As a driver, one of the most essential devices that can save you from a lot of headaches is a dash cam. A dash cam is essentially a small camera that mounts on your car’s dashboard or windshield, which records the view of the road as you drive. Having a dash cam installed in your car can be a lifesaver in many situations, including accidents, insurance claims, and even as evidence in court.
In this ultimate guide, I will take you through everything you need to know about dash cam installations, including the types of installations available, the benefits of having a dash cam, and how to install a dash cam step-by-step. Additionally, I will cover tips and tricks for a seamless installation, common mistakes to avoid, and frequently asked questions about dash cam installations.
Types of Dash Cam Installations
There are two main types of dash cam installations: the suction cup mount and the adhesive mount. The suction cup mount is the most straightforward installation method. It involves attaching the dash cam to the windshield using a suction cup. On the other hand, the adhesive mount is a more permanent installation method, which involves attaching the dash cam to the dashboard using adhesive tape.
The suction cup mount is a popular option among dash cam users because it is easy to install and remove. However, it has its drawbacks. The suction cup can become loose in hot weather, causing the dash cam to fall off the windshield. On the other hand, the adhesive mount is more secure and reliable. However, it can be challenging to remove the dash cam once it is installed.
Benefits of Installing a Dash Cam
Installing a dash cam in your car comes with several benefits. Firstly, it provides evidence in case of an accident. In the event of a collision, the dash cam footage can provide critical evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Secondly, it can help deter theft. Some dash cams come with motion detection sensors, which can alert you if someone tries to break into your car. Finally, it can improve your driving safety. By recording your driving habits, you can review the footage and identify areas for improvement.
Factors to Consider Before Installing a Dash Cam
Before installing a dash cam, there are a few factors you need to consider. Firstly, you need to check if your car’s windshield has a tinted layer. Some dash cams may not work correctly with tinted windshields. Secondly, you need to check if your car’s cigarette lighter socket provides constant power. Some cars only provide power to the socket when the engine is running. Finally, you need to consider the cost of the dash cam and the installation method. Adhesive mounts are more expensive than suction cup mounts, but they are more secure.
Preparing for a Dash Cam Installation
Before installing a dash cam, you need to prepare your car and the dash cam. Firstly, you need to clean the windshield or dashboard where you intend to mount the dash cam. This will ensure that the adhesive tape or suction cup adheres correctly. Secondly, you need to check the dash cam’s cable length and routing path. You want to ensure that the cable does not interfere with your driving or become a distraction. Finally, you need to check if your dash cam requires a memory card and purchase one if necessary.
How to Install a Dash Cam – Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you have prepared your car and dash cam let’s dive into the installation process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install a dash cam:
- Choose the mounting location: Decide where you want to mount the dash cam, either on the windshield or dashboard.
- Attach the mount: Attach the adhesive tape or suction cup mount to the dash cam.
- Mount the dash cam: Press the mount onto the desired location and hold it for a few seconds.
- Route the cable: Route the dash cam’s cable along the car’s interior, avoiding any obstructions or moving parts.
- Connect the cable: Plug the cable into the dash cam and cigarette lighter socket.
- Power on the dash cam: Turn on the dash cam and adjust the camera angle.
Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Dash Cam Installation
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure a seamless dash cam installation:
- Test the mount: Before installing the dash cam, test the mount by attaching it to the desired location and checking if it adheres correctly.
- Hide the cable: Hide the cable along the car’s interior to prevent it from becoming a distraction.
- Use cable clips: Use cable clips to secure the cable and prevent it from dangling.
- Adjust the camera angle: Adjust the camera angle to ensure that it captures the road’s view correctly.
- Regularly check the dash cam: Regularly check the dash cam to ensure that it is working correctly and the footage is being recorded.
Hardwiring a Dash Cam – What You Need to Know
Hardwiring a dash cam is a more complicated installation method that involves connecting the dash cam to the car’s electrical system. This method provides constant power to the dash cam and eliminates the need for a cigarette lighter socket. However, it requires some technical expertise and can void your car’s warranty.
If you decide to hardwire your dash cam, you will need a hardwiring kit, which includes a fuse tap, a ground wire, and a power wire. You will also need to locate the car’s fuse box and identify the appropriate fuses to tap into.
Common Dash Cam Installation Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some common dash cam installation mistakes to avoid:
- Improper mounting: Mounting the dash cam in the wrong location or using the wrong mount can cause it to fall off or become a distraction.
- Incorrect cable routing: Routing the cable incorrectly can cause it to interfere with your driving or become a safety hazard.
- Incorrect camera angle: Setting the camera angle incorrectly can cause it to capture an incorrect view of the road.
- Powering off the dash cam: Forgetting to turn on the dash cam or unplugging it can cause it to miss critical footage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dash Cam Installations
Here are some frequently asked questions about dash cam installations:
Q: Do I need to remove the dash cam when I park my car?
It depends on the dash cam. Some dash cams come with a parking mode that records footage when the car is parked.
Q: Can I install a dash cam myself?
Yes, you can install a dash cam yourself. However, if you are not comfortable with DIY installations, you can hire a professional installer.
Q: How long does it take to install a dash cam?
Installing a dash cam can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the installation method and your car’s make and model.
In conclusion, installing a dash cam in your car is a wise decision that can save you from a lot of headaches in the future. In this ultimate guide, we have covered everything you need to know about dash cam installations, from the types of installations available to the benefits of having a dash cam and how to install a dash cam step-by-step. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide and avoiding common installation mistakes, you can have a seamless dash cam installation that provides you with peace of mind while driving.