If you are keeping your wheels from veering away to the right or the left, your vehicle urgently needs a wheel alignment. This is a PMS that your car needs to have periodically. You can get this service at Walmart. How much does an alignment cost at Walmart?
At Walmart, wheel alignment costs range from $30 to $95. The actual cost will depend on the location and the job that will be done on the wheels. To give you an idea, the alignment cost for front-wheel tracking at Walmart is from $30 to $65.
On average, front-wheel alignment at Walmart takes around one hour or less. The car mechanic will take several attempts before ensuring that the wheels are already aligned. Typically, the waiting time before your car is put on the machine makes the duration longer.
Read on to learn more about the cost of wheel alignment at Walmart, why you need your wheels aligned, and why it is cheaper to align your wheels at Walmart.
How Much Does an Alignment Cost at Walmart?
Depends on the Walmart Outlet
If you go to Walmart to align your wheels, the cost can run from $30 to $95. The actual cost will depend on the Walmart outlet and the actual wheel alignment job that your car needs. For instance, front-wheel tracking at Walmart ranges from $30 to $65.
Takes About One Hour or Less
On average, wheel alignment at Walmart usually takes only about one hour or less. Typically, it will take Walmart mechanics several attempts before ensuring that they have aligned your wheels. Sometimes, there’s a waiting time before your car is put on the wheel alignment machine.
Wheel Alignment Cost for Four Wheels
How much is a tire alignment at Walmart? If you require wheel alignment for your car’s four wheels at Walmart, prepare to pay $70 to $80. But as I’ve already mentioned, the final cost depends on the Walmart outlet where you are getting the service.
Walmart’s branches differ in their wheel alignment charges. Their prices for wheel alignment range between $30 and $95. Whatever the final cost is, rest assured that the cost of Walmart tire alignment is very reasonable. This price is pretty much the market average.
Cheaper Than Other Car Service Centers
It is also worth noting that many car owners who have gone for wheel alignment service at Walmart say that it is cheaper to have their wheels aligned at this store than at other car service centers.
Book an Appointment
Walmart Auto Care Centers cater to the needs of car owners. Some of them do offer wheel alignment. It’s a Preventive Maintenance Schedule (PMS) your car needs from time to time.
If you think your wheels need alignment, you can take your car to your local Walmart Auto Care Center to get this service.
You may need to book first by calling them before making the trip on busy days. It’s less stressful knowing that the mechanics will work on your car right away when you get there.
As soon as you arrive, give your car keys to the car tech. They may ask some rudimentary questions about your car, after which they will work on it right away.
Why Does Walmart Charge This Much for Wheel Alignment?
Walmart charges this much for wheel alignment because of the work involved. The main bulk of the wheel alignment cost is labor. This is true whether you avail of this service at Walmart or somewhere else.
There are times when the cost will be greater. When your car requires more service than what you came in for. However, the Walmart tech won’t do any added repairs on your car without your approval.
They will clear it up with you before doing whatever they say. What could be these additional costs? For example, you have to pay additional fees at Walmart if your wheels are tough to work on. They may need oxyacetylene to pry seized nuts out of the wheel studs.
Equipped with the Tools Needed
Whatever work is necessary to align your wheels, Walmart Auto Care Centers have all the tools needed to do an excellent job. The labor cost, which is the bulk of the total amount of wheel alignment, depends on how long it takes for a mechanic to finish the job.
Why Is Wheel Alignment at Walmart Cheaper?
Cost of Other Car Shops’ Wheel Alignment
If you compare the cost of wheel alignment at Walmart with other car service shops, you will find that it is cheaper on average. Prices from other car shops range between $40 and $189. Surprisingly, there’s a $149 price difference between their prices when they practically do the same type of service.
Critical Safety Vehicle Feature
There’s no question that wheel alignment is a very critical safety vehicle feature that you shouldn’t take for granted. However, there’s no reason why some car service shops will overcharge their customers this much.
Ensure Your Wheels Are Properly Aligned
Walmart mechanics will ensure that your wheels are aligned correctly when you leave their shop. They will adjust all the angles of your tires according to the wheel alignment specs specified by the car manufacturer.
