I can't park any more

I can't park any more

Author
Discussion

Wusss

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Monday 12th April
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Personally, I'm blaming it on really bad mirrors on more modern cars, but...
Used to be ace at reversing round corners, back into tight spaces, through gate posts, etc (to be fair never been great at parallel into tight spaces). Always reversed on mirrors too. Now can't even see the darn kerb or lines or other things /cars to line up with, and the mirrors indicate that I'm parallel when I'm not, and skewed when I am actually parallel. (Not just me, my co-driver can't do it any better either.)
Where do I go to get help /advice /training on how to do it the 'modern' way (if there is such a thing)? I need a 'how to park' course.
I don't (yet) have reversing or parking cameras. Don't want 'em either: just want to feel like I can drive again. It's getting embarrassing!

Levin

1,406 posts

91 months

Tuesday 13th April
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When did you notice a decline in your parking ability, and does it correspond with a change of car? I know nothing about your life but COVID has done a number on us all: if you haven't been driving much in the better part of a year I wouldn't be surprised to discover your parking has declined, and there's nothing wrong with that.

If it corresponds with a change of car it may be worthwhile adjusting the mirrors, or how you sit within the car. I've not driven anything brand spanking new, but I would have assumed newer cars tend to have better and better mirrors than ever before. The facelifted version of my car has different mirrors to the pre-facelift and, I assume, are better by being bigger and less rounded. Some cars also have a setting allowing the mirror to tilt downwards when reverse is engaged. Depending on your car this might be a good thing for you, if your car is so equipped.

If you would like training and to be reacquainted with the art of parking, I imagine a local instructor would be willing to help. Give one of them a ring, explain your situation (perhaps even blame it on COVID), and I'm sure they'd be willing to take an hour with you. I'll also recommend a video from Reg Local, another PistonHeads user and advanced driving instructor, found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGwmWYDjG6k

Reg's videos are excellent, so give it a look and see. There are a few overhead drone shots included which are a great way to visualise positioning of the car.

S. Gonzales Esq.

2,512 posts

179 months

Tuesday 13th April
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This might be worth a try, if it's available in your area:

https://www.iamroadsmart.com/courses/on-road-modul...

Edited by S. Gonzales Esq. on Wednesday 14th April 15:06

Wusss

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Tuesday 13th April
quotequote all
Thanks. Sadly, my decline was well before Covid. In fact, I've driven more last summer and again recently than I used to before!
It has shown up on a mk7 Fiesta, bought 3+ years ago, on which the mirrors are really, really bad for reversing and manoeuvring on (and driving in heavy lane-changing & joining traffic too), at least IMHO (and those of my trusty co driver).
But cars have just changed a lot and 'modern' ones are much harder for me to drive and see in and from all round, especially for someone fairly short whose back and neck demand a low seat adjustment in all 'modern' cars so far tried.
I can manoeuvre the much bigger, older, Skoda estate on mirrors a lot better.

I have indeed decided to get a 'maturing driver' IAM session and /or some tips from a local driving instructor, once it's safe again (it ever is). I also hope that by then I'll have a Focus ST which I'll be used to (and from the test drive today at least has better mirrors where I can actually see the kerb).cool

sociopath

1,712 posts

33 months

Tuesday 13th April
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I've always considered myself a good oarker, but can't get on with the wife's Peugeot 3008. The wing mirrors never agree with the reversing camera, and I think the fact the back is wider than the front confuses everything.

I've reverted to looking over my shoulder all the time

Chromegrill

491 posts

53 months

Tuesday 13th April
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Wusss said:
Thanks. Sadly, my decline was well before Covid. In fact, I've driven more last summer and again recently than I used to before!
It has shown up on a mk7 Fiesta, bought 3+ years ago, on which the mirrors are really, really bad for reversing and manoeuvring on (and driving in heavy lane-changing & joining traffic too), at least IMHO (and those of my trusty co driver).
But cars have just changed a lot and 'modern' ones are much harder for me to drive and see in and from all round, especially for someone fairly short whose back and neck demand a low seat adjustment in all 'modern' cars so far tried.
I can manoeuvre the much bigger, older, Skoda estate on mirrors a lot better.

I have indeed decided to get a 'maturing driver' IAM session and /or some tips from a local driving instructor, once it's safe again (it ever is). I also hope that by then I'll have a Focus ST which I'll be used to (and from the test drive today at least has better mirrors where I can actually see the kerb).cool
Not surprised you are struggling to park in a car that's wider than a Ford Sierra! You may have landed on the wrong thread, see the one about new cars dwarfing older models.....

Failing that there are a number of options available to you including reversing sensors and reversing cameras (both of which should be quite easily retrofitted to almost any car if yours doesn't come with them as standard). I think they make a huge difference (especially bog standard sensors - I don't find cameras so easy in the absence of beepers, maybe I simply don't believe they are showing me that it's all clear back there!)

Or buy one of the latest all singing all dancing cars that parks itself at the touch of a button. I expect however the designers take advantage of such features to deliberately design the rear visibility to be worse than appalling, which is fine until the day the tech breaks down and you're on your own....

