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Recently, my 2009 Honda Civic had the TPMS dash light illuminate. Thinking it was the check engine light, I dropped it at a Firestone to get it diagnosed. At the end of it all, I was sold an alignment, new tires, balancing, tpms kit and road hazard warranty. Did I need all of this? They said the alignment was necessary on both front and back because one affects the other on my car, and that alignment was necessary to protect my new tires. Is this true?

  • Tires alone can cost $400-600 (or more), depending on the tire and the shop's installation prices. TPMS sensors add another $5-10 per tire. Road hazard is included at some shops, extra at others (like yours). The alignment could have been them upselling just for the money, but more than likely they saw evidence of alignment issues on the wear patterns of your old tires and decided you needed it fixed (the pics seem to show that). Overall, I wouldn't call what you paid a "bargain" but I don't think you got cheated. – techturtle Dec 8 '16 at 15:48
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Well, there's a few things going on here:

  • getting new tires and an alignment, regardless of the price, because of an issue with the TPMS is overkill
  • getting an alignment "to protect the new tires," well, often that is a condition for the road hazard warranty you purchased. See, they warranty the tires against wearing out prematurely or failing unexpectedly, but the alignment and air pressures need to be accounted for
  • while we don't give price-shopping advice on this site, a 4-wheel alignment, 4 new tires, mounting and balancing and a warranty... depending what kind of tires you got, it could add-up to what you paid.
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It depends on the state of the tires and the quality of the new tires you got. It really can add up… If your old tires were damaged or worn out, and the new ones are good (or fancy) then replacing them could well have been the right move. It looks like you needed the alignment, and it will help the tires to last.

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All the above advice is correct.

Did they upsell you? Did you blink during the transaction? If the answer is yes, then the answer is yes.

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