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Steve’s Auto Repair upgrades ADAS calibration system

In Alignment by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia just upgraded their Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) recalibration alignment system. 

This is used to align camera systems, lane assist, park assist, collision avoidance, emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. 

Many vehicles use ADAS today and resets are sometimes needed while services are being performed. We invested in the complete ADAS system last year.

ADAS calibration

In our recent upgrade, we received a CCD camera system for aligning the calibration machine to the car. 

If you’re getting an ADAS calibration, it’s important to check the alignment to make sure it’s within specifications, allowing the sensors and radars to work correctly. 

The upgrade enables our technicians to check the alignment right there with the ADAS system, rather than moving to a separate bay and having the alignment checked. If everything is within specifications, we can move forward with the ADAS calibration, which saves us a lot of time.

Setting up these ADAS calibration machines can be quite difficult and time consuming. Through the upgrade, we are able to put targets on the wheels of the vehicle and find the center line more quickly than before. It’s reducing our time from 15 to 25 minutes a set up to 2 minutes. In addition to saving time, it’s also more accurate. 

When having windshields replaced, body panels replaced, the bumper removed for maintenance work – which is required for a lot of vehicles – or electrical components changed, it’s important to make sure the ADAS system has been recalibrated so that the vehicle will be able to operate in a safe manner. 

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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New wheel alignment machine purchased by Steve’s Auto Repair

In Alignment by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Improvements are consistently being made to technology today.

This includes the car industry, where vehicles are receiving more updated software and systems.

To service modern day cars, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is upgrading its equipment.

It invested in a new wheel alignment machine that offers many perks for the Woodbridge-based business.

The Hoffman Geo Aligner 770 is much faster than our older equipment. It used to take 3 or 4 minutes to get the center readings, a task that should now take about 90 seconds.

We also have access to Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), with the system receiving automatic updates.

“That way when new vehicles hit the market or there are updates on the alignment angles, we automatically get those updates so we’re not a year or two behind,” Steve’s Auto Repair Owner Scott Whitling explained. 

The machine uses ultra high resolution cameras, an upgrade from the standard resolution on our previous aligner.

“So the technology has definitely gotten a lot better throughout the years,” Michael Kneller from MP Equipment said.

Instead of simply taking pictures, the new wheel alignment machine provides a video of the targets. 

This allows the technician to make adjustments based on live footage, rather than waiting for the equipment to catch up.

Vehicles with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) can be used on the Hoffman Geo Aligner 770. 

Blind spot detection, emergency braking, park assist and surround view are some parts of ADAS. Steve’s Auto Repair invested in the complete ADAS system last year.

A first step in calibrating the systems is ensuring the wheel alignment is correct.

“When you enter a vehicle into the system before you begin your alignment, the system will tell you all necessary systems that may need to be reset or calibrated to give an accurate alignment,” Kneller explained. 

One of the systems includes the steering wheel angle sensor, which gives the computer input from the driver how fast they’re turning the steering wheel.

The machine will also share frame dimensions and tell you if a car has a bad tire, which would need to be taken care of before the alignment is performed. 

The report can be retrieved as a PDF, helping a shop go paperless.  

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire: Who we are and what we do

In Alignment, Inspection, Maintenance, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has been serving the Woodbridge area for more than 32 years.

We are located at 2603 Hanco Center Drive – off Route 1 and Neabsco Mills Road – and provide a variety of services to meet your vehicle’s needs.

Services offered at Steve’s Auto Repair

State inspections and emissions inspections are among the services we offer.

Our technicians also perform oil changes and tune ups, and take care of your check engine light if it turns on.

During oil changes, they conduct mini state inspections. We will look over your vehicle and point out anything that may be a safety issue, a maintenance issue, or a service we recommend based on its mileage.

If you notice a strange noise or your car is acting strange, we can help with that too.

Steve’s Auto Repair is also able to service vehicles that use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), including camera and targeted systems.

To keep you updated while your car is at the shop, our technicians perform digital inspections that provide you with photos, videos and information about repairs and recommendations.

Tires and tire services available

Steve’s Auto Repair is an authorized Goodyear Tire dealer. If you’re driving on or past Neabsco Mills Road, you may notice our big Goodyear sign.

We also sell other types of tires, including Kelly, Dunlop and Hankook.

If you’re looking for new tires, our staff is happy to help you find the right fit for your vehicle and budget.

In addition to selling tires, we do mounting, balancing, tire rotations and tire repair.

