Our Cars: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi n-tec

27 February 2015: Parking sensor meltdown

The Details

Current mileage 5175
Claimed economy 74.3mpg
Actual economy 50.4mpg

My Qashqai has a glitch. I first heard about it before I even got the car, when photographer Matt Vosper took delivery of the Qashqai to do its official start-of-term snaps. “The parking sensors keep going mental,” he said. Or words to that effect.  

They still keep going mental. Front and rear parking sensors linked to cameras are part of our car’s n-tec+ specification and usually they’re great – anyone that’s spent any time with parking sensors will know that once they’re gone, they’re generally missed.

I don’t think I’ll miss these ones though. They’re like a very nervous, slightly loopy grandma sat in the passenger seat, constantly alerting you of any danger that may or may not be about to befall you, as though you don’t have any eyes, ears, arms, legs or a brain of your own.

Approach a queue of traffic: BEEEEEP! Slow down for a roundabout: BEEEEEEP! Put the car in reverse: BEEEEEEEEP! Drive through a KFC Drive-Thru: BEEEEEEEEP! I reckon I could park this thing on the underside of the moon and it would still think it was about to crash into something. BEEEEEEP!

Park MN

                                                A parking sensor yesterday. Exciting.

This is not a constant problem. In fact, it’s the arbitrary nature of the malfunction that’s most annoying. It’s not like the sensors go off whenever the car is close to something at low speed, which would make sense, rather that the grating beep tends to happen in really random fashion. Thankfully, the parking sensors and camera always actually work when parking.

I’ve even wiped the sensors – making them the only part of the car that’s ever been washed by me so far – to make sure it’s not a coating of muck that’s confusing them, which would be a fundamental design flaw, but worth trying. It’s not that.

The issue is in stark opposition to the one I’m having with the start/stop system, which remains utterly bone idle. The contrast is quite comical: one system is prone to loud and inappropriate outbursts, while another can barely even muster the enthusiasm to prove it’s still functioning. It’s like a night out with Russell Brand and Thom Yorke.

I really should get these things fixed, but they’re not terrible problems and everything else is going so well. Okay then, I’ll get these things fixed. 

« Earlier: This product works just fine     Later: Touching moments »

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27 February 2015: Parking sensor meltdown
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