People usually ask the difference between Laser and 3D imaging alignment. Well one is old technology (Laser) and the 3D imaging is modern and more precise. It’s almost like buying a car from the 90’s and buying a car made in 2022. The difference in quality and reliability have drastically improved.
Laser Wheel Alignment
Technology has changed, using bulky laser alignment technology is no longer practical. The clamps that attach to the wheel need regular calibration and are very sensitive to bumps or drops. In a shop where dozens of technicians are using the equipment there is always a possibility for damage. Also most calibration has to be done by a special repair person that needs to be called in to do the calibration and repair.
If this is not done and the technicians continue to use the equipment the alignments tend to come out false. Meaning the readings are not correct within the allowable specification. Causing the steering wheel to be off or tire wear to be a factor. This alignment system has been phasing out over the last ten years and more shops are moving into a more modern set up. All dealerships have switched over to 3D imaging alignment machines as manufacturers will only recognize a 3D system being used rather than a laser aligner.
3D imaging Alignment
The future of wheel alignment technology is now being used at most premium alignment shops. The clamps that attach to the wheel require very little attention and do not have sensitive electronics in them that can be damaged. The manufacturers who developed the technology wanted to get away from vulnerable electronics that cause valuable down time and incorrect readings. So basically how the technology works is it has A 3D camera and reflectors that are clamped on to the wheel. The high speed cameras take continuous pictures of the clamp reflectors and transform those images into a 3D image of the suspension system. It is more accurate and data is streaming live and precise of every wheel. Calibration is done easily through the computer’s software and can be done without specialized repair persons. With having a more accurate alignment it provides a quality beyond the rest.
So if you’re thinking of doing an alignment in the near future consider using the best and most accurate machine available to align your vehicle’s wheels. The alignment results will speak for themselves. Most tire manufacturers now recommend doing a 3D imaging alignment when installing a new set of tires. This will help prolong tire life. If you visit a shop for an alignment ask more questions. Do they provide a report ? What type of Wheel Alignment system are they using ? Have they aligned your type of vehicle before? Asking a few questions can be the difference between receiving a good alignment or a world of problems.