Brake alignment


I have a 1998 Toyota Carolla with about 75k miles on it. I take it to Precision Tune Auto Care for my regular oil change and tire rotations. Every time I go, they always find one thing or another I'm supposed to fix, and I can never tell if they're lying. Recently, they've been telling me that I need to have my rear breaks aligned. The rear breaks were replaced about a year ago by my regular mechanic (that I trust very much). I called my regular mechanic about the alignment (I always check with them before believing PTAC), who said there's no such thing as a break alignment. However, PTAC reiterated the need at my most recent oil change. They said that the rear breaks were out of alignment, and showed me that the rear pads were far away from the wheel and the tire could spin (when the car was on lifts) when there should be resistance. They claim that not aligning them will add to the wear-and-tear on the front breaks. I tend to distrust them, because they have made other suggestions that were completely unnececssary, and my other research says that there are springs on breaks to keep the pads near enough to the wheels (and I really have no idea what "too far away" is anyway). Plus, my regular mechanic says it's not necessary (but they haven't seen the car since the brake job). Perhaps my regular mechanic just isn't understanding what a rear "alignment" is? Do I need to have something done to my rear breaks, or is this just another way for a commission-based PTAC to make a buck?

Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, June 19th, 2006 AT 9:18 PM

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