I’ve seen alignment services that range from $50 to over $150. So what’s the difference for some shops to command such a big price difference? There are two types of alignments: 2-wheel and 4-wheel. Often shops don’t specify what type of alignment they’re quoting, so make sure you ask if you’re trying to compare quotes.
Two-wheel alignments only consider the angles on the front wheel of the vehicle, and makes the assumption that the rear wheels are within specifications. The cost is cheaper, but as you’ve probably already guessed, it’s not as accurate, because it’s neglecting the measurements at the back of the car. Two-wheel alignments are usually only done under very specific circumstances.
Four-wheel alignments take into account the angles of the rear wheels. The front wheel adjustments should always be dependent on the rear wheel angles, even if there are no adjustments available for the rear wheels. Four-wheel alignments require more time for the technician, but usually only costs slightly more.
What does this all mean? Adjustments for your front wheels are dependent on your rear wheel angles, so for a complete and accurate wheel alignment, four-wheel is always the better option.
Also note: many shops offer an alignment printout after the service, whether it’s a 2-wheel or 4-wheel alignment.
*This blog post was previously published on the Yummy Mummy Club website*