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posted 9 days ago by
bulldogsrruff
Senior Member

For me this is rarely offered. Firestone has a coupon for lifetime alignments for $149. Ends Dec. 5th. It is usually $189 at my local Firestone and they never take competitors coupons  My shop is a pretty good service center and rarely try to up sell me. It does seem to take a while for them to get to anything, so I usually just drop off my car.
http://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/offers/offer-detail/fca...
 

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The only problem with this deal is that you have to let Firestone touch your car....

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I am not a mechanic, although sometimes I pretend to be in my driveway.

How often do you need an alignment that a lifetime deal is a good idea? I am guessing that most cars and light trucks never need an alignment UNLESS there is front end damage involving the front wheels or connecting rods, etc. Some vehicles get a 4 wheel alignment, but again only if there is damage to the wheels and rods.

So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.

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midnightt said:   I am not a mechanic, although sometimes I pretend to be in my driveway.

How often do you need an alignment that a lifetime deal is a good idea? I am guessing that most cars and light trucks never need an alignment UNLESS there is front end damage involving the front wheels or connecting rods, etc. Some vehicles get a 4 wheel alignment, but again only if there is damage to the wheels and rods.

So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.

  what about going over bumps? (at higher speeds)?  uneven wear in tires may be due to alignment

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I found that Firestone will often offer you a better price just by calling. I purchased the lifetime alignment for just around the same price point a year and a half ago. I've had it checked twice before an after tire installation since I had a belt out on a tire and it messed up the reading. I also used it after I replaced the struts. So, well worth the $. You should get an alignment when you're installing new tires at the minimum.

On the side, each time you take it in for service they are presented with a sales opportunity, so remember that if you're not mechanically inclined. You might get a bit of the... "brakes have xxx thousands left on them line." (Often the number quoted is well within the useful life and will provide thousands or tens or thousand of more use.)

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I normally buy this from Firestone for all my vehicles. They recommend doing wheel alignment once every six months. I also buy the Lifetime Tire Rotation and Balancing as well. I try to do all three at least twice a year. Especially for the Toyota vehicles the "Maintenance Required" light comes every 5000 miles for tire rotation..

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JKdeals said:   They recommend doing wheel alignment once every six months. 
  You, sir, are getting ripped off. 

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Guaranteed the lifetime alignment is to upsell you on stuff.

"We can't align it because there is looseness in the ball joints"

This is no different than free tire rotation (to sell you tires), free brake check, etc.

Nobody needs to be doing alignments twice a year.

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midnightt said:   So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.
 

  
OK.  So this is perfect if you live in New Orleans.
 

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This is a good thing to buy if you plan to keep it for several years. Potholes and rough roads can tweak the alignment. Suspension replacement requires an alignment. Even with only two suspensions, you're ahead of the game.

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nbha said:   Guaranteed the lifetime alignment is to upsell you on stuff.

"We can't align it because there is looseness in the ball joints"

This is no different than free tire rotation (to sell you tires), free brake check, etc.

Nobody needs to be doing alignments twice a year.

 Just like vacuuming the carpet in your house, alignment, balance and rotation is the life of your tires. With tires costing $200 each, and having to replace all 4 at the same time with 4 wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles, this routine alignment is well worth the investment. But only if you actually use it. Take the time and use it. 

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nbha said:   Guaranteed the lifetime alignment is to upsell you on stuff.

"We can't align it because there is looseness in the ball joints"

This is no different than free tire rotation (to sell you tires), free brake check, etc.

Nobody needs to be doing alignments twice a year.

  
I've never had firestone deny me an alignment for any of my cars. I typically do an alignment along with my rotation with them or during my oil change, so around every 6 months because I got the lifetime and it doesn't cost me any more. It does really depend on the location. Some are good, while others are crap. Also, the lifetime rotation is just basic to make sure you're within the recommended specs. They won't touch your alignment if it falls within the green already.

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Look online to see if your local firestone has any deals too. Last time they let me use the 20 dollar coupon off of the lifetime alignment too. I think it came out to 130-140 dollars and I've used mine around 7 times already.

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chrispitude said:   This is a good thing to buy if you plan to keep it for several years. Potholes and rough roads can tweak the alignment. Suspension replacement requires an alignment. Even with only two suspensions, you're ahead of the game.
Yes, this is good only if you keep the car for a long time, at least in my opinion. If you are a person who leases your car this is not for you. At least so far I thought it was a good investment, especially for Michigan weather..

