Wheel alignment – also known as tracking – is something you can get done at Walmart. Or at least, you used to be able to do that (more on that later). The cost is reasonable, and it’s imperative to have this checked regularly. But how much would it be for a wheel alignment cost Walmart?
You, or a mechanic, should check the wheel alignment whenever your car has any work done on the suspension. This work would include tires, struts, shocks, the steering system, wheel balancing, and so on. You should also check it every year or every 10,000 miles. So, what is wheel alignment? Why do you need it? And how much does wheel alignment cost at Walmart?
UPDATE: Before we get started, you should know that Walmart no longer offers wheel alignments. They used to offer some of the cheapest wheel alignment services, as low as $50. However, they discontinued the service up until 2022 and is no longer available from 2023 onward. However, there are plenty of alternatives, besides Walmart.
Otherwise, this guide has plenty of other resources related to wheel alignments.
- What Is A Wheel Alignment?
- Bad Wheel Alignment Symptoms
- Causes Why You Need An Alignment
- Why Do I Need A Wheel Alignment?
- Wheel Alignment Types
- Wheel Alignment Cost At Walmart (No Longer Available)
- Wheel Alignment Cost (Other Shops – Some Alternatives)
- Walmart Auto Center Service Types & Offerings (Prices)
- Wheel Alignment DIY Step-By-Step Guide
- Common Wheel Alignment Facts
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s start with the basics. If you’re already familiar with all this, keep on scrolling down to the section “Does Walmart Do Wheel Alignment?“.
Wheel alignment is, quite simply, making sure the wheels are aligned. It might sound silly – of course, the wheels are all aligned; they’re all pointing straight ahead… right?
To the naked eye, yes. That’s undoubtedly true. However, when we start getting into minute details and angles, wheels can often become a couple of degrees out. They might point in towards the center of the car slightly or out towards the edges. We’ll look at why you might need your car’s wheel alignment adjusted in a moment.
We can define wheel alignment as adjusting the angles and directions in which your tires point.
The process of a wheel alignment is usually done using one of two methods.
How Is A Wheel Alignment Done
These two standard methods are laser measuring devices and Bluetooth measuring devices.
They both work in similar ways.
Bluetooth alignment is seen as the modern, updated version of laser alignment. It certainly is more accurate (when done correctly). However, the laser works just fine too. I am most familiar with laser alignment machines, but neither is particularly complicated to use.
1. Bluetooth Wheel Alignment
Bluetooth wheel alignment works by using, you guessed it, Bluetooth. The results from each wheel are shown live on a connected computer screen. These readings allow the mechanic to make adjustments and see the results in real time.
Please take a look at the above YouTube video from Absolute Wheel Alignment to see how it works.
These machines are accurate to within 0.1mm, as long as the setup is correct.
2. Laser Wheel Alignment
Traditionally, mechanics used laser machines for wheel alignment.
These use lasers to measure the alignment of the wheels accurately. They work in much the same way as Bluetooth alignment. However, rather than the results appearing on a computer screen, a laser shines on the measuring piece. This reading is what is used for wheel alignment.
Laser alignment is accurate to about 1mm. This is still pretty good, but not quite so up there as Bluetooth alignment.
For most people, it still does the job. However, for the most accurate results possible, Bluetooth is undeniably the current way forward.
Wheel Alignment Process
We will use front wheel alignment as an example. There are other types – for instance, a four-wheel alignment.
First, the mechanic drives the car onto the four-post ramp, and the parking brake is applied. They will then put turn plates underneath the front tires and angle the steering wheel, so it is as straight as visually possible, and then it’s clamped in place.
After this, they switch the engine off, and the mechanic gets out of the car.
Devices are placed flat against the front wheels. They stay straight due to plastic or rubber stands that keep the device a certain distance away from the wheel’s face. It’s essential to remove any plastic wheel trims and not damage alloy wheels at this stage.
The car is then lifted into the air. It’s nigh on impossible to do this job without a four-post ramp.
Once the car is high enough for a technician (or sometimes two) to stand underneath, the mechanic loosens the nuts on the tie rods (or “track rods”), which connect them to the tie rod ends. Sometimes, these will have seized. Occasionally, the only way to loosen them is with oxyacetylene heat application. I have had many, many bruised knuckles from this job.
Next, the technician will use tools (such as a standard wrench or clamp, or locking pliers, depending on the car’s make and model) to tighten or loosen the tie rod end. This process adjusts the alignment of the wheels.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart – How Are Wheel Alignments Done
After this, the technician tightens the nuts back up, and the mechanic takes the car for a test drive. If it drives straight, you’re all good to go. Perhaps five times out of ten, though, the mechanic will need to bring the car back in for another minute adjustment.
This process is repeated until the car drives nicely in a straight line.
It’s one of those jobs where, 10% of the time, everything goes very smoothly. The car goes up, you adjust the tie rods to the correct measurements, and then you test drive it. Everything’s fine, and away the customer happily goes.
In reality, something often goes wrong and, instead of being a 5-minute job, you end up being stuck there for hours.
Such is life.
This YouTube video is 25 minutes long – but, if you’re interested in seeing the whole procedure for yourself, it’s worth a watch.
