Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Brian asks: I’ve noticed that 12 volt plug-ins are getting scarce in new cars. This is a problem for me because I have a radar detector that needs a 12 volt plug to power up. Without that, it’s useless and without a radar detector, driving is too risky to be worth the bother. Might as well ride the bus.
My reply: I have noticed this as well and mentioned it in several of my most recent car reviews. The 2021 Ford F-150 I have this week – review will be posted soon – has multiple USB ports, a 110 volt plug and other plugs the function of which I Haven’t yet ascertained. Luckily, I found one 12V hook-up . . . in the back seat area. I ran the cord from there to my detector, up front.
But I have had vehicles without any 12V plugs – anywhere – and (like you) that leaves me flying uncloaked and so makes it risky to fly.
The good news is that most new cars do still offer a 12V powerpoint – though in some cases you have to specify it, rather than multiple USB ports.
Worst case, you can buy adapters that allow you to continue using 12V-plugged accessories. You could also buy a portable power source – or hard-wire the detector to a 12V source in the car’s wiring harness. But be sure it is 12V. Some of the new cars run higher voltage and you don’t want to toast your $400 detector!
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