Is your car safe?

In Goss’ Garage

by Pat Goss

If you have a late model car it probably has some very sophisticated safety features. Things like parking aids, blind spot monitoring, autonomous braking with pedestrian recognition, anti-lock braking, traffic signal recognition, adaptive high beam assist, lane keeping assist and maybe even radar cruise control.

These are all wonderful systems that can help you avoid accidents, but did you know that unless these systems work properly, they can give you false information and cause an accident. Not good but that begs the question, how do you keep them working properly? More to the point, how would they get out of calibration so they would lie to you? There are many ways, and you might be driving a car with a problem right now.

First you must consider how most of these systems work. Usually mounted under the plastic shield that surrounds the attachment of the inside rearview mirror is one or more cameras. These cameras look out at the white lines on the sides of the lanes and send a signal to the car’s computer telling it where you’re positioned within those lines. Or they look straight ahead and report on the things they see within your path. Some will be on one or both outside mirrors and look for vehicles in your blind spot and post a picture on your center video display.

Then come the radar sensors that are mounted in the grill or front bumper and the sonar type sensors mounted in the bumpers and lots more on some cars. All these cameras and sensors must know their position relative to the rest of the car to work properly. So, you get that crack in your windshield and it has to be replaced and guess what, the new windshield does not come with a camera. That means the camera or cameras mounted to the inside of the old windshield must be transferred to the new windshield.

Sounds simple enough but the cameras are mounted in plastic holders that may not be precisely glued to the inside of the new windshield. Because of allowable tolerances in manufacturing every time a windshield is replaced the calibration of the cameras has to be checked. On some cars the system will perform its own calibration but on most you will have to have the calibration done with a special machine. That machine is called an ADAS calibration machine. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

Okay so ADAS must be calibrated after a new windshield has been installed but that’s not all. In most cases the systems will need calibration when the car has been involved in an accident or fender bender, often after bumper cover replacement and in some cases after outside mirror replacement and the list goes on.

The big thing here is that you need to be aware of the systems your car has and what services they may need and when they need those services. If you cut corners or the shop fixing your car cuts corners you could wind up with an unsafe vehicle.

Consider you have your windshield replaced and the ADAS calibration is not performed which could leave you with a lane keeping system that is out of calibration relative to the lane marking lines at the center and edge of the road. You have become accustomed to the system keeping you between the lines and now instead of doing that it steers you off the road. Or how about failure to calibrate your blind spot monitoring system? You’re on the Interstate moving along with traffic (literal interpretation, moving very fast) and need to make a lane change. Over the time you’ve owned your car you have become accustomed to the system warning you when there is a car in your blind spot but this time it doesn’t because it’s calibration is off. Any idea how bad the accident can be at high speed when you try to change lanes and the back quarter of your vehicle hits the front quarter of another vehicle. It’s an easy way for people to get very hurt or worse.

My point here is that all this new safety equipment is wonderful but there is a learning curve that goes with it and included in that learning curve should be an understanding of what systems you have and what questions to ask if your car needs repair.

If you would like to see an example of the equipment needed to calibrate ADAS systems, feel free to stop by our Lanham MD shop and we’ll be happy to show you our brand-new system.

 

 

Copywrite 03/22/2021 Pat Goss all rights reserved.

Important News about Honda, Takata Airbag Inflator Recalled Vehicles

honda-recallLast year, American Honda released a poster designed to help keep your customers safe. That poster identified certain Honda and Acura vehicles that may have been affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls affecting customers at that time. Since then, the inflator recalls have expanded, so we have provided an updated poster below that includes additional Honda and Acura vehicles that were not part of the earlier recalls. Please expect the physical copy of the poster inside the following publications in the second week of September: Brake &Front End, ImportCar, Underhood Service, Tire Review, BodyShop Business, and Counterman. It includes a toll free phone number and web addresses where you or your customers can check a vehicle’s recall completion status. Please replace your existing posters with this latest version, and if you do not already have a poster on display, please share this information with your employees and customers right away by placing this poster in a visible location.

Please note that the new poster also distinguishes those vehicles considered to be of highest risk of rupture. This determination was made by the federal government based on scientific analysis by Takata of PSDI front driver airbag inflators – so-called “Alpha” inflators – removed from recalled 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles in the state of Florida revealed a very high rupture rate in laboratory testing. Based on this analysis, Honda concurs with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation’s recommendation that this particular sub-group of 313,000 “Alpha” vehicles should only be driven to a dealer in order to have their Takata airbag inflators replaced as rapidly as possible. There is an abundant supply of replacement inflators and the repair is free of charge and can be completed quickly.

With your help, we can help ensure that our shared customers are driving a vehicle that is safe. Please check VINs at recalls.honda.com for Honda vehicles and recalls.acura.com for Acura vehicles or call 1(888) 234-2138 for open recalls. If a vehicle needs a recall repair, please advise the vehicle’s owner to contact their local dealer immediately to arrange the free repair.

Again, please keep this poster in a convenient location for your staff and customers to see.

American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. appreciates your support and cooperation in this effort to help keep our shared customers safe.

Download the poster here

New York Auto Show

Holiday parking lots men are more likely to keep others waiting and hit cars

Now news and views. This week a survey from car insurance dot com found that in crowded holiday parking lots men are more likely to keep others waiting and hit cars — people and poles. Sorry guys! Michelle megna managing editor of car insurance dot com says when someone is waiting to take a spot being vacated forty percent of women hurry up but only twenty five percent of men pick up the pace. More men than women hit objects — touch another driver and give a hand gesture. But both sexes are choosy about who they park near said megna. A quarter of drivers avoid parking next to cars with body damage while sixteen percent avoid suvs and eleven percent avoid cars with toys and safety seats. While holiday shoppers may know exactly what gifts they need — their knowledge of the role car insurance plays in parking lot incidents is seriously lacking. According to the survey only thirty nine percent correctly chose liability insurance as the coverage that pays for damage to the other driver’s car in an at-fault accident. Only thirty eight percent knew that collision coverage pays when you damage your own car. And when it comes to having gifts stolen from a parked car, only twenty percent knew that homeowners or renters insurance not car insurance pays. So watch out for male drivers in the parking lots as you hit the malls for your holiday shopping. Read more at car insurance dot com. We’ll be right back.

Chat Announcement!

Next Thursday November 13th our Chat will not take place.