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Aux Power Override Switch


Well-Known Member
January 16, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Salt Lake City, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Explorer Sport
My X serves double duty as my daily driver and as my patrol vehichle for my security job. When at work I change between patrolling the campus and sitting and observing, when I am stationary I like to turn off my truck for obvious reasons. My issue is that every time I turn my truck off and over to the aux power on position my stereo (Alpine IVA-W205) powers down and restarts.

What I would like is a solution that keeps this from happening.

I was thinking about using a relay controlled by a switch on my console to bypass the aux side of the ignition switch. How many amps are in this circuit? Would having this switched on during startup do any damage to my electronics?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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If you add a switch to the ignition wire on your radio to deliver constant 12 volts it should be fine. The ignition wire on the radio from what I can find is like a trigger to turn your radio on and does not carry the load needed for the internal amp.. I would look into that further just to be certain. I would find constant power under your dash and switch it to the ignition side of your radio and you should be fine. Put an inline fuse in it of coarse. I want to beef up the wire on my alpine so If I come across anything I'll let ya know

I cant find out for sure if it is the ignition wire or the 12 volt constant wire that pulls the load for the internal amp.. my searching skills suck on the web unless im looking for fart jokes or something else thats useless. Thank god for explorer forums! If it is the switch side that pulls the load you definatly need a relay, but if it is not then you should be fine with just switching it.

Your idea works and I know several people who have gone that route. You would put the switch inline on the ignition wire of the head unit and then hook that line up to 12+ constant instead of the 12+ switched.

I want more than just the head unit to work, I would like to have all the aux controlled systems powered (windows and stereo mostly)

I probably should have been clear about that in my first post. Maybe this post would have been better in the Modified Forum for my year. I'll re post there.

well to do that.. get under the dash and hook your 12v wire to the accessory wire with a switch and see what all comes on.. that is a gray/yellow wire in the harness to the column. that should turn on all of the interior stuff - maybe wipers and ac too. you would have to pay attention to your battery depending on how long you sit with it on. I would get a permenent voltage gauge if I were you, even if its just a cheapy just to monitor it. or you could hunt down your pw wire in the fuse block and jump that with a switch from 12v.

Well if it's anything like the system I just fixed in a family friends car. completely wires wrong. it had the constant and ignition wires bundled together. so I allowed the radio, wipers, and windows to be on at an time, just try backfeeding 12 volts through the ignition wire with the car off and see what all runs. Not sure how safe that is. but that's how this was wired for some odd reason.

I touched the 12v battery wire to the acc wire once while I was hooking up my radio and it didnt hurt anything :P

My door chime went on (door was open) windows would roll down and all so I would say just tap a 12v into the acc through a switch and it would be fine.

doing that is kind of like hot wireing a car

lol it comes with alarm and remote starter install knowledge.. a remote start taps into most of those wires right there under the dash and a series of relays meet up, connect the appropriate wires together thru wiring and start the car.. it does is the same thing the key does but 15 inches away from the key cylender. theres never any backfeeding issues and there has never been any problems doing this. - fyi: to hot wire a vehicle you put a jump wire between the 12v and 1st ignition wire (sometimes theres 2 or 3 ignition wires) then you tap the starter wire untill it fires up, but if you want to listen to the radio while in your newly aquired ride you need to tie into the accessory wire :D lol. -I have never stole a car and I am not offering this info so that anyone else can!-

My only concern is that the wires on the steering column seem to be pretty heavy gauge, will a switch alone handle the amperage, or would it be smarter to use a relay? The switch I want to use is rated to 10A @ 12v. I have some 50a relays laying around....

useing a relay certainly wont hurt.. I would recommend it just to be on the safe side, especialy since you may run it for a while at a time but the worst that can happen is that it will burn your switch out.

Yea, I think I'll try it with the relay, I'll let everyone know how it turns out.