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How often should I carry out wheel alignment on a commercial vehicle?
The simple answer is as often as possible. Many factors affect how often wheel alignment is carried out, whether that’s relying on external contractors or performing alignments in-house. AES UK Ltd have put together their thoughts on how often wheel alignment should be carried out on commercial vehicles.
“It’s the very nature of a commercial vehicles life that means alignment can be altered as soon as the vehicle leaves the workshop and therefore, should be aligned as often as possible.”
Contrary to popular belief tyre wear cannot be fixed by carrying out an alignment, if a tyre is worn it cannot be retrieved and it’s unlikely to prolong the tyres lifespan. Essentially, it’s pointless carrying out an alignment check on a worn tyre unless it’s in the very early stages or, is going to be replaced in which an alignment should be carried out post tyre change.
Alignments should be carried out when new tyres are fitted
Steering Component Changes
Replacing steering components such as drag links, track bars and ball joints etc can all throw a vehicle out of alignment, counting threads can be wildly inaccurate so it’s better to replace steering components and carry out a full alignment.
Alignments should be carried out when Steering components are fitted/Replaced
As an absolute minimum alignment should be carried out at least once per year, the stringent criteria for commercial vehicle MOTs mean that often vehicles have to go through vigorous checks prior to being sent for MOT, this is an ideal time for alignment to be carried out.
Alignments should be carried out DURING PRE-MOT CHECKS
For those workshops supplying vehicles to customers, pre delivery inspections offer a perfect time to carry out a full alignment check, it also gives the workshop a chance to pre-empt any tyre wear issues that could be claimed on warranty should this be the case. Additionally, a “post break-in” alignment should be carried out between 15,000-30,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first.
Alignments should be carried out on PDIs then a subsequent post break-in alignment.
Quite often an ‘off-centre’ steering wheel or a ‘pull’ can be down to a mis-aligned vehicle, driver complaints/issues can hold vital information and combined with an alignment can help diagnose the issue. Not always will driver issues be down to an alignment but it’s a good chance to perform an alignment to at least identify/rule-out the issue.
Alignments should be carried out on Driver Complaints/issues
Proactive alignment is the most overlooked aspect when it comes to frequency of alignments, our philosophy is to carry out alignments and identify and rectify potential issues before they become an issue. Often see workshops carrying out alignments on the back of a tyre wear issue, the problem with this is that it’s too late in most cases to save the tyre, it’s this reason that alignments should be carried out at least once per year, preferably on all of the above stated, and proactively; 3 to 4 times per year to pre-empt any issues.
Proactive Alignments should be carried 3 to 4 times per Year
We’re here to solve your wheel alignment problems. Contact AES UK today 01977 600 688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Automotive Equipment Solutions UK Ltd Unit 4 All Saints Industrial Estates, Baghill Lane, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 2ST