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Is Vehicle Calibration Necessary After Windshield Replacement?



As you drive along the freeway, you take in the scenery. A stray pebble suddenly pings from a passing automobile, cracking the windshield. It’s undoubtedly a difficult encounter. A shattered windshield is something to think about. Have you ever considered how a broken windshield affects a car’s safety features?


The electronics included in modern cars are designed to keep you safe while driving. We are talking about adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking here. One essential part, though, is primarily responsible for these functions: your windshield.


The truth is that a windshield replacement will be required. Remembering this procedure could affect how well-advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are calibrated, which is crucial. After a windshield repair, you might need to undergo vehicle calibrations.


What is Vehicle Calibration?

You probably already know that ADAS systems employ cameras to provide features such as autonomous emergency braking. Additionally, they also employ windshield-mounted sensors for lane departure alerts and adaptive cruise control.


Pretty awesome, right? But here’s the thing: those cameras and sensors must be precisely focused to work correctly. This is where vehicle calibrations come in. It is the process of fine-tuning essentially. The ADAS cameras and sensors are aligned with the redesigned windshield, guaranteeing that the car ADAS calibration system operates at its peak performance.


Why is Windshield Replacement Important?

Refrain from letting a chipped or cracked windshield turn into a more significant problem down the line. Here’s why a quick replacement is essential:

  • Your windshield is more than just glass; it reinforces your vehicle’s frame after a crash, protecting you and your passengers. A fracture compromises this critical safety feature
  • Modern automobiles rely on cameras and sensors mounted in the windshield. A broken windshield can disrupt these systems, reducing their efficiency
  • Cracks and chips can distort your eyesight and make it difficult to see the road correctly. This is especially harmful in low-light circumstances or inclement weather
  • Depending on its size and position, a cracked windshield may breach safety standards and result in a fine

The Impact of Windshield Replacement on Vehicle Calibrations

Now, here’s the essence of the situation: The technician must extract the ADAS cameras and sensors from the old glass and reattach them to the new windshield.

Even minor alignment errors throughout this operation might have an impact on auto calibration. It may reduce the accuracy of your ADAS features. Following a windshield replacement, it is critical to have your car calibrated. This step ensures that your safety measures work as designed.


When is Vehicle Calibration Necessary?

So, when do you need to worry about vehicle calibrations? Generally, if your automobile has any ADAS calibration systems, you will likely need to calibrate the car after replacing your windshield. For detailed instructions, please refer to your car’s owner’s handbook. Alternatively, contact a trained vehicle glass technician. They may check your car and decide whether calibration is required.


Consequences of Skipping Vehicle Calibrations

We’ve discussed the need for auto calibration, but what happens if you neglect it completely? The main worry is impaired safety, as misaligned ADAS cameras and sensors may produce inaccurate information. This might lead to delayed warnings or even catastrophic system failure. In an emergency, these faults might have significant repercussions. Below are some particular instances to consider:


Delayed or missed warnings

Assume you’re driving down a highway and begin to drift out of your lane. If your lane departure warning system is not calibrated, it may fail to detect lane departures in a timely manner or lane exits, leaving you open to a collision.


Automatic braking misfires

Automatic emergency braking systems use accurate sensor data to identify possible accidents. Suppose the sensors are not aligned. This can lead to skipped calibrations. If vehicle calibration is omitted, the system may not start braking when necessary, raising the danger of an accident.


Adaptive Cruise Control Issues

Adaptive cruise control systems employ radar or video data to maintain a safe distance from the automobile ahead. Miscalibrated sensors can produce erroneous distance readings, which may cause the system to maintain an unsafe following distance.


The Vehicle Calibrations Process Explained

Now, what exactly does this auto calibration process involve? It involves specialized equipment and expertise. Here’s a breakdown of the two main types of vehicle calibrations you might encounter:


Static Vehicle Calibrations

This is usually the initial stage of the procedure. Technicians will utilize specific targets to modify the ADAS cameras. Diagnostic tools will be used to tune the sensors to the manufacturer’s standards precisely. The technician employs a high-tech alignment tool. Cameras are positioned precisely relative to the new windshield.


Dynamic Vehicle Calibrations

Following static vehicle calibrations, some cars may require dynamic vehicle calibrations for more thorough fine-tuning. This can include driving the automobile on a predefined path under controlled conditions. Throughout the drive, the technician will monitor the car ADAS calibration system’s functioning. They will make any required modifications.


Calibration Services and Car Calibration Cost Considerations

The time required for vehicle calibrations varies depending on your vehicle’s individual system and the operation’s complexity. In most circumstances, it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Discuss the expected period with your preferred car glass technician and schedule the service after discussing it.

The car calibration cost of calibration services varies based on location, vehicle type, and system complexity. Generally, you should pay between $100 and $500.


Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on the necessity of vehicle calibrations following a windshield repair. Regarding your vehicle’s safety features, it’s best to be cautious. A properly calibrated Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) may improve your safety on the road.

Are you concerned about a chipped or cracked windshield? At Auto Glass America, we recognize the importance of keeping your vehicle’s safety features working correctly. Our team of experienced experts provides superior windshield repair services.

Schedule a service appointment today and experience the difference. We look forward to assisting you!

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