Aftermarket ADAS Calibration Service "hurdles"

Matt Diagnostician Red Wing, Minnesota Posted   Latest  

We're seriously in the "wild west" when it comes to ADAS service, especially from the independent service perspective. For one, even though on this network at this point in time I may be speaking mostly to the choir, how many of your fellow tradesmen are aware of the use of ADAS, the service implications associated with it as well as liability concerns?


Keith Instructor
Collinsville, Oklahoma

That was some good information, especially when I hear that a company like Hunter even notices the lack of information and standardization among the OE's with the majority of ADAS systems and procedures.

I find it mildly entertaining, although more frightening, that Hunter displayed an antiquated and incompatable OEM tool that does not even interface with the vehicle they were using in the demonstration. 

They specified that the Consult tool should be used after the procedure, and they pictured the old Consult 3 tool VCI that does not support 2013+ MY vehicles. When in fact they should have specified the Consult 3+.

+6 Ð Bounty Awarded
Albin Diagnostician
Leavenworth, Washington

Matt, thanks for the link. here is a piece I snipped from the link,

"For a collision repairer, this raises the usual dilemma over aftermarket tools or parts: With a safety system — and ultimately, a computer driver — controlling a 3,000-pound, 60 mph block of metal carrying human beings, can you afford to take the risk of an imitation?"

This is a very important question, not only to the collision industry, but also to the mechanical side of the industry. I think most all of us have seen some rather shoddy repairs that have been done to vehicles, and allowed them back on the roads. This liability thing with vehicle repairs should be a very sobering thought to this whole industry.

+4 Ð Bounty Awarded
Jorge Manager
Fresno, California

I recently read an article Seth mentioned from ETI - ADAS: Truth and Consequences.

From the article..."...a recent case involving Toyota lane change detection, an ADAS technology located in vehicle side mirrors. During the collision repair, the driver side mirror was not calibrated properly (sensor alignment was off of true by five degrees). The vehicle left the shop this way, and was involved in a subsequent accident, not because the lane departure system didn’t function, but rather because it wasn’t calibrated to do so accurately."

I know nothing about the case of this Toyota. If the the accident was a result of a 5 degree error...perhaps the issue is the manufacture putting out a technology that is not ready? Simple question...what are all of the events that could move a sensor out by 5 degrees...and the sensor not know it? 

Right now, there is a class action lawsuit against Toyota regarding the windshield. If the sensors have to "see through" the windshield and...during normal driving a rock hits the windshield resulting in a crack, does the vehicle become a public danger if the systems are not deactivated immediately? (See paragraph 4)


+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
David Mobile Technician
Rimforest, California

I remember similar concerns when SRS came out. If a shop replaces a cable reel, then a frontal collision occurs and the airbag does not deploy. What's the liability of shop? After a while (although still there) the intensity of those concerns died down. I suspect when the "unknown that we fear" becomes common place, the same dynamic will happen, but it's a long road ahead on ADAS.

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Jim Curriculum Developer
Frederick, Maryland

Interesting. Toyota has the ability to detect camera obstruction which will deactivate both Lane keep and radar cruise. 

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Scott Manager
Claremont, California

Hi Jorge, 

Looks like the owners manual has most of this covered.

Pages 269 & 271 talk about the Driving Support Systems and avoiding malfunctions of the camera system.

Pages 287 & 291 talk about the Lane Departure Alert warnings.

Page 668 Talks specifically about the Forward Camera System and it's ability to shut down the system.

If “Forward Camera System Unavailable” or “Forward Camera System Unavailable Clean Windshield” is displayed. 

* The following systems may be suspended until the problem shown in the message is resolved. 

  • PCS (Pre-Collision System)*
  • LDA (Lane Departure Alert with steering control)*
  • Dynamic radar cruise control with full-speed range*
  • Automatic High Beam* *: If equipped

Ultimately, I think the driver should be responsible for inspecting the vehicle before operation, similarly to how a pilot checks out his machine prior to operation. Who can check the CFR for private citizen vehicle operation?

I also saw warnings in the manual about replacing the headlights with something other than the original. I know that we've had customers request headlight upgrades and on some vehicles that could be risky. There was also mention that one should never change the vehicle ride height. I can see these systems affecting other businesses engaged in modifying vehicles. Everyone engaged in this industry needs to be aware!

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Dean Owner
Albany, New York

At this point, OEM laptop, OEM procedure and OEM targets. At least until this whole ADAS thing gets sorted out and becomes common place. Too much liability. 

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Business Development Manager
Ann Arbor, Michigan

I have spent a LOT Of time in the last three months dealing with ADAS since we (DrewTech) are about to launch a new collision product. The key point we need to stress to shops, consumers, insurers, etc. is the separation of the technology with the procedure.


Right. The scan tool sends a ”calibration” request to the appropriate ECU and the reset/calibration procedure is part of the ECU programming, not the scan tool. The ECU will take the scan tool request and then attempt do whatever the software engineer deemed is the proper learn sequence.

Where we are getting really scared is when the ECU calibrates something that is clearly out of spec. How do we know what good is? Case in point: the Honda Odyssey example on YouTube (with the step ladder) that has been discussed at several conferences. I had a collision shop relate to me a few weeks ago about at LDW system in an Audi that would not complete the calibration because the mounting bracket in the quarter panel assembly was 1 mm off, causing the targets to not be fully seen. After 2 quarter panel replacements (& 5 trips to the dealer) they ended up “massaging” the panel with a hammer until it would complete. Team effort between body shop techs and dealer techs with ODIS. 

The attached screen shots are probably copyrighted and I will get shot outside the city limits, but these were shown two weeks ago at NACE by (my friend) Kirk Holland while monkeying with a Honda CIVIC automatic braking and LDW systems. He was very systematic in how he modified the mounts to see how the vehicle would respond. 

That is the world we are entering with ADAS. We needed to be ready last week...

+9 Ð Bounty Awarded
Dean Owner
Albany, New York

I don't understand why, at this point aftermarket companies are getting into the ADAS market. I hope they have really good liability insurance. In this litigation heavy society, I don't see the advantage. Plus, the aftermarket systems seem to be more expensive than the OEM. At this point, I only use OEM, no reason not to and I do a good number of these systems, OEM ONLY!

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

I really like the idea of having procedures for testing the functionality of these systems. I have heard of using giant inflatable vehicles to test automatic braking systems. Seems a little impractical but maybe that will become standard practice down the road?

I would agree the OEM service info for these systems is typically lacking and in some cases incorrect. I will attach a link to a video of a 2012 Jeep that has some conflicting service information in the procedures.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded