Difference Between Front End & 4-Wheel Alignment

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Wheel alignment adjusts the wheel angles so that they are parallel to one another and to the ground. Proper wheel alignment and related maintenance is critical to keeping a vehicle in top condition. Wheel alignment is also important for safety reasons--poor alignment can result in issues regarding uneven tire wear and tracking, as well as create steering problems.

How Wheel Alignments Are Performed

Front-Wheel Alignment

  • Front wheel alignment service inspects and adjusts the alignment of the vehicle's front tires and axles. A car that regularly pulls to one side or has uneven tire wear indicates the need of a front-wheel alignment, especially when confirmed by a technician. As of 2010, front-end alignment can run approximately $30 to $70, depending on the company and location.

Four-Wheel Alignment

  • Four-wheel alignment inspects all tires, but technicians may perform it in two different ways. A wheel technician can inspect all four wheels but only service the two front wheels, or he can inspect and service all four wheels, which is known as a full four-wheel alignment. Full alignment services are more expensive than other types of alignment services because of the extensive work. As of 2010, this service can cost between $50 to $100 depending on the company and its location.

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