No, Walmart does not currently offer wheel alignment services in their Auto Care Centers as of 2022. While they provide many convenient and affordable car maintenance options, wheel alignments are not one of those services.
If your vehicle is pulling to one side or the steering wheel is off center, you‘ll need to visit specialized alignment shops like Mr. Tire, Big O Tires, and similar auto service chains to have your wheels properly realigned.
Below I’ll explain when alignments are needed, where to get them done, what‘s involved in the process, and more – from the perspective of an experienced Amazon FBA seller.
Having logged thousands of miles delivering FBA shipments, proper alignments on my vehicles have been critical for safety, controlling tire wear, and minimizing repairs.
Read on for a complete guide on wheel alignments and why Walmart isn’t the place for this essential maintenance need.
Table of Contents
- What is a Wheel Alignment?
- When Do You Need an Alignment?
- Risks of Skipping Alignments
- DIY vs Professional Alignment
- Where to Get Alignments Done
- What Does an Alignment Include?
- Cost of Alignments: How Much?
- Other Auto Services at Walmart
- Booking Appointments at Walmart
- Conclusion: Visit Alignment Specialists
What is a Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment (also called frontend alignment) refers to adjusting the angles of your vehicle‘s wheels so they are positioned correctly relative to each other and the road surface.
It‘s an essential part of routine car maintenance that has a big impact on steering control, handling, tire wear, and safety.
Alignments require special machines and expertise to complete. Technicians use laser alignment systems and sensors to measure wheel angles and make tiny adjustments until they are within the vehicle manufacturer‘s specifications.
Even though your wheels may look straight, they can be a degree or two off. Regular alignments correct this.
When Do You Need an Alignment?
Here are some signs it‘s time to get your wheels aligned:
- Vehicle pulls left or right as you drive straight
- Steering wheel is crooked while wheels are straight
- Inside or outside tire edges wear excessively
- Tires make uneven skidding noises when cornering
- New tires or suspension parts installed
- Hitting potholes or curbs frequently
Experts typically recommend alignments every 10,000-15,000 miles or annually. For FBA delivery drivers and frequent highway travelers, more frequent alignments help maximize tire life and prevent costly repairs.
Risks of Skipping Alignments
Driving with misaligned wheels can lead to these problems:
Uneven tire wear – Misalignments cause tires to wear along the edges rather than evenly across the tread. This shortens their lifespan significantly.
Poor handling – Your vehicle will pull and wander instead of driving straight. This makes controlling the vehicle more difficult.
Reduced safety – With uneven wear and steering issues, your car is less safe to operate, especially at highway speeds. This increases accident risk.
Increased repairs – Besides wearing out tires faster, misaligned wheels strain the entire suspension system, leading to more repairs.
Lower fuel economy – The added drag of misaligned wheels reduces MPG by up to 10%, costing more in fuel expenses.
Regular alignments help avoid these problems and extend the life of your tires and vehicle.
DIY vs Professional Alignment
Some auto enthusiasts attempt do-it-yourself alignments using specialty tools. While possible, DIY alignments are difficult and usually can‘t achieve the precision of professional shops.
The advantages of having alignments done professionally include:
Advanced equipment – Shops have high-tech alignment racks and tools the average DIYer lacks. This allows for more precise adjustments.
Expert service – Technicians are trained specifically in alignments and can diagnose and adjust issues precisely.
Manufacturer specs – Shops have access to factory alignment specifications for your make/model and can reset them correctly.
Efficiency – A professional can complete alignments much faster than attempting them yourself.
Warranties – Most shops offer warranties on alignments for peace of mind.
Unless you have advanced equipment and automotive experience, visiting a professional alignment shop is highly recommended for the best results.
Where to Get Alignments Done
Since Walmart does not offer alignment services, here are some reputable alignment shops to visit instead:
Mr. Tire – With over 200 locations across 30 states, Mr. Tire is a leading choice for affordable and reliable alignments, starting around $50.
