Radar detectors are handy to have in the vehicle, especially for those who like driving fast without fear of getting caught by the traffic police. But is it enough to have a detector? Is the location of the tool important? Is it essential to know where to mount a radar detector to optimize its use? These are some of the questions that many users, particularly newbies to the world of radar detectors, ask. Fortunately, learning the basics, especially the best location to mount the radar detector, is no rocket science.
One has to keep in mind some basics when looking for the best place in the vehicle to mount the radar detector.
Sometimes, height does matter. And this saying is true for mounting the radar detector.
Generally, the higher the location of the radar detector, the better it can perform. Arguably, the performance of being mounted lower or higher is not at the opposite ends of the spectrum. But mounting it higher does a better job of sensing a radar over other vehicles and hills that could be blocking the signal.
Where It Points
One also has to consider the alignment of the detector as it should be aimed straight ahead and mounted level with the ground.
Where to Mount Radar Detector: Possible Locations
There are various places or areas in the vehicle where one can mount the radar detector. It can be placed in the rearview mirror, below the windshield, center of the windshield, or grill. Each location has its advantages and disadvantages.
Rear View Mirror High
Mounting the radar detector in the rearview mirror is the most ideal, experts say, as this location provides the best radar detection performance. The location is not easily seen by thieves who could possibly break into one’s vehicle. Plus, this puts the detector within reach of the driver.
There are disadvantages to placing the device high up in the rearview mirror. For one, mounting the detector in the rearview mirror takes some time and requires more effort than mounting the device elsewhere. This is especially true if one is one is running a hardwire cable for a clean installation. A hardwire connection is best when mounting on the rearview mirror to avoid having cables all the way down to the windshield. Plus, a rearview mountain also reduces laser detection since it is far from the grill area and the headlights.
Under the Rear View Mirror
Mounting the radar detector under the rearview mirrors has many advantages. For one, this location is ideal for states or places that disallow the mounting of electronic devices on windshields. This location also eliminates the need to use suction cups that are difficult to use and often fail over time. Having the device at the lower part of the rearview mirror also makes for a professional and clean-looking installation. One can also use a traditional hardwire cable for connecting the radar detector.
This location, however, may partially block the visibility of the driver, especially for small vehicles. It also requires additional installation, which can add to the cost of the mounting.
Center of the Windshield
Some radar detector makers highly advise installing the device right at the center of the windshield. There is one main advantage in this location as the radar detector becomes very accessible to the user rather than mounting the device lower and closer to the wipers.
There are, however, so many advantages in choosing this location. For one, it blocks the driver’s visibility at all times. Plus, one also has to deal with a messy installation. The device is also easily visible to thieves who could break into the vehicle.
Windshield Lower Area
The lower windshield area is probably the most obvious location of the detector for many because of its convenience. One can even run a power cable all the way down to the dashboard and the vehicle’s lighter without blocking the driver’s visibility. This area is also the most ideal to avoid laser detection.
Mounting the detector in the lower windshield has its cons. This location, unfortunately, lessens the range of radar detection and is more visible to thieves. The wipers may also obscure the signals of the radar and lasers. The running cables can block the stereo and its button display as well.
Those driving vehicles with steeply and angled windshields will have a hard time accessing the buttons of the detector as well as mounting or dismounting the device.
Arguably, the grill area is not a popular choice for mounting the detectors. After all, this location requires customization, which means that one has to require a professional and spend more money on the installation.
However, the grill could be the ideal part of the vehicle to place the detector. This is particularly true for the expensive vehicles with windshields that block radar signals. Blocking of radar signals is common for windshields with metallic coatings or heated windshields.
There are plenty of advantages in choosing this area as the home of the device. For one, it clears the windshields from any obstruction. The detector also becomes almost invisible to thieves when hidden in the grill area. One also has the option to integrate the detector with a laser jammer to complete the protection against all detections.
Unfortunately, keeping the device in the grill is more expensive than mounting on windshields, which makes it difficult to change the detector that easy as one will have to spend for its removal from the grill. It would also be hard to mount the detector at the grill for a borrowed or rented vehicle.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to have a detector to avoid getting speeding tickets. Knowing where to mount a radar detector is also crucial.
One has the option to install the device in the windshield, rearview mirror, or even the grill. However, each location has its advantages and disadvantages. Users then have to weigh which area will work best for their needs and budget.