What you should know about the Forward Collision Warning alert

While a forward collision warning alert feature is designed to prevent a collision, collisions inevitably will happen and damaged vehicles will need to be repaired. So collision repair facilities need to understand the increasingly interconnected systems in vehicle safety technology. A forward collision warning (FCW) system is one of many components that comprise Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). FCW and other groundbreaking vehicle technology are becoming more common as manufacturers commit to producing safer cars and trucks.

Early detection of a potential collision is the goal of a collision warning system because evidence shows that drivers could avoid many accidents if they have a quicker warning. And it appears that the mere presence of ADAS components like a front collision warning system often help create better drivers. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded that 62 percent of drivers paid more attention to the road ahead and used turn signals more consistently when their vehicle was equipped with a collision-avoidance system.

In this article, we’ll explain what collision warning systems and ADAS are, how they work, and why they matter for your collision repair facility’s success. You’ll learn how ADAS components are interconnected with many other vehicle parts and systems, why they require recalibration after a collision, and how your body shop can safely perform ADAS repairs in-house.

What is ADAS?

Vehicle collisions are most often caused by driver error rather than weather conditions or vehicle failures. The goal of ADAS is to close the gaps created by driver errors by implementing alarms, alerts and warnings to help drivers avoid collisions. ADAS technology uses sensors, cameras and other components to prevent and minimize collision severity. From lane departure warnings to forward collision warning alerts, and many other features, ADAS helps reduce driver errors and provides increased protection for vehicles and their occupants.

Continued ADAS advancements and the resulting repairs and recalibration make keeping up to date with vehicle safety technology critical for safe and accurate collision repairs. When your body shop uses the latest innovative collision repair information, your technicians will understand how ADAS components like forward collision warning sensors work, how to diagnose them when they need repair, and most importantly, how to recalibrate these components to return the vehicle to safe operating condition.

A Warning About Forward Collision Warning Systems!

 Before we get into how a front collision warning system works, it’s essential for collision repair technicians to understand what ADAS components can and can’t do. While there are multiple levels of ADAS technology, the systems used in most production vehicles are not autonomous  — yet! When a forward collision warning system is activated, drivers are alerted to the danger so they can react before it’s too late. For now, both drivers and the technology share responsibility for minimizing collisions.

Drivers and collision technicians should understand their role in maintaining ADAS systems for optimal performance. Drivers need to understand their vehicle’s ADAS features, what warnings and alerts look like, and what they should do when a system is activated. They should also know when an ADAS component malfunctions and when to take their vehicle to a repair shop. To complicate matters, some ADAS systems allow drivers to adjust the timing of warnings and alerts to various degrees.

Technicians need to understand the same information as drivers, with the additional knowledge of diagnosing, repairing and recalibrating ADAS components like collision avoidance sensors. Those are high expectations, but they are destined to become the norm for collision repair facilities.

How Does a Forward Collision Warning Alert Work?

For drivers and collision repair technicians to fulfill their roles keeping ADAS components working as they should, understanding how they work is the first step.

Forward collision warning sensors scan the road ahead while a vehicle moves. The system is designed to warn drivers of a potential collision with a stopped or slower-moving vehicle in their path. Depending on the level of ADAS technology, a forward collision alert may also be activated by other objects. Owner’s manuals and OEM manuals will have this and additional essential information for a better understanding.

Advanced sensors located in the front area of your vehicle can detect how close you are to other vehicles in front of yours. Current ADAS technology uses cameras or radar-based sensors to measure the danger of impact. Typical alerts are an FCW light combined with a dinging sound or quick pulses or vibrations from the brake foot pedal.

This is a good time to reiterate that a forward collision warning alert and other ADAS warnings do not replace the need for safe driving habits. With or without ADAS technology, drivers who practice safe driving habits will always have the advantage when it comes to avoiding a collision. Being a safe driver means also knowing what to do when an ADAS component sends a warning. Again, this information can be found in vehicle owner manuals, and it’s something every driver of an ADAS-equipped vehicle should know.

