Question and Answer

Question: Will my radar detector work overseas?

Answer: A lot of people ask us whether or not their radar detectors will work overseas (or not in the USA in general).

The answer to this question is quite complex, but as a rule of thumb, it will probably work partially.

The USA defines specific frequencies that police radar can use and your detector is designed to detect those frequencies. Other countries may have different frequencies which your detector will most likely not be able to pick up. Also, there are a lot of different speed detection techniques overseas so you may not be protected against all of them. Finally, radar detectors may or may not be legal in other countries. As a general rule, I’d say leave your radar detector at home and either get one there, or obey the speed limit.

Question: Can police tell if I am using a radar detector?

Answer: The technology to detect radar detectors does exist, but is usually only in use where radar detectors are illegal. The latest police technology to detect radar detectors is called the Spectre Radar Detector Detector. At the time of writing this, these units can detected all current radar detectors except the Escort Redline, Escort Passport 9500ci, Beltronics STi Driver, Beltronics STi Magnum, and the Beltronics STI-R (Plus).

Keep in mind, most police will notice your radar detector if it’s hanging on your windshield in plain view.

Question: Will my radar detector kill my car battery?

Answer: It could. Luckily my car automatically turns off power to the cigarette lighter when I turn off the car, but not all cars do this. If your car doesn’t automatically turn off power to the lighter when the car turns off, your radar detector may continue running and could kill your car battery. There are a couple of possible solutions to this issue:

1. Unplug the radar detector when you stop.
2. Some radar detectors have an automatic turn off function that can turn off your detector after a period of inactivity.
3. Hardwire your radar detector to a fuse that turns off when the car turns off.

Question: Will it hurt my radar detector to leave it in the sun all day?

Answer: Most likely it will. Most electronics, are sensitive to changes in temperature, and radar detectors are no exception. There are many reports of radar detectors breaking due to heat build up because they were left in the sun. Do yourself a favor, take it down and put it in the glove box. It’ll keep it cool, and it will keep it out of sight of potential thieves.

Question: I just drove past a police officer, how come my radar detector didn’t alert?

Answer: This is a common question that radar detector users ask. It’s a simple question, but it turns out that the answer is quite complex.

Most people immediately think that the radar detector is broken, or just isn’t very good at doing its job, and while this may be true, it’s probably unlikely. Here are some more likely reasons that your radar detector didn’t alert when passing a police car:

1. The police car may not be equipped with radar or laser. Not all police cars have a radar or laser speed measurement device installed.
2. The police officer has their radar or laser device turned off. A lot of police officers turn their devices off when they aren’t using them.
3. The radar device is in “instant on” mode, and the officer hasn’t pulled the trigger. The radar device will not be detectable until the officer pulls the trigger.
4. The officer is using laser and shot your car, but your radar detector was out of range. At distances under 500 feet, it is unlikely that your radar detector will actually alert. Be careful, the police officer can get your speed. This is why we recommend laser jammer devices like the Laser Interceptor.

Question: Can I put my radar detector behind the tint strip?

Answer: Yes, in most cases you can. Most tint strips have no effect whatsoever on radar detection and unless your tint strip has any metal in it, you should be fine. If you rely on your radar detector for laser detection (which we’ve stated many times that you shouldn’t), the strip may have an effect (on the laser detection). We actually recommend to install your radar detector behind a tint strip if you have one. This is an optimal location because it’s higher up, which will give you better detection, it’s in the shade, so your radar detector won’t fry in the heat, and it’s somewhat hidden, so thieves won’t be able to see it.

About the Author: Danny Williams

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