Motabars Guide to Parking Sensors

black and white photo of car with parking sensors

Parking sensors are fitted on many new models of car during manufacture, and offer added protection and peace of mind to the driver. If, however your vehicle doesn’t have this feature, it’s easy to have parking sensors installed without making any marks on your vehicle.

Benefits of parking sensors

Parking sensors were originally designed to help drivers park cars safely and manoeuvre easily into tight spaces without risk of impact to surrounding obstacles. The added benefits are that they also protect pedestrians, children and small animals from being hit by mistake.

Using electromagnetic or ultrasonic technology, the sensors will detect any type of obstacle along the entire length of the bumper, as soon as reverse gear is engaged.  As the vehicle approaches a parked car or other obstacle, it will emit a sound, that increases in volume and frequency as the obstacle gets closer, giving the driver an accurate indication of when to stop safely.

Ultrasonic parking sensors emit soundwaves that bounce back off nearby objects, sending the signal back to the sensor. The sensor creates an approximate image of the surrounding area using the soundwave data and will alert the driver via an audible sound when it detects the presence of an obstacle.

As car technology has got increasingly more integrated into cars so have parking sensors. On new cars parking sensors are integrated into the infotainment system and you have not just visual displays but 360 cameras, lane departure and radar systems fitted. These can invariably be added to a vehicle at a later date.

Drivers with impaired mobility will appreciate that they no longer need to continually look over their shoulder to park, and have peace of mind that even objects in their blind spot should be picked up by the sensors. It improves confidence and the overall driving experience, whilst protecting the vehicle from unwanted scrapes, and the owner from increased insurance premiums by avoiding unnecessary collisions.

There are two main types of parking sensor to choose from:

Surface Mounted:

Where the sensors sit about 2mm proud of the bumper, this is the most common type of sensor.

Flush Mounted:

This is where the sensors are fitted from behind the bumper, this is common on new Audi’s and BMW’s. Although the bumper needs to be removed to fit, the finish is as good as original factory fitted sensors.

Other options include having them activated by a switch or via the Canbus technology on the car which allows the sensors to be automatically switched off at speeds over 6mph to avoid unnecessary alerts. It’s also possible to have them integrated into the systems of the car allowing for display via the factory system.

Car reversing camera

If you also opt for a car reversing camera, which gives a rear view from the back of the vehicle, we can link up to a factory integrated camera if your vehicle has one, or we can fit with a separate display.

The rear view monitor automatically turns on and displays the rear vision from the camera. The parking line will display when reverse gear is engaged and on integrated systems the gridlines can move with the steering wheels and show the parking sensors.

On cars that need additional displays, small LCD monitors provide a clear image from the rear camera, and as the reversing light comes on it can be relied upon to work well at night too. The camera is waterproof and water resistant and has a wide angle lens to provide good visibility around the rear of the vehicle.

It’s also possible to have an overlay of parking guides on the monitor to help with vehicle alignment when reverse parking and judging distances from objects.

You can opt for front parking sensors too, for added safety and peace of mind when manoeuvring into tight spots.


Fitting parking sensors is usually quick and easy depending on the system you want fitting and the make of your vehicle. Fully integrated systems with cameras will take a little longer to install.

Here at Motabars we are able to install the parking sensors of your choice. We will check full functionality and make adjustments to suit your preferences so you are confident in using your new parking sensors and are happy are with your purchase.

Please contact us for more details, or drop into our store for help.

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