Powering Your Dash Cam with Parking Mode
How to Hardwire Install Your Dash Cam
Hardwiring a Dash Cam to Your Fusebox
Hardwiring your dash cam to the vehicle’s fuse box is one of the most common installation methods to power on your dash cam when the vehicle is off, thus offering parking mode recording (for dash cams that come with parking mode recording feature).
Hardwiring kits are available for our dash cams and have become widely popular over the years for new and experienced drivers alike. They provide power to your dash cam, prevents battery discharge, and allows your dash cam to capture all the important moments whether on the road or parked.
“How do I hardwire my dash cam?” is a question we get asked all the time. If you have been wondering the same question, continue reading to learn the steps as well the tips and tricks to hardwiring your dash cam.
Gather everything you need
Locate the fuse box
Next, you will need to find where the fuse box is located. This is why you’ll need the user manual (or if you don’t have your manual, you should be able to find the information online). Note that you may need to remove some of your car’s panels, or lift a tab, or something, in order to get to it, because it’s made to be hidden.
If your car has multiple fuse boxes, you’ll generally want to pick the fuse box closest to where you’ll be installing your camera.
Determine which fuse slot to use (from the fusebox)
Not all fuse slots are made equal. Some control things like airbags, stability control programs, the horn etc., and these are the ones you don’t want to mess with. Others that control the radio or sunroof are usually a safer alternative.
- With the engine off and your key out of the ignition, use the circuit tester to find a constant fuse. If the fuse lights up your circuit tester, you’ve got a constant fuse.
- Next, you’ll need to find an ignition-switched fuse. A switched fuse will read cold while your engine is off. Put your key back into the ignition and turn it to the On position and if the circuit tester lights up, you’ve found your ignition-switched fuse.
*Turn off the engine and pull the key from the ignition before proceeding.
What fuse rating should I be using for my hardwire installation?
For one, we always recommend using add-a-fuse and fuse-taps for your hardwire installations. It's significantly cleaner than wrapping the wires arund the fuses (and safer, too). When you're selecting the fuses to use, you can use a circuit tester to identify which fuse is the ACC and which fuse is the BATT(+)/Constant. Just make sure they are not fuses for safety equipemtn (check your user manual).
We always recommend selecting fuse slots that are rated between 10A-30A in order to properly provide enough power to your dash cam. Always refer to the vehicle’s owner’s manual to avoid fuse slots that could pertain to certain safety features within your vehicle.
@blackboxmycar you asked, we answer. here’s how fuse wiring works with dash cam hardwire installations note: always check your hardwiring kit labels to know which one is your constant and ACC. they could be switched in some cases #question #dashcam #blackboxmycar #dashcams #dashcaminstall #dashcaminstalls #hardwire ♬ Canyons - Official Sound Studio
Connect the wires (from the hardwiring kit)
Once you’ve got the fuse slots figured out, it’s time to connect the wires.
The red usually goes to a constant fuse, the yellow in the ACC/ignition-switched fuse and the C-shaped is the ground wire. Don’t worry, your hardwiring will come with labels, so make sure to read them before you proceed.
We recommend using an Add-a-Fuse kit for a more professional and clutter-free installation. The add-a-fuse kit also makes your fuses more secure and long-lasting.
Take the C-shaped wire (or ring-shaped) and slip it under a bolt or screw it in your vehicle.
For the fuse taps for your hardwiring kits, we recommending using fuse taps with the following ratings:
- For dash cams: at least 5A
- For dash cam battery packs: at least 10A
Make sure the ground wire is connected to an unpainted, bare metal section. Avoid plastic, including metal bolts that are attached to plastics, as it may cause issues, The best grounding spot is to find a factory ground. Whichever the case, make sure you tighten the screw well - a loose ground will cause power issues, such as dash cam randomly restarting.
Test your dash cam
Once all the wires are connected, plug the kit into your dash cam and start your vehicle. If the dash cam powers on, it means you did everything right.
If it works, you can go ahead and tidy up the cables - you don’t want any cables to be dangling from the dash cam or around the fuse box. The best way is to tuck the loose cables inside the fuse box loose area and along the A-pillar of your car. Zip ties and electric tape are your friend as they help keep things tight and out of the way.
We recommend you not to wait until after you've tucked away all your wiring to plug in and test your camera as it will typically be easier to troubleshoot when the wires are readily accessible.
If it's your first time hardwiring a dash cam, there are a number of common mistakes that you may come across where your hardwiring kit doesn't work as expected. If you are experiencing issues that aren't listed below, then our in-house product experts are to help. Contact us with your questions today and we'll get back to you in under 24 hours.
- Reversed orientation of the accessory and ignition switched wires: The dash cam will behave abnormally if the wires are switched and in some cases even result in battery drain. Please double check with your specific hardwire kit for the wire orientation and don't go off other guides.
- Bad Ground: When an incorrect ground is used the camera won't get power. A loose or weak ground may result in restarting when the vehicle hits a bump.
- Add-A-Fuse Incorrectly Set Up: If you don't put a fuse into the top fuse slot of the add-a-fuse, it will not feed power to the hardwire kit.
- Blown Fuse: If the fuse on the add-a-fuse is blown, the kit will not receive power. There might also be inline glass fuses on the cigarette cable or hardwire kit that can also be blown. If this happens, please contact us for a replacement.
- Loose Wire in Add-A-Fuse - On some hardwire kits, the wire is much thinner than the socket on the add-a-fuse. Because of this, they may wiggle loose in the add-a-fuse leading to an inconsistent current. Make sure that the crimp is tight and the wire is held in tightly.
Over the years, our product experts have assisted our customers in installing dash cams into a multitude of vehicles, ranging from hatchback, SUV, pickup trucks, and even electric/hybrid vehicles. We have created blogs dedicated to each of these vehicle types to guide you in your installation.
Hearing our customers' success stories brings smiles to all of our product expert team! We love it when our customers tell us that they had a successful installation. And even better if when they shoot a video to tell us as well! If you have a success story and would like to get featured on our website, then please contact us!
What other options do you have?
If you want to avoid hardwiring, you can either use an external battery pack, or you can connect it to a USB port or lighter port in your car. With the external battery, the downside is you’ll need to charge it, and chances are that your commute is not long enough to fully charge the battery.
The other alternative is to use a lighter socket. While there is no battery to charge, you will not get parking mode and you’re also occupying the lighter socket in your car. The USB port will enable parking mode, but if you need the port for something else (ie. an telematics device or an insurance dongle), then you have to unplug and plug it back in every single time.
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