Our guide to Wheel Alignment
Updated: Feb 16
How much does Wheel Alignment cost?
At PW Auto Repairs Newark, our current prices are:
Wheel Alignment Check - FREE Front Wheel Alignment - £45 inc vat Front & Rear Wheel Alignment - £75 inc vat Additional Camber adjustments - £29 inc vat All include a digital visual before and after printed or emailed report The potential costs of your Wheel Alignment not being correct can cause unnecessary expense such as excessive fuel use due to the wheels pulling against each other, causing additional friction. Worse still, we hate to see tyres needing to be replaced as they are worn on the inner or outer edge when the rest of tyre is perfectly good - this is an avoidable waste of hundreds of pounds!
What is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel Alignment (also often referred to as Tracking) refers to the angle of your wheels in comparison to each other and the chassis of your vehicle. There are various components which work together to make the vehicle drive straight. Wheel Alignment is adjusted by altering the vehicle’s suspension components to ensure everything is parallel. Using state of the art digital technology, we are able to accurately determine exactly how much adjustment is required and alter accordingly.
Why is Wheel Alignment important?
Maintaining proper Wheel Alignment is essential to avoid unnecessary wear on your Tyres, steering and suspension. Accurate wheel Alignment optimises driving stability, maximises Tyre life and improves your vehicle's handling, performance and fuel economy. Wheels that are not aligned accurately will cause your tyres to wear down more quickly and unevenly. This is because the Tyres are not making full direct contact with the road at the correct angle. Making sure your wheels are properly aligned will reduce Tyre wear and make them last longer.
This image shows a vehicle which came into us here at PW Auto Repairs for a routine service where we quickly identified that this Tyre was down to the cords.
The Wheel Alignment was clearly out and the Tyres had worn so unevenly that despite the outside of the wheel appearing to be ok, the inner edge was clearly showing cords. As well as being incredibly dangerous, a tyre showing cords could lead to a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your licence.
New Tyres were required and Wheel Alignment made the necessary adjustments to correct the vehicle's geometry.
How do I know if I need Wheel Alignment?
Wheel Alignment is recommended in a number of scenarios as listed below:
When lowering or lifting vehicle
Following an accident or a hard impact with a curb or road debris
You notice uneven tyre wear, steering pull, or an off-center steering wheel
When replacing or adjusting suspension parts that affect the tyre angles, such as;
Control arm bushings
Wheel bearings (depending on the type of wheel bearing)
Struts / Shock Absorbers
This nearside front Tyre has 5mm of tread and is approximately 47% worn - evenly
On the same van, the offside front Tyre 4mm of tread and is approximately 62% worn, but it is excessively worn on inner edge and will require Wheel Alignment
How long does Wheel Alignment take?
We can check your Wheel Alignment for free in minutes and give you a digital, accurate and detailed computer generated report identifying any areas which may require adjustment. If you are happy to proceed with the recommended adjustments, on average, Wheel Alignment takes around 60 minutes. However, depending on the type of vehicle and how many adjustments are required, it can take between 30 minutes to two hours to complete. We will print or email a visual report showing you the result before adjustment, and after if you choose to have the adjustments made.
What is the difference between Tracking and Wheel Alignment?
Tracking had traditionally been carried out on vehicles for decades, but very few adjustments can be made. As tracking only measures one angle on just the front wheels it’s highly unlikely to solve the problems associated with wheel alignment on modern cars. The advanced digital Wheel Alignment system that we use to carry out four Wheel Alignment measures a minimum of 12 angles and compares them to the alignment data specified by the vehicle manufacturer ensuring a perfect result every time.
What is the difference between Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment?
There's a big difference - they're completely different processes. Wheel Alignment considers how a car’s wheels interact with each other and the road. Wheel Balancing concerns weight distribution around a car’s wheels.
What is Wheel Balancing?
Wheel Balancing ensures that your Wheel is correctly weighted so that the tyre can rotate evenly. This prevents unnecessary vibration and wear of your Tyres, suspension and steering components. As with any rotating object, Wheels need balancing to run efficiently. Otherwise, your car feels uncomfortable to drive. Typically when Wheel Balancing is required, customers report symptoms such as vibration when driving over 50 miles an hour. Do I need 2 or 4 Wheel Alignment? 2-Wheel Alignment consists of an inspection and relevant adjustments to the front wheels, while a 4-wheel alignment inspects and adjusts all of the wheels on your vehicle. Most UK vehicles are front wheel drive only and so have a solid rear axle which doesn’t need adjusting. If your car is front wheel or rear wheel drive only, you should book a 2-Wheel Alignment. If your car uses both the front and back wheels to steer, you should book a 4-wheel alignment. Don’t worry if you don’t know whether your car needs a 2- or 4-Wheel Alignment. Check your vehicle handbook which has all the relevant information about your car’s tracking. Failing that, a mechanic will be able to tell you what you need.
How long does a Wheel Alignment last?
Manufacturers cannot provide timeframes regarding how long Wheel Alignment will last. We suggest having a Wheel Alignment check every 1 to 2 years, but it is also routine good practice when new tyres on, when lowering or lifting vehicle, following an accident or a hard impact with a curb or road debris, and absolutely essential when replacing or adjusting suspension parts that affect the tyre angles. Here at PW Auto repairs, a fast and accurate check can be carried out for free to ensure your Wheels are aligned properly.
Wheel Alignment involves checking the direction and angle of the wheels. The misalignment positions are often described as toe in, toe out, positive camber or negative camber. Toe In and Toe Out "Toe" refers to whether the front of the Tyres are closer or further apart than the rear of the Tyres. Different types of vehicles need different toe settings to allow for the way that wheels pull either towards each other or apart. Incorrect toe alignment can result in in your car or van steering to one side. Negative Camber and Positive Camber "Camber" is the inward or outward tilt of a Tyre. The camber is set by the vehicle manufacturer, and can be affected by potholes in the road and may need to be adjusted periodically. Too much negative camber will result in premature wear on the inside of the Tyre and too much positive camber will result in premature wear on the outside of the Tyre.
Tyres in Newark
We also supply and fit tyres in Newark and as an independent garage, we have a number of suppliers to ensure we can always get the right tyre for you, including:
All season tyres
All of our tyre and wheel alignment prices are quoted fully inclusive of fitting and vat
Our service always includes:
Free collection / delivery within 5 miles
Complimentary refreshments in our waiting room
0% Finance available on Tyres and repairs
For help and advice, or to book, please call us on 01636 550852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org