If you rely on your car’s parking sensors to get you out of (or into) a tight spot, you will understand just how useful this function can be for drivers. Failing to keep them clean may stop them from working effectively the next time you’re reversing, leading to a nasty bump or scratch.
Taking care of your parking sensors by cleaning them correctly is essential to help you avoid any reversing incidents in the future. Here we talk you through all you need to know about parking sensors and how to make sure they are in (clean) working order.
What Are Parking Sensors?
First things first, what are parking sensors used for and do you need them?
Parking sensors are automatically triggered when in reverse and are installed around a car’s bumper to alert you to nearby objects as you approach them, which you may not be able to see in the driving position. They are a clever function and a common request for many new cars as they can certainly help you into a tricky or narrow parking space or out of a tight spot when your mirrors cannot help you see every angle around your car.
How Do Parking Sensors Work?
As mentioned, parking sensors are installed around the back (and often front) bumper of your car and are automatically triggered when the driver selects reverse gear.
Parking sensors rely on sending ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves sent out from the car to bounce off nearby objects. Parking sensor technology measures the space and will alert the driver as to close you are to walls, curbs, other cars, etc. with a continual beeping sound, which intensifies or quickens when the car is increasingly closer to surrounding objects.
It is important to know that parking sensors do not stop you from bumping or scratching your car when reversing as they will not take control of the car, but will simply alert the driver to be aware of hazards.
What is the Difference between Parking Sensors and Driving Assist?
Parking sensors and driving assist are different functional specifications on a car which we should also be careful not to mix up as they help the driver in different ways.
Driver assistance, also known as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), are technologies used to help drivers travel safer by using auto functions to warn and even take control of the vehicle’s behaviour when driving a car.
Driving assist functions include:
Rear View Camera
Although not part of the ADAS group, rearview cameras are a very handy tool to see what is behind our car when in reverse. However, the big difference to parking sensors is that a rear-view camera alone will not send audio warnings, so do not expect to hear alerts as this is a different technology from parking sensors. However, a clean rear-view camera is also essential to avoid obscuring your view and risking vehicle damage.
Lane-keeping technology uses cameras to direct the car based on lane markings on the road – automatically applying safe steering adjustments which feel like nudges to align your car if you are creeping hazardously across lanes.
A safety brake is automatically applied to prevent collisions as well as send audio warnings to the driver. It does this by judging the space between you and the car or obstacles in front.
This driving assist function uses cameras around the car to warn of nearby vehicles or pedestrians in your blind spot, warning the driver and taking control when necessary to reduce or avoid a collision.
How to Clean Parking Sensors
Now we know how parking sensors work, where they are located and the important role they play in avoiding bumper scuffs – we need to discuss the best way to clean your parking sensors.
To reiterate, your parking sensors may not work effectively if they are covered in mud, dirt and dust. Nearby objects may not be picked up, stropping the driver being warned effectively, or dirt may also be mistaken for an object, stopping you from reversing confidently for fear of collision.
So it is important to thoroughly clean your parking sensors to make sure they are working properly.
Don’t worry, cleaning is simple – here is what you need:
- Microfiber cloths
- Warm water and bucket
- Car shampoo
Use your tools and remember to clean your sensors regularly. Use a circular gentle motion over your sensors to lift and remove dirt. Dry parking sensors with a microfiber cloth for an effective clean finish. Locate and follow the same method for your front bumper sensors as well as your rearview camera for a complete parking assist cleaning job.
Convenient and Cost Effective Repair
If you do have an unfortunate accident when reversing, we are here to help fix all sorts of dents, scratches or bumper scuffs.
Simply call our specialist team based in Dublin for a quote today.