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How to Buy and Install Parking Sensors

In our days many consider the parking sensors to be a weakness point for the driver, a feature designed if you're a woman or you're driving a really big car. They're totally wrong, because given how crowded the cities became and how fewer parking spaces we have left, they’re very handy. If you didn’t consider adding them on your optional list when you bought the car from the dealer, or you just purchased a second hand car that doesn't have such a feature we’re more than happy to help you install an aftermarket parking sensors kit.
Here’s what you need

To begin this project, obviously you need time follow all the steps. After that you have to set the budget. You need to know that the resellers usually commercialize cheap Chinese parking sensors kits with prices starting from $25 (EUR19)-entry level, up to $150(EUR114) kits that include rearview mirrors with displays, rearview camera, the parking sensors kit and also feature Bluetooth function.
Don’t forget, those are prices for the aftermarket parking sensors. The original ones will set you back by at least $200-300 (EUR153-229).

Now that you've decided what you want to buy, you have to start searching for a friend's garage, if you don’t have one, in order to install the kit. An electrical outlet is also required, because you will have to drill the holes for the sensors. A cheap parking sensors kit contains two or four sensors, a led display monitor, a hole saw drill, the control box and cables, so be sure to have all these at your disposal.

How does it work ?

When you shift into reverse, the reverse light lids and the control box sends a command to the sensors which transmit calibrated sound waves that bounce really fast between the car and an obstacle. When the distance from your vehicle to the obstacle gets smaller, the parking sensors system, based on factory presets, will automatically calculate how fast the sound wave travels back and it estimates the remaining gap.

The control unit receives the data and then provides audible feedback. As the distance reduces, the beeps from the buzzer are more and more intense, and at close distance you’ll hear a constant beep. Other units also provide a digital display, so the driver can see how much space he has left. The direction indicators reveal where the obstacle is located. As more bars light up in each indicator, the obstacle becomes closer.


To begin with, you have to know that there are two places where you can mount them.The first one is on the bumper’s strip, a part on which normally the factory sensors are mounted. On some models the strips even have marks on them and you can drill and insert the parking sensors right there.

In case you don’t have the aforementioned strips, the second place is directly on the bumper. You start by washing it and once cleaned and dried you start applying duct tape in order to avoid scratching. Also check if underneath the bumper you have enough clearance and points to anchor the cables.

Take a ruler and start drawing (using a marker) the points where you’ll drill the holes for the sensors. You need to know that the optimum height for each sensor is around 550 mm (21 inches) and make also sure to mount them perpendicular on the bumper. This will ensure a perfect and straight “visibility” for the sensors.

You start the measurement from the bumper’s one end to the other. Mark on the duct tape the half of the distance. Then draw the first two sensors location at about 200-250 mm (7-10 inches) in left and right considering the middle point as a landmark. After that you can draw the remaining sensors by drawing at a distance of 400-450 mm(15-17 inches) in the exterior of the previously draw sensors. Don’t mount them too far from the corner point of the bumper, as the sensors may not detect the obstacle.

Now you should test your parking sensors system by powering it up. To do that, you obviously need to use the wire from the reverse power bulb for the positive pole, and the chassis’ ground wire can be used for the latter. Afterwards, you wire up all the connections and test the sensors.

The next step is to cross your fingers and start using the saw drill included in the kit, attaching it to the drilling tool. When finished, remove the duct tape and insert the sensors in the bumper. You should hear a click that inform you that the sensors are secured.

Don’t forget to secure and hide the cables that go towards the digital display and use the double sided tape. Remove the backing and stick it secure. Be careful not to expose it to direct sunlight, high temperatures and dust. You can mount it on the dashboard or on the interior rearview mirror.

Painting your parking sensors

The aftermarket sensors are usually black. If you want to paint them you should get also spray-paint matching your bumper’s color. You can drill four holes using the hole saw drill in a carton box and insert the parking sensors. Be sure to clean them before painting and afterwards leave them a few hours to dry out. Use just a fin layer of paint, because if it is too thick the sensors accuracy will be affected.

Now that you finished reading the guide, even if you have installed a parking sensors kit or even a rearview camera, we want to remind you what car makers recommend: check the surroundings and ensure that you have enough space for the parking maneuvers before you move.


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