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Servicing vehicles with advanced safety systems

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 07:00
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And as with other advanced safety systems, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind to prevent causing problems in the Adaptive Cruise Control system during routine service.

First, it’s worth pointing out that Lexus’ service information cautions that exposure to radio frequency emissions (like those used by certain radar systems) is hazardous to your health and therefore warns techs that it’s “…hazardous to be within 20 cm (7.9 inches) of the device's radio frequency aperture.” Good to know indeed.

Also, any wheel and suspension modifications, including mounting a temporary spare tire or different sized tire can affect system operation. And, as with Collision Avoidance systems, brake problems such as grabbing or pulling can also affect this system operation as well so it’s important to ensure that brake components operate smoothly, without any grabbing or binding.

And of course, installing heavy accessories on the vehicle can also affect operation, as can loading heavy cargo into the vehicle. Which really isn’t that much different from before these systems were widely used, it’s just much more important now. 

Additionally, be careful that any components removed are reinstalled securely – loose mounts (especially at the front of the vehicle) are a common cause of problems that can easily be prevented. Components in this system may also need to be calibrated when they’re removed and reinstalled – check service information as well as tech tips and bulletins and be sure before removing anything.  

And finally, after servicing vehicles with these sensitive systems it’s wise to park them out of direct sunlight if possible since extreme heat has been known to adversely affect operation (the system only operates within a certain temperature range). Explaining why the system suddenly doesn’t work anymore after it’s been serviced is an aggravation no one needs at the end of a long day.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Blind Spot Monitoring systems are also widely used now. These systems act like an electronic “shoulder check” to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots and will sound an alarm if a problem is detected. There’s usually an icon on both the mirror and driver information center that illuminates when the system activates.

Sensors for blind spot detection systems are typically located on the bottom of the side mirrors.
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