How To Install A Dash Cam
Dash cams have grown into one of the most important accessories to add to your car. These handy recording devices offer unparalleled peace of mind when on the road, so if there is ever a collision, your insurance company can use the footage as evidence. Dash cams have helped settle countless insurance disputes so if you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, your insurance company is guaranteed to side with you.
Unfortunately, car manufacturers have yet to implement in-built dashcams (with a few exceptions), so that means drivers looking to install dash cams in their vehicles need to find a third-party dash cam to install.
How To Install A Dash Cam
When looking to install a dash cam, you have three approaches to choose from. All dash cams require power to function, and your choice of installation (and dash cam) will vary depending on how it sources its power. Dash cams with internal batteries are a good option for short journeys but the charging capacity of these batteries is quite poor.
An alternative option is to use a dash cam that can be plugged in via USB or the 12-volt socket in your vehicle. These offer a much longer charge, but the power output of dashboard USB ports may vary depending on the vehicle. If you can choose either option, it is a good idea to choose the charging option that has a cleaner installation with no stray wires.
The most reliable way to install a dash cam in a vehicle is to hardwire it into the power supply of the car battery. This is achieved through the fuse box and provides a constant power supply that is hidden away in the interior panels of the vehicle. It also has the added bonus of turning the dash cam on and off when the vehicle does.
To help you make the right decision, we are going to discuss the three options in a little more depth below.
Fitting A Dash Cam Using The Internal Battery
Using the internal battery for a dash cam is useful for short trips, but anything beyond that, it becomes useless. The internal battery only holds a small charge, usually anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour of recording, so for any road trips or longer journeys, an internal battery will let you down eventually. There would be nothing worse than getting into a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, only to realise your dash cam was out of charge.
With all of that said, using the internal battery is perfectly fine for shorter trips and offers a great deal of convenience. It is also hassle-free with no need to use a secondary power source.
Installing A Dash Cam Using A 12-volt Socket Or USB Port
The most common approach to installing a dash cam is to use one of the USB ports or 12-volt sockets. This offers a good amount of power with minimal setup or installation. It can cause a bit of a mess with the cables, but you won’t need to worry about your dash cam shutting off due to a lack of power.
12-volt sockets will provide constant power to your dash cam, which is excellent for longer journeys. USB ports are also useful in most circumstances, although the power output of some USB ports is too weak for some dash cams. Make sure that your dash cam can charge fully using the USB ports in your vehicle before relying on it.
Hardwire The Dash Cam To The Fuse Box
Hardwiring the dash cam directly to the fuse box of the vehicle is the most comprehensive approach to installing a dash cam. It requires a little bit of know-how but is well worth the effort. To get started, you should look into buying a dash cam hardwire installation kit which includes the right cabling and instructions for the installation.
To install the dash cam to the fuse box, you will want to first position the dash cam in a way that you are happy with. This should provide clear visibility to the road in front, and could also include the rear view mirror for additional vantage points. Be wary that obstructing your view while driving is dangerous and potentially illegal, so ensure that the placement of the dash cam is safe.
The next step is hiding the cables so that they don’t get in your way while driving. This can be done by tucking the cable between the windscreen of the vehicle and the roof lining and down the A-frame. This part will vary depending on the vehicle, but the idea is to reach the passenger footwell. From here, you should be able to locate the fuse box nearby – usually beneath the glove compartment.