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Starting a wheel alignment shop

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Being a non-skilled and non experienced in the car repair industry I came here asking for help from the pro's. I'm looking to (dreaming to) start a shop that do only wheel alignment testing and adjustment. For what I understand is that the testing/adjustment does not required long training, some places offered one day training or so.


I have a few questions that require your knowledge and opinions.


1. From the business point-of-view would it make any sense to start the wheel alignment shop? I mean would it be possible to make a living for myself by doing so?


2. What computerized alignment manufacturer do you recommend? At the moment, I'm attracted to Hunter Hawkeye Elite but not so much of its' price.


3. Can you suggest reputable businesses that do the alignment?


BTW, I'm from northern Europe. :)


Thank you very much for your time and inputs.

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Do you mean it's difficult to make a living by doing only wheel alignment in the US? If so, then it would be also difficult in my area because there are way more cars in the US then anywhere else.


The average pricing in my area is 50 USD for the testing and 120 USD for the testing and basic alignment. It takes 15-30 min per car to do the basic adjustment. So if I manage to do four car a day, I would survive but readings from threads here. It seems like most shops are doing 6-9 per week. It would be interested to know why that little. Is it because lack of marketing or simply not enough wheel alignment customers or some other reason.

Edited by benfin
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This is an interesting question, since I am doing it already.


I have an alignment shop in Brownsville, TX and it's difficult to sell alignments only. As it is, it's hard to get traffic even though we offer multiple services and we're next to the a main highway. We do suspension work, brakes, alignments, balance tires, oil changes.


You have to do more than just Alignments.


There's only 2 of us. I do the administrative, sales and find parts and the other person is the Mechanic that does the work.


Everything goes well until we have 2 or 3 clients at the same time, then I become the mechanic too.


Here's something that I am still trying to figure out, and I suggest you ask yourself the same question.


"What's the unique thing/service of your business?"


"Why is it that people would want to come and do Alignments with you?"



I believe the success of the business will be the uniqueness and I am sure there are other shops around the area doing Alignments too.



In my business plan, I considered one year to build the clientele and then we move to the next step, hire another mechanic that does diesel work. He would be in charge of the commercial size trucks.


So far we have done good but what really makes the money is the suspension work and engine work.



Hopefully this helps

Edited by juanpablo4219
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The thing is I don't have enough patience to sit in the school for two years to learn to become a technician. I'm finishing my BBA degree, so I'm not looking to go back to school anytime soon. ;)


I have chosen a location for the wheel alignment shop where it's quitte close to the 100k cars traffic passing by daily. So, I do hope to get some of them to become my customer but the most important thing is how to reach them. I will do more research and the business plan to see the forecast.


Does any have use Hofmann before? The Geoliner 790 is about 2700 USD cheaper than the Elite. Every cent counts...


Hofmann Geoliner 790 (20 000 eur) vs Hunter Hawkeye Elite (22 000 eur)
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I have an alignment rack and don't utilize it fully, but I know what it takes to do so. You need a newer alignment machine that can give an alignment reading on any car in one minute, and offer that service for free. The Hawkeye Elite is $24k for the machine plus $20k for the rack. A "free alignment check" can alert a customer to a tire wearing issue and after that it's an easy $69.99 sell or whatever your market standard is. It's easier to sell the "free" check after they just bought 4 new tires so sell tires or set up next to a Big Tire store that doesn't offer alignments. You will need a full time skilled alignment guy to do the actual alignment. A good guy can do 10 alignments a day if all goes smooth so if you can survive off of $699.99 a day gross revenue you got it made. Personally I don't think that's enough to pay the bills but your results may vary. Another factor to consider is if any steering component is worn the alignment can't be done, so you'll need a mechanic to change the parts while the alignment guy is doing the next one or send them to the local mechanic to have the repairs done. We do alignments to save the time of farming out the job after we do front end work, that's about it. We do them with tire installs too but there's only so many hours in the day and our machine is from the 90's.

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