NEW SENSORS AND BODY REPAIRS: WHAT’S THE CONNECTION?
Many car owners may not be aware of the connection between new sensors and body repairs. Amenities that use semi-autonomous driving technology have quickly become essential equipment for a wide swath of car buyers. This technology is used in driver-assist features such as blind spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation systems and adaptive cruise control.
Semi-autonomous driving technology typically relies on sensors to function effectively. Below, we take a look at the role played by these sensors and the ways in which they impact body repairs.
For semi-autonomous driving technology to do its job, the system needs to achieve a certain level of situational awareness for the vehicle. This means there needs to be technology in place that allows the car’s computer to figure out where the vehicle is located in relation to neighboring vehicles, buildings, objects and pedestrians.
Sensors handle the critical task of ascertaining the vehicle’s placement relative to objects and people that could obstruct its path. These sensors use innovations such as radar, lidar and GPS technology to give the car’s computer the information it needs to help you avoid accidents when you’re behind the wheel.
It’s estimated that some luxury vehicles are equipped with roughly 100 sensors and cameras. This equipment is typically found on the body of the vehicle, and its placement can present challenges if a collision results in the need for repairs.
Sensors can complicate even the most basic repairs. According to information published by I-Car, calibration is almost always required to ensure that sensors function effectively after a collision. Sometimes the calibration can be completed in the auto shop. In other cases involving new sensors and body repairs, calibration will need to take place while the vehicle is on the road.
I-Car states that the following sensors and related equipment need to be properly calibrated after a collision:
Forward radar sensors.
Steering angle sensors.
Surround-view camera sensors.
Forward-facing camera sensors.
Even minor events can necessitate calibration. For example, blind-spot sensors are usually located on a car’s bumper. These sensors will need to be adjusted if the bumper is removed for any reason.
The Importance of Diagnostic Scanning
If sensors are involved, determining whether your vehicle is as good as new after a repair can be difficult for a technician.
In situations like this, diagnostic scanning is critical. Scanning allows a technician to quickly evaluate the electronic health of your vehicle after it’s been repaired. Calibration and scanning work hand-in-hand to ensure that your car’s beloved semi-autonomous features function properly after the vehicle has suffered damage.
Fortunately, diagnostic scanning is being offered by a wider range of auto repair shops. Some places handle scanning in-house, while others outsource this service to a mobile or remote technician.
Sensors provide your car’s semi-autonomous technology with the information it needs to help you travel more safely. If a collision occurs, it’s important to make sure they are given the care required to restore their capabilities.
Check out all the relays, sensors and switches available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 16,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on new sensors and body repairs, chat with a knowledgeable expert at yourlocal NAPA AUTO PARTS store.