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  • FIRST POST
    • leitmotif
    • By leitmotif 7th Feb 18, 1:03 PM
    • 269Posts
    • 140Thanks
    leitmotif
    Tracking/alignment worth it?
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:03 PM
    Tracking/alignment worth it? 7th Feb 18 at 1:03 PM
    Hi all. My car just had it's MOT and the recommendation was that tracking needs to be done for the wheels, at a cost of £78. Having done a bit of research online, I've seen various opinions, ranging from 'best money I ever spent' to 'this is a well-known con'. Any thoughts?
Page 1
    • Inner Zone
    • By Inner Zone 7th Feb 18, 1:05 PM
    • 2,029 Posts
    • 1,112 Thanks
    Inner Zone
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:05 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:05 PM
    Two wheel, four wheel, car?
    • cb1979
    • By cb1979 7th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    • 199 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    cb1979
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    I take it the MOT station want to do the wheel alignment, £78 is far too much to pay, My local Tyre place do a proper 4 wheel alignment for £32.50 plus vat

    If you tyres are show a funny wear pattern or you have hit a kerb/pothole with one of the front wheels it will possibly need doing, Just find somewhere decent to do it...ie not Kwikfit
    • reeac
    • By reeac 7th Feb 18, 1:25 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 472 Thanks
    reeac
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:25 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 1:25 PM
    Most likely the MOT tester has observed uneven wear across the width of the tires although no sufficient to lead to a fail. This uneven wear can get expensive ... far more than the cost of wheel alignment.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 7th Feb 18, 3:01 PM
    • 2,232 Posts
    • 1,605 Thanks
    Tarambor
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 3:01 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 3:01 PM
    Hi all. My car just had it's MOT and the recommendation was that tracking needs to be done for the wheels, at a cost of £78. Having done a bit of research online, I've seen various opinions, ranging from 'best money I ever spent' to 'this is a well-known con'. Any thoughts?
    Originally posted by leitmotif
    If the tracking is out then you'll end up with abnormal tyre wear, usually with the inside or outside 25% of the tyre wearing far faster than the rest. In extreme cases it can be down to the chords rendering the tyre illegal with the rest of the tyre still having several millimetres of tread left. £78 for that kind of tracking is ridiculous, ATS charge £45.

    On my Mazda MX5 it has fully adjustable suspension front and rear so you can get an alignment done with specialists (usually motorsport, not Kwik-Fit, ATS or anyone like that) that will make it handle in very different ways depending on how you want it setting up, anything from doing long cruising down motorways and the like to setting up for racing tracks. Mine is currently set up for B road blasting and corners like you wouldn't believe but isn't the best on a motorway as it'll tramline more than it would if it was set up just for everyday use. Even with this specialist tracking at Roddisons Motorsport who are considered one of the top 3 for doing it on the MX5 I paid less than £50.
    • Crabman
    • By Crabman 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • 9,639 Posts
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    Crabman
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    Some places will let you view the current condition of the alignment (they'll have a system called Hunter alignment or similar) and then you can choose whether to go ahead.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com

    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 7th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • 432 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    I had alignment done and it was terrible afterwards. Now I just do my own; if the tyres wear on the outside, toe it out and vice -versa if they wear on the inside. My tyres last ages now with even wear and no pull to the side unlike when I paid for an alignment!

    I guess you can get good alignments if you know where to go and it isn't the saturday boy doing the job.
    • irc
    • By irc 7th Feb 18, 5:17 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    irc
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:17 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:17 PM
    How would they know? If they can point to uneven wear then possibly.

