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Bad Lieutenant
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6,358 Posts
Getting my tires replaced and also getting the alignment done at Sears . Wanted to check Sears is ok to go for an alignment or I am better off going to the dealer !!!!
I wouldn't get my most hated enemy's vehicle aligned at Sears. Use an indie shop or the dealer, guarantee Sears will NOT perform a dynamic alignment.
 

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Certified Car Nut
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211 Posts
I have to agree not to use Sears for the alignment. I think that it would be way to easy to muck up the suspension. I don't even know if I would trust them to lift it properly. This aint no chevy your dealing with... I would get the tires from Tire Rack, and have them shipped to the dealership. If you are set on getting the tires from Sears, I may even consider renting a pick-up, and hauling the unmounted tires to a specialty tire shop that can handle the alloy wheels, indy mechanic, or the dealer. My dealer mounted, balanced, and aligned the car for 180 bucks. Well worth it to me. <They even cleaned the wheels while they had them off> :thumbup:
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
2018 Glacier Silver 340i M Sport
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20,099 Posts
Use the dealer or, preferably, an induce who has the proper equipment. Just 'cause you're getting tires doesn't automatically mean you need a alignment. If the car is tracking straight and the tread wear is even you don't necessarily need an alignment.
 

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Registered
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6,545 Posts
The bmw speced procedure is different

They actually spec putting 150lb weights in each seat to simulate a
load . There was one other adjustment that wasn't standard that calibrates
the the stability system . Some Indys can do this .
There is a certain kind of alignment machine that will walk them through the
procedure but I don't remember the name.
 

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Premium Member
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1,876 Posts
Getting my tires replaced and also getting the alignment done at Sears . Wanted to check Sears is ok to go for an alignment or I am better off going to the dealer !!!!
I wouldn't have my bicycle aligned at Sears.
 

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Registered
Joined
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101 Posts
They actually spec putting 150lb weights in each seat to simulate a
load . There was one other adjustment that wasn't standard that calibrates
the the stability system . Some Indys can do this .
There is a certain kind of alignment machine that will walk them through the
procedure but I don't remember the name.
My argument against this is that if you drive solo most of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to just weigh down the driver seat?

I take my car to an indy who has a Hunter Laser alignment system. I've sat inside the car before while the car was being aligned lol. And my car tracks straight.
 

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BMWCCA 149159
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2,876 Posts
I have nothing against Sears however my 60K car is going to get one thing a tire replacement with a touchless machine. I am fortunate to use the base autohobby shop because I help them replace the tires. My wheels mean a hell of a lot more to me than saving a few bucks. To me that is key. The alignment is needed only if you are having wear issues.
For my Ford Superduty I have no problem using them but those are steel wheels.
Post what you plan to do please....
 

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Lost but making good time
3er + 3er + 4er = 10er, Bimmers?!
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6,492 Posts
My argument against this is that if you drive solo most of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to just weigh down the driver seat?
No, because that doesn't load the suspension the way the engineers who designed it want it loaded to set proper angles.

Suspension alignment is about a lot more than "tracking straight" and tire wear. It affects how well the car handles in corners, how it reacts to bumps, how well it handles bumps in mid-corner, and how stable it feels under acceleration, braking and high-speed cruising. Alignment geometry changes as the vehicle moves on its suspension and you can't keep all the angles constant throughout the entire range of motion (nor do you want to, but that's another story).

The idea of the "normal loaded condition" is to set the alignment with the suspension near the midpoint of its normal operating range, so that the geometry isn't too far off at either extreme (fully compressed or fully extended). "Normal" doesn't mean "normal for you," it's designed to set up the car properly for the range of loads it can carry at any time.

And for that reason and many others like it, on topic, I do not trust Sears or any shop lacking BMW-specific training and experience to touch my car, period. The few extra bucks it costs to have maintenance done right is, over the long term, the difference between an older BMW and just another old car.
 

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Bad Lieutenant
Joined
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6,358 Posts
They actually spec putting 150lb weights in each seat to simulate a
load . There was one other adjustment that wasn't standard that calibrates
the the stability system . Some Indys can do this .
There is a certain kind of alignment machine that will walk them through the
procedure but I don't remember the name.
BMW TIS also specifies a full tank of fuel and 68kg in the trunk. :thumbup:
 

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Runon MD1
Joined
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494 Posts
Sears alignment

I have to agree not to use Sears for the alignment. I think that it would be way to easy to muck up the suspension. I don't even know if I would trust them to lift it properly. This aint no chevy your dealing with... I would get the tires from Tire Rack, and have them shipped to the dealership. If you are set on getting the tires from Sears, I may even consider renting a pick-up, and hauling the unmounted tires to a specialty tire shop that can handle the alloy wheels, indy mechanic, or the dealer. My dealer mounted, balanced, and aligned the car for 180 bucks. Well worth it to me. <They even cleaned the wheels while they had them off> :thumbup:
ait's "too," not "to," and it's "you're," not "your."

