How does digital wheel alignment work?
Using sensors, cameras, and other digital devices, digital wheel alignment uses advanced technology to measure and adjust the wheel angle according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
In this process, the vehicle is placed on a special alignment rack or lift, and sensors are attached to each wheel. The sensors communicate with a computer system, which analyzes the data and measures the angle of each wheel.
By using specialized tools, the technician can align each wheel correctly by adjusting its camber, caster, and toe angles. In contrast to traditional wheel alignment, which relied on manual measurements and adjustments, the process is typically faster and more accurate.
In addition to improving vehicle handling, reducing tire wear, and increasing fuel efficiency, digital wheel alignment provides a smoother and safer driving experience.
Alignment of wheels digitally
Over the past several decades, advances in computing and sensing technologies have enabled increasingly precise and efficient wheel alignment.
The first attempts at digital wheel alignment involved using analog gauges and manual measurements to determine wheel angles. However, these methods were often inaccurate and time-consuming, leading to the development of computerized systems in the 1980s. In these early systems, data was collected and analyzed using basic sensors and processors, but their accuracy and functionality were still limited.
With the development of more powerful and sophisticated computer systems, as well as more precise sensing and measurement technologies, digital wheel alignment technology has progressed significantly over the years. The data collected by modern digital wheel alignment systems is fed into a computer program to calculate the necessary adjustments based on the position and orientation of each wheel.
In addition to being more accurate and efficient than previous methods, digital wheel alignment has also enabled new features such as automated adjustments and diagnostic tools. It is possible, for example, for some systems to automatically adjust wheel camber, toe, and caster angles based on pre-set parameters, while others can diagnose suspension or steering system issues based on data collected during alignment.
The development of digital wheel alignment has been driven by the need for more accurate and efficient methods of aligning wheels, as well as advances in computing and sensing technology. In the years to come, digital wheel alignment is likely to become even more precise and sophisticated as these technologies continue to improve.
Digital wheel alignment benefits
Digital wheel alignment has several benefits, including:
A properly aligned wheel can improve the vehicle’s handling, improving safety and reducing driver fatigue.
Tire life extended: Uneven tire wear can result from misaligned wheels, resulting in premature tire replacement. Digital wheel alignment ensures that tires wear evenly, which makes them last longer.
Proper wheel alignment can reduce drag and resistance, resulting in better fuel economy. Misaligned wheels can cause increased drag and resistance, which reduces fuel efficiency.
Digital wheel alignment can reduce vibrations, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride for passengers. Misaligned wheels can cause vibrations and shaking, which can be uncomfortable for passengers.
A properly aligned wheel can prevent steering and suspension issues, such as pulling to one side, uneven tire wear, and premature component wear.
As an important part of routine vehicle maintenance, digital wheel alignment can improve a vehicle’s performance, safety, and longevity.
What is the difference between digital wheel alignment and computerized wheel alignment?
Digital wheel alignment and computerized wheel alignment refer to the use of advanced technology, such as sensors, cameras, and computers, to accurately measure and adjust the angles of a vehicle’s wheels.
Compared to traditional wheel alignment methods that rely on manual measurements and adjustments, digital wheel alignment and computerized wheel alignment are more advanced methods. It is faster and more accurate to use these newer methods, ensuring the wheels are aligned according to their manufacturer’s specifications more precisely.
In both cases, the technology used to align the wheels is digital or computer-based, which allows for more precise measurements and adjustments. Ultimately, whether you use the term “digital wheel alignment” or “computerized wheel alignment,” both refer to the use of advanced technology to align a vehicle’s wheels.
After wheel alignment, does ADAS calibration need to be performed?
In modern vehicles, ADAS refers to the various sensors and technologies used to improve safety and assist driving, such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
To ensure the wheels are aligned with each other and with the vehicle’s frame, the angle of the wheels is adjusted during wheel alignment. Even small changes in wheel alignment can cause the sensors to pick up false readings, affecting the accuracy of ADAS systems, which rely on precise measurements. Inaccurate or dangerous driving behavior can result from this.
ADAS calibrations are recommended after any major service that affects wheel alignment to solve this problem.