Windshield Replacement Calibration with ADAS: What You Need to Know


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.

new-car-technology
New cars continue to feature more and more technology

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.

mercedes-self-driving-car
Mercedes F015 self-driving concept car

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.

tesla
Tesla is a front-runner in using ADAS technology

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.

road-work-windshield-damage
Areas with road work are notorious for having increased rates of windshield damage

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, these are bargain prices. 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.

adas-windshield replacement-calibration
A calibration demonstration at an auto glass industry event

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.

Opinions Welcome

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.

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36 responses to “Windshield Replacement Calibration with ADAS: What You Need to Know”

  1. 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.

    • Hi Derek,

      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.

  2. 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?

    • Drew,

      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???

  3. 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?

    • Hi Mary,

      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

  4. 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?

    • Hi Karim,

      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.

  5. Hi Daniel,

    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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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?

  11. ’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?

    Thanks

    • 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!

  12. 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.

    • Hi Ed,

      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.

  13. Hi everyone
    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

    • Hi Ken,

      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.

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