If you get regular tune-ups or oil changes to your vehicle, then you’ve probably heard the service person recommend that you get wheel alignments and wheel balances done. This is not always just some gimmick they say to get you to purchase additional services. Periodically, the wheels of your vehicle need to be aligned and balanced to ensure that they move smoothly on the road.
Wheel alignments are adjustments made to the angles of your wheels and tires in order to make the angles all match perfectly. Otherwise, if your wheels and tires were to have contrasting angles, it would cause your tires and their treads to wear out faster as you drive on them. Not only that, but your driving experience will not be smooth on the road either. If you need to respond quickly and make a sudden turn or adjustment behind the wheel, this will prove to be difficult with misaligned wheels. Therefore, wheel alignments are very important to promote a safe and comfortable driving experience.
Do not take the cheap way out by procrastinating on your wheel alignments. They are not too expensive to get done and the benefits they’ll provide to your driving will be so worth it. On average, a wheel alignment service will cost a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $100. This applies to 4 wheels on your vehicle. Sometimes you may only need to get a wheel alignment done to the 2 front wheels of your vehicles. This means the cost gets split in half to a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $50.
For an additional $100, your local auto shop may sell you an optional extended warranty plan with this service. Either way, this is very affordable and can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run because you won’t need to replace your tires anytime soon.
Wheel balancing is another critical service which is necessary for your wheels and tires. A wheel balance concerns the weight of your wheels and tires. For instance, if one of your rims were to get slightly damaged, it would cause a wheel imbalance with the other wheels of your vehicle. Whenever you have one wheel in worse shape than the other wheels, it causes things like tire hopping, wobbling, and other annoying experiences as you drive. The only way to fix this issue is to have a wheel balancing service done to fix these imperfections and equalize the weight of all the tires, rims, and wheels. Failure to get periodic wheel balance servicing may result in permanent damage to your wheel assembly, shocks, and/or bearings.
Wheel balances are just as important to get done as wheel alignments. On average, you should only have to pay about $10 per wheel that you need to balance. Since most vehicles have 4 wheels, this means your total average cost will be $40. Of course, you can expect some variation in price based on the specific prices set by your local auto service provider. However, wheel balances are generally very cheap at most service places. It would be surprising if you ever had to spend more than $75 for a wheel balance service.
These average costs refer to the average labor costs for performing these services. Wheel alignments and wheel balances are merely labor services because there are no new parts being added to the vehicle. Therefore, the cost of the services really depends on the hourly rate of the auto shop. Unless, of course, they set their own fixed price for wheel alignments and wheel balances because they are such common services to get done. In fact, they don’t really take much time for auto professionals to perform them. That is why in some cases, they’d rather set a fixed rate rather than an hourly rate. Check with your local auto shop to find out how they charge their rates for these services.