BMW 5 Series Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 5 Series: Limits of the system

The detection of objects can test the ultrasonic measurement system to its limits. Several examples of this are shown below:

  • With trailer towbars and couplings.
  • If the objects are thin or wedge-shaped.
  • If the objects are projecting and elevated, e.g. wall projections or loads.
  • If the objects have corners and sharp edges.
  • If the objects have fine surfaces or structures, e.g. fences.

Low objects that are already displayed, e.g. curbs, may fall within the blind spot of the sensors before or after a continuous alarm sounds. It would not be possible to detect objects that are higher up and projecting, e.g. wall projections. Parking spaces may be detected although these are not suitable.

There may be other functional limitations in the following situations, for example:

  • If the sensors are soiled or iced up.
  • Heavy fog, rain or snow.
  • On uneven surfaces, e.g. gravel roads.
  • On slippery surfaces.
  • On steep inclines or downhill gradients.
  • If leaves have gathered or snow has piled up in the parking space.

To ensure the ultrasonic sensors remain fully operational, they must be kept clean and free of ice.

When cleaning the sensors using a high pressure cleaner, avoid direct and sustained contact with a high-pressure water jet. Furthermore, when using high pressure cleaners, a distance of at least 1 ft (30 cm) from the sensors must be maintained.

The Parking Maneuvering Assistant (PMA) cannot replace the driver's personal judgement of the traffic situation. Also check the traffic situation around the vehicle by looking around, otherwise there may be a risk of an accident as a result of road users or objects which lie outside the detection range of the Park Distance Control. Loud sound sources outside and inside the vehicle may mask the acoustic signals of the Parking Maneuvering Assistant (PMA) or the Park Distance Control (PDC).


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