? No Might not.

4. Are tires wearing unevenly? need a tread depth measurement once a month util some trend shows yes or no. That could take a year or 15k miles to find out.

You could have alignment right as it is, and they mess up to where you CHASE it back to being right. I say never touch it unless necessary.

I have Mazda RX8 that I tracked and I knew it steered around tight corners funny, but didn't have bad wear, so I aligned with shoo that let me help.

I got the front toe in close to zero, but slight toe in. Rear toe in slightly out, and the rear camber was too much so took it back to -1.65 so car would turn better. Works better and doesn't wear wrong either.

Now my X1 s28i M Sport came feeling perfect, and first set of summer P7's wore evenly, so I'm not about to touch it. I put Michelin Ps4S on it, and still corners how I want it. Six years of car and I can tell alignment still feels right.
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  #41  
Old 07-16-2019, 06:08 AM
nrancour nrancour is offline
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2002 525i, 17 years old, 300,000 miles.... only had one alignment because the tires were starting to wear differently inside vs outside.
I rotate every 5,000-7,000 and keep full of air. I generally run 36 lbs of pressure all around all year long.

Like most others are saying... only get one if you need one.
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  #42  
Old 07-16-2019, 06:08 AM
Living Dead Living Dead is offline
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An annual alignment is nothing more than the dealership gouging customers, it is exactly the same as the $650 oil change my BMW service department charges and the nitrogen in your tires nonsense for only $99 from a couple of years ago or $0.50 at my local service station for plain old air.

I've been driving for 34 years, the last 10 BMWs and have had all of two alignments on my cars after some abnormal tire wear once and a serious pothole hit another time.

If I had paid $230 every one of those 34 years I'd be out $7,820. Even at $100 it would still be $3,400 out of my pocket, that's not chump change.

Do the math, is it really worth it?
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  #43  
Old 07-16-2019, 07:30 AM
Hobie Dog Hobie Dog is offline
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+1 Thank you for your voice of reason! For street driving if your car tracks straight and your tires are wearing even then your alignment is just fine. If either is off then yes get an alignment otherwise save your money. Or decrease your oil change interval that is going to do far more good for your car.

I know I am opening a can of worms here but I think the 10K+ miles BMW "recommends" is too long. I do mine every 5K miles. I also do my own changes so it's not very expensive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
Why is someone on this post telling you that you need an alignment? Just for the sake of having one? Over the 14 years of owning 5 BMW's I have never had an alignment done, nor needed one. Unless you regularly bang into curbs and hit very deep potholes, or see any unusual wear on your tires, chances are you also don't need an alignment.

Rotate and balance is another story - yes, I do this every 5-7000 miles, based on almost all tire manufacturer's recommendations. Of course, if you have a tire setup with different sizes on front and back, you can't rotate. A rotation/balance at my dealer runs about $85-90.

BTW, for any service person who tells you that you unconditionally "need" an alignment performed annually, no matter what, is trying to take you to the cleaners, as the saying goes, and is doing you no favors.
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  #44  
Old 07-17-2019, 07:39 PM
Mopho Mopho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaphouston View Post
My service guy at the dealership says that I need to have an alignment done on my car every year which runs $230. My car just turned one year end of May. Does anyone else do this yearly? Is it really necessary?
Also telling me I need a rotate and balance on the tires every 5k miles. I'm guessing this is a good idea.
Thanks for any info or suggestions.
Man, someone needs to report this dude. I have noticed that almost all (or all as far as I have seen in 30 years of dealing with dealers-just being kind by saying "almost") dealers like to charge for things that you REALLY don't need, but get away with it by preforming the work that is really not needed as frequently as they "suggest".

Unless you hit a large pothole or slam a curb etc. you should not need an alignment until you change tires (every 40 to 60 K miles) especially with a Bimmer. They are built better than some cheap imports or American sub-compacts that "might" need an alignment every year, and that depends on how many miles and how rough a road you drive on.

Rotating the tires is a good idea, I do mine every 7-10 thousand miles. I drive mostly city with good roads, and I have never had to "balance the tires" except when they are new.
If you do have uneven wear, then you might have to have the tires re-balanced. Again, depends on how hard you drive and how many bumps, potholes, and rough surfaces you traverse.

Cars and SUVs/Crossovers etc. have changed a lot in recent years but after working and managing in a body shop 30 years and switching to Insurance Appraiser for the last 10 years, I have seen every scam the shops have pulled. Our local BMW shop got me with my '08 X-3 3.0si a few years ago right out of warranty, they changed the serpentine belt idler pulley and DID NOT CHANGE the Belt. They also did the work without my authorization... I will never go back there again.
I'm lucky, I have 3 other BMW dealers within 50 miles if I need work done I can't do myself.
Hope this helps, Kap.

If they ever tell you you must have something done to stay within your warranty, have them show you that in writing. Then take your car to a reliable licensed independent BMW repair shop and have them preform the work with a receipt and the dealership or manufacturer cannot cancel your warranty, that's the LAW!

Sorry to the few dealers that are "honest". But there is millions of dollars wasted every year by consumers on unneeded repairs.
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  #45  
Old 07-17-2019, 07:46 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopho View Post
Man, someone needs to report this dude. I have noticed that almost all (or all as far as I have seen in 30 years of dealing with dealers-just being kind by saying "almost") dealers like to charge for things that you REALLY don't need, but get away with it by preforming the work that is really not needed as frequently as they "suggest".

Unless you hit a large pothole or slam a curb etc. you should not need an alignment until you change tires (every 40 to 60 K miles) especially with a Bimmer. They are built better than some cheap imports or American sub-compacts that "might" need an alignment every year, and that depends on how many miles and how rough a road you drive on.

