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HomeTips & GuidesBlind Spot Detection: Types and Installation Steps for an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitoring System

Blind Spot Detection: Types and Installation Steps for an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitoring System

Let’s define the features, types, and working principles of blind spot detection in this article below.

Vehicles are not all glass or transparent. So, you can’t turn your head and view the surrounding areas around the vehicles. 

Plus, you should focus ahead when driving, leaving the sides and rear as potential collision zones.

Modern cars feature blind spot detection to assist the driver in identifying if there are objects in these hidden zones.

 Different automobiles can have blind spots on the front, side, or rear, depending on their design and size. 

Table of Contents

What Is Blind Spot Detection?

Blind spot detection or monitoring is a car safety system comprising a set of cameras or sensors and indicators.

Car manufacturers usually mount the sensing part on the bumpers or side mirrors. If these sensing systems detect an object, they send their data to a central module that alerts you. 

This setup forms a safety system that warns if an object or vehicle approaches you and gets too close. The goal is to keep you alert.

Blind Spot Detection System Types

This safety system is available in these two varieties.

Blind Spot Warning

This variety detects and notifies you of other vehicles near your car.

Some can alert you if you activate the turn signal to change lanes when a vehicle is in the adjoining lane to prevent a collision.

A blind spot monitoring area zone with a visual notification on the side mirrors

A blind spot monitoring area zone with a visual notification on the side mirrors

Blind Spot Assist

This assist system is more hands-on because it can control the car’s steering and braking. Therefore, if you want to change lanes and a vehicle is in the adjacent lane, the car will warn you and maneuver itself to avoid a collision.

Benefits of Blind Spot Detection

  • Increases your awareness when driving
  • Highlights any dangerous steering, especially when driving a large vehicle
  • Prevents accidents/crashes
  • Increases response time

Types of Blind Spot Detection Sensors

The primary component in blind-spot detection is the sensor. It can be either of these three types.

Radar-Based Blind Spot Detection

Radar systems rely on radio waves to monitor the area around the vehicle. And they can detect moving or stationary objects, plus their speed and distance from your car. Most manufacturers install them in the vehicle’s front and rear bumpers.

Radar sensors

Radar sensors

Radar is more effective than ultrasonic blind spot detection because it has a lengthier range and is more weather resistant.

Ultrasonic-Based Blind Spot Detection

Although inferior to radar radio waves, ultrasonic sensing is highly effective at detecting slow-moving and stationary objects.

Blind-spot/parking sensors mounted on a vehicle’s front bumper

Blind-spot/parking sensors mounted on a vehicle’s front bumper

This device operates by projecting sound waves and sensing the reflections. Most manufacturers place these ultrasonic sensors in the wing mirrors or the vehicle’s rear and sides.

Camera-Based Blind Spot Detection

As the name suggests, this detection system consists of cameras installed on or near the wing mirrors. These devices send live video feeds to the blind spot detection module for analysis.

A blind spot system’s camera mounted on the side-view mirror

A blind spot system’s camera mounted on the side-view mirror

Intelligent cameras running on AI are accurate enough to identify vehicles and other objects, providing information to the lane departure warning and other vehicle systems.

Combined System

Modern vehicles usually combine camera, ultrasonic, and radar sensors to have an all-rounded blind spot detection system.

The first two provide accurate close-range detection, while radar delivers precise long-range detection.

Blind Spot Alert Warning Features

Once the system’s controller analyzes the sensor or camera data and determines there is an object, it needs a warning mechanism to send the message. Cars usually have one or more of these systems.

Audio and Visual Indicators

This alert feature is prevalent in most vehicles. It comprises a beep, chirp, or chime audible alert released from the infotainment or separate speakers. 

The warning also incorporates a visual warning by turning on warning lights or icons (usually amber) on the wing mirror. But this light can also be on the head-up display or instrument cluster.

A vehicle with a head-up display

A vehicle with a head-up display

The light flashing and beeping becomes more intense the closer the object gets to your vehicle.

Haptic Feedback

Some advanced blind spot monitoring systems include haptic alerts by vibrating the seat or steering wheel.

Integration with Other Vehicle Systems

Blind spot detection in newer, more advanced vehicles is active because it integrates with braking and steering systems. This integration helps avoid collisions, but you can override the system via manual control.

A button for deactivating the blind spot detection system

A button for deactivating the blind spot detection system

Can You Install an Aftermarket Blind Spot Detection System?

Yes, you can. However, these aftermarket options are not prevalent because they don’t integrate fully with the vehicle.

But they work. And they have the primary blind spot detection components: sensors and indicators. The former are the eyes of the system, while the latter informs you of any hazard in real time.

How To Install an Aftermarket Blind Spot Detection System

Before we proceed, it is vital to note that these are general steps. The actual steps can vary depending on the aftermarket blind spot kit manufacturer. So, go through the installation manual for precise fitting diagrams and guidance.

A blind spot detection toggle on the side-view mirror

A blind spot detection toggle on the side-view mirror

You’ll need the following items to complete the installation.

  • Aftermarket blind spot detection kit
  • Panel remover (a screwdriver will do)
  • Crimping tool
  • Wire stripper
  • Cable loom (or ties)
  • Vehicle’s wiring diagram
  • Drill and drill bits

Step 1: Determine the Most Suitable Installation Locations

This detection has two components. First, determine the most suitable installation location for the sensor/camera and indicator.

Usually, the sensors go on the rear and side bumpers. But cameras should sit under the side-view mirror.

Step 2: Disconnect the Battery

Park your vehicle, pop the hood, and disconnect the negative battery terminal.

Step 3: Install the Sensor and Display Unit

Install the sensors and cameras on the identified location to capture the proximity data. Ensure the sensors and cameras have a clear line of sight to the outside environment.

Depending on the manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions, you might have to drill holes to mount the installation brackets.

A person installing parking sensors on the rear bumper

A person installing parking sensors on the rear bumper

Install the display unit, as well. Ensure no obstructions block your eyes and ears to the audio and visual communication elements.

Step 4: Wire the Components

In most cases, you’ll have to remove some plastic dashboard and pillar panels before wiring. This removal is necessary to access the hidden areas in the chassis to route the wires.

Wire the sensors and cameras to the control module and then from this module to the display unit.

These components need access to an ignition-switched power supply. Check the vehicle’s wiring diagram and tap into this power source to run the sensor/camera, control module, and indicator.

Include a fuse in this connection to protect the blind spot detection system from electrical faults.

Make the ground connection, as well. And we recommend using crimp connectors, but you can solder the wires.

Step 6: Test the Blind Spot Detection System

Reconnect the negative battery and test the system by having someone drive past you when stationary.

Aftermarket radar sensors with an indicator screen

Aftermarket radar sensors with an indicator screen

Step 7: Conclude the Installation

Wrap up the installation by wrapping loose wires using cable looms or ties and securing them in the vehicle. Also, refit the plastic panels back into the vehicle.

Step 8: Real-World Testing

Drive down the street or highway to see how the system responds. You might have to calibrate the sensors to make the detection more precise.

And we recommend documenting the installation for easier troubleshooting, maintenance, or future upgrades.

Wrap Up

Blind spot detections systems have become almost standard in modern vehicles. But it is absent in old cars.

However, it is possible to include this functionality in old cars as an aftermarket feature. Follow the steps above to install the system, but check the specific installation instructions in the manual.

You can learn more about other car safety features like traction control on our site, and you can also contact us if you need the wiring connectors and wiring harnesses.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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