At this point, you’ve probably seen some videos online of people getting into accidents or mishaps on the road. That being said, the dashcam is getting quite popular and many people are installing them in their cars in order to rewatch certain events, or more importantly, keep them safe. A dashcam also helps you review an accident and play it back to better determine who is at fault. The footage it captures also serves as evidence in the event that you will file an insurance claim.
So how do you install one yourself? Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Buy a dashcam
First and foremost, you need to buy a dashcam. There are a lot of brands out there with varying levels of quality and capability. There are even some dashcams that have a g-force sensor that will automatically and intently record an event if tripped. Other cameras will also feature wifi capability, which will allow you to download the footage to your mobile device over wifi with the right application. There are also dashcams that come with batteries so you can keep recording even after you shut your car off. Make sure that you get a dashcam that can at least record in 1080p and has a good night mode because you don’t want to get caught up in an accident and playback the footage only to find out that it was too dark for the camera.
Prepare a budget of around P3,000 or more if you want a good and reliable unit, however, if budget is an issue, make sure to consult reviews before you make a purchase. It also helps that the dashcam that you purchase is from a reputable company. In this article, we’ll use a Transcend DP220. Other dashcams may have a different installation method, but generally, this is the standard kit that you will be working with for most models.
Take everything out of the box and gather some supplies
Unbox all the contents of the kit. Typically, most kits will come with the camera, an attachment apparatus in the form of a suction mount or an adhesive mount, a wire with a 12-volt socket, and an SD card. If you can’t find the SD card, it could be installed in the camera already. Just be careful with the memory card because it is very small and can easily slip out of your fingers if you are not careful.
What doesn’t come in the box, however, is alcohol and a soft cleaning cloth. Make sure to have these items on hand to help you install the dashcam.
Place your camera in a nice spot
After you empty the box, click all the pieces of the camera together. There will be a series of latches and clips that you need to secure. Ideally, you want the camera to be placed in the upper center of the windshield. This way, the wide-angle lens that most cams come with can see everything in front of the vehicle. Try to tuck the dashcam behind the rear-view mirror so it won’t interfere with your field of view while driving.
If your cam has an adhesive mount, make sure to clean the surface before installing. Use alcohol and a clean cloth to wipe the glass so the double-sided adhesive has the best chance of staying on for a long time.
If your cam has a suction mount, also make sure to clean the surface before installation. The same things apply, use alcohol and clean cloth to wipe the windshield. Next, all suction mounts come with latches that help secure the mount to the surface. Unlatch it first to release the tension on the suction cup, and then press firmly into the glass. Following this, lock the suction cup into place and you’re good to go.
Install the wiring
Next would be to install the wiring. First, find a free 12-volt socket. If you need to use the socket, don’t worry because there are splitters that you can use that will grant you another slot for a device.
You will notice that the wire is quite long, and that’s because you can install a dashcam cleanly without the cable showing that much. All you have to do is tuck it into the right places in your car.
First, start by positioning the appropriate head to the 12-volt socket. After that, find a crack or a crevice that you can tuck the wire into. Interior panels are often great places for you to hide wiring in. In our install, we used the center tunnel panels, the glove box compartment, the A-pillar door seals, the A-pillar trim, and finally the headliner. Make sure to tuck the wire into these panels for a clean install.
On a separate note, you may have to remove panels to install the wiring cleanly. Panels that you can remove include the glove compartment and some trim pieces in the center. You can also remove the panels in the A-pillar, but be cautious if your car has side airbags. Do not remove the panels if your car has these airbags, instead, carefully tuck the wire in the gap.
Plug in the camera
After you’ve traced the wiring all the way to the camera, it’s time to plug it in. Make sure that the length of the wire reaches all the way to the 12-volt socket before you plug it. Don’t tug on the wire or force it to fit.
Now, start your car and wait for any indicator lights or sounds that the camera will make, and you’re done!
Congratulations, you’ve successfully, and cleanly installed a dashcam into your car.