Is Auto Glass Calibration Necessary After Windshield Replacement?

windshield replacement

A vehicle that drives itself? How about one that reminds you to use your turn signal when you change lanes or warns you when you’re drifting?

It sounds like the cartoon shows of 30 years ago that featured flying vehicles and a robot that did the dishes! But today’s advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians daily in our modern vehicles.

These systems are reliant on sensors and cameras you may not even notice that are found in various places around your vehicle, such as on or around the windshield. Some systems use information from one type of sensor, but others gather data from multiple sensors to get a better view of the vehicle’s situation.

ADAS camera sensors use high-powered microprocessors and data processing algorithms. These sensors and algorithms convert the constantly changing image the camera sees into digital information that’s then used to control the safety-critical systems in the vehicle.

Let’s get to the question we need to tackle here: what happens when the windshield is repaired or replaced?

It’s a question that most drivers wouldn’t even think to ask, since the technology is so new. It’s an important question, though, since damage to a windshield is one of the most common reasons for insurance claims. Every driver will most likely need this repair at some point, so it’s critical for drivers to understand ADAS, how these systems are impacted by accidents, and what questions need to be asked.

Here at Max Auto Glass, we can answer your questions about ADAS as well as take care of the systems after an accident.

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Let’s learn more about ADAS and what needs to happen after a windshield is replaced.

What Is ADAS and ADAS Auto Glass Recalibration?

The recalibration of your vehicle’s ADAS refers to the “physical alignment, testing, and electronic aiming of sensors that collect data for your vehicle’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).” In other words, after a windshield in your vehicle is replaced or repaired, the sensors, radar, and camera must be checked to ensure they’re aligned and working properly. Even a minor fender bender can affect the accuracy of a sensor or camera.

And there are more ADAS every year. Here are some common systems that are in use today:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Parking assist
  • Adaptive headlights that steer with the vehicle
  • Automatic headlight high-beam activation and dimming

It’s impossible to tell what other ADAS will be developed in the future!

The ADAS features are critical to the safety of those in and around the vehicle. Even a lane keeping assist error of a fraction of an inch can end in damage to vehicles and injury or loss of life. The professionals at Max Auto Glass understand the necessity of properly recalibrating these systems and include this service as part of any auto glass repair or replacement.

Advantages of ADAS

Recent research indicates that ADAS systems reduce not only the risk of some types of accidents but also the severity of unavoidable accidents. There are studies that show ADAS-equipped vehicles may be responsible for:

  • Decreasing total vehicle accidents by 3.5%
  • Reducing bodily injury claims by 27%
  • Causing a 19% decline in property damage frequency

woman driving with new car windshieldOther studies examining the benefits of ADAS windshields and integrated ADAS technologies showed the potential benefits that could result from broader adoption of these features: equipping every vehicle in the US with blind-spot monitoring equipment could’ve prevented 50,000 crashes and 16,000 injuries in 2015.

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study suggests that up to 10% of all police-reported motorcycle crashes could be avoided using crash avoidance technology in passenger vehicles.

Consequences of Faulty ADAS Calibration

A vehicle’s windshield is what the ADAS camera sensors see the world through. The sensors are designed for specific rates of light transmission through glass that has few or no imperfections and distortion.

When a sensor or other data-gathering component of ADAS is faulty, the consequences can be annoying, but they might also be deadly. Sensor input that’s incorrect can cause:

  • A warning light on the instrument panel
  • A diagnostic trouble code stored in the vehicle’s computer memory
  • Steering wheel vibration
  • Vehicle steering pull
  • Increased steering effort

Let’s face it: many drivers will blame a faulty sensor for a dashboard light illuminating. You lose trust in the vehicle’s systems and ignore the dashboard light. You don’t take it seriously, thinking nothing is truly wrong.

A less-than-superior auto repair shop can also lead to wasted time and expense with subpar ADAS recalibration. The safety of everyone involved is too important to lose trust in either the equipment or the repair shop. Max Auto Glass can be relied on for an extremely high level of precision and trusted, experienced professionals equipped with specialized tools.

Auto Glass Calibration Done Right at Max Auto Glass

Before our glass specialists can begin recalibration, the vehicle must meet the manufacturer’s specifications. These include:

  • No heavy items in the vehicle or trunk
  • Tires inflated to recommended pressures
  • Ride height within specifications
  • Fuel tank full
  • Windshield clean in front of camera sensor (where applicable)
  • Protective cover removed from radar sensor (where applicable)
  • Four-wheel alignment performed (where specified)

Obviously, there’s a lot of prep work, even after the new windshield is installed, before the recalibration can begin. For this reason, experienced auto glass specialists should perform these tasks. Max Auto Glass knows the calibration must meet OEM standards, and the ADAS system must function properly after a window replacement.

Max Auto Glass is a preferred insurance provider, and our support staff consists of professionals who use their decades of experience to serve your needs. Our goal is to make auto glass repair and replacement easy and as seamless as possible and now includes auto glass recalibration.


The Max Auto Glass Difference

  • High-Quality Products
  • Technicians Certified By The Auto Glass Safety Council™
  • Excellent Customer Service
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