E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum

The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
Use this forum to discuss anything in relation to wheels to tires to offsets.
Sponsored by The Tire Rack

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
newtuner
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 153
My Ride: '04 330CI, M package
Can a regular tire shop do a proper alignment on a BMW?

Like the title says I'm wondering if a regular tire shop has the proper set up to do an alignment on BMWs. Of course they have all said they do, but I wanted to know or do I have to take it in to a dealership?
newtuner is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 04-28-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
jcns
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,546
My Ride: California
short answer, yes.
long answer, yes but find a reputable shop. Ask other BMW owners in your area, where they go.
Want to feel like you got raped with a 10 foot pole, go to the dealership.
The difference between dealer and reputable shop, 10 foot pole.
jcns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
Riverbmr3
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: H-town
Posts: 4,016
My Ride: slow 3
went to firestone for an alignment, they refused and told me to go to the stealer!
Riverbmr3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 03:21 PM   #4
mvrk10256
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 3,904
My Ride: E30 325i
Send a message via AIM to mvrk10256
as long as they do 4 wheel alignment (most modern places) it will be ok.
__________________
mvrk10256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
newtuner
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 153
My Ride: '04 330CI, M package
ok, there is an indy shop near my work that I might take it to. I was just wondering as the tire shop might give me a deal on the alignment when I buy all new tires.
newtuner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
BMWstudent
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 220
My Ride: hates potholes
The only time I've gotten an alignment that I wasn't happy with was Pepboys.
BMWstudent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 10:44 PM   #7
VECTOR
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: S Florida
Posts: 236
My Ride: 2004 330CI auto vert
We have Tire Kingdom down here and they do a fine job. They give you a print out and if you are not satisfied you can bring it back (forget how long) and they will do it again WITHOUT CHARGE.
i GET THE MULTI YEAR PLAN because if you are going to keep the car for any length of time, it saves you money.
VECTOR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
VMRWheels
Sponsor
 
VMRWheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 10,324
My Ride: 1:25 Scale Enzo
Send a message via AIM to VMRWheels Send a message via Yahoo to VMRWheels
Most independent alignment shops should be able to do the work. There is nothing different on a BMW vs. another manufacturer. Most alignment shops will have a database in which will include all OE specs for vehicles here in the U.S.

Before going to any random shop though, I do recommend asking for reviews and double checking their work.

-Charles@VMRWheels
__________________
Mitch @ VMR | Wheels
Tel: 714-442-7916 EXT 107 | Email: Mitch@velocitymotoring.com

Facebook! | Flickr! | Blog! | Instagram!
*** WINTER WHEEL/TIRE SALE!! ***
VMRWheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 12:33 PM   #9
TallTravel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: La Jolla, California
Posts: 212
My Ride: E46/2
When I first purchased my E46--from the original owner--I got new tires and an " alignment " from a very well regarded indy tire and alignment center in Tampa, Florida I asked if they knew the details of my car, and they said " Oh, yes, we align them all the time ". This reinforced the opinions of my friend, who had a BMW 3 series and a 5 series, all aligned at this same place through their entire life. They seemed to know what they were doing on the face of it.

Well, they put the car on their fancy machine and could not get it aligned. They blamed it on some sort of unknown " damage " to the front passenger side. They had great difficulty adjusting the camber, and I drove away with it out of alignment. Bottom line: they had the " specs " in their hand because they looked it up in their database. But could they align it? No, because they did not know how to adjust the camber.

Walk into the dealership and they said simply " a lot of the indy places do not know how to adjust the camber on a BMW." On my car at least (2001 330ci sport package) the camber adjustment is apparently above the tire, in the wheel well, and some indy shops don't know this.

I gave the project to the dealer and they showed me the print out--perfect alignment.

Indy: fail
Dealer: Perfect

The real answer came to me a while later, when I found out the guy who is the best alignment tech at the indy place was gone that day.....without him, no one there knew how to align my car properly.

