Cost of Wheel Alignment?
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  1. #1
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    Cost of Wheel Alignment?

    How much does it usually cost to get a wheel alignment done on a '99 Passat 1.8T? My wheels are just a *touch* out of alignment...nothing drastic but enough to be annoying.

    Does anyone know how much dealerships charge vs. private shops?

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  3. #2
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    anywhere from 40 bucks to 100 bucks. just depends where you go. I have always heard that a shop with the Hunter rack is the best. Don;t let them try and sell you on a "4 wheel alignment". The rear cannot be adjusted with their machine. 2 wheel is only needed. I went to NTB one day and he tried to tell me that the rear was "way out of alignment". I said WTF? (I had no uneven tire wear or anything) and I told him the rear was not adjustable. He said oh ok I might have set it up wrong then.

  4. #3
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    thanks, I'll definately keep that in mind when I go. How long does it usually take for a shop to do? (for scheduling and such)

  5. #4
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    Also...

    Normal shops can't do the subframe adjustment that may be necessary to fix camber and caster on our Passats. They can only fix toe.

    So depending on what's wrong, you may have to go to the dealer.

  6. #5
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    I had mine checked at a local tyre shop when I got some new tyres, as I had some outer shoulder wear. He checked and the alignment was fine. As no adjustment was required I wasn't charged (otherwise it would have cost £20). I asked about the shoulder wear, but I was told this was common with Passats, especially thorugh a lot of urban driving - lots of turning, especially on Roundabouts ( a UK thing!). Since I had the Tyres replaced, wear has been normal, especially as most of my milage is open road.

  7. #6
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    Wouldn't a 4 wheel alignment align the fronts relative to the position of rears reagardless of whether or not the rears are adjustable? I only ask because I know the racks use electronic eyes that site from wheel to wheel.

  8. #7
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    if everything's been fine upto now, but one day, you upgrade suspension and get new feet, is alignment then required?

  9. #8
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    Not necessarily. I had Bilstein shocks installed and needed no alignment. I was surprised. Don't know whether changing the springs would cause a problem.

  10. #9
    PZ
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    2 Dealers here quoted $69. If you lower the car,the toe will be out. If you replace just the shocks,the alignment will not change.

  11. #10
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    so if i'm getting new shocks AND springs, i'll have to do alignment huh?

    oh wells, going in for 10k service in a week or two, i'll just have em do it and use the 10% coupon.

  12. #11
    2nd Gear
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    I just lowered my car and my alignment pulls a little to the left. My local VW is asking $129.xx to do a 4 wheel alignment. I recall seeing the FWD is $89.95 at VW dealer. This dealer has aligned various lowered VW's in the past.


    Oh! I get a loaner too!

  13. #12
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    yeah I have never understood that! how can you allign the rear on a FWD car?!?! I swear mechanics must think people are retarded to pull that crap off! (but then again, they obviously get away with it!).

    I had my suspension done, springs and shocks and no alignment needed. All depends on the guy who does it (how well he does it), if they don't pay any attention and just take everything apart, then put everything back to gether again, then sure, your alignment will be way off. but if you get someone who marks eveythig up BEFORE removal and puts back EXACT same way....your golden!

  14. #13
    PZ
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    The rear can be aligned. Not much,but if the tracking is off (toe centered) it can be done.

    And if the car is lowered,the alignment is out. It will drive straight due to the increased caster,but as the Passat is lowered,the toe in goes to toe out. It has nothing to do with the installer or the install,it has everything to do with the drop.

    Before you talk about mechanics thinking people are retarded remember,there is a reason.

  15. #14
    What time is Matlock on?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PZ
    2 Dealers here quoted $69. If you lower the car,the toe will be out. If you replace just the shocks,the alignment will not change.
    Huh? I know this is an older thread, but I'm in need of an alignment soon (new shocks) and went searching for some answers. Why wouldn't I need an alignment after replacing the shocks? Don't I still have to "drop the wheel" to get at the shocks. Excuse the absence of knowledge on my part. Last time I changed out shocks, I did it in conjunction with lowering so I relate the two together.

  16. #15
    What time is Matlock on?
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    Anyone on this??

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Limey
    yeah I have never understood that! how can you allign the rear on a FWD car?!?! I swear mechanics must think people are retarded to pull that crap off! (but then again, they obviously get away with it!).
    Maybe I'm retarded, but I'm pretty sure there is something called a 4 wheel alignment and that was required on a FWD car I used to own. Don't you mean, how can you align the rear of a RWD car?

  18. #17
    PZ
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    swcrow17:

    Since the shock is not a locating member of the suspension,replacement does not affect alignment like it does on most McPherson strut type suspensions.

  19. #18
    What time is Matlock on?
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    PZ...thanks for the reply...this makes me breathe easier as my shocks are toast and don't want to take the ride into the dealer for an alignment. You just saved me at least a hundred I can put toward the HID mod

  20. #19
    Lefties have rights, too!
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    My local dealer charges $69.95 for an alignment. Make sure you get a printout after the work is done.

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