ADAS Calibration

Mike Mobile Technician Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Posted   Latest  

I have been fairly outspoken about my feelings on whether or not OEM tools are necessary to correctly calibrate ADAS systems. I believe that aftermarket tools are capable of calibrating these systems correctly. I also believe that if a vehicle was involved in a collision after an ADAS calibration that liability could not be placed on the calibrator solely because a specified tool was not used, without being able to prove that the system was calibrated incorrectly.

This is why the largest collision repair and auto glass companies have adopted aftermarket calibration equipment and procedures exclusively.

To someone not familiar with these calibrations the OEM only debate only hypes this fear of liability that is without a doubt detrimental to our industry as a whole.

To be clear, I do believe that the OEM tools and procedures are the absolute best practice however I don't believe preaching OEM as the only option is healthy for our industry. As you will see in this article calibrations can be performed incorrectly regardless of the tool being used. Leading our technicians to believe that just purchasing tools will provide them indemnity is not what we should be focused on.

Most of these procedures, especially in regards to static calibrations, lean heavily on a technician performing the procedure correctly, and often, there are not procedures for addressing what to do when the calibrations do not complete successfully. Because of this it is imperative that technicians learn and understand these systems as well as the calibrations.

I recently came across an article in ABRN in which the author showed a photo of a Toyota Highlander Blind Spot Radar being calibrated incorrectly. In this photo it can be seen that there are no visible measurements made in order to determine stand placement and the procedure is also being performed with the bumper cover removed.

The article goes on to reference the John Eagle case and the importance of OEM only. Hiding under the guise of using OEM only equipment and SI will not prevent you from being held liable if you calibrate a BSI radar by placing the stand where you think it should be, clicking ok on the OEM scan tool, hoping it passes, and of not moving it until a successful result can be printed.

These are not proper procedures. It is unfortunate that we have companies operating this way within our industry but even more unfortunate that they are publicly presenting these practices to other as acceptable as long as you are using OEM. 

Understanding calibration procedures and what is being calibrated or changed will allow a calibration technician to know what to do in the event of a calibration failure rather than move the target until it takes.

I was asked a while back to put on an ADAS training class and I thought it would be a great way to get some things on paper and learn a little more. I did a lot of research and ended up with a 72 page book that includes a fairly comprehensive list of manufacturer specific systems and even includes a good list of OEM calibration tool part numbers and prices. The class is geared toward providing technicians the knowledge necessary to perform these calibrations properly. It covers calibration angles such as optical axis, reference angle, and azimuth angle that will help clarify not only what is happening when we calibrate, but why it is important for the calibrations to be performed correctly, and also what to do when they fail. I have also included a section with tips and strategies to determine that the system is operating correctly which in my opinion, can oftem be the most important part of calibration.

I would like to share a video excerpt from this training course in which we talk about an aftermarket tools calibration procedure and target and whether or not it is able to sufficiently calibrate a forward looking camera. It is too large to embed but I will post the link below. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

youtube​.​com/watch?v=TCrtJi…

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Mike, I sure as you know, I have also been very outspoken about this topic. I am in complete agreement with you. I believe a proper calibration has more to do with understanding the system, reading and following the proper service information. I also believe that having hands on experience with these systems is invaluable. I also believe it also has more to do with the attention to

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Albin Diagnostician
Leavenworth, Washington
Albin Default
 

Thanks for putting that up. This week I had a chat with a guy from Safelite that was putting a windshield in my car. I asked him what they did for ADAS vehicles. He was telling me he could remove the camera and put it back exactly where it was without doing a calibration and a few other things like that. As repair professionals, whether we do the ADAS calibrations or not, I still see the need

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Any OEM will require a camera calibration after windshield install. Also, OEM windshield only on camera front view equipped vehicles. I'm sure you know all this. It's ironic, because Safelite has developed a complete solution to this with the G- SCAN. Your tech must not have been aware.

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Safelite is using Bosch and the Bosch calibration kit is exclusive to Safelite. I am surprised as well that one of their guys is not performing those calibrations. Opti Aim uses the Gscan and it is windshield camera only.

