My Uniden R7 is unreliable / won't turn on in hot weather

Status
Not open for further replies.

STguy

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
18
Wondering if my unit is defective or if it's common for Uniden R7 to not work at all (turn on) if there's hot weather?

I moved from a cold climate state to Florida a couple of months ago and have had this R7 for about 6 months. It is hard wired to my car and in California never had an issue leaving my R7 on the windshield and would turn on without any issues as soon as I needed to drive the car.

Since moving to Florida though this R7 is a different story, I do take the radar detector away from the windshield and into the backseat floor when not in use, so there's no direct sunlight but the cabin does get hot as Florida weather gets - 90 degrees even while car is on a carport. If the car is on the direct sunlight the cabin may reach 110 degrees. I would expect my radar detector to work just fine within these temperatures but that is not my experience.

When the R7 won't turn on, I place the unit in front of the AC vents with a 68 degree AC on full blast for about 10 minutes or so. Sometimes this trick works and the unit will immediately turn on after "cool off" period but it doesn't feel normal and it doesn't work every time so it feels like a defective unit? AFAIK these temperatures are not crazy 140-160 degrees to "overheat"and some searching here doesn't indicate this is common?

Any thoughts or suggestions? I may request a repair for this since two different firmware versions haven't made a difference and its happened 4-5 times now. I got a ticket today because i didn't bother with the detector :(
 

Smason

What is a PSL?
Advanced User
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
3,814
Location
Vancouver/NY2LA
Sorry to hear about the ticket.

Are you using the OEM power cord? Does it click when plugged in?
 

STguy

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
18
Sorry to hear about the ticket.

Are you using the OEM power cord? Does it click when plugged in?

I have used two different power sources, the OEM power plug to the cigarette lighter as well as my hardwire. I did put a multimeter on both power sources and they seem to be fine, the fuse in my hardwire hasn't been blown. The unit will work on my regular hardwire if I happen to be lucky on those days that the AC air vent trick works.
 

Disco47

Roll Tide
Beginner User
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
384
Reaction score
776
Location
Alabama, USA
Yeah that's not normal at all. Send it in to get it fixed. It should be able to weather high temps that are seen during the summer months.
 

STguy

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
18
Yeah that's not normal at all. Send it in to get it fixed. It should be able to weather high temps that are seen during the summer months.

Thanks, going to mail it out tomorrow. I hope their repair time is better than the 20 business days they say.
 

RadarScout

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
6,157
Reaction score
8,647
Location
Land of Crimson Tide!
Thanks, going to mail it out tomorrow. I hope their repair time is better than the 20 business days they say.
Maybe put a note in the package if you want your unit back. If I remember correctly, they've been known to send a repaired one back, (which is what yours will be), and occassionally a brand new one.
 

Bloovy One

"Today didn't have to end in eels"
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
7,132
Reaction score
15,983
Location
Western NC
I think some of the responses in this thread are somewhat confusing. There are a decent amount of past threads here about heat issues with the newer Unidens (R1, R3, R7) and the overall frequent response to these issues is to not leave the units in a hot vehicle.

There are going to be units with no issues at all such as @bhrodeoaz has mentioned, but there have been many other issues posted in the last few years. If people are removing their Unidens from windshields when parked, of course there's going to be less reports of heat damage... Make of that what you will.

Also, isn't the standard operating procedure of Uniden to replace the item you bought with an already repaired unit that someone else bought? Last I heard, they don't have the facilities to repair units in the US so repairing your unit consists of sending it to Attowave or something like that. How many have actually gotten a new unit in return?

@STguy, if you have the ability to return the unit to the store and exchange for another, I think that would be your better option.
 

aim4squirrels

Coming soon.....
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
4,032
Reaction score
8,506
Location
DFW Texas
Two roasty summers in Texas and I've not had a heat related issue yet. My cell phone frequently will stop charging in a hot car, but the R7 (and the R3 I had before it) operate fairly well at the top of the windshield and it never comes down.

