Front parking sensors just like the Factory ones


During some downtime in the workshop we decided to install some colour coded front parking sensors to the shop van, this Fiesta Sport Van comes with all the toys, but didn't have front sensors, not really an issue as it's easy to park, however it good to be able to demonstrate how the SteelmatePTS400EX-DP (Dual Purpose) parking sensors work in a front application.

The clever thing about these sensors is the fact that they have all the required timing hardware in a single ECU, all you need to connect is an ignition switched feed, reverse feed, brake feed and earth. Once installed you essentially have fully automatic parking sensors that work very much like many OEM Manufacturer installed sensors.


The PTS400EX sensor heads are available in a few styles, these are the push fit heads with multi angle heads, but they are also available as OE style flush fitting sensors. We get the sensors fully colour coded to the vehicle paint code so that they are a perfect match to the vehicle.


These sensors are active for a few seconds when the ignition goes on, then they re-activate when either the vehicle is put into reverse or on the touch of the brake pedal, they don't beep when they activate, only when they detect something, which cuts down on unwanted noise. The timer for the activation can be set at 20 seconds (normally on manual cars such as this vehicle) or 5 seconds (generally automatic vehicles).


The sensors are intelligent and each head works independently from the other (unlike older triangulation type systems where A/B and C/D heads talk to each other). Meaning if there is ever a fault or a dirty head, you will still have the use of the other working/clean sensors. At start up the sensor kit does a diagnostic check of the sensors and will give out an audible warning should there be an issue.


For some vehicles you can install the parking sensors onto the front bumper without removing the bumper itself, just a few bits of trim, however like most cars, this Fiesta needed the bumper removed, this is a fairly simple job, not something I'd want done at the side of the road though.. When removing the bumper on modern cars, you must be very careful as some models incorporate sensors for headlights, driver assist systems and even airbag sensors.


Once the sensors are installed into the bumper and the wiring loom is correctly secured and routed, we need to take the wiring into the passenger compartment, to do this we find the factory wiring loom grommet and use a special tool to put a "feeding wire" through it, then we very carefully pull the loom through and make the required connections.