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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I would really appreciate anyones help with an issue I have with my wheel alignment. As with most problems theres a story behind it but will try and keep this short! I needed my front wheels aligned but my track rod ends were seized. I replaced the track rod ends on both sides and also the inner rods that the track rod ends attach to. Obviously my tracking was out and after a while of adjusting it myself until the car was safe I took it to national tyres to have the tracking done. This is where my problem lies! The cars alignment was checked on I think a hunter machine and I received a printout indicating the adjustments that needed to be made.

It wasnt good and the first picture named first result is the printout. I was told it would cost £100 for the adjustments to be made. :jaw-dropping I took the car back cos I needed to decide what to do as I have always done all my own mechanics.

I was talked into taking it back and did because I was hoping the car would feel totally different and alot better to drive. But it doesnt! The steering wheel is still not straight and I cant notice any difference from the back wheels. And Im £100 lighter! The second picture is the printout when the job was finished.

I have arranged to take the car back tomorrow and have been told the car will be road tested and weights will be used when analyzing the car on the machine but I wanted to know if anyone could tell me or give me some advice about the printouts as to be honest I dont know if they have adjusted anything by much or if the settings are wrong. I would be very grateful for anyones advice or comments so tomorrow I can go back prepared!!:thumbsup
 

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Er..................


The printouts say E46 and your car is an E36


What are the chances they use exactly the same geometry?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Damn!! Do you know what. I am not an idiot but right now I feel such a prat that I didnt notice. So Im guessing they have done that because they knew the geometry set ups of e36 and e46 and decided it would be a good way to rip me off?? I dont believe it was a mistake as I dont trust garages.
 

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There's your problem......

Also explains why the camber and caster are so far off.

And next time I would avoid that particular garage ;)
 

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Damn!! Do you know what. I am not an idiot but right now I feel such a prat that I didnt notice. So Im guessing they have done that because they knew the geometry set ups of e36 and e46 and decided it would be a good way to rip me off?? I dont believe it was a mistake as I dont trust garages.
The steering wheel wonky is a bit disappointing.
Some one clicking the wrong car from the drop down is just a mistake. Look at it like this, they haven't tried to hide it from you. It's just an honest mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah maybe but Im still annoyed. Will try and find the alignment specifications for e36 and e46 so I can firstly see what my cars angles should be and secondly so I know how much out it was before they made any adjustments. Im really fed up with this now especially when I only wanted the front wheels toe setting correct but they refused to do just the front. Thanks for all your advice to both of you and for pointing out the obvious mistake!!
 

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Anyone can make a mistake. Judge them on how they handle putting it right.

It may be the case that, if they had analysed it as an E36, maybe they would have said it only needed tracking and charged you less.


If I have one bad meal at a place I have been to for years I don't stop going.
 

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When I had my e36 done (im quite friendly with the garage) it was only £30 and that was for four wheel alliment, but all the boxes are suppose to be green the red ones are still out, I still have the paper work so ill have a look tomorrow and see what all the angles were set to if that helps
 

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but all the boxes are suppose to be green the red ones are still out
Missing the point - Red for an E46 isn't neccesserily red for an E36 (already looked at the print out for my wife's car). Plus barring toe there really isn't much you can do with the front of an E36 with standard suspension without replacing parts (that or washers and a file).

Only the rear has toe and camber adjustment as standard.
 

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I no camber cant be done on the front but everything else should be, but like you say, that print out is for a e46
 

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Discussion Starter #12
£30!! I have read on other forums it seems to be between £60 - £100. I have been looking for a factory data sheet with the alignment figures for my car as it is all standard suspension but can only find info for the m3 so would be good if you can upload your printout. I will see what the bloke says tomorrow when I take the car back. I did take it back today but was told they where too busy so was asked to take it back tomorrow. Hopefully it will be sorted tomorrow as its a 30 mile trip to this national tyres and petrol isnt cheap either!!
 

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Also if you look at the print out is says E46 SEDAN!!!! Not even E46 coupe....DOH!!!!

Hope you get it sorted, let us know the outcome.
 

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Values should be:

Front -
Toe: +0.6 to +1.5 (mm) (each corner)
Total Toe: +1.2 to +3.0 (mm)
Camber: -1degree 28' to -0degree 28' (each corner) (this is non-adjustable in stock form)
Cross Camber: -0degree 30' to +0degree 30' (non-adjustable)

Rear-
Toe: +1.1 to +1.8 (mm) (each corner)
Total Toe: +2.1 to +3.5 (mm)
Camber: -2degree 15' to -1degree 45' (each corner)
Cross Camber: -0degree 15' to +0degree 15'
Total Thrust Angle: -0degree 30' to +0degree 30'



This was on a coupe with sport suspension, but values should be the same (I think?), with 16" wheels
They should have the correct values anyway.
They should also put right your suspension and refund you so you only paid for having the front wheels aligned. Their issue they messed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK am back from the garage and this time the organ grinder was there. After expressing my views and trying to keep calm they have agreed to refund the money but did not do any checks or adjustments. I should receive a call from their area manager tomorrow to issue the refund. Interestingly though before I went I phoned two other branches of national tyres for a price for wheel alignment and one branch quoted 70 for front and back and the second branch which is the closest to me quoted 35 quid for four wheels.
 

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So they are refunding you but not fixing your alignment? If so you should demand that they at least put it all back to what it was - for free.
They have made your front toe much worse.

Once reverted to what it was, you could either pay them to set the values correctly or go somewhere else.

Also, those other prices are a good bargaining point. The £70 sounds reasonable. The £35 is most likely only for front toe adjustment, a lot of garages call this a '4 wheel alignment' because they use the rear wheels to set up their equipment, despite not adjusting the back at all. You need to check that any work is a 4 wheel geometry check and alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The manager has agreed to refund the 100 but they don't issue refunds in the store instead their area manager is supposed to be phoning me tomorrow to do the refund as they are the only people able to authorise it. Crazy I know but I left it at that cos I could feel myself getting worked up!! I will take the car elsewhere and have the alignment done.
 
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