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

Regarding Safelite, my wife’s 15 GC needed a windshield replaced last year, and we were just getting our feet wet with ADAS. I asked the tech how they handled camera calibrations, and he said they have a Bosch scan tool designed specifically for Safelite for camera calibrations. He said, as my wife’s camera was hanging, that if “a light” didn’t come on afterwards, all was good. I asked if they

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

The Bosch system has probably been in development for a while just like many of the others so I wouldn't be surprised if there were only dynamic calibrations a year ago. The static kit is out now and being used and rumor has it that they have 98% coverage. Bosch makes some of the ADAS components, as well as the factory tools and software. Presumably, they make the software for these systems as

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Neil Mobile Technician
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Neil Default
 

People have figured out, that if you don't unplug a ADAS camera (or any other component) the vehicle doesn't need to be calibrated (this is not in all cases). I know a body shop that changed a right mirror in a 2017 Honda Accord, the vehicle needed to be calibrated, so they took the old mirrors camera and installed in the new mirror and the car no longer asked to be calibrated. The shop sent the

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

I feel like the OEM only and liability scare tactics are only going to work on technicians who would be likely to calibrate these systems correctly. The guys dangling these cameras aren't concerned. That is why I would like to get technicians in our industry to stop being afraid of these systems, learn them, and then make a decision on how they would like to handle these calibrations based on

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Mike: I absolutely agree with your take on the target size and placement. Our targets are the same exact size as the OEM targets. In a training session at our facility in the beginning of October, the engineer leading this project told me that they had performed over 10,000 calibrations of various ADAS systems. The procedures are there for a reason. Granted, the OEMs get a bit ridiculous

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

I am unfamiliar with the CAS system and I guess I just assumed it was the same as the Opti-Aim. I would love to hear more about it and what static radar solutions are offered.

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Mike, I have the G-SCAN software and targets form CAS. I purchased it for Mercedes front view camera. It is the opti-aim system. I must confess. I have only used it on Mercedes. I have only used it once, but I am very happy with it. I bought it from CAS. They are great. As far as I know, the G-SCAN/opti-aim is only for front view cameras. That's not to say it will not cover other ADAS

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Thanks for the info. I have used the Opti-Aim and I thought but I couldn't remember for sure that their targets were smaller and closer. I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong though. I know two of the US aftermarket tools operate in the way I explained in the video. I believe there are only a few available in the US at the moment.

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

I have the OEM targets as well as the G-SCAN. I will compare and post the results.

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Mike: I'll try to keep this from sounding like a commercial. (I have a defined specific territory. Most of you aren't in it.) I'll try not to bore-ass you but since this is a forum, others are reading and may, or may not, know things that you do. Our system is the Opti-Aim Targeting System. It was co-developed with us and 2 other companies. One company markets it to their dedicated

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Mike: I received the new Release Notes yesterday. I did a quick check before I had to leave for western MD. There were 88 results using "radar" as the search query. What I don't know is if the Release Notes include the second update coming out shortly or if another version will be released. oemtools​.​com/images/2019-01…​.​pdf HTH, Guido

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

Anthony, Could you clarify whether CAS uses their own targets or is purchasing them from another source? When I looked into CAS’s system last spring, I was under the impression that they did their own R&D and built their own, but in a recent conservation I had with Will, he said CAS was pruschasing them from a major player. Thanks

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Bob: The targeting system was co-developed by 3 companies, of which we are 1. My replies to Mike Reynolds goes into the details a little deeper. HTH, Guido

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Robert Owner/Technician
Galt, California
Robert Default
 

CAS is the distributor of the GScan and its agreement as told to me was they can sell the Pilkington targets and G-Scan to Auto repair shops and Pilkington sells to Glass Shops. I have the G-Scan and the Pilkington targets purchased from CAS it also includes 360 degree floor panels etc. Does not have BSM setup for Toyota in the orig kit I purchased but I have many OEM targets. Not optmal for…

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
   

Mike, who was changing the size of the targets and how do I purchase your book?

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
   

Without naming names I believe that most of the aftermarket tools available in the US change the target size. A rep from CAS stated their system does not in the thread above. In theory this could work correctly if the targets were moved closer to the camera centerline rather than the vehicle centerline as the camera does not lie on the vehicle centerline. Thank you for your interest in the

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Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill Default
 

Mike I would love to get or purchase a copy of the book you put together. ?

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Bill, Thank you for your interest in the book. To be honest it is mostly in outline format to accompany the slide presentation. Aside from the part numbers and prices of tooling I think the book might not be easy to follow without the presentation and I probably wouldn't feel right charging what they are worth selling them without the course. I've got way too much time in them to give them away

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Terry Diagnostician
Milton, Florida
Terry Default
 

Mike, love the write up! my question is there any ADAS training in future, near Pensacola, fl, Alabama or Georgia areas? I would love to go your training on this. Thank you, Terry …

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Thank you Terry! I would love to do this class anywhere that would have me. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or resources to market and organize this training. If you have an organization, vendor, or association that you think might be interested in hosting this course I would be happy to reach out to them with a promotional flyer and a little info. I considered maybe partnering with, or

