More Money For Windshield Replacements, Less Problems For Drivers
Don’t want to pay more money for a windshield replacement? Then don’t buy a new car. As with all technological advancements, there are always added costs. Your windshield might look like just a big piece of glass, but it’s actually filled with technology. We’re here to tell you why, and by the end of this article, you may be convinced that the extra cost is well worth it.
Glass.com Operations Manager, Daniel Snow, talks ADAS with industry expert Bob Beranek
What are Advanced Driver Assistance Systems?
We’ve been talking about ADAS, (which stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems,) a lot lately here at Glass.com. And for good reason too. These systems are here to stay and they’re becoming more advanced with each new model release. They utilize radar, lidar, cameras, computer imaging, sensors, networking, and other devices to help create a safer driving experience.
ADAS refers to any type of assistance to the driver that it automated. This can be something as simple as auto-on headlights or rain sensing wipers. Moving up the scale, ADAS can also assist drivers by utilizing night vision technology and sensing vehicles in blind spots- something your average human with five senses would have difficulty doing. ADAS at its most advanced state is less of an assistance system, and more into the realm of becoming autonomous. These are the cars that have lane departure sensors, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems, automated parking, and other features that let the driver sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Self-driving cars: booooring.
This technology isn’t anything new though. Self-driving cars have been in testing since the mid 1980’s and ADAS features became mainstream starting around 2010. Thanks to the likes of Tesla, Google, Apple and Uber racing to have the first truly autonomous vehicles though, ADAS has caught a ton of traction lately. It has really opened up the discussion of highway safety and how these features can prevent crashes.
Saving lives: not boring!
Let’s face it: a large percentage of drivers on the road are just plain bad. You probably experienced one on your way to work this morning, or maybe you were one doing 15 over the speed limit to get work before the boss noticed you were late (we won’t judge).
Not convinced? Every year in the US over 2 million people are injured or disabled in traffic accidents and another 35,000+ are killed. That’s basically the population of an entire town being wiped out every year just from traffic accidents.
ADAS can help. A lot. According to some industry professionals, the impact of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication alone could cut accidents upwards of 600,000 a year! This translates into countless lives, limbs, tax dollars and insurance expenses saved. Combine V2V communication with the other high-end ADAS systems and you have one very safe vehicle.
Windshield Replacement Time
If you don’t already have a vehicle equipped with ADAS features, chances are you will in the future since more and more vehicles have these systems as standard features.
So listen up!
Despite the latest and greatest technology, things still break- especially windshields, which take the brunt of highway-speed abuse from objects like rocks. When it comes time for windshield replacement there are certain things you’ll want to know– like the fact that the car’s computer system will likely need to be re-calibrated.
The process for windshield replacement calibration varies from vehicle. It can be as simple as resetting the vehicle’s computer system, to as complicated as setting up lasers, taking measurements, and making manual adjustments. These ADAS calibrations after a windshield replacement require specialized, expensive tools and a lot of training. Additional costs vary by complexity of the recalibration and fees generally range from $25-$250. Considering what goes into it, the ADAS calibration price is a bargain. Especially when a proper windshield replacement calibration could be the difference between saving a family of four or a deadly accident.
Windshield Replacement Calibration
You may be wondering why a car needs to be re-calibrated at all. Or better yet, why a windshield replacement causes issues. This is due to the fact that car windshields are actually pretty techie and what you think may be just glass, isn’t just glass. Even though you can’t always see it, there are built-in sensors, specially positioned areas of tint and no tint, heaters, noise reduction layers– the list goes on. Some of these built-in or attached sensors can be linked to ADAS. And if the sensors change position by just a millimeter or degree, it may throw the entire system off. This one reason why re-calibration is essential after a windshield replacement.
The more advanced systems that use cameras for lane departure warning systems and the like usually have special areas of the windshield that the lens “sees” through. It is a very precise area, so great care must be taken during an install to ensure everything is lined up. Much like other sensors, the cameras are very sensitive to change and will likely need to be re-calibrated after a new install as well.
