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Should I be suspicious about wheel alignment checks?

When I recently bought a new set of tyres I was offered a free alignment check which I was told showed that my wheels were out by a couple of degrees. To re-align them would be £30. Exactly the same thing happened when I last bought a set of tyres. Since I last had it checked nothing has happened to upset the alignment such as being involved in an accident, kerbing the wheels or even hitting a deep pothole. The car shows no signs of misaligned wheels; it does not drift off line on a straight level road and the previous set of tyres wore perfectly evenly. Could it be that tyre distributors are trying to increase their profits by advising customers that they need to pay for wheel alignment when it is not necessary?

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Just jacking a car up with trolley jacks can send the wheels out of alignment. But if the entire car is raised on a four point chassis hoist this should not happen. So, if you are suspicious, run the car for a while and check the tyres for signs of scuffing or uneven wear. If anything indicates the need for an alignment, then have one.
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