Alignment: Murphy Law Happens

i hereaby already grant the approximate $50 TO $100 alignments are better than skipping
because i suppose they're indeed generally cost effective
aligned and balanced tires do eventually hit potholes and curbs
i'm sure it happens to all, especially in new jersey during a bad winter or perhaps a flood
the tire shop may guarantee the alignment for 30 days to whenever
have you had trouble with that so called "lifetime guarantee"--do they generally really work, or expected b.s.
so do you generally buy routine alignments with the routine balancing
I stopped getting aligned sometime in the previous century
because, whether I would expend for Michelin or cheaper, an alignment had SEEMed to be futile
i may even grudgingly accept knowledgeable advice
recently, I bought a spare, a 60,000 mile Nexen for my wife's 2004 X, not a bad car btw, wife simultaneously driving it elsewhere
the mechanic wanted to know "directional" preference, and i am ignorant if not a flabbergasted camper in the waiting area
i had thought the only existential issue could be about whether to show the black or white side
the apparently good value nexen is apparently also made in korea
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Robert Cohen wrote:

I don't. Never have. When it starts pulling or wearing unevenly, I get an alignment. So far thats been every three years. Tires only last three years anyways. I don't get routine balancing either. They only get out of balance/round when the tire or wheel/suspension gets damaged.
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On Sat, 15 Dec 2012 12:05:22 -0600, Paul in Houston TX

My experience also. If the tires are wearing evenly, I see no reason for an alignment. If the car pulls or shows odd wear, by all means, get it done.
I do find that rotation helps. On FWD cars, the rears often get choppy if never rotated and give a poor and noisy ride even if there is plenty of tread left.
It takes a bigger bite from the wallet, but I prefer buying four new tires than getting two now, two later. From experience, you don't get the ride improvement that you get by replacing all four as those rear tires get scalloped edges. You can figure about 35,000 to 40,000 miles so put a few bucks away as you go and get a great ride on new tires.
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