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      01-02-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
Spacebug
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Reversing Sensors.... Useless - Be Warned!

Is anyone else less than satisfied with their reversing sensors..?

When i first got the car i was frustrated by the sensors not disabling when taking the car out of reverse (as it used to be on my E91). You now have to press a button (next to the driving mode selector) to disable them, but you only have that button if you have front sensors too. Seems like a poor design compromise to me - but i lived with it.

Now things have stepped up a gear.. I've noticed over the last 4000 miles or so that the sensors are slow to respond. I have now realised that they are not to be trusted!!

This is what happens after slowly backing up to a wooden post (the post was solid oak and about 6" square, sticking out of the ground about 1 1/2ft). I KNEW the post was there and was going backwards very slowly. I could not see it as it was behind the car and too low. Luckily i was going slowly otherwise i could have caused more damage than i did.

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Look where the sensor is!!! It did not make a single beep - and yes i was in reverse with the graphic up on the in car display... I was watching it!

I have pushed out the dent until it gets repaired so it does not look too bad.

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I went back to the scene of the crime... The sensors were not beeping when i was in this position relative to the post (OK so i know it is not in reverse, i had to take it out of reverse to get out the car to take the picture). I'm not in the exact same position as i was when i hit the post and when i was trying to get into position i found that the sensors would beep sometimes and not others.

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Please be warned when relying on the sensors to see small things... i.e. anything other than a wall or a car!
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      01-02-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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Bad luck, shouldn't cost too much to repair it hopefully. Definitely a reminder that you shouldn't 100% rely on the technology alone, though of course we all do!

I have front and rear sensors on mine, but when taking the car out of Reverse, it does turn the sensors off automatically, after you reach a certain speed I believe. Doesn't yours do this?
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      01-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
I have front and rear sensors on mine, but when taking the car out of Reverse, it does turn the sensors off automatically, after you reach a certain speed I believe. Doesn't yours do this?
Oh yes, it does that. The times when it is most annoying is when i have reversed on to my driveway and maybe i'm listening to something on the radio. I can not roll forwards fast enough to stop them beeping so i have to kill the engine. It's just a minor frustration which is an unexplained step back from the way they worked on the E91.
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      01-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacebug View Post
but you only have that button if you have front sensors too.
I thought they all had front sensors?

And yes I have noticed that they can be slow to pick up obstacles. Nothing at all and then rapid beeps as if you're right on top of something. And I don't mean something small like a low wooden post. It happens every time I reverse out of my parent's drive and the guy opposite has parked his Land Rover Discovery.

I believe the sensor coverage is limited at certain angles. Where that post is relative to your car is the same angle as the Discovery and the position of my car when reversing. Does that make sense? lol!
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      01-02-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacebug View Post
Oh yes, it does that. The times when it is most annoying is when i have reversed on to my driveway and maybe i'm listening to something on the radio. I can not roll forwards fast enough to stop them beeping so i have to kill the engine. It's just a minor frustration which is an unexplained step back from the way they worked on the E91.
Got it, yes that does sound like it could be very annoying!

Front sensors are standard on certain models, but not all (they're also an option as part of the Advanced Parking Package).
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      01-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich1068 View Post
I believe the sensor coverage is limited at certain angles.
You are probably correct - but right before the car/sensor hit that post it had pretty much all of the angles covered!!!

I wonder what the latency of sensor detect to visual/audiable alert is...?

With my E91 it was very quick. I didn't have iDrive or any other fancy tech so i guess the loop was a little quicker. It wouldn't be too difficult to do a crude test maybe...

I wondered whether i could/should take it up with BMW..? Not too fussed about the cost of it as it's a company car, it's more about the principle of the thing.
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      01-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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I have the F30 msport as a company car, which only came with rear sensors. The front ones were an extra which I didnt shell out for. So on my basic parking sensor package, when I reverse, 2 car pics come up on the screen, one large / one small - but there doesnt appear to be any difference in what they both show or distance shown?
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      01-02-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30Spartacus View Post
I have the F30 msport as a company car, which only came with rear sensors. The front ones were an extra which I didnt shell out for. So on my basic parking sensor package, when I reverse, 2 car pics come up on the screen, one large / one small - but there doesnt appear to be any difference in what they both show or distance shown?
Yep that's correct.. Seems like it was designed for bigger things and scaled back for those that only have rear sensors.
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      01-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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I've not had a problem with mine (F30) but will be cautious now I've seen your damage. Bad luck mate but thanks for the head up.
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      01-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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They are nowhere near as good as those on my GTI. When sensors are on, the radio automatically turns down. Not possible in the BMW. Not good.
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      01-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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Thats unbelievable how poor the sensors operate. The rear sensors in both E90's I've owned have worked brilliantly.

