Installing a dash cam is a good investment in protecting yourself from possible liability. When accidents occur, dash cams are equally essential, mostly if you leave your vehicle unattended for some time .In your absence, your dash cam can record acts of vandalism, attempted theft, hit and run incidents and any activity that can impact your insurance and maintenance costs. The problem with dashcams is how to keep them operating while the vehicle is in park mode without draining the car battery.
Your dashcam can drain battery power if it continues to operate when the engine is off. However, any damage that falls outside your vehicle warranty will make it void.
Hardwiring your dash Cam ensures you get consistent power to maintain vital surveillance when your engine is off. Hardwiring your vehicle involves adding additional cables to connect directly to the fuse box in your vehicle. However, any significant modifications to your vehicle parts may avoid your warranty under the contract.
Some vehicle dealers can refuse to honor your warranty if there are any inappropriate changes to your vehicle parts. However, according to some experts, a total void is unlikely. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the implications of voiding your warranty. If an accident occurs with a faulty car component, you may be liable to finance the repairs or replace the vehicle yourself. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your connections are secure to prevent any fires or severe damage to your car.
Our comprehensive guide will walk you through some easy steps to get your hardware done correctly. You can have your hardware in place within a few hours and with the right tools.
Issues that can affect your warranty
The first concern is to ensure you attach the hardware components to your fuse box power up your dashcam. Your vehicle’s fuse box is the central control tower that allows electric current to run through the vehicle parts. Short-circuiting can stop the vehicle from working or cause an electric fire or damage. The fuse box will provide a shield to safeguard electric circuits in your vehicle. Some vehicle manuals caution owners about adding items after purchase that can potentially void the vehicle’s warranty. However, installing a dash cam may differ in some respect. The hardwiring process involves running a 12 Volt line that can attach to an add- in-circuit adapter. The action will not require any manual splicing.
Ways to hardwire your dashcam
Some persons also recommend purchasing is the circuit fuse holder. To install it, tack it onto the fuse opening like a cigarette lighter or accessory socket. You can also access the add-in-circuit and reconnect it to the original fuse. You can also run cables beneath the paneling and connect them to the vehicle battery or fuse box. Avoid embedding the wires inside the panel or let it dangle a bit instead. Another way is to mount the dash cam on the front or rear windshield or a window. Next, extended the cable under the windshield molding and attach it to a 12 Volt fuse inside the fuse box. For your safety, never overlap wires in your vehicle. Some studies suggest splicing may cause damage that can affect or void your warranty. Some individuals prefer to use two empty fuse slots to ensure they do not disrupt their vehicle’s circuit parts. Others may opt to run the cable under the molding and then attach it to the cigarette later slot with an extension cable.
Protect your battery
Always remember to activate the parking mode or sensor mode on the dash cam to protect your car battery. You can use a 2a or 5A size fuse or smaller size if available. Slice off the clips on the 12V socket and apply add-a-fuse to insert the fuse. Next, ground black wire to a bolt-on the chassis or insert the socket’s red cable into the add-a-fuse blue section. You can also insert a fuse that comes on when the vehicle is in park mode. Using a voltage protector to prevent the battery from losing power is essential.
DIY hard wiring
Tools you will need include:
- A hardwire kit
- A trimming tool
- Crimping tool
- Zip ties
- Add-a-fuse kit
- Needle nose pliers
Ensure you follow all instructions to avoid any personal injury or vehicle damage.
Choose the dashcam location
Get inside your car and look for the best location to mount your dash cam to ensure it does not block your view when driving.
Where is the fuse box?
You’ll find your fuse box in most vehicles in the trunk, glove compartment, or beneath the driver. Besides, some vehicles may carry more than one fuse box. In that case, choose a boss that’s easier to locate. You’ll need a fuse box to extend the electric cable between the dashcam and a fuse box.
Start to rout the electric cord
Begin at the dash cam and trace the path for the cable behind the inner panels of the vehicle. It will help guide you in running the cord and how much space to allow on the trail to the fuse box.
Start to fit the power card within the headliner
There may be a small space in the A-pillar that allows you to pull the cord through the headliner and into the fuse box. However, you may need to take out the A-pillar lid and fully open the case to let the cord through. Continue to push the cord along the same length of the cables in the A-pillar guide. Channel the power cord or the back of the remaining inner panels until you reach the fuse box.
Locating an active fuse
Standard vehicle fuses may get continuous power is or operate only when your vehicle is in motion. Active fuses trigger the dash cam to start when the ignition is on automatically. Alternatively, the active fuse shuts off when the engine is no longer running. Therefore your next step is to attach the add-a-circuit kit to an active fuse within the fuse box. You’ll need to use this circuit tester to locate an active fuse in the fuse box.
Testing the fuse
Testing the fuse ensures there is no electric current within the fuse box when the vehicle is off. Electric current should only circulate when the vehicle switches on.
Inserting the add-in power cord
Use a pair of pliers and check to ensure the key is no longer in the ignition. A fuse puller can also work to dislodge the fuse you need gently. Place the fuse into the add-in-a fuse circuit, and attach the circuit kit into the vacant slot where you remove the active fuse.
Test the battery
You also need to test your battery before installing your hardware kit. Your car battery is the central electrical hub that sends power to the parts to keep them working. Look for your battery in the trunk or engine bay of your vehicle. Testing your battery ensures it’s in the best condition to get your car operating at maximum power. A healthy battery also allows your dash cam and hardware kit to work correctly at all times. Before you start to test your battery, let the vehicle rest for up to one hour to ensure you get the best possible resting voltage reading.
It’s a good idea to remove the battery to gain better access when testing. Make sure you locate the negative or positive ports on the battery. Using a multimeter, connect the red and black cables and adjust the multimeter set to 20 DCV. Touch the negative port with the black lead and the positive port to the battery’s red lead. Register the reading to ensure it’s at the level that’s safe for installing your hardware kit. A reasonable range should fall between 12.6 or 24.6, but it must not fall below 11.6 or 23.6V.
Ground the hardwire kit
Grounding the cable channel to the power source, and even there’s a circuit jam. Therefore, grounding the cable can protect your vehicle from damage or fire and ensure the hardware will support your dash cam. Follow the instructions in your manual to help complete the process. Ground the new power cable by taking out the screw and attach the ground lug from the hardware kit.
Bundle the cables
Shape the power cord into a bundle and tie it off with a zip tie. Next, place it snugly within the mounting slot to the kick panel’s rear or beneath the dashboard. You may need some additional zip ties to keep the cord securely in place.
Place your vehicle key into the ignition and set it to the “on” position. Your dash cam should power up if the installation is successful. If all is well, replace the inner panels that were open to install the power cord.
Your vehicle warranty protects your investment from specific hazards arising after purchases that fall within the warranty period. Hardwiring your vehicle dash cam provides an additional power supply and protects your battery, especially when your vehicle is off.
However, a faulty connection may cause damage to parts that may void your warranty. Installing hardwire efficiently will protect your battery, safeguard your warranty, and let your dashcam work when you need it most.