AFTER MARKET BACKUP SENSOR
I installed a back up sensor and here is my experience that might be helpful. Most of what is written is to make it easier for someone who is installing this specific type of sensor. There may be mistakes but this is as I recall.
I got this one because it had pretty good reviews and it looked easy to install. It requires no drilling and no under the car work.
See link for picture.
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I think it works well. It has an on/off oscillating beep in stages like 5ft, 4, 2.5, 1.5, 8 inches. As I get closer the oscillation increases in frequency until the last one stays on. I would recommend backing up SLOWLY.
The sensors are on the license plate so they do not sense the corners of the car very well. (I use it for parking and it seems fine for that.)
The screws for the license plate need to be longer. The kit comes with screws that I used but I suggest getting something the same diameter as screws you take out but a bit longer but not as long as the two that comes with the kit. I was able to use the ones that came with it but needed 3/8” of washers for they are too long and seemed to stretch the plastic thing they go into. Afterwards I realized that I could have cut the license frame the dealer gave me and use that as a part of the washer – the top part of the frame.
The electronics for the sensors are behind the license plate.
A wire goes out of the plate area into the hatch door. I was able to remove the square rubber grommet and push it through there and by cutting out a small bit of the grommet was able to reuse it to keep out water and keep the plate off the paint.
To remove the hatch door, first take off the handle that closes the hatch. Then removing the hatch door cover requires some controlled hand power to pull the snaps out. The cover attaches to a plastic part that goes around the window. I recommend being careful not to pull the other plastic piece out for those snaps don't seem to go back as easy. That goes for taking it off and putting it back on. Perhaps use duck tape to keep it in place.
The system is powered by the reverse light wires. The kit comes with plastic things that allow for tapping in without cutting the wires. I did not use them but it may be worth a shot. I cut the wires and used plastic crimpy things I got from Home Depot. That was not that great a solution either because there is not a lot of extra length to the wires and I am not sure of the expansion and contraction effects of aluminum crimpy things. A perfect solution would be to cut the wires and solder them and then cover with crimpy things. (The crimpy things are called AMP Closed-End Spice Connectores)
To get to the wires, a spongy covering needs to be removed. I removed the area near the reverse light.
Now there are three wires. Purple, Green and Black. If you cut the wrong one the car blows up. (actually the parking light goes out which happened to me) So use the Green for the hot reverse wire(red) and Black for the ground wire(red and black). (If you have the kit this makes more sense.)
If cutting wires be careful not to ground a hot wire to ground. The parking light is on for a few minutes when the hatch opens.
I stuck the speaker wire through a panel by the reverse light.
The angle of the sensors is adjustable. I tilted mine all the way down for the C-Max license plate is high and it tilts back after the mod.
I used small plastic ties so the bottom of the license plate was attached better to the unit underneath.
If you are testing it and want to go outside the car and look how close, leave the car in reverse and use the parking brake.
Now that I have done this once, I could do it again in under 30 minutes. The first time it took me considerable more time, finding washers, going to Home Depot, figuring out how to take the panel off, cutting the wrong wire, testing it out, showing my parents, feeling stupid and frustrated, general spacing out, getting a light when it got dark, washing the car for what good are sensors with a dirty car.
Attached are a couple of pictures of what the hatch and panel looks like off.
Edited by obob, 11 December 2017 - 11:46 PM.