Big O Tires – Another major chain with nearly 400 locations nationwide. Competitive pricing and frequent promos available.
Firestone – Most Firestone stores can align your wheels while you wait in 1-2 hours typically.
Goodyear – Goodyear auto service centers include alignments with many new tire purchases.
Sears Auto – Sears technicians service alignments at reasonable rates, with coupons sometimes available.
Local shops – Many independent alignment specialists offer this service for a fair price, averaging $50-$75.
I recommend calling ahead to compare prices and service wait times. Many shops allow you to book alignments online as well for convenience.
What Does an Alignment Include?
A standard 2-wheel or 4-wheel alignment service includes:
Testing and measuring your current alignment angles with computerized sensors
Adjusting front camber, caster, and toe as needed per manufacturer specs
Re-testing and fine-tuning adjustments
Inspecting steering/suspension components
Providing before/after printouts showing alignment readings
Additional adjustments may be recommended based on issues found, increasing cost. You can approve any extra service recommended.
Here is a typical alignment price breakdown by service:
|Alignment Service||Average Cost|
Prices will vary by location and vehicle
Cost of Alignments: How Much?
The typical price range for standard alignments is $50-$100 at most national chains and local shops. Here are some factors that affect overall cost:
- Number of wheels aligned – 2 vs 4
- Vehicle make, model, and age
- Location and shop overhead costs
- Coupons, discounts, and current promotions
- Additional adjustments needed
- Diagnostic fees if issues are found
You can often save money by:
- Getting alignments when buying new tires
- Signing up for loyalty programs
- Checking retailers for coupons
- Avoiding luxury/Import vehicles
Proper alignment is a small investment that pays off through extended tire life, optimized handling, and safer driving. For FBA sellers and frequent drivers especially, don’t neglect this essential maintenance!
Other Auto Services at Walmart
Alongside batteries, tires, and parts, Walmart Auto Care Centers offer these convenient maintenance services:
- Oil changes – $19.88-$49.88
- Tire rotation – $2.50 per tire
- Flat repair – $15 per tire
- Tire mounting – $5-$10 per tire
- Lifetime rotation/balance – $14 per tire
- Wiper blade install – $3-$5
Walmart technicians can perform basic repairs like bulb and fuse replacement too. Their everyday low pricing makes Walmart a budget-friendly option for many services.
However, specialized jobs like wheel alignments require expensive equipment that Walmart locations lack currently. They can change your oil or tires affordably, just not alignments.
Booking Appointments at Walmart
While you can’t book alignment appointments at Walmart, you can schedule other auto services in a few convenient ways:
Find your nearest Walmart via their Store Finder and confirm it has an Auto Care Center.
Call the number listed for that store‘s auto center and explain the type of service needed to schedule a day and time.
When ordering tires online from Walmart, add installation to your cart and pick an appointment time.
For most routine jobs like oil changes, just drive up without an appointment and a technician will assist you.
Consider the Walmart+ membership for free oil changes and discounted tire repairs.
So for wheel alignments specifically, Walmart is not an option currently. But for loads of other essential car care needs, their Auto Centers provide solid service at everyday low prices.
Conclusion: Visit Alignment Specialists
Having your wheels properly aligned is vital for optimal tire wear, fuel economy, handling, and safety. Misaligned wheels can lead to expensive repairs and put you at risk on the road.
While Walmart Auto Centers provide many affordable maintenance services, wheel alignments are not something they offer in 2022.
Instead, you‘ll need to visit one of the major alignment chains such as Mr. Tire, Big O Tires, Firestone, or Goodyear to have your wheels adjusted to the factory specifications.
The average cost for 2- or 4-wheel alignments is $50-$100 at most shops. I recommend getting this done yearly or every 10,000-15,000 miles. It‘s inexpensive protection against uneven tire wear, steering issues, and alignment-related repairs.
As an avid FBA seller and road tripper, proper wheel alignments keep me and my vehicles safe and running smoothly for the long haul. Don‘t neglect this important service – just get it done somewhere besides Walmart!