Radar detector power [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Radar detector power

01-13-2007, 12:44 PM
Has anyone installed a direct line to power their radar detector? I installed a Valentine One power line in a 540 by tapping the 12v line and ground for the universal transmitter. The line color was green/white for the 12V line and a brown ground wire that were located in the map light-map light cluster. Is it possible to tap the power and ground wires for the universal garage door opener? Thanks!

01-15-2007, 09:41 AM
I hooked up my Valentine using the instructions that I found on this board but it is a two color wire, purple and blue that goes to the Seat Belt Light. It's been like 5 months already without a problem.
Here is the link to the instructions:

Good Luck!

04-14-2009, 07:18 AM
We just got a new 2009 X3 (premium, cold, xenons, steptronic, etc) for my wife. I moved the Valentine 1 from her 2001 325xi touring to the X3. I wanted to mount it up near the mirror (which has the autodimming/compass/universal remote built in). If you want to put it low on the windshield, you can probably use one of the available ATO fuse power taps to connect at the fuse block in the glove box, and you can find the circuit that's used for the powered mirror pretty easily on the Wiring Diagram System.

The mirror power feed is a good place to tap in to power the V1 (or, presumably, any other radar detector). The correct wire is green with a white stripe. On older X3s it may not be wired to the mirror, or if you have the base mirror, it may not be wired into the mirror, but it will be there in the wiring harness and will probably be live. I don't have an X3 without the powered mirror to check. On my 2004 E46 330xi, it is the green/white just as in the 540i, and it's got the plug for the optional universal remote (garage door opener).
On the X3, this is a 5A fused circuit which has plenty of reserve capacity to handle a V1 or the like that is a very low power draw.

To get to the wire, I removed the securing post for the drive side visor. You have to pry the little cover away gently, then remove (or at least loosen) the screw with a small Torx bit (it's a 5 pointed star). You also need to remove the sun roof motor access panel from the center of the headliner, and pop out the light module. Press gently on the fingers at the sides of the plug in the light module and you can remove it from its wiring lead and set it aside.

Now you have good access to the base of the mirror where the wiring goes. You can push down the headliner and then gently pull the wiring out and separate the green/white wire from the bundle, and attach the power tap clip. The clip is designed to work on a heavier wire gauge than what BMW uses, so you may have to VERY CAREFULLY strip away some of the insulation to get a good connection and you may even want to VERY CAREFULLY solder the clip in place if the connection is a bit flaky when the vehicle is moving (I wound up doing that on my 330xi). You might be able to buy a compatible power tap clip at Radio Shack or the like designed to fit with a smaller wire gauge; I didn't do that investigation.

The Torx screw on the right (driver) side of the sunroof motor grounds to the frame, loosen it just enough to slip the ground wire (U connector) under it and tighten it back down.

Connect the power wire to your tap and connect the power cord to the V1, turn on the ignition to verify that you are getting power. If not, check the connections and get it all working before you put things back together (obviously).

Once you've got the tap in place and working, you can feed the mirror power wire back into its place on the headliner lip.

I fed the coiled power cord under the front lip of the headliner on the passenger side of the mirror to get it to the V1, then reattached the visor post. There is plenty of room up on the driver's side under the headliner to stash the V1 remote power connector and the wires. If you want to be fancy, it might fit right on the wiring cover with the switches, I did not bother to Velcro it there (I've never bothered with the Velcro attachment so far on any of my vehicles, if you're a neatnik, go for it). You could also wire tie the wires to make things neater (I don't bother).

Once all the parts are in place and working, reinstall the light module, then reinstall the access cover, and you're done.

One thing I learned trying to do this: There is an ignition switched lead that goes to the BMW Assist switch, but if you try to draw power from it, it will trigger a BMW Assist call as soon as you turn on the ignition. So don't try to use it. Clearly, the BMW Assist system senses the current draw and treats it as a problem.


02-27-2010, 03:55 PM
Just wanted to post a big THANKS to DrTom --

I've had V1s hardwired into 4 different 3'ers (all E36) and can do that install in my sleep now -- also have it hardwired into my Silverado pickup -- but I was scared to tear into the wife's newer 2006 X3. We've had it since Oct but I've been putting off installing the V1 -- the catalyst was coming out today to find a dead battery, I think because she left the V1 plugged into the lighter outlet. So, a good time to move it to a switched hardwire.

I followed the directions exactly (although I basically knew what I was doing, just needed to know which hot/ground) and it worked just as expected. The mirror may be a little different on the 2006 - we don't have Homelink or BMW Assist, and the wire harness is very tight (no slack to pull it down) but the green/white wire and ground from the sunroof screw are correct.

Thanks for making it easy, DrTom -- one of the top results on Google for "Hardwire Valentine 1 BMW X3" pulled up this post.

02-28-2010, 12:15 PM

03-03-2010, 06:38 AM
If I ran wires and tapped into a 12v cigarette outlet for power AND simultaneously used the same outlet for something else, would that overload the electrical system? (Assuming both items being powered don't use much electricity)

03-03-2010, 10:17 AM
If I ran wires and tapped into a 12v cigarette outlet for power AND simultaneously used the same outlet for something else, would that overload the electrical system? (Assuming both items being powered don't use much electricity)

As long as the total current drawn is within specs of circuit or fuse, you should be okay. I know that you know it already, but just reminding that cigarette lighter is always on, so don't leave anything plugged in lest it drains your battery.

03-03-2010, 10:24 AM

Cordless detectors are WORTHLESS...IMO

03-13-2010, 12:05 PM
great thread guys, I was just about to start searching for a DIY on this.
I have an Escort 9500ix hardwired into my RX-8 and now I think it's time to give the X3 a little love.

oh, and I agree with ish: cordless dectors are pretty worthless. As the batteries run out of juice, the range becomes pretty terrible. Also, most have 'power saving' features where they'll reduce the range in order to preserve the batteries.
Get a V1 or a 9500, you simply can't go wrong with those.

03-22-2010, 08:18 AM
I am about to do this. Does anyone have pics of where the wire is located? Also, is there another cig lighter that can be used for my portable nav other than the one by the shifter? It's ugly to run the wire all the way over to the left side of the dash. :(

01-31-2016, 11:00 AM
purple and blue wire works for me in my 2004 x3