I used the search function but couldn't really find the exact help I was looking for.
I have a 04 car with 117kmi on it,(115kmi when I bought it) that I purchased a year ago. I just mounted some new tires on it and took it to Schwab for an alignment. I was told the alignment couldn't be done because two wheel bearing were bad. Following a $450 estimate.
With that information I jacked the car up and push/pulled/tilted on the wheels with no excess movement. There are also no audible warning or howling going on when driving down the road. The only noise indicated when moving the wheels in the air is creaking from the upper strut on the driver side(which was replaced 3kmi ago) Both the old tires went bad early with the inner side of the tire going bald, assuming from replacing struts with no alignment.
I am wondering if I am being taken for a ride with these guys or is there another way to test if the hubs really are bad. I do all my own repairs and don't mind replacing parts, but I don't like throwing parts on a car that don't need replacing.
When a wheel bearing goes it gives a terrible growling sound!
It starts slowly, and first you only hear it when you turn the wheels, and then it gradually (in a year or so) gets noisier and noisier.
So yes, I think they are taking you on a ride!
If your old tire was worn evenly (assuming the tire pressure was correct) then you probably do not need alignment.
When I got new tires, they slapped the mirror disk (alignment sensor) onto the front wheels that even I could see it was crooked!
I declined the wheel alignment!
On the other hand, on my 05 with about 90kmi I already changed three front wheel bearings, the two originals, and one replacement (CarQuest premium). I disassembled the first bad bearing, it was dry. They probably saved one cent worth of grease!
This time I used Timken bearings, US made, hopefully it has a bit more grease in it, and will last a bit longer...
Good luck, Peter