Bad Wheel Alignment Symptoms
As a car owner, understanding the signs of bad wheel alignment is crucial. Let’s explore some common symptoms you should keep an eye out for.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #1: A Pulling Vehicle
When your car doesn’t cooperate with your steering efforts, pulling or drifting away from a straight line, it’s time to suspect misaligned wheels. The pull can be subtle or pronounced, but the key symptom is the car veering to one side when you aim for a straight path. This problem can be a nuisance on open roads, but it can also be dangerous, especially in heavy traffic or harsh weather.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #2: Vibrations in the Steering Wheel
Another sign of a wheel alignment issue is noticeable vibrations in your steering wheel. This is often most apparent at higher speeds. The vibration occurs because misaligned wheels might be pulling in opposite directions, causing the car’s steering system to work overtime.
If your steering wheel feels like it’s humming a song under your fingers, it’s probably time to get those wheels checked.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #3: Rapid and Uneven Tire Wear
Have you noticed your tires wearing down unevenly or too quickly? That could be the direct result of misaligned wheels. Misalignment can cause one side of the tires to bear more weight, leading to increased friction and more rapid wear. Remember, unevenly worn tires not only require premature replacement but also compromise your vehicle’s grip on the road, affecting safety.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #4: Steering Wheel Looks Off-Center
If you’re driving straight but your steering wheel looks skewed, you likely have a wheel alignment issue. In a well-aligned vehicle, the steering wheel should sit almost perfectly centered when driving straight. If you observe an off-center steering wheel despite a straight path, it might be time to make a service appointment.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #5: Unusual Squealing Sounds
When your tires make an unusual squealing sound, especially during turns, it’s often due to wheel misalignment. The misalignment could be forcing your tires to make abnormal contact with the road, causing them to squeal. It’s an audible sign your vehicle’s wheel alignment needs checking – don’t ignore it!
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #6: Changes in Vehicle Handling
A vehicle that’s harder to handle than usual could be suffering from wheel misalignment. This can manifest as decreased steering response, a lack of stability, or an overall sense that your vehicle is not responding as effectively or smoothly to your inputs. Misalignment can significantly affect your vehicle’s handling dynamics, making it feel less confident and predictable on the road.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Symptoms #7: The Feeling of “Looseness”
Another, perhaps less noticeable sign of wheel misalignment is a feeling of “looseness” or lack of control when driving. This can feel like the vehicle doesn’t respond as quickly or precisely to steering inputs as it normally does. This can be particularly noticeable when trying to maintain a straight line, when turning, or when trying to maneuver at higher speeds.
In conclusion, if you notice any of these symptoms, consider it as a wake-up call to get your vehicle’s wheel alignment checked. Remember, regular checks and necessary adjustments can extend the life of your tires, improve your car’s performance, and, most importantly, ensure your safety on the road.
Bad Wheel Alignment Causes
A well-aligned wheel is essential for safe and efficient driving. But several factors can throw your car’s wheels out of alignment. Each of these factors results in different symptoms, which are important to recognize. In this section, we delve into each of these causes in detail.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #1: Normal Wear and Tear
With time, your car’s components, including the suspension and steering systems, wear down. Elements such as rubber bushings and springs gradually deteriorate, leading to a shift in the wheel alignment. Regular servicing can help identify this natural wear and tear, enabling you to maintain optimal wheel alignment.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #2: Impacts and Collisions
Unexpected events, such as hitting a curb or driving through massive potholes, can significantly affect your wheel alignment. A car accident, even a minor one, can also lead to wheel misalignment due to the impact. Always check for alignment after such incidents to prevent long-term damage and ensure safety.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #3: Uneven Tire Wear
Tires that wear unevenly can start to pull your car in one direction, causing wheel misalignment. This uneven wear can be a result of several factors, including incorrect tire pressure or lack of tire rotation. Regular maintenance and inspections can prevent this issue from affecting your alignment.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #4: Suspension or Steering Component Replacement
Replacement of steering or suspension components can throw off your wheel alignment. These components are part of a complex system, and any alteration can affect the alignment. Post-maintenance or component replacement alignment checks are necessary to ensure that the car’s wheels are correctly aligned.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #5: Incorrect Tire Pressure
Correct tire pressure is crucial for maintaining wheel alignment. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can lead to uneven tire wear, resulting in wheel misalignment. Regularly checking and adjusting your tire pressure can help maintain your wheel alignment.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #6: Heavy Loads
Carrying heavy loads consistently can lead to wheel misalignment. The added weight can strain the suspension system, causing the vehicle to sit lower and potentially throwing the wheels out of alignment. If your vehicle frequently carries heavy loads, you may need to check the wheel alignment more often.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Causes #7: Modifications
Modifying your car, such as installing lift kits or lowering the suspension, can significantly impact the wheel alignment. Such alterations change the vehicle’s geometry, requiring a new alignment. Always ensure a professional alignment check after any modification.
In conclusion, wheel alignment is a crucial aspect of car maintenance that shouldn’t be overlooked. Recognizing the causes of wheel misalignment can help you address issues promptly and keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely. Regular checks and appropriate preventive measures can prolong the life of your tires and improve fuel efficiency.
Wheel Alignment Benefits
It’s doubtful that your wheels are straight, especially if nobody has checked your wheel alignment for many years.
Many things affect your car’s alignment. These include:
- General wear and age causing the tie rods to twist, nuts to come loose, etc.
- Improperly fitted parts.
- Not having your tracking redone when someone fitted new steering or suspension parts, as these usually cause the alignment to change. This misalignment happens due to minute manufacturing differences from part to part.
- Hitting curbs – if you’re the kind of driver that does this often, it’s probably affected your wheel alignment. Please get it checked as soon as you can.
- Going over potholes – in some parts of the world, roads can feel like bear traps for cars. The sudden impact of going over a pothole can knock your tracking right out.
