Headlamp Alignment Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need an Optical Headlamp Aligner?

Optical headlamp alignment is the measurement of the position of the lamp by means of an electronic or mechanical system. The Symtech systems are designed around and incorporate a precision lens, which has a prescribed focal length. Systems of this nature measure the light emitted from the lamp and assess the position of the light at 25 feet in front of the vehicle.

Previous to 1990, all lamps were manufactured with aiming nibs, that is, the bumps on the outer lens of the lamp that destroyed your bug sponge when washing the vehicle. The nibs were for the distinct purpose of registering and positioning a mechanical alignment system to the lamp lens using suction cups. Aiming pads were on all US headlamps until 1991. The Grand Prix was the first onto the market without aiming pads and utilized level vials. This has rendered the mechanical alignment devices with the suction cups obsolete.

Today, most automobiles are manufactured with headlamps that do not have aiming nibs and the truck market is gradually moving in that direction. All Symtech systems can align lamps with or without aiming pads.


Do Symtech Corporation Headlamp Alignment Systems meet the required standard?

The SCA1, HBA5 and CVA3EZ have all been found to meet the requirements of the SAE Standards. Due to certain characteristics the BCA 4 will not meet specifications of the state and federal standards.

Can the Symtech Corporation systems align all types of headlamps?

All our systems can align all of the past, present and what we understand as the future of forward lighting systems. This includes high beam, low beam and fog/auxiliary lighting for both foreign and domestic automobiles.

Are the Symtech Corporation systems approved for State Inspection Programs?

The LCA2, LCA2EZ and CVA3EZ are approved in all states with the exception of Virginia and Maryland, where electronic optical systems such as the PLA11, PLA12 and HBA5 are specifically required.

Are optical systems difficult to operate?

Not if they are DESIGNED for ease of use. Symtech optical systems require less training, in fact, most all questions can be answered by a phone call. This means less time to perform a headlamp alignment. For example, checking alignment on a two headlamp application can be performed in less than 2 minutes if no adjustment is required.

What about calibration of the units?

All Symtech systems allow for calibration in the field by the operator. NO return to the manufacturer for costly calibration assurances and no down time.

Do I have to dedicate a specific area for headlamp alignment?

NO! All Symtech systems utilize a laser accurate floor slope assessment system. Electronic systems incorporate rechargeable power supplies making our equipment a highly portable system to be used throughout the shop.

What is the warranty for Symtech Headlamp Alignment Systems?

All systems are warranted for one full year from date of purchase. However, warranty does not apply to equipment that has been subjected to misuse, neglect or accident.

Who in my area will service my unit?

All Symtech systems are designed for modular component replacement, with repairs 98% of the time performed at your facility, by you. Should any component of the system malfunction or become damaged, a phone call to Symtech Technical Assistance can assess the problem, advise of replacement component and instruct you on the repair upon receipt of component.

Down time is costly. The shipping of components instead of a complete unit, coupled with your ability to do repairs on site, allows for lower shipping costs and less time that your Symtech system is off line. Symtech’s 24 hour turn-around of replacement components not only saves you money, but assures you of quality parts designed specifically for your equipment.


How do I purchase a Symtech Optical headlamp Alignment System?

Contact Symtech Corporation at 888-884-8182 for a distributor near you, or click here for the name of your nearest representative.

Vehicles without headlamp aiming pads.

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