Wheel alignment processes and equipment have changed immensely over the past ten years. Most alignments today can be performed from any corner of the vehicle. The operator no longer has to make changes, go back to the control center, then return back to the care, over and over. With either a tablet, smartphone, or interactive touchpad at the vehicle, the operator can both read and input information. Maintaining said wheel alignment machines or equipment has changed as well.
Almost gone are the days of greasy and dirty analogue and mechanical equipment attached to cars with wires or manual sites attached. With that said, the need for degreasing equipment and changing hard-parts for alignment equipment is nearly non-existent. Today’s wheel alignment machines need little more than to keep clean, keep updates up to date, and keep the printer operable.
Wheel Alignment Machine Maintenance – Screens and Panels
Most manufacturers include a Maintenance section in the equipment manual, so check first with your manufacturer. To keep plastic panels, touchscreens and computer screens clean, wipe them down regularly with a clean microfiber towel. Use alcohol if necessary, but don’t use any type of degreaser. Degrease can scratch sensitive touchscreens or computer screens and can destroy sensitive electronics. If your system uses cameras, be sure to clean the camera lens/lenses in the same manner (clean microfiber with alcohol, if needed). Also, you can use canned, dry compressed air to blow out any dust. Do not use your shop’s compressor air, this typically contains oil and water, hence destroy your electronics.
If the wheel alignment machines your using still has wires that attach different points, ensure the wires and plugs are clean. Electrical contact cleaner, in an aerosol can, eliminates contaminants on plugs and points of contact. Dielectric grease also aids in proper contact of electrical plugs, but be sure to use sparingly. Keep all wires and connections away from very dirty areas and free from water or other liquids.
Again, the manufacturer of the alignment machine and/or the printer should provide steps in taking care of the printer. In short, be sure to keep the printer area clean, and regularly check the ink/toner cartridge. Another good rule of thumb is to thoroughly blow the printer out with canned dry compressed air each time the cartridge is replaced. DO NOT use the shops compressed air to blow the printer, the oil and water found in the shops air lines are sure to damage any printer.
Most electronics manufacturers continually update the firmware and software of their equipment. Be sure to follow procedures to connect tablets or smartphones to the web and check for updates. Most software updates execute pretty smoothly these days, so there is rarely a need for IT to be involved. In addition, check for updates from your alignment machine manufacturer and the manufacturer of the tablet, smartphone or computer.
Keeping alignment machine maintenance up to date requires a little time, but rarely includes getting dirty. With only a few minutes each week, your machines can remain clean and stay up to date with the latest information and software. To ensure safety when operating and maintaining your alignment equipment, keep the working are clear from clutter and dirt. If you take care of your tools and equipment, the tools and equipment will take care of you.