CARS.COM — Face it, we’re addicted to gadgets that make our lives easier. Drivers of cars with backup cameras, which display images on a dashboard or mirror screen when the transmission is in Reverse, come to rely heavily on them.
These cameras not only show the way when you’re backing up, but they can save lives, make ham-fisted drivers look like parking champs and help countless motorists survive one of the scariest driving experiences — backing out of a parking space at a shopping mall during the holiday shopping season.
If only they worked as well in foul winter weather as they do on sunny days.
Subzero temperatures can distort the backup camera images shown on dashboard screens or, as some owners report, cause the system to conk out entirely — sometimes just for the first few seconds.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s an Acura, Volvo or any brand in between, owners complain in online forums that their backup cameras suffer winter blues that include blurry, foggy or dark images or faint lines across the dashboard screen during frigid temperatures. Some manufacturers say the cameras can’t handle the cold, but a Nissan spokesman said the LCD dashboard screen is to blame.
Backup cameras are available on a growing number of vehicles and are likely to be required on all new vehicles within a few years, so the complaints from disappointed owners will probably increase.