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What Does BSM Mean On A Car: And Why Does It Matter?

by Jordan Harris

As a car owner, you would have stumbled upon several letters and acronyms in your car, which all have different meanings. You are in the right place if you have seen BSM on your vehicle and don’t know what it means. What does BSM mean on a car, how does it work, and how does it make driving easier for car owners?

BSM means Blind Spot Monitoring; it is a safety system that covers areas you can not see comfortably while driving. It monitors areas next to or at the back of the car, so when a vehicle appears behind you, it appears on the BSM, and you make the next decision. 

On Volvo, it is called Blind Spot Information System. For GM cars, it is called Side Blind Zone Alert. If you use Mercedes Benz, BSM is called Active Blind Spot Assist. Volvo introduced the blind spot monitors in the US with its 2005 Volvo S60, V70, and XC70. Only luxury cars had it then, but now, the feature is standard for most cars. Now that you know what BSM means, how does it work?

How BSM Works

The primary function of the BSM is to detect vehicles or any obstacles coming behind or adjacent to you that you can’t see comfortably. It has a radar that analyzes every part of the road. Its radar detects incoming cars from 10 feet away to prevent danger and accidents. Once any vehicle begins to move closer to your car than usual on the road, the BSM will alert you so that you can quickly turn or give the other car space to pass. The BSM makes driving easier and safer.

BSM Meaning

BSM means Blind Spot Monitoring. It is a safety feature designed in modern-day vehicles to analyze the road and detect how close other cars are to yours in case you want to make a turn. The system reduces the likelihood of accidents due to turn-making while other cars are close, sudden stops, and lane changing.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car

Blind Spot Monitor

All cars have blind spots, areas you can not see by looking at the rearview or side mirror. The blind spot is the main reason you turn your head and look back to see if any vehicle is close to you before you change lanes. Instead of turning around anytime you want to make a turn or change lanes, the Blind Spot Monitor is here to help you detect vehicles and obstacles as close as 10 feet.

A blind Spot Monitor prevents you from running into another car in the same direction but a lane next to you. Some BSM only detect cars and vehicles, while others can detect other road obstacles.

Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor

An aftermarket blind spot monitor prevents you and your passengers from possible road hazards. The system offers benefits such as;

What Does BSM Mean On A Car, Benefits: #1. Increasing Driving Awareness

There is a limit to what you can see at once while driving, and blind spot monitor functions to cover extra lanes and positions. The aftermarket blind spot monitor helps you monitor areas you can’t see while driving.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car, Benefits: #2. Improved Vision For Large Cars

Looking back while driving to see other vehicles before making a turn or changing lanes can be very difficult if you drive full-size SUVs and large trucks. The blind spot monitor reduces stress by helping you track unseen areas around your vehicle.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car, Benefits: #3. Helps To Prevent Accidents

Once the blind spot alerts you about a car close to you so that you can make a turn at the right time and to the right lane, it prevents accidents. The likelihood of accidents and crashes will reduce based on the fact that you already know when to make a turn due to the information you got from the blind spot monitor.

Blind Spot

Features Of Aftermarket Blind Spot Monitor

Aftermarket blind spot monitors are not as popular as factory-made ones. However, several people will adopt this as more brands join the market. The brand can provide you with custom-made kits that fit your make and model of vehicle. The feature you will find in the aftermarket blind spot monitor includes the following;

What Does BSM Mean On A Car, Features: #1. Sensor

The sensor is the eye of the BSM. It consists of several technologies to monitor road hazards. Radar, lidar, and sonar can track objects and vehicles from afar. Some install cameras into the side mirror, which passes information to the computer. Once the sensor detects anything while you are at high speed, it will trigger the indicator to know what to do next. Note that you need two sensors to monitor both sides.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car, Features: #2. Indicator

The indicator is as important as the sensor. Without it, you won’t be able to know that the sensor detected any possible or close-by danger. There are different types of indicators, but aftermarket BSM kits come with visual lights and an alarm that gives you notifications from time to time. The volume of the indicator also passes some messages across to the driver.

How To Choose An Aftermarket Blind Spot For Your Car

Most aftermarket blind spot monitor systems are compatible with most cars, irrespective of the make and model. Most of the aftermarket BSM kits have the same feature but different indicators. You can choose the visual signals or audio ones, just make sure you do your research and pick the one that’s best for you.

Blind Spot Driving

The rear view and side mirrors on your car can show you everything going around your car on the road. However, some areas are not visible to the mirrors; they are called blind spots. Blind spots vary from vehicle to vehicle. Large cars and trucks have bigger blind spots. Make sure you see their mirrors and there is enough room between you two before you overtake them.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car

Blind Spot Detection

As a driver, you should assess the vehicles around you before you make a turn or change lanes. You can do this by checking the rear view over your shoulders and side mirrors. However, there are still spots that you won’t get a clear view of. You won’t be able to get a clear picture of the back of your car, hence, the possibility of danger.

But to prevent collision and road hazards, blind spot detection will alert you. A blind spot detection system prevents or reduces road accidents during turn-making or lane changes by checking every dangerous blind spot area. The system notifies you of a vehicle coming behind you and high speed through corner radar sensors.