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Terry Diagnostician
Milton, Florida
Terry Default
 

Mike, thanks for starting this well informed post. I, to have been researching ADAS calibrations. By no means near your Endeavors! One of the local body shops that I diagnose and program their after collision repairs, send vehicles to the dealerships to calibrate any ADAS systems. I have since talked to the managers and they have no real intentions of investments. Basically saying they are NOT

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
   

That is great to hear that you are diving into ADAS calibrations. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with a buddy who did a lot of R&D for a few of the companies making some of the aftermarket tools. Because my business has the OEM stuff and we're a couple of nerds we got to compare and play around with them which helped us both to learn a lot. Hopefully I have some things I

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Terry, Why would you not just get an autel if your going to go with aftermarket ?

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Terry Diagnostician
Milton, Florida
Terry Default
 

Dean, From what I saw and experienced with AirPro Diagnostics, was that they have done the R and D using the factory scan tools and added that to their remote scan and calibration software. Basically just like Drewtech’s RAP system. Since I would be using the factory tooling for these type calibrations, and to keep the cost down to a few select manufacturers targets ( the body shop vehicles

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Terry, Call me tomorrow, when you get a chance, …

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph Default
 

Mike, do me a favor and keep us posted on that Charleston class I would be happy to make the trip

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Awesome! I will absolutely do that. I think I will be doing 2 here. One will be a "lite" version catered to the body shops (for the purpose of showing them what these components are, and why they need to call MASS for calibtations) and the other will be technician focused. I can put you in the email list and make sure to let you know when we get a date locked down. You can leave me your email on

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Larry Technician
Southern Pines, North Carolina
Larry Default
 

Are you willing to sell a copy of the book?

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Larry, Thank you for your interest in the book. To be honest it is mostly in outline format to accompany the slide presentation. Aside from the part numbers and prices of tooling I think the book might not be easy to follow without the presentation and I probably wouldn't feel right charging what they are worth selling them without the course. I've got way too much time in them to give them away

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

I agree with what you say wholeheartedly. Common sense is the most important issue. BUT.....until there is OEM approval or certification for aftermarket equipment, a good lawyer WILL find a way to pin the blame on the Indy shop ,even if it isnt warranted, in the event of an accident. Those big collision companies you speak of, have the resources to fight back,that the little guys dont have. If

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

I am of the opinion that if the calibration is completed correctly than there would be no way someone could get sued for calibrating it incorrectly. I feel like people with an agenda are manipulating people into thinking that they can be sued for using the wrong tool. That is like saying that a shop could be sued for an accident after doing a brake job and not using a recently calibrated torque

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Bob Business Development Manager
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bob Default
 

Mike, you keep beating the “agenda” drum. I know almost all the people in the last two threads where ADAS is being addressed. Everyone is sincere about dealing with upcoming issues related to serviceability and Repair. The only agenda is an open dialog and sharing of experiences. You are cavalierly dismissing the liability issues being discussed at the major conferences, like the last two CIC

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Bob, Please kindly answer these three questions to the best of your ability. How many airbag and passenger presence modules would you assume have been diagnosed, configured, coded, or calibrated with an aftermarket scan tool over the past 20 years throughout the United States? How many aftermarket scan tools have the OEMs validated for performing airbag related services? How many lawsuits

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
   

Here's what I find interesting about this debate. For at least a year and a half, I have watched those with something to gain clamor on about liability and OEM. Many of the most outspoken do not understand calibrations enough to perform them correctly let alone advise others on them. Proof of that can be found in the aforementioned ABRN article. If these outspoken voices knew anything at all

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Spoken from someone who gets his hands dirty, fixing cars everyday.

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Bob Business Development Manager
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bob Default
 

I’m confident the OEM engineers we talk to would find your insinuations quite charming. Well done to both of you, you’ve definitely made the rest of us pause in admiration.

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Mr . Augustine, I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm also sorry to tell you. Again, I have every, every factory scan tool, and factory targets. I know you don't want to hear this, again, Autologic is not the only solution to fix cars, I'm sorry. The aftermarket has access to the same tools as the factory. Your Autologic pro crash platform is still an aftermarket tool. I'm sorry, Robby. I know you

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Bob Business Development Manager
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bob Default
 

Nice try Dean. No where can you find me saying AL is the only solution, in fact, exegetic readers saw me saying the exact opposite. I’m recommending the OEM tool on all ADAS equipped Post scans. Maybe that was clear enough for you?

