four-wheel

4 Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignment – it’s important!

You may have noticed our roads are full of potholes and speed bumps and it is sometimes impossible to avoid them; they cause wear and tear and damage to your tyres, suspension and frequently knock out the correct alignment of your wheels.

You should have your wheel alignment checked if you are experiencing uneven tyre wear, pulling to the left or right, poor handling or your steering wheel is off-center, also when any steering or suspension component has been changed.

Pricing

Having your alignment check with us will save you up to 50% on the dealer price of the recommended alignment!

Laser wheel alignment :

Front wheels £60 

Four wheel alignment £90

This includes all adjustable front/rear end settings to within manufacturers range. Most Merc BMW & Audi have front and rear adjustment.

Please note additional charges may be applied when suspension components are seized and require work to free up and make adjustable.

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Benefits are:-

Reduced Tyre Wear

Tyres are increasingly expensive and improper wheel alignment is a major cause of premature tyre wear. You can easily loss 30% off the life of each tyre.

Improves Fuel Consumption

Fuel only seems to go up in price; improper wheel alignment increases the rolling resistance of your car which in turn significantly increases your cars fuel consumption. Correct wheel alignment sets all four wheels straight which, along with proper tyre inflation, minimizes rolling resistance and increases your MPG.

Safer Handling

Is your car pulling to one side? Does the steering wheel shake? Are you constantly adjusting the steering wheel to keep your car traveling in a straight line? Many handling problems can be corrected by having your wheel alignment checked.

Why choose us?

  • We have the latest digital laser alignment equipment to realign your vehicle back to manufacturer specification
  • Our alignment ramp is perfectly level and our alignment ramp and equipment are independently calibrated to guarantee perfect results
  • We have manufacturer online alignment figures for all vehicles
  • Customer waiting area and watch your car being expertly aligned
  • We offer a while-u-wait service
  • Save 50% on main dealer prices

There is a significant difference between basic tracking checks carried out by high street tyre outlets and full specialist 4 wheel laser alignment/geometry adjustment. In short, we can save you money on tyres, improve your vehicle handling, increase tout MPG and keep your vehicle safe on the road.

Wheel Alignment Frequently Asked Questions

Will you have the alignment data for my car?

We have the latest digital alignment equipment that equals the specifications for the dealership network. With this comes all the relevant factory specifications for all cars.

Does having worn tyres mean that the car can be aligned – or do I need to fit new tyres first?

New or old tyres fitted will make little difference to the alignment readings. They will however have a big effect on the way the car feels to drive (even after the alignment has been corrected). Where there was a high degree of misalignment and hence, tyre wear present it would be recommended to have new tyres fitted at the time of the alignment adjustments are made.

How much can I expect to pay for a four wheel alignment?

4 Wheel Laser Alignment - £60-£120 This includes all adjustable front/rear end settings to within manufacturers range. If your vehicle is only front end adjustable then it will be cheaper, however, if your car is front and rear end adjustable it will take more time and therefore be slightly more expensive. Our average cost for the most common German cars requiring full front and rear adjustment is £65.

Additional charges may be applied when suspension components are seized and require work to free up and make adjustable.

My tyres are wearing a little on the inside edge and my steering wheel is not quite straight ahead. What might be the problem?

The first way forward on any car is to capture the current measurements for all the alignment angles - this will then give the complete answer and lead to the necessary diagnosis and subsequent adjustments. However as a general rule excessive toe-out will lead to premature inside edge wear - this will generally show on both tyres on that axle. The steering wheel not being straight is most likely caused by more adjustment having been made on one trackrod than the other - This 'fault' is common when tracking alone has been done.

What is the difference between Tracking and Four Wheel Alignment?

Tracking is an across the axle check of total toe. With the tracking gauges touching the edge of the wheel rim the operator peers through a 'scope' or views a light/laser beam on a scale. With no allowance for run out compensation the reading taken will at best be approximate. So for tracking - we have one angle measured approximately. Four Wheel Alignment will give a minimum of 12 angles measured, all referenced to the car wheel centreline and displaying these alignment angles and comparing them to the factory alignment data. Allowance is made for wheel rim run-out. We will have accurate repeatable readings that will allow the full picture of how the vehicle drives and whether undue tyre wear will occur. Adjustment would involve the steering wheel being set straight and adjusting the individual toe to maintain a straight steering wheel while the car is driven.