Last edited by TallTravel; 04-29-2010 at 12:39 PM.
TallTravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
Kubica
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,421
My Ride: 2003 325xi
It's obvoiously all about the person doing it.

Make sure they ballast correctly- need 150lbs in each front seat, 150 in the rear center and 50 or so in the trunk.
Kubica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
Jahan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 24
My Ride: 2008 Corvette
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
It's obvoiously all about the person doing it.

Make sure they ballast correctly- need 150lbs in each front seat, 150 in the rear center and 50 or so in the trunk.
Only if that's how the car is driven most of the time. On the cars that I take to the track, I have them aligned with me sitting in the drivers seat and 1/2 tank of fuel.
Jahan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 02:05 AM   #12
Penguin Koolaid
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chitown
Posts: 6,701
My Ride: Inline Six
I have an indy shop I get some of my less intensive work done. They have a hunter road force balancing machine and state of the art laser alignment setup. It would be hard to guess by the appearance of the rest of the shop, and their typical clientele.

So it really depends on their setup. You never know.
Penguin Koolaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 08:13 PM   #13
WilliamLD
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chambersburg, PA.
Posts: 574
My Ride: 01' Bmw 330ci
Do you think these shops can adjust my rear camber arms as well? When I bought my suspension I also ordered the rear adjustable camber arms to dial it in more. The should be able to adjust this too right?
WilliamLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:19 PM   #14
mickey513
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: California
Posts: 1,024
My Ride: e46
From experience: NO

I used 3 Firestone, 2 Wheelworks (local chain), and Sears

NONE OF THESE PLACES could align the car properly. Every time I would have a problem, they will come up with all sorts of B.S. saying the sheets show it's in spec and yada yada yada. I threw away 2 perfectly good front tires when one of these Firestone told me "it was the front tires". Funny how they drove fine for over 30k miles until I came here.

I found a repair shop that specializes in BMW and they got the alignment correct the first time.
mickey513 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 09:10 PM   #15
Penguin Koolaid
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chitown
Posts: 6,701
My Ride: Inline Six
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey513 View Post
From experience: NO

I used 3 Firestone, 2 Wheelworks (local chain), and Sears

NONE OF THESE PLACES could align the car properly. Every time I would have a problem, they will come up with all sorts of B.S. saying the sheets show it's in spec and yada yada yada. I threw away 2 perfectly good front tires when one of these Firestone told me "it was the front tires". Funny how they drove fine for over 30k miles until I came here.

I found a repair shop that specializes in BMW and they got the alignment correct the first time.
Yea, I wouldn't go to a large chain that caters mostly to lower end domestics and imports. Some local indy shops that work on higher end cars and/or German vehicles would typically have the knowledge and equipment needed. Like I said, I go to a shop that has a top of the line laser alignment setup and they do a lot of work on BMW/Audi/Mercs.
Penguin Koolaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2010, 08:24 AM   #16
Leathers
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 17
My Ride: 2004 325xiT
How much has the dealer quoted? Is there a huge difference between dealer and indy for an alignment?
Leathers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 11:46 AM   #17
stoble
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 23
My Ride: 2004 325i
I need new tires and an alignment. So I've been looking at the recommended installers on tirerack.com in hopes that I could get my tires mounted and then get an alignment from the same shop. I called the 2 local recommended installers listed on TireRack and both told me to go to the dealership or a European shop. One guy said it's alot more complicated to do properly for a BMW and that their equipment wouldn't be able to do a sufficient job.

How much does the dealership charge? How much have u guys paid at indie European shops?

Edit: Checked a local European shop and they quoted $119.99 for a 4 wheel alignment.

Last edited by stoble; 08-01-2010 at 12:09 AM. Reason: New info
stoble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #18
zx5rider
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,326
My Ride: 03 M3 , 03 TT 330,
Send a message via AIM to zx5rider
I'm not saying they can't but alot of them will refuse to........and if its lowered deff not......
__________________


'03 330 Technique Tuning Stage 2 Turbo. (Parting out)
'03 M3
'11 BMW s1000rr
zx5rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use