Talking Shop with your Local Windshield Repair Tech
Provide as many details about the windshield as you possibly can when booking through Glass.com. We offer a section to list the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a section for adding notes. When the glass shop reaches out to you to confirm the appointment let them know if you even think your vehicle might be equipped with ADAS features. The glass shop should be able to order the correct windshield based off of this information. However, keep in mind a single year, make and model of a vehicle may have over 20 possible windshields! For certain vehicles, the shop may require an in-person inspection before they order the replacement glass.
What do you think about the added costs that come with this new technology? Is the trade-off worth it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
And when it does come time to replace the glass in your vehicles, ADAS equipped or otherwise, be sure to use Glass.com. We’ll provide you with instant price quotes from shops in your area. Once you find one you like, book with them conveniently, right from our site.
Do your auto glass technician need to be certified for the calibration of your ADAS?
Kipp, it is always a good idea to have an ADAS calibration done by a technician who is certified.
Where can a person be trained in the state of Michigan for the Adas ?
We recommend contacting Opti-AIm for their training and certification programs.
does the LDWS still need recalibrating if it is never disconnected during the replacement process? some are connected via bracket and do not need to be physically disconnected.
Calibration requirements vary from system to system, but generally speaking, they should be recalibrated even if they are not disconnected because positioning and angles can change during replacements.
TPAs are pushing back on camera recalibration. They are wanting a bulletin from dealerships saying the cameras need to be recalibrated. They are saying that it doesn’t. How do we obtain this information or is there something else we can send in to help get approval?
To clarify- Is the dealership saying that the cameras don’t need to be recalibrated? Or are the TPAs saying the camera doesn’t need to be recalibrated? If it is the dealership saying this and you believe they are incorrect, then I would recommend contacting the manufacturer directly.
We own the opti aim tool. Central Insurance requires a bulletin from the dealership before they will authorize recalibration. We have looked extensively and cannot find where to obtain these bulletins. Any information on where these can be obtained???
I had an after market windshield put in my Toyota Prime. The glass company assured me everything would work fine after recalibrating the system. Toyota said the systems only work with Toyota windshields so my new Prime has lost all the front end tech including lane departure, parking assist, etc. Is Toyota being honest with me? Their windshield was 3x the cost. What would you advise me to do?
First, I would contact the company that did the replacement and ensure that a recalibration was completed. If it was, it would be worthwhile for them to also ensure that it was done properly and that all components of the system are functional. After you’ve eliminated this variable, it’s time to look at the windshield itself.
Aftermarket windshields are different from OEM windshields which are different from OE windshields. OE stands for original equipment, which is what your vehicle comes with from the factory. If you want OE replacement parts, you must order them through the dealership. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are still held to Toyota’s quality standards, but can be made by multiple manufacturers. Aftermarket parts on the other hand are not held to any standards, so these may or may not be met which allows for wider variation in quality.
If the shop who did the replacement guaranteed that the ADAS would not be affected, then they should honor this guarantee and make it right.
Mary, did you instruct the windshield replacement company to replace only with the ADAS windshield? If they only replaced with a non- ADAS windshield, then it won’t do any good to try to calibrate it
As anyone ever transferred an ADAS bracket (not camera) from an old windshield to a new one? If so what is the safest way?
Since this is an installer-specific question, I would recommend posting in the Automotive Glass Industry Forum on glassBYTES.com
My warranty company required I use Safelite for the windshield replacement on my Mercedes.. Initially they told me I needed to take it to the dealer for recalibration. The dealer said they couldn’t because of a piece missing around the camera. Safelite says there is nothing missing and that they now have a machine and calibrate it themselves. Is there any way to verify that calibration was done?
This is what has been tricky about ADAS- it’s so new that there is conflicting information out there about the calibration process. I would tend to side with the dealership in this case simply because they should (in theory) be the best resource for recalibration requirements. Depending on the equipment that Safelite used for the calibration, there may be some print out documentation available.
Thats interesting as Safelite out here in California advised us they do not have the equipment to Calibrate windshields, so I’m wondering if they are the problem with your windshield
Just had a customer tell me that Safe-lite will do the replacement of her windshield on her 2018 Corolla but will not be able to calibrate it. Safe-lite recommended she take it to the dealership where she bought it. This is in Memphis, TN. Safe-lite says they do not have the equipment to do a calibration on any vehicle with smart glass.
