Looking for a way to fix your blind spot monitor of your car? You have landed on the right article. This article aims to inform you about some essential points related to your car’s safety system and how to fix it properly.
Where Is The Blind Spot Sensor Located?
Every car has hard-to-see spots, commonly known as blind spots. Some may have more dangerous spots than others. As a result, large vehicles are more prone to accidents due to their blind spots than smaller cars. However, blind spot detection systems play a crucial role in minimizing casualties.
The sensors in the blind spot detection system are usually located on the side mirrors or under the car’s rear bumper. It allows the radar sensors of the blind spot monitoring system to scan the adjacent cars and the area behind them. Usually, the detection area of the car extends to one lane on either side. Beyond the rear bumper, the area extends to approximately ten feet. In this way, the blind spot system monitors the vehicle’s side, rear, and front blind spots.
The electronic, electromagnetic waves, or computer-processed images send the data of the area around the vehicle. Once the system detects any car getting too friendly, it would alert the driver by flashing lights. These lights are located in the peripheral vision of the driver. Sometimes, the driver can experience audible sounds or physical reactions like the vibration of the steering wheel.
Sometimes, the blind spot monitor in the cars activates when you exceed a certain speed. You have the option to turn it off. But, the warning light will remain illuminated while the vehicle is in a DRIVE or NEUTRAL state.
Unfortunately, even these blind spot monitors are unable to detect small objects. It means that the system can not detect a child, animal, or bicycle if they are stationary or their speed is insufficient. As a result, any carelessness from the driver could cause a tragic incident. So, it is better to never rely on technology completely.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Blind Spot Monitor?
Undoubtedly, installing driver-assistance systems such as blind spot monitors can be expensive. Nowadays, even its repairing cost is elevated. The main reason for this is the research and development cost that the manufacturers incurred. As a result, consumers have to pay higher prices as the burden of R&D falls on them.
A study conducted by an organization highlight that the cost of fixing these systems can be two times more after a minor collision. It is mainly because of the expensive sensors and their high calibration requirement. Often overlooked, these safety features are located in parts of the vehicle that are easy to damage, like side mirrors, bumpers, and rear sides.
Another study suggests that the typical cost of repairing the rear radar sensor can be anywhere between $850 and $2,050. On the other hand, the front radar sensors can range from $900 to $1,300. The cost of repairing the front or rear ultrasonic sensors used in parking assist systems is $500 to $1,300. In comparison, the cost of repairing windshields with cameras can be around $1,500.
Mostly, luxury cars come with a blind spot detection system. Although vehicles with these systems are considered more affordable, it is expensive for automakers to develop and install them. As a result, not all cars come with this system and therefore require the installation of an aftermarket blind spot system kit. It may cost a few thousand bucks.
Still, safety is crucial. Repairing this sensitive system can also cost a few hundred bucks, but the prices are dropping with time. It is predicted that this system will become a necessary yet affordable option for every car within a few years.
What Is Calibration In Cars?
Today, the collision industry frequently uses the word ‘calibration.’ So, knowing its meaning is essential. In simple terms, it means to teach something. In the automotive industry, it is also something similar along the lines.
When calibrating a radar sensor, you tell the sensors where to look and where it is in relation to the vehicle. This way, the car’s internal computers re-adjust all cameras and sensors to work properly according to the car’s new specifications.
As a result, when the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensors are damaged, they require calibration. There are different requirements and repair processes by the manufacturer for it. Yet, all ADAS requires proper calibration to ensure that the systems work properly, even after disruptions.
Types Of Calibrations
ADAS-equipped cars require calibration according to their OEM recommendations. It is usually categorized into two types.
- Static Calibration
- Dynamic Calibration
This type of calibration occurs inside the shop where the vehicle is parked. Initially, you will have to find the thrust line and set up the car in front of the ADAS tools. In order to recalibrate accurately, all ADAS tools use a series of targets that the car’s sensor reads. But, it is important to have the correct distance between the targets at a proper height. There are many other things you need to consider as per OEM standards. Although the ADAS tools have distinctive setup methods, the accuracy of this step is vital for accurate results.
