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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2005, 02:04 PM
thepurpleblob thepurpleblob is offline
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Location: Glasgow
 
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Can somebody explain the Parking Distance Sensor

I was looking at a 525d today with the PDS. I expected that it would only work when the vehicle is in reverse. However when after reversing against a wall, I put it into Park and it continued to sound. Is this correct, and if so why?? I can see that being very annoying.

Also, the ones at the front didn't seem to do anything when I approached a wall to park front first. Do I have to do something to activate them or might they be faulty.

Any advice appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2005, 04:06 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepurpleblob
I was looking at a 525d today with the PDS. I expected that it would only work when the vehicle is in reverse. However when after reversing against a wall, I put it into Park and it continued to sound. Is this correct, and if so why?? I can see that being very annoying.

Also, the ones at the front didn't seem to do anything when I approached a wall to park front first. Do I have to do something to activate them or might they be faulty.

Any advice appreciated.
If the PDS was factory installed prior to '01 (I think) it was only on the back bumper. If that's the right year, then after '01, it was on both front and rear. If it was the part available from a BMW dealer offered as a retrofit, it was offered only for the rear. Of course, this is all US info. Who knows what was avail elsewhere.

It should not continue to sound after placing the car in park.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2005, 04:51 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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hmmm...on my 01 it will continue to beep after placing the car in park, I also have the sensors on the front. take a look at your front bumper, it should look similar to the rear with those four round sensor spots. the sensors will automatically shut off after driving past 5mph I believe, you can always turn it off if it bugs you.
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:17 PM
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King King is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepurpleblob
I was looking at a 525d today with the PDS. I expected that it would only work when the vehicle is in reverse. However when after reversing against a wall, I put it into Park and it continued to sound. Is this correct, and if so why?? I can see that being very annoying.

Also, the ones at the front didn't seem to do anything when I approached a wall to park front first. Do I have to do something to activate them or might they be faulty.

Any advice appreciated.
Okay here's how the PDC works...

It is normally off and will not sound if you are approaching something ahead. However when you put the gear in reverse, it automatically switches ON and will sound when you are approaching something behind you. It will stay ON when you put the car in drive for a short while. This assists in sensing an object both in front and behind you, like when parallel parking for instance!
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:19 PM
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SRFast SRFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepurpleblob
I was looking at a 525d today with the PDS. I expected that it would only work when the vehicle is in reverse. However when after reversing against a wall, I put it into Park and it continued to sound. Is this correct, and if so why?? I can see that being very annoying.

Also, the ones at the front didn't seem to do anything when I approached a wall to park front first. Do I have to do something to activate them or might they be faulty.

Any advice appreciated.

The BMW's Parking Distance Control (PDC) system is activated automatically whenever REVERSE gear is selected. Both the front and rear sensors are active when the system is engaged. The system automatically deactivates when the vehicle moves forward approx. 160 ft or exceeds 20 MPH. The PDC system can also be activated/deactivated manually via a dash mounted PDC switch. Most models have front and rear sensors, but the 3 series has only rear sensors. BTW, the tone of the front and rear distance "beep" is different. Addressing your last question, since the PDC is not always active, it will not beep unless the car has been put in reverse or the dash switch is depressed.

Hope this helps...JL
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Old 07-23-2005, 08:50 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketchup
hmmm...on my 01 it will continue to beep after placing the car in park, I also have the sensors on the front.
Thats weird, the PDC on my X5 doesnt sound after the car is put in... ohh wait.. it DOES! But I guess I am usually so close to taking the key out that I'd forgotten! Ah HAH!

Ok, so on to the front vs rear. Does ANYone remember that BMW offered a retrofit kit for E39's that was avail only for the rear? I just caught that he has a 525, so that *could* mean it's at least an '01 unless that model was avail earlier in Europe.

My last comment on PDC is that it makes for worse drivers. Now, when I'm in the E46 or E39 (both w/o), I almost always get WAYYY tooo close waiting for the beep like in the X. Oddly, that doesnt happen when I'm in the '02.
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:45 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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20 MPH? I forget how fast these cars reach 20mph..i just figured it would go off the same time your doors would lock, if you have that programming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PropellerHead
My last comment on PDC is that it makes for worse drivers. Now, when I'm in the E46 or E39 (both w/o), I almost always get WAYYY tooo close waiting for the beep like in the X. Oddly, that doesnt happen when I'm in the '02.
haha your too spoiled by the pdc, just like me! whenever i'm reversing in another car i'm always waiting for that flatline, til I realize that it isn't equipt with pdc.
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Last edited by ketchup; 07-23-2005 at 10:50 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2005, 06:56 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketchup
20 MPH? I forget how fast these cars reach 20mph..i just figured it would go off the same time your doors would lock, if you have that programming.
Thats when my turns off. The light on the dash goes off at exactly the same time.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:43 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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back to the auto doors, sometimes after I stop and unlock the doors, they don't re-lock after I drive off again (i.e. after I drop someone off.) It will work once in a while but most of the time they will not re-lock.
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