I was driving my car one day when I hit some debris in the road. After that, I noticed that my car would shake violently when I drove at interstate speeds. I knew that something changed and probably involved the alignment in my car, so I brought it in to Midas Muffler to have it checked out.
They took the car in and a man came over to me and asked me to follow him to the garage to look at something on my car. He showed me that my ball joints were bad, by pulling on the tire in various directions, to show the excessive movement. He recommended that all four ball joints be replaced, and possibly a tie rod as well. I was disappointed, because I was hoping for a simple alignment at minimal cost.
I chose not to have the work done, and instead got a second opinion, at a business that was recommended by a friend. It turned out, that my ball joints were fine, and that the shaking that I felt was due to the wheels being out of balance. They balanced them and the shaking stopped. $32.00 Bill, instead of the $900 plus quote that I got from Midas. I later told them that my car still pulled to the right, making me think that it still might need alignment, and they suggested that it could be the tires, and if they switched the front tires, the problem might self correct, or the pulling could switch to the other side. Instead of the car pulling to the left, after switching the tires, it now pulled to the right, proof the the problem was to the tires.
They told me that any time your car shakes, it due to a tire balance problem. And when it pulls to one side, it could be a tire, or an actual alignment problem. It pays to get a referral, from a friend, but to pays more to never bring you car to Midas.