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2014 Mazda5 Sport: Tom's Hardware's Project Car Update

Blind Spot Monitoring System Installation Continued

Next came the LED indicators. Goshers includes double-sided sticky tape for anyone afraid of commitment. But we went the permanent route and installed the indicators on the A-pillars. This required removing the A-pillar trim and drilling a hole into it. The indicators were fitted the way we wanted them and secured with hot glue on the back side. The LEDs only have two wires, and as you might imagine, they're pretty easy to wire from the driver's to passenger's side of the car.

The last major step requires tapping the turn signal wires so that the control module knows when you're changing lanes. Again, this shouldn't be too challenging. Access to the rear tail lamps is available through the trunk or rear quarter panels on most cars. In our Mazda5, we popped the tail light off and traced the turn signal wires back, tapping into them on each side.

Finally, we had to make sure the complete system, installed, still worked. It did, freeing us up to perform a little cable management. We tucked the control module and its wiring into the same quarter panel where Mazda stores the emergency jack. The module was secured using Velcro in case we needed to tweak its sensitivity settings.

After a test drive (and several subsequent months of use), I'm happy to report that Goshers' blind spot monitor works well. There is one caveat: the system is sensitive, even on its most conservative setting. I've noticed that the system will detect hollow light posts as objects in the blind spot. Otherwise, it's pretty accurate with vehicle detection.

The way my side mirrors are positioned, the blind spot monitor kicks in once I can no longer see the car next to me. The Mazda5 is small, so when the monitor trips an alert, I can typically spot the obstacle with a quick head check. That's not to say Goshers' solution isn't necessary in a more compact vehicle. It doesn't offer as much utility as it might in a more massive ride, but I do appreciate the extra layer of protection.

When it comes to crossovers, pick-ups, big sedans or mini-vans, blind spot detection is even more useful. The system's price tag is reasonable and it performs well. Proper installation is imperative of course, so it'd probably be best to have a professional tackle the process before you start drilling into your bumper.