:mad:
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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7,614 Posts
My argument against this is that if you drive solo most of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to just weigh down the driver seat?
No, because that doesn't load the suspension the way the engineers who designed it want it loaded to set proper angles.

Suspension alignment is about a lot more than "tracking straight" and tire wear. It affects how well the car handles in corners, how it reacts to bumps, how well it handles bumps in mid-corner, and how stable it feels under acceleration, braking and high-speed cruising. Alignment geometry changes as the vehicle moves on its suspension and you can't keep all the angles constant throughout the entire range of motion (nor do you want to, but that's another story).

The idea of the "normal loaded condition" is to set the alignment with the suspension near the midpoint of its normal operating range, so that the geometry isn't too far off at either extreme (fully compressed or fully extended). "Normal" doesn't mean "normal for you," it's designed to set up the car properly for the range of loads it can carry at any time.

And for that reason and many others like it, on topic, I do not trust Sears or any shop lacking BMW-specific training and experience to touch my car, period. The few extra bucks it costs to have maintenance done right is, over the long term, the difference between an older BMW and just another old car.
Here is another reason or at least more evidence substantiating Zeichen regarding loading.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=582907&highlight=
 

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Bimmerdex 7.4!
Joined
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11,164 Posts
No, because that doesn't load the suspension the way the engineers who designed it want it loaded to set proper angles.

Suspension alignment is about a lot more than "tracking straight" and tire wear. It affects how well the car handles in corners, how it reacts to bumps, how well it handles bumps in mid-corner, and how stable it feels under acceleration, braking and high-speed cruising. Alignment geometry changes as the vehicle moves on its suspension and you can't keep all the angles constant throughout the entire range of motion (nor do you want to, but that's another story).

The idea of the "normal loaded condition" is to set the alignment with the suspension near the midpoint of its normal operating range, so that the geometry isn't too far off at either extreme (fully compressed or fully extended). "Normal" doesn't mean "normal for you," it's designed to set up the car properly for the range of loads it can carry at any time.

And for that reason and many others like it, on topic, I do not trust Sears or any shop lacking BMW-specific training and experience to touch my car, period. The few extra bucks it costs to have maintenance done right is, over the long term, the difference between an older BMW and just another old car.
Here is another reason or at least more evidence substantiating Zeichen regarding loading.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=582907&highlight=
These!:thumbup:

We use bags of old tire weights. They're 25 lbs. each and easily handled.

Most modern alignment machines have step-by-step instructions on the data screen. The latest have vehicle interfaces (Hunter for instance) which help in resetting vehicle software for steering angle after the alignment. The screens show all the alignment components and even tell you what kind of tool to use and which way to turn something to get closer to spec.

Whether the shop follows procedures or not is another thing. Shops which regularly work on performance vehicles are more likely to follow oem procedures than those who use the tire shop toe-and-go method. A car which is set up for minimal tire wear can be set up 'wrong' according to oem specs. Tire shops care about making their tires last. Often that setup is less than optimal for handling performance.

My gut feel is that the tire monkeys at Sears wouldn't know caster from Castrol. When they do they usually move up to Pep Boys.:angel:
 

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Bimmerdex 7.4!
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11,164 Posts
I wouldn't have my bicycle aligned at Sears.
Front and rear toe is factory set. So is caster. You can do a little with camber but that really messes up your chain tension. Thrust angle isn't an issue unless you're talking a tricycle. You didn't say.
Edit OK I got it now; bicycle two wheels, tricycle three wheels. You did say. It was early and I was only half awake, a half wit you might say.
 

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Bad Lieutenant
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6,358 Posts
 

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Livin' like Larry!
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8,850 Posts
If you go to www.tirerack.com you can put in your location and they will provide you with a list of preferred installers... no guarantees of course, but typically these retailors are more knowledgeable than average... My local preferred installer sells tires as well, and will come close to the Tirerack price on an in stock tire... worth checking out! :thumbup:
 

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Registered
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402 Posts
The other piece of information you need is "how are they going to properly torque the lug-nuts your wheels"?
Many rotors have been ruined by ham-fisted "technicians" using an air impact gun with no torque limiters to install your wheels. Not to mention the damage that can be done by an untrained technician trying to install tires on your alloy wheels...
 
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