A car's suspension takes a serious beating on Britain's potholed, patched roads, sequentially suspension failures are becoming more frequent. MOT data from the DVSA for the periods April 2021 – March 2022 reveals that 9.28% (3,053,120) of vehicles failed their initial MOT test with suspension defects and a further 6.31% (2,075,990) failing due to tyre related faults. With 32.9 million licensed cars on UK roads, this is a figure of over 5 million vehicles on the road with suspension or tyre related issues[Source: Gov.uk]
Just imagine that approx. 15% of the cars rolling past your garage doors are potential wheel alignment customers, yet, that potential is considerably greater.
In the third quarter of 2021, the RAC dealt with the largest ever volume of pot-hole related break downs since 2006. During that period, RAC patrols attended 1,810 breakdowns to vehicles with damaged shock absorbers, distorted wheels and broken suspension components [Source: RAC]
With the declining condition of UK roads causing additional wear and tear on undercar components, the RAC statistics suggest that drivers in the UK are 1.5 times more likely to break down after striking a pothole now than they were when the organisation first started gathering data in 2006.
Why your customers need a routine alignment check
What are the root causes of alignment issues?
What are the results of poor wheel alignment?
Increased fuel consumption
Vehicle pulling to one side
Off centre steering wheel
ADAS misalignment (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems)
Some results are more costly than others, fitting a new pair of boots to mis-aligned wheels will result in uneven wear on that brand new rubber, that’s an unhappy customer!
With average service schedules of one year or 12,000 miles, that’s a lot of ground that could be covered with potential issues lurking on the undercar. How many services proactively check the condition of undercar components to identifying issues and providing corrective measures? The annual MOT will identify damaged caused as a result but it will not prevent it from occurring, that’s an unhappy customer!
Saving money, saving lives with ADAS
The term "ADAS" refers to all driver assistance and collision avoidance systems that can lessen the severity of an accident or help prevent one from happening altogether. The IMI predicts that between2014 and 2030, ADAS systems will prevent 25,000 serious accidents and save more than 2,500 [Source IMI] But ADAS systems will only work if accurately calibrated for this proper wheel alignment is essential.
EVs and Alignment
It is even more important that EV’s have correct geometry. With bigger wheels and tyre dimensions and considerably heavier than the average internal combustion engine vehicle, more strain is put on components, this adds to overall wear and tear!
How often should vehicles be aligned?
There is no set formula for how often wheels should be aligned, depending on driving conditions and habits it differs from vehicle to vehicle and drivers however at minimum we’d recommend an alignment check every time the vehicle is serviced, however if your customer is covering a lot of miles, it is recommended more frequently.
What does this mean to the average garage?
Simply, an opportunity! An opportunity to give your customers complete peace of mind as well as making a substantial difference to your revenue figures. With an average cost of £35 for either a front or rear alignment adjustment and around £70 for a four-wheel alignment adjustment. Based on just 10 services a week, offering this additional service, could make an approx. £700 of additional revenue. Within a few minutes you’ll increase your profits, and give your customers impeccable service, that will keep them coming back to you time and time again.
Incorporate wheel alignment into your routine
Making an interim alignment check-up part of your routine rather than an additional service (charge) takes just a few minutes to run and costs nothing to your customer. You can present them with the results and advise of corrective measures that should be done to prevent damage to components down the line.
These results can be printed out for your customer to keep and is a really effective tool by physically showing the issue to the customer, and explaining the issues have been brought on by the misalignment as well as the advantages of having the alignment fixed. This is a value added upsell to increase your revenue with relatively little additional work. However, this will give your customers increased peace of mind, and a greater trust in your service to them – they'll thank you for it!
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