ADAS Calibrations Part of a Proper, Complete Repair

05/01/2024 by Joel Dufkis and Kurt Fenzel, I-CAR ADAS experts


The rapid expansion of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has shown promise in reducing collision frequency and severity, yet distracted driving is on the rise. April's designation as Distracted Driver Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the dangers posed by distractions such as cell phone use. Ironically, the increasing reliance on ADAS has led to some drivers becoming less vigilant. Customers often assume their repaired vehicles' ADAS will shield them, even during moments of distraction. This underscores the critical responsibility collision repairers bear in precisely calibrating ADAS to factory specifications.

I-CAR has been diligently enhancing its curriculum and resources to address ADAS repair considerations and calibration procedures. Our comprehensive training includes hands-on sessions covering static and dynamic calibrations. This blog delves into the necessity of ADAS training, its target audience, and what participants can expect from our hands-on static calibrations and Ford ADAS Calibration courses.

Understanding ADAS Features

ADAS systems encompass both vehicle safety features and driver convenience features. From detecting vehicles in blind spots to facilitating smooth parallel parking, these systems play a crucial role. Among the latest advancements are driver monitoring systems utilizing facial recognition technology to alert distracted drivers. As ADAS technology evolves, more vehicles will be equipped with multiple systems, necessitating frequent repairs involving one or more system calibrations.

One of the initial challenges faced is the inconsistent naming of ADAS features. Despite there being only about two dozen types of ADAS, they are referred to by hundreds of different names. For example, emergency braking systems may be known as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, or pre-collision system, depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Familiarizing oneself with the OEM's unique terminology expedites the retrieval of service information.


Recognizing the need for standardization, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established uniform ADAS naming conventions as a reference. Within your operation, adopting consistent terminology for different types of ADAS ensures clear communication throughout the repair process.

To determine the location of ADAS systems on a specific vehicle and understand when and how calibration is required, consult the vehicle manufacturer's service information. A comprehensive understanding of how ADAS systems function will help guide repairs, especially when verifying system performance during a post calibration test drive. While OEM service information includes ADAS description and operation details, the vehicle owner's manual serves as another valuable resource.

Even experienced technicians must thoroughly research each calibration they undertake. Despite prior experience, it's essential to consult the OEM's website for any updates or changes in repair procedures, ensuring accuracy and adherence to manufacturer specifications.

Must-Have ADAS Expertise

Recognizing the specialized knowledge requirements and meticulous nature of ADAS calibrations, I-CAR has developed a Platinum™ training path for ADAS technicians. While understanding ADAS repair considerations is essential for all collision repairers, it may not be feasible for every technician to undergo extensive training in calibration procedures. Therefore, dedicated ADAS specialists are becoming increasingly common in the industry. These specialists stay updated on scanning, ADAS repairs, and calibration procedures, ensuring accurate and effective calibration processes.


Students enrolled in our hands-on courses come from various roles within the collision repair industry. Larger shops often send non-structural technicians to undertake calibration work, while production managers seek training to ensure their technicians are equipped with the necessary skills. Additionally, understanding calibration procedures is crucial when collaborating with third-party vendors. Evaluating vendors based on their training, facilities, and documentation practices ensures the quality and reliability of calibration services.

Furthermore, ADAS training offers unexpected benefits related to quality control. ADAS calibrations serve as one of the final quality checks in the repair process, allowing trained technicians to identify any improper repairs that could interfere with ADAS functionality. For example, failing to replace a damaged panel could affect the performance of sensors embedded within it. Thus, ADAS-educated technicians play a vital role in upholding repair quality and ensuring customer safety.

What to Expect in Our Hands-On Courses

Students attending our hands-on courses at the Chicago Technical Center (CTC) come from diverse backgrounds and experience levels. However, they all share a common foundation gained from completing our prerequisite online courses. Many students are surprised by the complexities of calibration procedures, particularly the lack of standardized tools for all calibrations. Our courses cover both static and dynamic calibrations, allowing students to develop essential skills in a supportive learning environment.

With a maximum class size of eight students, we prioritize individualized attention and hands-on learning experiences. Each student is paired with a partner, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing throughout the course. Our dynamic ADAS course simulates real-world scenarios, allowing students to diagnose and resolve issues before completing calibrations. Despite the challenges, our students consistently demonstrate enthusiasm and dedication, leading to successful completion of the course.

More ADAS Resources

In addition to I-CAR training, we encourage industry professionals to explore training opportunities offered by our Alliance partners. Our Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal provides access to valuable resources, including technical articles and the OEM Calibration Requirements Search tool. Additionally, our ADAS Resources webpage features webinar recordings, podcasts, and details on I-CAR's ADAS technician role and courses.

As ADAS technologies and procedures continue to evolve, staying informed and up to date is essential for industry professionals. By leveraging I-CAR's training and resources, collision repairers can enhance their expertise and ensure quality repairs for their customers. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our hands-on courses and supporting your journey in mastering ADAS repair and calibration techniques.




About the Authors

Joel Dufkis

Joel Dufkis, ADAS and EV instructor, also serves as an ADAS and EV subject matter expert for I-CAR. With I-CAR since 2022, his industry career began in 2004. His expertise includes: ASE Certified Master Technician, L3 (Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicles), L4 (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), and xEV Technician Electrical Safety - Level 2 certification. He founded a mobile EV repair company in 2020, and in 2018, created the Automotive Technology Instructor Network (ATIN) to connect automotive educators and industry experts.

Kurt Fenzel

Kurt Fenzel, joined I-CAR's EV and ADAS specialty training team in 2023, and besides serving as an instructor, participates in I-CAR’s "Just In Time" short video series, sharing his industry expertise with technicians. He also contributes to subject matter expert (SME) work for curriculum development. He is a seasoned automotive educator with 15 years’ experience and an ASE certified professional.