Forward Collision Warning Alerts and Vehicle Repair

 ADAS components like FCW cameras or sensors can be damaged or altered from even a mild impact. The damage may not be obvious, so without accurate diagnostics, determining if it needs repair and recalibration isn’t possible. Because ADAS components are so interconnected with other systems and body parts, even common collision repairs can lead to the need for recalibration.

Wheel alignments, suspension repairs and bumper replacements are typical body shop repair procedures that may require ADAS recalibration. Additionally, any time a sensor or camera is moved because of an unrelated repair, the FCW, or other ADAS components may need the unit’s calibration corrected.

The demand for professional collision repair technicians who are up to date with the latest ADAS advancements, repairs, and calibrations will continue to grow. And as vehicle technology continues to evolve, on-demand current OEM collision repair information will become standard equipment for body shops. If you want to equip your collision business to succeed, you must keep up with vehicle technology and have the tools you need to repair it. Here’s how SUN Collision Repair Information can make it happen.

Collision Technology is An Essential Tool for ADAS Repair

To keep up with fast-moving vehicle technology, collision repair facilities must have the most up-to-date resources for staying up to speed. That’s because, with ADAS features, there is room for error when managing ADAS repairs — the system either works correctly or it’s unsafe. Getting ADAS repairs right is critical for your collision shop, the vehicle’s drivers, and anyone else on the road.

When your body shop has access to the latest OEM collision repair information, your repairs are not only safer and more accurate, they can also take less time. That’s because SUN gives you real-time and updated information for collision and mechanical repairs, including ADAS components like FCW. From bumper to bumper, we can help you increase productivity from diagnosis to repair completion.

You can’t risk getting ADAS sensor calibration wrong, and that’s why our comprehensive collision repair software includes an ADAS Quick Reference which puts complete repair and calibration information right at the technician’s fingertips with just a few clicks of a mouse. This ADAS QuickLink navigates you to a list of components in the ADAS system, presenting a consolidated view of the component/system names, jobs that may require calibration, special tools needed, or if a scan tool is required.

The software also includes advanced wiring schematics, complete OEM information, and so much more. Give your technicians the most accurate OEM repair information delivered with our reliable and innovative technology to achieve safer collision repairs and a healthier bottom line.

Advanced Interactive Wiring Diagrams

SUN has enhanced traditional wiring diagrams with innovative interactive features like intelligent navigation and links to related repair information. Whether you search by YMM, symptoms, or part, our proprietary search engine, 1SearchPlus, makes finding the wiring diagram you need fast. Technicians are greeted with a user-friendly interface that allows them to easily trace wiring thanks to our automatic highlighting tool.

Components, connectors, grounds and splices are searchable in 1Search and include active hyperlinks that take users directly to related content, such as location, connector views and replacement procedures. The software not only takes the user to the specific diagram, but when the diagram is opened the component, connector, ground or splice will be in focus with all the traces already highlighted. Advanced interactive wiring diagrams also allow users to navigate via the diagram directly to repair information for components.

OEM Manuals

We also changed how technicians can access OEM manuals for collision repair procedures. Our digitized versions of OEM manuals are consistently updated and formatted so your body shop can quickly access the most accurate repair information. Technicians can find OEM information fast and easily navigate multiple pages for a comprehensive overview of repair processes.

Wrapping Up

 When you choose SUN, your collision repair shop has access to wiring diagrams, manuals, TSBs, recalls, and real-world repair support for mechanical repairs. You also get all the customer support and training you need to get your system up and your technicians trained. From installation and operating support to 1-on-1 live training, we’re committed to your success.

Find out how SUN Collision and on-demand OEM repair information can help increase efficiency, repair accuracy, and profitability. Call 877-840-1973 or get a free demo, and we’ll show you how we can help put the most advanced collision repair technology to work for you.

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