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Old 07-08-2009, 06:44 AM   #1
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How often for an alignment?

How often are you guys going in for an alignment?

It seems like every 6 months my car gets out of alignment bad. Is it because of the H & R springs and crappy roads around Sac or is this normal?

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Old 07-08-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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I do it once a year and roads are crappy here too.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Mine doesn't seem to stay in alignment either. That or I can never get it properly aligned in the first place. One of the two.

I swear I could take it in for alignment once a quarter and still not be happy with it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
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I would think it's the roads, but I can't speak to the effect of your springs. I have the ROW M030 and get my 01 aligned about every 12-18 months or so. I haven't noticed any adverse tire wear before the alignment, and the specs on the before/after chart are mostly not that far off (toe was off quite a bit last time though) So I could probably wait longer, but I feel better and for some reason, not supported by the specs, it seems to drive better afterwards.

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Old 07-08-2009, 07:03 AM   #5
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I haven't had an alignment done since 2002 on my 01. Since then, I've gone thru many sets of tires, and even have sized up from 17in to 18in wheels/tires, but my steering wheel is still dead straight when I drive, and all my tires wear evenly. Pretty bad roads here in Northern NJ and NYC too.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:05 AM   #6
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There is no time or mileage spec. It's either aligned, or it isn't.

You can throw off the alignment very easily. Hit a curb, speedbump, pothole the wrong way and you can wreck your alignment a half block from the alignment shop.

Plus as your tires and suspension ages, it usually throw out the alignment too.

Annual alignment is normal for most people and will extend tire life and give good control and ride.

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Old 07-08-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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I do it when

my tire wear or driving feel tells me I need it. It has been 4 years and the tires are wearing true and there is no pull so I guess I'll wait again.

I have no special suspension mods nor do I hit potholes hard. I do go over speed bumps every trip.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses because I have often wondered this as well. I have another question related to alignments.

Can you go to an alignment shop & give them the proper alignment specs for your Boxster & expect to get it done properly or do you HAVE to go to a dealer/specialist & pay $400 - $500 for a laser alignment? Dealers are telling me that they are the only ones who can properly align the car. My tire shop is well known for setting up autocross & track vehicles & they say they charge about $70. I'm sure it's "slightly different" from what a dealership is doing but seriously... is a dealership alignment worth 7X's the price??? I can't imagine it is.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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Tires wear evenly and the car tracks straight so I've never done an alignment. Wouldn't mind some negative camber up front, but that will come later.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #10
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I would go to a shop that has high-end alignment equipment. Other than that there is nothing special about Porsche alignments. My local garage (who is very professional and honest) had no problems aligning the car and I asked for unusual (autocross) specs. Your local shop that does racing alignments for $70 is probably perfectly adequate. I would go there. If they do a crummy job you can always spend $4-500 at the dealer next week. If they do a good job you can buy a lot of beer for the $300+ you saved.

Having your car aligned every 6 months is an extreme frequency. I would like to know why. What makes you feel you need an alignment every 6 months? Does the car pull? Is the steering wheel no longer straight? Are the tires wearing unevenly?

There are only 3 reasons why you would need to do an alignment every 6 months:
1) You keep hitting curbs and/or large potholes
2) Various suspension bushings are worn and the car won't hold an alignment
3) Someone is selling you a bill of goods.

Last edited by renzop; 07-08-2009 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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The best alignments come from the mechanic who

sets up Boxsters for the race track. Boxsters so he knows the car. Racing because he knows what effects being on one edge or the other can have on handling/wear. Many alignment specs are not a hard number but specified as between this and that. This might give great handling but horrid tire wear. That might give the opposite. I use my car on public roads, value my $250+ each tires and don't race. So my Porsche racing mechanic set me up for best tire wear because the car and the tires combine to give me lots of handling without being on that ragged edge. It's been 4 years and my rears have 14k+ miles on them and look like they will comfortably go another 5k..and they are not tires known to go that far on most Boxsters.

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