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I own a 2012 Frontier with about 86,000 miles on it. I believe I need an alignment because of some symptoms I've noticed. Firestone repair shop told me that they have to buy some extra part because of the way Nissan cut corners on the Frontier and it would cost about $450 to do the alignment. That sounds fishy to me. Does anyone know what he's talking about? One more thing. Because of the trucks rear axle, the Frontier only needs a front end alignment, right? You can't do a 4 wheel alignment on this vehicle?
 

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I own a 2012 Frontier with about 86,000 miles on it. I believe I need an alignment because of some symptoms I've noticed. Firestone repair shop told me that they have to buy some extra part because of the way Nissan cut corners on the Frontier and it would cost about $450 to do the alignment. That sounds fishy to me. Does anyone know what he's talking about? One more thing. Because of the trucks rear axle, the Frontier only needs a front end alignment, right? You can't do a 4 wheel alignment on this vehicle?
No rear alignment adjustments avail on the fronty.
You will need to replace the LCA mounting bolts with adjustable cam bolts in order to make adjustments. That's what they're talking about. Still, 450 seems pretty steep. Talk to some other local alignment shops if it's not something you are comfortable installing yourself.
 

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Is your truck lifted? You could also choose to have an alignment check first, and if toe is the only thing off then don't bother with can bolts. What signs of misalignment are you seeing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies guys! No, my truck is not lifted. As for the symptoms, the steering wheel seems to be a little off center, especially at highway speeds. Also, the ride seems to be much rougher than it used to be with a slight vibration. I realize that I might also need new struts, or tire balancing, or something else...but it's never had an alignment so I figured it was about time.

Of course, as you can probably tell, I'm not a mechanic. Not even a shadetree mechanic.
 

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$450 for an alignment? Too steep, even if they have to install LCA camber bolts (if your truck doesn't have them).

I'd recommend to visit a different alignment shop and see what they say. If you do need camber bolts, don't buy them through the alignment shop - buy them yourself before getting the actual alignment, save some $. Camber bolt kits will run you from $30-$80 depending on if you get aftermarket or OEM Nissan. A good shop will install the camber bolts for you as part of the alignment process (bring them yourself).
 

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NTB is a good place for the check after doing suspension work I went there after putting in the 5100 bilstiens in front gave me printout with the specs and where it was sittin no charge
 

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So it might cost that much. It is very common for the lower control arm bolts to be seized on locked in with corrosion. If they are, they must be cut out and the lower control arms replaced. My 2012 with only 20k miles has 2 frozen bolts. The dealer quoted me $350 before they knew the LCAs would need replacing. So ask them if the $450 includes LCAs or just camber bolts.
 

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I've known several people who've worked at firestone, Goodyear etc.. shops. They have all said the same thing, the more money they get you to spend, the more $$ they make as they also get commission. That price is a total ripoff. I would go someplace else and file a complaint with the bbb for suspicious sales and work practices. My alignment cost $80.
 

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So it might cost that much. It is very common for the lower control arm bolts to be seized on locked in with corrosion. If they are, they must be cut out and the lower control arms replaced. My 2012 with only 20k miles has 2 frozen bolts. The dealer quoted me $350 before they knew the LCAs would need replacing. So ask them if the $450 includes LCAs or just camber
bolts.
OP said they said they have to buy som extra part. If those are their words, then it's obvious they are dishonest. They woukd have given him a printout with exactly what parts are needed with prive and the labor fee. His truck is not lifted, no reason he should need cam bolts!
 

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So if my truck is not lifted (which it isn't), there is no need for the camber bolts? If this is true, then I really don't trust what the guy told me. By the way, I didn't get a written estimate. I had the truck there to replace a dead battery. When I picked up my truck, I asked the guy how much an alignment would cost. He looked some stuff up on his system, then told me that it would be about $450 because of the extra part they had to buy to do an alignment on a Nissan Frontier. That's when I decided to do some research on the Internet and found this forum. By the way, thanks again to all you guys for the info and advice.

I guess I'll take the truck to NTB this weekend and get a second opinion. Now that I'm more informed, I should be able to get a straight answer.
 

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I've known several people who've worked at firestone, Goodyear etc.. shops. They have all said the same thing, the more money they get you to spend, the more $$ they make as they also get commission. That price is a total ripoff. I would go someplace else and file a complaint with the bbb for suspicious sales and work practices. My alignment cost $80.

