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Q: wheel alignment on 2002 Mercedes-Benz S430

after getting new tires and rotate/balance,how do you know when your vehicle needs a front wheel alignment only
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Checking and adjusting your wheel alignment as necessary after having your tires replaced is always a good idea. As you know, your tires are a fairly decent investment price-wise, and having them wear prematurely due to something truly preventable is never good. Consider it kind of an "insurance" to at least start the tires on the right track. Now, you also should regularly check your wheel alignment - at least once a year or maybe every 15,000 - 20,000 miles, as the angles can go out while driving at any time, due to road conditions, etc.
Other than just doing as preventive maintenance, things to look for suggesting a need for an alignment check:

-Is your steering wheel straight, or is it off center when driviing straight?
-When driving down a flat, straight road, does the car drift to one side with your hands off the wheel? (Caution: do not really "let go" of the wheel, as control is obviously VITAL!)
-How did your old tires look? Did they wear evenly? Were they choppy? Were they worn on on side or the other?

Steering off center, drifting, and tire wear that is not even are good indicators of needing an alignment check. Hope this helps!
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