My first reaction when reading this thread is to go straight to back to BMW and demand they check the sensor operation and if found faulty they should pay out for the damage. They surely all cant be like this? If they say "you shouldn't rely on the technology" when I'd reply with "what's the f**kin point of having them then?". If they cant be trusted they may as well be disconnected.

You should definitely get them checked out - before you have your next bump.

Sorry, but this kind of thing makes me mad especially when the last generation car worked perfectly.
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      01-03-2013, 02:32 AM   #12
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Both my E60's have worked perfectly but on the F30 I was already lacking in confidence before reading this thread.

Mine don't seem to beep quickly until I am only inches if not mm from hitting something.
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      01-03-2013, 04:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
My first reaction when reading this thread is to go straight to back to BMW and demand they check the sensor operation and if found faulty they should pay out for the damage. They surely all cant be like this? If they say "you shouldn't rely on the technology" when I'd reply with "what's the f**kin point of having them then?". If they cant be trusted they may as well be disconnected.
This was my first reaction...

I wonder if anyone can offer advice. This is my first company car. It was supplied directly to my door by Lex through a dealer called Hexagon in North London. I am in Sussex, nr Brighton. Can i just rock up at any BMW delaer and ask them to take a look at it? I never spoke to anyone at Hexagon, i only know it came from them as some literature had their details on it when it was supplied.

If i put a call into Lex they will just refer me to an accident repair place to get the damage fixed when what i really want to do is draw BMW's attention to the fact that their sensors are flaky. The cost of the damage will be covered by my company, which is fine if it goes that way, i just want to talk to BMW about it first.

Being a lease car it feels like i do not have any link back to BMW directly. Does anyone else have any experience of lease cars and dealing directly with BMW?
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      01-03-2013, 05:48 AM   #14
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Just ring up your local dealership and explain your situation. They are obliged to look at any BMW under warranty, however be a little careful in case they find some reason to charge you (which they shouldnt as you are only asking them to check the operation of the rear sensors that you are "claiming" to be faulty).

If this is a design fault then the more people to flag it up with BMW the better and more chance of getting it rectified. Else they will do nothing.
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      01-03-2013, 05:56 AM   #15
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You definately need to get BMW to reimburse you for the damage!!! as far as i am concerned their sensors which you somehow paid for failed you and resulted in the damage.
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      01-03-2013, 06:21 AM   #16
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Just spotted this similar thread http://www.f30post.com/forums/showth...1#post13244830
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      01-03-2013, 06:44 AM   #17
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I have the "surround view" which gives rear view side view and surround views, you can see all round the car when reversing, it makes it very easy to see all obstacles.
Of course not everyone has this so use of mirrors essential.
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      01-03-2013, 07:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
They are nowhere near as good as those on my GTI. When sensors are on, the radio automatically turns down. Not possible in the BMW. Not good.
Really? On the E90 the radio turns down when reverse is engaged...strange decision by BMW to change from a seemingly reliable function in the preceding model.
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      01-03-2013, 07:21 AM   #19
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Really? On the E90 the radio turns down when reverse is engaged...strange decision by BMW to change from a seemingly reliable function in the preceding model.
Does it ???
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      01-03-2013, 09:55 AM   #20
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Does it ???
Mine certainly does...'10 plate 3-series.
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      01-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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You definately need to get BMW to reimburse you for the damage!!! as far as i am concerned their sensors which you somehow paid for failed you and resulted in the damage.
Have you read the user manual and seen the "limitations" and "false warnings" comments? Plus the following...

User Manual:
Quote:
PDC cannot serve as a substitute for the driver's personal judgment of the traffic situation. Check the traffic situation around the vehicle with your own eyes.
PDC is only a driving aid, not a substitute to using our driving skills. Not sure BMW are to blame, unless the PDC definitely doesn't work. Even then how can a user prove it is BMW at fault after the event?

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      01-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #22
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I agree with Pete.

No offence to any of the above members but trying to attach blame to everyone and everything is so tiresome. And unfortunately increasingly common.
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