- A developing mechanical fault.
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why your wheel alignment may not be right. Many. It’s not usually down to driver error, as well, although you should always take care to avoid hitting curbs regardless.
One of the most common symptoms of misaligned wheels is difficulty going in a straight line. Hold your steering wheel as straight as you possibly can. If your wheels aren’t aligned, the car will pull to one side or the other.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart – Should You Drive With Misaligned Wheels
Check out this video from MOOG Parts.
Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. This ensures that your vehicle will drive straight and handle properly, and it also helps to extend the life of your tires. Here are some of the key benefits of proper wheel alignment:
- Improved Handling – When your wheels are correctly aligned, you’ll notice that your vehicle handles better and responds more smoothly to steering inputs.
- Increased Safety – Proper wheel alignment helps to reduce the risk of accidents and increases stability on the road.
- Longer Tire Life – If your wheels are misaligned, your tires will wear unevenly, which can cause them to wear out more quickly. Proper alignment helps to extend the life of your tires and reduce the need for frequent replacements.
- Better Fuel Efficiency – Proper wheel alignment helps to improve fuel efficiency, as well. When your wheels are correctly aligned, your vehicle will be able to roll more smoothly down the road, reducing the amount of energy required to keep it moving.
What Causes Tire Scrubbing
You can also often tell if your wheels are out of adjustment if there is “scrubbing” on the tires.
“Scrubbing” is where one side of the tire is wearing down faster than the other side. In severe cases, one side of the tire might be completely smooth, while there is plenty of tread on the other.
This condition is dangerous because it compromises the tire’s structural integrity, making it likely to blow out while you’re driving. If you see this, get a new tire immediately.
Sometimes you can only see scrubbing by getting down underneath the car. It would be best to look at the inside and outside of all tires to check them properly.
For this reason, many people don’t realize their wheels are out of alignment. The problem is often only picked up by mechanics working on your car in a garage.
A tire that isn’t quite straight causes scrubbing.
Think about it. For example, if a tire were toeing in (pointing towards the car’s centerline), this would throw much of the car’s weight and momentum onto the tire’s outside edge. The inside edge and middle wouldn’t be doing much.
As a result, you’d see a disproportionate amount of wear on the outside of the tire.
Types Of Wheel Alignments
Let’s delve into the fascinating world of wheel alignments. It’s a crucial part of vehicle maintenance that impacts your car’s handling, safety, and even fuel efficiency. While Walmart might have stopped offering this service, many automotive shops still do. And there’s a lot to understand about this process. This section explores the different types of wheel alignments you might encounter.
Even though your vehicle might seem to be driving just fine, alignment checks are essential. They should be part of your regular maintenance routine. Misalignment can cause increased tire wear, reduced fuel economy, and even pose safety risks. These factors highlight the importance of frequent wheel alignment checks, even when there are no apparent issues.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Understanding the different types of wheel alignments is the first step toward informed vehicle maintenance. If your vehicle shows signs of alignment issues, it’s crucial to consult with a trusted mechanic to decide the best alignment type for your situation.
Taking the time to understand your vehicle’s needs will ensure it continues to serve you well for years to come.
Starting with the simplest, we have the 2-Wheel Alignment. This process is often referred to as a front-end alignment, focusing exclusively on your vehicle’s front wheels. The mechanic will adjust the caster, camber, and toe to make sure they align with your vehicle’s centerline.
This alignment is generally required for older models with solid rear axles, or vehicles that lack adjustable rear suspension. It’s also a solution for cars experiencing minor alignment problems like a slight pull to one side or uneven front tire wear.
Next up is the 4-Wheel Alignment, which, as you might guess, involves all four wheels. It’s a comprehensive process where the mechanic checks and adjusts the camber, caster, and toe of all wheels to ensure they align with the vehicle’s centerline.
This alignment type is necessary for modern vehicles featuring independent rear suspension or adjustable rear suspension. Cars suffering from severe alignment issues, such as a persistent pull to one side, uneven wear on all tires, or steering wheel vibrations, will need a 4-wheel alignment.
Another alignment type you might come across is the Thrust Alignment. This is a specialized process that focuses on the vehicle’s thrust angle, an imaginary line perpendicular to the rear axle’s centerline, and through the vehicle’s centerline.
This alignment is required for vehicles that have experienced a hard impact, like hitting a curb or pothole, or those with significant suspension component failure. If the thrust angle is off, it could result in a constant pull to one side, even with perfectly aligned wheels, leading to uneven tire wear and difficult vehicle control.
Does Walmart Do Alignments
UPDATE: Walmart used to offer some of the best cheap wheel alignment services on the market. However, they’ve since discontinued it as of 2022. From 2023 onward, wheel alignments will no longer be available. The italicized quotes below were previously applicable when Walmart did offer alignment services.
It’s not standard procedure to have a wheel alignment done after having a new tire fitted, for example. You’ll have to request it specifically. Sometimes, the technicians may check it for you and advise you whether you should get the tracking adjusted. While Walmart no longer offers wheel alignments, how did they do it before? Well, for some context to how things were in the past…
“Some Walmart Auto Care Centers do wheel alignment. Take your car into your local branch of Walmart Auto Centers and get an appointment. In busy seasons, you may have to book first. It’s always worth a quick phone call before you make the journey to check that there will be time to work on your car today.
When you’ve arrived at Walmart, it’s standard procedure time. Just hand over your keys to the technician (who may need to take a few details from you), sit down and wait for a little while.
We will look into how much tracking adjustments cost in a couple of sections.
