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spta97
06-29-2005, 12:51 PM
I'm putting together the specs for the M3 I want and I am trying to decide if I want Park Distance Control (PDC). I have the system on my 2000 Explorer and it is really more of an annoyance than anything else. It goes off when I back out of my garage until I clear the door opening and then again when I am backing out of my driveway into the street because the rear bumper is pointing toward the ground. I have since learned to ignore it.

My question is does BMW do a better job with the PDC than Ford? Or is it basically the same system like HomeLink? When backing into tight spots I still don't trust it enough and will open the door and look at the car behind me as not to hit it so I wonder if I should just save myself the $350 on the system?

Thoughts? :dunno:

machmeter
06-29-2005, 12:59 PM
Mine works just fine, although it will sound when backing into a low curb (but it's supposed to detect objects, so that's normal I think).

plien69
06-29-2005, 02:49 PM
I don't have any previous experience with park sensors. I wanted SMG on my M, so I had to take the PDC.

I guess it's useful and I think it does a decent job. But I've been driving and backing cars up for 20 years now, and I've done fine without it. It also did not save me from a bout of curb rash when parallel parking. Also, my wife doesn't like the way the sensors look on the back bumper.

I guess what I'm saying is: if I could choose whether or not to have it, I would choose not to spend the $350 on it.

GavYo
06-29-2005, 03:22 PM
I find it very useful and accurate, but I don't think I would spend $350 on it.

bren
06-29-2005, 03:40 PM
Sounds like your Ford system works the same.

spta97
06-30-2005, 05:44 AM
Yes. Although machmeter makes a good point - ride height. I forget that a low curb (which is no big deal for my Explorer - I just run right over it) could really trash the rear bumper of the M3. The other issue is the looks of the sensors. I guess I'll have to see how it is in action to see if it is really worth it. I'm thinking I would rather take the money and put it in a backup-camera instead.

Thanks for the replies :thumbup:

16hr Day
07-04-2005, 01:46 PM
Yes. Although machmeter makes a good point - ride height. I forget that a low curb (which is no big deal for my Explorer - I just run right over it) could really trash the rear bumper of the M3. The other issue is the looks of the sensors. I guess I'll have to see how it is in action to see if it is really worth it. I'm thinking I would rather take the money and put it in a backup-camera instead.

Thanks for the replies :thumbup:

There is not a lot of visability out the back window. I didn't get the automatic, I mean SMG so I don't have it. If I where to order my car again, I would get it. What's 350.00 when you are spending 55k on a car? If you don't like it you can always shut it off.

Frank Rizzo
07-05-2005, 06:12 AM
Interestingly (or maybe not.....) I had the PDC on my 2K Explorer and liked it so much I got it on my 330. I'm now really lazy - to the point that when I drive other cars without PDC, I think to myself..."ugh...I have to pay attention"

For the Ultimate in lazyness, there's the MBZ Parktronic. Sensors front AND rear with a proximity display on the dash AND the rear headliner:
http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52395&stc=1


http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52469&stc=1

spta97
07-05-2005, 06:25 AM
There is not a lot of visability out the back window. I didn't get the automatic, I mean SMG so I don't have it. If I where to order my car again, I would get it. What's 350.00 when you are spending 55k on a car? If you don't like it you can always shut it off.

$350 in the grand scheme of things is nothing, I just don't want to pay for any options that I don't want (or more to the point will annoy the crap out of me). On my truck you can only disable it for that moment that you are in reverse, it will reactivate once you put it in drive (for the next time you back up). Every day when I back out of the garage I hear it and it drives me nuts.

If I really trusted the system it would be a different story but it starts beeping when you are like 10 feet from an obsticle.

