6 car safety sensors to clean this winter

Winter driving can make your car filthy with dirt, salt, snow, and ice — and it can be dangerous. If you have a newer car, Consumer Reports says you’ll likely need to keep the sensors and cameras clean to make sure they operate properly when you need them most.

All the salt, spray, snow and road grime that gets onto a vehicle in the wintertime can obscure the radars and the cameras and the different sensors that you use for your safety systems. While it doesn’t mean that they won’t work all the time, they may not be there when you most need them.

With a bucket of water and a little soap, here’s how to give your safety sensors a little extra care in the winter:

  • Backup camera – find the exposed camera, wipe away any dirt, mud or salt.
  • Parking assist – wipe away any debris from the bumper sensors.
  • Blind spot monitoring radars Remove snow and salt from the rear body panels so the sensors can continue to detect objects out of your view.
  • Radar sensors behind the front grille – keep that area clean of impacted snow.
  • Forward collision or lane departure warning – you’ll need to pay extra attention to the windshield where the camera and sensors are usually mounted. Make sure that they’re clean before you start driving.
  • 360 degree camera system are on some vehicles, usually they are on the mirror area. Youre gonna want to reach under here make sure that these are clean just like the front and rear cameras.

Others things you should do in the winter? Show your tires some extra love as well. Check your tire pressure monthly and look at the tire treads. And of course, always keep a full tank of gas.


Consumer Reports TV News® is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. All rights reserved.

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