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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > when to get alignment?



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      02-21-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
michaelalex17
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when to get alignment?

hello. when you switch your wheels like going from summer to winter setup or the other way around i know its good to get an alignment. when i was getting them put on the guy said he wanted to do the alignment with the wheel install? i was curious if your supposed to do it then or are you supposed to wait a week or so for the car to settle before doing the alignment? thanks
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      02-21-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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you dont need to realign when changing wheels.
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      02-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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He lives in NY, the amount of potholes in this area make it essentially a requirement to get frequent alignments. Although not required as part of any wheel/tire change, it is a good idea to inspect the winter tires for any abnormal wear and if needed do your alignment before you destroy the summer tires too.
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      02-22-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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Looking at your tire tread is a surefire way of determining whether you need alignment. Tread depth meters are inexpensive - pick one up. Visual inspection of the tread itself is another way - if the rubber looks like it is being worn abnormally in a particular direction - you need alignment.

But yes - there's certainly no need to realign when changing wheels ...
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      02-22-2012, 01:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
Looking at your tire tread is a surefire way of determining whether you need alignment.
Actually, it's not.

BMWs and most rear wheel drive performance cars come with a lot of negative camber in the rear. Almost ALL of my BMWs have had the inside rear worn out long before the outside is past 50% worn. If you were to go by BMW's recommended alignment specs, you will almost always get uneven wear on both the front and/or the rear, depending on your driving style.

The real answer to the OP's question, on when to get an alignment, is when you NEED an alignment. Meaning whenever your suspension components have been changed dramatically, like a lowering spring or replacing a control arm. Or whenever you feel the vehicle pull one way or another consistently on flat surfaces, especially if it pulls LEFT. Or when the car goes straight and the steering wheel is cocked significantly. Those are signs that alignment is off. Or when one tire on an axle shows different wear than the other wheel on the same axle.
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      02-22-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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ok thank you. if my winters are 18's and my summers are 19's would that effect if i should wait for the car to settle before an alignment?
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