For now, you may be wondering, ‘How much does a wheel alignment cost at Walmart?’.”
Walmart Wheel Alignment Cost
UPDATE: Again, Walmart, as of 2023 onward, no longer offers wheel alignment services. Previously, they were among the best places to go if you needed a quality wheel alignment service done affordably. They were cheap and were done well. However, for some context, the italicized sections below were how much Walmart used to charge if you needed some wheels aligned…
“The cost of the alignment at Walmart is somewhere between $30 and $95.
This cost depends on the branch you go to and the job you want to be done.
For example, the Walmart wheel alignment cost for front-wheel tracking only is likely to be between $30 and $65. Let’s take $50 as a nice, round, even number. You should expect to pay approximately this amount.
If you’re after four-wheel alignment, expect to pay closer to $70 or $80. Different Walmart services and branches will range between $50 and $95.
The cost of wheel alignment at Walmart is very much the market average.“
“The main bulk of the cost of a wheel alignment is labor, whether at Walmart or anywhere else. Sometimes, there may be extra additional costs incurred, but the technician should always clear these with you first. These costs might include the use of oxyacetylene to loosen seized nuts or extraordinary amounts of labor if the vehicle is tough to work on.
The auto shop already has the necessary equipment. You should expect to pay for the going labor rate for the entire project – that is, from the moment your car is driven onto the ramp until it’s done.
Labor rates are dependent on how long the job takes or is expected to take. Clearly.“
How Long Does Wheel Alignment Take At Walmart
NOTE: Though Walmart no longer offers wheel alignments, plenty of other auto shops offer alignment services. So, this run-down here of how long a wheel alignment takes still applies. Even between different shops, the general time taken for a wheel alignment to be done is mostly similar.
At Walmart (or any auto shop), wheel alignment should be expected to take less than an hour… most times.
Why do I say this? Well, often, a wheel alignment job would take me around 20 to 30 minutes in total. I used laser alignment devices. This is enough time to put the car on the ramp, install all the equipment, make the necessary adjustments, and do a test drive. If everything’s okay after that, a 20-minute session is what I would expect.
However, things don’t usually go as smoothly as that. Quite often, I needed to bring the car back to readjust the tracking. Readjusting involves:
- Reinstalling all of the equipment.
- Getting the car back in the air.
- Making more adjustments.
You should expect about 10 to 15 minutes extra for every time the mechanic needs to do this. On most occasions, they’ll only need to do this between 1 and 3 times. Despite this, it sometimes takes 7, 8, 9, or more attempts.
Don’t expect to be charged more if it takes longer unless the mechanic clears it with you first.
It’s just one of those things.
So, most of the time, tracking adjustments take about 30 minutes to 1 hour in total, from arrival to departure. Occasionally, though, it could take longer. Don’t be afraid to ask the technician working on your car for regular updates. If it’s taking too long, you could get on with some other things you need to do or… go for a walk or something.
Wheel Alignment Cost
Since Walmart no longer offers wheel alignments as of 2022, here are some of the top alternatives. These shops not only offer cheap wheel alignments, but they offer good quality, too.
Discount Tire Alignment Cost
If you’re in the market for tire alignment, Discount Tire is a viable option. Known for its customer-oriented approach and high-quality service, a standard four-wheel alignment typically costs around $90.
The positives of opting for Discount Tire include their professionalism and comprehensive service. They employ state-of-the-art technology and equipment, ensuring your vehicle is in expert hands. However, they tend not to provide warranties, and the cost is a bit higher than other competitors.
Midas Alignment Cost
Midas, another popular choice, offers competitive wheel alignment services. A standard wheel alignment job at Midas usually costs around $80.
The benefits of choosing Midas are the highly trained technicians and comprehensive services, including a free inspection of your vehicle. A slight disadvantage is that they can get busy, which might result in longer wait times.
NTB Alignment Cost
NTB (National Tire and Battery) is renowned for its expertise in the tire and auto services sector. The wheel alignment cost at NTB is approximately $75.
A standout advantage of NTB is its affordable prices coupled with top-notch service. They offer various discounts and promotional deals, which can further reduce the cost. On the downside, their warranty period isn’t as long as some competitors.
Big O Tires Alignment Cost
Big O Tires offers a wide range of automotive services, including wheel alignment. A typical alignment at Big O Tires comes to around $85.
Choosing Big O Tires means choosing reliable service with a customer-friendly approach. They frequently offer discounts and special promotions to reduce the cost. However, some customers report longer service times due to high demand.
Belle Tire Alignment Cost
At Belle Tire, you can expect to pay around $80 for a four-wheel alignment.
The advantages of choosing Belle Tire include a robust warranty and a team of experienced technicians. They also offer discount coupons, making their services quite affordable. One downside is that appointment slots can be limited due to high demand.
Wheel Works Alignment Cost
A four-wheel alignment at Wheel Works typically costs about $90.
Choosing Wheel Works means you’re opting for an industry leader with a solid reputation for quality service. They also offer occasional discount coupons. However, their pricing is slightly higher compared to other service providers.
Meineke Alignment Cost
Meineke Car Care Center provides cost-effective wheel alignment services, typically priced around $80.
The main advantages of Meineke include professional service and competitive pricing. They also offer a free alignment check, which is a great bonus. The main disadvantage is that the wait times can be longer due to high demand.
In conclusion, while the cost of wheel alignment varies slightly from one service provider to another, each offers its unique advantages. Whether it’s state-of-the-art technology, customer service, or a competitive price, the choice of service provider depends on what you prioritize most in your vehicle’s maintenance.
