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How Long Does An Alignment Take?

No vehicle is trouble-free. Over time, it is supposed to develop various types of problems and wheel misalignment is one of them. Driving with a misaligned wheel is foolhardy because it can lead to accidents. If you are worried about how long does an alignment take, don’t be. This big problem takes relatively less time to get fixed.

Why does a vehicle need a wheel alignment? Because the angles of the wheels get changed due to the wear of a few suspension components. The alignment gets changed when you drive on uneven roads, the car hits potholes, or after accidents. Also, checking the alignment is mandatory after the replacement of any major components in the steering or suspension system and after every oil change.

Problems of a Misaligned Wheel

Before knowing how long does an alignment take, you should be aware that driving with a misaligned wheel could be outright dangerous. Misalignment affects the steering, making it unstable. As a result, the car can pull to one side even if you drive on an even road. Such difficulty in steering poses the risk of accidents.

This condition puts excessive pressure on the car’s suspension. If the wheel makes screeching sounds at the time of turning, you should immediately examine the brakes and suspension for damage. If you drive too long, the undue stress can tear down various suspension parts, causing costly repairs.

wheel alignment
Misaligned wheels can cause accidents.

Some other damaging effects of misaligned wheels are uneven tire wear and increased fuel consumption. Lumpy tire tread poses the risk of blowing out, making it highly unsafe to drive.

Some drivers do the mistake of neglecting the schedule car alignment service because they are unaware of the devastating effects. However, you should never do that if you want to avoid expensive maintenance and repair jobs down the road.

How Long Does an Alignment Take?

Fixing the alignment of the wheels is a way to ensure that the wheels are pointing toward the right direction. You cannot drive smoothly and face troubles with steering if they are not properly positioned.

How long does it take to do an alignment? Well, it completely depends on the age, condition, and style of the car.

An older vehicle using shims will take more time for alignment than a brand new car. Also, it will take more time if the car’s internal components are rusty or they are continuously exposed to extreme humidity.

A wheel alignment service is likely to take 30 minutes to an hour, excluding the waiting period in the mechanic’s shop. Some shady shops may claim to do it in 10 to 15 minutes. But it is quite impossible to do the alignment in such a short period.

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Wheel alignment, for a two-wheel or four-wheel vehicle, is likely to take around an hour given that there is no need to change any damaged component and no repair work needs to be done for the track rod, suspension, ball joint, or steering bushing. Any extra work means extra time. So, don’t believe if any shop claims to do the alignment in 10 to 20 minutes.

So, now you know how long does an alignment take but why does it take so long? Because it involves checking various features and components.

The mechanic will test drive the car to see how far the wheel is from its natural angle. He will then clip the wheel’s sensors and check the air pressure. He will adjust the rear wheel first and then the front ones (if necessary). There are several other steps in between fixing the alignment of different wheels.

Checking the wheels at regular intervals is important to make sure that you are driving a completely functioning car.

How Long does a Wheel Alignment Last?

Single wheel alignment costs around $50 to $100 while a full service costs more or less $200. It is a good amount of money so you might be wondering about the duration of the alignment.

how long does it take to do an alignment
Check regularly for misaligned wheels.

Well, it depends on a couple of factors including road conditions, driving habits, and weather. The alignment won’t last long if you drive on pothole-filled roads, have the habit of driving roughly or expose the vehicle constantly in harsh weather like in scorching sun or icy condition.

Check the owner’s manual to get to know about the correct wheel alignment for your car and the schedule for the checkup. However, you should take the car to a repair shop whenever you suspect a misalignment issue. Waiting too long can damage many other components along the way.

So, how long does an alignment take? Around an hour if you are regular with the checkups and maintenance.