Our technicians perform wheel alignments, as well.

Pick up and drop off services

There are many ways you can drop off your car for service.

“You can either drop it off in the night owl night service or you can come into the office during hours that we’re open,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said. 

We are open between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Staff members are also available to meet you in the parking lot and collect the keys and information.

Need a ride? We also have a free shuttle service that can pick you up or drop you off.

A pick up and delivery service is available, as well. Please give us a call to arrange it.

More about Steve’s Auto Repair

Some repair shops try to hit you for everything at once, because they are concerned you won’t come back.

We want to give a good evaluation of your car, so you know what condition it’s in. We don’t care about getting the sale today, we want to take care of you and your family for many years.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is a family-owned business. 

We support local non-profits and believe in the importance of giving back to our community.

“If you’ve been here before, we really appreciate you coming,” Whitling said. “If you haven’t been here, please give us a try.”

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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How much does a wheel alignment cost?

In Alignment by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Like state inspections, wheel alignments should be done annually.

This service can help you get the most out of your tires by preventing them from wearing out too soon, saving you money in the long run.

The type of alignment needed is based on the vehicle.

Two-wheel alignments, which are also called front-end alignments, are performed on most pickup trucks. Four-wheel alignments, on the other hand, are conducted on most cars.

While doing an alignment, we check a few adjustments, such as caster, camber and toe.

Caster is the angle of the wheels toward the front or back. Meanwhile, camber describes how they slant inward and outward. Toe refers to where the wheels are in relation to the center of the vehicle.

The wheels are inspected and a test drive is performed, as well.

How much is a wheel alignment?

The cost of a wheel alignment can be affected by different circumstances, including how old a vehicle is, the make and model, and the type of alignment needed.

An alignment costs between $80 and $188. This is how it breaks down, according to the type of vehicle.

A 2 wheel alignment or a 4 wheel alignment costs about $100. That is before any discounts or coupons.

If you have a GM truck, you could be looking at $146, due to the upper control arm adjustments needed. It takes a bit longer to do this service.

If you have a lifted truck and/or aftermarket suspension parts, it could cost $188. 

These costs do not include additional services that are needed. This includes suspension components becoming worn or seized by rust, bushings that have gone bad, and needing special parts, such as ball joints and adjustable control arms that would need to be installed to bring an alignment back into the correct specifications.

For vehicles that only need front end adjustments – which you could normally do a two wheel alignment on – the back may be modified with shims on the backing plates to bring the toe and camber into the right specs, even if they aren’t on car adjustments.

Cars that have toe specifications on all four wheels may require other parts to change the caster and camber. 

Vehicle safety systems, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), could impact the cost, because after getting an alignment there may be a system that needs to be recalibrated.

Shopping for a cheap alignment only based on price isn’t a good idea. 

Many places will technically put the readings in the green, but it may not be a good overall alignment. The manufacturers provide a range of adjustments. Even if they may be in the green, if the tires are pointed slightly to the left, it could cause the vehicle to pull while going down the road.

Our technicians look at the overall alignment, not just trying to turn the screen green.

Sometimes, even though the specifications may be technically just outside the green zone on the screen, it isn’t always necessary to replace parts to compensate for it. The amount of wear would be so miniscule, repairs may not be needed. 

That’s the type of information our technicians and service writers bring to our customers to help them make the best decision about a wheel alignment.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Why is my vehicle swaying from side to side?

In Alignment, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is your vehicle swaying from side to side?

It could be a sign that a part needs to be replaced.

This was the case with a 2004 Ford F250 that was dropped off. Our customer, who bought the truck recently, felt like it was wandering. He compared it to the swaying of a boat.

There were no braking problems or steering wheel issues. The driver also didn’t feel any vibrations.

Brian checked out the truck and determined that it needed a new drag link. This part connects the steering gear box and tie rod ends and is usually found on larger vehicles, such as trucks and vans.

Vehicle swaying
New drag link

After the drag link was installed, we performed a wheel alignment.

We recommend having wheel alignments – also known as “tire alignments” – performed once a year, or when you get new tires or steering suspension components.

A bad drag link isn’t the only possible reason why a vehicle is swaying. 

Loose suspension parts, such as ball joints and tie rods, may also cause it to feel unstable.

Tire wear can also impact steering.

In order to pass the Virginia Safety Inspection, the minimum tread depth of a tire is 2/32 of an inch. Manufacturers may recommend replacing the tires between 3/32 of an inch to 5/32 of an inch.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.