Lets say two very overweight persons sits at the back of the car. It would obviously change the angle of the car..
How will the ADAS cope with that?
Rait, You bring up a great point. This is why current ADAS systems are causing so many issues for auto shops. Technically ADAS systems should be recalibrated after something as simple as a tire change.
Tires must be kept at a very specific PSI for the reason of angles and ride height as well. Vehicles have weight capacity ratings. So my guess is that manufacturers have allowed for some leeway as long as these weight limits aren’t exceeded. Obviously it would be best practice to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. If all the weight is towards the back, or off to one side of the vehicle, it is possible it would cause the ADAS system to not function properly.
We’re looking forward to the day when ADAS is self-calibrating.
Thank you for posting such an informative article about ADAS. We own Glass Doctor’s of Elkhart, South Bend, and Goshen in Indiana and have people who are trained and certified in the opti-aim program. It’s great to keep people informed of the unique features that newer vehicles have these days. So many people aren’t even aware that their vehicle has this technology!
I have made a business decision only to use OEM glass and advise customers to have re-calibration done by dealer. The liability at this point should rest with the auto manufacturer and not with anyone else. This is an issue that is going to be settled in the courts. It is just a matter of time before Safelite will be sued due to an ADAS issue and I predict…lose especially if using their preferred “fair and reasonably priced” aftermarket glass and not perform both a static and dynamic re-calibration. I believe they are merely pandering to their many insurance accounts by providing a calibration service that has a capped cost. I have already replaced at local dealerships 6 windshields that could not be calibrated due to the installation of aftermarket glass. Last point, this is a new and emerging technology. One hopes that many of the bugs ,both actual and legal will be worked out over the next decade. But I am not going to consider spending five figures for a device that that the selling company will disavow any legal liability if an ADAS system it validates as operational , is not. Especially if the seller also builds aftermarket windshields that are failing re-calibration testing from dealers
Neil, where did you get information that Safelite does not perform a static as well as dynamic calibration? I know when my civic with LKAS was recalibrated they did both because this is what my vehicle calls for. As I understand different systems require different recalibration methods. I chose to go with this company because I have a friend that is a service advisor at a Toyota dealership and most of their recalibrations were failing simply because they were taping photocopies of target boards to the wall and hoping for the best. I would rather go to the place that does them all day on all models and is knowledgeable about glass like yourself.
Safelite tells you on their website that you have to go to your dealer for recalibration. In fact, you have to confirm the disclaimer before Safelite will install based on your VIN
I would like to know if is possible to buy the equipment for the calibration for the cameras on windshields
Where to buy it and the cost too?
Thanks for your help…
Hi George, Thanks for the question! Opti-Aim is a market leader when it comes to calibration equipment. You can find more information here.
We had a rock crack the windshield of our 2018 Camry. Still so new it doesn’t have plates yet. Safelite replaced the windshield. We set up an appt for the local Toyota dealer to recalibrate the ADAS. My husband noticed before the appt that the HUD was out of focus. The dealership said it was the wrong windshield. Called Safelite and they replaced it with the correct glass. Going in for the recalibration next week. Everyone needs to know when they buy these new cars with special safety equipment to double check the replacements. Buyer be informed I guess. Lesson learned.
Ok my windshield gets replaced, the camera is disconnected from the windshield, the new windshield gets installed, camera mounts back in place.
1. It’s off a mm, oh wait leeway from the weight restrictions!?
2. How percuss do we need to be then?
2. IS or IS not a safety future?
3.Can it be turned on/off in my vehicle??
Opti-Aim shows pictures of the camera looking foggy on one side clear on the other…
What does that have to do with the camera being off mm from installation??
If it were cleanliness that doesn’t need calibration, it needs…either
1. To be cleaned probably?
2. New camera?
3. Not aftermarket glass?
Can somebody help me understand this. It seems a little vague? No?
’17 Audi A4, just had a crack on the windshield from a highway debris, now will need replacement as its gotten quite large. Insurance may cover the windshield, though I’m more worried about recalibrating the adaptive CC. Audi quotes around $700, which seems ridiculous.