This type of calibration takes place on the road. It is because most of the sensors work while driving. At first, the dynamic calibrations start in the shop, where the diagnostic tools help find disruptive ADAS features. After this process, you will move to the dynamic calibration depending on the system you are calibrating. This step will help to complete the calibration process. As the vehicle will be in motion, the system can be reset accurately, preventing any mishaps in terms of the safety of the car.
An example of this system would be the camera recalibration process. Typically, a camera sensor requires 5 to 30 minutes of straight driving at a certain speed on the road. Visible and clear lane marking will help the camera detect the car’s position. Within this duration, your system will start to function properly. Depending on your system, some calibrate better on empty roads while others work best in traffic.
How Can We Do The Calibration?
It is nearly impossible to do calibration yourself. To adjust this system, ADAS’s intricacy, specialized specialists, and sophisticated computers are important. So, to prevent any displacement, seeking professional assistance seems more viable for the proper function and safety of the car.
Requirements For Calibrating A System
Some calibration requirements are essential for the vehicle after a collision.
- The calibration space should be at least 10 meters in width and 15 meters in length. It comprises the car’s size and the floor area needed to perform static sensor calibration.
- The floor should be even so that any miscalibration is prevented in the absence of minor inclinations. And, the vehicle’s reflexes are not disarrayed.
- The workstation must have equally dispersed lighting. It will come in handy at the time of calibration of the space’s lighting. Even minor factors like reflective surfaces or other shadows could affect the sensor’s accuracy.
- Shadows and reflections should also be kept in check for calibration accuracy. The shop’s walls must be of solid color, and the plain walls work better for the confound sensors.
Cost And Duration Of Calibration
Nowadays, more repair shops are able to provide calibration services. Many manufacturers are also pushing repair shops to offer scans before and after any work on the vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates by 2024, more than 60% of the registered vehicles will come with the ADAS.
The cost of calibration varies as it is based on the number of radar sensors on the vehicle. Yet, it typically falls between $250 to $2000 for 1.7 calibrations of the vehicle. Usually, it takes around 30 minutes to 45 minutes to complete a calibration process. But, it can also take more than 3 hours depending on the specific model of the car.
Usually, the cost of calibration includes the following expenses;
- Mechanical labor cost
- Vehicle preparation and setup
- Four-wheel alignment
- Cost of resources used at time of calibration
- Post-calibration tests
Common ADAS Sensors Calibration
Modern cars require different ADAS sensors, and only a few need calibration. But, here are some of the most prevalent ADAS sensors that routinely require calibration.
Steering Angle Sensors
This type of sensor tells the direction of the steering wheel. To get a zero-point calibration, setting the steering angle sensor is important. Some systems self-calibrate, while others require calibration with the help of a scan tool and other procedures. Its typical requirement is setting the wheel straight with the help of a scan tool.
When Is It Needed?
- Structural repair
- Wheel alignment
- Steering Repair
- Suspension repair
- Airbag deployment
Front Facing Camera Sensors
Front-facing ADAS cameras detect cars, pedestrians, and obstructions in your vehicle’s forward view. They are mounted near the rearview mirror and inside the car’s windshield. Normally, OEMs use one forward-facing camera, while others use two for better perception. The function of the front-facing camera sensor is to detect the objects in front of the car, watch the lane markings, detect traffic signs, and some also sense light level.
When Is It Needed?
- Change in suspension
- Vehicle alignment
- Airbag deployment
- Windshield replacement
- Collision repairs, especially cosmetic panel distortion
Forward Radar Sensor
These sensors are often found in the vehicle’s grille or front bumper. Its function is to monitor the distance of the forward object and control it. Some vehicles use this system while other uses cameras.
Additionally, some cars use both systems to provide extra compensation and check. Static or dynamic calibration could be useful in these types of radar sensors. Static calibration aims at metal pyramid-shaped targets or metal reflector sheets.
When Is It Needed?
- Front-end structural repairs
- Removal of the front bumper or grille.
