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Wheel Alignment / Geometry Check?

AlexGSi2000 Apr 8, 2014

  1. AlexGSi2000

    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    Just a quick topic on what people think and make of tracking / alignment and geometry set-ups.

    I currently drive a B6 A4 Quattro, whenever I have carried out any work in relation to the suspension (I.e-suspension arms, tie-rods.etc) I have always taken the car to have tracking done.

    Similarly, whenever I have had tyres replaced and have been asked if I want my "tracking" doing - I have always obliged.

    This has previously been carried out by a blend of high-street chains (ATS.etc) and I have always been told, every time - that my tracking is "out".

    My questions are, how does your tracking go "out" - surely if toe is controlled by the tie rod/steering rack you would need to back off a nut or at least bend the rack/rod somehow, same for the suspension - I know camber is not adjustable on the front of mine.
    I guess worn bushes could be to blame for some run-out, but I replaced all the arms, balljoints.etc last year.
    Is it a money making ploy?

    I bit the bullet last week and paid a specialist in the Merseyside area £90 for a full wheel alignment and geo-set up. I must say, the car feels and handles differently - much more precise and predictable now.
    Does that mean I should avoid the likes of ATS doing alignments so they don't mess around with anything?
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  3. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Man Gold Supporter

    Wheel alignment can be knocked out of true by potholes, speed humps, kerbing, you name it. After some bad experiences with very odd tyre wear patterns, I now use only specialist four-wheel alignment operators using Hunter & Beam equipment. I had it done about 18 months ago, when lowering springs were fitted, and had it done again about six weeks ago, when I had new tyres fitted.

    So in answer to your closing question, I'd say yes, avoid like the plague.
  4. MooLard

    MooLard Registered User

    I have been asking questions on the same topic just a day ago. I have paid about £70 a time to get my previous car, a BMW 535d, aligned twice in one year and there was adjustments to do both times because I changed the suspension the first time, and cracked an alloy the second time.
    I am going to take my B6 tdi quattro to a National Tyres and Autocentre at some point this week for alignment for £15 with a voucher from the website, providing they have the same standard of equipment it shouldn't always cost that higher value. I think they can do it for less because the equipment has been paid for in full some time ago, and it secures business and repeat customers coming back to them for the usual wear items like tyres.
    I'll let you know how I get on with them.

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