Question is there a way to replace the windshield without requiring a recalibation? For instance, if a certified technician does a great job, is there a chance the adaptive cruise control wont need recalibration?
Hi Ben, Unfortunately there are so many variables that come with replacing a windshield that it would be nearly impossible to ensure everything is in the exact same location after the replacement as it was before the replacement. Recalibration is always recommended. Many manufacturers even recommend recalibration after something as simple as a tire change!
DO I NEED RECALIBRATION: How do I find out if my 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate with ADAS needs to be recalibrated after a new OEM windshield has been installed? The dealer says a test drive is all that is necessary but it does not seem correct in my opinion.
I know the rearview mirror assembly has at least one camera and maybe other sensors which I am unaware of? This assembly was removed and then replaced on the new OEM windshield.
Each vehicle calibrates differently so I am unable to say for certain what the methods are for your 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate. There are 2 types of recalibration- static and dynamic. During static calibration, the car is parked and targets are positioned at very specific points around the vehicle. The system is the recalibrated by “aiming” the cameras and sensors at these targets. Dynamic calibrations allow the system to recalibrate while driving down the road. So it is likely that your vehicle uses this calibration method.
There are usually stipulations about this such at you must be traveling above 45 mph during clear weather on a road with well marked lines. Ask the dealership if there are any specific guidelines you should follow and if there is any way to verify that the system has in fact recalibrated itself.
well I just had my windshield replaced on my 2016 Honda Touring.
Safelite assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem, well guess what
they told me that I had to bring it back to the dealer for recalibration because they couldn’t calibrate it but the best thing
is that my insurance paid Safelite for this operation.
Now I need to pay the dealer another $150.
I called everyone possible even the CEO of Safelite to no avail.
I’m so done with all the red tape and everyone blaming everyone else.
Being a auto glass installer of 24+ years I can’t help but wonder if the companies followed in subaru’ s lines of thinking that $15k tool will be unnecessary. JS they have the right idea.
Is it safe to drive a vehicle ( in this case 2018 Camry with Lane departure)that has had windshield replacement, before the recalibration has been done?
Please contact a Toyota dealership to find out what is required for this specific model. Usually it is not a good idea. There have been cases reported where accidents were caused by vehicles that had not been recalibrated after a replacement.
I have couple concerns, Dealerships say in order to calibrate the vehicle it needs to be replaced with the OEM only. Safelite says they can calibrate aftermakert and OEM how much of this is true?
Another thing is is Opti-Aim going to calibrate just OEM or aftermakert also?
So this has been quite an eye opener. I have a cracked windshield, the local (very well regarded) firm says he can do it with OEM, but he doesn’t have the calibration equipment but in his experience it’s not been needed. I then call my Kia dealership multiple items, they have absolutely no idea, tell me “I don’t need it’s fine” and then “they really don’t know they use S.felite.” I call another Kia Dealership, never heard of this, no idea.
Then I call GEICO and they say their database says I DO need it, but that if I don’t use their vendor ….(S.felite) I would need to get it calibrated separately, at the Dealership. Except KIA Dealerships are clueless. Then the local guy says “you know it’s just S.felite wanting to pocket an extra $300 fee saying it’s required to GEICO.”
Cue Twilight Zone music.
My big concern: How will I possibly know if the Forward Collision camera is working properly, until I smash into a car or wall ?!
Depending on the year and model of your Kia, you may be able to find a solid answer as to whether it needs to be re-calibrated or not in this database:
Some models are self-calibrating, meaning that they calibrate as they are driven. Some may have warning lights that indicate if the sensors are not calibrated properly. I would suggest consulting your manual for additional information on your particular model.
I got the road hazard big rock that hit my hood and then the windshield of my 2013 Audi Q5! My State Farm insurance would only pay to install aftermarket glass! I paid 160 extra to a local body shop for OEM glass because I wanted original! So body shop sublet my glass job to a local glass shop as we don’t have a Audi dealer in our area. So to make a long story short the glass shop turned on my car while the windshield was out and messed up the windshield wipers!They go down and then jump up two inches on the windshield and now they want to have them recalibrated at a local German motor shop. My wipers don’t show up on my car computer anymore! I know you have to have it in a certain position to change the wiper blades on the computer but now it doesn’t light up anymore! Just wondering what else should I look for or have checked besides the rain sensor? I want it fixed correctly!
