NEW DIMENSIONS – How ADAS affects vehicle servicing in the workshop


These days workshops have to take a different look at vehicles even in the most routine of services. With the increased fitting of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) “the usual suspects” (oil, brakes, steering etc) are not enough. These service items miss some major implications for road safety. Whose responsibility is it to check the ADAS health of a car?  

A minor bump, a windscreen change, or even a bumper removal to effect other repairs can have major implications for road safety. The safety-critical ADAS sensors are embedded in the very fabric of the car and must be accurately calibrated to allow the systems to function correctly. 

Although this is a very hi-tech road safety solution, the first step is old-school observation: 

  • Has the windscreen been replaced since the last service? 
  • Does the vehicle stand level? 
  • Is there bodywork damage? 

All of these require further investigation.

A quick once over with a damp sponge?

It could be argued that a comprehensive service should even include checking whether the ADAS sensors are clean.  

Not all ADAS are safety critical, and some problems can be eliminated by simple manpower. Blind spot warning not working? Light on the dashboard? Check the obvious first of all – the sensor module. Blind spot warning is a low-power radar and the module is often covered with dirt or loose bodywork or even have just become dislodged.  

A matter of angles

To check the more advanced ADAS, the first step is a full wheel alignment check, but do look beyond the obvious. Even with the basic “tracking” correct there are many angles that can affect safety. It’s time to lose the lasers, a modern four-wheel aligner is the only tool that can cope with the checks needed. Even with the wheels straight and the steering wheel level, pay attention to cross camber, cross caster and steering axis inclination. Any discrepancies could indicate component damage which need investigation before ADAS sensor calibration.  

ABS and stability control rely on measuring steering angle, often with a sensor on the steering column itself. The steering angle is a core piece of information that almost every current and proposed ADAS fitment uses. If the ADAS computer receives incorrect or nonsensical data due to steering misalignment it can de-activate almost every safety system on the car.  

ADAS is already in millions of cars, and European legislation will see their use rise. Any workshop not aware of the implications for even routine servicing will soon be at a commercial disadvantage or worse – how can a workshop offer a clean bill of health when the crucial safety equipment has not been checked? Absolute Alignment offers cost-effective integrated alignment systems that future-proof workshops against new ADAS technology. Call the Technical Team on 01252 549340 and develop your business with The Experts. 

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We hope you found this look at how ADAS affects vehicle servicing an interesting read. Wheel alignment is a growing market. To learn about how important wheel alignment can be check out our consumer site