Dash cams are infinitely useful, but they can also be unappealing once installed incorrectly. The idea of having cords dangling inside of your vehicle can be dangerous and unsightly.
That is why a lot of people decide to hire a professional to do the job for them. However, if you want to save some money, it’s best to learn how to route dash cam cables and hide the wires at the same time.
In this guide, we’ll discuss two different methods for running cables. One method will be with hidden cables, and the other will be without cables.
The Fastest Way: Routing Dash Cam Cables with a Cigarette Lighter
Not everyone is interested in maintaining the aesthetics of the interior of their car. In fact, depending on the dash cam you choose, you might not even need to worry about hiding cables. This process is the easiest and fastest way to route your dash cam cables.
Ideally, you’ll want to follow the instructions that came with your dash cam, as each model is different. However, these steps are universal for basic installation.
Step One: Guide the Cable
The first thing you’ll want to do is grab the power cable that is provided with your dash cam. You’re going to want to choose the cable that comes with the cigarette lighter adapter (12V power supply). Guide the cable around your windshield, tucking the cables gently into the corners.
Step Two: Install the Dash Cam
Before you suction or mount the dash cam, you’re going to want to ensure that you choose the correct placement. Make sure that the camera has the best field of view so that you can capture all activity around your vehicle.
Once you’ve decided on the right location, mount the camera accordingly. Most models will come with a suction cup, though some come with screws that you’ll need to affix to your vehicle.
Step Three: Test the Camera
Now that everything is connected and placed properly, it’s time to test your camera out. Make sure that you’re happy with its placement and that you’re able to capture images and videos from a couple of car lengths away. If you need to wrap the 12V power cable some more, simply wrap it around the base of the camera.
The Reliable Way: Hardwiring Dash Cam Cables Without Hiding
This next method for learning how to route dash cam cables is useful for someone who wants to hardwire their dash cam but isn’t interested in hiding the cables. It’s faster than the third method, and it’s more reliable than plugging the camera into a cigarette lighter.
If you are concerned about your level of expertise, it’s important that you hire a professional to handle this job for you. You won’t want to damage any sensitive components of your vehicle.
Step One: Position the Camera
When hardwiring, the very first thing you want to do is position the camera accordingly. This is because once the wires are installed, you won’t have much leeway for adjustments.
Using the suction cup or the mount, make sure that you put the camera in the right position. Once you have chosen the best possible position, continue onto the second step.
Step Two: Locate the Fuse Box
You’ll now want to find the fuse box inside of your vehicle. Depending on your make and model, you may be able to find it either to the left of the steering wheel, inside the glove box, or underneath the glove box.
You’ll want to remove a single fuse for a component that you don’t typically use in your car. For example, take away the cigarette lighter fuse.
Step Three: Installing the Dash Cam
Your dash cam should come equipped with a cable with a special socket on the end that is meant for the fuse box. This socket helps the camera connect directly to your vehicle by piggybacking power.
You’ll want to take this special socket and plug it into space in your fuse box. After this is complete, use the grounding wire or earth wire and connect it to the chassis of your vehicle using any direct metal screw or bolt.
Step Four: Clean Up the Wires
Though you’re not going to go through the process of hiding the wires thoroughly, they’ll still need to be tucked away. Some dash cams come with clips to keep your wires to the side of your vehicle, and it’s recommended that you use those. Otherwise, you can tuck the wires in between your dashboard and the windshield.
The Cleanest Way: Routing Dash Cam Cables and Hiding the Cables
By far, the most aesthetically pleasing method of hardwiring is to make sure that you hide the cables thoroughly. Again, it’s important to mention that if you aren’t comfortable with this task, you should hire a professional to do the job for you.
Step One: Plan the Camera and Wire Placement
Just like the other two methods, you’re going to need to find the right position for your camera. This time, though, you’re going to need to plan where you’ll be hiding your wires. This will give you a great idea as to how much slack you have to work with.
Step Two: Hide the Wires
Before you hardwire anything, you’re going to want to hide the wires as you go. The best method for hiding them is to see if your driver’s side A-pillar cover can be removed. This cover is located on the left side of the windshield.
With most vehicles, you can simply pop the cover off, but it’s recommended that you first consult your owner’s manual for removing interior panels. Once you have removed the panel, run the wire accordingly and affix it using the clips included with your dash cam. Make sure that the wires make their way down to the fuse box.
Step Three: Hardwire the Dash Cam
It’s now time to hardwire the dash cam just as you would in the previous method. We recommend using the cigarette lighter or 12V power outlet because it’s likely the least essential fuse that you have.
Step Four: Finish the Installation
Now that everything is connected and has been tested, you can finish the installation. Simply bundle any excess wire using zip ties and make sure that you mount them under the dashboard. You can also put the A-pillar covers back on.
Learning how to route dash cam cables is easier than you might think. With the help of this guide, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect way to install your new camera.