In case you have not read, Honda updated there position statement as of June 2018, the document entitled “American Honda Position Statement: Driver Assist / Safety Systems may fail unless OE parts are used”, states, “Installing anything other than an Original Equipment replacement windshield may cause these systems to work abnormally.” Refer to https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/web/ABN09431.pdf.
I have a 2017 Honda CR-V and I’m in the process of getting a cracked windshield replace by Allstate. I know that there current policy covers OEM replacement windshields. It will be interesting how they respond to the OE replacement windshield change made in Honda’s position statement.
Safelite website states they replace and calibrate thousands of windshields on Volvo CX90’s. This one is a 2017 Volvo CX90. But after replacement of windshield, they wanted a waiver signed and money. Then stated in store that calibration failed. Even Said they didn’t have the ability to do it. Contacted another Safelite that said sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Just replaced my 2018 Mazda 3 touring level with Safelite-per Geico. Is there any way to confirm that they installed everything correctly with rain sensor and safety stop. They said it didn’t need calibration for this model. Thanks for your help.
At this moment in time, I’m in a GMC loaner from the dealer, this due to windshield replacement from local Windshield Shop. Insurance company while filing claim stated Factory recalibration needed. S..lite working with my Insurance company did not confirm the replacement glass was OEM. Dealer stated module not working now. The first thing they recommend is changing windshield.
This is a 2016 GMC Sierra, if this module was not working upon leaving Glass shop wouldn’t there be a fault code on my System
I don’t know who to believe anymore, it’s a pissing contest right now. Glass Company,S…lite,dealership. Escalated direct through Insurance agent. Awaiting phone call from Agent today. After reading comments I am convinced this windshield installed could be 1 issue. I just want it working and feel there may be more then one issue present. 1.Insurance Company Not representing my best interest. (Assuring correct windshield) Along with S…lite. 2. Glass Company assurances they’ve had no problems with similar replacements. 3. Dealership not being exactly truthful. This based on my limited knowledge, decision of no error message present after glass replacement. Cost of new module at Dealer $ 1,057.00 plus tax. Not sure if that includes Cal.
Right now, considering contacting my Lawyer. This will be dependent on experience with A..S…e agents response on a Saturday.
I am not a fan of all this technology in cars. My car’s system is rather poor (slamming on the brakes because it sees a trash can on the side of the road up ahead – the road curves but I haven’t reach the point of needing to turn the wheel yet). Same thing happens in traffic when one lane is stopped and the other is moving at good speeds, the road turns but I’m not there yet, camera sees stopped cars and slams on the brake. I think this makes my car MORE dangerous. I for one will NEVER put myself into a self driving vehicle. I have been put INTO many dangerous situations due to the technology in my car and my car trying to take over – and the only thing the technology has “saved” me from – is a couple of what might have been – minor fender benders. I don’t like being forced to pay for this technology, or being forced to use it.
Hello i recently had some work done to my car and the adas camera had to be removed and reinstalled now my gear shifter keeps getting stuck in park. Can this be caused by needing to be recalibrated or would that be a different issue?
Today’s vehicle’s have very complex electrical systems and it’s plausible that a safety system is locking out the ability to shift into drive. However, without knowing the particular make and model and what particular features it has, I cannot say definitively. ADAS should always be recalibrated after the system is serviced so I would start there.
2018 Audi Q7 needed a windshield replaced due to a rock hit. The calibration procedure done by an authorized Audi dealership included a wheel alignment which was listed separately on the repair invoice. Insurance company refused to pay for the wheel alignment saying it was not necessary for a glass replacement with no other body damage. Surprisingly, the dealership was not able to produce any documentation from Audi or their service manuals indicating a wheel alignment was required as part of the recalibration process. If a wheel alignment is required for calibration, shouldn’t this be noted somewhere and easily produced to provide documentation for the insurance company to approve? Is a wheel alignment required on an Audi Q7 as part of the calibration process?
Every manufacturer has different procedures for what is required during a calibration. Intuitively, it would make sense that a wheel alignment would be needed, but this is not always the case. Service manuals and supplemental materials published by manufacturers should be deferred to. Did Audi indicate why they performed the alignment if it wasn’t a requirement for the calibration?
