Parking Sensors: Understand in Just A Few Minutes

by IndianAuto Team | 29/07/2020
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Parking sensors will save you a lot of time in the parking lots. Read the article to know what they are, how to install them, and use them correctly.

With more and more vehicles swarming into the road, especially in India, the need for parking lots has been increasing day by day. This leads to the narrow of the lots, which makes it more difficult to park. No matter how skilful a person is, he or she will find themselves in trouble for parking in a very limited space. As a result, people are relying more on assistance methods/devices to help parking easier, and the most common way is using parking sensors. However, some people don’t know how parking sensors work and how to use them correctly. As this turns out many people cannot take advantage of parking sensors to their fullest. Because of such reasons, this article conveys the most useful information about parking sensors.

white car with parking sensors

In brief, parking sensors help drivers navigate easily.

What are parking sensors and how do they work?

Not until now, but many decades ago, drivers had found difficulty in parking and there arose a need for parking assist systems. Among the helpful inventions, proximity sensors were chosen to be parking sensors. The purpose is to let drivers easily locate the surroundings and alert them about the distances between their cars and nearby objects. For this reason, together with the rear mirrors, the drivers will have more valuable information that helps parking easier.

In the late 1970s, the ultrasonic systems parking sensor was invented; however, the device was not so welcomed as not many people wanted to drill holes on their cars. After that, in 1992, the electromagnetic systems parking sensor was re-invented and didn’t require any holes, so many people were eager to have the device. Both technologies can detect objects in front and back and provide drivers with audible alerts while parking.

How does an ultrasonic parking sensor differ from an electromagnetic parking sensor?

Ultrasonic parking sensor

This kind of parking sensor simulates how bats navigate using ultrasonic waves. To inform drivers of the obstacles around, the sensor sends signals to alert systems which include continuous beep sound, narrator, and, in advanced systems, audible and visible instruction on the infotainment. Normally, the front sensors can detect objects up to 1.2 metres, and the number on the rear sensors can be double. Also, note that flat and small objects may not be recognized by the sensors; therefore, don’t rely on the sensors too much, but make use of other assistance like the rear mirrors as well.

audible alerts with parking sensors

Parking sensors deliver signals to give you audible alerts.

Electromagnetic parking sensor

The electromagnetic sensor, on the other hand, has a wider spectrum than the previous sensor. For this reason, it can detect more objects including flat and small objects. Most parking assist systems that use electromagnetic sensors may be paired with a rear camera to help visualize the surrounding of the car. Just like the mechanism of the ultrasonic parking sensor, the electromagnetic type also sends signals to its parking assist system to create visualized and audible alerts for the drivers.

In brief, both sensors give the parking assist system of car information to help drivers park easily; however, the latter seems to be better than the former.

Do the rear cameras have anything related to the parking sensors?

As stated earlier in this article, rear cameras are also a part of the parking assist system. They, together with the parking sensors, gives drivers better visualization of the surrounding obstacles, which eventually makes parking a piece of cake. Installing rear cameras may cost a bit more, and many car owners, nowadays, have decided to put them on their car for extra convenience.

camera rearview

Having a camera rearview will makes parking even easier.

How to install parking sensors on your car?

It is advisable to let experts install parking sensors on your car for you rather than doing it yourself. However, some people like to modify their cars with their own hands, and manufacturers know this. Therefore, when you purchase parking sensors, there will be a detailed guide on how to install them. Most installation guide should somehow follow the steps below:

1. Set up sensors on the front/rear bumpers, if you would like to install a camera, put in on the license plate. Note that you need to drill some holes on your beloved car.

2. Fit the appropriate angle rings on your car.

3. Set up the jumper on ECU, the loudspeaker, and the LCD.

4. Perform a functional test.

5. Power wire for the front and the rear following exactly on the provided wiring diagram.

6. Try to park somewhere using the aid of the newly installed parking sensors for a quick test.

How to Install Rear Parking Sensor


What is the right way to use the parking sensors?

Parking sensors are great assistants; however, using them incorrectly may cause you some annoyance. Here are a few tips that help you utilize your car’s parking sensors.

1. Relying fully on parking sensors is never recommended. Because they might not detect all the objects, especially things that are flat, too close to/far from the car, or below the bumper, you need to keep an eye on the rear mirrors and the camera.

2. Maintaining and cleaning the sensors and your car frequently to ensure there’s no dirt or other obstructions on the bumpers.

3. Static objects can be easy to cope with, but you also need to be aware of mobile objects including people and pets, which can interrupt your parking path.

4. Remember that the closer your car approaches an object, the shorter intervals between beeps are.

5. On most cars, high-toned beeps indicate objects near the front whereas low-toned beeps indicate objects near the rear.

parking sensor blind spots

Remember that there are blind spots where parking sensors cannot detect objects.


Thanks to the inventions and improvements related to parking sensors, drivers have better parking assist systems. Although these systems can weigh down the difficulty in parking into narrowed lots, drivers should not rely totally on the systems as the sensors might be able to detect certain objects. Instead, simultaneous use between the rearview mirror and parking sensor will make parking even easier. We hope that this article gives you a general view about parking sensors, and how to use them in a right way.

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