^^^What he said!!!

Firestone has a horrid reputation for overpriced, shoddy work.

As has already been suggested, find a decent alignment shop instead.

(BTW, a lot of car repair shops actually drive their customer's vehicles to an alignment shop to do the work. They get a discount, and they usually charge their customers considerably more than it would cost if the customer had taken his vehicld directly to the alignment shop in the first place.)
 

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So if my truck is not lifted (which it isn't), there is no need for the camber bolts? If this is true, then I really don't trust what the guy told me. By the way, I didn't get a written estimate. I had the truck there to replace a dead battery. When I picked up my truck, I asked the guy how much an alignment would cost. He looked some stuff up on his system, then told me that it would be about $450 because of the extra part they had to buy to do an alignment on a Nissan Frontier. That's when I decided to do some research on the Internet and found this forum. By the way, thanks again to all you guys for the info and advice.

I guess I'll take the truck to NTB this weekend and get a second opinion. Now that I'm more informed, I should be able to get a straight answer.
Even if your truck is not lifted, you may still need a caster/camber kit if those measurements are not in-spec and you have "regular" control arm bolts from the factory. If you need them, get them from Nissan because they are much better than the aftermarket kits. Nissan doesn't really sell a "kit," but each piece individually. Each control arm will need two eccentric bolts, two eccentric washers and two nuts.
Just because the rear is not adjustable, it is still recommended to do a four-wheel alignment because the aligner will take into consideration the "thrust angle" when making adjustment to the front.
 

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Yeah - lift or no lift, suspension can get out of alignment. Even bone stock cars need alignments every now and then. Also, even if the rear end is a straight axle, that doesn't mean it's always going to sit straight (in relation to the front wheels). Once you disturb the rear end suspension by taking it apart and modding it (installing blocks, AAL, full leaf, even just angle shims) you moved the rear wheel positions relative to the front wheels. A proper "full" alignment takes care of the small differences.

And I agree with @smj999smj - the OEM Nissan camber bolts are much better than the cheaper 1/2-cut aftermarket versions. This is where I bought them from (price went up a little, but I bought mine 2 years ago): Genuine Nissan Xterra Adjustable Camber Bolts (says Xterra, but it's the same parts for the Frontier)

They sell the whole "camber kit" as a set, that's where I bought mine awhile back after pricing it out at a local dealer that wanted to charge me $130 and tax for the same parts.



Aftermarket kits usually use a flat spotted washer and a 1/2-cut bolt, where as the OEM Nissan eccentric washers ride in a slot in the bolt that makes adjustment more accurate. Personally I'd recommend to pay a bit more for the OEM Nissan I'm sure someone will chime in with their own "yeah but I have aftermarket camber bolts and have had no problems" now that I said that (LOL) but here's a pic showing what I was describing, so you can pick for yourself what you'd rather put in your truck... left is aftermarket, right is OEM Nissan (not my photo): https://imgur.com/a/pfVmj
 

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One of the issues with the aftermarket caster/camber kits is that since the eccentric near the head of the bolt is a separate piece and not a part of the bolt, the adjustment tends to go out of spec when tightening the nut. That little play between the bolt and the washer makes a big difference when your measurements are in tenths of a degree!
 

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"Yeah but I have aftermarket camber bolts and have had no problems"

Had to put it in there sorry raine lol

I agree totally there are pics floating around that I've seen showing the deformation of some of these aftermarket eccentrics after their first alignment and ratcheting down the nut you can see the bolt actually biting into the eccentric on bolt head an nut side making any future alignment adjustments futile and replacing them again I guess

With Firestone if you read on their lifetime alignment agreement they wont accept any aftermarket work done ie the aftrmarket Bilstiens the UCA anything that changes your alignment so I'm guessing it is YMMV on shop you go to I have always had a one from Firestone but was wary of purchasing it for the Frontier
 

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Took my 2015 Desert Runner Crew Cab with 27k+ miles into my local suspension shop for an alignment. A few minutes in their garage and on their machine they rolled it back out. My advisor told me everything is in spec and I asked how much I owed them and he said zero. They had quite a few lifted trucks in their parking lot. They seemed very trustworthy. I'll be doing business with them from here on out.
 

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So none of our trucks come with these? or some already come with them? interesting that they just don't all already come with them.
 
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