The business of ADAS for general repair shops, after suspension repairs or wheel alignment, January 2021
This is additional information to my previous post on the the subject of what Adas resets or calibrations might be required after chassis and alignment service in general repair shops. This is not about the technical aspects of performing those operations, but the business of performing resets or calibrations, after routine service.
It is comments like this (from the archives of this forum) that cause me great apprehension:
"The mobile tech set the aftermarket target and did the initial capture/calibration, the advice after that was done was to drive the car for about an hour for a dynamic calibration. The tech drove for an hour and a half, car was not finishing up with any success. Next day he borrowed the proper target from the dealer, went back and repeated the capture/calibration, and drove the car for less than an hour."
We bill by the minute in this industry. When I first started saying that, we were just over $1.00 per minute. Now, we may as well call it $2 a minute. When I see time thrown around like it is a “cost of doing business”, it concerns me. I know we could not survive in our store with that approach. It is profitability (or lack of) that causes most of the severe issues we face in the automotive service industry.
I also get concerned when I review reams of Adas content, and I see very little that address's what will likely be the most common need for an Adas reset or calibration, Imo. Just imagine the number of suspension repairs/alignments that occur on a daily basis, compared to the amount of accident repairs and other reasons for Adas considerations. Routine suspension repairs and alignment wins hands down, 10 to one, or better, Imo. Yet I watched a well done Adas video recently that spent 10 minutes on lifted/lowered suspensions and Adas considerations when performing those modifications, and a couple sentences on chassis repair and alignment.
So that was the rant, now here is info I hope others find useful:
This all started for me, while I was looking for a front counter resource for my service advisors, so they could speak efficiently and intelligently with consumers about the additional cost of services as a result of Adas. I have now reviewed many of the common resources. In my store, we are moving forward with Hunternet (not Hunternet 2, which serves a separate purpose) and Mitchell as our primary front counter resources. Hunternet (image attached) lays out the needed information quickly by YMM(still lacking actual labor times), and appears to duplicate much of the information included with their latest alignment equipment. It does require a user/password that must be secured through a Hunter rep, so not the answer for everyone. The Hunter Safety Systems paper guide would be my second choice, and i suspect available to all.
Mitchell will be our backup source, where we need to find actual labor times. Their Adas tab provides a summary chart (image attached), but they still lack convenient labor times, and do not address resets/calibrations required post routine chassis/alignment service. Labor times still require drill down.
Other resources discovered as follows:(the archives of this forum are also filled with great information)
mechscansolutions.com/home nice image of various radar/lidar on a modern vehicle. will be good to use with customers to help them understand the additional costs.
ciclink.com/wp-content/upl….pdf 07/2020 great power point, very complete, great images
youtube.com/watch?v=_omIai… 1/7/2021 Opus adas interview. need to at least listen to the following 8:00(question we better get good at asking) 11:50(can't back up) 15:00(considerations)
mycardoeswhat.org/manufacturers good links to manufacturer websites talking about safety systems on the car
facebook.com/BodyShopBusine… dave fox adas video, not aapex
aapexshow.com/attendee-porta… free aapex access to complete Dave Fox complete adas video, requires free signup
How to Prepare for ADAS Repairs adas bay setup
vehicleservicepros.com/home/article/2… very complete looking targeting fixture
adaptautomotive.com/articles/304-d… check list for an adas bay.
ratchetandwrench.com/articles/10804… … two shop owners talk about setting up an adas center
tech-cor.com/wp-content/upl….pdf good links page for adas
hunter.com/training/hunte… free Hunter courses
Randy, Nice research. The statement “The mobile tech set the aftermarket target and did the initial capture/calibration” Really gets me. We do Mobile Calibrations. As a company that does programming we already use many OE scan tools. I see problems with every aftermarket and OE Scan tool almost on a daily basis. It always changes. It has been my experience the best strategy is OE. We took the…
Thanks Sam. Now imagine if you had no intention of performing adas repairs or calibrations in the near future, but you did wheel alignments as a primary service, and had to decide how much of this you were willing to pay attention to/ invest in, so you “can feel like or be considered” a professional in the industry (by people that don't do wheel alignments). For sure, it is going to take a…
You will probably never get book times for calibrations, at least I hope not. Reason being is so many variables exist. What tool are you using? What additional issues does the car have outside just needing the calibration done (super common with body shop repairs, as they are all wrecks, literally). I have seen some times thrown around occasionally but flat pricing will serve you best by being…
Thanks Wesley. I agree with the package/flat pricing. We are working on that now for our specific situation and capabilities. It would be helpful to have easy access to either labor time, difficulty code, or an easily accessible step by step of the process required. Again, my only concern for the near future is what is required after suspension repairs/alignment.
Randall! Nice research but yet an over kill. Most of the information you have posted has been out on the market for years. I have been doing mobile ADAS and even at my shop. There is always a learning curve. What was easy on one Calibration may be harder on the next as you may or may not have all the history or the facts to the vehicle. You will also need to have the skill set to diagnose…
Bob, we chose a few OEM to do adas calibrations mobile. The biggest challenge I see is the lack of understanding if when it needs a calibration. I don't know how many times I have had body shops say “no light on dash, drives fine” I try to explain manufacturer requirements for calibrations. We may get 1 that way. The next time. Same shop. Same writer. Same kind of car. Same discussion. The lack…
Thanks Bob. Many of your points are valid and little doubt the profitability of this endeavor will come down to the process we put in place, and the ability of our front counter to demonstrate the value. You assessment of our market is accurate and we have geared up for the basic “resets” and additional basic adapters/tooling necessary to perform those “resets” on common vehicles to our shop. My…
It later occurred to me that besides my service advisors needing to know what the requirements are for adas resets and target calibrations, after non-accident related alignments, my techs need to be able to quickly determine what optional adas systems may be on the vehicle. I tried using Repairlink vin attributes, but it was far to cumbersome to be efficient, even though the data was in there on…