We recently had a customer bring us a 2020 Honda Civic Sport for a Front Radar Calibration as seen above. The interesting part about calibrations is no matter the type of vehicle, each calibration has it's own unique variations in the process. However, no matter how many times we double or triple check ourselves along the way, we are sometimes faced with a challenge that needs troubleshooting. With this vehicle, we initially started the calibration process but the degree differential was significantly out of the appropriate range. Immediately we decided to check our parameters and redo the calibration procedure with the utmost amount of detail as we usual do. Still the numbers were way outside the necessary range. What could cause the radar to be so out of range? The answer...the sensor bracket.
As you can see from the picture above, the bracket was clearly the issue. Our customer must have tried to hammer and bend the bracket back to what they perceived to be how the bracket was originally. With a little research on our end, you can clearly see the bends in the bracket compared to what a new bracket for a Honda Civic should look. It is very important as a body shop to know that most manufacturers state that if the radar, bracket, or both, in a vehicle sustain any sort of damage they must be replaced. Any calibration facility that receives a vehicle with a radar bracket like this one is going to tell you they cannot calibrate the vehicle. I know completing vehicle repairs and providing a customer with a quick turnaround on their vehicle is the goal, but doing something like this will only prolong the turnaround process. The customer had to order a new bracket which took 3-4 days, ultimately adding more rental days onto the vehicle owner and prolonging the calibration procedure.
Once the Civic received it's new radar bracket it successfully calibrated with no problems at all. The moral of the story is just replace the radar bracket or radar assembly when a vehicle sustains damage to it. Not only is it the right thing to do but it's a safety item and you don't want the liability to rest on your shoulders!