IMO, every 5k miles for an alignment would be excessive and unnecessary. The only time I would pay for an alignment check is if I hit a deep pothole hard enough to damage a wheel or tire and felt the car pulling to one side or if I were to notice any uneven tread wear. Otherwise, at $150-$200 for a properly performed 4-wheel alignment, it would be a waste of money. The only time in 13 years and four Audis that I had the alignment checked ($150 5 years ago) was after I had to replace a severely damaged wheel and it was to spec.
As to balancing, most any Audi service center has a Hunter Force Balencer these days. My dealer charges about the same as my local tire shops that have the machine, about $25 per wheel. It's key the machine be propely calibrated and the operator trained to do it right. I've been on both sides of that coin.
Last edited by snagitseven; 04-07-2014 at 01:37 PM.