The trends driving the wheel alignment and tyre replacement markets

The trends driving the wheel alignment and tyre replacement markets

Thinking about getting into wheel alignment and tyre servicing? The specialists at Bosch look at the current trends driving the market while offering some advice for those looking to take the next step.

■ Safety systems are becoming more widespread throughout the vehicle price range.
■ ESP is a mandatory safety system and this utilises a steering wheel position sensor which must be accurately calibrated for correct operation.
■ Driver assistance systems are also now offered on entry level vehicles, e.g .VW Polo, and these require accurate wheel alignment for calibration and correct operation (stereo camera, lane departure warning, active cruise control, autonomous parking).
■ Run flat tyres are widely used to save the weight of a spare wheel, and specialised wheel service equipment is required to mount/dismount these tyres.

■ New technology in the wheel aligner means reduced inspection time. The extent of this is such that every vehicle entering the workshop can have the alignment checked without any inconvenience to the customer, offering the opportunity to ‘upsell’ any alignment work that may be necessary.
■ Using equipment form Bosch, the garage can offer the customer the complete service – from MOT to alignment to wheels/tyres. This ensures that the garage never has to send their customers in the direction of a specialist.

■ Just as we recommend fitting Bosch OE quality components to the vehicle, we also advise the use of OE quality equipment in vehicle service and repair.
■ As producers of many of the safety systems in the car, Bosch can ensure that repair equipment quality exactly meets the requirements.
■ Bosch wheel alignment equipment is delivered with an extensive database of vehicle specifications, supplied directly by the vehicle manufacturers.
■ Bosch is one of the only manufacturers to offer full integration of all aspects of vehicle service. Linking control unit diagnosis and sensor activation with workshop test equipment – such as alignment and brake testers – is becoming increasingly important.

■ Advanced systems are now starting to move down the model range.
■ The continuing deterioration in the UK road network is resulting in increasing cases of damage to both tyres and suspension systems.
■ The focus on fuel efficiency through the use of lightweight suspension components means that there is a need for an increase in wheel alignment checks, as these parts can be damaged more easily.
■ Drivers are experiencing improved fuel economy with the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres.

■ Technicians should understand the importance of preparing the vehicle for accurate wheel alignment. Items such as tyre pressures and the condition of the lifting platform have a significant effect on the accuracy of the result.
■ Relying on ‘low-end’ equipment may give the illusion of speed but this can be at the expense of accuracy – resulting in customer dissatisfaction. Systems from Bosch, whether CCD or 3D technology based, all offer a combination of speed, accuracy and repeatability.
■ Training is also important for technicians and this is something Bosch has invested heavily in with the state-of-the-art Service Training Centre in Uxbridge, and its new apprenticeship scheme.

■ The UK has had the second highest number of new car registrations, falling close behind Germany.

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