HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- October is Fall Car Care month and Sears Auto Center is celebrating by making it even easier for American drivers to prepare their rides for the holiday travel season. Sears Auto Center today announced its new ultra time-saving secret weapon in the fight against premature tire wear caused by car and light truck wheels that are out of alignment. In more than half of its approximately 850 U.S. locations, Sears Auto Center has installed a new version of Hunter Engineering's HawkEye Elite™ 3D wheel alignment technology. This alignment technology reduces the time to check a vehicle's alignment specifications to 90 seconds or less. Previously, an alignment check took an average of 20 minutes. More information on the new alignment technology available at Sears Auto Center can be found at sears.com/RapidAlignment.
Sears Auto Centers are the only repair facilities in the nation that can expedite the process thanks to its proprietary acquisition of Quick Check HawkEye Elite™ technology from Hunter Engineering Company.
This state of the art technology is offered to all Sears Auto Center customers, whether they bring their vehicles in for tires, a new battery, an oil change, shock absorbers or struts, or other automotive services. Now all customers' vehicles will automatically and seamlessly receive a free wheel alignment checkup.
"With the old alignment technology, customers typically declined the offer of a wheel alignment check because of the time it would take and the $15 charge for the service," said Joe Finney, president of Automotive for Sears Holdings. "Now we offer the complimentary alignment service and the ability to check all four wheels in less time than it takes one of our Sears Auto Center specialists to record a customer's vehicle and contact information. And since our records show that nearly two out of every three vehicles that come into our Sears Auto Center facilities for wheel alignment checks do not fall within the manufacturers' wheel alignment specifications, we're in a much better position today to help our customers save money by reversing the tire-damaging effects of misaligned wheels."
How It Works
A customer's vehicle is driven into a special Sears Auto Center service bay equipped with the proprietary HawkEye Elite 3D alignment equipment. A Sears Auto Center technician installs High Resolution 3D alignment heads – also known as targets – that are mounted on spring-loaded clamping arms to each of the vehicle's four wheels. Each target and clamping device is designed to adjust easily to various wheel sizes. A thumb lever locks each clamp in place. The 3D Target clamping arms are major enhancements to alignment technology and service. These targets grip the tire tread, not the wheel, thereby preventing any possible damage to customers expensive alloy wheels and rims. The entire target and clamping assembly weighs just six pounds, facilitating quick handling and easy installation.
Digital imaging sensors using high-resolution cameras provide instant on-screen alignment readings and provide 3D modeling of wheel position and orientation. As the digital imaging continues, a technician rolls the vehicle forward one to two feet to capture and record a complete alignment assessment of the vehicle. Since this particular HawkEye Elite technology eliminates the need for a hydraulic lift, the diagnostic time requirement is slashed, as the vehicle remains on the garage floor exactly where it was parked upon arrival at the Sears Auto Center.
In 90 seconds or less, a Sears Auto Center customer can be advised of their vehicle's wheel alignment assessment and the appropriate service required if and when needed. If a wheel alignment is recommended, that process usually can be completed in 30 minutes or less, which is up to 50 percent faster than the previous method.
"New car factory wheel alignments, unfortunately, do not last forever and are adversely affected by normal wear and tear," Finney said. "Pot holes and off-road driving also are big contributors to poor wheel alignments. Given the cost of tire replacement, which generally includes added charges for balancing, new valve stems and disposal of old tires, motorists end up making a sizeable investment that can be protected by having their vehicle's wheel alignment checked on a regular basis."
For more information about car repair services visit www.sears.com/automotive.
About Sears Auto Center
Sears Auto Center is a leading provider of automotive maintenance and repair services and parts, with nearly 850 locations nationwide offering a full array of passenger and light truck tires, DieHard® batteries, Craftsman® auto accessories and more. Sears has a long history as America's trusted place for car care, having offered auto parts since 1905 and service since 1931. Sears Auto Center offers customers convenient locations and hours, as well as an extensive menu of services. Sears Auto Center is a division of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,700 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes over 890 full-line and more than 1,350 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.
SOURCE Sears, Roebuck and Co.