    If the tyres have worn evenly, the car doesn't pull to either side on a flat road, and you haven't kerbed it hard then I wouldn't bother.
    • leitmotif
    • By leitmotif 10th Feb 18, 1:11 PM
    • 269 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    leitmotif
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:11 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:11 PM
    Thanks for the advice, all. The MOT was done with an official Honda dealership. Still, the tyre report says there's 3mm of tread (78% wear) on outer, middle and inner for near-side and off-side front tyres and 6mm of tread (31% wear) on outer, middle and inner for near-side and off-side rear tyres. I'd call that even wear. I'll just stick to the £390 for the big service and £144 for the new front tyres. Don't need to be parting with an extra £78 for something that doesn't seem necessary.
    • Cgingell81
    • By Cgingell81 10th Feb 18, 1:45 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Cgingell81
    Run your hand along the tyre across the tread , not around the circumference. If it feels smooth in one direction and you feel raised edges moving your hand in the opposite direction then you have alignment issues. This is called feathering. It's hard to explain but you'll know if it's there.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 10th Feb 18, 2:56 PM
    • 6,494 Posts
    • 5,007 Thanks
    ohreally
    Run your hand along the tyre across the tread , not around the circumference. If it feels smooth in one direction and you feel raised edges moving your hand in the opposite direction then you have alignment issues. This is called feathering. It's hard to explain but you'll know if it's there.
    Originally posted by Cgingell81
    Many individuals seem unable to detect this even when hand holding them through it.
    • leitmotif
    • By leitmotif 10th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • 269 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    leitmotif
    Interesting. I had heard of the 20p check but not this. Will give it a go once the rain stops.
    • mansicklebobblebod
    • By mansicklebobblebod 10th Feb 18, 7:38 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    mansicklebobblebod
    I've just had the front lower arms replaced on my car so I've been shopping round for the cheapest tracking.

    try kwik fit, they said they do a free tracking check and if it needs adjusting it was £25.I eventually used another garage and it was £25.

    My car is handling much better now I've had it done,but then again, it was waaay out following the replacement parts.

    Things that can knock your tracking out are wear and tear,big impacts such as major pot hole,replacement running gear such as new ball joints,bushes,track control arms.

    The fact that Tracking (or alignment) may need to be adjusted is not a con, it is important to have your tracking set up right,as above,however,It is a con, if you're being told it needs doing when it doesn't.

    I'm sure there will be more than kwik fit who do a free alignment check.Do your home work as some vehicles have adjustability on all four corners,many vehicles just need the front wheels aligning so be sure they don't charge you for four wheel alignment when you only need two.
    hope that helps!
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 11th Feb 18, 2:51 AM
    • 2,232 Posts
    • 1,605 Thanks
    Tarambor
    Do your home work as some vehicles have adjustability on all four corners,many vehicles just need the front wheels aligning so be sure they don't charge you for four wheel alignment when you only need two.
    hope that helps!
    Originally posted by mansicklebobblebod
    You misunderstand what 4 wheel alignment is. It doesn't mean that they adjust all four wheels, it means that they make sure that the front wheels as well as being toed in or out correctly to each other are also lined up properly with the rear wheels so you don't end up with a car that crabs sideways down the road.
    • Noree
    • By Noree 14th Feb 18, 11:48 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Noree
    If your wear is not uneven and your steering is fine, then they are just trying to up-sale and get more money out of you. I used to work in a dealership and it has been the norm for years.

    Plus if it helps to know, when it comes to MOT and tyre standards, your primary grooves are to be measured ONLY and pass if 1.6mm or over. The rest of the tyre can be bold as long as cords are not on show or there are bulges etc.

    To slightly contradict myself, Id not run my own tyres below 3mm any time of the year!!
    Last edited by Noree; 15-02-2018 at 10:09 PM.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 15th Feb 18, 4:35 PM
    • 2,232 Posts
    • 1,605 Thanks
    Tarambor
    Plus if it helps to know, when it comes to MOT and tyre standards, your primary grooves are to be measured ONLY
    Originally posted by Noree
    Actually it is the middle 75% of the tyre to be correct.
    • Noree
    • By Noree 15th Feb 18, 9:37 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Noree
    Actually it is the middle 75% of the tyre to be correct.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    No. That is not correct.

    The only part of the tyre measured during an MOT are the primary grooves. Secondary cuts and sipes etc are designed to wear quicker and are not to be assessed for tread. This would be the rest of the tyre, basically.

    You can find it here at 4.1 E of the manual:
    https://www.mot-testing.service.gov.uk/documents/manuals/m4s04000107.htm

    Your primary grooves are within the centre three quarters. I doubt any tyre is made with a primary grove outside it. This is not something that I or any other person I know has ever seen.

    Other than the primary grooves (within centre three quarters), the rest of the tyre CAN be devoid of tread and should still pass an MOT. If not, then the tester is doing it wrong.

    Things are slightly different if the 1mm limit applies.
    Last edited by Noree; 15-02-2018 at 10:12 PM.
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