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Tip to know how far in to pull when parking front end in first

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Andyw2100, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    #1 Andyw2100, Jan 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
    As a new Model S driver, I've been terrified of scratching my rims. I actually have not parallel parked anywhere yet, and will probably continue to avoid parallel parking as much as possible, out of fear of damaging my wheels. (And I've always been reasonably good at parallel parking.) And yes, I know that the mirrors tilt down, and I do have them set that way. I'll parallel park when I have to--carefully.

    But I now have an even greater fear. That is the fear of damage to the front end of the car from pulling in too far when parking, and then either parking over something and having the car settle down on top of it, or just ramming something as I pull in. The other night I parked and after doing so realized that I had parked with the front end extending a good foot over the curb, and clearing it by perhaps an inch! I immediately got back in the car and backed up, not wanting to take the chance that the car would settle onto the curb. But I realized that I could easily have just rammed the curb, not even realizing that my front end would not clear it. I just am not used to driving a car that is so low to the ground in the front. I really fear that at some point I am not going to be thinking about it and make a critical mistake while parking.

    OK, all that said, how to solve this dilemma of parking properly when we actually are thinking about it? The car is long too, not just low, so we don't want to stick out the back end of the spot, and risk being hit in the rear. We want to pull in as far as we safely can. Well, I found a tip in another thread, that I have not seen talked about much, that I found works really well. I thought I'd share it, in the hope that it helps other new Model S drivers, or others who just may not have seen it. The tip was posted, by user caddieo, who said he had picked it up some time before from "the depths of the forum. Here's that post: Parking with auto-leveling suspension - Page 3

    Anyway, the idea is that you gauge how far to pull in by watching for the front (the curb, the paint-marker, etc.) of the adjacent spot to your left to appear below your driver's side mirror. Depending on your height and driving position, you should then have either a little or perhaps almost no room left to pull forward yourself. The nice thing is that you can practice this, and "calibrate" so to speak, by just going to an empty few parking spots and trying it. Pull in slowly, stop when you see the first hint of the adjacent line just begin to appear under your mirror, get out, see how close you are to the front of your spot, and then you will know for the future how much further you can pull forward once you see the adjacent parallel front marker appear.

    Now that I have learned this trick, I am confident that I am parking well, as long as I am thinking about it. I am still worried, though, that at some point I will just forget how low to the ground the car is and pull in too far without thinking. Unfortunately I don't think there's any tip to help with that. If anyone has one, feel free to share it!

    Edit: Thinking about this a little more, after responding below, I realized that very small adjustments might have to be made if you have the air suspension and are parking when the car is at varying heights. But if you calibrate at "Standard" height and then pull in to the parking spot at "Standard" height, the distance remaining will always be the same.
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Practice makes perfect, and congrats on your new Model S!

    Preferably as you mention, practice in an empty or mostly empty parking lot. While in the driver's seat, you can also look over the frunk to see the car's left line and use that to estimate where the front is, or use the parking sensors (if you have them) to help you park with enough space left in the front.

    Thanks for the tips.
     
  3. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome.

    The parking sensors may or may not pick up a curb or one of those concrete stoppers, but they definitely can't help when you're just trying to pull all the way in to a painted spot. What I liked about this method is that there is no real estimating involved. Once you know the distance based on your line of vision, it won't change (provided you don't grow, shrink, or change how you sit.)
     
  4. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    I'm apparently just a little too tall, because when I can see the line, I'm about 2 inches too far. Still a very useful tip.
     
  5. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you can adjust with some sort of measured slouch. I'm serious. If you can figure out a way to slouch a certain amount consistently, you could then calibrate off of that position.

    A more drastic approach, but one that may work, since it might not take much adjustment at all, since we're only talking two inches too close for the front end, would be to think about possibly lowering both your seat and the steering wheel a hair, or extending them both out a hair further. It really could take very minimal adjustments to your seat position to "fix" those two inches, I would think.

    Then again, what do I know. Just throwing out ideas...
     
  6. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    On my "Classic" Signature S85 I added artsci's excellent front camera switch kit.... so I have a perfect 180° visual of the front. Especially since I have no park distance sensor. You might consider adding the front camera. I love the secure feeling seeing exactly what is around my car.
     
  7. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    We think alike. That was exactly my planned solution.
     
  8. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    Andy great idea. I'll try it.
    So far I always park on "very high" and have the rim guards from Evannex.
     
  9. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but I can't take credit for it. I'm just passing it along, because I liked it and thought it warranted higher visibility.

    As for parking on "very high" you have read about the fact that the car can settle, right, resulting in the car then getting caught on something that it cleared when you parked. If not, I'd advise you to search some threads on that topic. The general consensus seems to be not to park over anything with raised suspension, because of the "settling" issue.
     
  10. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    This. The front camera removes all doubt about how close you can get. It's really a great addition and you can exactly what's in front of the bumper. It's a little pricey (upwards of $700 if you install it yourself).. but it's worth it.

    Front-rear camera touchscreen parking protection switch kit reservations
     
  11. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Since the autopilot enabled cars already have a front camera, it's not outside the realm of possibility that at some point Tesla will enable it for some sort of parking assistance or something. Personally I'm not inclined to add another camera, or try to rig something up to get the one that is there now throwing images onto the screen, if there's a chance Tesla enables that functionality in an even better way through a software update in a few months.

    I might feel differently if I didn't already have a front-facing camera.

    In any case, I was just passing along a tip.
     
  12. JKW

    JKW Member

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    Great tip, it works for me, thanks
     
  13. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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  14. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    #14 Andyw2100, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    Thanks for the link to that thread. That's also an interesting idea, that would help some of the time.

    What I also learned in that thread is that caddieo, who I credited in my first post as the person who I saw post this idea, but who had said he had read it some time ago in the forums, actually may have been responsible for it. Here's what he posted there, so you be the judge:

    Here's what he had said that caused me to give him only partial credit. Apparently he was just being modest. He deserves full credit for the idea!

     
  15. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    #15 HankLloydRight, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    The thing is that the auto-pilot front facing camera is mounted in front of the rear-view mirror giving a good view of the road ahead. I'm not sure from that height and that angle it would help much at all with pulling into a parking space to see how far you have to go before hitting a curb.. the viewing position isn't that much different than your own eyes, just a few inches higher isn't really going to see a curb in front of the nosecone.

    The front facing camera kit installs the camera right below the nosecone, so you can see with incredible detail exactly where your bumper is with respect to the curb.

    Here's an example pic from Artsci..
    attachment.php?attachmentid=54822&d=1406461632.jpg
     
  16. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    After seeing that pic, and others in the thread referenced above, I realized what you just pointed out. I can definitely see the benefit of the camera system you guys have.
     
  17. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    I agree and wouldn't mind getting rid of my crude guesstimate technique. However, I have practically no DIY electrical skills and live in the Tesla boonies with no information about reliable electrical help. I can handle the equipment expense but would hate to have the electrical innards of the car (not to mention the interior surfaces) messed up by somebody who has never done it before.
     
  18. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Your "crude guesstimate technique" was the reason I started this thread, and many people, myself included, are appreciative of your technique. It works quite well. Thank you!
     

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