So you’ve purchased a dash cam but now you’ve realised that you have no idea how to install it. In fact, it is luckily a relatively simple process that can be done in a matter of minutes. When it comes to installing a dash cam, you have two main options, which are laid out below.
The first is by attaching it to your cigarette lighter power supply. The cable of the device can be guided along the gap between the roof lining and the windscreen, allowing it to be tucked neatly out of sight and guided around the edge of the windscreen until it reaches the bottom. This is a quick and simple way to install your dash cam, which makes it easy to move the device between vehicles. Although a little of the cabling is still visible, it is generally discrete and does the job well.
If you would prefer a more clean cut approach which doesn’t see you losing your lighter socket or having any cables in view, you can opt to hardwire your dash cam instead. For this, you’ll need a fuse box connection. The whole process can take as little as twenty minutes. This option provides a more permanent solution, so is best for those who are planning to keep the camera in one car and have it constantly filming each time they drive.
To hardwire your camera, position it on the windshield in the optimum spot and feed the cable around the windscreen as above. However, this time you will need to connect it to the fuse box rather than the lighter socket, which is usually located in or under the glove box. You will need to remove the existing fuse, which tends to be the cigarette lighter, and insert the socket for the dash cam – the old fuse will be able to be latched onto the new connection, so it will not be lost. You will then need to connect the earth cable to the metal body of the car by any metal bolt that is in contact with it. If you’re savvy on the DIY front, this may be a job you can complete yourself, otherwise you may need to call in some help from the professionals.
How to Position It
When it comes to positioning your dash cam, you will not only need to consider the perfect spot to get the best view, you’ll also need to take on board legal obligations. The majority of countries have laws prohibiting drivers from getting on the road if their view is obscured through the windshield, and the severity of these laws varies from place to place. To ensure that your camera does not obstruct your view in any way, it is best to place it on the upper part of the passenger side of the window behind the rear view mirror.
The camera should not intrude too much into the area where the windscreen wipers hit – anywhere up to forty millimetres is acceptable but beyond this you may be in breach of the law. It should also not cause a distraction, so if your dash cam comes with an LCD screen, be sure to turn this off when driving so that it doesn’t detract from your attention to the road.
If you’re unsure about the rules and regulations in your country, it is best to confirm these before installing a dash cam to make sure that you are on the right side of the law.
The size of your dash cam will also play a part in where you should position it. In general, a dash cam should not be larger than 5 inches squared if it is positioned on the driver’s side of the windshield, or 7 inches on the passenger’s side.
Installing a dash cam is a quick and simple process once you know how it’s done. Once it’s installed, you can set it to record on loop meaning that it pretty much runs itself. The only time you’ll then need to mess with it is if you need to retain any footage from an incident on the road, in which case you should remove the SD card immediately to ensure that nothing gets recorded over.