The automotive repair industry is undergoing one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) revolution it has ever seen. Vehicle technology is advancing at a pace never seen before. The future promises big paradigm changes – on the horizon we see potential for: driverless cars; ownerless cars; gasoline-free cars; etc. The seeds of this technology are here now: lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, drowsy driver awareness, smart headlights, self-parking systems, etc – all available in today’s cars.
Vehicle performance is also at an all-time high – the classic measurement of 0-60mph has had the 3-second ‘impossible’ goal smashed and it’s likely we’ll see the next impossible (2 seconds) broken as well. Also, thankfully, we’re seeing huge advances in safety, comfort, fuel economy, and even luxury levels.
This crazy brave-new-world of automobiles has many auto service centers wondering about their futures too.
Here is one of our answers: Undercarriage Service.
Simply put: vehicles and their consumers are creating greater demands for undercarriage/chassis performance than ever before. Suspension design, tire technology, active cruise control systems, ABS and traction control systems are all much more advanced and require an equal step-up in service technology and intelligence.
Tire service, wheel balancing, alignments, suspension service, etc all contribute to the safety and handling of your vehicle and all are important. The industry has known this for years; what we’re just starting to get our heads around is how much more important these areas are becoming and what we need to do to meet these needs.
The great news is pioneers in this space have discovered a SYNERGISTIC opportunity – where one plus one is certainly greater than two. Performing these services in a complementary way is creating vehicle handling, safety and ride quality that is decidedly better than the sum-of-the-parts of the single/simple elements.
Like everything technology is leading the way – we are invested heavily in this technology and offer:
Tomorrow’s alignment is a Touchless alignment – one that uses cameras and many measurement points to profile a vehicle’s wheel alignment in a comprehensive analysis of how the vehicle rides, turns, handles exceptions, etc. This creates a much more accurate alignment than the old reflective target setup. (That necessitated the mounting of a reflective target onto the vehicle’s wheels – ‘touching’ the car.)
Repeatability is greatly increased as the inevitable error introduced with the mounting of a wheel-target is eliminated. The Beissbarth system is constantly self-calibrationing as well creating more accurate results over the old paradigm of setting a machine’s calibration and assuming it is correct (and remains so).
Touchless means wheel damage from alignment machine targets is a thing of the past; this is a big deal for vehicles with expensive / fancier wheels that were (of course) the ones most vulnerable to alignment-target scrapes and damage.
Our Beissbarth Touchless aligner is one of the first in the United States and offers these features in a service no-one else, including your favorite new-car dealership, offers.
Tire Tread Analysis
Checking tire tread with depth gauges and a visual inspection is a crude tool to soon be part of the automotive dark-ages.
Instead tools like our Beissbarth Easy Tread will create an accurate report of all four tires with an analysis of the entire footprint of each tire.
Ultimately this will make vehicles safer on the road while also allowing technicians insights into a vehicle’s suspension and alignment. With this tool we can provide you with a better handling vehicle, a safer vehicle, and a more enjoyable vehicle. Even better this will also create significant cost saving for you by catching abnormal tire wear early – preserving tire life while correcting the root-cause before it cascades into bigger suspension problems; etc.
Road Force Wheel Balancing
Also coming into a new age is wheel balancing technology with Hunter Equipment’s Road Force technology leading the way. Road-force tests a tire balance in a new and important way – it adds a roller that simulates the road (or road-force) during the balancing process. This will reveal tire abnormalities that other tire balancing technologies cannot.
This isn’t just about identifying a ‘bad tire’: Hunter’s engineers take wheel characteristics into account and the Road Force software can define best-balance results by changing the position of the tire on the wheel (informally called ‘clocking’) to have the imperfections in the tire cancel imperfections in the wheel to create a best-balanced assembly.
If that weren’t enough Hunter’s software takes this best positioning idea a step further and will suggest changing wheel positions on the vehicle to get the best results.
The new age of vehicle technology is upon us! Undercarriage service is going to become more and more important. Cars are going faster, consumer demands are greater, automotive automation systems are here to stay – all are creating increased demands on your car’s agility and precision on the road. To meet this demand your automotive technician needs tools that were not available in the recent past.
I’ve serviced a few DeLoreans in my past (two actually). They were fun but Hollywood and Back To The Future are wrong: we do not have flying cars in 2015, 2016 or even 2018. 2030 isn’t looking very promising either. Until our vehicles change that paradigm the Undercarriage Services offered by Galloping Gertie’s Garage will be your best way to safely stay on the road.
For the record: time travel doesn’t appear possible by hitting 88 mph in a DeLorean either.