ADAS-equipped vehicles and wheel alignments

Bob Owner Baldwinsville, New York Posted   Latest   Edited  

For those of you that are performing ADAS calibrations, especially on systems “front-wheels forward”, what are your thoughts on at least checking wheel alignments first even when SI doesn’t state it as a prerequisite to performing a certain calibration? I’m most concerned with the thrust angle, and am also wondering if you mobile guys are requiring your client to provide you proof of a wheel alignment for liability reasons both if SI requires one or not. 

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Steve Instructor
Irvine, California
Steve
 

Hi Bob, If the alignment is not checked and center line is not same as the thrust angle your calibrations will be off. I was told that if the center line and thrust angle are off by 1 degree the forward camera calibration could be off be more than 6 feet. This would put the vehicle looking into its left or right lane, not straight ahead. Prior 4 wheel alignments are a must for these systems.

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Michael Diagnostician
Holt, Michigan
Michael
   

I would say absolutely a alignment should be done and the alignment machine needs to be up to date with its software and calibration. Not only could damaged parts be missed without being put on a alignment machine but any calibration done could be off. Alignments are a cheap insurance that vehicle is back into manufacturers specs and hidden damage is accounted for and repaired if necessary. But

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Oscar Diagnostician
Lorton , Virginia
Oscar
 

Hi Bob. (ADAS) I know that this is a new system that is now on Vehicles, Manufacturers really make it look like it is super delicate and like there is no way of doing this calibration out of the dealerships. I have done a few of this calibration out on body shops, the one that requires the small triangle, and the reflecting target for Nissan that requires for their laser radar sensor. My

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
   

Hi Bob. Good questions and concerns for sure. Conversely, consider how completing a wheel alignment may also have similar cause and effects. Much has already been written on the topic that may interest you. Here are some links to websites, pdf and ppts referencing ADAS and alignment concerns from various perspectives One of the links has content discussing the importance of pre and post repair

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob
 

Thanks for the replies, guys. Martin, I checked out the first 2 links (3rd not working?), and I'll add that I find it interesting how different manufacturer’s approach to seemingly similar calibrations can vary greatly. Toyota seems to be much more simple to set-up and perform forward radar calibrations than Honda, for example, but both rely on strings and the human eye. Off the top of my head…

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew
   

I have not done any calibrations yet, there are some guys around here that know their stuff and do it well. I would agree that thrust angle is most concerning, and would not have any signs on a test drive if it is off. My biggest concern would be how well the alignment was actually done and the calibration of the equipment. We all know the numbers can easily be fudged to green is good... The

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike
 

I know there is a lot of talk about an in spec thrust line being important to proper camera and or radar operation. Technically, the thrust angle cannot affect the calibration procedure (most manufacturers) if it is static. While the trust angle is a static measurement it only comes into play during vehicle operation i.e. dogtracking. So the thrust angle can affect the operation but there is a

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Mike. The way that I see it is that these systems are intelligent enough to identify issues beyond component installation and calibrations and set DTCs. As with any diagnosis that we perform on vehicles, it is prudent to perform preliminary inspections prior to in-depth diagnostics. In the case of ADAS, we might expect that beyond brackets and various supporting fascia and camera mountings…

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Mike Mobile Technician
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mike
 

I would agree that most of the newer systems will set DTCs and discontinue operation. Codes tend to be pretty generic. You'll never see a code that indicates the left front caster is out of spec... wouldn't that be nice! From what I have seen and learned the thrust line is not as relevant to the calibration or system operation. Even before ADAS the vehicle already knew which direction was

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