Hofmann Megaplan Blog
As all garages will know by now, tyre changing, wheel balancing and wheel alignment all go hand in hand when it comes to your customer's tyres. The simple fact is all these services provide crucial steps to ensure longevity, safety and efficient tyre/vehicle performance.
The only issue is, many of your customers are not aware of this.
Educating your customers beyond a price-driven view of tyre fitting services can be difficult, especially when it can be misconceived as upselling your own services.
Some garages don't see the need for a vehicle alignment machine as their customers don't want it. Many owners, therefore, opt to purchase a tyre changer and a wheel balancer as a package, then see wheel alignment as an added extra if the demand is there. These garages often end up turning business away as customers are smart enough to ask about alignment.
So, where do you stand when it comes to providing wheel alignment to your customers?
Why is wheel alignment so important?
It is always strongly advised for your customers to have their wheels aligned when new tyres are fitted; but again, customers mistake tracking for proper wheel alignment, and even mix up wheel balancing with wheel alignment.
A wheel aligner simply looks at the position of the wheels in relation to each other and the road surface, so that any corrections can be made.
Missing out this crucial step can cause minor and major issues to the tyres and driving performance, in both the short term and long term.
The need for wheel alignment in your garage is clear. Especially if you are dealing with numerous tyre fitting jobs per day.
Not only will your customers reap the benefits of that extra service, but you can see many advantages within the garage - not least an obvious increase in revenue!
The right wheel aligner for your garage!
Think about the amount of tyre fitting jobs you complete each week or even each day...
Every single tyre fitting job you complete should have an alignment check when the tyres are installed onto the car!
A simple question then - are you completing those checks? Are you even offering them?
Ensuring you purchase the right wheel aligner for your garage services needs a considered approach. By making sure you have the essential footprint to install the wheel aligner, guaranteeing the durability to cope with your garage services, and the all-important budget to consider, you can be well on your way to conquering the perfect set of tyre fitting services.
Don't feel abandoned when considering your wheel alignment options!
I'm going to start this blog series by talking about one of our most common issues those working with wheel alignment equipment can face, and that's turn plates.
If not used correctly, turnplates can cause big problems when trying to achieve a straight steering wheel. Whats worse it can lead you to produce different results each time you attempt to align the same vehicle which quickly becomes infuriating.
Steer Clear of…
Some garages will try and use their MOT plates to save time and these can be ok to just turn the wheel and look for defects. The risk is that they get covered in dirt and that will get into the plate and cause a restriction. To complete an alignment accurately the plates need to be completely free moving.
Others might use their old style dish type turn plates. These most commonly come from an older laser system. They will turn but don't slide, meaning they build up tension and can give you wrong results.
Another common mistake made by alignment engineers is simply not using the pins provided. This is surprisingly common and can cause irreversible damage to your to your wheel alignment system.
We should always drive on the turn plates with the pins in. As soon as you are ready to remove a vehicle from your alignment station, put the pins in. Failing to do this can lead to damage when the car is reversed. The plate can tilt and bearings become loose, impacting the accuracy of your machine.
Some people simply fail to maintain their turn plates. Metal bearing plates will need regular lubrication for example with grease. Nylon bearings don't need any grease or oil but should be cleaned regularly depending on usage by removing the top plate and brushing out any dirt.
Bolts can also come loose and put vehicle weight directly onto the ramp. This means that the free movement needed to complete accurate wheel alignment is not there.
You can check your turn plates by pulling the car side to side freely. Any restrictions felt will likely cause issues.