Without proper wheel alignment, the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology incorporated into most modern vehicles will NOT work properly.
Unfortunately, many auto repair shops that offer ADAS repairs calibrate the system incorrectly (without adequate wheel alignments and sensor checks) – causing more harm to you and your vehicle than good.
What does wheel alignment have to do with ADAS?
The accuracy of your ADAS safety features requires your vehicle to communicate with all of your system’s sensors and cameras effectively.
So, if your car is telling your driver assistance system that your wheels are aligned a certain way and they are actually not, you can expect your vehicle to steer improperly when you use certain ADAS features – like lane departure, lane assist, parking assist, and back-up cameras.
How does this work?
It comes down to your steering wheel angle. Even before modern driver assistance systems, your safety on the road was compromised if your steering angle wasn’t set to match your wheel alignment. Now that ADAS features respond automatically to steering wheel alignment sensors, the danger of incorrect angles and alignment becomes even more serious.
A miscommunication about the alignment of your wheels ultimately puts you at greater risk of an accident. This is especially concerning since a rapidly growing number of drivers feel comfortable relying solely on ADAS technology (like blind spot monitoring) without turning their head to check themselves.
That’s why it is so crucial for your auto service shop to conductthrust angle and wheel alignments in tandem with ADAS calibrations.
Example of an improper alignment-ADAS relationship
If your vehicle has the lane keep assist feature, a problem with your alignment can cause your car to have a slight pull to your right or your left. This issue may cause constant automatic overcorrection that steers your vehicle back into the center of traffic.
Because of the error, your car may send you nagging warning messages to stop driving and take a break, assuming you are drowsy or otherwise unable to stay in your lane.
Not only that, but there is a safety risk involved when your vehicle constantly pulls you toward the center. If you are distracted or aren’t paying close enough attention, you may not respond to your car’s overcorrection quickly enough to avoid a collision or serious accident.
How to tell if your ADAS needs recalibrated
You should bring your car into the shop for an expert ADAS recalibration when you…
- Notice a false or delayed activation of the system.
- Receive incorrect steering warnings or corrections,
- Experience a minor collision,
- Find physical damage to sensors and cameras,
- Or receive warning lights or messages,
Plus, anytime your auto service technician conducts a wheel alignment, you MUST ensure that they are also validating your ADAS settings. Remember, it is CRITICAL for your mechanic to validate that all your vehicle sensors are in-sync according to the vehicle manufacturer specifications.
How often should you get a wheel alignment?
At minimum, our alignment and ADAS specialists suggest getting your wheels aligned yearly. If you’re on the road more than the average driver, go by the rule of thumb of a wheel alignment every 6,000 miles or every other oil change.
Four-wheel alignments are important for more than ensuring the accuracy of your ADAS technology. An alignment also…
- Decreases the stress on your suspension, brakes, and other car components,
- Increases the longevity of your tires and vehicle,
- Maximizes your car’s handling and braking capabilities,
- And gives you much better gas mileage!
Read more – Why Alignments Are Important
PAS Tech | Wilmington, NC
The great news? The PAS Tech team is full of ADAS technology experts that are eager and available to help you with any alignment or ADAS calibration issue! We realize how challenging it can be to keep up with the details of complex modern technology. So, let us be a resource for you!
Have questions about ADAS and wheel alignment? We can help!
- How to Tell if Your ADAS is Calibrated Correctly
- Are You Misusing Your Driver-Assistance System?
- ADAS Calibration
- Why Are Alignments Important?