Rear Radar Sensor
This type of sensor can is present in the rear corner of the vehicle, behind the bumper cover. It covers a short range and can monitor from both the car’s rear and sides. This sensor monitors the distance of approaching objects to the vehicle. Its calibration can be static or dynamic.
Different methods for calibrating rear radar sensors are administered on the OEM models and their model year. But, some common procedures require measuring devices, software tools, and other equipment. For static calibration, a corner reflector, calibration mat, and laser tools are usually necessary.
When Is It Needed?
- Rear bumper replaced or removed.
- Damage to mounting locations
- Sensor bracket replacement
- Sensor replacement
- Structural body repairs at the rear of the vehicle
Features To Consider Before Replacing The Blind Spot Monitor In Cars
If your vehicle has experienced a major collision, replacing your blind spot monitor is an excellent choice. But, before buying, you need to keep some key factors in mind so your purchase matches your expectations.
- Sensors are the most crucial feature of the blind spot system. Different types of technologies are available, such as radar, lidar, and sonar. So, check which technologies work best and are reliable according to the environment you drive in. Usually, there are two or more sensors installed in the vehicle to cover different blind spots. Therefore, finding a suitable sensor is vital that can trigger the indicators correctly.
- Indicators are crucial in notifying the driver of the predicted danger. It also keeps the driver informed that the sensors are working perfectly. There are different types of indicators, but visual led light is mostly popular in aftermarket kits. Yet, some also notify you by audio signals. So, check which indicators will work for you before making your purchase.
- Accuracy is essential with timing when it comes to vehicles. Any delay can cause severe damage in terms of collateral and human lives. So, selecting a blind spot monitor that works best with your speed is imperative. Usually, high-quality sensors have good accuracy, so it is better to spend more for a more reliable system. More importantly, these systems will also avoid false triggers. False alarms are irritating, right?
- Never compromise on taking professional bits of help, especially when it comes to being on the road. With road accidents rising rapidly, it is vital to have some extra assistance that actually works. Although companies provide aftermarket kits to do the installation yourself, professional installation is significant – even if it costs you some extra bucks.
How Can You Fix Blind Spot Monitors In Cars?
If you have experienced a minor collision, it is better to go through the calibration process to know the damage’s severity. However, in some cases, you can only fix the blind spot monitors by replacing them.
Numerous companies offer aftermarket blind spot systems for cars. They have an instruction manual that will help you replace the system without professional assistance. Still, getting expert help for the task is highly advisable since it is a matter of safety for you and your family.
Yet, if you want to do it yourself, here are the steps you follow to make the installation process more manageable.
- Place the measuring tape and calibration cloth in alignment with each other at a 90-degree angle. You can find the calibration cloth from your system. The position of the measuring tape should be parallel with your vehicle’s wheel.
- Draw a straight line on the vehicle’s rear bumper. You can do this accurately by taking a level and placing it parallel to your vehicle. Keep in mind that the level should align with the calibration cloth.
- Remove the rear bumper and the taillights.
- Clean the calibrating positions of the inner rear bumper using a clean cloth.
- Use the two magnets from the system and place one of them inside the bumper while the other corresponds outside the shield. As a result, they both would attract each other. They should be around a 20-degree angle from your vehicle’s bumper.
- Mark the spot where both magnets rest.
- Stick the sensor inside the bumper using the adhesive.
- Now, place the led indicators inside your car’s cabin where you can easily see them. Some kits provide recommendations on where to place it according to the system.
- Test the system and volume as you do not want to get disturbed when it will activate. So, adjusting is vital.
Now, you are all set to use your blind spot detection system. However, do not consider it a substitute for the driver. You should keep proper eyes on the road and drive cautiously as these technologies are not 100% reliable.
Knowing about the system’s functions can come in handy during diagnosis. If you know about the system, you can use less time to find and fix the fault. Still, when it comes to the safety of your car, you need to pay extra attention to these blind spot monitors.
Check them every week or two so you know when the blind spot system requires your assistance. Although, these repairs can be expensive. But, you will enjoy these technologies at a much lower price in the future. Until then, you should not compromise on safety.