Switched Power Source - BMW

Chris B

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For those of you running the ALP in a "newer" BMW (let's say 2010 or newer)... and DIY'ed it, where did you tap into a switched 12V power source? I've got a 2013 335i and am trying to plan this installation out in advance. Thank you for the help, this forum is awesome.
 

meismyname

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I used an add-a-circuit in the fuse box and used a test light to find something that is ignition switched. I also don't like to put the fuse tap on anything that is safety critical.
 

nomore55

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Don't know if it's do-able on your car, but on all recent switched wiring jobs I've done, I go after the Homelink power source at the overhead panel. (I won't run wiring along A pillars with the air bags and all.)
 

erickonphoenix

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I believe on my e46 it was actually the cigarette lighter fuse that was switchable. Most 'merican cars that fuse is constant but on the kraut mobile it was an accessory. If not look for the power windows, they're usually a go to for me.
 

Chris B

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I used an add-a-circuit in the fuse box and used a test light to find something that is ignition switched. I also don't like to put the fuse tap on anything that is safety critical.
Which fuse box did you use? In my car I think there is one in the engine bay up towards the passenger side near battery terminal. The other is in the rear under the trunk carpet.

Don't know if it's do-able on your car, but on all recent switched wiring jobs I've done, I go after the Homelink power source at the overhead panel. (I won't run wiring along A pillars with the air bags and all.)
Thanks for the input, if you don't run the wiring through the pillars, where do you route it in order to access homelink wiring?

I believe on my e46 it was actually the cigarette lighter fuse that was switchable. Most 'merican cars that fuse is constant but on the kraut mobile it was an accessory. If not look for the power windows, they're usually a go to for me.
Thank you, that is a good idea.
 

meismyname

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Which fuse box did you use? In my car I think there is one in the engine bay up towards the passenger side near battery terminal. The other is in the rear under the trunk carpet.
In my car, the fuse box is behind the glove box, and the compartment under the hood is where the engine computer and other electronics live.

Thanks for the input, if you don't run the wiring through the pillars, where do you route it in order to access homelink wiring?
I think he was thinking radar detector, not ALP.
 

nomore55

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Thanks for the input, if you don't run the wiring through the pillars, where do you route it in order to access homelink wiring?
It's a very short run to the overhead panel, next to your rear view mirror, where the map lights are located.
 

erickonphoenix

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In my car, the fuse box is behind the glove box, and the compartment under the hood is where the engine computer and other electronics live.
Yeah, it's one of the most convenient placements for a fuse box. You don't get a kink in your neck servicing it.
 

meismyname

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Yeah, it's one of the most convenient placements for a fuse box. You don't get a kink in your neck servicing it.
My friend's Z4 was interesting. Apparently the fuse box on those folds down, and then extends on a sliding rail. It really seems like a terrible design, and makes adding wires a pain. I ended up just ziptie-ing the wires to the factory harness.
 

Chris B

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In my car, the fuse box is behind the glove box, and the compartment under the hood is where the engine computer and other electronics live.

ah yes okay, that is where mine is as well. I will most likely give that a try. Did you use an empty fuse slot?

I think he was thinking radar detector, not ALP.
Yep I've seen these installed hardwire via this route, seems like a clean way to go about RD install.
 

beaker

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Mine (2017 M4) has a fuse box in the trunk, and there is a diagram with icons and fuse numbers so you can tell which fuses are always on, accessory on, and engine on. The diagram is a folded up piece of paper sitting in the fuse box.

I have my RC-M and ALP connected to an engine-on fuse, which is one of the engine icon fuses in the diagram.

This might help: f30.bimmerpost.com: Fuse box diagram
 

Chris B

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In my car, the fuse box is behind the glove box, and the compartment under the hood is where the engine computer and other electronics live.



I think he was thinking radar detector, not ALP.

ah yes okay, that is where mine is as well. I will most likely give that a try. Did you use an empty fuse slot?

--- DOUBLEPOST MERGED ---

Mine (2017 M4) has a fuse box in the trunk, and there is a diagram with icons and fuse numbers so you can tell which fuses are always on, accessory on, and engine on. The diagram is a folded up piece of paper sitting in the fuse box.

I have my RC-M and ALP connected to an engine-on fuse, which is one of the engine icon fuses in the diagram.

This might help: f30.bimmerpost.com: Fuse box diagram
Thank you, that's great, I will look for that diagram for my car
 

meismyname

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ah yes okay, that is where mine is as well. I will most likely give that a try. Did you use an empty fuse slot?
Doesn't look like it. I have one fuse tap for my ALPs and another for my dashcam.
DSC01262.JPG
 

Chris B

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Doesn't look like it. I have one fuse tap for my ALPs and another for my dashcam.View attachment 88140
Wow thanks for snagging a photo too! Sorry for all the questions. From the fuse box where did you route the wires to the ALP CPU and where do you keep the unit? I've seen folks stash it to the left of the steering wheel in proximity to where the headlight knob is. I wonder if the wire is long enough to reach from fuse box to that area and how you'd route it.
 

meismyname

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Wow thanks for snagging a photo too! Sorry for all the questions. From the fuse box where did you route the wires to the ALP CPU and where do you keep the unit? I've seen folks stash it to the left of the steering wheel in proximity to where the headlight knob is. I wonder if the wire is long enough to reach from fuse box to that area and how you'd route it.
My car is a 2006, so the fuse layout might be different from yours. I happened to still have the picture on my phone from a while back. My ALP CPU is sitting just in front of the fuse box, but still behind the cover in the glove box. I ran a short USB extension into the glove box for firmware updates.
 

synistyr

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Chris B

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Thank you everyone for the help!!
 

meismyname

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I posted this link in another topic, but I hope it helps. They go through how to find a switched fuse:

www.thedashcamstore.com: How to Identify Constant and Switched Fuses | DIY Dashcam Install

BMWs can also be weird, as in some fuses can timed and only switch off after a certain amount of time after the car is shutoff.

I believe Vortex also has a video/blog on hardwiring/add a fuse.






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Yes, that is correct. Fortunately not an issue for finding a switched circuit, but it's a problem if you're looking for unswitched. I actually intentionally wired my dashcam to one of the timer circuits so I get ~20 minutes after I park, and the camera wakes up as soon as I do anything to wake up the car, from opening the trunk or door, or even hitting the lock button on my keyfob.
 

LexusISF

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I’ll add one comment to this, as a new BMW owner I just learned about this and mine has it, check “under” the glove box, so lying on your back on the passenger side floor looking up, there might be a spare cigarette lighter plug.

(I have my R3 mirrortapped, and my car has a fuse box under the hood, and another in the trunk, plus 2 other cigarettes lighter outlets in the cabin. Lots of power options which I wil use in my upcoming LJ install)
 

synistyr

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I’ll add one comment to this, as a new BMW owner I just learned about this and mine has it, check “under” the glove box, so lying on your back on the passenger side floor looking up, there might be a spare cigarette lighter plug.

(I have my R3 mirrortapped, and my car has a fuse box under the hood, and another in the trunk, plus 2 other cigarettes lighter outlets in the cabin. Lots of power options which I wil use in my upcoming LJ install)
My Audi has a switched outlet in the centre console. Buddy's VW has an outlet that's not. He plugs/unplugs his dash cam everytime he gets in/out of the car.






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