Dangling coiled cords hanging down from your detector to your cigarette lighter are number one ugly and number two you’re using up the accessory plug of your vehicle when you may want to connect another device such as your cell phone.
Because of this you may have been considering direct wiring your radar detector to the fuse box of your car or truck for a more professional install.
During this 5-minute video I walk you through the process of direct wiring your radar detector.
A few basic tools that I would recommend having before you start your project is a wire crimper and a pair of needle nose pliers.
Now to make this project a lot easier I would also recommend that you consider purchasing an add-a-circuit.
These come in various sizes and the most common are ATO and mini fuses.
Your first step is to location of your fuse box, the type of fuses you have and choosing the fuse you will tap into.
The easiest way to do this is Google the year, make and model of your car with the phrase fuse box location.
In our example for our install we typed in 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe fuse box location into Google and here under images we can see where the fuse box is located.
We can also see that the type of fuse used in the mini size and that fuse 1 is the cigarette lighter and power outlet.
The reason we will be choosing this circuit to tap into is because when the engine is turned off, there would be no power to the radar detector.
Now that you have all your tools and equipment ready and know where you’ll be running the direct wire cable to, I recommend starting at the top and working down.
So next we need to choose the location of where we will be placing your radar detector.
This case is not recommended for radar detectors that have internal GPSs, as the roof would block its signal.
However it is a good choice for non-GPS enabled radar detectors such as the Redline, the STi Magnum or the Valentine One when you also want to keep your detector stealth to the eye.
So starting where our detector will be located, you would begin by tucking in your direct wire cord by tucking it under the edge of the headliner running toward the drivers side door.
Then next you would tuck the wire under the rubber trim of our door panel, down towards the fuse box, then under the dash.
If you will use and add-a-circuit during your install you would cut off the electrical spade connector on the red wire, which is the positive power cable.
However if you’re not using the add-a-circuit there will be a blue plastic electrical wiretap in your bag, which you can use to tap into a 12-volt positive line.
Now after cutting off the spade connector you would use your wire crimp tool to connect it to the add-a-fuse.
Next remove the fuse from your fuse box of where you will be plugging in your add a circuit and place it into the number one position of the add-a-circuit plug.
Next take the second fuse supplied with your add-a-circuit and place it into the second slot.
You will want to make sure that this second fuse is not greater then 2 amps if your direct wire does not come with a secondary fuse on the power cable.
Now that you have our two fuses plugged in, all you have to do is place the add-a-circuit into the open slot.
Next you will take the black wire, which is the ground wire, and locate a bolt that is connected to the frame of your vehicle to connect to.
So simply remove this bolt or screw and then place it through the round hole and re-attach the screw or bolt back to your car.
Now that you have successfully installed your direct wire cord, now is the time to plug it into your detector and test it.
Now lets address some of the common questions that we’re asked:
#1 – How long does this all take?
It all depends on the make, model of your car and where you’ll be installing your radar detector, but a typical install will take you less then 15 minutes.
#2 – If I don’t feel comfortable doing this job myself can I take it somewhere and have them do this for me and how much would it cost?
Sure, you can take your car and direct wire cable to any 12-volt installer or your local automotive shop. Typically they will charge you anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars. But make sure you get a quote from them first before they do the job.
#3 – What happens if the fuse I piggy back off of is constantly powered on instead of coming on only when the car starts?
In this case you’ll have to remember to power your radar detector on and off manually to avoid having a dead battery.
Now if you do have any other comments and/or questions about installing your direct wire cord I encourage you to use the comment area below.
I would also recommend that you visit our website RadarBusters.com to check out our other radar detector and laser jammer installation, testing and review videos.