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Hofmann Megaplan Blog

Welcome to the Hofmann Megaplan blog. Check back regularly for news, product launches and events.

The Wheel Alignment Blog | Winter Wheel Alignment System Tips

A quick one this month on the havoc cold weather can wreak when it comes to your wheel alignment system!

Keep your Turn Plates Turning, no matter the weather...

 The severity of weather makes a massive difference of course but cold weather normally means more ice on the road. As such we see more salt, dirt and sometimes even sludge on the roads. All of this will collect within the wheel arches of vehicles and it can easily fall onto your turn plates. This will result in corrosion of the turn plates and their useful lifespan being decreased. Did you know a very fine spray of lubricant daily can save your turn plates from corroding? A small cost to make a big saving long term.

Caster Swings + the cold = A MUST! 

​Don't forget your caster swings, especially in the cold!

Most machines are able to bypass doing a caster swing and so this may not be a check you think to regularly complete. However, this could mean you are missing out on service up sales from damage more commonly caused during the winter months. 

Hitting the kerb at any speed can have a noticeable effect on alignment but many don't realise the unseen damage that happens. We commonly see bent wishbones in the winter months from cases where a customer has skidded on ice and had an impact with the kerb. 

Not doing your caster swing check could mean you are missing out on replacing bent wishbones. Your customers will thank you as they drive away safer!

Infrared Interruption 

Most modern computer wheel alignment machines use infrared technology. That includes 3D and CCD alignment machines. 

We always receive, without fail, several callouts over the winter periods where erratic readings or blocked beams have been reported on these systems. The issue is often quite an obscure one. 

We've found that many garages are now starting to use infrared heaters to keep their workshops warm in the winter. The issue? Unfortunately, these heaters are polluting the space with infrared rays. It is an easy problem to overcome though. The solution is to simply not to shine the heaters near the wheel aligners whilst in use.

Keep warm and keep aligning with the accuracy these machines are built to offer! 

Your winter alignment woes?

​Have you got any other winter alignment woes or tips to overcoming issues thrown up by the cold weather? Let us know now. Our engineers are always on hand to help. Call 01480 8-9-10-11 today and arrange to speak to a member of the alignment team.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I'm from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

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The Wheel Alignment Blog | Benefits of Offering Alignment

"Why do I need to offer wheel alignment?" A question those not already well versed in providing alignment services may ask, and a valid one to those not in the know. This month we're going to put forth a few of the most common reason garages choose to add alignment to their service roster. We hope if you don't already, it will quickly become clear why you should invest

One of the main reason you need to offer alignment services is the huge demand caused by the state of many UK roads. Many potholes are not going anywhere any time soon. Alongside speed bumps and kerbs, all can cause havoc for suspension and thus alignment.

What's more, any work completed on a vehicle's suspension, including wheel bearings, springs, arms and shocks to name but a few, will also impact a vehicle's alignment and thus a check should be completed following work of this nature. This also includes dropping down of the subframe to fit clutches and gearboxes. Could you be offering alignment alongside this work to give your customers the best ride possible?

It is easy to overlook the fact that wheels are also getting bigger whilst tyre profiles are getting lower. What does this mean for your customers? More strain for the suspension! Refer to the point above. While the suspension is designed to bend, with many alloy and mild steel components offer greater bend, the alignment will always bear some of this impact.

Modern vehicles also contain many electronics and these rely on alignment being correct. These can fail and render a car undrivable, all because the alignment hasn't been reset.

What we all need to remember is that the customer wants a straight steering wheel and for the car to perform as it should. As a vehicle operator, errors here are often the most obvious to spot, hence one of the most important things to be corrected.

It is for this reason we recommend an alignment check every 10,000 miles or every service.

Did we mention alignment not only helps your customers and improves your service offering but also makes you more money! The average price for 1 adjustment (e.g. front toe) can be £30-£35. That means doing a fully adjustable car could make you a couple of hundred pounds.

It's not just the alignment you'll be making money on either. Just a few examples include:

  • You will be able to identify and fix further issues, e.g. worn or bent components
  • In many cases, you will have to un-seize components or replace the track rod ends in order to complete alignment, all chargeable work

What else might you need to inform the customer of?

  • Alignment allows you to make sure the car will respond correctly once a new part is fitted or old part removed
  • You can provide them with a before and after printout to illustrate how the car has been adjusted
  • You are able to keep a record of all alignments on the machine as evidence, demonstrating that when the car left everything was as it should be. Months or even weeks later it could be out again and that isn't because you didn't do it right the first time!

Ecoline 88 recently installed in a customers site by the Hofmann Megaplan alignment engineers.

Time to offer alignment?

By now we're hoping that if you don't already offer the service, you're seeing the great value that can be gained by offering alignment. Based on some of the above examples, machines like our Ecoline 88 can 100% pay themselves off in as little as 6 months, completing as few as 4 averagely priced alignments a week to do so! That's 100% profit for your garage thereafter. You can work this out for yourself by using our online revenue calculator now!

Call our team today on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss the maths and find out more about the expansive range of wheel alignment solutions Hofmann Megaplan offers to suit all garages and requirements.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I'm from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine. 

Continue reading
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