Then again, I have a 2013 Chevy Malibu, which has about 42,000 miles. Last time I took it to Firestone they recommended changing tires because the side walls are worn out. So, now I am wondering if my investment is good or not.. I didn't buy tires from them. Bought from Discount Tire

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How much is an alignment normally? I've been quoted $89-$99. I suppose if you get 2 alignments, this pays off.

I read that it should be done once a year. That seems a bit much, but what do I know. I read somewhere else that it should be done whenever you replace your tires. That makes more sense. But if I owned a lifetime alignment pass, I'd probably go the once a year route.

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buy this. Evans Tires don't sell it anymore.

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You do not need an alignment when getting tires changed.. If you do, you need to find a better shop. Alignments should be performed after steering/suspension components replacement.

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Every 6mo to a year!! I used to be a tech and never aligned a vehicle unless select suspension parts were replaced. All depends on the vehicle too, as I can replace all the struts/shocks on my vehicle without an issue with alignment. To each their own...

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Firestone offer this all of the time. Well worth the money.

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riznick said:   How much is an alignment normally? I've been quoted $89-$99. I suppose if you get 2 alignments, this pays off.

I read that it should be done once a year. That seems a bit much, but what do I know. I read somewhere else that it should be done whenever you replace your tires. That makes more sense. But if I owned a lifetime alignment pass, I'd probably go the once a year route.

  watch out.  Firestone is a very sales driven (and very dishonest) company.  Don't be shocked if a tech were to find "problems" (that he created) with your hoses, belts, pads, etc.

many Firestone won't even do the alignment.  A tech will drive your car around the block to see whether anything seems out of wack.  if he detects no irregularities, then he won't adjust anything, since you're unlikely to notice that nothing way done.  during the time he should be doing your alignment, he'll sabotage your vehicle to drive sales.

free lifetime alignment is like giving a hot girl a free drink, so that you can spike it while she's visiting a restroom.

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I bought the life time alignment for $99 from Firestone 10 years ago, when I replaced the tires for my MAZDA van. Now the van has 200k+ miles on it and I probably did 5 or 6 time alignments. I think this is a pretty good deal, as many shops charge more than $99 for an one time alignment...

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I was just looking on their website this evening for deals. Thanks OP!

Does anyone know if they do alignments for premium cars like BMW, Benz. I called Sears Auto the other day and was informed only dealers does for them as they need some special software/tools.

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ajay71 said:   I was just looking on their website this evening for deals. Thanks OP!

Does anyone know if they do alignments for premium cars like BMW, Benz. I called Sears Auto the other day and was informed only dealers does for them as they need some special software/tools.

  
The shop in my neighborhood cannot do BENZ, BMW, not even Infiniti

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eljamesyu said:   
ajay71 said:   I was just looking on their website this evening for deals. Thanks OP!

Does anyone know if they do alignments for premium cars like BMW, Benz. I called Sears Auto the other day and was informed only dealers does for them as they need some special software/tools.

  
The shop in my neighborhood cannot do BENZ, BMW, not even Infiniti

  Sad, you can afford the car, but not the up keep ...

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midnightt said:   I am not a mechanic, although sometimes I pretend to be in my driveway.

How often do you need an alignment that a lifetime deal is a good idea? I am guessing that most cars and light trucks never need an alignment UNLESS there is front end damage involving the front wheels or connecting rods, etc. Some vehicles get a 4 wheel alignment, but again only if there is damage to the wheels and rods.

So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.

  Completely incorrect.  Suspension bushings age with time which greatly affects suspension geometry.

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mokenoz said:   
riznick said:   How much is an alignment normally? I've been quoted $89-$99. I suppose if you get 2 alignments, this pays off.

I read that it should be done once a year. That seems a bit much, but what do I know. I read somewhere else that it should be done whenever you replace your tires. That makes more sense. But if I owned a lifetime alignment pass, I'd probably go the once a year route.

  watch out.  Firestone is a very sales driven (and very dishonest) company.  Don't be shocked if a tech were to find "problems" (that he created) with your hoses, belts, pads, etc.

many Firestone won't even do the alignment.  A tech will drive your car around the block to see whether anything seems out of wack.  if he detects no irregularities, then he won't adjust anything, since you're unlikely to notice that nothing way done.  during the time he should be doing your alignment, he'll sabotage your vehicle to drive sales.

free lifetime alignment is like giving a hot girl a free drink, so that you can spike it while she's visiting a restroom.

