Unlocking Potential: Preparing Independent Shops for ADAS
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are revolutionizing road safety, but maintenance and calibration of these systems are vital for optimal performance. ️Times are changing! Independent shops are now equipped with the training and tools to perform ADAS calibrations independently.
In this article: We look at why this shift is happening and the benefits ADAS work brings to both independent shops and your customers to ensure you're not turning business away unnecessarily.
Introduction: With the rapid evolution of the automotive industry, the incorporation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has become more widespread in modern vehicles. These systems, such as forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), are designed to provide warnings and/or features that assist the driver with the driving task. One estimate in the U.S. market suggests that as of May 2018, at least one ADAS feature was available on approximately 92% of all new vehicles. These safety systems include intelligent speed assistance, reversing detection with camera or sensors, attention warning in case of driver drowsiness or distraction, event data recorders as well as an emergency stop signal. Furthermore, cars and vans must also feature lane-keeping systems and automated braking capabilities.
All these ADAS systems significantly enhance road safety. However, maintaining and calibrating these sophisticated systems is crucial to ensuring their optimal performance. While ADAS calibrations were once exclusively performed by dealerships and specialized centers, there is a growing need for independent shops to be trained and equipped to carry out these calibrations themselves. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this shift and the benefits it brings to both independent shops and vehicle owners.
Increasing Market Demand
With ADAS becoming a standard feature in many new vehicles, the demand for calibration services is on the rise. Dealerships alone may not be able to handle the sheer volume of calibrations required, leading to longer wait times for customers. By training and equipping independent shops, the market capacity for ADAS calibrations increases, allowing more efficient service delivery to meet the growing demand. Independent shops can tap into this market potential and provide timely and accessible calibration services to vehicle owners in their local communities.
Enhanced Accessibility and Convenience
By offering ADAS calibration services, independent shops can eliminate the need for customers to travel long distances to authorized dealerships, saving time and effort. This enhanced accessibility also encourages vehicle owners to have their ADAS systems calibrated more frequently, promoting safer driving conditions on the roads. Additionally, independent shops typically operate with flexible scheduling options, making it easier for customers to book appointments and receive calibration services at their convenience.
Independent shops often offer competitive pricing due to lower overheads and operational expenses. By expanding their services to include ADAS calibrations, independent shops can provide cost-effective solutions to vehicle owners, making these vital maintenance procedures more affordable and accessible. Lower service costs can encourage more vehicle owners to prioritize ADAS calibrations, leading to safer roads and reducing accidents caused by incorrectly calibrated systems.
Technological Advancements and Training
To successfully carry out ADAS calibrations, independent shops must invest in the necessary equipment and training. Technological advancements have made it easier for technicians to access calibration tools and software, enabling them to provide accurate and reliable services. In addition, training programs and certifications specific to ADAS calibrations are becoming more widespread, allowing technicians to enhance their skills and knowledge in this specialized field.
By embracing these training opportunities, independent shops can ensure that their technicians are well-equipped to handle ADAS systems and calibrations effectively. Independent shops should equip the technicians with the appropriate ADAS training through a source such as Snap-on® YouTube® Training (ADAS Level 1 & ADAS Level 2). These on-line courses are designed to teach the technician how to proficiently calibrate ADAS systems. It demonstrates the technician’s ability to identify and correctly interpret information relating to a specific vehicle and its ADAS features to determine which method of calibration is required.
Building Customer Trust and Loyalty
Expanding the range of services to include ADAS calibrations demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and safety. Shops that invest in the necessary training and equipment build trust among their customer base, positioning themselves as reliable and competent service providers. This trust leads to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, further boosting the reputation and business prospects of independent shops.
Where Diagnostics and Opportunity Collide
Many body shops don’t perform their own calibrations and send this work to local dealerships or mobile ADAS specialists. With a Snap-on® diagnostic platform, this work can stay in-house. At the same time, general repair shops can take this opportunity to grow their businesses offering collision repair centers and body shop’s a better price than the dealership or an ADAS specialist.
This Opportunity Is No Accident
Collision repair is not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, regardless of age. With Snap-on, general and collision repair shops have the information and the power in their hands to perform the repair and OEM-compliant calibrations to get that vehicle back on the road safely, opening new opportunities for business growth.
Equipping Your Shop for ADAS Calibrations
Find below typical equipment you would need to perform ADAS calibrations.
ADAS calibration tools: Independent shops use specialized ADAS calibration tools, including an ADAS-compatible diagnostic scan tool and calibration equipment.
These tools are used for identifying and calibrating various ADAS components. The diagnostic scan tool will feature extensive ADAS vehicle coverage to enable you to complete ADAS calibrations directly from the scan tool. Check out the ADAS coverage available in the latest Snap-on software release
Snap-on® Diagnostic Scan Tools that support ADAS calibrations include: ZEUS™, TRITON™, APOLLO™, MODIS™ and SOLUS™ series products running current Snap-on® Diagnostic software.
ADAS Targets: Targets are essential for calibrating ADAS cameras and sensors. They have specific patterns and markers that allow the cameras and sensors to accurately detect and align themselves during calibration generally specific to the OEM make. ADAS targets are specific by vehicle manufacture and a kit will consist of multiple targets specific to specific ADAS systems on the vehicle.
Leveling Equipment: ADAS calibration often requires precise leveling of the vehicle to ensure accurate calibration results. Independent shops may need leveling equipment such as laser-based leveling systems or electronic leveling devices that measures the height of the targets from the tire contact patch of all four wheels, allowing for the vehicle to be calibrated anywhere in the shop; even on an alignment rack.
Wheel Alignment: Vehicles equipped with ADAS are required by many OEMs to go through a wheel alignment before any recalibration. An ADAS-ready aligner will alert you when the vehicle has ADAS features and will provide the right procedure for adjustments and target placement instructions for ADAS recalibration.
Wheel alignment is vital for ADAS as it ensures accurate sensor alignment, precise measurements, correct target placement during calibration, optimal performance and overall safety. By maintaining wheel alignment, the integrity and effectiveness of ADAS systems can be preserved, contributing to safer and more reliable driving experiences.
Post-repair calibration of ADAS sensors is essential to ensure that they function within the vehicle manufacturers' specified tolerances. Independent shops are increasingly being trained and equipped to perform these calibrations, driven by market demand, enhanced accessibility, cost-effectiveness, technological advancements, and the opportunity to build customer trust and loyalty. By investing in ADAS calibration tools, targets, leveling equipment and training programs, independent shops can offer timely, reliable and cost-effective calibration services to vehicle owners, thereby contributing to safer roads and business growth.
Additionally, incorporating ADAS calibration services enables independent shops to expand their offerings and compete with dealerships and specialized centers, providing a comprehensive range of diagnostics and repairs under one roof. Overall, embracing the opportunities presented by ADAS calibrations allows independent shops to enhance their reputation, customer satisfaction, and overall success in the automotive industry.