GM Is Specific ADAS Calibrations On Their Vehicles, Here’s How That Affects You

As the owner of a GM car about to get collision repair, you need to know that GM is very specific about their repair procedures. It is vital because not every auto body shop in this area follows the OEM procedures. Believe it or not, the body shop has a choice in how they fix cars. They can guess and just cut out the damage and weld in new parts (which is cutting a lot of corners), or they can take time, research the procedure, and fix the car the way the factory wants it. Which method do you think yields the safest and must undetectable, longest-lasting repair?

How This Affects You


What is even more concerning is the fact that when you guess how to fix a car, you have about a 100% chance of doing it wrong. This is because your vehicle is built from over 15 different high strength metals, and each type of steel has rules for how it can be heated, cut, hammered, or even if it can be welded or hammer and dollied at all. Bodymen are craftsmen, no doubt, but they are not engineers, so any time a body man guesses how to make a repair, they are putting your safety at risk. Maybe you will never get into another accident in this car, but do you want to take that chance?

Your GM vehicle is built with highly “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems’ Or ADAS for short. This includes the cameras and proximity sensors that operate everything from the backup camera, the parking assist, the steering, the brakes, the blind-spot monitors, and more. In fact, depending on how your vehicle is equipped, most new fully equipped cars could drive themselves with just a software upgrade. The technology is already built into your vehicle. Every mile you drive, your GM vehicle writes more code than a Boeing 747. We’re talking thousands of lines of code every minute. And if anything is off in those sensors as a result of the accident you just had or modifications you made to your car, the systems may not be functioning properly. And you won’t even know it in most cases because ADAS system malfunctions do not set warning lights like your engine does.

Body shops have to pay for access to the GM OEM repair procedures, and it is an expense that not all shops make. GM realizes this, and so they recently put out a free Advanced Driver Assistance Systems overview guide. This is not meant to be a substitute for the actual OEM procedures, the “Driver Assistance Systems” document will be a valuable means for shops, insurers, and consumers to learn the broad strokes.

The guide lists the official name, abbreviation, and “regular production option” code of each ADAS feature and explains what it does and what systems it relies on. It also describes when calibration will be required and the cause of calibration issues for certain parts.

How This Affects Your Auto Body Repair


Calibrations are necessary because after your car is repaired, all of the affected ADAS systems have to be recalibrated. This is a precise process and involves setting the car level, usually with a full tank of gas, and can even involve a lengthy road test. Sometimes the vehicle needs to be taken to the dealer to have the calibrations performed, and in some cases, we have a specialist that comes to the shop to perform our calibrations. This process can take several hours.

GM tells you what to look for, provides the RPO code on top of the information available through the VIN, and offers the actual brand name of the ADAS to search for in the repair procedures.

As a vehicle owner who may be comparing estimates from two body shops, here is what to look for to know whether your car is getting a proper OEM repair and calibration:

Does the estimate say R&R or R&I windshield?

Was a “collision repair” conducted?

Did an airbag blow?

A forward collision usually requires a recalibration of the “Frontview Camera – Windshield,” according to GM.

Even in minor collisions, GM warns against assuming that the camera is properly functioning, and the shop might have to verify its status with a scan.

In terms of the actual windshield camera calibration, the GM document states the technician should program the camera if necessary and research the full OEM procedures.

Some GM vehicles can start reprogramming themselves after the camera is replaced, but other GM models will need the GM scan tool to start the calibrations. It is important for the technician to know that they need to check the OEM repair documentation for your vehicle and ask your shop if they are doing so before you drop off your car for repair.

Other parts on your GM vehicle are equally nuanced in their repair requirements.

Park assist sensors need calibration on some vehicles but not others. A short-range radar sensor module doesn’t need calibration but must receive SPS programming as described in the OEM procedures if it is replaced.

If your vehicle is equipped with lane departure or blind-spot monitoring systems, GM says that no specific calibration is required as a part of service, simply drive the vehicle to begin calibration, but SPS programming is required after replacement.


