How to Install a Radar Detector in Your Car

One Methods:Hard Wiring a Radar Detector

Speeding tickets can be an expensive way for drivers to learn that they must slow down. As a result, many drivers have rely on a radar detector to give them advance warning of police activity to avoid a speeding ticket. Radar detectors are small devices mounted in a car to alert drivers whenever a police radar beam passes over their car. Radar detectors listen for broadcasts on the band frequencies that police radar guns use (X, K, or Ka) and give an audible warning and flash a light to alert drivers to slow down. The intensity of the alarm increases with the proximity of the radar beam. Radar detectors come with a variety of options such as cordless models, those that have voice-alert messages, dash-mounted, or high-tech stealth models. You can learn how to install a radar detector in your car, but keep in mind that high-tech stealth model installations can be very involved and should be installed by a professional.

Steps

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    Learn the laws concerning radar detectors in your state and town. Although radar detectors are only strictly illegal in 1 state, several states have passed laws concerning mounting obstructive devices on a windshield. Check your state's laws on windshield mounts before installing a radar detector.
    • Radar detectors are illegal in all commercial vehicles more than 10,000 lbs.
    • Radar detectors are illegal on all U.S. military bases.
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    Radar detectors are illegal in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) and Virginia.
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    Decide how you want to power the radar detector. Radar detectors can be powered with a 12v adapter, AA batteries, or hard wiring.
    • To use a battery-run radar detector, install the required number and size of batteries and mount the detector in the recommended location. Battery-powered detectors have a 40 to 50 percent range when compared to the hard-wired radar detectors.
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    Choose the area to mount the radar detector. Dash- and windshield-mounted radar detectors are the most common types used. However, there are also devices (usually laser detectors) that are mounted near the license plate.
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    Use the suction cups or adhesive provided with the radar detector to mount the detector in the recommended location on the dash or windshield. Be careful the device does not obstruct your vision while driving.
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    Insert the power cord into a cigarette lighter or power-source outlet.
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    Read the manual to operate the radar detector.

Hard Wiring a Radar Detector

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    Use your vehicle manual to find the fuse box on your car and determine whether the fuses are mini fuses or regular-sized fuses. Buy the appropriate add-a-circuit cord.
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    Mount the detector on the windshield or dash. Radar detectors with GPS capabilities need to be mounted as low as possible for clear access to the sky.
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    Run the power cable from the radar detector to the fuse box, tucking the cord in between the dash and the windshield with a flat screwdriver.
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    Install the direct wire smart cord interface (if applicable) to a handy location with the adhesive pieces provided with the radar detector. An ideal location is along the side of the dash. You want to be able to touch the controller easily and quickly as needed.
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    Ground the radar detector at the fuse box by using the provided ring fastener. Find a bolt in the fuse box, unscrew it, slip the ring around the bolt, and refasten.
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    Use a pair of pliers to crimp the add-a-circuit with the positive wire, which is identified by the thin black stripe.
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    Remove the radio fuse from the fuse box, and add it to the add-a-fuse circuit along with the radar detector fuse. Adding a radar detector to the radio fuse allows the radar to be turned on and off with the car's ignition.
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    Plug the add-a-circuit in with the 2 fuses.
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    Test the radar detector's power by turning on the car's ignition.

Things You'll Need

  • Suction cups or adhesive strips
  • Direct wire cord and smart cord
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Add-a-circuit
  • Pliers


Article Info

Categories: Car Electronics