I have never driven an E46 M3, only the E46 330Ci ZHP so I'm not sure if the visibility is worse. When I did test drive it I was able to back up into a spot with no problem. Like I said, I'm thinking that the camera is the way to go.

spta97
07-05-2005, 06:28 AM
Interestingly (or maybe not.....) I had the PDC on my 2K Explorer and liked it so much I got it on my 330. I'm now really lazy - to the point that when I drive other cars without PDC, I think to myself..."ugh...I have to pay attention"

For the Ultimate in lazyness, there's the MBZ Parktronic. Sensors front AND rear with a proximity display on the dash AND the rear headliner:



I'm not sure when turning your head became too much effort but I suffered from the same thing. That is until I got some new LEDs for my parking lights on my old Maxima and was looking at them project on the wall as I reversed right into my g/f's Lexus - DOH! :cry:

Nick325xiT 5spd
07-05-2005, 06:29 AM
Interestingly (or maybe not.....) I had the PDC on my 2K Explorer and liked it so much I got it on my 330. I'm now really lazy - to the point that when I drive other cars without PDC, I think to myself..."ugh...I have to pay attention"

For the Ultimate in lazyness, there's the MBZ Parktronic. Sensors front AND rear with a proximity display on the dash AND the rear headliner:
http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52395&stc=1


http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52469&stc=1
I'm waiting for someone to give me a readout in inches.

...and what I really want is SILENT park distance control. Display ONLY.

dawgbone
07-05-2005, 07:25 AM
I'm waiting for someone to give me a readout in inches.

...and what I really want is SILENT park distance control. Display ONLY.

With MB you can program the car to SHUT UP and leave you with the display only...well, with most models at least...
I think what PDC is really all about is that when you're in the red with a MB or the annoying beeping of a BMW, if you hit anything, It's your own dumb fault..I never get close enough to objects, to sound the PDC..and if I do, it's in a very rare, but intentional...They will not give you accuracy simply because weather conditions will make them change, as well as a slight dirty haze over the sensors...In which we all know that a dirty rear bumper on an e46 is very rare :)

plien69
07-05-2005, 08:28 AM
Still getting used to PDC, but I can being to appreciate its usefulness.

Not sure I like MBZ's dedicated park distance display, however. Seems like a waste of real estate for functionality that's only used occasionally. Does that display show anything else, like the time or direction?

dawgbone
07-05-2005, 08:42 AM
Still getting used to PDC, but I can being to appreciate its usefulness.

Not sure I like MBZ's dedicated park distance display, however. Seems like a waste of real estate for functionality that's only used occasionally. Does that display show anything else, like the time or direction?

Nope...It only lights up when in reverse...
But given the price tag of an MB..Not a bad feature.. Mainly because the people who drive them generally chase walking strollers, when not in there vehicles bumping into mine at the grocery store.. :thumbup:

Pinecone
07-05-2005, 05:21 PM
And it gets you looking forward while you are moving backwards. Great recipe for hitting something.

I like the sound only type. And PDC does work well, and yes it will sound if you are too close to the edge of your garage, but that is a good thing.

dawgbone
07-06-2005, 08:03 AM
And it gets you looking forward while you are moving backwards. Great recipe for hitting something.

I like the sound only type. And PDC does work well, and yes it will sound if you are too close to the edge of your garage, but that is a good thing.

The display on the dash is for the front of the car..Non-like BMW they actually have sensors in the front to tell you how far you can pull into your garage, instead of having to hang a tennis ball from the ceiling to meet your windshield...For reverse, MB also has there PDC display in the rear facing forward, in view with the rear view mirror..

The audible alarm works very well, unless you're hard of hearing...

Frank Rizzo
07-06-2005, 09:24 PM
The display on the dash is for the front of the car..Non-like BMW they actually have sensors in the front to tell you how far you can pull into your garage, instead of having to hang a tennis ball from the ceiling to meet your windshield...For reverse, MB also has there PDC display in the rear facing forward, in view with the rear view mirror.....Yeah..here are pics of the rear sensor display......I was thinking that you would actually have to turn your head around while backing......but no....getting lazier....
Let me point out that this guy imported all the parts to retrofit his C240 (!) with the parktronic shown here because it's not available in the US on the C-Class.

