An aftermarket blind spot monitor is a perfect addition if you own an older vehicle that’s not equipped with certain types of technology. Installing a blind spot monitor can keep you and your passengers safe from hazards you might not be able to see immediately.
What Is an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor?
An aftermarket blind spot monitor system can keep you and your passengers safe by alerting you of potential hazards that you might not be able to see. These systems can offer you the following benefits:
- Increases your driving awareness: Your eyes can only catch so many things outside the vehicle, and having a blind spot monitor can provide you with extra coverage. The system constantly views the spots you can’t always track while you’re driving.
- Assists drivers of larger vehicles: If you own a larger vehicle, you know how difficult it is to see around it. The monitor can decrease your stress levels by looking at the unseen areas surrounding your vehicle.
- Prevents crashes: In addition to keeping track of the area around your vehicle, a blind spot monitor can prevent you from driving into another vehicle moving in the same direction or an adjoining lane.
- Increases response time: Blind spot monitors tend to be more accurate than mirrors and allow you to recognize potential dangers faster. That way you can step on the brake or turn the steering wheel quicker.
- Helps passengers feel safer: Every passenger leaves his or her life in the hands of the driver. Having a blind spot monitoring system on your vehicle can reassure passengers that you are using the top safety features to keep them safe. They can also help you notice hazards in addition to the sensors.
Types of Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor
Although the aftermarket blind spot monitoring system isn’t as common as a factory-installed system, it continues to expand as more companies jump into the market. These companies offer custom-designed kits geared toward a variety of vehicles. Some of the features you’ll find on an aftermarket blind spot monitor include the following:
Serving as the eyes to the blind spot monitoring system, the sensor consists of a variety of technologies to keep tabs on hazards. Several of the more common technologies include sonar, radar, and lidar, and they sense the exterior environment. Some have cameras inserted into side mirrors and relay information to a computer. Once something enters the view of the sensor and you’re traveling at a specific speed, the sensor triggers the indicator. You will need two sensors to properly operate the system since you will need to monitor both sides of the vehicle.
The indicator is an equally important part as the sensor because, without it, you would have no way of knowing if the sensor detected a hazard. Indicators come in varying forms, but most aftermarket kits include visual LED lights and an alarm that notifies you. You might also gain control over the volume of the indicator.
The top systems have a sensor that projects a beam that bounces back when reflecting off the surface of another vehicle. Whenever the beam returns to the system, you receive an alert notifying you of the hazard. Keep in mind that even the most reliable blind spot monitoring systems are no substitute for actually using your mirrors and checking your blind spots. Continue to be a cautious driver and use the monitoring system as a helpful additional feature.
How to Choose an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor
Many aftermarket blind spot monitor systems are universal, which means that you can use them regardless of your vehicle’s age, make, and model. The system can reduce your stress levels by giving you an extra set of eyes on the road. There are dozens of kit options available, so make sure you do some research. Most kits have similar features, but the indicators might vary. If you prefer visual signals as well as audio ones, make sure you select one of those.
How to Replace/Install an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor
Disclaimer: The guidelines in this story are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting repairs.
After you purchase the aftermarket blind spot monitor system, you can install the pieces yourself. Make sure you have a few tools handy and follow these steps:
- Place the measuring tape parallel with your vehicle’s wheels. Take out the calibration cloth from your system, and place it behind the vehicle. Have it align it with the measuring tape at a 90-degree angle.
- Take a level, and stand it vertically against the vehicle. It should align with the calibration cloth as well. Use a marker to draw a straight line on the vehicle’s rear bumper.
- Remove the rear bumper. You might also need to remove the taillights.
- Use a cleaning cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean the calibrating positions in the inner rear bumper.
- Take the two magnets included in the system, and place one on the outside of the vehicle on the lines you marked. Put the other inside so they are attracted to each other. Don’t be afraid to play around with the placement of the sensors. They should be at around a 20-degree angle from your vehicle’s bumper.
- Use the marker to mark the spot inside the bumper where the magnet rests.
- Apply the adhesive to the sensors, and stick the sensor on the inside of the bumper.
- Mount the LED indicators inside your vehicle’s cabin. These should be placed somewhere you can easily see them without averting your eyes from the road. Certain kits will have recommendations on where you can place the indicators.
- Adjust the volume. Test out the system to make sure it’s at a decent volume. You don’t want to be startled whenever it activates.
If you have any questions or issues when installing your aftermarket blind spot monitor system, reach out to a service center to have a professional work on the installation. Some systems have many steps and can be difficult to attempt, so a professional might need to take over.
Where to Buy an Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor
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