Tracking for car wheels

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  • Tracking for car wheels
  • Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Just had the winters put on (let’s not go there!). The bloke says that the tracking was out by 3.5mm. I had it done but was wondering whether it was I that was done?

    I have no idea what significance 3.5mm is in the context – is it a lot?

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    Were the tyres that came off un-evenly worn?

    simon430
    Member

    Sure it was mm? Usually tracking is measured in minutes, 3.5mm is a lot for tracking to be out.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    Usually tracking is measured in minutes, 3.5mm is a lot for tracking to be out.

    Tracking can be measured angularly or by distance. 3.175mm (1/8th inch) per side toe in or out isn’t excessive (depending on vehicle). On MX-5s at the front, some people like 3.2mm toe out, others 3.2mm toe -in, per side!

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Subscriber

    Had mine done on Monday when new tyres fitted after a puncture. Inside of old tyres was worn so obviously out.

    Charged £35 for the benefit, when I drove off I noticed the steering wheel was out of centre by about 20 degrees and teh car was pulling to the left, so I took it back and got them to do it again. ‘But it was only a tiny bit out’ he said 🙄

    Only time will tell what effect it has on the new tyres

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I get mine done every time it’s in for tyres (just because my fitter does a good job for not much money), usual disclaimers about perceived benefits and good garages apply but there was only one time that I didn’t feel the benefit afterwards. I get used to minor issues when they develop slowly so it’s a surprise when they go away.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    There was no uneven wear on this car and the summers were still in good nick. If 3.5mm is a “lot” in terms of tracking I certainly never noticed any pulling to one side or the other. Just have to trust him I guess.

    IanW
    Member

    I used to have a job selling tracking, got paid ten bob for everyone but nothing unless there was 50 a week.
    Not sure that this incentive scheme resulted in the very best customer service. 🙁

    BTW it was £5.75 then which may give an indication of how long ago this was. I however have never in almost 30 years of driving felt the need to have a cars tracking adjusted.

    I hate it when the steering wheel is left at an angle even if the tracking is true, just shows they’ve been lazy doing it.

    sharkbait
    Member

    How did he know it was 3.5mm out without checking it?

    I’ve only once had tracking done and noticed the car felt noticeably better, the other times it was just a waste of money. I never have it done now, if its not driving right or uneven tyre wear I’d rather pay a tiny bit more for four wheel alignment which measures a load of stuff on all four wheels, rather than just making sure the front two are facing in the same direction.

    You get a ‘before’ and ‘after’ printout so you know if there is an issue before they start.

    eskay
    Member

    What Spooky said.

    4 wheel alignment from a professional is a much better option.

    I can recommend a good one in Bristol (FCM wheel alignment) he only charges per adjustment and will show you all of the measurements before changing anything.

    A printout is given at the end with the final settings.

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    You can do four wheel alignment without the fancy printouts, using just the normal style gauges, start at the back and see how that looks, that gives you the thrust angle, then using that measurement you can compensate for that in the front if the rear is not adjustable. Not everywhere checks camber and caster, which depending on the vehicle is adjustable, golfs and polos are very prone to needing this adjusting both front and rear. Some places will try and bodge round stuck adjusters rather than trying to get them freed. It’s often not the quality of the equipment used but the quality of the person doing it.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Ah, yeah, I was forgetting the different types- my place does 4-wheel alignment rather than boggo tracking, never tried the chepa version.

    Pieface
    Member

    The last set of tyres I had done were through Black circles at a fitter I’ve had my MOT done at, a ‘Good garage scheme’ garage and they never asked / mentioned tracking. I did know that the wear was even on the tyres before getting them changed so I’m glad / unsurprised they didn’t try to throw in any extras.

    I’m always a bit cynical about things like the ‘Good Garage’ scheme, but in this case I’m happy that they are good.

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    I’m always a bit cynical about things like the ‘Good Garage’ scheme, but in this case I’m happy that they are good.

    Now that is almost worth a topic on it’s own, it’s very well named, looks great from the customers point of view, but it’s run by a company that sell engine flushes and other magic potions and lotions, basically every service has to contain at least one of it’s products to keep your rating, and you have to buy so much product just to be listed.

    A good tyre fitter/vehicle technician will look at the tyres and be able to judge what might be a possible if any on the vehicle from the old tyre, and therefore whether to mention tracking or not. Lot’s of curb damage to wheels and tyres is a reasonable indication it might want at least checking.

    Pieface
    Member

    Interestingly they do make a lot of mention of the way they flush your engine and so on, but they are competitively priced and I did get better MPG after their snake oil treatment. I guess I’ve just got a good un. However the reason I chose them is because they sponsor a local running club, and the owner(?) of said garage is in that club too.

    However before they do the tyre fitting they do walk around the vehicle with you to perform a full check of the state of the tyres / wheels – I thought it was all about disclaimers, maybe its a ploy to make you think that ‘this and that’ could be a cause of further work thats needed (eg tracking…). They didn’t ask about nitro tho, however all of that could be part of the Black Circles service tho…

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Just swapped over to my winter tyres and the place that has always done my tracking has perhaps been having my leg up for quite some time! I get it checked every time I swap wheels, when I get new tyres and in October after the mot said it needed a new wishbone on the near side.

    All that attention paid to tracking and still, the inside edge of both front tyres are excessively worn.

    Maybe, because I had tyres and tracking done at the same place, they think it’s to their benefit to balls up the tracking instead of correcting it.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Dpends on the car onzadog , some cars will always wear inside edges – mk4 golf for example…. The excess camber is about the only reason the horrible little car stays on the road.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    2005 Vauxhall astra estate.

    Be interested to know. Rest of the tyre looks to be only half way through its life.

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