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Wheel alignment FAQs

Friday 12th March 2021

What causes bad wheel alignment?

Wondering how important wheel alignment is, and why you need it for your vehicle? Or perhaps how long a wheel alignment would take, and how much it costs? There are many questions around wheel alignment and tracking – which is why we’ve put together our guide to answering the most frequently asked questions. However, if your query is not listed below, please get in touch with our team of experts.

Wheel tracking FAQs answered

What is wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment, also known as wheel tracking, refers to the angle and the direction which your tyres are set to. This is determined by the manufacturer specifications in order to maximise performance for your vehicle, and ensure that the safety of the driver is continually maintained.

If your wheel alignment is out of place, this can cause many issues for your vehicle – such as increased fuel consumption, uneven tyre wear to occur, elongating braking distance and compromising the general safety of the vehicle.

How much does a wheel alignment cost?

You can book a free wheel alignment check with Formula One Autocentres to firstly identify if your vehicle is in need of a wheel tracking service. From this wheel alignment check, our experts can then identify whether your vehicle will need a two-wheel or a four-wheel alignment – and the adjustments needed, which can affect the overall cost.

Whether your vehicle can have a two or four-wheel alignment is based on what model and make your vehicle is, which is why we recommend having the free wheel alignment check initially.

How long does a wheel alignment take?

Typically, a wheel alignment service should take around 1 hour on average. This is the case for whether you are having a two-wheel alignment or a four-wheel alignment. However, sometimes our experts will find there may be too much tyre wear, or damage to other elements of the vehicle – such as the suspension system – which could take a longer time to have these areas replaced or repaired.

Is wheel alignment the same as tracking?

Yes – wheel alignment and wheel tracking are the same thing. Learn more about wheel alignment or wheel tracking from our detailed guide – including information on how to tell if you need wheel alignment, and what causes bad wheel alignment.

What is four wheel alignment?

Four-wheel alignment is the most recommended service, as opposed to 2-wheel alignment. This is because, with four-wheel alignment, this ensures that all tyres have been checked – and resets the tyres to manufacturer settings, which provides optimum performance levels for your vehicle. Learn more about our 4-wheel alignment service now.

How to check if your car needs wheel alignment

There are some signs and symptoms to look out for which can cause bad wheel alignment for your vehicle. These include:

  • Dragging or pulling – is your vehicle pulling to one side? This could indicate that the wheels on each side aren’t equal.
  • Steering wheel vibration – noticing more excessive or unusual vibrations from your steering wheel than usual? It might be time to check your wheel alignment.
  • Tyre wear – premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder of your tyres can indicate that the wheel alignment may have changed.

Learn more about what causes bad wheel alignment now from our detailed guide.

What’s the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing?

It’s important to note that wheel balancing and wheel alignment are two separate things. While wheel alignment affects the handling and safety of your vehicle, wheel balancing provides more accurate balance to your wheels – which improves the comfort of your ride, and reduces premature tyre wear. Learn more about what wheel balancing is now.

Is it worth getting wheel alignment?

In short, yes – definitely. Wheel alignment is important for angling your tyres in the direction that your vehicle is set, which not only enhances the performance and safety aspects of your vehicle, but also helps to:

  • Reduce tyre wear
  • Reduces dragging and pulling from the steering wheel
  • Improve your braking distance
  • Improve your fuel efficiency

Where can I get my wheels aligned?

Here at Formula One Autocentres, we have multiple locations all across the UK which can help with your wheel alignment needs. Simply locate your nearest centre, or book your free wheel alignment check today from our dedicated page.

For more information on wheel alignments, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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  • I did end up spending a lot of money but I had half expected it as I could tell my brakes and tracking were on need of attention

    - Ailish, Ipswich - Dec 17, 2020
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