We would like to get a backup sensor for our Chrysler Pacifica. It has a real blind spot when backing up or parallel parking and both my husband and I have had little “incidents” because of this. Whenever I drive this car, I plan my route by whether I will have to back out of a parking spot in a narrow garage or parallel park. I have read a lot of reviews on backup sensors, including the ones that suggested the driver needs to turn his/her head and all will be well. I am ready to get rid of this car if we can’t find a backup sensor that will help. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with aftermarket products that actually work (besides the “just turn your head” suggestions)? There are a ton of them listed online. Thanks.
Rear cameras that you mount on top of your license plates have come down in price considerably (sub 100 bucks now). You basically will have a small screen that looks like a GPS sitting on your dash and you can look at what you’re hitting. You may want to consider that.
I really have no experience with back up sensors.
You can put a back up beeper on the car easily and that alerts people near the car that you are backing up. There are units that replace the regular back up light bulb with a special bulb/beeper combo that are easy to install. Other units tap in the wire going to a back up light.
The rear view cameras are worth a look as @RemcoW suggested.
I second Remco’s suggestion. Autozone has one for display in my area, essentially a tiny GPS screen and a camera, minimal wiring required. You can google it and see if you can install it yourself/or hubby could get his hands dusty. It is better to see where exactly you are going.
I was also going to recommend a back-up camera. Count me as one more vote for one of these systems. If you’re looking to have one installed instead of doing it yourself, RV dealerships might be a good place to go.
Yeah I’ll fourth the back up camera. I think they can be put in for a few hundred dollars. We’ve got one on the Acura and it works great. You can see the whole area behind in vivid color. Hard to get used to backing by looking at the screen but every car should have them. The new cars have terrible rear vision due to the high design, head restraints and so on so cameras make a lot of sense.
Old World Industries, sells Peak motor oils and back-up cameras that mount to the license plate. How do I know? Danica Patrick told me!!! They also sell audible back-up alarms. Here’s their internet info:
most modern cars are difficult to see clearly, so it’s not just your pacifica.
Camera is best, and I love mine(factory)
Although I am not at all familiar with that car I took a close look at some on line pictures and for the life of me I just don’t see anything unusual about the car that would cause a problem backing it. The outside mirrors seem quite large and I assume they are adjustable from the driver’s seat. Maybe if I ever get the chance to back up with a rear view camera the concept will make sense to me.
Backup cameras are a great application of technology, but I’m not sure afternmarket systems have been around long enough and become comon enough for ay real “feel” for the good ones vs the bad ones. In cases like this I usually Google the system manufacturers’ websites and do research. I like to stick with systems made by a known and established manufacturer in the subject area, and see what they have to say. Definitely avoid sites like EBay, Craigslist, and other sites where things are sold second hand.
I’ll agree with the cameras. Aftermarket systems have been around for a long time - it’s just that in recent years moving from having to have a CRT screen for them has made them practical in vehicles smaller than a motor home. You can even get a rear view mirror replacement that includes a small screen which is only visible when the camera is on.
Backup sensors are kind of annoying, because they tend to detect things you will not actually hit. We have a car with both sensors and a camera (I have no idea why - it came from the factory that way), and the sensors will start going crazy when you’re backing up near a fence, even though you’re not actually aiming at the fence at all - which the camera shows clearly.
Personally, I would go nuts having a beeping trigger and not being able to see what’s causing it. Both a sensor and a camera in combination would be the ideal solution.
@Rod_Knox, what makes this car difficult to back up is that it is a cross-over SUV. Personally, I hate backing up in any minivan or SUV. You just can’t see well enough without a camera, unless you open the rear hatch.
Whenever I drive a minivan or an SUV, I will behave as though reverse doesn’t work, looking for a parking space I can pull through so I don’t have to back out.
When you look at all the safety equipment mandated for modern cars, you would think back-up cameras or sensors would be required in minivans and SUVs. I would think enough property is damaged and enough people are killed to justify the cost of a camera system in every minivan or SUV with poor visibility.
Even modern cars are difficult to back up without aid. My old Civic was a pain to back up and I often had to open the car door and look behind me to make sure I didn’t hit anything.
I think the camera is a better bet. A woman relying on a backup sensor alarm smashed in my wife’s car door…They are good straight on, but iffy at angles. In a parking garage, once you get the hang of it, it is geometrically much easier to back into a space using the side mirrors. Then you can just pull right out.
Circumstances forced me to learn how to back trucks using the rear view mirrors long ago and it just seems the natural thing to do these days. I never think twice about walking around the rear of a vehicle and plotting the trajectory needed to get out of or into the position needed. And it is almost always better to back into a parking place that might be difficult to get out of doubleclutch.
One summer while in high school I worked for a local dairy in the truck shop and learned to park(spot) trailers.
Old, seasoned drivers do this
as easily as most drivers take an exit from the freeway.
Many years ago when I started having kids I started backing up at home to prevent the inherant dangers of backing out of the garage and/or driveway. Since then, I always back into parking spaces o matter where I go, unless I have some specific reason not to. I’ve been doing it for so long that backing OUT of a parking space gives me the willeys!
Yard jockeys can back up trailers all day long, but when you do anything all day long, you better get good at it. Also, the trucks they use to back them up have a much shorter wheel base than a semi with a sleeper cab. It helps to have a short wheel base.
Part of what makes backing up a 53’ trailer easy for a professional driver is the set-up. You notice the driver was backing up to his left has he reversed the trailer. This allows him to look over his shoulder to see the path behind the trailer, and it allows him to put the trailer in just the right spot at just the right angle to make it easy and consistent. Most passenger car drivers don’t think about setting up the maneuver before they execute it.
Truck drivers usually end up learning to back up from the other (blind) side, but only out of necessity. Given a choice, a truck driver will almost always back up to her or his left. Straight line backing might technically be easier, but when you do it, you do it blind.
I am about a year late with this comment about backup cameras. I had a camera installed on our 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan. I did not want to drill holes in the rear door so I installed the type camera that fits on the top of the license. Now I cannot open the rear hatch. The camera fits over the handle. I removed it and now I am looking for a different camera.