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Break down repair steps to get a better grasp on calibrations

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 06:00
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An old saying declares that “football is a game of inches.” Replace football with collision repair and game with job and the statement is still true. You also could swap out inches with millimeters and the statement is just as accurate. Exact measurements are one of the keys to a proper, safe repair job.

These measurements go well beyond where you attached parts. They’re also at the core of proper calibrations.

Nowhere is this truer and arguably more of an issue than with the cameras — especially the backup camera — on today’s vehicles. A number of repairers have raised this issue with ABRN. Randy Drury, owner of Full Service Auto Stop in Houston believes there are two chief reasons for difficulty recalibrating these cameras. One, lack of training and experience and, two, failure to follow the OEM repair steps to the letter.

(Photo courtesy of GM Media)  The steps for calibrating the cameras on GM vehicles such as the Cadillac CTS are remarkably similar, but there typically will be some significant differences between models.

“I call it death by degrees,” says Drury. “When you’re calibrating anything, you have to follow the repair instructions exactly. I think there’s too many folks flying through this work to get it done quickly and ignoring things like checking the tire pressure so the vehicle is sitting right and especially working in an area where bright shops lights aren’t distorting the image.”

With so many motorists relying on accurate backup and other cameras to safely move their vehicles, a poor job here can have some significant consequences. Drury says shops could do themselves and their customers a huge favor by reviewing the steps for this work with their techs well beforehand to point out steps they may be overlooking and to better organize the repair plan.

What follows are the OEM repair steps for recalibrating the cameras for popular GM products. They’re reformatted here to help shops better focus on some vital, small details that can make a huge difference between an insufficient and quality repair.

Calibrating the cameras on a 2019 Cadillac CTS

Note: This is the calibration process for the Surround Vision Camera system. When the Video Processing Control Module is replaced, calibration must be performed.

If the following occurs, calibration is recommended but not required:

  • If a camera is replaced
  • If mirrors or fascia are replaced, removed, or physically adjusted.

Video Processing Control Module: What you need to know

The calibration procedure involves having the Video Processing Control Module learn new cameras and their positions. The calibration is performed automatically by the Video Processing Control Module.

A new Video Processing Control Module will have built-in default values for camera learn. However, the Video Processing Control Module will automatically calibrate in order to adapt to the vehicle.

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