Insights & resources from Chief Technology.

ADAS Repairs: Scanning vs. Calibration

Posted by Chief Technology on Aug 20, 2020 3:53:00 PM

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There’s always a learning curve with new technology, and ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) is no exception. The collision repair industry as we know it is changing thanks to the growing prevalence of driver-assistance systems in new vehicles. In the not-too-distant future, most cars on the road will have some sort of ADAS technology imbedded into the vehicle’s design, and dealers and collision repair shops will have to adjust to a whole new repair procedure. Soon, the terms “scan” and “calibrate” will become part of your everyday ADAS repair vocabulary. But what’s the difference?

What is scanning?
Consider scanning a step in the overall ADAS calibration repair process. Scanning happens at the beginning of the process to diagnose any sensor damage or disruption. It’s identifying codes, just like you would with any previous structural or technical repair. At the end of the ADAS repair process, you’ll scan again to clear the codes and make sure that all the sensors are back to normal.

What is calibration?
The term “calibration,” on the other hand, refers to the actual repair and communication process that occurs between an ADAS calibration system or tool and the sensors themselves. In an ADAS repair sandwich, calibration is the meaty middle.

Why it’s important to know the difference.
As more shops start to send out vehicles for ADAS calibration to a dealership or another shop, it will be especially important to distinguish between these two terms. Specifying that a vehicle needs a calibration will tell the tech that a crucial repair still needs to be performed. If you only said the vehicle needed a scan, the tech may assume that the repairs have been made and clear the codes. This isn’t just a simple miscommunication; it could lead to a safety issue for the driver if the codes are cleared without an actual repair being performed.

As you continue learning more about ADAS, make sure your techs know the difference between scan and calibration, so your repairs are accurate and your customers are satisfied with a job well done.

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Topics: Shop Tools, ADAS Calibration