Should we Really be Looking for Wheel Alignment Accuracy?
The easy answer is yes, and no.
It’s possible that the age-old question of “How accurate is your wheel alignment equipment?” is, put simply, the wrong question.
Talking to our specialist Everard garage equipment sales team, the usual answer is for us to quote the manufacturers tolerances either +- 2 minutes or 1/8th of a millimetre. In the words of our resident alignment expert and Divisional Manager, Jamie Taylor, the truthful answer is that “All wheel aligners are accurate if you’ve nothing to measure them against.”
A true quality wheel aligner should give the same result, from initial check to initial check, even with clamps being removed and reinstalled and even after a test drive. This is known as repeatability, an area in which many of our customers have justified concerns.
We can consider wheel alignment akin to the Scientific Method: This is the tried-and-tested form of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data is gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from the data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested. It’s been the very backbone of scientific research since its publication by Francis Bacon in 1621. The key in the scientific method, obviously, is that data must be RELIABLE and REPEATABLE.
A vehicle manufacturers method of certifying and approving wheel alignment equipment (to be sure it meets with regulatory standards) includes testing in controlled environments and isolating alignment procedures for repeatable results. Many manufacturers have a minimum standard for wheel alignment kit, opting for a printout and a measurement known as ‘rim run out’ – how much a wheel ‘wobbles’ as it rotates. They may also stipulate specific software and procedural requirements, along with additional ride height measurements, to meet standards.
We want more than that for the premier garages our clients manage and maintain. We need a repeatable AND reliable measurement. We need something ‘measurably better’ while still being quicker than the competition – time is money.
When buying a wheel alignment system invest wisely and ask, “How repeatable are the results of your wheel aligner?” not how accurate. Accuracy is arbitrary if there’s nothing to compare it against. Repeatability promotes repeat customers visits and happy customers mean customer retention. When you can show dependable results, you have a comparison.
We’re proud to be able to offer our clients a comprehensive range of wheel alignment options, including the Beissbarth touchless system, the Easy 3D system with Smart Test (the world‘s simplest solution for wheel alignment) and the cost-effective CCD system (ideal for smaller workshops). Get in touch with our specialists on 01430 330330 (option 3) and we’ll find the right, REPEATABLE and most reliable solution for you.
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