Walmart Auto Center Prices
Despite Walmart Auto Care Centers no longer offering wheel alignment services, they continue to deliver an extensive range of auto services for your vehicle. These comprehensive services are designed to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently, ensuring the longevity of its performance. Here, we’ll walk through some of these services and break down their associated costs.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Other Services #1: Tire Services
A standout service category at Walmart Auto Care Centers is their exhaustive list of tire services. These services range from basic tire installation to more intricate aspects such as valve stem installation and flat tire repair.
- Tire Mounting: At a cost of $11 per tire, Walmart will securely mount your new tires onto your vehicle, ensuring a smooth and safe ride.
- Lifetime Balance/Rotation: For only $14 per tire, Walmart provides lifetime balance and rotation services. This service helps ensure even tire wear, enhancing your vehicle’s stability, and tire lifespan.
- Road-Hazard Warranty: For $10 per tire, this warranty protects you from the unforeseen costs of tire damage resulting from common road hazards.
- Flat Tire Repair (Tubeless): At $15 per tire, Walmart can repair your tubeless flat tire, getting you back on the road quickly and safely.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Other Services #2: Oil Change Services
Regular oil changes are a crucial part of maintaining your car’s health. Walmart Auto Care Centers offer four distinct types of oil changes, each designed to meet specific needs.
- Standard Oil Change: For $34.88, this includes a basic engine protection package with a conventional motor oil change.
- High-mileage Oil Change: At $44.88, this service is tailored for vehicles with over 75,000 miles, preventing oil burn-off and leaks, and extending the engine’s lifespan.
- Semi-synthetic Oil Change: Priced at $44.88, this oil change provides better protection than standard oil and meets Dexos and new car specifications.
- Synthetic Oil Change: For $54.88, Walmart provides a synthetic oil change and special additives to maximize performance, ensuring the highest level of engine protection.
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart, Other Services #3: Additional Services
Beyond tire services and oil changes, Walmart Auto Centers offer a variety of other services that cater to different components of your car.
- Fuel System Services: Starting at $20, Walmart can clean your vehicle’s fuel system, ensuring optimal fuel efficiency.
- Wiper Blade Installation: For $10 per blade, you can have new, high-quality wiper blades installed, improving visibility in various weather conditions.
- Headlight Restoration and Installation: For $26.88 per vehicle, Walmart offers headlight restoration, enhancing your night-time visibility and safety. Additionally, for $10 per headlight, they provide headlight installation.
- Battery Installation and Services: Walmart offers free battery installation for Walmart purchases. For installations where parts are not included, they charge $15 per battery. They also provide battery non-corrosion services at $5 per battery (only available for Walmart purchases) and battery terminal-end service at $10 per terminal.
To conclude, while Walmart no longer offers wheel alignment services, they still provide a wide array of other automotive services. Whether it’s a tire replacement, oil change, or headlight restoration, you can trust the Walmart Auto Care Center to provide quality service at affordable prices.
DIY Wheel Alignment
Proper wheel alignment is pivotal in ensuring optimum vehicle handling, minimizing tire wear, and promoting fuel efficiency. If your vehicle tends to pull to one side, if the tires wear out unevenly or prematurely, or if you note a deviation in the steering wheel’s orientation when driving straight, chances are high that your wheels need alignment.
Though it’s possible to take your vehicle to a professional, you can also conduct a DIY wheel alignment in your own garage. Before you get started, you will need a few tools. Gather these items before proceeding:
- A piece of chalk or a washable marker
- A long piece of string
- A measuring tape
- An assistant (optional but recommended)
Before we begin, here are some things that you need to do…
Step 1: Check Tire Pressure
Begin with ensuring that all tires are inflated to the correct pressure as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Incorrect tire pressure can result in misleading alignment readings and can also be a cause of alignment issues.
Step 2: Inspect Suspension and Steering Components
A thorough inspection of the suspension and steering components is necessary as worn-out parts can also cause alignment problems. Pay attention to parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends, bushings, and the rack and pinion assembly. If you find any damaged parts, replace them before proceeding with the alignment.
Measuring and Adjusting Toe
Toe refers to the angle at which the wheels point relative to each other. A proper toe setting ensures that your vehicle tracks straight and that tire wear is minimized.
Step 3: Draw a Straight Line on Each Tire
Using your piece of chalk or washable marker, draw a straight line on the tread of each tire. This line will serve as your reference point when measuring toe.
Step 4: Measure the Toe
With your vehicle on a flat and level surface, stretch the piece of string from one front tire to the other, ensuring it passes through the center of the wheels (use the lines you drew as a guide). Measure the distance between the string and the line on the tire at the front and rear of the tire, keeping the string level.
Step 5: Adjust the Toe
If the measurements at the front and rear of the tires are different, your wheels are either toed-in (closer at the front) or toed-out (closer at the rear). To adjust the toe, you’ll need to adjust the length of the tie rods. Loosen the lock nut on the tie rod and turn the rod to adjust its length.
This will change the orientation of the wheel. Remember to adjust each tie rod equally to keep your steering wheel centered.
Measuring and Adjusting Camber
Camber refers to the vertical angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Correct camber settings are crucial in ensuring even tire wear and stable handling.
Step 6: Measure the Camber
Park your vehicle on a flat and level surface and place your straight edge vertically against the wheel, ensuring it is level. Measure the distance between the straight edge and the wheel rim at the top and bottom of the wheel.
