Its nearly impossible to buy any new vehicle that doesn’t have some type of standard safety or “ADAS” equipment. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and its the latest technologies integrated into your car to avoid collision and increase your safety. These safety systems are designed to alert you through a complex system of cameras, radar, sensors and onboard computers if they detect driver inattentiveness or nearness to surrounding objects. Some of the most common ADAS systems are the following:
- Back up cameras
- Blind spot sensors
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Adaptive cruise control
- Emergency braking
The network of sensors are forms of ultrasonic, camera, and radar that work together to seamlessly communicate to a driver to avoid a collision. These sensors are necessary for the ADAS safety features to properly operate to “see” what’s happening around your vehicle. In 2018, the NHTSA made rearview cameras a requirement for all new vehicles because of the alarming number of people killed annually from backover accidents. That doesn’t include the 14,000 injuries contributed to rear related accidents.
What Is ADAS Calibration?
According to AAA, “an ADAS calibration is a process carried out to correctly align the cameras and sensors of a car so that its ADAS system can work as intended.” ADAS calibration requires unique equipment and tools with technicians who are specifically trained to properly know how to perform calibration. Every single safety sensor is precisely placed on your car to perform their designated safety functions so they must remain in the proper position in order to perform. If the position of these cameras or sensors is altered in any way, calibration will be required. In fact, “…a sensor on the car that is out of alignment by a fraction of an inch or even one degree will be aimed at an area significantly off-axis 50 or more feet down the road.” (AAA)
In other words, if one of these sensors are even a tiny bit misaligned, it could result in them focusing 50 feet away and they won’t be able to protect you or your car. Even a simple fender bender can put you at serious risk for being in another accident. You want to be sure you take your vehicle to a body shop that knows the importance of ADAS calibration and employs technicians who are trained properly to handle the equipment.
Failure to properly calibrate a sensor can also cause the following:
- Increased steering effort
- Steering wheel vibration
- Vehicle steering pull
- Diagnostic trouble codes, commonly known as “DTC,” stored in the vehicle’s computer system.
What does ADAS Recalibration Involve?
Every manufacturer has their own protocols for repairing and calibrating the ADAS systems they designed. Some may stipulate that in order to receive the most accurate repair, the vehicle should have a full tank of gas or should be placed on a perfectly level ground. All of manufacturers will require that the sensors are aimed at recalibration targets to update the system. This is achieved by hooking up a scanning device to your vehicle’s OBD port and is monitored by a certified technician (sometimes remotely). The process is tedious and time consuming but failure to follow these steps might result in an unsafe repair causing these sensors to no longer function properly.
When is an ADAS Calibration Needed?
Anytime your car has been jostled in any way, whether its a slow speed fender bender, you tap a curb or crack a windshield you may need ADAS calibration. Even in a more serious accident, a good body shop will check the sensors in areas that don’t appear to be damaged. Anytime repairs including wheel alignment, windshield replacement, suspension repairs, change in tire size, and car roof repair can affect sensors throughout your vehicle that work together in a complex network. If one is altered, they all may not be able to alert you properly.
Calibration is also necessary whenever a sensor or its mounting bracket is repaired in any way or when the front airbag deploys, deflecting off the front windshield. Lastly, ADAS calibration will be needed “when there is a related DTC in the car’s computer memory” or following any technical repair procedures laid out by a manufacturer. A DTC stands for Diagnostic Trouble Code and those are stored in the vehicle’s computer memory every time there is an issue with any of the ADAS systems.
Who in Rockville Centre Knows How To Perform An ADAS Calibration?
We know that an ADAS calibration means your safety and protecting the value of your car. Our highly trained technicians have the specialized knowledge to perform an ADAS calibration to ensure you and your passengers will continue to be protected. While the calibration line item(s) may appear expensive on your estimate, we will always advocate that your car receives them.
Here at Mid Island Collision Center, we are Long Island’s premier choice for collision repair because we know what it means to repair your car the right way. Too many body shops, especially in New York, will jump right on a repair based on a photo estimate, neglecting necessary steps to do a completely safe repair.