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Are High-Tech Windshields Too Advanced for DIYers or 3rd Party Repairs?

As auto parts and the cars they go in continue to become more technically advanced, skirmishes pop up in the automotive landscape. This time, it’s Safelite vs. Volvo, Ford and Subaru involved in high-tech windshields.

At issue is calibration of cameras embedded in Volvo windshields that

” …have special cameras and radar that are calibrated to work in harmony with safety features like adaptive cruise control, stay-in-lane systems and high-beam control. Recalibration has to be done whenever the windshield is replaced.”

What Does This Mean?

After high-tech windshield installation, they need to be calibrated. The car manufacturers say only a dealer can do this correctly. Safelite says that’s not true, that they can calibrate the equipment just as well.

Read about car manufacturers vs. replacement glass companies.

However, Aftermarket Windshields Work

A few years ago, before I heard about Pilkington (from jreed maybe?) I had to replace a windshield. Provider told me it was an OEM, later discovered it wasn’t, though it seems okay, so far. A few phone calls later, and whether true or not, I was convinced that most glass, including PPG, is made in China and doesn’t have the temper of original glass. No surprise there, I guess.

Safelite provided my side window. They actually had a Volvo brand one in stock.

Allstate covered both of my replacements with no deductible.


High-Tech Windshield: ADAS Calibration

Automotive technology is constantly changing, and windshields are no exception. Your windshield is no longer just a piece of glass. In many newer model vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) there are cameras, sensors and other equipment integrated into the windshield that can affect how your car functions. As high-tech windshields become more complex, so does the process for replacing them.

What is ADAS Calibration?

When a windshield is replaced, all the ADAS equipment such as cameras and sensors are removed, re-attached, and calibrated. A change in camera angle of just a degree can have a huge impact on the camera’s viewing area, which can affect how the vehicle’s ADAS features will work.

This calibration process adjusts and tests all the cameras and sensors on the windshield to ensure they are still working properly after it is replaced. Without calibration, the vehicle’s ADAS features may not function properly and become a safety issue.

Even though it sounds simple, calibration is a complex process that reportedly requires special equipment and training. Time will tell if high-tech windshields are simply too complicated for DIYers and your local garage.

See Windshield Calibration discussion here

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