How often to do wheel alignment? - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 06:26 PM
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Default How often to do wheel alignment?

I checked the maintenance schedule and this board and oddly, could not find the answer. What is the recommended schedule to do wheel alignments? My Prius is just about due for its 25K service (bought it new in March 2005), and was considering getting a wheel alignment done at the same time, even though, if there is a "drift" on my car, it is very slight. Should I wait, or do it now?
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 06:56 PM
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Hi paul...

I always do a "thrust alignment" (4 wheels) and a dynamic wheel balance on all four when I purchase new tires. The only other time I've done it has been after an encounter with a curb or huge pothole.

I do not consider the Prius different in the alignment category.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasSuitt
Hi paul...

I always do a "thrust alignment" (4 wheels) and a dynamic wheel balance on all four when I purchase new tires. The only other time I've done it has been after an encounter with a curb or huge pothole.

I do not consider the Prius different in the alignment category.
Know whats kind of funny.. I never got my wheels aligned but did notice that after I had an accidental curb check.. it drives straighter now. ironic.

- Phish Phood, Los Angeles, California
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 07:43 PM
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Default alignments when?

Front-end alignments with each new tires purchase seems reasonable advice. Sooner, if bad tire wear was noted, following a hearty "curb strike", or if something feels wrong. Less, if confidence prevails. I see no evidence at all that Prius needs this done more frequently that would a conventional front wheel drive vehicle. It really is conventional, in terms of the front end.

DAS
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phish Phood
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasSuitt
Hi paul...

I always do a "thrust alignment" (4 wheels) and a dynamic wheel balance on all four when I purchase new tires. The only other time I've done it has been after an encounter with a curb or huge pothole.

I do not consider the Prius different in the alignment category.
Know whats kind of funny.. I never got my wheels aligned but did notice that after I had an accidental curb check.. it drives straighter now. ironic.
not to mention...curbside alignments are cheaper also...you just gotta get the angle right.

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 08:52 PM
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But they're harder to adjust if you go too far the other way...

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 09:43 PM
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There is no specific interval for wheel alignment. If the steering wheel orientation is norman (straight across the horizontal) and there is no abnormal tire wear, alignment should be good. As mentioned in previous posts, alignment check when you replace the tires is a good practice.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 02:04 AM
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Allignments with every new tire purchase is just smart. But getting an alignment in between tire purchases is smarter. In the life of a set of tires I'll probably get an alignment when the tires are put on and then another about halfway through the life of the tires.

The exception I make is if the car starts acting strangly or pulling to one side or another and then I get an allignment at that time.

There are places out there that do nothing but allignments. They tend to do the best job. It is funny, very few car dealers in my area have allignment racks and as such do not do their own allignments. I do kind of like one stop shopping when I'm dealing with dealers. There is one Ford dealer locally who is the only one that knows how to allign my old car properly. None of the tire places has ever gotten it right.

I'm planning on getting my Prius allgined this spring just because the roads around here are a mess and I figure that an allignment is in order.

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#9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 10:41 AM
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If the tires show no sign of unusual wear and the handling has not changed, why go to an alignment simply for the act of change?
I would say, have an alignment done when you need one.
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 03:27 PM
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I generally get an alignment once per year or whenever I have my own "curb check;" also when I get new tires or have to have one or more tires balanced.

I purchased an alignment contract at my local Firestone Tire dealership. I think it was about $130, and I can take the car in anytime for an alignment. I did this right after I had Sam's Club put my new Hydroedges on the car, and they did the first alignment right then and there.

So one more alignment, and I'm close my "break even" point on the contract (give or take about $20). My third and subsequent alignments will put me into the "black."
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