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Sensors can make car repairs pricey

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published November 7, 2018

METRO DETROIT — Prepare to spend more on auto repairs after a crash if your vehicle has sensors that are becoming more prevalent in newer vehicles, according to AAA.

Recently the auto agency said the mainstreaming of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors can be helpful in many driving situations. Depending on their functions, ADAS sensors can give drivers info about blind spots or veering out of a lane, or they can cause the car to automatically stop to avoid danger.

However, these features may carry a cost if a vehicle gets into a fender bender. That’s because the sensors are often tucked in or near places such as door mirrors, bumpers or windshields.

AAA said a small accident to an ADAS-equipped vehicle’s front or back can often cost up to $5,300 to fix, depending on the vehicle model and which sensors are damaged.

For instance, it said it can cost an extra $900-$1,300 to fix front radar sensors, and it can cost $850-$2,050 to fix rear ones. In addition, cameras that are sometimes found behind windshields might need recalibration if a new pane is needed, potentially raising the windshield repair bill to around $1,500, AAA said.

The auto agency urges people to make sure they have adequate coverage and appropriate deductibles to handle any repairs.

Gary Bubar, AAA Michigan public affairs specialist, said “a lot of good can come out of this new technology” and offer motorists convenience and peace of mind. But he said auto shoppers should keep the potential repair costs in mind when looking for a new vehicle.

“A lot of this stuff is standard on cars,” he explained. “Make sure you go through it with someone from the dealership when you buy or lease a vehicle. Read the owner’s manual from cover to cover.”

Mark Sykes, owner of Showcase Collision & Auto Repair in Warren, said the process of repairing and calibrating the sensors hasn’t necessarily gotten more complicated, but it takes the proper software to get everything back to working order.

“Not many things are plug and play anymore,” he said.

To learn more about AAA Michigan, visit michigan.aaa.com. Find out more about Showcase Collision & Auto Repair in Warren, visit www.showcasecollisioninc.com or call (586) 979-6450.