Radar Detector

Radar Detector

I want to install an Escort Radar detector in my P85, but Tesla reps are strongly discouraging me from "Hard Wiring" it. Option number 2 is to use the cigarette lighter to power it...but that means having that coiled cable running from the plug to the dash...right in front of the touch screen. I considered going from a 12V DC powered unit to a AA battery unit...but the low power greatly lessens the ability of the unit to preform at it's best.

Has anyone installed a detector and, if so, do you have any comments?


minervo.florida | 12. August 2014

Sorry the windshield ones do NOT work due to UV protection. I used them for over 20 years and it is my only disappointment with Tesla and this wonderful car.

johncrab | 12. August 2014

The battery powered units are almost worthless. I dumped mine for a 9500. I've heard various stories about the MS windscreen blocking signals. Some say if the detector is mounted just to the right of the mirror there is a 'window' there. I can't confirm this yet, but if you have access to a friend's detector, test it first before spending money on one in case it just won't work at all.

WillEric | 12. August 2014

Isn't the 9500ci sensor mounted on the front and rear "grills" of the car? And therefore you wouldn't have to worry about MS windscreen blocking signals?

minervo.florida | 12. August 2014

9500ci is fine, it is external.

I termed the next to the mirror, forget it, super minimal at BEST, basically no.

Rish | 12. August 2014

Wow. What a bummer this is. I have had two Escorts. One is a Solo 2 and my other is the 9500IX. I was hoping to buy another 9500IX and just live with the cable issue. When I called Escort...the tech advised me to use my present 9500IX and "test it" in the Tesla to make sure it works. She seemed to suggest that is was not a glass/UV issue but the extent of the electronics in the car. I am not due to pick up my P85 until Sept. 22nd but was going to buy the unit now to have it ready...but based on your comments..I will hold off. Thanks you you all.

johncrab | 12. August 2014

The idea of RFI/EMI from the car is an interesting idea. I have no intention of hacking into the wiring of my MS to install a remote detector so it will be interesting to see how this works - or doesn't. The 9500 series is solid but if Tesla specified a metal powder layer in the windscreen similar to the pano roof, that will cut down the signal. Gotta check this with a light and a loupe. My other concern is that this would make the windscreen a very spendy piece of glass, so I'm glad I'm setting up full glass coverage for the whopping price of $16.72 per 6/mo period.

PBEndo | 12. August 2014

I hard wired the 9500ix and mounted it on the windshield to the left of the mirror stalk. I have not noticed any decrease in sensitivity compared to my previous car (Infiniti) or rentals I have driven.

PBEndo | 12. August 2014

FWIW, 50% of the time when I use the horn, the radar detector goes off.

Manta | 12. August 2014

I have a Beltronics STiR Plus and a Blinder HP-905 laser shifter installed (both custom installed), and it's been working great in the 8 months I've had it.

carysandler | 13. August 2014

I have an Escort Passport Max, does anyone have experience using that model in Tesla S? Will it work?

PBEndo | 15. August 2014

Why are the Tesla reps discouraging you from hard wiring it?

minervo.florida | 15. August 2014

This is from the S spec sheet on the Tesla site, UV and infrared blocking safety glass windshield.

Windshield radar detectors will not work well if at all.

Call the radar companies if you do not believe this.

The area by the mirror does not work.

Only external detectors will work.

PBEndo | 15. August 2014

RADAR is neither UV nor infrared. I have been using a windshield mounted detector in my S for 34,000 miles and I haven't noticed any difference when compared to other cars. Perhaps, in a controlled side-by-side test, the windshield does reduce performance, but it is not a significant effect, IMO, in regards to radar.

LIDAR is probably blocked, but windshield detectors do not provide much protection from LIDAR anyway, they merely let you know you've been tagged.

Today, I drove from Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva, and back. There are a couple of speed radar signs on that route and every time the detector was blaring a full alert long before we could see the signs.

PBEndo | 15. August 2014

I also get full alerts on I-95, on average 3 times every single day on my way to work when the FHP is sitting in the median and targeting the HOV lane.

KeithM | 15. August 2014

I have had the same experience as PBEndo. Positioning the unit properly is critical, but if it is positioned so the antenna can look through the dotted area to the right of the mirror, mine works perfectly. I always get between ½ mile and 2 miles warning of an approaching patrol car with a radar unit. I carefully tested the exact location to be used before installation using a radar speed reporting sign and did a side by side comparison with another vehicle that has a "normal" windshield to find the best position for the unit. I get the alert the same distance from the sign in both the Tesla and the "normal" car.

