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Discussion Starter #1
I had to replace all 4 tires today. A wheel alignment check was done and a realignment recommended. The independent shop said it could not be done today because a shim kit needed to be ordered.
I asked how far out of spec and was told 5 to 10 degrees.

Estimate is:
Alignment fee $89.99
2x Rear toe shim kits $182.26 (including labor)

This seems a lot to fix alignment. Do you agree?
 

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Did the old tires show extremely uneven wear? 5-10 degrees is REALLY out of alignment. If the shim kits are for the rear, I'm assuming this is a 4-wheel alignment . . . right? Did you run into any curbs or have an accident? What are they calling an "alignment check?" Did they put on the special alignment equipment or just eyeball the car and the worn tires? I don't have a clue about whether the pricing is reasonable, but I'd be getting a second opinion before paying that kind of money. I believe alignment on the rear end of a Volt might be a bear because it isn't really adjustable like a true multi-link independent suspension.
 

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Bogus! Unless you have a bad pull ( find a nice flat smooth road and release the steering wheel) or premature tire wear ( cupping, edge wear, less than expected miles from them). My 2011 with 102,000 miles has never had or needed alignment. I just swapped out the front tires ( Michelin Primacy MXV4's) which were worn right down to the wear bars but could have gone further. The 2 replacements ( used Primacys) track just as nice as the old ones. I buy from bestusedtires.com nearly new tires for about 1/3 the cost of new. Does the job and saves me a ton of money, just like passing the gas station when most folks are dropping $40.
 

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Agree, go to a different shop, price sounds high for alignment too. They should have provided you with a printout of the alignment measurements as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everybody.

I will take it elsewhere. The tires were not wearing abnormally and I have not noticed any pull, but I want to be sure after paying for a set of new tires.

Steve
 

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The pricing is reasonable if you actually need it. However, I would take the car elsewhere to have a second alignment check done. Find someplace that has two machines so they can check on both if the first one shows a problem. Alignment machines also need alignment sometimes.
 

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I just had a local chevy dealer do a 4 wheel alignment on my 2013. Their cost was $69.99 with no additional parts required. Only one wheel was out of alignment and it was only out by like half a degree. They gave me a print out of the alignment specs before and after.
 

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You must have misunderstood. The car would be undriveable with a 10 to 15 degree misalignment.

Many years ago I hit a huge heat bump on the autobahn just north of Munich. By the time I made it to the Italian border the tires were worn out. This misalignment was only a degree or two. Every time I made a turn the tires would squeal.
 

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There are no adjustments in the rear except it looks like by shimming, which should rarely need to be done. The front has no caster adjustment, and camber is only adjustable by ordering special offset bolts. So, you'll basically be getting a front toe adjustment.
 

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There are no adjustments in the rear except it looks like by shimming, which should rarely need to be done. The front has no caster adjustment, and camber is only adjustable by ordering special offset bolts. So, you'll basically be getting a front toe adjustment.
To whom was this aimed. The OP specifically stated that the shop quote included 2 shim kits for the rear. What he never answered was how they determined a "5-10 degree" adjustment was required.

And BlueFlash already had his done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Original poster here with update.

I took my car to Chevrolet of Everett, WA for and oil/filter change and air filter change as it is now 4 years old. I asked them to do the wheel alignment without mentioning what the other shop had told me. I recommend this dealer. I have been happy with my 2 visits.

Nothing was out of spec.

The left front was near the lower limit on toe so was adjusted to near nominal.

At the rear the right side was 0.26deg for toe. This is within the spec of -0.33deg to +0.48deg if not close to nominal. In any case it certainly was not 5 to 10 degrees out and no shim kit was needed.

What was the other shop mechanic smoking when they told me it needed a $182 shim kit?
 

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Original poster here with update.

I took my car to Chevrolet of Everett, WA for and oil/filter change and air filter change as it is now 4 years old. I asked them to do the wheel alignment without mentioning what the other shop had told me. I recommend this dealer. I have been happy with my 2 visits.

Nothing was out of spec.

The left front was near the lower limit on toe so was adjusted to near nominal.

At the rear the right side was 0.26deg for toe. This is within the spec of -0.33deg to +0.48deg if not close to nominal. In any case it certainly was not 5 to 10 degrees out and no shim kit was needed.

What was the other shop mechanic smoking when they told me it needed a $182 shim kit?
He wasn't smokin' nothing but the idea that he could rip you off...:(
 

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..What was the other shop mechanic smoking when they told me it needed a $182 shim kit?
The hunger of his pending boat payment. :p

Always get a second quote.
They are free at most tire shops.
 

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Original poster here with update.

I took my car to Chevrolet of Everett, WA for and oil/filter change and air filter change as it is now 4 years old. I asked them to do the wheel alignment without mentioning what the other shop had told me. I recommend this dealer. I have been happy with my 2 visits.

Nothing was out of spec.

The left front was near the lower limit on toe so was adjusted to near nominal.

At the rear the right side was 0.26deg for toe. This is within the spec of -0.33deg to +0.48deg if not close to nominal. In any case it certainly was not 5 to 10 degrees out and no shim kit was needed.

What was the other shop mechanic smoking when they told me it needed a $182 shim kit?
So here is an example where an independent shop appears to have, intentionally or unintentionally, attempted to sell a scope of work that wasn't needed. And a dealership did the right thing.

So keep in mind the term "stealership" may not always be appropriate, and independent shops can bend you over sometimes.

As always, buyer beware. As has been said before, always good to get at least one more set of eyes on the situation. Glad it worked out.
 
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