Frt. end alignment is the same as frt. wheel alignment. Your car possibly has adjustments to align all 4 wheels. I'm guessing you have 20,000mi. on the car. I personally wouldn't have it done unless you've hit something or are noting tire wear. I doubt the manual say alignment at 20k, I'd bet it says tire rotation. I would definetly rotate the tires, check air pressure and tire wear along with checking brake wear.
didn't say it, but a check list from the garage did. Every 20,000 miles. Thank you so much for your answer...I will just skip it then. I get the tires rotated once a year. They don't show any wear or uneven wear yet.
The Focus is a front wheel drive vehicle which means if the alignment is off it would cause more problems than a rear wheel drive car would have. Check your tire wear. If the wear is even all the way across and on both tires all is well. If the wear is more obvious on one side or the other (both sides showing wear means under inflation, center wear is from over inflation) then you need an alignment.
Of course the gargae wants to sell you an alignment every 20k miles. And they'll probably just put it on the rack and check the toe, most tire shop type places won't touch camber and caster anymore, or if they do they will just bill the labor by the hour.
Personally I have usually only aligned cars when I believed the alignment was off for some reason, either a pull, uneven tire wear, or I replaced some front end parts. When I completely rebuilt the front end on my caprice the only shop I found that would do a camber/caster alignment on the front end which is a shim alignment on that car was the Chevy dealer.
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