Mazda is an OEM that shops should be closely studying, as a large percentage of its vehicles don’t visit Mazda dealerships for service, Donny Seyfer says.

Shops need to prepare as ADAS features become increasingly standard

Advanced safety-related repairs must be properly performed to avoid liability concerns

Las Vegas—The AAPEX Let’s Tech & Tour session, “Don’t Get Your ADAS Kicked,” focused on the technology of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and the challenges it presents to the aftermarket service and repair community.

“ADAS has been described and defined in many ways,” said speaker Chris Gardner, AASA. “It encompasses a lot of different applications for cars, and while it is a precursor to partial or autonomous vehicles, ADAS is not a true standalone connected-car technology.”

Many features of ADAS, however, will be used to build toward autonomous vehicles, he said, adding that ADAS is safety-driven and strongly supported by the federal government and NHTSA. “ADAS helps motorists detect, monitor and identify things going on around them so that they can more safely operate their vehicle.”

Many ADAS features at present are predominately optional, but they will soon become standard, Gardner said. Examples of ADAS include adaptive driving, surround view, lane keep assist and pedestrian avoidance.

Servicing and repairing the ADAS technology will be challenging, he said, and will also have to take into account adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind spot detection and driver monitoring.

Speaker Donny Seyfer, of ASA and Seyfer Automotive, focused on ADAS service needs and considerations for brakes, alignment and glass. “Service that might have been traditional repairs is about to go through a major change,” he said.

For example, OEMs have stated that emergency braking systems will be standard on vehicles by 2022, which will involve additional technology in performing a basic brake job. “When a technician is diagnosing a potential brake issue, they will also have to take into account that there will be related suspension components and drivetrain concerns involved, as they will be interconnected,” Seyfer said. “Expect to be using a scan tool even before the wheel are taken off just to be sure all related systems are functioning.

“Vehicle-stability control, which helps a driver recover faster than they can do on their own, also has two functions working together: electronic power steering and anti-lock brakes.”

He said it’s important to understand that not all systems are immediately evident unless a technician has prior knowledge of them based on vehicle application. “It will important to know a VIN and a vehicle’s systems so a safety-related repair is properly performed. Otherwise, a shop can open itself up to liability — if that scares you, it should.”

Seyfer suggested Mazda is an OEM that shops should be closely studying, as a large percentage of its vehicles don’t visit Mazda dealerships for service because they are few and far between. Rather, the aftermarket is performing much of the repairs. He noted that Mazda has a front radar sensor installed behind its grill logo for cruise control and distance recognition system; it also has a pair of rear radar sensors for blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alerts; the windshield has a camera for a front sensor system.

“A lot of these systems will hinge on our ability to get them serviced and set up right,” Seyfer said.

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