Close-up shot of classical motorcycle tire tread

How Long Does a Wheel Alignment Take?

Car Mechanic

Steve Cusson

Steve is a mechanic at Phobia Auto Care. He started his own garage in 2016 and has been there ever since. He works on everything from motorcycles to semis and knows how to keep them in top shape.

Wheel alignment info

Getting a wheel alignment is relatively quick and inexpensive. A skilled mechanic can do it in 30 to 60 minutes. There are some situations that take longer. For example, all-wheel drive and 4×4 vehicles are more work than two-wheel drive vehicles. It will also take more time if there are damaged parts. Even so, you won’t be without your vehicle for long.

Many drivers forget to schedule a car alignment. How often should I have a tire alignment performed? It all depends on your vehicle and how often you drive. Follow the suggested intervals in your manual. Your owner’s manual may not specify how often your tires should be repositioned. Take note of the circumstances that might cause your vehicle’s tires to need to be aligned more often. This is especially important if your car experiences sudden, powerful impacts, such as bumping into potholes or after an accident.

Wheel Alignment

What can go wrong 

New cars usually run smoothly. However, after a while, there are some design or mechanical problems that can arise. You can accomplish a wheel alignment quickly and without causing much of a disruption to your daily life.

Driving a vehicle that is not in good alignment can have serious consequences. If your tires and suspension systems are not adequately maintained, it can lead to problems such as a blowout. It can make each trip you take dangerous!

A wobbling steering wheel that pulls the vehicle sideways while driving on level roads is another issue that could arise. This could indicate damaged suspension or faulty brakes.

You can also cause exhaustion if the wheels stop responding to you. To drive straight, you will need to keep your hands on the wheel. Even a slight drift in any direction is an indication that you most likely need some alignment work done for your vehicle to continue operating safely and smoothly.

How Long Does a Wheel Alignment Take: Not Long at All!

Tire alignment can be one of the best ways for your tires to last as long as possible.

How Long Does a Wheel Alignment Take: Types of Alignments

Two-wheel alignment

When a mechanic adjusts only the front wheels, it is called a two-wheel alignment or a front-end alignment.

Rearranging the caster, toe, and camber may also be necessary.

This allows the front wheels to drive parallel to the vehicle’s centre.

While this is a simple modification, if your vehicle has a solid axle, you won’t need to do it.

A mechanic may also need to modify the thrust angle using a two-wheel alignment.

A mechanic can use this approach to determine if all four wheels are squared with each other. 

Four-wheel alignment

A four-wheel alignment, on the other hand, is when a mechanic rearranges all four wheels. This change is only required if your car is an AWD type with independent suspensions. The front toe and caster, as well as the rear toe and camber, are routinely adjusted as part of this procedure.

car getting its wheels aligned

When it takes longer

Many factors can affect the time it takes to align tires. It may take longer to align with different vehicles, depending on the vehicle type. Older vehicles may take longer to align. If parts are in poor condition, technicians may need to bring WD-40 and a torch to heat them or break them down. 

The expertise of the technician can speed up or slow down the process. They are difficult and time-consuming to do on your own. Let a certified technician do the work for you.