If the distances are different, your wheel has either positive camber (bottom of the wheel closer to the vehicle) or negative camber (top of the wheel closer to the vehicle).
Step 7: Adjust the Camber
Adjusting the camber involves changing the angle of the top of the suspension strut relative to the vehicle’s body. This usually requires the adjustment or replacement of suspension components and may be beyond the scope of a DIY job. If your camber is out of specification, it’s recommended to take your vehicle to a professional.
After making the necessary adjustments, it’s essential to take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure the alignment issues have been resolved. Check that the vehicle tracks straight when the steering wheel is centered and doesn’t pull to either side.
Also, verify that the steering wheel returns to center after a turn. If you notice any alignment-related issues persisting, repeat the measurement and adjustment process or consider seeking professional help.
Remember, regular wheel alignment checks are crucial in ensuring your vehicle’s optimum performance and safety. Even with the possibility of DIY alignment, professional alignment with high-precision machines is the surest way to maintain accurate wheel alignment.
What Wheel Alignment Terminology Should I Know
This section will explore some of the most commonly used jargon around the topic of wheel alignment.
Knowing what all these terms refer to will help you when talking to a technician.
1. Toe In or Toe Out
“Toe” is what most people think of when we’re talking about tracking or wheel alignment.
Wheels should all run almost* parallel to each other. Over time, for reasons that we talked about above, this stops being the case. At this point, the alignment needs to be adjusted.
“Toe” is an easy term to remember. If you ever get confused, look down at your feet. Pointing them “in” (towards each other) is what your wheels do when they’re “toeing in“. The vice versa is also true – pointing your toes “out” from each other is what the wheels do when they’re “toeing out”.
*Automotive manufacturers usually set vehicles up toeing in, very slightly. Camber angles are also usually not quite straight. These minute adjustments make the car handle and balance better.
Camber is the angle at which the tire sits on the asphalt. Like “toe”, this angle is either inwards or outwards in comparison to the vertical. Camber reflects how much of the tire is in contact with the road at any given time.
Some highly modified or hot rod cars take camber angles to the extreme. You may recognize cars like this from films or even from around town.
The caster angle is the angle of the center of the wheel hub assembly compared to the road. It’s directly related to the stability of the car.
You can think of it as affecting how “nippy” a car is – how quickly it changes direction.
4. Thrust Angle
If the thrust angle is wrong, it can cause “crabbing”. The thrust angle is the angle of the rear wheels compared to the centerline of the vehicle.
If this angle is wrong, the back will be slightly out of line with the car’s front. That is, the rear wheels won’t sit directly behind the front ones.
As a result, although the wheels are straight, the car’s body is at a slight angle. It looks vaguely like a crab walking, hence the name “crabbing”.
This angle must always be correct in the modern days of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). Should it be wrong, sensors such as those for lane changing, sleep warnings, and adaptive cruise control won’t work correctly. And that’s not a situation you want to be in.
5. Steering Axis Inclination or SAI
Steering Axis Inclination – or SAI – refers to the relative positions of suspension components instead of just the wheels.
Engineering Explained is a great YouTube channel and I highly recommend you check it out. There is a whole series on alignment. This video deals with steering axis inclination specifically.
How Do I Avoid Getting Ripped Off For Wheel Alignment
The automotive industry does, unfortunately, have a reputation for getting as much money out of a customer as possible. Sadly, this is quite often true. Some crooked mechanics will say that your car needs work when, in fact, it doesn’t.
In terms of wheel alignment, it’s easy to avoid getting ripped off. You should, quite simply, always ask to see the current results of your car’s wheel alignment.
If you’re allowed into the shop, you can go to see the readings with your own eyes. If you aren’t allowed into the workshop area for health and safety or insurance reasons (which are perfectly valid), get a mechanic to take a picture of the readings and the measuring devices on the car.
As long as these all seem legit, get the work done. However, if the technician is hesitant to show you these, it should get your spidey-sense tingling.
Can I Align My Own Wheels To Save Costs
This is a good question. The answer, for 99% of readers, will be “no”.
There’s nothing to stop you from trying, certainly. Still, for genuinely accurate readings, you need laser or Bluetooth wheel alignment measuring devices. There are many YouTube videos of people aligning their wheels without using these devices, which look good… I’m just not sure how much I would trust the readings to be as accurate as they need to be.
Unfortunately, these laser or Bluetooth devices can cost upwards of $10,000. Add onto that the fact that you need a four-post ramp, steering wheel clamp, turn plates, and, for Bluetooth systems, a dedicated computer, and you’ve got something that’s rather expensive.
For example, check out the Bluetooth Pro Wheel Aligner price from Absolute Alignment.
Instead of forking out tens of thousands of dollars on this system, it’s best to take the $50 to $100 on the chin. However, if you do want to get the equipment yourself for either personal or commercial use, you can finance the cost with the equity of your vehicle. Research car title loans in Louisiana for example, or wherever you’re located to find an agency to work with.
Walmart Wheel Alignment Near Me
Not every Walmart center offers wheel alignment. It’s worth phoning up your local Walmart shop to ask whether or not they do it.
It’ll save you an unnecessary ride.
To find your nearest Walmart, search “Walmart Auto Care Centre near me” or click here to be taken to Walmart’s website. Put in your zip code or city et voila.
Walmart Auto Care Centers offer wheel alignment services at affordable prices, making it a convenient and accessible option for car owners. To find a Walmart Wheel Alignment Near You, simply use the Walmart store locator on their website or use popular mapping and search platforms like Google Maps. Enter “Walmart Wheel Alignment” and your location, and you’ll be able to find the nearest Walmart Auto Care Center that offers this service.
