My major service included a visual wheel alignment check, surely this cannot be accurate?

After its recent service my SEAT main dealer commented that one tyre was wearing more than others. I queried whether this could be a wheel alignment issue, they said yes and suggested I get it checked. I asked if wheel alignment had been included in the service and was told "no". Later I looked at the "Health Check" SEAT provide after the service and among the list of 53 items stated as OK was alignment. I queried this with the garage and was now told the alignment is a visual check only. It strikes me it is impossible to do a wheel alignment check accurately just by eye. Further I would have thought a main dealer particularly would include a check in a major service (which this was) although possibly charge if adjustment was necessary. It also makes me wonder how many other of the 53 checks are just done visually an overall whether this is a professional approach to a service which is charged at around £369. I'd be interested in your thoughts Keep up the good work.
Most dealers and garages will offer a list of what is included in a service package and should certainly provide one if you ask for it. In truth, many of the 'health check' items on a service are just a visual check and an easy way to pad out the list of items. As you say, wheel alignment by eye is not possible so we would expect this to be a visual check to see if anything is obviously wrong, although this would likely be evident to the driver if it was visible to the naked eye. A major service will always be relatively expensive, but the bulk of this cost is parts and the labour involved in changing them, so the visual inspection elements would add little if anything to the cost.

We would not typically expect a major service to include wheel alignment, as routine servicing tends to focus on key components that have a finite life and are essential to maintaining the health of the vehicle. Wheel alignment tends to be something that is only checked when necessary, for example if the steering response is inconsistent or components such as tyres or suspension have been changed.
Answered by David Ross on

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