CRA Business Profitability Explored

Why not alignments, do body shops really know what they are passing up and what opportunities they are giving away by not doing alignment work?


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COLLISION SHOPS CHOOSING to pass on alignment work have their reasons. We don’t have space. We do have space, but don’t want to give up the bay. We can’t spare the techs. Or the time.

Shops choosing not to sublet alignment work have their reasons, too. It’s usually one big one: profitability.

Now that ADAS work is so intertwined with alignment, you can’t think of one without the other. The decision to sublet or keep in-house has large financial implications: Should I be giving these opportunities away?

To put it plainly, no.




Numbers tell the tale.

Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of vehicles coming into regular service shops will need alignment work. For vehicles coming into collision shops, that need will be even higher.

So if you look for alignment work, you’ll always find it. But you don’t have to look for it. You just have to open the door.

And that’s good news, because alignments are on the short list of the highest- margin services you can perform. With the right equipment, you can inspect and complete the work well under book time, all day, every day, year after year.





Sure, one might say, but given all the other things collision shops are engaged in, are alignments really worth it? Again, the numbers. A $100 in-house alignment will bring $70. That’s profitable. A $110 alignment sublet elsewhere will bring $10. That’s not profitable.

Not only is it not profitable, but shops go out of their way for it to be not profitable. Transport risk, towing reimbursement, quality control, and most critically, extended cycle time are not things that advance your business goals. If there’s something not worth it, it’s taking this much trouble for so little return.

And then there’s the elephant on the shop floor. ADAS is taking over the automotive world. Manufacturers now require calibrations whenever a host of typical procedures are performed, such as windshield replacement, suspension repair, changes in ride height and many more. In other words, pretty much anything that brings vehicles into a collision shop—especially collisions.


Why Not Alignments


This matters, because ADAS calibration begin with an alignment inspection. If the car isn’t going straight, then neither is the ADAS.

And that really matters, because calibrations can run anywhere from $250 to possibly $1,000. Who said alignments aren’t worth it?




Once you’ve decided to keep alignment work in-house, it’s easy to become skilled at performing it. The first step is investing in the right equipment.

Hunter’s Hawkeye Elite® was specifically designed to perform alignments in existing space quickly, easily, and without a high degree of technician expertise. How quick? Four adaptors are attached to the wheels in a single trip around the vehicle. Four precision cameras instantly provide measurements with pinpoint accuracy. Total elapsed time: 70 seconds.

CodeLink®, Hunter’s original integrated scan tool, plays an important role as well. CodeLink® leads techs through the steering angle sensor reset, critical to ensuring the safety systems know the direction the vehicle is moving.

This reset is regarded as the last step in the alignment process, but now it can also be regarded as the first step in the recalibration process. When it’s time to cross this bridge to ADAS, Hunter’s ADASLink® full-diagnostic scan tool takes over and carefully guides techs step by step through proper procedures for more than 25 million vehicles.

Today, alignment and ADAS are two sides of the same coin. When your shop makes the commitment to becoming skilled at these profitable lines of work—instead of allowing others to do so—Hunter Engineering has the equipment to help you every step of the way. To learn more, visit



Article Credit to Ultimate Collision Repair Shop.


What do you think of doing alignment work in your shop? Do you think it makes business sense to do alignment work given the close relationship with ADAS scanning and re-calibration? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.



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