I have a 2017 Corvette with HUD safelight came out and replaced my windshield. From that point on my car will not start. Safelight says there is no way they did anything that would not affect my car electric system all I can say everything was working before the windshield was replaced and now nothing
I just had a cracked windshield repaired on my 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe.
I was directed to Safelite by my insurance company, Allstate.
I was expecting to pay a $500.00 deductible. I was informed that insurance laws in Florida, where I now live, allow for 2 free windshield replacements per year. No ding against my claim frequency and no cost to me for repair and calibration. Even if I were traveling in another state, I would be covered for the windshield repair.
I brought the car to safelight and had the windshield repaired. They informed me that they did not have the updated technology to do the calibration on my 2019 vehicle. If my car was an older model they would have handled it.
They informed me that I would have to take the car to the dealer for the calibration. I contacted Allstate and was informed that the insurance would cover the cost of having the calibration done at the dealer.
Happy ending to a cracked windshield dilemma.
Is Opti-AIM OEM approved?
According to their site, Opti-Aim is an aftermarket product used to return a vehicle to OEM specs. For more details, you can contact them at OptiAimSupport@nsg.com
I had my 2015 Hyundai genesis windshield change not by the dealership but when I was about going home I noticed my head up display was not straight as usual which I think it need calibration. please what can I do. I really need to get it fix
Thanks for your question. It’d be best to work directly with the company that handled the replacement to have them resolve the issue. This is why it’s important to work with a high-quality windshield replacement company.
I recently bought a 2019 Nissan Rogue Sv that had a crack in the windshield. The dealership had me go to a specific shop that they use to replace the windshield. When I set up the appointment they informed me that it would take nearly 4 hours since it had to be recalibrated, which was fine. I dropped off my car at 1:00 in complete working order and picked it up at 5:00. Nothing seemed to be wrong at first but the next morning when I got in it to leave the battery was dead. I didn’t think much of it at first because sometimes things just happen so we charged the battery and went on our way. The next time we got in to go somewhere again, it was dead. Charged the battery again, came home, turned off the car and a few hours later it’s dead again. My question is…..could something that has to do with the windshield be causing my battery to die? Maybe they didn’t do something right during the recalibration process? I had no issues whatsoever before I had the new windshield installed.
This is an interesting issue you are experiencing. Electrical problems can be notoriously difficult to track down. The fact that it coincided with your windshield replacement could be a coincidence, or there might be something more. You may want to begin by having the battery and alternator tested- this can typically be done for free at a local auto parts store, or perhaps by your dealership if your vehicle is still under warranty. If the battery and alternator are ruled out as the culprit, I would begin asking the dealership questions about what could have changed when they worked on the vehicle that would cause the battery to drain.
I have found your website to be very informative. I recently had a huge crack and had to replace the windshield in our 2019 Q5. We filed a claim with our insurance because we knew the windshield would be over $800 due to all the sensors & safety features. Since we live 2 hours away from the nearest Audi dealership a local auto glass place installed another factory windshield. It wasn’t till they went to install the windshield that they found they couldn’t do the calibration. We had never heard of calibrating a windshield. So we call the dealership and they say it’s a 5 hour process, hooked up to a machine and would need an alignment due to our model has a camera in the windshield. We drive 2 hours to the dealership and was told it will only take 2 hours as the technician is very efficient. Once the technician started on the windshield they discover a gel pad was not replaced for the camera when the auto glass installed the windshield. We had to pay out of pocket $450 for 2 hours of labor & parts for the gel pad. We wonder what is involved in installing a gel pad. Calibration, alignment and gel pad install took 2 hours total.
Melinda, I work in the auto glass industry and help install windshields. The gel pack is not for a camera, but fir your rain sensor (what makes the wipers come on automatically when the windshield gets wet). And I’m sorry to say, it takes literally 30 seconds to install. That sickens me!!!
If auto makers are going to add all this extra tech to the glass in the front of a car, they should toughen the glass or put the sensors in an alternate location. Leaving it the same is leaving the owner to pay for a $1200.00 high tech cream puff wind screen.