Charges Only for the Actual Wheel Alignment Services
They will charge you only for the actual wheel alignment services that they have done to your car, and no more. In the first place, Walmart’s wheel alignment costs are already pretty much on average. Some of them are even lower than their competitors.
These are some of the reasons why wheel alignment at Walmart is, on average, cheaper. Walmart will charge you lower rates for the same services that you get from other car service shops.
Strategy for Making You a Repeat Customer
Perhaps, Walmart is thinking that since you can’t avoid having a wheel alignment service periodically, they would rather keep your business instead of charging you a hefty price which will only cause you to run away.
They know that if you’re a conscientious car owner, you will take your car for a wheel alignment each time it hits the 10,000-mile mark. That’s good repeat business for them.
How Long Will It Take Walmart to Align My Wheels?
Take an About an Hour or Less
A mechanic at any Walmart Auto Care Center that offers wheel alignment will take about an hour or even less. During a Walmart wheel alignment procedure, some mechanics take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Wheel Alignment Process at Walmart
The prep work and other consequential things make it longer to complete. Let’s look at the actual process typically done at Walmart:
First, the mechanic aligns the wheels using their tools and equipment. They may use laser alignment devices to do this.
Mounting of the Car on a Ramp
Wheel alignment starts with a mechanic mounting your car on a ramp.
Installation of Wheel Aligning Equipment
Then, they will install the wheel aligning equipment and make the adjustments. This will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Afterward, they will conduct a test drive to see if the wheels are correctly aligned. If everything turns out okay, then that will be it. The job is finished within that 20 to 30-minute window.
However, things don’t always turn out this way. The mechanic must bring the car back to the ramp after the test drive to make more adjustments. At this stage, the mechanic will do the following:
- Reinstall all the equipment
- Lift the car again
- Make the necessary adjustments and/or corrections
The mechanic needs an additional 10 to 15 minutes to work on your car. Hopefully, these other adjustments will do the trick. However, if the wheels are still not properly aligned, the mechanic will have to repeat the same process for the third time.
Might Take Time More Than Expected
As you can see, this takes more time than expected. On average, it will take the mechanic two to three times before they can say the wheels are fully aligned. But it is not unusual for them to take up to 7 to 9 attempts before finishing the job.
But don’t worry. It will only take them around 30 minutes to one hour from start to finish. But expect this service to take a long time if your car requires many corrections.
Again, how much does an alignment cost at Walmart? Walmart’s alignment cost ranges between $30 and $95, depending on the branch and the service you require. Note that front-wheel tracking at Walmart will cost you around $30 to $65.
Nature of Wheel Alignment
Process of Ensuring That Your Car’s Wheels Are Aligned
If this is the first time you’ve heard of wheel alignment, you should know it. Wheel alignment is the process of ensuring that your car’s wheels are aligned. You may wonder why this is still required at first glance since all the wheels seem to be correctly pointing ahead.
By looking at the tires, they all appear to point straight ahead. Do they need to be more aligned? You see, wheel alignment does not just rely on naked vision. The wheel alignment of a car does not just depend on whether the tires all look aligned.
Correctly Placed Wheels and Tires’ Angles
You need to be sure, or there could be dire consequences. The mechanic has to ensure that the minute details and angles of the wheels and tires are all correctly in place. So, they will make measurements to ensure that the wheels’ angles are correct.
Your car is running because the wheels are turning. As the wheels turn, they will be a couple of degrees out of alignment over time.
Misaligned Wheels Will Compromise Your Safety
That’s because of the road conditions the tires are running on. In time, the wheels may point inwards or outwards. And this affects the handling of your car. That compromises your safety as your drive.
So, wheel alignment is necessary because it corrects or adjusts the angles at which your tires are pointed to. You can’t avoid getting this process as long as you drive your car.
How Often Should You Have Your Wheels Aligned?
Your need for wheel alignment depends on how you drive your car. Generally, most car manufacturers recommend that you get your wheel aligned every 10,000 miles.
This is just their recommendation. If your car is already showing bad wheel alignment symptoms, you should not wait for 10,000 miles to have your wheels aligned.
