Parking sensors alert you to hazards when you’re travelling at slow speeds. They shouldn’t replace your judgement as a driver, but they can definitely be helpful if you struggle to park in narrow spaces. Sensors are usually installed on a car’s rear bumper, but they can also be found on the front bumper or fender. They fall into two categories: ultrasonic and electromagnetic.

What’s the difference?

Ultrasonic proximity sensors deliver soundwaves which bounce off objects in your path. Usually the sensors will warn you with a beeping noise that something is in the way, but sometimes visual aids such as lights are also used to tell you about obstacles. Ultrasonic sensors usually need to be drilled into your car’s bumper. They are usually the cheaper option but they sometimes fail to detect very narrow objects, as well as changing the appearance of your car. If you have this type of parking sensor system, don’t forget to check your mirrors! Read on for more information about ultrasonic systems.

Electromagnetic sensors are less obtrusive: they are placed inside your bumper and don’t require any drilling into your vehicle. They create an electromagnetic field in front of or behind your vehicle, and alert you to objects within this field. Electromagnetic sensors tend to be more expensive but they also pick up narrower objects that ultrasonic sensors may miss. A drawback of this type of sensor is they only work while your car is in motion. 

Some cars come with a parking sensor system installed, but many don’t. Owners who want some extra guidance when it comes to parking may choose to get them installed after purchase.


Parking sensor issues to be aware of

It is best to go to a mechanic to get your sensors installed. There are several issues that can commonly crop up when using parking sensors:

  • If your sensors have been positioned incorrectly you might find they won’t stop beeping when you’re trying to park. When sensors are too low to the ground, they detect the ground as an obstacle. If this has been bothering you, talk to your mechanic about getting them reinstalled at the proper height.
  • If the sensors at the back of your car also beep when you’re driving forwards, or if your sensors apparently beep at random, this could mean there might be issues with your car’s computer sending a small electrical current through to the sensor. This can be bypassed using a relay. For more information, check out Grimmer Motors’ guide to sensors.
  • If there’s a coating of dust or mud, or ice, on your sensors, they won’t work properly. If your sensors were professionally installed but you’re having issues with them not picking up obstacles, it’s worth giving your car a thorough cleaNew parking sensors Hamiltonn to see if that fixes the problem.
  • Likewise if there is too much finish on the sensors they may be unable to function properly. If you suspect this is the problem,  contact your garage to see what can be done.

Reverse camera

A third option if you want to feel more secure when you park is to get a rear camera installed. Rear cameras often come with new cars, but is also possible to add them to a car that doesn’t have one. Take a look at the services Grimmer provides. 

Parking sensors in Hamilton

To get your parking sensors installed, checked, repaired or replaced, make an appointment with the friendly, experienced and reliable team at Grimmer Motors, Hamilton.

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