Some of this information be a little technical for some, but it is important to know that unlike years past, collision repair has become extremely more complicated and involves way more technology, research, equipment, and expertise than in years past. That’s why we take the time to break it down for you and explain what is important to know, and why. And most of all, it is important that you ask your repairer these questions to determine if you are dealing with a shop that follows the correct process or a shop that cuts corners in order to meet tight deadlines in the name of production. We hope you found this informative and helpful.

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Why Ford Says You Cannot Use Aftermarket Windshields, And Why You Should Care


If you own a Ford and your repair involves installing a new windshield, you only have one approved option- use an OEM Ford windshield, and here is why.

Ford and just about every other manufacturer put out “OEM Position Statements” to instruct repair shops on how their engineers want their cars repaired. This is based on many factors, including the construction of the vehicle, the specific requirements that each type of steel or aluminum needs and also factors that affect their safety and electronics systems.


Why this matters to you, the Ford owner


The problem is, as a consumer, You probably don’t know this, and it is easy to get steered in the wrong direction by a repair shop looking to cut corners and costs on repairs. But it could cost you.


Ford recently advised repair shops to use OEM windshield and side glass, warning that aftermarket glass could affect vehicle safety first of all, and it could compromise the built-in comfort technology by introducing wind noise, rattles, or leaks in the cabin. This is why you need to be sure that your repair shop is using OEM windshields in your repair.


From Ford:

“Ford Motor Company vehicles contain many state-of-the-art features that provide occupant safety and enhance the driving experience. Windshield and side glass play an integral role in the performance and functionality of these features.”

“During repairs that involve glass removal and replacement, it is critical that the vehicle is restored to proper operating condition.”


How aftermarket windshields affect the structural integrity of your Ford


Ford points out that the original glass used in manufacturing the car is designed for the maximum function, general safety, and structural integrity of your vehicle – the windshield is effectively part of the car’s frame. So the use of an aftermarket windshield could alter or even lessen the structural integrity of the vehicle.

According to Ford, “The quality, performance and safety of aftermarket replacement windshield and side glass may not meet Ford Motor Company’s exacting specifications and can result in key safety features not functioning properly and reduced customer satisfaction in the performance of their vehicle.” Safety problems will definitely result in reduced customer satisfaction with the car.


Ford Mustang Structure

The automaker also told collision repairers that you cannot reuse windshields in certain circumstances. “HUD windshields, windshield glass equipped with a camera bracket and windshield glass equipped with adhesive moldings must be replaced anytime the original glass is removed from the vehicle.”


How aftermarket glass affects your ADAS systems


The major and most critical concerns raised in the Ford position statement involve structural integrity and advanced driver assistance systems because using an aftermarket windshield might affect the performance of the camera mounted to it.

The camera needs to be precisely attached to the windshield. Ford certified windshields have camera brackets so the camera can be aimed properly. Cameras are designed with optical quality compatible with the camera.

Aftermarket windshields will not duplicate the precise location of the camera attachment brackets. They often will distort the image viewed by the camera. This hurts camera operations and hurts the proper operations of the ADAS system parts.

Why you need ADAS calibrations after a replacement


FORD ADAS recalibration


“Calibrations associated with windshield replacements must be completed in order for the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to function correctly.” Some Ford vehicles are factory equipped with a “Heads Up Display,” and if your Ford is equipped with one, aftermarket glass might throw off the HUD. Certified replacement parts will provide the customer with the safest and most convenient operation of their car.

How aftermarket glass affects your financially

If your vehicle is still under factory warranty and one of your safety systems malfunctions due to OEM glass, you may be shocked to find that your warranty is voided with the use of aftermarket windshields. What might have been a repair covered under your factory warranty, you may have to pay out of pocket for the repair (and, possibly, a new OEM windshield) to fix the ADAS component.

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