What Are the Signs That You Need a Wheel Alignment?
The most common symptoms are the steering wheel veering to the left or the right without your input and a vibrating steering wheel. If the roads you are commonly driving on are bumpy or you are fond of driving off-road, your frequency of wheel alignment should be more often.
What Causes the Misalignment of a Car’s Wheels?
There are many reasons why your wheels can get misaligned. The following are some of the causes:
- Incorrectly fitted wheels and tire components.
- Wear and tear over time, nuts becoming loose, twisting of tie rods, etc.
- Hitting curbs – if you hit the curb too often, your wheels can get misaligned.
- Not getting wheel alignment when they changed suspension parts or changed new steering components of your car.
- Hitting potholes – the sudden impact of hitting potholes can skew the tracking of the wheels.
Wheel Alignment Procedure in Detail
There are several wheel alignment procedures, but they all share some things in common. In a wheel alignment procedure, the mechanic will usually do the following:
- Walmart staff will drive your car onto a four-post ramp. Then they will activate its parking brake.
- They will then put turn plates below the front tires.
- Then they will angle the steering wheel to make it as straight as possible visually.
- They will clamp the steering wheel in place.
- Then they will switch off the engine and get out of the car.
- They will place certain devices flat against the front wheels to keep them straight. The mechanic will also remove any wheel trims and be careful not to cause damage to the wheels at this point.
- They will then lift the car into the air.
- Then, a mechanic will go under it and loosen the nuts on the tie rods. There are times when these nuts are seized. So, the mechanic will use oxyacetylene to heat them so they will get loose.
- Then the mechanic will use tools like locking pliers, clamp, or standard wrench to loosen or tighten the rod end. This is the process that will adjust the wheel alignment.
- After doing this, the mechanic will tighten up the nuts again.
- Then the mechanic takes the car for a test drive. If your car drives straight, then the mechanic’s job is done.
- However, if your car is still not driving straight, the mechanic will bring it back to the ramp and make more minute adjustments. This often happens, and it may take the mechanic several times before they can make sure that the wheels are already aligned.
As you can see, aligning the wheels can take as short as 20 minutes or take longer than one hour. It depended on the condition of your car when you brought it into the repair shop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the answers to the most often asked by car owners regarding Walmart’s wheel alignment cost:
How Much Is a Wheel Alignment Service at Walmart?
The wheel alignment price at Walmart falls between $30 and $95. Your actual cost will depend on the Walmart branch where you are getting this service and the wheel alignment jobs they will perform on your vehicle.
How Long Does It Take a Walmart Mechanic to Align My Wheels?
On average, it will only take a Walmart mechanic around 20 to 30 minutes to align the front wheels of a front-wheel-drive car. However, after the first wheel alignment attempts, the prep work and the test drive make the process longer.
So, ordinarily, it will take you somewhere between 30 minutes to about an hour to have a complete wheel alignment. The mechanic will have to make minute adjustments on the wheels if their first few unsuccessful attempts.
Is It Cheaper to Get My Wheels Aligned at Walmart?
Yes, it is. The wheel alignment cost at local and national car repair centers ranges from $40 to $189. So, there is a massive $149 price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive service. At Walmart, you can get front-wheel tracking from $30 to $65.
How Often Should I Get My Wheels Aligned?
It depends on your driving style. Generally, car manufacturers recommend wheel alignment every 10,000 miles. But you don’t need to wait for that mark if you are already experiencing the symptoms of bad wheel alignment.
If your steering wheel is already vibrating, or your car is veering to the right or left without your input, you should go in for a wheel alignment right away. You are courting disaster if you don’t.
In Closing: What Is the Cost of Wheel Alignment at Walmart?
If you go to Walmart for a wheel alignment, your cost will range from $30 to $95. The actual cost depends on the charges of the Walmart branch and the service your wheels require.
For example, if your car needs front-wheel tracking, Walmart will charge you from $30 to $65.
Typically, front-wheel alignment takes only around one hour or less at Walmart. The car mechanic often needs to take several attempts before getting it right. If you have to wait before your car is put on the machine, the time will naturally get longer.