When ADAS Can't See: Lane Departure Warning/Lane Keep Assist System

2014 Subaru Forester, EyeSight Camera.

Collision repairs on vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) can have more restrictions than vehicles without ADAS. Items that historically would be a simple repair may now need to be replaced. The ADAS needs to be able to see/sense in some way, whether it be by radar, camera-view, ultrasonic, etc. Repairers need to keep sensor/camera field of vision clear to avoid system malfunctions. For example, repair material that would normally be used to repair a gouge in a bumper cover is now a problem because it can block the sensor’s field of vision and may not allow the sensor to function properly.

Some OEMs have warnings against making repairs in front of sensors/cameras or a certain distance from the sensors/cameras. However, many times there is also a list of other items that can block the sensor/camera view. Let’s take a look at some common things or materials that can interfere with the lane departure warning/lane keep assist (LDW/LKA) systems.

LDW/LKA systems utilize a forward-facing camera, located near the interior rearview mirror. This camera needs a clear view in front of the vehicle and the lane markings. In most cases, any damage in front of the camera’s view is not repairable. If there is a stone chip of any other damage by the camera, the windshield may require replacement. When replacing a windshield, it is important to look for any defects in what will be the camera’s vision path.

The windshield normally receives the worst of what mother nature can throw at it. Most forms of precipitation, such as rain, snow, and ice, can blind the camera. Direct sunlight may also make it difficult for the camera to see. A dirty windshield can block the cameras field of view. Dead bugs, dust, and mud need to be removed for the LDW/LKA to work properly.

To prevent impeding the ability of the ADAS to function and potentially fail, check OEM repair information to identify what restrictions may apply to the repairs you are considering. Always verify that the ADAS is functioning properly after completing repairs.

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