2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Parksense Foibles
September 15, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 is a Laramie, so it comes standard with a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors (Parksense as Ram calls them) are a $395 option.
Since I live in a crowded city and I parallel park quite a bit (yes, I've parallel parked the Ram about a dozen times over the last week) parking sensors are a bumper-saving piece of equipment that I'd opt for, but this particular system has a few issues.
The first problem, as detailed in the picture above, is parking poles. At the front of the parking spot are two large poles, meant to protect the railing and keep me from parking to close to the building. The Ram's parking sensors couldn't make sense of these when parked, first beeping an alert then omitting the "You're too close! Stop!" chime and turning all red.
It didn't seem like I had pulled far enough forward to warrant this response, but I trusted the tech, turned off the truck and got out to discover a 2-foot gap. Not even close. This was a tandem parking spot, so I got back in to move closer.
This time, the truck seemed to adjust a bit and the parking sensors went back to the yellow beeping tone. I inched forward, waiting for the chime to become solid and the sensor icon to turn red.
Again, I put the truck in park, engaged the parking brake and got out to investigate. The truck's bumper was still over a foot away.
At home, I tried the same procedure up against a parking wall. While I was able to get closer, it wasn't by much. So, against my better judgment I broke out the manual, which gave me more details on the Parksense system:
"The sensors can detect obstacles from approximately 12 in (30 cm) up to 47 in (120 cm) from the front fascia/bumper in the horizontal direction, depending on the location, type and orientation of the obstacle."
So apparently, you can't get closer than 12 inches without the truck telling you to stop.
In tight spaces though, with a truck this size, having an extra foot is like a mile having an extra mile. Sadly, none of the instructions I read had details on how to adjust the systems sensitivity, so it looks like we'll be parking with a foot-long buffer zone.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 11,412 miles