The detector has to be mounted at the very top of the "dotted" area to allow a level view looking ahead. When in this position, those units with GPS may not work as well due to the position of the GPS antenna being shielded by the metal aft of the windshield when the detector is mounted as high as possible.

Most detectors mount with suction cups. These will not stick to the windshield in the dotted area to the right of the mirror. Check EBay for mounts that use heavy duty double industrial strength tape. These mounts work well. Also on EBay, you can find pigtail cords that terminate in the phone type power connector many units use. These cords have a single strand on the other end that easily pokes in parallel with the red and black wires going into the mirror power plug. This makes for a completely reversible installation with no modification done to the car wiring.

kwoo4424 | 15. August 2014

@carysandler : Passport Max works on windshield mounted low
( just above dash) Cord will dangle in front of 17" screen as others have mentioned before. | 15. August 2014

The reason for the confusion and differing answers is the first 1000 or so Model S windshields had the metal coating across the entire windshield, which blocks the radar detector.

Most cars built in 2013 and all in 2014 have an area to the right of the rear-view mirror that is RF transparent, and will work fine for your radar detector.

PBEndo | 15. August 2014

My detector is mounted with suction cups to the left of the mirror, not on the dotted area.

PBEndo | 15. August 2014
KeithM | 16. August 2014

Since others have found different areas of the windshield to be RF transparent, it is probably best to find a radar speed sign or other device and perform careful testing before deciding on the best location for the detector. My car was a Nov 2013 build and the ONLY part of the windshield that is RF transparent, as TeslaTap describes, is the dotted area to the right of the mirror.

My first choice for a location would have been to the left of the mirror as PBEndo has done, but on my car, that area was totally shielded as were the areas along the bottom that others have found to work. The switched power connection in the mirror dimming circuit is a an easy to access connection point if the cable assembly I described in my previous post is used. No dangling cable needed.

Best advice to to carefully test all areas of the windshield for RF transparency before deciding on a mounting location.

minervo.florida | 16. August 2014

It is the weak signals you have to worry about.

The metal film is the problem, they use that film to block uv and IR.

I will not trust my license to reduced radar detector performance.

If you are going really live by the detector and put yourself at risk go for the external detector.

Try it yourself, find a weak signal and try the detector our the window while stopped and then put it on the windshield and try it. I did this, the weak signal does not trip the Passport Max or Redline.

I did try it next to the right side of the mirror, no luck.

Call the radar companies and talk with them. The film is the issue.

PBEndo | 16. August 2014

I used the exact same power connection as KeithM. It is easy, reversible and looks great.

franklinwino | 17. August 2014

Anxiously awaiting my Model S. I noticed at the service center that the portion of the windshield that isn't coated is much narrower than the V1 forward facing antenna. Has anyone tried a vertical mount? It seems like this would get the best reception through that narrow opening. I recall that there were some tests that showed vertical mounting was at least as good as horizontal from a distance perspective. Here is a link to what looks to be a perfect product if the suction cups will hold on the dots. Otherwise, I guess you could replace with double sided tape.

Brian H | 17. August 2014

The dots seem to break the air seal. Some try on the back (inner side) of the mount itself, which is on 'clean' glass.

franklinwino | 26. Oktober 2014

Well, I am finding that the new windshield for future autopilot cars is useless for radar detection. I called customer service and was told that their new bulletin for these windshields says that there are uncoated spots to the left and right of the mirror mount. I sat in front of a copy yesterday that was directing traffic, but left his radar unit on. I moved my Valentine One all around the mirror mount and not a scant signal got through. So unfortunate as I feel naked without my V1. I guess I am going to have to investigate Passport/Bel external installations.

LetsGoFast | 26. Oktober 2014

You can mount your V1 remotely as well and that way you'd still get the best detection on the market.

togliat | 05. April 2018

Wow, I am glad this works for some of you. My experience is the same as minervo.florida. My Valentine One was awesome in my BMW M3, not at all in my 2014 Model S (P85+). UV protection blocked incoming signals. Mirror area with dots allowed only weak performance. After four years, I traded my P85+ in for a Model 3 and am wondering if a radar detector works or not (I sold my V1).

Kj11856 | 06. April 2018

Why even mess with a radar detector. Are you in that big of a hurry that you have speed, put your life and everyone else’s life in danger. Stupid.

kevonandmarion | 06. April 2018

@kjar71 I bought my Tesla to go fast, if you would kindly move out of the fast lane when you see a car coming up fast, it would be extremely helpful and we would both be safer

kevonandmarion | 06. April 2018

I have had the great fortune that my escort works fine in both my 2016 90ish and 2013 60 kwh. It has saved me numerous times. I have always used batteries and have been rewarded with avoiding many speeding tickets.