What Does Car Alignment Mean
You might have seen the phrase “car alignment” littered around the internet, here and there.
“Car alignment” is simply another way of referring to wheel alignment or tracking, like we are talking about in this article. Although technically incorrect (what is your car “aligning” with?), it doesn’t matter. Some people refer to wheel alignment as car alignment.
If you go into an auto shop, try to remember to ask for wheel alignment or tracking services rather than car alignment. It shouldn’t make much difference, but the technician may wonder, for a moment, what you’re on about.
Vehicle Tire Alignment Facts:
- Proper alignment of wheels and tires is an important safety feature in a vehicle that helps it to drive straight, turn corners, and stop when necessary.
- The cost of a tire alignment varies from $50 to $168 depending on several factors such as the number of wheels, type of car, extra services, and local labor costs.
- Luxury cars and models that require specialized equipment or have a design that makes the job more difficult and time-consuming will have more expensive tire alignments.
- A four-wheel alignment typically costs anywhere from $100 to $168, while a front-end alignment only involves the two wheels on the front of the car and costs around $50 to $75.
- Kelley Blue Book’s fair repair range suggests that the expected cost of a four-wheel vehicle alignment, by state, for a 2021 Toyota Camry ranges from $115 to $160 (for more insight, check out our guide on the problems with 2009 Toyota Camry).
- During a tire alignment, a technician analyzes three angles: caster, camber, and toe, and compares them to the manufacturer’s recommendations for best performance.
- Regularly adjusting your vehicle’s alignment offers several benefits such as better contact with the road’s surface, extending the life of your tires, reducing skidding on slick roads, and improving gas mileage.
- The alignment process takes around an hour, but it may take longer if the mechanic finds any underlying issues or needs to replace additional components.
- Vehicle owners can get an alignment done at any local mechanic or auto repair center, but they should call ahead for an appointment.
- Forgoing preventative maintenance such as tire alignment could end up costing vehicle owners much more in costly repairs in the long run.
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- Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost And All You Need To Know About It
Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart – Conclusion
The cost of wheel alignment services at a Walmart Auto Care Center is likely to be between $50 and $100, depending on whether you need two-wheel or four-wheel alignment.
In conclusion, getting your wheel alignment done at Walmart is a good, cost-efficient procedure. However, most auto shops around the country will offer the same service at a similar cost, so it may not be necessary to go to Walmart, specifically.
It’s vital to keep your wheels aligned. Make sure to get it checked as often as possible. If nothing needs doing, the mechanic should just send you on your merry way. But if something does need adjusting, at least you know that your tires will last longer and that your car will be safer to drive.
Thanks for reading, and we hope this article has been useful. If you want to know more about Walmart tire installation costs read our guide.
FAQs On Wheel Alignment Cost Walmart
If you still have some unanswered questions about wheel alignment cost Walmart, our FAQs here might have the answers…
How Much Does A Wheel Alignment Cost At Walmart
Walmart was one of the best go-to locations if you need to get a wheel alignment done. Their auto service centers are abundant, and they offer some pretty well-done services for not a whole lot of money. This also goes for their wheel alignments. In the past, you can expect a wheel alignment to cost somewhere between $30 and $95 at Walmart. This would vary depending on which branch of Walmart’s auto centers you’re visiting, and the type of service you need to do. A simple front-wheel tracking job would set you back around $30 to $65, to be precise. Meanwhile, a full four-wheel alignment will cost you between $70 to $80, though it could rise further depending on your vehicle. It’s safe to round up the wheel alignment cost Walmart to around $50 to $100.
How Much Does An Alignment Cost
Wheel alignments are a crucial aspect of car maintenance. Primarily, they help to keep your wheels tracking properly, thus ensuring that they would handle reliably and safely on the road. For the most part, wheel alignments don’t cost much in comparison to other car repairs or servicing. The most basic wheel alignment job is front-wheel alignment. As you’re only aligning the front two wheels, it’s generally cheaper, between $50 to $75. However, if you need a full four-wheel alignment done, it’ll cost you more. Typically, around $100 to $150 on average, though it could rise to $250 depending on what car you drive. Note, that some shops offer a free wheel alignment check-up, just to make sure it’s aligned properly from time to time.
How Long Does An Alignment Take
Undertaking a wheel alignment is commonly a pretty simple task that most tire shops are able to perform. With some cars, it can take as little as 15 minutes for a wheel alignment. However, this is only the case if the car’s alignment isn’t too bad, and you have an experienced technician on hand. Otherwise, most wheel alignments can take between 30 minutes to just over an hour. Of course, a two-wheel alignment will take far less time than a four-wheel alignment. With that being said, older or more beaten-up cars may take much longer than an hour, if the wheels are far out of alignment.
How Much Is a Tire Alignment
Tire alignment, also known as wheel alignment, typically varies in price depending on the type of vehicle and where you get the service done. As of writing, costs can range anywhere from $60 to $100 for a two-wheel alignment, and between $100 to $150 for a four-wheel alignment. Remember, these costs can vary based on the vehicle type and service location.
How Much Is a Front End Alignment
A front-end alignment is usually less expensive than a full four-wheel alignment. The cost generally falls between $50 and $75. However, this can vary based on your specific vehicle and the auto service center you choose.
Does Costco Do Alignments
Costco does not offer wheel alignments. They provide a range of other automotive services, including tire sales and installation, battery checks, and fuel system cleaning services. For wheel alignments, it’s advisable to go to a dedicated auto service center or a dealer specializing in your vehicle’s make.