  Nonsense.

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nbha said:   Guaranteed the lifetime alignment is to upsell you on stuff.

"We can't align it because there is looseness in the ball joints"

This is no different than free tire rotation (to sell you tires), free brake check, etc.

Nobody needs to be doing alignments twice a year.

Eh, my ex wife has had it on two cars over the years. No up-sell going on, but that may be because our local Firestore is staffed with great people. Hit a pothole? Take it in, fixed free, year in and year out. It's worked out to be a great deal for her.  

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SecondGunman said:   The only problem with this deal is that you have to let Firestone touch your car....
 exactly my thoughts.  i had an alignment done ...they came to about 20% within manufacture's specs.  i took it to an alignment specialist and they came one spot to manufacture's specs.

desperately i needed to mount snow tires this week as the regular tire store i go to was closed due to thanksgiving.  this was the most inexpensive tire mounting and balancing.  i just cross my fingers the 19 year old working there did a decent job.  

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I've noticed that they tend to set the alignment at the outer limits of the tolerance for camber, probably to wear out the tires faster...

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svxman said:   I've noticed that they tend to set the alignment at the outer limits of the tolerance for camber, probably to wear out the tires faster...
  If they did that intentionally it would invoke the warranty on the tire, I don't think they would want to do that on purpose.

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Just to clarify, when you state I am "Completely incorrect." are you saying that hitting a pothole or curb could not cause a vehicles alignment to need adjustment?  

I am not a mechanic, although sometimes I pretend to be in my driveway.

How often do you need an alignment that a lifetime deal is a good idea? I am guessing that most cars and light trucks never need an alignment UNLESS there is front end damage involving the front wheels or connecting rods, etc. Some vehicles get a 4 wheel alignment, but again only if there is damage to the wheels and rods.

So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.
  Completely incorrect.  Suspension bushings age with time which greatly affects suspension geometry.

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midnightt said:   Just to clarify, when you state I am "Completely incorrect." are you saying that hitting a pothole or curb could not cause a vehicles alignment to need adjustment?  

I am not a mechanic, although sometimes I pretend to be in my driveway.

How often do you need an alignment that a lifetime deal is a good idea? I am guessing that most cars and light trucks never need an alignment UNLESS there is front end damage involving the front wheels or connecting rods, etc. Some vehicles get a 4 wheel alignment, but again only if there is damage to the wheels and rods.

So unless you routinely run into pot holes and curbs, you probably do not need an alignment.
  Completely incorrect.  Suspension bushings age with time which greatly affects suspension geometry.

  
I have a 17 year old car with 70k miles that has never been aligned since the factory. Routine alignment is almost completely unnecessary for cars that have been well cared for short of a few exotics. Once you start replacing suspension components though its just about a guarantee that you need an alignment to be perfect.

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1) As mentioned unless front end damage, serious curb jumping or some potholes new cars do not need alignments. Also a proper modern alignment machine for newer cars is 100k easy. Does your firestone have one? If not it's just guessing at best or an unsafe alignment that's worse than it was before.

2) Now offroading trucks & cars ~1985 & older unless babied should have their alignments checked at least 1x a year. Older alignment equipment is ok with these vehicles but it's best to have a mechanic who's an artist at his trade doing the alignment. Otherwise modern day alignment equipment is best.

So the overwhelming vast majority of folks buying these policies are wasting their money at best. This is one repair if in you're category 1 that's best if firestone lies to you & said they adjusted your alignment. When they didn't touch it at all.

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GatorJ said:   
mokenoz said:   
riznick said:   How much is an alignment normally? I've been quoted $89-$99. I suppose if you get 2 alignments, this pays off.

I read that it should be done once a year. That seems a bit much, but what do I know. I read somewhere else that it should be done whenever you replace your tires. That makes more sense. But if I owned a lifetime alignment pass, I'd probably go the once a year route.

  watch out.  Firestone is a very sales driven (and very dishonest) company.  Don't be shocked if a tech were to find "problems" (that he created) with your hoses, belts, pads, etc.

many Firestone won't even do the alignment.  A tech will drive your car around the block to see whether anything seems out of wack.  if he detects no irregularities, then he won't adjust anything, since you're unlikely to notice that nothing way done.  during the time he should be doing your alignment, he'll sabotage your vehicle to drive sales.

free lifetime alignment is like giving a hot girl a free drink, so that you can spike it while she's visiting a restroom.