Rotating the tires is a good idea, I do mine every 7-10 thousand miles. I drive mostly city with good roads, and I have never had to "balance the tires" except when they are new.
If you do have uneven wear, then you might have to have the tires re-balanced. Again, depends on how hard you drive and how many bumps, potholes, and rough surfaces you traverse.

Cars and SUVs/Crossovers etc. have changed a lot in recent years but after working and managing in a body shop 30 years and switching to Insurance Appraiser for the last 10 years, I have seen every scam the shops have pulled. Our local BMW shop got me with my '08 X-3 3.0si a few years ago right out of warranty, they changed the serpentine belt idler pulley and DID NOT CHANGE the Belt. They also did the work without my authorization... I will never go back there again.
I'm lucky, I have 3 other BMW dealers within 50 miles if I need work done I can't do myself.
Hope this helps, Kap.

If they ever tell you you must have something done to stay within your warranty, have them show you that in writing. Then take your car to a reliable licensed independent BMW repair shop and have them preform the work with a receipt and the dealership or manufacturer cannot cancel your warranty, that's the LAW!

Sorry to the few dealers that are "honest". But there is millions of dollars wasted every year by consumers on unneeded repairs.
Don't service department people get paid on commission? Just like sales? When an employee wants to make money they exaggerate or lie. I bet it is pretty common. Thats where dealers make the most money right?
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  #46  
Old 07-17-2019, 08:08 PM
Mopho Mopho is offline
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Yep.
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  #47  
Old 07-18-2019, 05:16 AM
nrancour nrancour is offline
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BabyUnicornTaco, I agree with everything you said; but would like to extend it to other large chain shops too ; like Firestone.
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  #48  
Old 07-18-2019, 05:45 PM
ken2116 ken2116 is offline
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Once a car is properly aligned, smooth road drivers probably don't need annual alignments, but each time you replace tires is a good idea. A suspension/tire/wheel inspection + alignment check after significant bumps or curb nudges likely is a wise, or you can measure tread depths (with a high resolution tool) several times over the next ~ 1000mi. or so to see if you're getting unusual wear (cupping, feathering, coning, etc.) Pulling, vibration, or other unusual handling are other good indicators that an inspection is needed.

Get, review, and save the before and after alignment measurements - example: after the 3rd or 4th time a Volvo dealer billed us for a strut rod replacement (the only way to adjust camber on that car, models differ in this respect)- a review showed that each measurement was sitting just at the spec limit, sometimes a little under and sometimes a little over by the smallest unit of measurement - the problem wasn't the car, whose alignment remained stable for over 150kmi, but rather the repeatability of the dealership's measurements (a great money generator for them).

Don't go just anywhere for alignments (or brake work). A dealership with the proper equipment for your BMW probably can hit the numbers, but do their staff understand fine tuning? A well regarded independent shop that specializes in suspensions and has a stable workforce who have seen everything is likely to be better. We're lucky to have such a shop in our area who, among other things, do suspension tuning for track cars. Their hourly rates are a bit higher, but on several occasions they have been able to diagnose and correct subtle problems that the dealer and chain franchise shops we tried first couldn't handle, both fixing an unusual problem and saving money by adjusting or replacing just the parts that were necessary.

When checking tread depth, pick three or four places around the circumference, not necessarily evenly spaced, (record where these are so you can measure the same locations the next time) and measure depth across the width using a gauge that can resolve to one or a few thousandths of an inch (the depth gauge at the end of a mechanist's calipers is one possibility). It's easiest to do this when a tire is off the car. Practice until you can get repeatable measurements (to a few thousandths), take multiple measurements at each place and record the average for each location. The reason for more than two diametrically opposed locations is that you might miss periodic differences in wear rates around the circumference caused by imbalance which, for example, can give high spots at 0 and 180 degrees and low spots at 90 and 270 degrees, or other combinations. Another useful measurement is circumference, best measured with either a flat tape (retractable metal or two fiberglass (non-stretch) fabric sewing tapes fastened end to end) or length of wire, measuring to either 1mm or 1/16in. This is especially useful for AWD cars that are tire diameter sensitive, as a portion of the differences can originate with the casing (below the tread) and thus missed by tread measurements alone. Some of this is for obsessives, but who else are reading this?

Last edited by ken2116; 07-18-2019 at 05:51 PM. Reason: grammar clean up, typos
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  #49  
Old 09-09-2019, 01:35 PM
LogicalApex LogicalApex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
BMW are not aligned from the factory for any particular setting but their convenience. One needs an (one) alignment to know that your tires are being treated as best as they can be. I get an alignment check about once per year. It seems quite stable and the variation is probably due to individual errors and not systematic errors.
BMW alignments and balancing are free up to 2K miles on the odometer. So if a driver feels like the alignment is off from the factory they can take it in and get it corrected for free.

Annual alignments are hogwash. On my Mercedes the dealer would often suggest not getting an alignment unless you had uneven wear or pulling. No need to throw money down the tubes.
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  #50  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
+1 as I noted above. Alignment is like some other basic service items, dealers push for an alignment even though there is no evidence the service is actually required. It's all about $$$.
+1. Mike Miller, the independent BMW technical advisor for the BMW club magazine "Roundel" has said repeatedly that alignments are the most over sold service at both the BMW dealer and independent tire dealers. He advised you get an alignment only when you have specific suspension or steering components replaced, or uneven tire wear that warrants it.

I used to have alignment checks and adjustments every time I replaced tires or had any sort of suspension work (which ended up being every 12 to 18 months). I stopped a few years ago, and guess what? My tires continue to wear evenly and the car still handles superbly.
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