Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: '07 GL320CDI
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Wheel alignment is a scam more often than not.
You ONLY EVER need it if
-you've been in an accident
-the car is old and suspension/steering parts are worn
-it was done incorrectly last time
There is NO SUCH THING as an alignment that doesn't involve installing new parts (except obviously for the rather silly reason #3) Bent or worn parts cannot be "adjusted for," only replaced.
So, if it isn't obvious to you that you need an alignment, you don't. (You'll know if you've been in an accident and worn parts will often tell you so via steering feel or tire wear.) Things don't go out of adjustment, move to another place, and then get tight again. When things get loose, they stay loose, and most of the time you can feel it. When things are loose, it's because they're worn out and must be replaced.
Every pothole you hit doesn't bend something--cars are better built than that. A pothole hit bad enough to bend alignment-relevant parts will probably have also destroyed a tire and bent a wheel. That is, it was an "accident!" Tire/wheel problems are more likely in these instances, and don't necessarily mean alignment was affected. Tires/wheels aren't as strong as suspension/steering parts.
Also significant is the fact that zip/zero/nada independent alignment shops carry Mercedes parts, so alignment at a dealer or maybe Mercedes specialty independent shop is the best idea. These parts are NOT generic.
If you feel like paying one of these guys for a "check," go right ahead, but if they haven't replaced parts, you never needed to go there in the first place or they've sent you away with any problem not yet fixed.
Last edited by lkchris; 03-05-2010 at 09:24 AM.