Automotive How to Install Dash Camera – DIY

This is the way to find out how to install a backup camera for your Car – SUV – Truck. 


Hi, Are You Looking

to install your own (DIY) Automotive Backup Dash Camera in your Car or Truck? If you are driving an earlier model vehicle like I am then maybe a backup camera would be very beneficial to see what is directly behind us that we normally cannot see.

Okay Then You Want

To install a backup camera on your trusty favorite ride, that’s currently not the new model but you love it. Great idea! Installing a backup camera will make such an impact on your backing up feature that the automotive industry is now mandated as a necessary safety feature.

We won’t have to go out and buy a newer vehicle with a factory-installed backup camera. Why because you like your Car – Truck right?

Why Do I Love My After Market Backup Camera

after-market installed Backup Camera? WELL, it’s so, I can see what may have pulled in behind my truck, like maybe little Teddy on his Tricycle that came out of nowhere and is hiding from his other little buddy. But I see him in my backup camera when I put my truck into reverse, THERE HE IS, and that is what it is all about, SAFETY and PROTECTING others from harm.

What Is a Backup Camera?

Backup Camera displays an object’s live view from behind the car when the vehicle is put into reverse. This gives the driver a clearer picture of what’s behind him or her and helps to ensure that your pet or your neighbor’s pet doesn’t get a deep-tissue massage from your tires.

Sorry!, but we do not want to entertain this thought, because it won’t happen when you have a backup camera viewing live video data behind your vehicle.

10 inch Mirror Dash Cam For recording Vehicle Accidents
Catching It All As It Happens Whether Your Inside The Vehicle Or Outside

Types of Cameras

  • The bracket-Mounted Camera is attached to but separated from a bracket that can be mounted on the car’s surface.
  • The flush-Mounted Camera is made to blend with the surface of the vehicle as much as possible to conceal.
  • The license Plate Frame Camera is embedded within a license plate framework.
  • The license Plate Bar Camera is centered in a bar that stretches across and attaches to the top of a license plate structure.

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Types of Displays

  • Integrated OEM: A factory unit that comes with the car and may sit on the dash or on top of the dashboard.
  • In-Dash Aftermarket: An added infotainment stereo with a screen that fits flush with the dashboard
  • On-Dash Aftermarket: A stand-alone monitor that can be placed on top of the dashboard in a position that fits your viewing comfort.
  • Rear-view Mirror: A monitor is built into the rear-view mirror. In different models and makes the screen can be half of the mirror, or at its full-length of the mirror. Also, when not being a backup camera it just looks and operates just like a rear-view mirror.

Working Safely Here

Ultimate Eye Protection on The Job
Safety Wear For Your Precious Eyes
  • Mechanic gloves
  • Long-sleeve shirt to protect your arms
  • Safety Glasses

Tool List

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Trim/panel removal tools
  • Wire strippers
  • Cordless drill
  • 3/32 to ⅛ drill bit
  • Automotive Multi-meter
  • Wire connectors such as Posi-Taps
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip ties
  • A friend (optional)

How to Install a Backup Camera

Let’s get at it

Adding the Camera 

  1. Make sure the vehicle is turned off and the key is out of the ignition.
  2. Safely disconnect the vehicle’s battery terminals.
  3. Remove the license plate if necessary, if this is your desired area of installation.
  4. Place or insert the camera into the desired position on the vehicle.
  5. With a marker, mark where the camera’s cord is in a favorable working location of the vehicle.
  6. Depending on the type of vehicle and area the camera will be located, you will likely need to remove an interior panel or interior portion of the door, hatch, or tailgate. On a bumper, this might procedure may not be necessary.
  7. Always use caution to make sure there are no wires, cables, or trim pieces that could be in line to be damaged when you drill a hole through the exterior of your vehicle.
  8. Determine the size of the drill bit, so it bores a large enough hole to accommodate the camera’s wire and rubber grommet to protect the wires from chaffing.
  9. Using the selected drill bit, drill a hole where you made a mark.
  10. Add a rubber grommet into the hole to hide the rough metal edges and protect your freshly installed wire/wires.
  11. Run the camera wiring through the hole.
  12. Attach the camera to the vehicle either through the supplied hardware or the hardware you purchased separately.

