Can I install a Dash Cam myself?
So you have decided you want/need a Dash Cam. Great.
Next thing you are probably thinking is how is it installed.
Are there wires hanging all over the place?
Is it plug and plug?
Can I install it myself or do I need a professional installer?
All valid and very common questions.
Installation may seem daunting but most of the steps can be done quite easily by a novice. There are thousands of Dash Cam installation videos on youtube that can be used as a general guide. Below are some general guidance videos that we found:
Dash Cams do not know what type of vehicle they are being installed into. All Dash Cams are pretty much installed the same way across the board of most vehicles. Basically the Dash Cam/s are mounted on the windscreen and the front Dash Cam plugs into a power source – either a 12/24V female cig lighter socket or hardwired to the fusebox. If you are purchasing a front and rear Dash Cam, there is an additional cable that connects the front and rear Dash Cams. The rear camera does not plug into a power source. It receives power and data from the front camera via the connection cable.
Mounting the Dash Cams:
It is best to mount Dash Cams as close to the top and centre of the windscreen as possible. This will record the best field of view.
If the front Dash Cam doesn’t fit behind or under the rear view mirror, or the car has the “safety eye” box, it is best to mount the camera to the left of the rear view mirror on the passenger side. This way, the front camera is not distracting you on the drivers side.
Try not to mount the camera too high so that the lens is covered by the black ceramic dots at the top of the windscreen.
We highly recommend you first decide on your location before peeling off the adhesive release paper. Do a dry fit first and then peel off the release paper and stick the mount on.
Ensure the mounting area is clean and dry before mounting the Dash Cam.
Tip: if installing the Dash Cam in colder temperatures, the adhesive pad can lose some tack and bite to the windscreen. Try and pre-warm the adhesive pad first by holding in front of your car heater vent. This will give it more tack and bite to the windscreen in colder temps.
Routing the cigarette lighter power cord (plug & play method):
If plugging your Dash Cam into a female 12/24V cig lighter socket, the installation is fairly straightforward.
Most manufacturers supply a 4.0m long cig lighter cable which gives you plenty of length to route and hide the wire around the windscreen.
You basically run the wire from the front Dash Cam up to the roof liner. Then it can be tucked it into the gap between the windscreen and roof liner.
When you hit the A-pillar (pillar between the door and windscreen) you can tuck the wire into the black weather stripping that runs down the A-pillar.
Once you reach the foot well area, you can hide the wire between any gaps or crannies you can find.
Then you simply plug the adaptor into a 12/24V socket near your gearstick on in the centre console.
Turn on your vehicle and make sure the Dash Cam powers up. If it powers up then you can go back and stick down or refine how the wire is tucked away.
When using the cig lighter cable, the camera will turn on and off with the engine.
The videos above are great guides on this process. Please note, you do not need to remove any panels. We highly recommend that the A-pillar cover is not removed and the wire hidden behind it. The side curtain airbags are behind this pillar so you don’t want the wires affecting the airbag functionality. Only a qualified installed should be used if hiding the wire behind the A-pillar.
Routing the hardwire cable (not plug & play):
Most of our Dash Cams come included with a hardwire cable instead of, or in addition to, the cig lighter cable.
The hardwire cable is used for parking mode recording. The hardwire cable is installed into the fusebox. This allows the camera to stay on and record while parked by drawing power from the car battery. The Dash Cams have a low voltage cut off point so they will shut down to prevent your battery from fully draining.
The hardwire cable is routed around the windscreen in the same way as the cig lighter cable, but instead the bare wires “piggy back” of particular circuits in the fusebox.
Accessories called “fusetaps/add-a-fuses” are used which are like double adaptors for the fusebox. Essentially a particular fuse is pulled out, the fuse tap goes into that spot and the original car fuse is re-inserted into the fusetap. This allows the car circuit to run both the dash cam wire and the car fuse together.
We highly recommend a qualified auto electrician with Dash Cam installation experience install the hardwire cable into the fuse box. If the correct circuits are not chosen, the Dash Cam or features of the car may not work correctly.
Routing the front to rear cable (2CH models):
When installing a front and rear Dash Cam (2CH), a cable connects the two cameras.
The supplied cables are generally 6m long which is usually plenty of length for a large sedan. Longer cables are available for most of our 2CH Dash Cams if required (generally required for vans or longer vehicles).
The DIY way to route this cable from front to rear is to run the cable up from the front camera to the roof liner.
The cable is fed along the roof liner to the A-pillar just like the power cord is.
The cable can then be tucked into to black weatherstripping which runs around the top of the passenger front and back doors. The black weatherstripping can easily be opened with your fingers.
The cable can then be fed along the roof liner above the rear windscreen and then plugged into the dash cam.
For a hatchback, make sure some slack is left in the cable at the rear to allow the rear door to open and close without pulling on the cable.
Most professional installers feed the cable directly through the roof liner by guiding it with a long piece of “fishrod/cable puller”.
If routing through the roof liner, we highly recommend a qualified professional do it as the roof liner houses airbags which you do not want to hit or interfere with.
If Dash Cam installation is just not in your skill set, a professional and qualified auto electrician with Dash Cam installation experience is the recommended trade to use. We don’t associate with any installers but we hear from customers that the going rate for a full and neat installation is around $100-$150 for a front camera system (1-channel Dash Cam) and up to $250.00 for a front and rear system (2-channel Dash Cam).
If you have any further enquiries or would like more assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9350 2605 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Live Chat tab on the site.