Why you should perform more ADAS calibrations than you are

July 1, 2024

We work with hundreds of repair shops and meet even more. This morning, we spoke with a repair shop that was only doing ADAS repairs on 25% of their vehicles. In truth, that number should be closer to 50%. This is the case for most shops we speak with. They’re not performing enough ADAS calibrations — and it’s not because they don’t want to.

It’s because they don’t know they need to. The reason they don’t know? 

“My scan tool said I didn’t need to calibrate this car” 

The majority of repair shops we meet identify which ADAS calibrations they need to do with a scan tool. These scanners work – after all, there’s a reason many shops use them –  but not all the time. 

Here’s a scenario you’re likely familiar with. You run the scan tool and it tells you the sensors on a car are working – which is fair. Those sensors aren’t electronically broken, so in the most technical sense of the word, they are working. But what these scanners don’t tell you is if these sensors are working the right way. 

Let’s put this into an example. 

A car gets into an accident and comes into a repair shop. That car was hit on the side and, apart from a few nasty scratches and dents in the body, the blindspot sensor that should’ve been pointing one way was scraped and is now pointing in completely the wrong direction. When the technician hooks the car up to the scan tool and runs it, no lights blink at him or her to suggest anything is wrong because the blind spot sensor is still ~ technically ~ working. So they finish up the repair without calibrating it and unknowingly send a dangerous car back on the road. Now, if the driver gets into another accident because his sensor wasn’t working, who’s at fault? 

Is it the technician for not calibrating the blind spot detection sensor? Is it the driver? Is it the scan tool? 

This example doesn’t just exist as a ‘make-believe’ scenario. It happens in real life all the time! Just last week, ADAS Diagnostic Solutions published a great post on LinkedIn. They put up 5 photos of vehicles they serviced that had damage to their radar mounting brackets, which ultimately caused calibration failures. Out of those 5, only a couple of vehicles had an indication of ADAS failure before the calibration was attempted. 

That’s less than half.

Every single repair shop we’ve spoken with is aware they put improperly and/or incompletely repaired vehicles on the road out because they have blind spots (no pun intended) around what needs to be calibrated – and it’s a really scary thought. 

ADAS systems rely on sensors to detect objects, measure distances, and assess the speed of other vehicles. Most ADAS components have to be calibrated to the exact OEM specifications in order to work correctly; they’re so sensitive that even one degree off proper alignment can result in sensors missing a target. With the prevalence of ADAS in new vehicles increasing rapidly – alongside safety regulations pushing for more sensors – it’s critical that repair shops have all the tools they need to diagnose issues with pinpoint precision that, when resolved, will protect drivers and their passengers. 

This is why we built Revv: to help shops put safer cars back on the road. 

It’s our north star and the only thing we care about, which is why we are focused on providing the most accurate and comprehensive ADAS calibration reports on the market. 

We use AI to aggregate up-to-date documentation from all the latest major car databases and OEM guidelines, identify which ADAS calibrations need to be done directly from your repair estimates, and then share all the relevant calibration instructions – all while integrating with estimating softwares you’re already using like CCC ONE, Autadex and Mitchell.

In essence, we make it really hard for you to miss an ADAS calibration because, as much as we care about making sure cars are properly repaired (we care a lot) – we know that all the shops we work with care even more. They don’t like being left in the dark because of scan tools that don’t pick everything up, and we want to give them the visibility they’re missing. 

After all – it’s not repaired until it’s recalibrated. 

If you’re curious about learning more, our website is a great place to start: https://www.revvhq.com/

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