Here’s why windshield repair sucks with modern technology

Many modern technologies are a real saving grace to make our lives easier. But, sometimes it can make the once simplistic acts a real pain. Windshield repair falls into the latter category. Gone are the days when a windshield served as a piece of glass, folks. Instead, the technology that works with modern cars does so much more than a way to keep precipitation out. And these repairs have also become much more expensive.

The first is the integration of cameras or other sensors in the windshield, watching the road with you. “They are becoming very common on a wide range of vehicles,” says Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, the professional group of collision repair technicians. “What were once very simple operations now require complex diagnostic and calibration work. ”

This process is not trivial during a windshield repair, lest the driver get a false sense of security when picking up their car. Scroll through this Honda overview to get a feel for the number of calibration systems and processes involved. In some cases, automakers advise against reusing a windshield every time it has been removed. And it extends to other parts of the car: Ford recently advised replacing the bumpers on its cars with advanced driver assistance systems whenever they need more than a job. paint.

Brian Cooley / Roadshow

The windshield of a modern car can also have a special display area for a head-up projector and technology related to automatic wipers or auto-dimming high beams. As cars have become more complex, repair shops often turn to good quality aftermarket parts to keep costs down, but Ford, Honda, and FCA all advise against the use of aftermarket windshields. BMW goes so far as to request that special electromagnetic compatibility screws be used in repairs so as not to interfere with ADAS functionality.

ADAS calibration


Sufficient insurance should cover such procedures, but that doesn’t mean your insurance company likes it. “A lot of these technologies have been piloted by (…) the insurance industry, which seeks to reduce the frequency of accidents”, explains Schulenburg. “Unfortunately, this can also be a challenge as insurance companies are behind in understanding and underwriting these repair processes.” Replacing yesterday’s $ 500 windshield can cost thousands of dollars today.

Not that it’s not worth it. A recent Reuters analysis on the adoption of various forms of ADAS technology shows how much it can reduce crash rates and how much it therefore spreads across makes and models of cars. Just prepare for a more complex repair that can no longer be completed in 45 minutes without leaving your driveway.

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