Nissan : Altima : 2007 : USA with OEM 215/60R16 Tire

**Context/Information: When I took my car to Belle Tire. I had them switch out my winter tires and do an alignment check. I told the service attendant, that if the measurements warrented the alignment; that I would okay the job. I left to go run errands. Belle Tire ended up calling my wife, even though I left my number. The service attendant she spoke to said, "The car is ready and the alignment is done." She thought I had agreed to the job, and she only notified me that the car was ready to be picked up. When I arrived the service attendant, from earlier notified me that my wife had agreed to the alignment, which struck me as odd. I sat down, then called her and got the facts straight. Got up, went to talk to the service attendant once again, informing him he was incorrect. I paid and left not feeling to good about the customer service. Once home I looked at the bill...$84.90 for a wheel alignment. I looked over the specs *below. Noticed that all they did an adjustment to was the Toe. Which the front right was only out of specified range by 0.05 degrees. My question is now, should I go back and talk to a manager? I feel taken advantage of and not treated properly since I never asked for this job to be done. I'm not mechanicly inclined either: did my car really need an alignment done that badly (personally I would have said "no" when they presented me this data).

All Measurements in degrees.

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1 Answer 1


From your post it appears that you in fact got the alignment you paid for. Whether you authorized it is a matter of semantics. In many cases the majority of the labor involved with doing an alignment is getting the vehicle on the alignment rack and taking the measurements. I have never heard of anyone checking the alignment for free unless they are just looking at the tires and speculating based on tire wear. By asking to check the alignment you did in fact authorize them to put the vehicle on the rack and take the necessary measurements to determine if the alignment was necessary. Did you expect them to do this for free? Granted they should have explained this to you beforehand. As you can tell by looking at the sheet the tolerances are quite specific. We are talking about 10ths of a degree of change. Those small changes can make huge differences in tire wear. If your winter tires were on for a significant time check and see if you can see differences in the tire wear. It may be very slight, but over time it makes a big difference.

  • Belle tire does in fact check alignment for free. So Yes to your question in the comment.
    – Sergio
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 13:44
  • I drove 4k miles over the winter; tires were put on in Nov. 13 until June. So I would have to drive a heck of a lot more- I've had the snow tires for 3 seasons now - less than 16k miles on them. Little to no wear. 1 excuse me now 2 alignment checks since I've owned the car in 2009.
    – Sergio
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 13:47
  • So, you stated it is no more than a 10th of a degree of change. In my non-mechanic opinion, I don't think it's worth it. This is not my main vehicle - I put less than 10k miles on it a year. The "slight" change will make very little difference since I rotate my tires on schedule and have two sets.
    – Sergio
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 13:50
  • Sergio - i change my tires every 10k miles or sooner if the wear seriously impacts handling. I would consider alignment essential every change. So that is two changes and alignments a year. Every year.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 13:58
  • All the local shops I've dealt with do free alignment checks. 0.05 degrees I wouldn't have had an alignment adjustment done. Variations that small can be seen by just bouncing the suspension around a little on most cars that have a few miles on them. I've also found that (at least on my cars), the alignments don't drift outside of that slight variation (even after pounding through potholes all Spring), so I only do alignments when suspension repair work forces it. Tire wear is not an issue for me. YMMV... Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 14:45

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