How To Test Radar Blind Spot Monitors?
The importance of blind spot monitoring systems is no longer mysterious. The past decade has been highly beneficial for radar blind spot monitors. For that reason, not only the drivers but the firms are also acknowledging the radar blind spot monitoring value.
Nowadays, modern cars have a built-in blind spot radar system inside them. However, like any technical product, these systems are also vulnerable to errors. Most of the time, rough customer use or irregular shipping procedures cause damage to the blind spot sensor kit. This damage can cause physically unseen problems. Therefore, it is better to check the system’s proper functioning with the help of several tests. Though, before jumping in to see the tests, it is better to understand the system’s working mechanism.
How Do Ideal Radar Blind Spot Monitors Work?
Radar based blind spot monitoring systems are not that different from each other in terms of working. An ideal blind spot monitor has two primary functions. One is detecting target objects, while the other is alerting the driver. The complete working mechanism of these systems revolves around these two features. A compact step-wise working road map of the radar blind spot monitors is as follows.
- From the ignition of the engine, the system starts working. However, some systems start working only after the vehicle reaches a certain speed limit. Once the system starts the working process, it starts emitting the waves.
- The main part responsible for the detection is the system’s radar sensor. Millimeter wave radar transmits microwaves across a specific alarm area. The waves emitted from the radar go back and forth inside the detection area.
- Once any target object enters the designated range, it disrupts the wave channel dispersed by the wave radar. This hindrance leads to the detection of moving objects.
- The detection principle solemnly uses algorithms to detect the object. Some radar blind spot monitors have special functions. Therefore, they need special algorithms to detect the objects. For instance, a night-compatible system requires special algorithms that can detect objects at night.
- Along with simple detection, some systems have unique features to detect the speed of target objects. The better frequency band ensures a better detection range and detection accuracy. Plus, some systems can accurately detect the distance of the object and its relative velocity.
- The speed and distance of target objects help the system judge whether the object is a potential risk or not.
- Once the detection procedure is complete, the radar blind spot monitors initiate the alarm response. The indicator lights and buzzer are the usual equipment that carries out the alarm procedure. The respective side LED starts flashing, alerting the driver about the relative side. Moreover, the buzzer sound only warns the driver if the turn signal is on. Whenever the buzzer prompts a sound, it directly indicates greater risk.
- The LED’s brightness, blinking sequence, and the buzzer volume are adjustable in some advanced radar blind spot monitors. The control box oversees all that. The additional component control box has several switches that can help the owners to adjust prescribed featuring values to their desires.
How To Test The Radar Sensor Blind Spot System?
Testing the radar systems is simple to some extent if you use a basic blind spot radar detector system. However, with increasing features, the complexity of these testing procedures keeps rising. Blind spot monitor firms have strict testing protocols that involve position and detection algorithms.
Testing the radar blind spot monitors according to the firm standards is impossible until you have the optimum equipment. So, the least you can do is pre-driving and basic mechanism tests to ensure the proper working of blind spot sensors.
Pre-driving Testing Protocol:
It is one of the most basic testing procedures that most drivers perform to ensure error free experience. These protocols are not one-time testing techniques only. Instead, performing these testing processes every time before getting on the road is better.
There is no rocket science in these radar blind spot monitor testing procedures. So, it takes less time than usual company check ups and minimizes the chances of errors. Some of the primary procedures involved in this protocol are as follows.
This testing technique does not involve any power supplication. Rather, you just formally observe the connected system with the naked eye. We are mentioning what you need to look for in these inspection processes.
- Damage to any part of the radar blind spot monitors.
- Damage to any wire harness of the system
- Most radar blind spot detection systems have special radars that can not work if blocked by a metal object. Therefore, ensure that all the radars have nothing in front of them. Although, a plastic bumper is an exception as the microwaves can pass easily through the plastic without any diffraction or refraction.
After the physical checkup, if you find any error or damage, there are different ways to deal with that.
- In the case of damage to any part of the radar blind spot monitors, it is better to replace the component. In some conditions, even after the damage, the component keeps working without any sign of error. At that time, do not ignore the damage but change the component instantly. Even though the part is all good, the damage made it much more vulnerable to errors. So, replacing the part before it stops working in the middle of the road journey is better.
- If you see any damage to the wire harness, instantly replace it with the corresponding wire. Same as the parts, never ignore the damage even if the wire harness successfully keeps serving the purpose.
Every sensor of the radar blind spot monitors has unique requirements that the owner must follow during installation. For instance, the angle radar makes with the vehicle body impacts the detection area of the system. Therefore, check that the radar installation is according to the instructions given in your system manual.
Some factory installed systems have rare components inside them. Plus, the wire harnesses of these radar blind spot monitors are also not readily available. So, some drivers use incompatible components and harness with their systems, making the matter even worse. That is why make sure that the replacement is compatible with your blind spot radar detector system.
This checking procedure involves the engine ignition and power supply. The very first step of this technique involves turning the power on. Once the car is on, it starts supplying current to the system using the power line harness.
If your system can detect the radar blind spot monitors at 0 km/h, then start moving outside the car in the blind spot area. If your vehicle has a rearview monitor system, then ask someone to move to the rear side. In the case of an adjacent or parallel view monitor, ask someone to move at the lateral sides of the vehicle. If the indicator light flashes, it means that the detection and alarm system are working correctly.
However, if you cannot see any warning, there could be 2 different possibilities.
- The detection process is not giving the output to alarm equipment.
- There is an error in alarm equipment that causes system failure.
