Alignment and Calibration: Expert Advice - OHS Body Shop

Vehicles are becoming more and more complex today. On the one hand, the advanced technologies integrated into modern vehicles are aimed to make driving safer and more comfortable providing better control over the traffic situation. However, there might be a significant pitfall: drivers are getting used to relying on those systems on the road. In case one of them is not calibrated correctly, it may lead to an accident.

The terms alignment and calibration are often used as interchangeable matters. However, it is not entirely true. However, they are intercorrelated since, after any kind of alignments, it is crucial to make sure that all the pre-collision systems have been properly calibrated.

This step is crucial and should be considered by the mechanic or insurance estimator. In case there is any impact to the chassis or grille or the vehicle had to be realigned, all the pre-collision systems and cruise radar should be checked and recalibrated thoroughly.

Which sensors require specific attention after realignment?

There are two crucial systems that may be compromised by any impact to the chassis or grille:

  • Dynamic radar cruise control;
  • Pre-collision systems.

The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control allows a driver to maintain the pre-set distance from a vehicle that is moving in the front. It is responsible for slowing the vehicle down and resuming the speed, so your vehicle can constantly maintain the traffic velocity. Due to the fact that most accidents happen because drivers tend to fail to maintain a safe distance and cannot react at sudden stops due to various reasons, the dynamic radar cruise control has become one of the most efficient dynamic features to prevent collisions.

Pre-collision systems are aimed at the drivers` and passengers` safety mostly. Not only that detect obstacles on the way and adjust breaks so the vehicle could stop on time, but they are also responsible for such features as seatbelts adjustment, making the most efficient in case of collision or sudden stop. More advanced PCS incorporate cameras that are able to detect and determine certain objects on the car’s way, predicting the course of events.

Alignment and sensors position

In most modern vehicles, the sensors mentioned above are placed behind the grille. In some models, they are even attached to the grille. It is crucial for a sensor to be placed at a specific place as its position determines the proper work and the system’s adequate response.

With any kind of manipulation with the grille or chassis, especially alignment, there is a big possibility that the sensor’s placement can be altered. Therefore thorough inspection and calibration is an integral part of the service.
The sensors are designed to point precisely down the centerline of the vehicle’s movement. It means that once the chassis is not aligned properly, the sensors` accuracy and efficiency will be compromised, making the vehicle unsafe to drive.

In other words, calibration and alignment are not interchangeable matters, but they come hand in hand once we talk about any kind of impact on the vehicle’s grill or chassis. That is why both procedures should be included in the estimation, as one never comes without another.

Here at OHS Body Shop, we provide high-quality service to each customer taking care of your comfort and safety. Appreciating your time, we provide thorough vehicle examination, qualified repair, and recommendations that correspond to the most advanced safety requirements.

Visit our branches all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, located in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Here our qualified mechanics will answer all your questions, provide a fair and detailed estimate and consider all the necessary procedures to return your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible and in the best technical condition, it can be.