I decided this morning it was time to properly check the tracking on the car. She has always had a very slight pull to the left, and the front nearside tyre has worn a lot at the outer edge. I assumed that meant that the front had excessive toe-in and also that the front nearside tyre wasn't parallel to the rest of the car. I first tried booking a slot with Halfords and KwikFit but neither would allow me to book a slot as their databases did not have Robin Hood in them. I was driving in this morning to fill the tank, so thought I would drop into Halfords and try and book a slot in person. No luck, the computer would only let him book me in if it recognised the model of the car. A classic case of "the computer says no".
So it was obvious I would have to to try an 'old school' garage. There is a good one in the next village so I thought I would try him. He had a good look and agreed with my diagnosis. But he said he couldn't put his measurement gear on the car because the front wings blocked access. But I told him it was very easy to remove the wings (actually not true, the bolts were seized solid and were are right bugger to get off), so he said he would have a look in a couple of hours time.
So went home and took off the wings and drove back. He then did all the measurements and confirmed there was excessive toe-in. He quoted 10mm so I don't know how that equates to degrees. He did all the necessary adjustments and reduced to toe-in to almost zero and lined up the front and back wheels. I asked him about the tyre and he said it was fine. Apparently it is only the middle of the tyre they check for wear and the outer parts can actually be bald. But he reckoned I should swap the front and back tyre so I had a decent one on the front to check for future wear. Seems logical.
He also said the camber was out (slightly +ve on one side and slightly -ve on the other, which probably explains the slight pull to the left and maybe the uneven wear) but not by enough to worry about. He very quickly realised it is a major job involving breaking the top ball joint, so neither of us fancy doing that.
So all in all a good day, and I feel a bit guilty not involving him in looking after the car. I guess now that my normal MOT station knows the car so well and have passed it 7 years in a row, that it would be a bit silly to switch.
Taking her out almost every day now, the weather is just too good to miss 😁