Wusss

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Tuesday 13th April
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Modern parking thingies? Pah!!! I refuse to be defeated.
That IAM parking course linked above looks good though, will go for that, if available.


romeogolf

1,951 posts

86 months

Wednesday 14th April
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sociopath said:
I've always considered myself a good oarker, but can't get on with the wife's Peugeot 3008. The wing mirrors never agree with the reversing camera, and I think the fact the back is wider than the front confuses everything.

I've reverted to looking over my shoulder all the time
I have similar trouble with my partner's Renault Zoe. The reversing camera is aligned to one side of the car and the "guide lines" aren't evenly spaced. To be neatly between the lines one guide line should be ON the white line and the other miles off it.

I go old school and park by mirrors alone.

anthony281

8 posts

2 months

Wednesday 26th May
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My parking has also gotten worse since the lockdown.

untakenname

3,727 posts

159 months

Wednesday 26th May
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My parking has steadily deteriorated over the years since moving from a house with an uphill driveway that was only a few inches wider than the car, spaces which I'd once be able to get into with ease now take a lot of shuffling have three cars doesn't help as each car is totally different to park.

I had a work car years back where the wing mirror tilted downwards when reverse was engaged which I found very helpful as to not kerb the allows, not sure why it isn't more commonplace.

The 360 birds eye view on cars like the Nissan Juke is quite useful, much more so than just a sole reversing camera.

Wusss

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Wednesday 26th May
quotequote all
Well, not that I'm in any way yet good at it, but I'm definitely concluding that mirrors are a major issue. Swapped my Mk7 Fiesta for a (much bigger) Mk2 Focus ST, and it's soooooooo much easier to reverse into spaces (including tightly next to an extremely nice looking and therefore even more expensive 400 Jag the other day) and round corners and onto the drive.
Sitting lower in the car, too: but also easier to turn my head when I need to.
Once it stops raining, I'll go out for more practice...

wyson

71 posts

71 months

Tuesday 15th June
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Figure out a formula for your current car and stick to it.

So if parallel parking always try to position your car in the same way each time. Drive past the empty space by the same amount. Position your car about arms length from any existing parked cars. Use the features of your car, eg. line up the C pillar to the start of the empty space. Reverse in at a constant speed. Turn your steering wheel.

Keep practising. Literally spend an afternoon on it. Figure out a formula that will work for your car and then apply it consistently. The next day, practice again in the evening. And keep practising until you are comfortable.

Generally works for most cars and situations. Occasionally get thrown off if parked behind a very wide (panel van) or very small vehicle.

Another rule I stick to is to always turn my steering wheel lock to lock. The positioning of my car is based off that, and then the only real variable is when to wind off the lock.

Edited by wyson on Tuesday 15th June 22:41

stevensdrs

2,828 posts

167 months

Tuesday 15th June
quotequote all
You could buy blindspot mirrors which mount on top of your existing mirrors and angle them downwards so they show the rear wheels and nearby kerbs. I used these to help learner drivers to parallel park and reverse around corners. I have left them on the Fiesta which the wife now drives.

Boosted LS1

20,041 posts

227 months

Tuesday 15th June
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I don't use any mirrors. I just look at the car behind, aim for the spot, straighten up and somehow sort it out.

Majorslow

996 posts

96 months

Thursday 17th June
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Wuss,

I am an ADI.

Where do you live? If anywhere near New Forest/Southampton I may be able to help

cheers smile

MikeStroud

3,095 posts

61 months

Thursday 17th June
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Wusss said:
... and the mirrors indicate that I'm parallel when I'm not, and skewed when I am actually parallel. ...
I've always managed to reverse park spot on first time except in a Jaguar XF. I wonder if it's because the door mirrors are curved to cover the blind spot a bit and so when looking at the parking space lines in them the gap at the back of the car looks the same as that at the front but isn't due to the curve on the mirror. Everytime I think I'm perfectly parked then get out and find I'm 6" askew.

The XF does have a feature where when you select reverse the door mirror on the passenger side points down so you can see the kerb/line so no excuse really. Plus the reversing sensors and camera etc, but I'm used to using mirrors. I need to train myself to ignore the mirrors and rely on the cameras instead.

Boosted LS1

20,041 posts

227 months

Thursday 17th June
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^ All that nonsense does is handicap people. Without it millions of people have been reverse parking without tech complicating things.

Wusss

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Friday 18th June
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I'm nowhere near New Forest, thanks for the offer (well 'up North', I am).
I agree about the curved mirrors, etc - it really all was so much easier on older cars: and I never found blind spots on them, either.
Blind spot mirrors on new Ines don't really seem to help, have tried them
The new Focus is so much better than the previous Fiesta - just still getting used to it, and practising when I can. At least I can actually see a kerb in the lh mirror now!

fwaggie

1,630 posts

167 months

Sunday 20th June
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I know exactly what you mean. Using reversing cameras I frequently find I've finish parking only to find out the missus has about 2.5 x more space than me to exit.

I would be tempted to find a scrappie somewhere that has L & R mirrors from an old car you found easy to park and then (protecting your current mirrors / paint, etc) duct tape them on (probably need someone else to help and stuff bits of foam behind them to get them in the right orientation) and then go and play.

If it is that, see if you can buy replacement mirror glass that (probably) don't have the distortion that mirrors in current cars have.