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

That doesn't answer any of the questions I asked in what I thought was beginning to be a healthy debate. I have always heard great things about Bob Augustine and am beyond disappointed to have been insulted after asking questions that I feel if answered would show how ridiculous this debate even is.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

Well I certainly have no agenda , Im just a schmoe in the trenches looking at this from a pragmatic point of view. Im sure you understand these systems like the back of your hand and can say with %100 certainty that proper calibrations can be done with aftermarket equipment. Unfortunately "Mike said it was ok" isnt a good legal defense and I think it would be prudent for the aftermarket to err

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Rudy, If you watched the video or read the post, you would see that I am actually stating the exact opposite of everything that you just mentioned...

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

Oh, youre correct. I misunderstood. I apologize.

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
   

One would have to wonder if repairs such as fuel line replacement, aka switching from steel to nylon, and brake line repairs where non-OEM materials were used would fall under the same scrutiny as ADAS calibrations using A/M systems? If a fire starts where occupants are hurt due to poor workmanship or non-OEM materials being used on fuel line repairs (it’s had to have happened), how is that any

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Aftermarket brake pads vs. OEM?

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Mike and Dean, Thank you for bringing up this dialogue and exposing some of the misconceptions about ADAS systems. Most importantly that these systems can be "aimed" incorrectly. What is better aimed incorrectly with OE tooling or aimed correctly with aftermarket tooling? I do some ADAS systems and agree that understanding is the key. The procedures I perform I feel comfortable with and

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Your welcome John, if you ever need anything, let me know. My phone is always on. It's my pleasure to help when I can.

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Same here Dean my phone is always open. Just some food for thought on this topic. I was conversing with a Toyota dealer tech a couple of weeks back and the subject of ADAS came up. I asked him if they mark up the floor, do measurements, etc. He was like no way we put it in the approximate position and then move it around until it goes through then ship it. Another tech I know that works for

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Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

John, That is crazy. Here is a Toyota RAV front distance sensor, I did tonight using......wait for it........wait for it.......FACTORY SCAN TOOL AND FACTORY TARGET. I lay the tape out and take pictures so the grid is visible. I use a laser to find centerline of vehicle. My next purchase will be a body camera for when I do these, no joke.

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
   

John, would that be considered the FACTORY procedure? I would bet that warranty time on an ADAS calibration is woefully inadequate.

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

Bob, take a look at the posted labor times for performing these repairs. It’s disturbing to say the least. However, once you’ve gotten past the “learning curve” on a particular make and system, it’s really not that bad. But, having to adhere to posted labor times (many calibration times are less than 1 hr) and having any type of ROI on your investment doesn’t seem likely. We cold-called area

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi John: I was speaking on the phone with a Toyota Motor Sales manager earlier today. He is intimately involved with their training program. I relayed what you had posted. (No name, just the story.) He was a bit surprised and disappointed. While he doesn't wish to get involved, he was willing to say that this is definitely not an approved Toyota procedure. He indicated that he was disappointed

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Anthony, I am sure he was suprised and disappointed. So was I. We all know what should be done and what really happens in the real world. I would have to ask this gentleman how many ADAS calibrations he has done and how many he has done after a collision event. I was discussing ADAS the other day with another mobile tech and we were discussing the big difference in doing ADAS on a rental that

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

John, If a body shop is working on any vehicle with milliwave radar and then they sublet the calibration to someone else, they must make sure they get their end correct or they could be in for some very expensive comebacks at the very least! For example, one body shop had the “heavy lifting” on locating a rear 1/4 panel on a CRV. SI makes locating the 1/4 panel using plum bobs, laying out the

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike Default
 

Some really good examples of the headaches we are running into with these. It seems to me that many of the calibration failures I have run into are due to bent mounting surfaces and or brackets. And I'm usually pretty good at overlooking them until the calibration has failed. I have noticed that for the most part, radar units are usually mounted perpendicular to the ground. I plan to have

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Mike, Totally agree. Nothing worse than spending the time setting everything up only to have the calibration fail. Then the conversation follows about proper alignment and mounting of brackets and subsequent body panels that the brackets attach to. The body shop always says it was a "light" hit. The bumper cover or other body panel comes off and then the fun begins. I usually have OE

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

My experience has been substantially different. Yes, there is a learning curve for body shops with ADAS (just as there is with everyone else) and with a little assistance/coaching, I’ve found the payback to be more than worth it. I’ve also found that working with body shops on more routine stuff, such as wheel alignments, chassis work, etc has been more than worth from a business standpoint. As

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob Default
 

Mike, I’ve also found the radar units to be perpendicular to the ground. In one of the OEM SI, they specifically mention this McMaster-Carr mini bubble level, which I have several of now: mcmaster​.​com/3338a16

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