OTOH: I like the rear map light integration:

http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52470&stc=1

http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52394&stc=1

http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52396&stc=1

Frank Rizzo
07-06-2005, 09:41 PM
EH...I forgot how ugly the sensors were on the Explorer! I remember thinking that they "were so cool" because they stood out so much....at least BMW integrates them into the bumper for the lowest visible impact....


http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/2396/konis3za.jpg

FenPhen
07-07-2005, 12:30 AM
Caveat: for the E46s, you can't disable/mute the PDC, even temporarily. At least, this is the case for my car.

PDC works fine for me. I back out of a garage where the opening is maybe 3 to 6 inches away from the side mirror and it doesn't usually trigger the side sensor as I pass through. The PDC will trigger if you're backing down a sloped driveway and reach the bottom, but it should, based on the way it works.

The PDC activates when there's an object about 2 feet away, sounding audible pulses until a steady tone at 1 foot or less. I imagine this is an engineering limit, cause having only 4 sensors means something could slip into the dead zones between the overlapping cones of coverage if you're too close. Also, you could be on a hill and the car could roll a few inches when you release the brake, so 12 inches covers BMW's butt.

One clever thing about BMW's PDC is the side sensor is ignored if it's triggered for more than something like 5 seconds, cause it guesses you are moving parallel to a wall.

spta97
07-07-2005, 11:52 AM
EH...I forgot how ugly the sensors were on the Explorer! I remember thinking that they "were so cool" because they stood out so much....at least BMW integrates them into the bumper for the lowest visible impact....


Hmmm - I might have to reconsider. I was under the impression that the BMW sensors were as ugly as on my Explorer (although I do not have chrome bumpers so they do not stick out as much). Do you have a shot of the BMW sensors?

spta97
07-07-2005, 11:55 AM
Caveat: for the E46s, you can't disable/mute the PDC, even temporarily. At least, this is the case for my car.

PDC works fine for me. I back out of a garage where the opening is maybe 3 to 6 inches away from the side mirror and it doesn't usually trigger the side sensor as I pass through. The PDC will trigger if you're backing down a sloped driveway and reach the bottom, but it should, based on the way it works.

The PDC activates when there's an object about 2 feet away, sounding audible pulses until a steady tone at 1 foot or less. I imagine this is an engineering limit, cause having only 4 sensors means something could slip into the dead zones between the overlapping cones of coverage if you're too close. Also, you could be on a hill and the car could roll a few inches when you release the brake, so 12 inches covers BMW's butt.

One clever thing about BMW's PDC is the side sensor is ignored if it's triggered for more than something like 5 seconds, cause it guesses you are moving parallel to a wall.

Do you have a stick or automatic (assuming you have the 330 in your sig)? Also, you make some good points about why the system is designed the way it is. I would just think that some advancement would be made in 5 years (or longer - not sure when it was first introduced). I wonder if this system is made by one company like HomeLink and they just sell the rights to the manufacturers? :dunno:

plien69
07-07-2005, 12:03 PM
Do you have a shot of the BMW sensors?This shot looks closest to how my PDC sensors look; they are color-keyed.
http://www.germantuning.com/GERMAN/mainFrames/Bilder_Neuentwicklungen/BMW_330iCoupe_001.jpg

FenPhen
07-07-2005, 08:15 PM
Do you have a shot of the BMW sensors?Here's another:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=53067


Do you have a stick or automatic (assuming you have the 330 in your sig)? Also, you make some good points about why the system is designed the way it is.I drive stick. The PDC is active whenever you're in reverse and the key is in ignition position II.

I don't think you can really do too much practical advancement that doesn't involve more sensors and more computer processing. The system is basically blind, and each sensor only knows the distance to the closest object that reflects back the emitted waves. So if you back down a sloped driveway, it can't tell the difference between road pavement and a small child/animal.

spta97
07-08-2005, 10:01 AM
Thanks for the reply - I'll opt not to get it (although the rear bumper looks much better than my X!)