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How to Troubleshoot Malfunctioning Reverse Parking Sensor

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Does this sound familiar? You start to reverse and, instead of hearing the familiar beep, beep sound, you hear and feel a crunch. That’s usually when you realize your reverse parking sensor is not beeping. In most cases you were probably going slow enough that no damage has been caused, but a malfunctioning reverse parking sensor can quickly cause an array of issues.

That’s why you should always pay attention to the beep and sort the problem as quickly as possible. Don’t forget, if you’ve been sensible enough to look for indoor car storage near me, then a malfunctioning reverse parking sensor isn’t just causing your car damage. It can also damage the garage you’re renting. That can be an expensive repair or insurance claim. Here are some ways to troubleshoot a malfunctioning reverse parking sensor.

parking sensors on a car

Clean Your Sensors

Sometimes a malfunctioning reverse parking sensor isn’t working properly simply because it is coated in dirt. This can affect its ability to sense anything around your vehicle. So, your first step, if your reverse parking sensor is not beeping or you are having another sensor issue, is to clean the sensors.

Soap and water are effective and easy. Of course, if you’re cleaning the sensors, it could be a good idea to clean the rest of the car as well.

When cleaning you may also want to pop the sensors out and wipe the back of them with a clean rag. This is because oil and other debris can build up behind the sensor and cause issues.


If the sensors are clean and you’re still having malfunctioning reverse parking sensor issues, enlist the help of a friend. They can stand at the back of your car as you start the engine and put it in reverse.

Your friend can then slowly walk toward the vehicle while you keep it stationary. You should hear the beep getting faster and then becoming a solid sound as they get to the back of your car.

Don’t forget to have your window open so they can keep you informed of their position.

If the sensors aren’t reacting properly then place your ear to the sensor when you’re in reverse (be sure to keep your foot on the brake). You should be able to hear a buzzing sound. If there is no sound your sensor probably needs to be replaced.


When the sensor is buzzing slightly and making a sound but is not working correctly, it’s likely that the issue is somewhere else in the system. If the parking sensor system is built into the car, then you’ll want an auto technician to run a diagnostic test.

This will identify any faults in the system or even in the vehicle. Your technician will then be able to advise on the best course of action regarding the malfunctioning reverse parking sensor. This could be replacing part of the system or even the entire thing.

Final Thoughts on Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Reverse Parking Sensor

Remember, if you have parking sensors on your car, you’ll rely on them more than you realize. That means, as soon as you think you have a malfunctioning reverse parking sensor, follow the above steps. It’s the fastest way to get the issue resolved and keep you safe on the road. After all, you don’t want a large repair bill just because you miscalculated a space!

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