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Information on what Blind Spot Sensor calibration actually does/verifies?

This is more a general question than specific to any vehicle or even any make.

My understanding is that when an OE or aftermarket Blind Spot Sensor is installed on a vehicle it has to go through a calibration procedure (which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and even vehicle to vehicle). But I’m not sure what the calibration procedure is actually CHECKING. In other words, if an AM sensor passes the calibration procedure does that strongly imply that it’ll work just as well as the OE sensor?

Or does passing the calibration just tell the system “This is what something that’s 5 feet away looks like and this is what something that’s 20 feet behind the vehicle looks like… etc.” If it’s this, I could see where an AM sensor might pass the calibration procedure but then function far worse than the OE because it can’t handle bad weather or is only good at detecting a vehicle coming up from behind but not when the vehicle merges into your blindspot from the far-left lane.

I tried Googling this but couldn’t find anything definitive. Feel free to post links for me to read - I’m happy to learn more through reading articles.

You don’t say what year or vehicle you have . I guess the seller of the sensor would be the ones to answer your question. And if they have to calibrated that most likely will be a dealer function . And they might not do it or warranty the work because the parts are after market.

I intended the question to be more general and not specific to my current vehicle.

I’m just trying to understand the sensors both for my own education and so in the future I can make informed decisions if I ever have to replace a sensor in the future.

The AM sensors are trying to copy the OE sensor. The company making the sensor doesn’t have access to the engineering specs of the original so at best, the sensor is a guess. In their design process, they should calibrate it, or have it calibrated as the original is. At that point, testing should confirm that it functions the same as the original. Given the liability for the AM company, they SHOULD function the same. If the company is headquartered in China or India, then they may not care about lawsuits as they are generally untouchable.

That said, the technology is generally camera based, radar based, ultrasonic based, lased based or a combination of multiple sensors. The software determines the car’s response to the driver based on those inputs so… garbage IN, garbage OUT. A bad sensor design will compromise the function.

As a consumer, if you rely on these systems, you should use ONLY OE parts. You wouldn’t buy an airbag module from Earl’s Airbag and Fishing Tackle Emporium, would you? Far too great a risk of fish hooks in the face! :wink:


I can’t answer your question, but this is one area where I’d definitely stick with OEM parts if this were my car, as mentioned just above.

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For highly technical parts, the AM part is sometimes made by the same manufacturers as the OEM parts. What happens is, they enter into a non-compete agreement for some initial period of time and after it expires, you see the aftermarket equivalent sold alongside the OEM branded part…They may even have an agreement on just how much discount and/or market share is allowed in the competitive AM part…FWIW, I agree with Mustangman, when it comes to safety parts, I’d spring for the OEM version to reduce risk exposure myownself…