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Front end alignment after new struts - yes or no?

26362 Views 40 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  snowwy66
Just changed the struts and rear shocks @ 61k miles.
Put in Bilsteins.
Stock replacements, no changes to ride height.
The struts showed up about a month after ordering, rears were on 3 month back-order.
Does the suspension need an alignment after doing this work?
Car steers the same, is not pulling.
But I don’t want to mess up the front tires, $200 each…..
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Ok, my two cents. I find that the factory alignment is the best and if the car isn’t pulling or something seems off, I prefer to leave it alone, I have had very few alignments and I think if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and in this case if you try to fix it and someone isn’t qualified or equipment properly calibrated you may do more harm than good. In addition, alignment is just another profit center.

When I have had alignments, it was usually due to suspension parts being out of spec or near worn out, the best fix is to replace those parts and do an alignment.
Here's my factory aligned car after 2,000 miles. Notice the alignment says FAILED. This was tested by the dealer when they warranteed the battery in January.

View attachment 267047

This is the car sitting still on the machine. Now imagine driving down the highway. With your alignment flexing outward at 70 mph. How much further it would be out.

Thank you for that informative post. @Eddy Cruze. I didn't think about the sensor
I have had one new car that needed aligned shortly after purchase, no big deal. I have owned many cars and I think I have had less than four or five alignments in 35 years of driving. Never had strange tire wear which is the problem with bad alignment
You drove over one of those toe in/tire depth measuring machines. Developed about two blocks from my shop, they are talking dealerships into installing them (buying them) on the write up isle so incoming service customers must drive over it.

They say the machine turns alignments into a easy sell with a 80% take rate.
Trouble is, every car has a different toe spec and the machine has no way to determine type or brand so it is set up with a average acceptable toe range.
Not very scientific but highly effective at selling unneeded service and adding to the bottom line.

That supports my theory that if it ain’t broke leave it alone, if your not at the dealership I wouldn’t even know if they really do an alignment or not.
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