From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Alignments Too Critical for Collision Repair Shops to Not Do Them In-House (article continued)

We may also have to do some advanced diagnosis. The subframe could be misaligned, for example. If you let the subframe bolts loose and it jumps, that tells you it’s got some pressure on it. You may also have to adjust a cross-member for torque steer.

There’s just a lot more that we have to do.

Being able to do alignments in-house is also important because I believe that in order to write an accurate damage analysis, a pre-alignment check is necessary. I’ve been heartened to see in our “Who Pays for What?” surveys over the years that more shops are reporting regularly being paid for this procedure. Back in 2015, only 37% of shops said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” for a pre-diagnostic alignment by the eight largest national insurers. That was up to 45% in last year’s survey.

Still, about two in five shops acknowledge never having sought to be paid for this important process. I’d like to think those shops are doing the pre-alignment check and just not billing for the labor involved, but I’m also concerned some of them are not taking vehicle alignment into account early in the process as they should be.

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