Lifetime wheel alignments can be a great way to keep your vehicle healthy through an inexpensive plan. They’re perfect for some drivers and awful for others.
Throughout your life, you’ll see hundreds of different lifetime wheel alignment plans. Each of these will offer something different. Whether they’re worth purchasing or not will depend on several factors.
Let’s take a deeper look into what some of the best lifetime wheel alignment plans are, what some bad plans look like, and whether or not you should consider purchasing one when picking up some new wheels.
Let’s start with what a lifetime wheel alignment typically offers.
What Lifetime Wheel Alignments Offer
Lifetime wheel alignments offer exactly what you think they do: a lifetime’s supply of wheel alignments!
Once you’ve purchased a plan, you’ll be able to receive free alignments at certain milestones in your vehicle’s life. This is frequently given as a period of around six months or after 6,000+ miles have been driven on your vehicle.
These will typically give what a standard wheel alignment would offer. This includes inspecting or adjusting your:
- Tire air pressure
- Suspension system
- Front and rear steering
- Tire wear and condition
After all of this, a driver will road test your vehicle to ensure it’s properly functioning.
What to Look For in a Good Lifetime Wheel Alignment Deal
Purchasing a lifetime wheel alignment package can be a bit pricey for the average person.
You’ll be looking to spend at least $150, if not more.
If you’re going to be spending that kind of dough, you’ll need to ensure that you’re making the best possible buy.
Many commercial garages such as Pep Boys and Firestone offer great deals on lifetime alignments. Both are within a similar price range and you’ll be able to change adjust your wheel’s alignment as frequently as necessary.
Firestone will allow you to adjust the alignment every six months or after 6,000 miles driven on your vehicle. This is perfect timing as well because you can also change your oil and get the rest of your vehicle inspected if you see the need for it.
Pep Boys’ lifetime wheel alignment offer is a great bang for your buck and you can access support from your home via the internet. They utilize a computerized alignment service package.
You’ll be able to receive an evaluation of your vehicle’s steering and suspension by a Pep Boys professional and have your specifications calculated without error thanks to the advancements of computers.
Once that’s taken care of you’ll’ be able to pop in whenever you want to get your wheels aligned for free after purchasing their competitively priced lifetime deal.
Most of the time, lifetime wheel alignments are a great deal. However, they’re only worth it if you use them. If you haven’t been keeping up with your wheel alignments and the past and want to purchase a package because it sounds like a good deal, don’t.
However, these plans will frequently pay for themselves after only two or three-wheel alignments. If you truly care about the health of your vehicle, you should be utilizing them.
Be warned, many auto dealers will use these packages as opportunities to sell you more at the garage. By frequently having you in there, you’ll find yourself getting hard pitches from staff on why you need $2000 worth of brake pads and transmission fluids. This is where many garages are going to make the bulk of their profit off of you.
Should You Buy a Lifetime Wheel Alignment?
This question can only be answered by asking yourself a series of different questions.
Let’s dive in.
Do You Own A Long-Term Vehicle?
In other words, are you going to keep that thing for a few more years?
Most lifetime wheel alignment deals are only offered for your vehicle, not you. That means if you bring in a different vehicle and expect the same service, you’ll be sorely mistaken.
Think about how long you plan to own your current vehicle and how many more times you’ll want your tires aligned. If that number adds up to three or more, you’ll likely want to invest in a lifetime deal if you can manage it.
How Often Do You Use Your Vehicle?
This is one of the most important questions you’ll have to ask yourself.
If you’re racking up 6,000 miles after two or three months, you’re going to want to align your tires frequently. Your tread will wear down quickly and you want to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape for your road adventures.
If you’re the kind of person to only go out on Sundays for church service, you don’t want a lifetime wheel alignment deal. I doubt you’ll ever need to have your wheels aligned.
Surprisingly, many vehicle owners are confused about when they should and shouldn’t align or rotate their tires.
Do You Travel Frequently?
This question may not lead you to where you’re thinking.
No, this doesn’t refer to how often you’re going to need to adjust your wheel alignment. You need to ask yourself this because you’ll be locked into one service provider for the lifespan of your vehicle.
Did you go with Firestone? You now need to visit a Firestone establishment every single time you want to realign your wheels.
If you find yourself constantly on the road or unsure about the location you’ll be living soon, purchasing a lifetime plan can quickly become a giant waste of money.
To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to pick a service provider that will consistently be in your area. Or, if you’re moving, you need to ensure that there is also a location in your new area.
This can frequently become a problem if you mainly go to a local mechanic. While they may provide better deals and care for your vehicle, take note that their lifetime wheel alignments won’t help you if you end up leaving their area.
Can You Say No?
Another important factor to remember is that these garages that sell your lifetime wheel alignment deals are looking to sell you much more than that.
By purchasing this deal, you’re incentivizing them in two ways: You either won’t come back and have just now given them extra money, or you’ll frequent them for months so they can hard-sell you more products.
If you’ve gone the commercial route for lifetime wheel alignments, be prepared to be given a sales pitch for why your vehicle has 1,001 problems that need to be fixed as soon as possible.
Remember, if this type of mechanic is approaching you, make sure you get another opinion before spending more money on your vehicle.
Don’t Make An Uninformed Purchase
These somewhat predatory deals are usually worth the money for those who use them, but they’re not sold as a long-term investment.
These deals are typically pitched to you as you’re purchasing new tires for your vehicle. They’re counting on you to say yes so the business receives more money from you upfront.
At this point, you’re either a guppy in their shark tank or they’re hoping to squeeze more money out of you when you come back.
Make sure you know all the pros and cons detailed in this guide before you make a final decision. You can always come back to the shop and purchase the deal later.
Lifetime wheel alignment deals can be a great way to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible without breaking your bank to make it happen. More often than not, you’ll have already saved money after only two alignments. That’s easy money saved if you can afford the upfront cost.
However, they might not be right for you if you’re unsure about your future or don’t frequently rack miles up on your car.
Think about it for a while before you decide to make your purchase. While you may not be committing to a lifetime of service from one provider, you are committing for your vehicle’s lifetime.