Those are single instance cases, and I would assume all brands have "duds" so I'm only offering a single data point on the spectrum. I agree with @Bloovy One though, take it back where you bought it and exchange it if you can. Less hassle if that's a possiblity.
 

doubledge

PSL?
Intermediate User
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
959
Reaction score
1,075
I think some of the responses in this thread are somewhat confusing. There are a decent amount of past threads here about heat issues with the newer Unidens (R1, R3, R7) and the overall frequent response to these issues is to not leave the units in a hot vehicle.
There is nothing confusing about the responses. They are all pretty short and simple and everyone says that this is not normal and he should send it in. There are for sure some threads of isolated issues speculating that heat may have caused some failures and the response are also that this is not normal. The recommendation to not leave your RD in a hot vehicle or more specifically in direct sun is not necessarily isolated to Uniden Rds and there are plenty of people that have said it's no issue for them in hot places like AZ, TX and FL. My R7 stays mounted and I have no issues. Every brand has units that fail for one reason or another. It's not endemic of this brand or series.

There are going to be units with no issues at all such as @bhrodeoaz has mentioned, but there have been many other issues posted in the last few years. If people are removing their Unidens from windshields when parked, of course there's going to be less reports of heat damage... Make of that what you will.
I don't think anyone can say that Uniden owners are more likely to remove their RDs from the windshield than any other brand. Maybe someone has researched this already but it seems like unfair speculation. Every RD has had its share of issues.

Also, isn't the standard operating procedure of Uniden to replace the item you bought with an already repaired unit that someone else bought? Last I heard, they don't have the facilities to repair units in the US so repairing your unit consists of sending it to Attowave or something like that. How many have actually gotten a new unit in return?

@STguy, if you have the ability to return the unit to the store and exchange for another, I think that would be your better option.
Correct, the OP would get a replacement that's either a referb unit or a new one so I agree that it would be easier and better to be able to return it locally and pick up a new one. I don't think it's that common to get a new unit back when you send yours in for repair but it does happen.
 

RayC

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
568
Reaction score
974
Never take mine down and it get's pretty hot in the car. Never an issue. As for uniden turnaround time I think most have been about 1 week from mailing to getting a working unit back. I sent in an R1 a while back and it was very quick turnaround. I don't think they could have taken more than 2 days before shipping back to me. No heat issues on any of the R series I have owned. Actually no problems either. The one I sent in was because i thought the range was poor because I wasn't getting much different than my R-O (expectations too high). They replaced it regardless though.

I never even called ahead of time. Just mailed it to the address on the website with the form they have there. Could not have been easier unless they came to my house and took it out of my car.
 

STguy

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
18
@STguy, if you have the ability to return the unit to the store and exchange for another, I think that would be your better option.

Unfortunately my return window for my original purchase is long gone, so the repair would be under the 1 year warranty. I shipped my unit via fedex overnight and they should be getting it before 10:30am tomorrow - will be interesting to see how long they will take to notify me of receipt of my unit and shipping me another one.

I'll report back here if it ends up being a refurb or new. Thanks for the comments from other R7 owners; it seems to be working fine for most even when leaving it on windshield.
 

Bloovy One

"Today didn't have to end in eels"
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
7,132
Reaction score
15,983
Location
Western NC
There is nothing confusing about the responses. They are all pretty short and simple and everyone says that this is not normal and he should send it in. There are for sure some threads of isolated issues speculating that heat may have caused some failures and the response are also that this is not normal. The recommendation to not leave your RD in a hot vehicle or more specifically in direct sun is not necessarily isolated to Uniden Rds and there are plenty of people that have said it's no issue for them in hot places like AZ, TX and FL. My R7 stays mounted and I have no issues. Every brand has units that fail for one reason or another. It's not endemic of this brand or series.

I don't think anyone can say that Uniden owners are more likely to remove their RDs from the windshield than any other brand. Maybe someone has researched this already but it seems like unfair speculation.

