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What is Windshield Replacement Calibration?

March 31, 2019

 

Understanding the All-New Windshield Replacement Calibration Needs For Your Vehicle

When was the last time you took a look at your windshield and realized what it was actually doing for you? Most people look at the windshield of their vehicle and only see a piece of glass. They assume that’s all it is. After all, that’s what it’s supposed to be, right? It’s a piece of glass that’s designed to protect you in case of an accident. But it’s actually a whole lot more than that. Your windshield may have once been just a piece of glass, but it’s now a very amazing piece of technology, that does far more than you would think in keeping you safe.

 

What’s in Your Windshield?

That piece of glass that you think is nothing special is actually full of a whole bunch of sensors. Those sensors are designed to do things like tint certain areas of the window but not others, keep in heat, reduce noise that gets in (and out) and a whole lot more. They could also be connected to any type of ADAS that you might have in your vehicle so they can provide even more information and keep those systems functioning properly.

All of this is amazing and it’s actually relatively new when it all comes down to it. Not that long ago your windshield would have been nothing but the piece of glass that you probably still thought it was. It would have done nothing but provide you a surface to look through. But thanks to all of the advancements that are still going on it’s starting to become something far more exciting and definitely far more important when it comes to your overall safety.

The windshield never was a thin piece of glass and it was always responsible for some very important things, like keeping small rocks, pebbles and debris from finding their way into your vehicle. It’s also extremely important for keeping your vehicle from collapsing if you’re ever in a rollover accident (bet you didn’t know that your windshield is strong enough to help support the weight of the entire vehicle so it doesn’t crush in). But now that we know all of the other things that are inside that window, we can definitely see why it’s so important to pay attention to it and to get it fixed right away if something happens, right?

 

When Your Windshield is Damaged

If something happens to the windshield on your vehicle it can easily become a major problem because it actually affects the sensors that are present. When that happens it means that all of the other parts of your ADAS can actually be thrown entirely off. It means that you could end up with sensors that don’t interact properly or that don’t interact at all and the systems that are supposed to be working within your vehicle could then become a major problem, especially if you’re counting on them to work and keep you safe and they don’t.

If the windshield is damaged in any way it could throw of the sensors by even a millimeter, which could dramatically alter the systems you have installed in your vehicle. If you replace your windshield it could throw these off even more. That’s because no two windshields are ever going to be exactly alike. There’s always going to be something, no matter how miniscule, that will be different from one to the next. So, what do you do? You have to replace the windshield because it’s damaged, but you don’t want to mess with the ADAS of your entire vehicle. This is where you get windshield replacement calibration.

 

What is Windshield Replacement Calibration?

When your windshield is replaced with something new and that something new is slightly different (which is has to be) you need to recalibrate the windshield. Of course, first of all, you need to know that you have any type of ADAS system in your vehicle and you need to notify the company that you’re ordering your glass from so they can order the right type of glass. That way, you’re going to be set up from the start.

Once the glass arrives the company that installs it will need to carefully calibrate the ADAS that is already in the vehicle to make sure that it interacts properly with the new windshield. There are actually two different types of calibration that can be done, so the company you use will need to know exactly what type of calibration your car manufacturer requires. Depending on what’s needed you’re going to need at least an hour to complete the process and you’re going to need a professional that knows what they’re doing in the process. That way, you can trust your ADAS when you get back to driving your vehicle.

 

Dynamic Recalibration

The first type of recalibration that you might need is called dynamic and it’s going to require you to have the vehicle actually moving. It can take an hour or even more, but it’s going to require specific features when it comes to the road you’re driving on. It needs set speeds, well-marked roads and accurate driving to make sure that the cameras and more are fully calibrated. This makes sure that the sensors can see through the windshield properly and that they are going to detect everything they need to in order to activate specific features.

 

Static Recalibration

The second type of recalibration that you might need is called static and this one actually requires the vehicle to remain still. Instead of the vehicle moving it sits in one place and runs the recalibration protocol. At the same time, a specific image will be fixed in front of the vehicle. This process can take as long as the dynamic recalibration but it’s not going to require quite as much work on the part of the professional that’s taking care of it. Not to mention it’s not going to require the vehicle to move in any way.

 

Finding Professionals

The most important thing that you can do if you’re looking to replace the windshield on your vehicle is choose a company that knows about ADAS systems and can take care of everything you need. The windshield replacement and the calibration should be done at the same time to make sure that everything is working properly before you take your vehicle back out on the road. You definitely don’t want a faulty system that is going to correct you when it shouldn’t or that won’t correct you when it definitely should.

Look for professionals that have performed these types of calibrations in the past for different types of vehicles and make sure they know exactly which type of calibration your vehicle is going to need. Some may require one or the other and some may require both in order to be prepared and safe. You’ll find that this type of calibration is going to add to the cost of the repairs that you get on your vehicle. Where a windshield replacement will generally be a moderately priced endeavor, adding on the calibration sequence is going to cost you even more.

The reason for the added cost is mostly the fact that calibration is going to take quite a while to accomplish. It’s going to require the service person to be actively working on your vehicle for an extended period of time and it’s also going to require advanced tools and more research to make sure they know the proper form of calibration to perform. All of these things and more are going to add to the cost. But keep in mind that the added cost is going to keep you and everyone around you a whole lot safer.

 

Wrapping Up

When it comes down to it, newer vehicles are getting far safer in all areas and it’s no surprise that the windshield is no longer just a simple piece of glass. It makes sense that the windshield in your vehicle would now be a part of the far more advanced and dynamic system that your vehicle is becoming. You have a wide range of different tools and features right at your fingertips when it comes to your vehicle and the ADAS system involved. You definitely want to make sure you’re utilizing all of those features to the utmost.

Make sure you’re looking for a high quality company that can get you the windshield style that you need to be compatible with your ADAS system. Make sure also that they know what they’re doing when it comes to the installation process and the calibration process. The last thing you’re going to want is to pay for a new window (and the calibration that goes along with it) if the company that’s working on your vehicle isn’t knowledgeable. So make sure you’re fully aware of what your vehicle needs and definitely what your ADAS needs long before you actually have to hire someone to work on any part of your vehicle.

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