How To Install A Radar Detector Without The Ugly Cords

How To Install A Radar Detector Without The Ugly Cords

You might have considered purchasing a radar detector for your car, but besides price, the biggest concern you might face is the aesthetics of having a radar detector installed in your car. 

The classic long and coiled power cord that sticks into your 12V cigarette lighter is an eyesore. However, there is an alternative to a thick, dangling cord on your car’s dash. 

If your car has a powered rearview mirror, this guide will instruct you on how to do a “clean” install that eliminates the need for a long cord to plug into the cigarette lighter.

The Visual Clatter 

Many people can justify the cost of a radar detector. Although it is a hefty investment, if it prevents you from receiving even one speeding ticket, the detector will have already paid for itself. However, people have a harder time dealing with the visual clutter that a radar detector brings to a car dash.

Many people already have a multitude of devices in their cars. Whether it’s a mounted GPS or a phone/mp3 player dock, many people will already have a busy car dashboard. In fact, the one obstacle you might face is that the only 12V outlet you have is already occupied by a GPS unit.

Utilize the power from your rearview mirror

If you have a powered rearview mirror, you can utilize the power from your rearview mirror to power your radar detector with a few simple steps. 

The first step is to replace the thick, coiled power adapter that comes with every radar detector with one that plugs into your rearview mirror’s power source rather than the traditional 12V outlet. 

These adapters can be found at sites such as These adapters are cheap, thin, and short. 

The beauty in these cords is that it plugs directly into the power plugs for the rearview mirror. Simply insert the metal-pronged ends of the adapter into the corresponding plug, and your radar detector will seemingly be powered by nothing. Installation requires no expertise and the vendors all have helpful videos to teach you how to hook it up.

Now that you have hooked it up via the rearview mirror’s power source, the power adapter cord is reduced to a mere 6 inches that disappear because the power source is located behind the mirror on the roof of the car. 

Not only is the installation visually appealing, it still leaves room for your GPS device or phone in the 12V socket!

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Cordless Radar Detectors for Cars

Here are some cordless detectors for cars if you’re interested:

Where to Mount Your Radar Detector

To give a few tips on where to mount your radar detector, please read below. Mounting it in the right location will not only lessen the visual clutter but will also put the ugly cords in place.

The first thing to consider is the height you need for radar detection. As the rule of thumb suggests, if you mount your radar detector higher, it will give a better radar detection performance. Although there won’t be much of a difference whether it’s used at night or day, mounting your detector higher will give your radar better visuals over other vehicles, or even hills, that may block your signal.

In terms of alignment, make sure that your detector is mounted level with the ground. It should be aimed straight ahead, so avoid having it pointing upwards or downwards, nor pointing left or right. Just keep it pointing straight forward.

Meanwhile, if you desire a more clean installation, you can opt to mount your detector somewhere on your windshield. Alternatively, you can try to custom install a remote mount radar detector somewhere in the grill of your vehicle. This option is usually done if the windshield of your vehicle is heated or metallic because it would prevent the radar signal from passing through properly. 

Lastly, you’d like to mount your radar detector lower on your windshield. This is so that it can do a better job of detecting the laser. Remember that the laser is such a small and thin beam of light and it’s physically closer to your headlights and grill area.

However, keep in mind that even if your detector is on a low mount, if it goes off when you’re shot, the officer may already have your speed by the time your radar detector alerts the laser. You may want to use a laser jammer then to help in combating lasers and optimize your radar’s radar detection.

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