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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the Raleigh - Durham NC area. For the most part, roads are okay but there are a few gnarly spots that I now know to avoid on my daily commute.
Twice now I've hit a pot hole that was definitely jarring but not the "oh god something just broke" kind of bumps where you know you're in trouble. 1st was around 15k miles, car was pulling a little bit, dealership confirmed that I needed an alignment. 2nd, similar kind of medium intensity pothole but it was immediately clear the car was pulling to the left and had a lot of play in steering over minor bumps. Sure enough, took it in (Now at 35K miles) and needed an alignment. (Back wheels pigeon toeing)

My question is this: How often are people needing alignments on this car? These bumps don't seem like the kind of jarring "oh god what did I just hit" bumps that should totally wreck an alignment on this car. My previous Mazda 3 that was very low to the ground with a similar tire profile never had alignment issues over similar road conditions.

And before anyone asks, no, I'm not jumping curbs; just general city driving on sometimes poorly maintained roads.
 

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20,000 miles on a '16 ST and I haven't needed one yet. If I lived where I used to live I would have probably needed one by now, because the streets were horrible.
 

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I run my car harder than most, and put a lot of miles on it. I usually have it checked once a year, which is about 35k miles of driving. Any suspension modification or adjustment, you should have it realigned. If you feel like it's pulling in one direction or something is funky, get it checked. Or if your tires have uneven wear. But other than that, I'd stick with 50k intervals.
 

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I've changed lots of different suspension things over the last couple years and tried to get them more often. The firestone's near me had lifetime alignment, which cost the same as like two singles. However, they are now on my dislike list as they updated their equipment to use wheel sensors that mount to the tires vs the rim. So my lowered car and wheel/tire combo is too low and too close to my fenders to use their equipment.

Generally unless you are changing key suspension parts , your alignment shouldnt change too much. Just keep an eye on your tire wear and rotate your tires regularly
 

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Not yet, but I did get it checked somewhere probably around 60k due to strange tire wear with a set of Continentals. Turned out to be fine and the several sets of tires since have worn normally. I'm in New England, 140k. My 2012 SE had just over 200k and never needed one. Only times I've ever had any car aligned was for steering part replacements that made it necessary. Even when I hit a set of uncovered railroad tracks at about 50 mph in a Subaru GL and bent the trailing rod from the control arm, it was still in spec once the rod was bent back and reinstalled. I know a lot of people who drive with far less rigor and for less miles than I do who have needed alignments from potholes. Not sure what I'm doing differently, though I think not having my foot on the brake upon impact might be a help distribute the force of the blow better. Don't know what else it could be.
 

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I've done mine each time I put on new tires and it wasn't very far out either time. Tires wearing evenly across minus some minor inner feathering which I chalk up to a characteristic of low profile tires. So roughly every 35k miles.
 

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My ST's alignment is holding up pretty good as evidenced by the even wears of all 4 tires @37k miles. Now the rear driver side alignment was off by 1/32 @ 20k miles and making noises that I thought the rear wheel bearing was bad. So if you see any uneven tire wears then have it check.
 
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