Will My Radar Detector Work Through My Windshield?
Did you know that some windshields and metallic film could reduce your radar detectors performance by as much as 95%!
Athermic Glass Windshield Problems
If your windshield uses athermic glass (also known as heat-reflective, or solar glass, or solar control, or infra-red interlayer) it can negatively impact on the performance of your radar detector.
Athermic glass uses a very thin layer of metallic content, which is laminated, into the center of the windshield.
Because of this it can reduce radar detection range to the front and can make your GPS device take much longer to get a satellite lock. It can also mean your toll transponder can't be read.
Some of the car manufactures that use these athermic glass windshields are include BMW, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Jeep and Lexus.
One way to tell if your car has this type of windshield is to put on a pair of polarized sunglasses and you will be able to see the coating.
Ford InstaClear and QuickClear Problems
Fords QuickClear and InstaClear heated windshields (now out of production) uses a very thin mesh of wires and a silver zinc oxide film inside their windshields, which will also reduce the performance of a radar detector.
Window Tinting Problems
Some of the adhesive based window tints from Gila Film do contain metalized layers, which will also significantly reduce the range of your detector.
If you find that radar detectors performance is impacted one solution is the find the "clear spot" in the windshield, which the manufacturers normally place behind the rear view mirror area.
Or another solution is to consider getting a remote mounted radar detector, which will enable you to mount the antenna within the grill area of your car.