Why Recalibration Is Critical After Replacing Your Windshield

Most drivers already know that getting a new windshield can often result in improved visibility and safety behind the wheel. However, what some may not know is that when you replace the windshield glass on a newer vehicle, you’ll likely need to recalibrate your vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). It is reported that 49 percent of cars will require calibration by 2025.

What Is an ADAS?

Does your vehicle alert you when changing lanes? Can your vehicle sense another vehicle or object in front of you to avoid a collision? Is there a camera mounted on or near your windshield? These are great new features, but they also can create some unique new challenges for automotive glass replacement. These front-facing cameras and sensor packages are part of your vehicle’s ADAS, and these systems are designed to protect vehicle occupants and your vehicle. Driver assistance systems offer critical safety functions—including automatic emergency braking, parking assist, and pedestrian detection—that help reduce the number of collisions and save lives.

What Is Recalibration?

When windshield glass breakage occurs and you need to have your windshield replaced, you will now likely need to have your safety system recalibrated as per the automaker or manufacturer’s standard. Windshield recalibration refers to the process of adjusting the parameters of a camera lens to capture a complete image of the vehicle and the road in order to guarantee that in-car ADAS systems are receiving accurate and reliable information. Recalibration requires a specific target image mounted on a fixture in front of the vehicle during the recalibration process. The recalibration typically takes up to an hour or more, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Types of Recalibration

Different manufacturers have different requirements, and your vehicle may need either static or dynamic recalibration. For some vehicles, both types of calibration are required.

  • Dynamic Recalibration: This type of recalibration requires driving the vehicle at manufacturer-recommended speeds and durations on well-marked roads to recalibrate the camera system. Service takes anywhere from one to three hours in addition to windshield install time, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
  • Static Recalibration: This type of recalibration must be done indoors and requires targets and special images mounted on a fixture, with precision, in front of the vehicle during the recalibration process. Service typically takes one-half of a business day, in addition to windshield install time, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Introducing Opti-Aim™

Opti-Aim™ is the first complete aftermarket tool for precise auto glass camera calibration, and it is what the Defender Auto Glass technicians are trained to use. Opti-Aim™ from Pilkington is the industry’s first aftermarket calibration tool that helps technicians manage complex auto glass installs that demand the highest levels of accuracy and precision. Once connected to the vehicle, Opti-Aim™ begins the camera aiming process and then works with the vehicle’s computer to optimize camera alignment and restore it to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications.

What Is the Cost to Recalibrate a Windshield?

The reason why windshield glass replacement has increased in cost is that a lot of the sensors that power the ADAS features are located directly behind the windshield. This means that the windshield is no longer just responsible for protecting you from rain, rocks, and bug splatter—it is also protecting an advanced set of cameras and sensors that gives the car these potentially life-saving safety features. Generally, an aftermarket OEM windshield replacement will run you somewhere between $250 and $500 depending on the features, and the calibration afterward can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200 if completed by a dealer.

Are you unsure of whether you have ADAS features on your car? Contact Defender Auto Glass today at 440-602-7770 or info@defenderautoglass.com and one of our experienced staff members can provide more information.

Check out this video of our Defender Auto Glass team performing a static calibration.