How Blind Spot Detection Works

There is a basic variant of the blind spot. You can install it using ultrasonic or corner radar sensors. The radar sensors monitor the blind spots and notify the driver of possible danger through warning signs in the blind spot. If the sensors notify the driver and they ignore the warning, the sensor can also trigger another mode of notification.

The sensor can detect objects stationary on the road, such as masts, parked vehicles, or guardrails. There is an advanced alternative to blind spot detection that uses two corner radar sensors installed in the rear bumper, one on each side.

The two sensors track every movement around and behind the vehicle, and quality software shows the complete picture of everything behind your car.

Best Blind Spot Mirrors

As a car owner, one of the most dangerous situations while driving is taking a turn or changing lanes without assessing the vehicle in your blind spot. This is why you should adjust the rearview and side mirrors to monitor the blind spot; however, not all cars have mirrors that can capture every detail on the road.

Getting a blind spot mirror will be of great help, they cost a few dollars, and you will get value for your money. Below are some of the best blind spot mirrors;

What Does BSM Mean On A Car

1. Marlbston Blind Spot Mirror

Marlbston Blind Spot Mirror is one of the best, if not the best, in the market. Manufacturers designed it to work with any make and model of vehicle, including cars, golf carts, compact and full-size SUVs, and cars. It is an adjustable blind spot mirror with 360-degree swivel rotation and 30 degrees of sway to aid a clear view for the driver on the road. This 2.0-inch frameless blind spot mirror has a lifetime warranty and a convex angle.

Marlbston Blind Spot Mirror is Ingress Protection Code 65. It is waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and won’t get blurry. It comes with a 3M adhesive (speaking of, check out our guide on how to remove bumper stickers) that makes the installation very easy. Also, it has a 5 out of 5 in visibility, ease of installation, and durability.

2. Utopicar Blind Spot Mirrors

The UtopiCar blind spot is designed to look and function like an OEM-made. A frameless mirror provides the clearest view around or behind your car. One thing about this mirror is that the images you see inside it are three times bigger than what you will see in regular mirrors or blind spots, making the picture clearer.

It is only available in rectangle shape, has highly reflective silver films, and is designed mainly to improve how clear you see what’s going on around and behind your car. It comes with a Convex lens and water-rated 3M adhesive to aid easy and quick installation and firmness to the wing mirrors.

Also, the UtopiCar blind spot mirror is durable. It got 4.5 out of 5 for durability, got 5 for visibility, and 5 for ease of installation.

3. AmFor Blind Spot Mirror

The AmFor Blind Spot Mirror is one of the most durable and people’s favorite mirrors. It comes with an adhesive that holds it firmly to the side mirror, and it has a 360-degree adjustable mounting bracket to improve your vision while driving. The advantage of getting the AmFor is that it is available in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose which is best for your car.

Manufacturers designed this blind spot mirror for all makes and models of cars; it has a versatile convex that improves your vision on the road. The AmFor Mirror is waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and won’t get blurry. The 3M adhesive also ensures that it lasts for a long time.

It is clearly defined in the user manual that you can use the mirror internally and externally or even as a rearview mirror. It got a 4.5 score out of 5 for durability, visibility, and ease of installation.

4. Ampper Blind Spot

The Ampper Blind Spot will give you the most value for every penny you spend. It is available in a versatile convex shape to give you a better vision of your surroundings when you are behind the wheel. It has an adjustable swiveling mounting bracket that aids a 360 degrees rotation and sways adjustment. The Ampper Blind Spot is frameless, yet you have the clearest range of view.

Ampper Blind Spot comes with a 3M adhesive to ensure easy installation and keep the mirror in its position for a long time. This mirror is IP65 waterproof and corrosion resistant, and the mirror won’t get blurry. It is the best blind spot mirror for cars, compact and full-size SUVs, trucks, RVs, and ATVs, but it is not suitable for motorcycles. With a 4.0 out of 5.0 durability score, 4.5 for visibility, and 4.5 for ease of installation, Ampper is one of the best.

5. LivTee Blind Spot Mirror

The LivTee Blind Spot mirror is a 2.0-inch mirror with a convex lens curvature. It is frameless, aiding how clear you see your blind spots while driving. It has a 360-degree rotation and sway adjustment feature and is suitable for cars, vans, trucks, and SUVs. Also, it is IP65 waterproof, corrosion resistant, and won’t get blurry, aiding its durability. It scored 4 out of 5 for durability and 4.5 for visibility.

Cars With Blind Spot Detection

If you are just getting a new car, blind spot monitoring is one of the features you should look out for on whichever car you want to buy. BSM varies from car to car; they vary in size and shape, too but below are the vehicles that have the best BSM feature;

  • Toyota Prius
  • Nissan Sentra
  • BMW 2 Series
  • Audi A3
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Mercedes Benz A-class
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Accord
  • Kia Stinger

Blind Spot Assist Inoperative

If the blind spot assist of your car is not functioning and you don’t know why below are some of the causes;

  • High temperature
  • Dirty radar sensors in the rear bumper
  • You are driving very close to lane crash dividers
  • Moving close to a truck for an extended period

To fix inoperative blindspot issues, first of all, restart your car. If you are driving in the rain, restart your car when the rain stops, also reset the warning light. If the blind spot assist still won’t work after all these, the sensor has blown, so you must replace it.

