Informational Guide

How To Install Radar Detector In Rear View Mirror

We’ll teach you how to hardwire and mount one of these helpful devices in your mirror.

With an in-vehicle radar detector, you gain warnings of speed traps in the area so you can avoid a costly ticket. Aside from the conventional methods of installing this technology in your car, you can also learn how to install a radar detector in a rear view mirror. Our guide shows you how to hardwire a radar detector to a mirror for even more protection.  

Why would you want to hardwire a radar detector to a mirror? With this device, you catch the radar waves from police guns that measure the speeds of passing vehicles. With a radar detector in place, you gain either an audible or visual warning when the radar waves are present. 

This warning allows you to check your speed and slow down if needed. When you consider how much a speeding ticket can be, on average, about $150, you see how valuable a radar detector can be. If you are protected from just one speeding ticket, the radar detector basically paid for itself.  

Even if you don’t purposefully speed, the radar detector is still valuable. There are likely plenty of times that you lose track of the speed you are traveling. Now imagine if a cop were capturing that speed at the same moment, maybe while you are traveling down a hill.

You could end up with a ticket even if you are normally a safe driver. This speeding ticket doesn’t just eat up your money and time when it happens, but it has a profound impact on your insurance rates for years to come.  

person driving a car with a radar detector in the rear view mirror

How To Install Radar Detector In Rear View Mirror: Hardwiring Guide 

If you have a powered rear view mirror, you can plug the radar detector right into it for an easy installation. Here are the materials you need if you plan on wiring a radar detector to a rear view mirror. 

Materials Needed

Installation Instructions 

  1. 1
    Locate the power connector behind the rear view mirror and remove it. 
  2. 2
    With your multimeter, find the power and the ground cables running to the rear view mirror. Make sure you don't let connectors touch, or you could blow a fuse. 
  3. 3
    When the car is off, the multimeter should read 0 volts. However, when the car is running, you should get a reading of 12-13 volts. You don’t want to tap into any of the connectors that get full-time power. 
  4. 4
    You can Google your car model to find which connectors to use, but you want to double-check the information with your multimeter to be sure it is accurate. 
  5. 5
    If you see negative voltage, you have reversed the power and ground cables. 
  6. 6
    Plug the connectors into the radar detector to see if it powers on when the vehicle is running. 
  7. 7
    After you hardwire the radar detector to the mirror, you can mount the unit wherever it is conveniently near the mirror.  

If the rear view mirror isn’t powered, you will have to hardwire the radar detector into the fuse box of your vehicle. This setup will also provide power to the radar detector when the vehicle is on and turn it off when the key is removed. However, it can be a little more complicated to complete, especially if you aren’t familiar with the electronics in your vehicle.  

If you prefer visual instruction, you can watch this helpful video on YouTube.

Other Common Places To Mount A Radar Detector In A Car

Aside from the rear-view mirror, you can also choose one of these popular places to mount your radar detector. 

Radar Detector on High Windshield 

With the use of suction cups, you can place the radar detector as high as you want on the windshield. While the detector will be out of your way in this location, it could also be difficult to see the display when an alert occurs. 

Radar Detector on Center Windshield 

Some people find this to be a happy medium of mounting locations. It’s not too high or too low, but it could obstruct your view in some situations.  

Radar Detector on Low Windshield 

Putting the detector low on the windshield is one of the easiest installations. With your suction cups, you can put the detector near to you, making it easy to see the display when an alert occurs.  

nypd police car

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can a radar detector drain your battery? 

If you have the radar detector plugged into the power socket of the vehicle, it could eventually drain the battery, especially if it is already weak. These power outlets supply power even when the vehicle is off.  

How much does it cost to hardwire a radar detector? 

If you can do it yourself, the only expense you have is the cost of the supplies, which is minimal. However, if you need to have a professional install the detector, you might need to spend an hour or two in labor charges.  

Can cops pull you over for having a radar detector? 

If you are driving in a state where radar detectors are legal to use, you can’t be pulled over for having one. However, using a radar detector in a prohibited state is cause for being ticketed.  

What states are the radar detectors illegal? 

In Virginia and Washington D.C., it is illegal to use a radar detector in any vehicle. However, there are other radar detector laws regarding how they are used in other states, such as California, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey.  


Now that you understand how to hardwire a radar detector to a rear view mirror, it’s time to get started on your setup. Plug that radar detector in and mount it for complete protection from a speeding ticket.