How often should a Prius need an alignment?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by ForestBeekeeper, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. TwoUnderPar

    TwoUnderPar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    78
    72
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Yes, and I don't mean to speak out of turn... My experience is mainly with racecars. We always checked steering geometry throughout the entire range of anticipated suspension travel so the car doesn't steer itself in unpredictable ways through the corners and maintains the most tire contact patch. Sometimes the left front looks like \ and the right front looks like \ and we even put 1 degree negative camber in the right rear too. :D

    EDIT: Gen II uses a cam bolt to adjust caster. (?) I don't know what Gen III has.
     
  2. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    1,478
    1,522
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I believe so too, they use the camber kit to adjust the camber/caster. It adjust both I believe.
     
  3. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    1,403
    189
    0
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I never have had one in my life. If your car really needs one go to a place that will offer lifetime, that way you only pay once.
     
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  4. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,424
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    You are correct about the front suspension camber. The "Kit" is different offset bolts that are available in different offsets. There is no official caster adjustment. Unfortunately some dealers have told owners the front camber isn't adjustable even though the Toyota repair manual gives instruction how to do it and the parts department can order the parts.
     
  5. 2010PriusIII

    2010PriusIII Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    70
    25
    0
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Agree with earlier responses for a second opinion. Also, I bought a Lifetime Alignment from Firestone. It is a one time $175 cost. There is no set limit to how often you get your car aligned. They've been doing a good job on my Prius - car tracks fine and tires have even wear.
     
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  6. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    4,067
    686
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Traditionally I have gotten an alignment with every set of new tires. With this Prius I decided not to get any alignments as long as the car drove good and the tires wore evenly, unless of course I ran into something. I am at 76K miles on all kinds of roads and the car hasn't been aligned since it left the factory. The car still drives great and the tires are wearing evenly and at about the correct rate

    I agree that the OP should get a second (or third) opinion, this is just another dealer rip off.
     
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  7. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    1,478
    1,522
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I agree, if you want to pay for an alignment, go to firestone and get their lifetime alignment package. Great deal if you decide to keep your vehicle forever! :)
     
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  8. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    544
    218
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    We do get frost-heaves here. Cycling from frozen-ground to thawed-ground causes boulders and culverts to shift in position and lift up. We sometimes get rocks coming up through the pavement in the spring. As the warming continues logging trucks generally are able to pound most of them back down again. Culverts have a tendency to pop up out of the ground due to heaving, so road crews routinely replace culverts back into the ground.

    My Dw's previous commuter was an '09 Aveo, that we bought in '09. In '11 both rear shock absorbers snapped their upper mounts, punched up through the wheel wells, into the interior of her car. All from hitting frost heaves on her commute into work. At the time, it was 2 years old, under full warranty. The Chevy dealer said it was faulty Monroe shock mount-brackets. They fixed it, and bondo'ed the interior. My own mechanic said that the sway-bar was damaged, but to replace it required the next higher unit, which was the entire rear axle unit. We did not replace the axle, we sold the vehicle while it was still under warranty.



    As to this Prius; this week I swapped back to the summer tires [we run studded-tires in the winter]. I did not see any unusual wear patterns on the winter tires.

    The interstate is good road up here, flat, smooth and level. While driving on the interstate I routinely check for steering pull. This Prius does not pull. Also it hugs curves really well. I am familiar with driving vehicles around curves, that have bad alignments. To me, this vehicle has perfect alignment.

    On the other hand, I have a Ford F-150, that every time all four wheels are off the pavement [from hitting any of the frost heaves] will yaw to the left. At 35mph it will yaw about 10degrees. It seriously weirds-out on-coming traffic.



    Thanks for everyone's comments :)
     
  9. Pabliniboy

    Pabliniboy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    4
    2
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    There is no adjustment for caster or camber only for toe... I have done alignments before, working for body shops and I always said they should call it toe and go... Trucks do have camber adjustment lots of camber, but not caster... I worked for a body shop and we did not put camber kits.... In reality if you need a camber kit to pass alignment specs, something is bent, strut or strut tower if your caster is off
    Lower control arm.... Think about it guys
    Why a company will offer you a lifetime alignment when most shops are $75-$90
    Don't be surprise when they start telling you that you need some new parts in order to pass the alignment and that is how they make the $$$$$$$$$$ I live in Sacramento ca the roads are ok not to bad, my wife drives a 2000 toyota solara 280k the fifth set of tires install and I have not need or done a alignment, I do rotate
    The tires every 6000 milles when I do synthetic oil change ... I Hope this help so you can understand about wheel alignment...
     
    ASRDogman and ForestBeekeeper like this.
  10. Toyotally04

    Toyotally04 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    86
    10
    0
    Location:
    SoCal.
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Been searching on the Internet about alignment on Prius.

    Stumbled upon a BMW (or maybe it was Chevy) forum where they were discussing whether to use a dealer or a franchise like Firestone, supposedly because there's a difference in examination and treatment of the make and model of the many different car brands.

    What do you all think?
     
  11. Team_Geek

    Team_Geek Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2021
    39
    21
    0
    Location:
    MN
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    You can do an alignment with anything from string and a tape measures to lasers and a computer. Only way you’ll know is by asking what the shop uses and research that.

    The place I use got a new alignment machine about two years ago and he spent like $30k on it. Showed me how it worked when I asked. You might not get that kind of love at a dealership but it never hurts to ask!
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    43,502
    31,161
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Are the Toyota alignment specs and instructions behind a paywall for third-party alignment shops, or?
     
Loading...