  Nonsense.

  your claim of nonsense is nonsense.  I've know people who've worked for (and still work for) these corporate chains.  the same message was (and still is) that these places put great pressure on mechanics/service advisers to drive sales by whatever mean necessary.  just don't get caught.  otherwise, firestone/goodyear/Pep Boys /Sears will play stupid and fire you.

these "lifetime" plans are meant to drive traffic into the shops (people love "freebies").  from there, service advisers are supposed to tell you that you need (insert high-profit services, like a brake-fluid flush, fuel-injector cleaning or similar nonsense).  later, mechanics are to find "problems" with (insert easy, high-profit items/services....brake pads, belts, hoses, etc).

many of these chains have been caught (by investigative journalists) pulling the very scams I've mentioned.  perhaps you've been living under a rock.

but hey.  go for it.  if you get ripped off, what do I care?  just ask yourself why anybody would offer a "lifetime" anything for $149.  (hint: the idea is to get you to spend $149 over and over again).

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forbin4040 said:   
svxman said:   I've noticed that they tend to set the alignment at the outer limits of the tolerance for camber, probably to wear out the tires faster...
  If they did that intentionally it would invoke the warranty on the tire, I don't think they would want to do that on purpose.

  
Go read the limited warranty on their tires and see how many outs they have. Also 3 year warranty with proof of purchase or 4 years from date of manufacture without it. If you're a sucker that pays for a lot of questionable repairs I'm sure they will cover it but if you are cheap they will likely say you neglected the tire in some way.

I've only had one good experience with a Firestone shop and that was a family operation flying the Firestone banner in addition to their shop name.

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my wife paid for this many years ago against my advice.

every time she takes her car in they find a way not to do an alignment...  "the alignment guy isn't in today."  "our machine is broken" "your tires are too worn to get a proper alignment" etc. 

We even made an appointment once and dropped the car off.  12 hours later they said it would have to wait until tomorrow.  The next day they didn't have time yet and would hold the car for one more day.  The next day their one alignment guy got sick and had to go home early...  We just picked up the car and said eff you.

Corporate was no help either.

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I guess this depends on where you live in the country. Some areas have good roads. Here the roads are pretty bad in general and especially after a spring thaw, tons of potholes that you can't avoid on the highway, I end up getting alignments about twice a year lately although other times I've gone a year or two without an alignment. Whenever I notice that the steering is a little off, I get it done.

This is a decent price as Goodyear is something like $169 for a 3 year warranty. They also do the up sell but I usually just decline or say that I just did those and it's under warranty, thanks for letting me know, I'll take it back to the mechanic who did it. Goodyear also does Benz and other makes. Some adjustments like camber can't really be set on them, but they can set toe which is what is normally out. Never have a problem with them doing it, I usually just call in advance to see how busy they are and sometimes either make an appointment or just head over when they say they're not busy.

You get the alignment on new tires in case the alignment is off. In theory if it's spot on, it doesn't need to be done, but if it's been a while, it's probably off anyway and you don't want to start off ruining a perfect set of tires.

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Last alignment I got was decades ago.

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EradicateSpam said:   Last alignment I got was decades ago.
  Me too.

Alignments should only be done when needed, not as a preventive measure.  Alignments don't usually change (yes I know there are exceptions) unless:

You hit a MAJOR pothole
Accident
Curb
Suspensions part determined completely worn out (i.e. ball joint) and is replaced.

Other than that, you should only consider doing an alignment when replacing tires. But don't replace the tires then align them.. look at the OLD tires first.

You can tell by looking at the old tires how your car has performed over the last x number of miles. Your new tires will wear almost exactly the same.

If you see the insides wearing out and the rest of the tire looks great, outsides wearing out, or anything else weird like that, then do an alignment.

If the tires wore pretty much normally then don't bother.  Also look at them yourself.. the shop will always tell you a tire is wearing abnormally.  They think 99% of tires wear abnormally when it's really more like 5-10%

I haven't done an alignment for preventive purposes in more than 10 years and have 4 cars.  The only time I did an alignment was when I had both front control arms and ball joints replaced and everything had to be aligned.

Remember that with most of these deals too, that it's just an alignment "check".  They drive up on the alignment rack, attach 4 sensors, and look at the screen.  If all is good they're done in 5 mins.

Dealers are actually now installing alignment devices that check every single car on the way into the shop for alignment so they can upsell you and it doesn't cost them a thing to check.  

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