Are your parking skills “less than perfect?” Do you back up an inch at a time for fear there is something behind the vehicle you cannot see? Unfortunately, that “something” could be a garbage can, a bicycle or your child. Consider installing rear parking sensors that activate when the vehicle goes into reverse, using radio waves to detect objects hiding behind the vehicle. A warning signal becomes progressively louder as the object gets closer, alerting the driver in time to avoid hitting it. Installing rear parking sensors is not a difficult project and can be complete within a few hours.
Things You'll Need
- Eye protection
- Vehicle owner manual
- Marking pencil
- Measuring tape
- Double-sided tape (may come as part of installation kit)
- Drill buffing bit
Decide on location of sensor units. Measure the length of the bumper and divide the measurement in half or in quarters, depending on whether you will install two or four sensors. Find the center of each half or quarter. Then, consider the shape and curve of the bumper. To work properly, sensors must point straight ahead. Sensors angled up or down will orient to objects in that direction and may not work effectively. Make sure the sensor will sit flush with the bumper in a position approximately 24-inches from the ground. Mark sensor locations with a marking pencil, place a piece of double-sided tape at the location and fix a sensor to each piece of tape.
Connect and test sensor placement. Plug sensor wires into the control box. Create a connection between the control box and one of your parking lights. To connect the control box to your parking light, refer to your vehicle owner manual for instructions specific to your vehicle model to access the wiring harness and tap into the parking light. To test, have someone start the car and activate the parking lights. Move objects of varying sizes in and out of the vicinity of the vehicle bumper. Adjust sensor placement if necessary. Once you establish a successful connection, unplug the sensors from the control box and disconnect the car battery to protect against voltage shocks.
Install sensors. Using the drill bit that comes with your installation kit, drill the appropriate number of holes, stopping to clean metal shards from the drill area to avoid scratching the bumper. Smooth the area using a drill and drill-buffing bit. Insert a sensor head into each drill hole and pass sensor wires through to the trunk of the vehicle. Plug sensor wires into the control box.
Install control box. Most users place the control box in the trunk of the vehicle, under the left or right bulkhead. This will ensure no water can damage the control box unit. Use double-sided tape to secure the control box in place and press firmly.
Install warning siren. Since the siren can become quite loud, installing it in the trunk of your vehicle is a good idea. Plug the siren connector into the control box and use double-sided tape to secure in place.
Install display unit. Some rear parking sensors include an LCD monitor that you can install on the dashboard of your vehicle. Use double-sided tape to place and secure the monitor and run the wires back through to the location of the control box, and then plug the monitor wire into the control box.
Tips & Warnings
- Be sure to allow enough slack in the connecting wires. Stretched or pinched wires may cause the sensors to fail.
- Do not forget that professional installation is available. If you do not feel comfortable working around wiring or if you feel this project is above your level of expertise, consult a professional.
- Wear eye protection when drilling sensor holes. Metal shards can cause serious injury.
- Rear parking sensors do not replace your eyes and ears. Always look behind and check rear-view mirrors before attempting to back your vehicle.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How Does a Car Backup Sensor Work?
Technology has gotten mankind to a point where even reversing accidents will become a thing of the past. Reverse sensors are able...
What Is a Reverse Sensing System?
A reverse sensing system is a vehicle safety device which is automatically engaged when the reverse gear is activated in a car...
How to Deactivate the Parking Brake Sensor on a Raptor 660
Yamaha Raptor 660 sport ATVs built before 2005 were equipped with a parking brake sensor switch that limits the engine to a...
How to Replace the Parking Sensor on a 2011 X5
The parking distance control option on BMW’s 2011 X5 truck uses ultrasound sensors integrated into the bumpers to aid in maneuvering tight...
How to Properly Inspect the Auto Reverse on Garage Doors
Automatic garage door openers control garage doors in many homes. The force applied by the garage door opener can cause serious injury...
How to Replace the Parking Sensors On a BMW E46
Parking sensors notify you with a beeping noise how far away you are from a wall or obstruction when you're parking, usually...
How to Locate & Replace Ford Speed Sensors
The vehicle speed sensor (VSS) on your Ford vehicle is an electronic device that measures your vehicle’s speed. This information is sent...
How to Install a Crank Sensor
Most fuel-injected vehicles use a crankshaft sensor, which sends a signal to the computer to determine the crankshaft's position. The computer uses...
How to Troubleshoot the Explorer Backup Sensor
The latest Ford Explorer vehicles are sold with optional RADAR collision avoidance systems, backup cameras and other safety features, including a backup...
How to Remove Backup Sensors on a 2008 Super Crew
Some 2008 Ford F150 SuperCrew models come with a feature known as rear park assist. This feature includes backup sensors mounted in...
How to Install a Rear A/F Sensor P1155 in a Toyota Sienna
A P1155 error code in a Toyota Sienna indicates a faulty rear air/fuel (A/F) sensor. The A/F sensor is one of the...