How often should I have my car aligned?

Follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation noted in your owner's manual. But, as a general rule, have your vehicle's tyres checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.

What are the “symptoms” of a car that’s out of alignment?

You should have your car checked:
  • If excessive or uneven tyre wear is found
  • If there is a feeling of looseness or wandering
  • If there is steering wheel vibration
  • After 10,000 miles or one year of driving
  • If your vehicle pulls to the left or right whilst driving straight
  • If you need to hold on to the steering wheel to drive straight
  • If you need to keep the steering wheel unlevel to drive straight
  • After changing a set of tyres
  • After a change of suspension or steering parts
  • After the first 2,000 miles of driving a new car

How important is wheel alignment?

Extremely! Research indicates that the average car is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with toe alignment just 0.34 degrees (Just 0.17 inches) out of specification has dragged its tyres sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!

Wheel Alignment – Glossary

An explanation of the different alignment angles can be found by clicking one of the following links: Camber | Caster | Toe | Thrust Angle

Camber

What is Camber?
Camber increases or decreases the tyre’s grip on the road by the wheel not being upright, when viewed from the front or rear. Correct camber is a design requirement and incorrectly set at best will cause tyre wear but at worse could seriously compromise the overall handling characteristics of the car – even making it dangerous.

Sign definition
Positive camber is when the top of the wheel leans away from the car.
Negative camber is when the top of the wheel leans towards the car.
Zero camber is therefore when the wheel is fully upright.

Cross Camber
Often overlooked and often resulting in vehicle pull. Cross camber is the difference in camber from one side to the other, if each wheel is itself correctly in tolerance, but at opposite ends of the scale, then the cross camber will be high and might need attention. Some manufactures now specify this value. The car will tend, as a general rule, to pull to the side with the least negative or most positive camber.
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Caster

What is Caster?
Caster is the forward or rearward tilt of the steering axis, in reference to the vertical when viewed from the vehicle side. Positive caster is where the steering axis is sloped towards the rear. Negative caster (not common) is where the steering axis is sloped towards the front.

Why?
High positive caster makes the steering heavier but results in the car remaining better in a straight line at speed. Shopping cars, Renault 5, Ford Fiesta, etc have caster values close to zero. BMW 7 series or Mercedes 500 have high positive caster to assist in keeping straight on the autobahn!

Cross Caster
Cross caster is a difference in caster from side to side. As a rule of thumb a car will steer toward the side with the least caster.
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Toe

Sign convention
Positive Toe is the leading edge of the wheels closer together.
Negative Toe is the leading edge of the wheels further apart.
Our advice would be not to refer to toe as toe-in. For example negative toe-in is toe out! Better to simply say the car has negative toe or is toed out.

Individual Toe
Individual toe is measured from the vehicle centre line. If a total toe figure is given divide it and its tolerance by two to gain the individual value. Individual toe can be thought of as a per wheel value.
i.e. Total toe + 0deg 30min tol. +/- 0deg 15min
Individual toe + 0deg 15min tol. +/- 0deg 7.5min

Thrust Angle

Thrust angle (other than zero) occurs when the individual rear toe values are unequal. The easiest example to imagine is for a car with a live rear axle (one piece) that has the axle fitted crocked in the body such that one rear wheel has toe-in and the other one has toe-out. Thrust line is an angle of the resultant drive direction compared to the vehicle centreline. Cars driven with high thrust angles may appear to ‘crab’. On cars, which have independent suspension, some are individually adjustable for toe, which can then be used to correct both the toe-in and thrust line together. Thrust angle should where possible always be adjusted to zero, to coincide with the vehicle centreline.

Sign definition
A positive thrust angle is one that points to the left.
A negative thrust line is one that points to the right.

Straight steering wheel
Errors in the steering wheel being straight on road test can be the rear toe being wrong and a high thrustline. (As well as the front track-rods being adjusted un-equally or steering wheel having been fitted incorrectly). Computerised aligners measure and record the thrustline and at the adjustment stage will set the steering wheel level allowing for any thrust angle. It is for this reason that the adjustment step on all aligners takes you first through rear toe adjust, to give you the opportunity of reducing the thrust angle as far as possible, before moving on and adjusting the front toe and steering wheel.
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