Did a quick search:
Between the threads you can see, and the elevated threads and messages in other places; I have a different point of view of the issue than you do it looks like. :)
During many discussions about Uniden failures, removing the detector from the windshield when not driving was a common non-sequitur "response" that didn't address the initial concern. (Whether people actually do that or not is another story)

It's not meant as an "unfair speculation", but to support that the issue @STguy was curious about was not unheard of and that he should get it replaced/fixed/etc. rather than second guess his concerns. I know two people that have experienced it with their Unidens during summer temps.
 

DC Fluid

RDF Addicts Anonymous Member
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
Messages
3,108
Reaction score
8,359
Age
54
Location
Prince George, B.C. Canada
I think some of the responses in this thread are somewhat confusing. There are a decent amount of past threads here about heat issues with the newer Unidens (R1, R3, R7) and the overall frequent response to these issues is to not leave the units in a hot vehicle.

There are going to be units with no issues at all such as @bhrodeoaz has mentioned, but there have been many other issues posted in the last few years. If people are removing their Unidens from windshields when parked, of course there's going to be less reports of heat damage... Make of that what you will.

Also, isn't the standard operating procedure of Uniden to replace the item you bought with an already repaired unit that someone else bought? Last I heard, they don't have the facilities to repair units in the US so repairing your unit consists of sending it to Attowave or something like that. How many have actually gotten a new unit in return?

@STguy, if you have the ability to return the unit to the store and exchange for another, I think that would be your better option.
I don't believe for a second that Uniden isn't repairing units in USA.
I've had mine twice recently sent and repaired, the same unit serial number and my mounting modifications came back both times.
One repair minor and the other major drop damage.
No exchange units here.
Post automatically merged:

Unfortunately my return window for my original purchase is long gone, so the repair would be under the 1 year warranty. I shipped my unit via fedex overnight and they should be getting it before 10:30am tomorrow - will be interesting to see how long they will take to notify me of receipt of my unit and shipping me another one.

I'll report back here if it ends up being a refurb or new. Thanks for the comments from other R7 owners; it seems to be working fine for most even when leaving it on windshield.
Both times my R7 repaired this year it was at the Uniden center less than 7 calendar days before being shipped.
My 3 week+ wait was shipping from Northern Canada, and 2 border waits during Covid slow postal times.
Uniden never gave me any notices.
I used tracking numbers to get delivery date, and called the Uniden 1-800 number and inquired about my detector.
They gave me the return tracking number so I could estimate delivery.
I was very happy with the service, repairs, and service person on the phone calls.
I was never billed for return shipping even though both incidents were physical damage.
I had to pay for the second repair, the standard amount.
I dropped it on pavement (it went flying) and totalled the display and front fascia.
All great now.
 
Last edited:

biolink

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
380
Reaction score
832
I don’t leave anything my car in az. I always remove my RD.

During many discussions about Uniden failures, removing the detector from the windshield when not driving was a common non-sequitur "response" that didn't address the initial concern. (Whether people actually do that or not is another story)
@STguy My response was short and didn't help address your concern. I didn't mean to diminish your concern or blame shift. My car stays outside at work all day. Temps in AZ cars can be 180+F in the summer months. I've had CDs stored in shade melt. That being said radar detectors being black has always puzzled me. They operate best in full view of the sun, and their color soaks up more sun. I would think manufacturers should consider this and allow for operation at a level of heat they may achieve in a windshield. It sounds like you have options. I would definitely attempt a repair or exchange.

I remember our first detector, a big giant Fuzz Buster. We secured it to the dash with Velcro and hid it in a box of tissue. As a kid I suspected we were hiding it from the police. I suppose we were also trying to keep it cool. My V1 I simply tuck high and tight. If it had GPS I'd have to subject it to sun like everyone else.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Discord Server

Latest threads

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
90,728
Messages
1,381,014
Members
22,815
Latest member
MyRCode
Top