Here’s where I installed my camera, hidden away in my trailer hitch area, safe from being hit or poked at,  but I have ordered a Licence Plate Camera style. I will be comparing the view angles in reverse to which unit gives me more backup video coverage before I start moving the truck in reverse.

Hidden Backup Camera
Hidden and Protected Here

Let’s Do Some Wiring

  1. Connect the provided wire harness cluster to the correct colored camera wire. This will split into a video wire, a power wire, and possibly a reverse signal wire.
  2. For the simplest cleanest look, check for the existing manufacturer wiring loom, as best try to pair and route the wiring next to that wiring loom.
  3. Identify a 12 Volt power source for the camera, likely either a reverse light or a license plate light-would do well here.
  4. Locate and qualify the positive and negative (ground) wires from the light source using a multimeter.
  5. Link the positive camera wire to the positive light wire and the negative camera wire to the negative. This can be done quite successfully with a splice or a Posi-Tap connector.

Splicing a Wire or to Posi-Tap

  1. If Posi-Taps are not available because the parts store is too far away (oops forgot to get them) when I was there, then you will need to splice your wires together. For the second runner, we recommend a military splice, as no soldering is required.
  2. Using a wire stripper, hold the positive light wire and remove a section of the plastic coating usually about ½ in to reveal the copper is fine.
  3. Split the exposed section of copper into two evenly spaced sections.
  4. Feed the positive camera wire through the hole between the copper wiring that you just opened up.
  5. Wrap and twist the wiring positive camera wire around the light wire to establish a sturdy connection.
  6. Shrink-wrap and/or tape up the connection for security and protection toward the elements of nature.
  7. Repeat for the negative wire.

Reverse Signal Wire Location

In order for the display to show the video feed, it needs a signal to alert the system the car is in reverse. In some cases, the infotainment unit will have automatic signal sensing that detects the presence of an incoming video signal. If this is the case, skip this step.

  1. Find and identify a signal source this will be a wire that holds a positive 12 volts —while the car is in reverse. People do find often that the wiring for the reverse light is your best choice, but some aftermarket stereo wiring harnesses have a connection built-in.
  2. Tap into the signal source that works best for you with a splice as mentioned above.
  3. Pair the 12 Volt signal wire with the video wire and proceed with routing your wires to the designated areas.
Mirror Cam Monitor
Catching What is Behind My Truck

Routing and Concealing the Wiring

  1. Depending on the type of vehicle, take a moment to determine whether you want to track the wire under the floor under the door sills of the vehicle, or through its headliner.
  2. Remove or partially detach any trim pieces, carpeting, headliner, or door rubber needed to run the wires in a no see them discreet area.
  3. Tuck the two wires out of view and run them to the front of the vehicle.
  4. When done with that task re-attach the trim pieces you’ve removed and secure them.

Connecting to Power for Display

You now have the monitor in place, be that in the dashboard, on top of it, or in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to connect it to power, video, and the signal wire.

In some cases, maybe in most cases, the monitor power cord can be linked straight into the fuse box with a spliced-on adapter.

  1. Remember to use the multi-meter to determine an appropriate spot for your 12 Volt power feed and attach the power cable.
  2. Make sure the fused power turns off when the ignition is off, or the connection could drain the battery.

Wrapping Up Here

  1. Safely reconnect the battery terminals. Connect the positive first then the negative post.
  2. Start the car. If you don’t see any smoke that is good, just kidding.
  3. Put the car in reverse to see if the monitor switches or turns on and displays the rear video feed.
  4. Okay, it’s working, try all the gears then back to reverse to test out the new connections, and then turn the car off. If it doesn’t display the reverse image, return to the steps and check your work.
  5. Tidy up any loose or out-of-position wires with electrical tape, zip ties, and Velcro- if you like Velcro.
  6. Reinstall any removed interior parts, panels, or coverings.

Installation of installing your video backup camera is done. Enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you can view behind your Car-SUV-Truck to see any unexpected objects that may be present and in your control to not back up.

My Mission Statement: Here to help Males, Females the Young, and the Inspiring Aging who are interested In Do It Yourself (DIY). How to Repair (Fix) your rides aliments while enjoying the fulfillment of (DIY) pride.

Just thinking here that if you have a comment or even a good story to share about your experience of installing your backup camera, please let me know the good or not-so-good details. Thanks for now … Doug

I Love a Good Story


Male mini worker
Here To Help


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