Most workshops now realise that whenever steering or suspension components are repaired or replaced, a four wheel alignment check is necessary to in order to complete the job properly. This ensures the vehicle is set back within the manufacturer’s tolerances, improving the quality of the job and avoiding any customer comebacks.
However, a large majority of workshops are ill equipped to face another steering and suspension challenge that is the ever growing number of cars that have Steering Angle Senors (SAS), which must be reset at the time of an alignment check (as required by the OEM’s).
Steering Angle Sensor Development
The SAS works in conjunction with a network of other sensors that track wheel speed, lateral forces, vehicle roll and other variables. These measurements, along with steering data provided by the SAS, are used to control various driver-assist systems such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electric Power Steering and Active Steering. In recent years, workshops have started to see more and more cars fitted with a SAS and this trend will accelerate even faster with the introduction of the compulsory fitting of ESC systems as standard from the start of this year. For the ESC system to work properly, it requires the SAS to be properly calibrated to the straight-ahead position in line with the front wheels and the vehicle’s thrustline, to relay accurate steering information. Historically, to reset the sensor or to cancel the dashboard warning light was a lengthy process requiring one or more expensive diagnostic tools. Few of these provide documentary proof of the reset, for the customer.
Workshops with the Hunter HawkEye WA Imaging Aligner and equipped with CodeLink are already ahead of the game claim Pro-Align.
How CodeLink works
The process of the alignment check by the Hunter HawkEye WA imaging aligner remains unchanged; a full four wheel alignment measurement and any necessary adjustments ensure the vehicle is within the manufacturer’s specifications. The CodeLink handset is then plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port. The fully integrated system on the aligner displays a number of simple instructions via the aligner’s screen, allowing the SAS reset and calibration to be undertaken quickly and easily. The alignment and CodeLink report is then printed out.
Improved efficiency and profits
As workshops continue to see more and more vehicles equipped with ESC systems, and therefore Steering Angle Sensors, efficient servicing and calibration will become increasingly important. With the ease of use, precision and professionalism that the integrated CodeLink system provides at the end of the standard wheel alignment service, there’s little point in spending lengthy amounts of time on this operation separately, or worse still, spending money sending the car to a main dealer for this potentially simple operation.