In both cases, ask a system technician to look for and solve the problem. Another thing to observe is the placement of indicator lights. Make sure that the blinking indicator light gives a warning on the respective side. That means if an object is detected on the left side, only the left light must flash and vice versa.
Test Drive Check:
In this testing process, the driver takes the car out on the road for a test drive. If your system works only at a specific speed limit, you must take a test drive before going on a long journey. For this process, keep your vehicle above the speed limit that the system works on. Now keep checking the adjacent lanes for approaching vehicles. Once they enter the detection area, observe if the radar blind spot monitors issue any warning.
At last, turn on the turn signal and wait for the object to enter the detection area. Now check if the system issues any buzzer warning. If there is no alert, the alarm or detection equipment may have some type of error.
To fix these, replace the damaged components. If the error remains inside the system, look for a system technician to monitor the package internally and solve the problem.
What Test Results Indicate A Sound Blind Spot Monitor?
Same as the error indications, some obvious signs specify ideally working radar blind spot monitors. In the case of a physical checkup, if every component is free from any damage mark and wire harnesses are intact, the system will run smoothly.
As for the test drive checkup, every system feature must perform without any limitation. If the radar blind spot monitors constantly keep working accurately without any error, there is a greater chance of their efficient results.
Can Radar Blind Spot Monitors Test Check Themselves?
Testing the radar blind spot warning systems is normally a manual working step. Most of the time, only the drivers carry out these tests before going on the road. However, some advanced radar blind spot detection systems have a specific feature in which they check themselves.
In this process, the system undergoes several algorithmic checking protocols that re-calculate its success rate and working ability. Continuous detection and alarm equipment functioning help the radar blind spot monitor owners to perform rigorous tests.
After the testing procedure by the system is complete, it issues a particular indication. This sign shows that the system is working properly without any error. For instance, some systems flash the indicator lights 3 times, depicting error-free product functioning.
How Do Tests Help To Increase The Accuracy Of Radar Blind Spot Monitors?
It is not suitable to get on the road without a blind spot system. Furthermore, driving the cars on the road without testing the system is even riskier. That is why, along with the accurate installation, strict testing procedures are also very much needed for the driver.
Most of the time, these tests ensure the accurate and error-free working of the system. However, they can also increase the accuracy of radar blind spot monitors. An untested system can have a lot of errors that are possible dangers for the driver. Moreover, untested radar based blind spot monitoring systems have a lower success rate and poor featuring rate.
A poorly installed system has minimum detection accuracy. Plus, the irregular installation can also decrease the system’s detection range. Proper testing procedures can help diagnose these errors and many more that reduce the system’s accuracy. Therefore, the drivers can easily deal with these issues before they become a grave danger for them on the road.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Untested Radar Blind Spot Monitors?
Using an untested blind spot system brings numerous disadvantages with itself. These disadvantages not only pose a direct threat to the vehicle but to the driver and road individual lives as well. Therefore, it is better never to leave the system untreated.
You can estimate the importance of the testing procedures by the firm provision of these processes. Most companies pre-test their products using some strict strategies. These tests minimize the errors inside a system. Moreover, these ensure the better working of systems and enhance their capability to assist the driver by reducing the problem ratio.
Despite all its advantages, some drivers still ignore its dire need and use untested radar blind spot monitors. Therefore, they suffer the consequences. Some of the prime disadvantages of using an untested blind spot system are as follows.
Increased Collision Rate:
As the system remains untested, it increases the chances of sudden product failure. In this condition, the system stops working at any part of its lifespan. There is no guarantee that the system will only stop working once the car is off the road. Therefore, in some cases, the radar blind spot monitors can stop their entire operation due to a small error.
It stops the detection of target objects that causes unintentional collisions. In this way, the untested blind spot monitoring radar system becomes a risk, not only for the driver but also for other individuals on the road.
Increased Error Origination:
Different types of tests minimize different types of errors. Therefore, untested blind spot systems have a higher chance of facing errors. Some of the errors that the driver can face are as follows.
In this type of error, the radar blind spot monitors start recognizing the objects that are not a risk for the vehicle. For instance, stationary objects such as road rails, trees, and other standing passengers on the road keep triggering the alerting mechanism. It is not only frustrating but very distracting for the driver also.
Therefore, repeated alerts divert the driver’s attention from the road, which can cause severe damage to the vehicle and the driver.
Opposite Indicator Flashing:
The indicator lights are somewhat similar to each other. Plus, some of them have no markings of position. Therefore, the driver can unintentionally put them on the wrong side. So, in case of detection and issuing an alert, the driver can start getting the wrong warning if the radar blind spot monitors remain untested.
A driver can oversee this error before the journey if there are proper physical and technical checkups. Therefore, the driver can take preventive measures to deal with this error before it becomes a potential hazard.
All these errors extract the conclusion that spending some time to test the system is a lot better than ignoring it and risking the lives of individuals on the road.
Radar blind spot monitors are available in many shapes and sizes in the aftermarket. These systems perform the most basic functions of detecting objects and alerting drivers about them. However, due to several factors, the system can face errors that limit its working. These errors pose serious threats to the driver and the vehicle. Therefore, it is obligatory to deal with them accordingly.
The best solution to deal with these systems is to use testing procedures. Many firms pre-test their products. However, the transportation of the product can cause damage to the components or originate errors. To deal with them, the drivers must perform some tests by themselves. For instance, a physical checkup minimizes any error due to component damage. Long story short, to ensure the error-free experience of the radar blind spot monitors.
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