Types Of Blind Spot

You can choose from different blind spot mirrors, but they all perform similar functions. The mirror will show the light at the back of your vehicle, giving you a clear view of what’s in your blind spot. Below are the types of blind spots;

What Does BSM Mean On A Car: #1. Stick-On Blind Spot Mirrors

Stick-on blind spot mirrors are the most popular. They are very easy to install. Once you remove the backing, you must glue it to the side view mirrors.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car: #2. Clip-On Blind Spot Mirrors

The clip-on blind spot mirrors are similar to the stick-on mirrors. However, you clip the clip-on mirror to the side view mirror instead of sticking it. The clipping process can be a little bit difficult, but the mirror will stay firm.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car: #3. Rearview Mirror Blind Spot Mirrors

These are the blind spot mirrors you install inside your rearview mirror. The installation process is easy but can confuse many drivers.

What Does BSM Mean On A Car: #4. Window-Mounted Blind Spot Mirrors

Window-mounted blind spot mirrors are installed outside your car like others. However, they are attached to your vehicle with suction cups.

FAQs On What Does BSM Mean On A Car

Where To Put Blind Spot Mirrors

Where to locate the blind spot mirrors varies from person to person, but generally, it should be in the outside corner of the mirror to get the best view of everything around your car. You can also install your blind spot mirrors above the side mirrors. If you drive in an urban area accustomed to frequent lane changes, installing blind spots on both sides will help. If you mostly drive on a 2-lane road, you can install a blind spot mirror on the left side.

What Is BSM In A Car

BSM means Blind Spot Monitor, a system that tracks and monitors everything going on around and behind your vehicle. The BSM gives you a clear view of the vehicle beside and behind you if you want to make a turn or change lanes.

What Is A Blind Spot In Driving

While driving, the blind spot is an area you can not see comfortably, even through the side mirrors. Your side mirrors give you a view of what’s happening around your car, sometimes far away, but the view you are getting from the mirror is incomplete.

How To Check Blind Spots

Check your blind spot before leaving a stationary position. Examine the blind spot on your right side by checking your right shoulder, and then you can zoom off. Check blind spots before you change lanes, check your left and right mirrors, and look over your left and right shoulders before you change lanes.

Can You Add Blind Spot Monitoring To A Car

If your car does not have a blind spot monitoring system, you can install it. Many aftermarket blind spot mirrors are designed to fit different vehicles. Get one of them and install it on your car. The BSM will reduce the likelihood of road accidents by giving you a clear view of everything going on around and behind your vehicle before you turn or change lanes.

Where Are Blind Spots In A Car

You will most likely find blind spots at every angle around cars, but they vary in size, location, and vehicle make and model. However, you will find the main blind spots in the front, on the sides, at the back of the windshield poles of the car, and in the rear.

What Is Blind Spot Monitor

While you are driving, you can not actively be aware of everything going on around your car, no matter how careful you are. Sometimes you will need to turn your neck and look backward and sideways before you make a turn or change lanes. To be free from this kind of stress, the blind spot monitor is the assist system you need. The blind spot monitor tracks, monitors, and gives you a clear view of everything going on around and behind your car. This system prevents accidents and all road hazards caused by turn-taking and lane changing.

How To Install Blind Spot Mirror

First of all, purchase an affordable but quality blind spot mirror from a local auto shop. Most blind spots have a sticky surface that holds it firmly to the mirror; make sure your side view mirror is free from water and dirt so the blind spot mirror will glue well. Get a glass cleaner or paper towel to clean the mirror, and make sure the mirror is dry and clean. Choose the top outside corner or lower outside corner of the side view mirror to install the blind spot mirror. Pill off the paper backing of the blind spot mirror and glue it to your car mirror. Make it a habit to adjust your mirrors before you drive, and check your mirror frequently while driving before you take a turn or change lanes.

What Does BSM Off Mean

The BSM off means there is an issue with the blind spot system. You get to know about this from the indicator light. If the light does not go off, it’s time to inspect your car. The BSM off light comes on when dirt, snow, or debris is on the rear bumper close to the radar sensor. The BSM off notification will pop up if you frequently drive in a snowy area. If there is an extremely hot temperature close to the radar sensor, it will trigger the BSM off alert.

Is Blind Spot Monitoring Worth It

Blind-spot monitoring is an excellent investment for any car owner. 10% of vehicle accidents are due to wrong lane changing. When you install the BSM system on your car, the likelihood of road accidents will reduce. It will help you monitor what’s going on around your vehicle before you switch lanes or move left or right.

Conclusion On What Does BSM Mean On A Car

BSM on your car means Blind Spot Monitoring. It is a system that monitors and gives you a clear view of every other vehicle beside or behind you while you drive. It reduces accidents and helps you decide when to turn or switch lanes.

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