by Pat Goss
When it comes to automobiles these days, the word of the day seems to be cameras and computers. Cars are loaded with them. We have cameras everywhere. They give you surround views of the vehicle so that you can back up accurately and so on. They help with steering, they help with braking, they have all of these different things that the cars do autonomously.
Well that means that these cameras have to be accurate. And most of the cameras are mounted in the front bumper, or in the windshield, so what happens here? You have to have a windshield replaced, well in many cases you have to have that camera re-calibrated. It has to be made so that it sees in the right direction. Now the reason for this is simple: You see the camera looks at the road, looks at the vehicles and everything ahead of you. That camera then sends a signal to the computer. The computer analyzes that signal, and it applies the brakes or it may help steer the car or who knows it does all sorts of different things. So, the reality of this is, when you have a minor deviation at the camera, that deviation gets larger the farther away from the vehicle the obstacle is.
So, if you have a camera that’s not properly adjusted, you could wind up with a situation where your car helps steer you off the road, or does some other crazy thing. So, the cameras, to adjust them requires specialized equipment. This equipment is very sophisticated. It checks to make sure the car is level.. Oh, and by the way it also checks to make sure the wheel alignment is proper on the car. Oh yeah, it’s gotta be aligned. So, that’s all part of it.
Now, in addition to that, in some cars you’ll have to have a full tank of fuel and there are going to be other requirements.. tire pressure has to be right, and the list goes on and on. The equipment checks for these things, then it tells the technician what to do as far as aligning the cameras to make sure they’re going to tell you the right information, or tell your car the proper information. So, if you do some checking...ask your dealer if your car is one that needs recalibration after a repair and then you follow through with that, you’ll make sure that the job is right and your call will be safe.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.