Thursday, August 16Serving the aftermarket

Alignment checks should be an MOT essential for ADAS vehicles

Absolute Alignment, suppliers of OEM-approved Bluetooth and 3D wheel alignment equipment, champions Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) best practice – recommending that four-wheel alignment checks should now be part of the standard MOT for any ADAS-equipped vehicle.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems have been around for some time now – including lane change warnings, adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking and brake control. ADAS sensors rely on correct rear thrust angle, hence four-wheel alignment is now an even more important factor in road safety as a millimetric misalignment can result in ADAS errors.

The public impression has traditionally been ‘the steering took a knock so the tracking should be checked’ but with ADAS it goes deeper than that. If any part of a vehicle is changed relating to the suspension, steering, sub-frame, body or windscreen, or even if a slight adjustment is made to the steering using only a front-end tracking gauge, it could impact on the ADAS sensor calibration and require four wheel alignment to be carried out to ensure ADAS accuracy and driver safety. 

Repairs that would previously have been minor on passenger cars and commercial vehicles without ADAS now become critical safety points.

Chris Dear, Absolute Alignment’s Technical Director, comments, “With ADAS-equipped vehicles, in the event of an accident, diligent investigators will be asking awkward questions as to why ADAS has let the driver down. Different manufacturers have varying approaches to checking ADAS sensor alignment, but there are two factors that are common to all – correct tyre pressures and correct four-wheel alignment.

“At Absolute Alignment we believe the safety of the driver comes first. The only way to ensure that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems function 100% as they should, and as they have been designed to do in order to protect drivers and passengers, is to introduce four wheel alignment checks as mandatory to any standard MOT carried out on an ADAS-equipped vehicle.”