Typical Calibration Requirements For Forward Radar Sensors

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 radar sensors.

Forward radar sensors are located in or behind the front bumper/grille. They monitor the forward distance of objects in front of the vehicle, and control following distance. Systems that use data from the forward radar sensors include Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Braking, and Collision Warning. Calibration is normally required after replacement of a forward radar sensor but, may also be required after removal of front bumper/grille, after front structural repairs, or after removal and installation of the forward radar unit.

Calibration can be static (in-shop) or dynamic (on-road). Static procedures will normally require the use of a scan tool to start an aiming procedure. Targets are then setup in specific locations. Generally, the targets are metal and pyramid shaped, so the radar can detect them. Another thing to consider for static procedures is that a large area is needed and clear of any metal objects, because they can interfere with the aiming procedure. Dynamic will usually require a scan tool be utilized while driving the vehicle, under specified conditions and speed. Weather such as, rain or snow can slow down or completely stop calibration procedures.

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.

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