What is proxi alignment?

July 20, 2023
In the United States, proxi alignment may be a lesser-known term, compared to the U.K. market, but there are a variety of car manufacturers that require it. Here's a deeper dive on what it is and what tools you need.

If we took the title above and had it easily fit into the question/answer format from the popular daytime gameshow, Jeopardy!, we’d most likely find it under the category called FCA, which stands for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The answer would be something like this: a programming process that allows modules or electronic control units (ECUs) to communicate with the vehicle.

What does proxi alignment mean?

On many original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) vehicles, when you replace a module like a body control module or an instrument cluster, you must do a procedure for the vehicle to recognize that the new module has been installed.

FCA Group calls this a proxi alignment procedure. (Also known as a proxi configuration).

In fact, a few years ago, I would explain this type of procedure as an automotive repair version of an ‘introduction and a handshake’ for when a new module or component is installed.

Imagine being in a room full of strangers who are completely ignoring you. Between one another they are all acting like family - laughing, talking and hugging. They do not even realize that you are there. Then a friend of yours arrives and introduces you around the room to everyone. You shake each hand and get their names and they do the same. They immediately accept you into their family.

In a nutshell, proxi alignment is the friend that introduces the new module to all the components and configurations that make up the family unit that we call the vehicle.

All the various computer modules and components around the vehicle need to talk to and accept each other. A proxi alignment tells them all to accept each other. This is used when components are changed or when communication is lost for some reason.

Common misconceptions are it has something to do with controller area network (CAN) set-up, but it does not. Nor does it have anything to do with flash ECM or reflash ECM.

Now before you think that your search for proxi alignment is a misspelling if you are using Google search engines, I want to mention that the word “proxy” is commonly misspelled using the letter “Y” instead of an “I”. Even as someone who is known to stump Microsoft Word spellcheck when it has a difficult time knowing what I’m trying to spell, know that there are multiple ways to spell this term. For the purpose of this article, since FCA Group spells it with an “I”, we’re going to keep it that way.

In the United States, proxi alignment may be a lesser-known term, compared to the U.K. market, but there are a variety of car manufacturers that require it, such as Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler to name a few. We’ll dive more into this below.

What components and vehicles should I expect will require a proxi alignment?

BCM – Body Control Module:

    • IPC – instrument cluster panel

    • DSM – display screen module

    • SDM – sliding door modules (left and right)

    • CTM – convergence telematic computer

There are certainly more components that can be added to the list, but these are the core items.

The OEMs that can require proxi alignment are the following:

2001 – 2023 Alpha Romeo

2011 – 2023 Chrysler

2006 – 2023 Citroen

2012 – 2023 Dodge

2004 – 2017 Ferrari

1991 – 2023 Fiat

2014 – 2023 Jeep

2006 – 2023 Peugeot

2014 – 2023 Ram

What proxi alignment tool do I need?

The good news is that your up-to-date Snap-on scan tool will do the job. A repair and information system like ShopKey Pro (see below) will guide you as to when the procedure is needed and where to find it.

How to do a proxi alignment on a Fiat 500 using a TRITON-D10

Case Study – 2015 Fiat 500 Turbo 1.4L

The vehicle has a new module installed. Prior to starting the vehicle, the module needs to be calibrated to the vehicle. Using the proxi alignment functional test, the new module is properly calibrated to the vehicle. This process will properly set up the new module for the vehicle.

After identifying the vehicle, we will select proxi alignment found under body controls.

Next, the screen displays an explanation for the procedure.

The current proxi status is displayed.

And just like that, handshakes all around and everyone is one big happy family.

IMPORTANT – If a proxi alignment is not completed when required, an engine light may stay on or issues with various components may occur.

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