Does Walmart Do Brakes
Walmart used to offer a wide variety of auto maintenance services, including brake servicing. However, as of 2023, it appears that Walmart no longer offers brake services. Always check with your local Walmart or another auto service provider to get the most current information.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost at Discount Tire
Discount Tire doesn’t officially offer wheel alignment services as a part of its business model. They specialize mainly in tire and wheel sales. For wheel alignment services, consider seeking out other auto service centers that specialize in this area.
Does Walmart Change Brakes
As of writing, it’s understood that Walmart no longer provides brake change services. This is part of their revised auto service offerings. For brake changes, you might want to consider a dedicated auto service center or a dealer specializing in your vehicle’s make.
How Much Does Walmart Charge to Install Tires
The price for tire installation can vary depending on the specific tires and vehicle type, but as of writing, Walmart charges around $15 per tire for basic installation. This cost includes mounting the tire onto the wheel, balancing the wheel, and installing it on your vehicle.
Does Jiffy Lube Do Alignments
Jiffy Lube typically does not offer wheel alignment services. Their primary services involve oil changes, fluid services, and light maintenance work. For alignment needs, you’ll need to seek out a service center that specifically offers this service.
Who Offers Free Alignment with Tire Purchase
Several auto service providers offer free alignments with the purchase of new tires. These offers can vary greatly from one service center to another, so it’s recommended to research and contact local tire shops and service centers to find the best deal.
How Long Do Car Alignments Take
A standard car alignment usually takes about an hour, although this can vary depending on the vehicle and the specific shop. Some vehicles or alignment issues might require more time to properly adjust and align the wheels.
Does Walmart Plug Tires
Walmart Auto Centers used to offer tire repair services, including plugging tires. However, as of 2023, it seems that Walmart has discontinued these auto services. For tire plugging and other tire-related services, consider local auto service centers.
How Much Is a Car Alignment Near Me
The cost of a car alignment can vary significantly depending on your location, the type of vehicle you have, and whether you’re getting a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment. On average, you can expect to pay between $60 and $150 for an alignment service.
How Much Does Walmart Charge to Mount and Balance Tires
Walmart usually charges around $15 per tire for a basic installation package that includes mounting and balancing. Prices may vary depending on your location and the specific tire size and type. Always confirm with your local service center for the most accurate pricing.
Does Walmart Do Tune Ups
As of the latest information available, Walmart does not provide tune-up services. Walmart’s Auto Care Centers typically focus on tire and battery services. For tune-ups, which involve various checks and adjustments to ensure your vehicle is running optimally, it’s recommended to visit a full-service auto shop or dealership.
How Much Is a Tire Rotation at Walmart
Walmart offers a very cost-effective tire rotation service. As of writing, the cost is approximately $2.50 per tire. However, these prices can fluctuate, so it’s advisable to confirm with your local Walmart Auto Care Center for the most accurate current pricing.
Where to Get a Wheel Alignment
You can get a wheel alignment at several different types of places including dedicated tire shops, general auto repair centers, or car dealerships. Examples of these include chain auto service providers like Firestone, Midas, or your local car dealership’s service center. Make sure to choose a reputable shop as wheel alignment is a crucial aspect of car maintenance.
Does Walmart Balance Tires
Yes, Walmart does offer tire balancing services. As part of their basic tire installation service, which typically costs around $15 per tire, Walmart includes the cost of balancing the tires. Prices can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local Walmart Auto Care Center for current rates.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost in California
The cost of a wheel alignment in California, like in most places, can vary depending on the specific vehicle and whether you’re getting a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment. On average, as of writing, the price ranges from around $60 to $150. Prices can fluctuate, so contacting local auto service centers for the most accurate quote is advisable.
How Much Is a 4 Wheel Alignment
A four-wheel alignment typically costs between $100 and $150, although this can depend on the vehicle type and the service center. Some higher-end cars or trucks might be more expensive to align due to their complex suspension systems. Always check with your chosen service provider for an accurate quote.
Does Walmart Mount and Balance Tires for Free
Walmart does not mount and balance tires for free. They typically charge around $15 per tire for their basic installation service, which includes mounting and balancing. As always, prices may vary depending on location and the specific tires being installed, so it’s best to check with your local Walmart Auto Care Center.
Does Walmart Install Shocks and Struts
As of 2023, Walmart has discontinued many of its automotive services and no longer offers installations of shocks and struts. For these types of services, it’s best to consult a full-service auto shop or your vehicle’s dealership.
Does Walmart Put on Tires
Yes, Walmart does put on tires. They offer a basic tire installation service, which includes mounting, balancing, and installing the new tire onto your vehicle. As of writing, the typical cost is around $15 per tire, but prices can vary, so always check with your local Walmart.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost at Autozone
Autozone is primarily a parts retailer and does not offer alignment services. They provide parts and tools if you wish to attempt the alignment yourself, but for actual alignment services, you’ll need to visit an auto service center or dealership.
Can You Align Your Own Car
While it is technically possible to align your own car, it’s generally not recommended unless you have proper training and the right equipment. Wheel alignment involves precise adjustments and specialized tools. A small error can lead to poor vehicle handling, uneven tire wear, and even safety issues.
Does Walmart Fix Tires
Walmart used to offer tire repair services. However, as of 2023, they appear to have discontinued these services in their Auto Care Centers. For tire repairs, you should seek a local tire shop or auto service center.