Volkswagen Atlas Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With only 1k miles, the front camera got hit (with a rock, probably) and as a result, the glass cracked and moisture gets in blurring the image beyond recognition.

Service adviser at VW dealer looked at it and said: it's like a cracked windshield - an unfortunate occurrence. However, to me it seems different -- the front camera is riding low over the road, is facing straight front, and is completely exposed. It looks like the same type of glass that's on side/rear cameras here the possibility of rocks flying is orders of magnitude lower. Basically, the front camera is begging to be smashed and destroyed.

Fixing it would cost upward $1k (calibration alone is over $400) and there is no guarantee that damage wouldn't occur again, rather soon.

Seems like a combination of bad design and poor execution on VW part... I could come with a design that uses a cheap replaceable mirror to reflect image into the camera, that's actually hidden out of the way behind a hardened (and also replaceable) glass.

What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
So what you're suggesting is a kind of mirror piece in front of the camera? Would it not be easier to put a piece of plexi glass in front of the camera?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
This can be fixed without the expensive dealer repair

My Atlas suffered the same fate after about 6 months. I thought surely someone had hit that small camera with a hammer....nothing else looked even scratched. I agree that it is stupid to have this without a replaceable lens (unscrew lens, put new $10 lens on)...or something like you suggest.

At any rate, I was able to fix this without the $1400 repair that was quoted by my local dealer! I about fell off the chair when they said that and I insisted that this was wrong as it had nothing to do with the adaptive cruise or early warning system. They double-checked and said that the whole system had to be recalibrated. I insisted that isn't required as this is just a front visual camera that has nothing to do with any of these safety systems....it is for parking viewing!!!

But, alas, they explained that this did require calibration as it required removing the grille of the car which, of course, has the sensitive safety equipment behind/in it. I was very upset....especially after I found that the camera can be had on eBay for $80. (I actually paid $140 for mine as I supposedly got an OEM/new one with matching software and hardware versions to mine old one.)

So, I fixed this myself. It took patience and a couple of specialty, cheap tools. You can do it too. You do it from the front of the car while sitting facing the camera. If your hands can go through the many front plastic bumper rectangular holes around the camera, you should be good to go.

I bought this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077YFVC3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You need the T20 from this set.

I also had something like this already and recommend it if you can't do it with a small mirror through the holes: https://www.amazon.com/DEPSTECH-Semi-rigid-Inspection-Waterproof-Adjustable/dp/B00STB0EW6/ref=pd_sbs_328_2/142-5175144-6583358?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00STB0EW6&pd_rd_r=eabd4774-0884-4dba-8443-0421980690b4&pd_rd_w=WdSuY&pd_rd_wg=BeEpO&pf_rd_p=1c11b7ff-9ffb-4ba6-8036-be1b0afa79bb&pf_rd_r=798129PGJXMJP8332CZ3&psc=1&refRID=798129PGJXMJP8332CZ3


Anyway, there are 2 Torx screws that need to be removed -- 1 to the left and 1 to the right of the lens. Once these are removed (they are magnetic if you drop one, no big deal, fish it out with a magnet), you pinch a clip on the left and a clip on the right and push out the front plastic bezel. Then, remove the camera which is held in by two lazy clips (not hard at all) and unclip the wiring harness (one small clip that is easily done with a fingernail). Reverse the process when installing the new camera and you're done. Camera only goes in one way (look at back of housing...it is curved to fit in the curved bracket remaining in the car.

I wish I had pictures. The two screws are pretty easy to work with the above ratchet. It does require two hands to keep pressure on the screw while ratcheting.

It should take about 2 hours to do this the first time. Probably an hour the next time (God forbid!).

Good luck!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top