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Radar Detector - Do I need to hardwire or can I use the 12V plug in center console?

The_Kid

Member
Aug 26, 2021
19
0
New Jersey
Hello! I have read a few different searches on using my radar detector in my new Model 3 and I wanted to ask all of you. Am I able to plug my passport escort into the 12V outlet in the center console or no? I read a few answers saying that the tesla 12V outlet was not made for this. Any information will help. Thank you!
 

kilpatds

Member
May 28, 2013
119
66
Seattle
The issue with radar detectors and power in a Tesla isn't "oh, you'll pull too much through the lighter": You won't. The lighter can handle it fine.

The issue is that the car is "on" a lot of the time while parked, and auxiliary devices may draw more power than you thought. Get used to unplugging it when parked...

Edit: actually, a careful hardwire can help with this, apparently? Elsewhere I've seen a thread that claims to have found a wire that's only energized when someone's actually in the driver's seat. I wasn't able to find that wire when I hardwired mine, so ... I got used to unplugging my detector when parked.
 

The_Kid

Member
Aug 26, 2021
19
0
New Jersey
The issue with radar detectors and power in a Tesla isn't "oh, you'll pull too much through the lighter": You won't. The lighter can handle it fine.

The issue is that the car is "on" a lot of the time while parked, and auxiliary devices may draw more power than you thought. Get used to unplugging it when parked...

Edit: actually, a careful hardwire can help with this, apparently? Elsewhere I've seen a thread that claims to have found a wire that's only energized when someone's actually in the driver's seat. I wasn't able to find that wire when I hardwired mine, so ... I got used to unplugging my detector when parked.
Thank you for your response! What do you mean it will draw more power than I thought? Like what are the negatives of this? I apologize, I am brand new to the Tesla life haha
 

kilpatds

Member
May 28, 2013
119
66
Seattle
It used to mean it might run down the car's 12V battery (not the main battery, a smaller battery used to run the computers/windows/etc). These days, the car wakes up enough and will recharge that battery from the big one, so I'm not sure that's still relevant, but ... if it doesn't, and you drain the 12V battery you'll kill it pretty quickly. And Tesla isn't interested in replacing batteries under warranty that were killed in this way.

Again, the 12V battery isn't the battery you really care about, so that's not the end of the world... but it's still a few hundred bucks to replace, so damaging it is still something you'd rather avoid.
 

The_Kid

Member
Aug 26, 2021
19
0
New Jersey
It used to mean it might run down the car's 12V battery (not the main battery, a smaller battery used to run the computers/windows/etc). These days, the car wakes up enough and will recharge that battery from the big one, so I'm not sure that's still relevant, but ... if it doesn't, and you drain the 12V battery you'll kill it pretty quickly. And Tesla isn't interested in replacing batteries under warranty that were killed in this way.

Again, the 12V battery isn't the battery you really care about, so that's not the end of the world... but it's still a few hundred bucks to replace, so damaging it is still something you'd rather avoid.
Okay, thank you for explaining! Makes sense. So if I unplug the radar when I am not driving or in park, it should be fine? Thanks!
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,956
11,287
Springfield, VA
My Valentine One has been plugged into the lighter plug for a couple of years. It turns off when the vehicle goes to sleep. I never unplug it.

Any time the vehicle is awake, the 12 volt plug is active and being powered by the DC to DC converter from the main high voltage battery. There is no concern about running down the 12 volt battery.
 
Last edited:

The_Kid

Member
Aug 26, 2021
19
0
New Jersey
Awesome thank you ! I will be putting it in today then! It will be a little low on windshield since it is far to center console but it is what it is haha
 

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
778
931
NYC
Hello! I have read a few different searches on using my radar detector in my new Model 3 and I wanted to ask all of you. Am I able to plug my passport escort into the 12V outlet in the center console or no? I read a few answers saying that the tesla 12V outlet was not made for this. Any information will help. Thank you!
You can do either.
1). 12V is way quicker way to get the benefits of the radar detector (aka Valentine 1): Radar and Laser Detectors | Valentine One | Radar Detectors.
2). Hardwiring is way more elegant, and avoids dangling wires in the middle of the car.

I started with #1, and migrated to #2. Search for threats with details on where to tap into switched 12V source (under left-A-pillar).

The issue is that the car is "on" a lot of the time while parked, and auxiliary devices may draw more power than you thought. Get used to unplugging it when parked...

No need. 12V outlet is switched, and the power is eventually (~15-30 minutes, I timed it but now forgot) will get cut.
 
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The_Kid

Member
Aug 26, 2021
19
0
New Jersey
You can do either.
1). 12V is way quicker way to get the benefits of the radar detector (aka Valentine 1): Radar and Laser Detectors | Valentine One | Radar Detectors.
2). Hardwiring is way more elegant, and avoids dangling wires in the middle of the car.

I started with #1, and migrated to #2. Search for threats with details on where to tap into switched 12V source (under left-A-pillar).



No need. 12V outlet is switched, and the power is eventually (~15-30 minutes, I timed it but now forgot) will get cut.
Okay so now I can leave the radar plugged in at all times? 😁
 

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
778
931
NYC
Okay so now I can leave the radar plugged in at all times? 😁

Yes.
If in doubt, walk back to the car about ~15-30 minutes to confirm that the power had been cut, and the detector lights are out.

Or... you could just obey the speed limits... 🤭

quote-if-you-always-put-limit-on-everything-you-do-physical-or-anything-else-it-will-spread-bruce-lee-17-13-71.jpg
 

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