“ Manufacturer: JML / Type: Car Parking Sensor „
I hate JML products. I could probably just end the review here to be honest.
I bought the JML parking sensor about 5 or 6 years ago from Wilko fro about £10.
When I came to setting it up, I had the most difficult and awkward setup experience of my life. I would have preferred to have put up flatpack furniture without instructions than to do that.
After I had deciphered the instructions left in the box by JML, I got to work laying out the various cables which we were supposed to have trailing along the floor from the front of the car to the rear. As the parking sensor was powered by the cigarette lighter which was near all of the controls in the car. The cables dangled from the port in the way of the gear stick, then generally tangled around the passengers feet before going over the rear seats through a small gap that I found to get it into the boot. If there were passengers in the back I am sure that these cables would have strangled them, but there weren't so lets overlook this.
The actual sensors stuck onto the car via stick pads which went directly onto the bumper. What if we wanted to take them off again? (I'll say about this in a second). As there were cables coming out of the top of these into the car, it made it obvious that the car had electronics in it - perfect for any opportunist thief walking along! But then again, I would be happy for them to take this off my hands and torture them instead.
The way in which it told you if you were too close was SUPPOSED to be via beeping which increased in frequency as you approached the obstacle along with a light on the control box which said in which direction you were closest - I do not think it appeared to JML that you would have to stop looking at where you were going in order to see this light!
As you may have been able to tell by the capital letter in the last paragraph, it was SUPPOSED to do this. it never ended up working. This meant that I had the joy of packing everything away before taking back to Wilko fro a refund. That was after I scratched the car when I tried to price the sensors off the bumper with a butter knife.
Ladies. We have all experienced the tiresome little man who cannot bear to watch us parking without interfering. Y'know the sort of thing. Some years ago, I recall the same little man leaping from the driving seat of his flatbed truck as I parked in the firm's car park. "Want some help, dear? Right hand down a bit..............." You will also know, ladies, that nothing is more likely to interrupt our concentration and thus vindicate his unwanted assistance. I childishly let him know after the embarrassing episode that his little truck was nowhere near as large as my horse lorry. So there!!
However, time and tide have caught up with me and after 40 plus years with a clean licence (not counting the speeding tickets in 1965) my poor old stiff neck makes me long for the annoying little man's help. When a friend told me that the rear parking sensor on her brand new car was not a factory installation, but a JML addition, I was persuaded that here was the answer to my problems.
This handy little tool comprises two ultrasonic sensors placed beneath the rear lighting covers on the vehicle. Whilst reversing the driver hears quite loud beeps, increasing in tempo the closer to an obstacle the car becomes. At the last minute the beeps become a long warning signal which says "Stop Now".
JML were offering the device at half price for £14.99 and I hastily ordered. When it arrived the few parts looked tempting for the handy motorist, but I handed the pack to my friendly mobile mechanic.
Dave first connected the sensors, helped by panels already available on my car which led the wires through the lights. However, the instructions say that they can be placed over the boot edge, provided they will not be pinched when the lid is closed. The wires are very generous in length and certainly more than enough for my little Mercedes hatchback. They led beneath carpets from the boot, under the rear seats to the unused front armrest which I keep in the up position between the driver and front passenger seats. Here the blue and white control was placed close to my left shoulder (my friend has hers simply laying in the cubby space behind her gear lever). This is chevron shaped and at 6 ½" x 3 ½" not exactly discreet, but not monstrous either.
The control has an on/off switch on the narrow end and two terminals for the wiring connected to the wider top. A jack plugged into my cigarette lighter and that was that. The whole thing is clearly not with the invisibility to be expected from factory fitting, but nonetheless acceptable. I should mention here that battery power is also possible.
When I turn the ignition key a light appears on the cigarette lighter end and a double beep tells me that the sensor is alive.
The device is useful with one or two limitations. Whilst parking in the nearby woods on the early morning dog run, it was soon evident that a post and rail fence with gaps between the rails is not solid enough to activate my sensor. No damage done though as I hadn't been too much of a trusting soul at the beginning of my relationship with the new toy. Gently bumping into a pile of compost sacks at a garden centre was not the fault of my JML. Seems that one of my dogs had managed to switch the device off with his nose whilst peering over my shoulder, despite the seat belt harness he wears.
Then there is the traffic queue! Yes, you have it! As the car behind creeps closer, so the sensor springs into guard mode and I am beeped. I shift forward, the tail-gater behind moves closer etc. I switch the darn thing off, until moving again. We must not forget the ghost bleep which I can only assume is caused by the odd leaf drifting by on a windy day. Handy, though, when I back too close to the lavender bush at the rear of my drive. I still use my driving mirrors, but do like the reassuring back up of an electronic sound.
Would I recommend the JML rear parking sensor? I believe it would be unfair to take off a star for each niggle and I am happy with it at the discounted cost. I can no longer find it at the price I paid, but Amazon are offering it at £24.99 and that is acceptable at a pinch. However, the full cost of £30 would have left me disappointed.