Good luck on finding the right radar.


barrykmd | 06. April 2018

I used a V1 for many years. The difference between that and the Escort 9500ci is night and day. The V1 falses so often, it's unusable.

Kj11856 | 06. April 2018

It’s illegal to speed. Guess I will be seeing you out there kevonandmarion. And no I will not be moving over for you. I will be stopping you and writing you a ticket. Happy speeding. Gonna cost you.

murphyS90D | 06. April 2018

I may have missed it but I have not seen any mention of the fact that under FSD the car will not be exceeding the speed limit.

TabascoGuy | 06. April 2018

@kjar71 +101

Don't mess with Texas.

Yodrak. | 06. April 2018

I can't believe someone responded to a 2014 thread.

That being said, I support kjar71.

murraypetera | 06. April 2018

Belt Tronics remote mount. It is identical to escort but less money. Range is un beatable. Pair it with anti laser pro and waze. You will be in good hands.

EternalChampion | 07. April 2018


Real tickets or tickets like a mall cop writes? By your indignant tone I'm guessing the latter.

I personally find the radar detectors useful to keep a head's up when some low IQ egomaniac sets up a "speed trap" to foul up otherwise well flowing traffic. Plus I like to travel at light speed. See ya out there!

minervo.florida | 07. April 2018

Hey guys, here is some info, the Uniden R3 is killing all detectors out there, I have had the top models for over 30 years and looks like Uniden got serious and has super performance and constant improvement based on owners feedback.

See for yourself on rdforum

Only works on Teslas without the UV on the front windshield, not sure when the change was made at Tesla.

EternalChampion | 07. April 2018

The radar performance of my window mounted Escort Max doesn't suffer with the coated windshield, but the GPS function is sketchy at best.

togliat | 10. Oktober 2018

Having a radar detector does not automatically mean one is going to speed. Some of us just enjoy using gadgets and prefer to know when we are being targeted and irradiated. Don’t assume.

roman.petruchyk | 31. Januar 2019

Hm, that is strange. Have you tried to check a manual from your detector? I purchased mine from this top list and it works absolutely fine for me. Installation was smooth and easy. I do believe something is wrong with your radar.

PrescottRichard | 31. Januar 2019

Togliat- just like when I used to find bongs in people’s cars & houses, doesn’t mean they’re using them to smoke anything illegal (at the time).

Radar detectors make the drivers drive better when they go off. So the more the better. I only wish the radar on my S set them off :)

F3 | 31. Januar 2019

2018 S75D

I have an older Escort Redline mounted on the windshield plugged into the cigarette lighter. I was three cars behind a patrol car going the same direction down the road. He must have turned on his Radar to shoot oncoming traffic because my detector went off full scale Ka band on a road I’ve never had a Ka signal register. So my guess....the detector works just fine.

murphyS90D | 31. Januar 2019

The radar in the S is at 76 GHz. Police radar is at less than half of that frequency.

PrescottRichard | 01. Februar 2019

Radars have instant on, so no signal to detect until they are aimed at you. I used to leave mine on when I did paperwork sitting in a traffic problem area so those with detectors would slow everyone down.

My dad has a gadget that sets them off too. It’s like having a button in your car that makes lights and sounds in someone else’s car :)

barrykmd | 01. Februar 2019

PrescottRichard | February 1, 2019
"My dad has a gadget that sets them off too."

Those devices violate Federal law. And you're a cop?

quintman99 | 16. Mai 2019

I just bought a 2019 Model S and as I understand it that the new Teslas don't have as much of the metallic component in the windshields that the older models had. Additionally, I spoke with a gentlemen from ALP Lasers and he indicated that he has a model S with the UV protection and he has a windshield mount. There is not substantial degradation in the radar detection capability. I am going for the Uniden R7 which is going to be much cheaper than the remote mount. Can anyone share some recent experiences with the new model S and newer glass mount radar detectors please......Thanks much in advance.

quintman99 | 16. Mai 2019

Just a note on a recent purchase of a 2019 Tesla Model S... I am going to move forward with the purchase of the Glass Mount Uniden R7 Radar Detector. I did one final experiment, going out to the car with my Garmin 1030 GPS based Bicycle Computer. The Unit was turned off, carried from the basement to the car, and I got in the car, closed the doors and turned the UNIT on. It found the GPS signal, drove down the road and turned around and the unit held the GPS fine. This tells me that GPS passes through the glass in the 2019 Tesla Model S fine. I will give another update once I get the detector.

karanzale | 17. Juli 2019

Some escort devices are really tough to set them up them. However, good guide setup guide for escort like radar detector can help you lot.Therefore, i think below article should help you. They concisely put together information about the radar detectors and how to setup them in your vehicle.