Frequently Asked Questions

 

Important questions about resetting steering systems:

Why is a steering system reset necessary?
A growing number of vehicle manufacturers require a reset to calibrate the on-board system sensors with the steering geometry of a newly aligned vehicle, ensuring the systems work as intended.

What can happen if a required steering system reset is not performed?
Depending on the vehicle, the consequences may vary from a dashboard warning light or steering wheel dithering (rocking side to side) to vehicle drift or pull conditions.

How long does it take to perform a steering system reset?
In a matter of minutes, a technician can reset the sensors of steering-related on-board systems and properly complete the alignment.

Important questions about wheel alignment:

How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way. Driving a vehicle for 12,000 miles with a misalignment of only 0.34 degrees (0.17 inches) out of specification would be equivalent to dragging the tires sideways for 68 miles!

What are some easy-to-notice symptoms of a misaligned vehicle?
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- Vehicle drift or pull
- A feeling of looseness or wandering
- An out-of-level steering wheel

How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Always follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation in your owner's manual. But as a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.


How long have steering angle sensors (SAS) been in use?
These sensors have been in use on certain vehicles since the early 1990s, but became commonplace by 1998.

Why does the SAS need to be calibrated or reset after a wheel alignment?
Because it is required by the OEM.

When did OEMs begin requiring SAS reset with alignment?
Some as early as 2003, others as recently as 2008, though some 2008 models were specified as early as 2002. Hunter’s WinAlign software has always provided vehicle specific screens that advised technicians that special equipment and software would be required to complete the alignment.

Why am I just now hearing that SAS need service?
Because many newer on-board systems such as electronic stability control and electric power steering rely on accurate input of the driver’s intentions. This input is provided by the SAS.

Why do some OEMs require SAS reset in conjunction with alignment on only particular models or model year of vehicles?
Each OEM has their own specific selection criteria on which vehicles are affected.

Why don’t all OEMs require reset after alignment?
Each OEM has its own service requirement criteria. Most OEMs have only added the requirement in the last few years. Some as recently as 2008.

Does the SAS need to calibrated or reset if thrust angle is not changed during the wheel alignment?
Yes. Thrust angle is only one of many conditions causing the SAS to report a value other than zero when the front wheels are steered straight-ahead based on the thrust angle.

Question: Why do some SAS reset procedures require the vehicle to be driven a given distance to complete the procedure?
Each vehicle manufacturer develops the SAS reset procedure based on the technology and design of the system. In some cases, a test drive is needed for the vehicle’s ECM to verify proper operation. CodeLink will indicate which specific vehicles require a test drive.

Do SAS automatically calibrate themselves after the vehicle has been driven a given distance?
On some vehicles, SAS is automatically calibrated; on other vehicles, it is not. In either case, OEM mandates determine whether SAS reset is required after wheel alignment. Always follow the OEM's recommended service procedures.

What may happen if the SAS requires calibration or reset and the process is ignored?
A variety of symptoms may result from a SAS reporting inaccurate information. Examples of such symptoms may be a shutdown of the electronic stability control system, untimely application of individual brakes, steering wheel vibration or a vehicle that drifts of pulls in one direction.

Why don’t the OEMs all use the same system to avoid needing a multitude of scan tools and procedures?
Historically, OEMs develop technology independent of each other as a method of gaining market advantage. In addition, some OEMs use different technology within their own model line.

Why has Hunter Engineering Company decided to enter the scan tool market?
CodeLink is not a stand-alone scan tool. Hunter’s patented CodeLink device is an integrated solution for SAS reset. It is designed to be used in the alignment bay at the end of alignment adjustments while the vehicle is still on the alignment rack. Proof of completion is included on the printout, so the vehicle owner is assured the work was done correctly.

How do I know CodeLink will work with the vehicle selected for wheel alignment?
The most visual method of knowing if the CodeLink device will work with the vehicle selected is the CodeLink icon located in WinAlign’s procedure bar on the right side of the display. An application guide (Form 6066-T) is also available for use away from the alignment system.

How do I know which SAS reset procedure to use from one model vehicle to another?
CodeLink does it for you. CodeLink is programmed to follow the exact procedure given by the OEM for the vehicle recalled from specification memory.

Does CodeLink read and report all DTCs?
CodeLink is an alignment tool, not a scan tool. CodeLink reads and reports DTCs relative to the systems affected by the SAS.

Does CodeLink reset other vehicle sensors in addition to SAS?
Yes. CodeLink also automatically resets other related sensors, such as yaw rate and deceleration sensors, when required by the OEM.

Will Hunter Engineering Company continue to develop the CodeLink software to address additional vehicles?
Yes. Hunter Engineering Company is working on expanding CodeLink’s application for both newer and older vehicles.

How do I update my CodeLink device?
WinAlign specification updates will include new CodeLink reset procedures to support added vehicles. However, possible improvements to the CodeLink user interface, the printouts or the integration of the CodeLink step in the alignment procedure will require a WinAlign software update.


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