What Does ADAS Calibration Mean On My Estimate?

When you see “ADAS Calibration” on your estimate from a North Carolina auto body shop, you may be wondering what it means and what does it have to do with getting your car repaired. Is it essential for your vehicle, or is there another option?

Here at Statesville Collision Center, we want to inform North Carolina drivers about what specific car repair procedures mean for your car and what you can expect when you take your vehicle into the shop. That way, you know just how vital these particular repair procedures are for your car and gives you a better understanding of what things mean on your auto body repair estimate. 

Below, we describe what an ADAS Calibration is, the importance of this type of repair, and what you can expect.

What Is ADAS?  

Almost every new U.S. car that is sold comes equipped with some form of ADAS technology. As we move towards a future of self-driving vehicles being the new normal, ADAS is the beginning of this new future. In case you didn’t know, ADAS stands for “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.” These are the advanced safety features your car comes with to provide a higher level of protection on the road. This is accomplished through a complex system of cameras, radar, sensors, and onboard computers. They are designed to enhance your ability to drive free of error or to fully take over in the event that there is no longer proper attention from the driver. 

Some of the most common ADAS features that you may have in your vehicle are:

  • Blindspot detection
  • Forward collision warning 
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Emergency braking

The ADAS system’s in today’s advanced cars are made up of a network of sensors. The most common of these sensors are ultrasonic, camera, and radar. These sensors are necessary for the ADAS safety features to properly operate to “see” what’s happening and view the surroundings. They are essentially a pair of eyes located everywhere on the car to provide you with the assistance of computers to correct improper driving behaviors and driver limitations. Although ADAS technologies can’t actually stop a collision from happening, they can certainly help prevent it from happening. 

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA for short, made rearview cameras a requirement for all new vehicles. Over 200 people are killed annually from backover accidents with an additional 14,000 injuries contributed to rear related accidents. These numbers are too high, so hopefully, ADAS technologies can reduce these numbers and make the roads a safer place for all. 

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 specialized equipment and tools with highly trained technicians capable of adjusting or resetting these systems. Each one of these sensors is precisely positioned to perform its designed safety features. Only the best auto body shops have highly trained technicians capable of accurately performing an ADAS calibration with the specialized tools and equipment. 

Calibration is necessary if the camera or sensor’s position is altered in any way. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is imperative when it comes to the calibration of the ADAS systems in your car. AAA states, “…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 is a mere inch out of alignment, it will focus on an area at least 50 feet away and your safety will be jeopardized. It’s pretty scary to think that a mere inch or degree can create a world of difference to what goes on inside your vehicle. Even a simple fender bender can put you at serious risk for being in another accident. You want to take your vehicle to a body shop that knows the importance of ADAS calibration. 

Failure to properly calibrate a sensor can also cause the following to happen:

  • 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?

Recalibrating an ADAS system often requires that we bring your vehicle to the dealer. Each manufacturer will have its own methods for calibration. Some manufacturers require your car to be full of gas, be placed on perfectly level ground. From there, the sensors would be aimed at recalibration targets while the system updates through a scanning device hooked to your vehicle’s OBD port and monitored by a certified technician (sometimes remotely). It is a very precise and lengthy process that has to be performed, or it can seriously jeopardize the overall safety and ADAS functionality in your car. It’s often best to have the dealer who specializes in just that one brand to recalibrate the vehicle. We’ll then bring it back to the shop for delivery. 

When is an ADAS Calibration Needed?  

An ADAS Calibration is necessary whenever any of the sensors on a vehicle are disrupted in any way. It can be from a fender bender, major collision, or even getting a simple service repair. Some typical service repairs that could potentially disrupt the sensors are wheel alignment, windshield replacement, suspension repairs, change in tire size, and even car roof repair. 

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. ADAS calibration will also 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. 

In case you didn’t know, DTC stands for “Diagnostic Trouble Code,” which are the codes that appear once a technician hooks up a scanner to your car’s diagnostic port. DTCs are stored in the vehicle’s computer memory every time there is an issue with any of the ADAS systems. These Diagnostic Trouble Codes also provide technicians with a vantage point on where they should begin the repair. 

Who in North Carolina Knows How To Perform An ADAS Calibration? 

Here at Statesville Collision Center, we know that an ADAS calibration means much more than making sure all the sensors in your vehicle are installed. It takes skill, the right equipment, and specialized knowledge to perform an ADAS calibration accurately. Sometimes, it might require a trip to the dealer before the vehicle is ready for pickup. 

Our technicians are all I-CAR Gold Class trained, which only about 10% of auto repair shops achieve. This means that our technicians have received the highest level of training and know what it means to repair your car the right way. We are always checking OEM repair procedures and understand what it takes to give you the best possible repair out there!

Feel free to give us a call at (704)-881-0410. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get an online quote, we’re more than happy to help out! We offer these on our website to make the car repair process as stress-free as possible!

We look forward to hearing from you!