How accurate do factories set tracking at the point of manufacture?
Over the last 25 years or so, we have had a long series of Volkswagen Auto Group cars (three Passats, three Mk IV Golfs, a Leon, four Octavias and a Fabia). All have been bought direct from the original owner, aged between four and 30 months, with mileages between 5000 and 25,000, and with main dealer service history where applicable (some had yet to require a first service). Without exception, the tracking has been out, sometimes quite significantly, confirmed by the improved driving quality after correction. Having just had it professionally adjusted on the latest addition, a 2010 Fabia, I came to wonder just how much effort is actually given over on car production lines to setting it, or do they just get "somewhere near"?
Mitsubishi checks the alignment of its 4x4 pick-ups at the end of the production line for every possible articulation and SEAT used to do it on a proper pitted laser alignment bay for its Cupra R models, but for standard cars it's very hit and miss. I have driven Jaguars and Volvos on car launches in the past that were dangerously misaligned.
Answered by Honest John on