Where to find an always-on 12V rail inside the car? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Where to find an always-on 12V rail inside the car?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by larrysd, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. larrysd

    larrysd New Member

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    My car is escort 2000.

    Want to install an anti-theft tracker in car, because it is GPS, it should be placed in a location that receives GPS signal, so under hood or trunk is not an option.

    Where to find an always-on 12V rail inside the car? I know OBD2 port has one, but it is pretty visible if the thief carefully check. Anywhere else, like under the dashboard, under back seat etc?
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    My Escorts are 2nd gen ones. The dome light has two tiny maps lights that can be turned on at any time day or night. So they and the dome light have 12 volts coming to them at all times.
    For sure there would be always-on lines running to the ignition switch. If I were going to probe around for such things, I would take out the driver's seat first. Then laying down a plank to lie on, I could be on my back looking up at the mass of wires under the dash.

    On mine the electric mirrors work whether the ignition is on or off - so they must have 12 volts to them all the time. Hard to get to those wires though; but that might be an advantage in your case.
  3. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    The stereo has an always on wire to keep memory for the presets and clock.
    zzyzzx and 4cylinder like this.
  4. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    the stereo also has 12v constant at the CD changer as well if the car has one
  5. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    Why would someone want to steal an 18 year old Ford Escort? It's not like it's a Honda Civic or Accord. And unless is heavily modded, would you really want it back after it's been hotwired and trashed?

    Just remember to keep the car locked and the keys out of the ignition when you're not using it.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  6. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    run a wire directly from the battery with a fuse.
  7. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    "On mine the electric mirrors work whether the ignition is on or off - so they must have 12 volts to them all the time."

    I just checked mine - they don't work with the key off.
  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Joey-Twowagons: You are right, I was wrong. When I moved the electric mirrors with the engine stopped, I had the ign.sw. in the accessory position. With the accessory position off, - the mirrors didnt move.
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Somewhat related - I did "fix" the wife's car so that the electric windows can be raised or lowered without the key in. Very convenient.
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  10. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    True they'll likely steal the battery or whatever else is in it before they would the car. But probably at least 95% of 'scorts don't have alarms. They're not interested in the fanciest mark anymore, but any easy mark... the lowest hanging fruit... and yeah this fruit may be pretty ripe but for an addict who ain't think'n straight and will risk their freedom for a $20 score, an old car will fetch a fair scrap value.

    @Larry - Unless you're running a sting, GPS may be overkill... especially when you consider the monthly bill. But an alarm with a shock sensor, hood and trunk switch is typically deterrent enough.

    EDIT: Edit in red.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  11. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Last time the economy took a dump while the Republicans were in total control, there was a span of years where thieves were buying old tow trucks, getting them running and stealing cars right off the street. This happened to a cousin who at the time, had his holiday gifts stashed in the trunk. That car was a beater... not anything fancy.

    The only thing that would deter them were shock sensors and hood switches.

    During periods of particularly heavy travel, such as ThanksGiving and Christmas, thieves come in from out of town and rip-off property in one way or another. My previously alarm-less car was hit after noticing a never-before-seen old van sitting at the top of the hill. They cut out another neighbor's car battery and don't recall what they did to another vehicle. This past holiday there was a newer van, no markings staked out at the top of the hill. Made sure he knew he was noticed. He drove around the corner. I drove around the corner and made sure he knew he was noticed there too. A minute later he and another identical van went flying off the street.
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  12. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I very seldom park on the street, and when I do its for one night while visiting relatives. Im lucky enough to have driveways at home. Where we live in TX, most folks have some kind of a security light for the yard, sodium vapor or mercury vapor, that kind of thing. Ours is 36' up atop a light pole from the local elec coop.
  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Things sound pretty rough out there.
    The locks on my car don't work anymore, and a couple times a year some bum digs through the glove box, but they've never stolen the miscellaneous tools etc. that are usually on the floor of the car.

    I'm hoping the next dog we get will be more of an outside dog. That's about the best security I know of.
  14. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Things arent so much rough down here, as the economy is marginal. There are always a good supply of guys who might be called criminals in other areas, but down here just have a hungry wife and kids at home. So sometimes you dont call the police.
    On the other hand, if you need a roof replaced, it will get done quickly, fast, and cheap.
    We have three dogs, one of them a Chihuahua, the breed known for barking at anything.
  15. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    The neighbor who had the car battery cut out of the vehicle... the car, a Civic, was in his driveway. Couldn't just slap another battery back in there and go... new wires had to be run. :-/

    I'd only consider it 'rough' if we went back to the Wild Wild West days of everyone arming themselves. (IIRC some Kentucky school board just voted to arm their teachers. (sigh)) Thieves are a lot like cockroaches. Simply turn on the light and they scatter. They're not interested in a confrontation; just looking for an easy score.
  16. rokon

    rokon FEOA Member

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    don't laugh, I had a 19 year old PURPLE mecury tracer stolen from me. it was drug up on a flatbed out of a parking lot
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  17. JOEG5982

    JOEG5982 FEOA Member

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    Brake pedal light switch
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