Typical Calibration Requirements for Forward Facing Cameras

A forward facing camera on a 2016 Honda Civic.
A forward facing camera on a 2016 Honda Civic.

Technicians should be aware of what’s required to keep advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) running safely after a collision. Whether that be aiming a camera, which can cause a system to not function as intended, or checking for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). For a basic understanding of what’s required, we’ve put together a series of articles that provide general information on what’s required to repair the system after a collision. Let’s take a look at forward facing cameras (FFCs).

Many ADAS utilize one or multiple FFCs to control systems, such as Lane Departure Warning, Collision Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control. FFCs that require replacement will almost always require some sort of calibration or aiming procedure. Other events that may require aiming an FFC include removing the windshield, removing the rearview mirror, or removing the FFC itself. Aiming procedures may be static (in-shop procedure), dynamic (on-road procedure), or some FFCs require both.

For a static procedure, a target or multiple targets are positioned in certain locations in front of the vehicle. Then, a scan tool starts an aiming procedure that will make the FFC align to the target(s). A dynamic procedure requires the vehicle be driven down the road (sometimes while connected to scan tool) at or below a certain speed for a specified amount of time and/or distance. Dynamic procedures sometimes require that the road be clear of snow or rain, and avoid curves and heavy traffic. However, some FFCs will calibrate more quickly when more objects are detected around the vehicle. Always refer to OEM procedures for instructions on how to calibrate the system. Some OEMs even have simple procedures to determine if the system is functioning properly.

Being informed on these systems is important to a complete, safe, and quality repair. Many consumers are purchasing a certain vehicle specifically for these driver assistance features. The consumer knows the system is on their vehicle and they are relying on it to help keep them safe. Therefore, technicians also need to be aware when driver assistance systems exist and have the knowledge to properly repair the system.

Additional I-CAR Collision Repair News you may find helpful:
Collision Repair Diagnostics Definitions
Typical Calibration Requirements