How Long Does A Car Wheel Alignment Take?

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 05/09/21 •  6 min read

You are driving and you notice your car is pulling in one direction. You think the tires might be under inflated so you inflate them to correct its pressure but it’s still doing the same thing all this time. What actually needs fixing could just be a wheel alignment, which means that nothing major happened at all!

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Why is wheel alignment so important? What are the the Annoying Signs that your Car Needs A wheel Alignment? What is the Wheel Alignment Cost? Driving A Vehicle With Bad Wheel Alignment , Can You Do Wheel Alignment Yourself? and how Long Does A Car Alignment Take?

What Exactly Is A Wheel Alignment?

car wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment on a Ford Focus| wikimedia commons

If you’re a car owner, then you might be wondering what exactly is a Wheel Alignment. It’s important to know the basics of this process because if your wheels are not aligned correctly, then it can lead to all sorts of problems.

The purpose of wheel alignment is to ensure that the wheels are parallel with one another and perpendicular to the ground. As an added bonus, it also helps reduce tire wear and tear. 

When your tires cannot rotate freely due to being out of alignment or when they are leaning inwards or outwards too much, it causes issues such as increased fuel consumption and irregular wear on your tires which leads to blowouts more often than normal.

Why Is Wheel Alignment So Important?

Have you ever thought about the importance of wheel alignment? You may not have, but it is very important. It can help prevent your car from having issues with suspension and steering. 

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Alignment helps keep your tires at an even distance from each other so that they are balanced and in shape for your vehicle.

Wheel alignment is important to help your car run smoothly, and can also prevent accidents. The front wheels need to be parallel with the back wheels, so they don’t hit each other when you’re turning. 

If the wheel on one side of your car is angled toward the ground more than the other side, it will cause a vibration that could lead to an accident.

The tires also play a role in how well your vehicle handles turns, especially during wet conditions. A tire with uneven wear may under-steer or oversteer depending on where it’s worn down from driving too much on either side of its tread pattern.

Annoying Signs Car Needs A wheel Alignment

There are a few signs that your car may need an alignment. If you notice vibrations or shaking while driving, it could be from a misaligned wheel.

 You might also find yourself having to frequently replace your tires due to excessive wear on the inside of the tire treads. And if you experience difficulty steering your vehicle, this is another sign that there’s something wrong with its alignment.

Driving A Vehicle With Bad Wheel Alignment

When you drive, the back tires have to turn a bit more than usual because the front of the tire is not aligned with the rear. This can cause uneven wear on your tires and other parts of the vehicle. 

It can also lead to a malfunctioning steering system that will force you into an accident or make it difficult for you to steer properly.

The question many people ask is: “Can I drive a car with bad alignment?” The answer to this question depends on how badly off-center your wheels are and if there’s any damage that could be caused from driving in this condition.

 If you’re driving down the highway at 50 miles per hour, you’ll notice an immediate difference when one wheel turns faster than another.

Wheel Alignment Cost

The cost of wheel alignment can vary depending on the make and model of car, severity of the problem, how many wheels need to be adjusted, and what type of alignment is needed.

The average price for a wheel alignment is $150-$200 per side. This would be an estimate if the car has never been aligned before and needs to have everything checked out first. 

Also, the price of a new set of tires can range from $500-1000 depending on your tire size, type and brand.

car wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment on a Ford Focus| wikimedia commons

The good news is that there are ways for you to prevent costly repairs in the future by checking your tire tread and performing regular maintenance on your car regularly.

 One way to help find any early warning signs of wear is by getting an annual inspection with your automotive experts. 

This will allow us to check all four tires for uneven wear patterns, make sure they are inflated properly, confirm that the brake pads have plenty of life left and inspect other critical components like brakes.

How Long Does A Car Alignment Take?

Car owners often don’t know how long a car alignment should take, but the truth is that it can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on what type of repair needs to be made.

The most common issue is mismatched tires which will require an inspection and tire rotation if needed. Another potential issue could be worn or damaged wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, or suspension bushings. 

Bringing your vehicle into your shop for an alignment check allows you to identify any issues so they can be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

Can You Do Wheel Alignment Yourself?

Wheel alignment is a process that car owners have to do on their vehicles every so often. It ensures the tires are at an equal distance from one another, which in turn provides better handling and stability for the vehicle.

 The frequency of this service varies depending on how often you drive your car, but it’s recommended that people who live in areas with rough roads or lots of potholes go ahead and get them done once per year.

However, not everyone has time to take their vehicle into a shop for wheel alignment because they work full-time jobs outside of the home or they don’t have time during the weekdays when most shops are open. 

Luckily, there are now kits out there that allow people to do wheel alignment themselves!

So, the answer is yes, with a few caveats. First, you need to buy the right tools and know how to use them. Second, there are some safety precautions that must be taken into consideration, such as having someone else in the vehicle when performing this task or using a jack stand for extra precaution.

 Third, it’s important to understand what causes an improper wheel alignment and why it should be corrected before driving any further than necessary.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.