Hi there trusty mechanic. Super quick question for you today, I know you are probably swamped answering emails all day long.
My wife drives a Honda Accord, 2009 I think. We need to have a set of tires put on the front and the mechanic wants to do a 4 wheel alignment as well.
What should a tire alignment cost me these days?
That can depend greatly on the type of repair shop you are in and the area of the country you are in as well due to changes shop labor rates.
Here in Houston, a 4 wheel alignment will run you about $115 when all said and done. Some smaller shops will offer a cheap price to get you in the door. I saw a sign the other day that was offering $49 alignments but I seriously doubt they are going to let you get out the door at that price.
Alignments are notoriously used as lost leaders to hopefully upsell you on other items like shocks and struts that are much more profitable.
Just the alignment machine costs about $30,000 and the guy running it ain’t too cheap either. So how many $49 alignments do you think they REALLY do?
I would recommend you pass on any upsells they offer you unless it is really warranted, but “worn struts” are not going to cause an alignment or tire wear problem. A bent or broken strut…yes.