Rear View Camera Installation & Wiring Guide
There are a lot of benefits from a rear camera, especially for reversing, it allows you to see the area behind your car with ease. Sometimes you have obstacles or maybe people in the back seat are in the way of you noticing an object, that’s where the rear camera comes in and saves you. In this article we will explain all the details of rear view camera installation and wiring.
In today’s market, there are a lot of types of rear view cameras, all of them do their job but some of them are much easier to install than others. This gadget seems to be quite important for the modern-day driver.
With just a few steps and basic wiring knowledge, you can install your rearview camera in an estimated time of an hour or two. This way you will never have to crane your neck and worry about hitting something while backing up.
So if your question is how to install a backup rearview camera you have come to the right place. We are going to talk about installing a rear view camera step by step so that everyone can do it with ease.
Let’s begin with the backup camera installation instruction!
What is a rear view camera and how does it work?
The rear view camera’s job is simple, it gives you a live view from the back of your car. This gives you a clearer picture of what’s behind the car that the rear view mirror can’t show.
There are a few types of rear view cameras on the market, and they vary from the position of installment.
- There are license plate frame cameras, located within the license plate.
- License plate bar cameras are located in a bar on top of the license plate.
- Bracket mounted cameras are separately attached to the vehicle top surface.
- Flash mounted rear view cameras that are made to blend in with the surface of the vehicle.
As we mentioned earlier the idea of the rear view camera or also known as the back up camera is very simple, and that is giving you full sight of your surroundings when you are backing up your car. Although the idea is simple, the realization of this piece of hardware is very complex. Even the most basic backup cameras are fairly sophisticated pieces of technology and they are improving all the time.
The main thing about these types of cameras is the capturing of the image. Rear view cameras are actually designed to transmit a mirror view image to the monitor at the front of the vehicle so when you look at it the orientation is correct. If the image was not reversed you would turn left when you wanted to turn right and vice versa.
Another part besides the camera itself is the monitor. The newly manufactured cars have a camera and a monitor installed and that solves the problem. But if you don’t have a manufacturer’s camera installed you are going to have to place the monitor yourself and the most commonly used position is the dashboard.
The benefit of the monitor that isn’t installed by the manufacturer is the size, you could choose a bigger size monitor for your vehicle to have an even better view of your surroundings.
Also, a thing that we must mention is that the rear view camera like most things isn’t perfect.
The main thing that sometimes can be an issue is the video quality of the camera. This is because most cameras are installed at the lower back end of the vehicle and they can be obscured by weather conditions like snow, rain, also debris, and mud. This can be fixed simply by cleaning the lens of the rear view camera, but it might get annoying if you have to do this frequently.
The cameras have long-lasting life, but sometimes malfunctions can happen and it can interfere with the video quality or simply the rear view camera can stop working.
These are some of the things to keep in mind when you are looking for a rear view camera for your vehicle, and also it’s important to remember that these rear view cameras are not replacements for rear view mirrors or turning around to look, they are considered as added safety tools that can show hidden dangers.
What do I need to know to install my rear view camera?
Well, first off you need to consider that this type of work can be dirty and sometimes dangerous since you are working with electricity. There are a lot of accidents that can happen when working with electricity so you will need to be extra careful.
On the question of what do I need to know so I can install my rear view camera, you are going to need the desire, some tools and some basic electrical knowledge will come in handy.
Since you are working with surfaces commonly exposed to the outdoors, and they will be dirty, so you better use a pair of mechanic gloves.
You are also going to need some tools to help you complete this task called “installing the rear view camera” successfully.
Here’s a list of the tools that you are going to need:
- A few types of screwdrivers
- Some Wire Cutters
- A drill is a must-have
- Drill bits with different sizes
- Electrical tape for securing the cables
- Posi-Taps will come in handy
- Wire strippers
- An automotive multimeter
So before you start, organize your tools in some order so they can always be in your reach, clear out the space you need like the garage, the driveway or maybe the street parking. Put on your gloves and safety goggles and get to work!
Here are the five steps you need to follow.
First step: Adding the rear view camera
The first step in installing the rear view camera is choosing a suitable place where it can provide you with all the necessary information and to maximize the viewing angle that works the best for you.
After you have chosen the location of the camera and you begin with the installation don’t forget to turn off your vehicle and safely disconnect the battery terminals.
After you’ve done this, continue with the installation by marking the position where the camera’s cord hits the vehicle.
After the marking, make sure that there are no wires, cables that might get damaged when you are drilling a hole in the exterior of the car.
You will also need to do a visual inspection to determine the drill bore size and the rubber grommet.
After you have determined the size, drill a hole on the mark of the exterior, and afterward don’t forget to add the rubber grommet to protect the wire from the rough metal edges.
Now all you have to do is run the camera wiring through the hole and attach it to the hardware that was given to you by the supplier ( most commonly ) or you purchased it by yourself.
Second step: Begin the wiring installation
The first thing you need to do cluster wire to the camera wire. You will immediately notice that it splits into two, a video, power wire, and in some cases a reverse signal wire.
- (Note) The camera needs a signal to alert the car that is in reverse, so it can display the video feed. In some cases, the unit will have an automatic signal sensing that can detect an incoming video signal. If this is the case with your rear view camera then you can just skip this step.
The second thing you need to do with the wiring is to look for the manufacturer’s loom and try to pair with it and use the same wiring route. This will give you the best look at the wiring and makes it a lot easier.
Next, you will have to identify a power source for the backup camera, and for this, you can use a license plate light or a reverse light. You will also need a multimeter to identify the negative and positive wiring of the source.
Then you have to link the positive wire from the camera to the positive wire of the source and the negative wire of the camera to the negative wire of the source. The easiest way to do this is with a connector or maybe a Posi-Tap.
The next thing is taking care of the wires. You will need to splice the wires together, and for that, we recommend a simple military splice because it does not require soldering.
You will have to cut the plastic covering of the wire, you can use a wire stripper for this. With this, you are exposing the copper, which is necessary for the next step.
Next, split the copper section into two parts, and wrap it around the light wire to make a stable connection.
For protection, you can use a shrink wrap or tape, just by simply wrapping it around the connection part.
- (Note) This is the same step for both wires, the negative and the positive.
Third step: The route of the wiring
There are a few most frequently used routes for the wiring, and this is ultimately your decision. You could do a route under the floor or you could do a route on its headliner. This also depends on the type of vehicle you own.
After you decide the right route for you, remove some of the parts like door rubber, carpeting that is in the way of the route so the wire can go through discreetly.
Then simply take the two wires through the chosen route and keep them out of site to the front of your vehicle.
- (Note) Afterward don’t forget to reattach all the parts you removed.
Fourth Step: Connecting the display
The first thing you need to do is to choose the right place for the monitor. You could place it on the dashboard ( most common place), the rearview mirror, or maybe on top of the dashboard.
Now it’s time to connect the power, video, and signal wire.
On some types, you can link the monitor power cable straight into the fuse box with a splice on adapter. You can use a multimeter to find the right spot to attach the power cable.
On other types, the power wiring can be hooked to your stereo unit.
In this case, first you need to clear the path so you can reach the stereo by removing some trim parts. Then find the power cables on the stereo and connect the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative.
Connect the video wire as well, and you might need to connect the signal wire to the reverse trigger wire.
Fifth Step: Finishing up the installation
The fifth step is reserved for checking the previous work we have done. First off you have to reconnect the batteries and start the car up, put it in reverse to check if the camera works perfectly, if it does you’ve done a good job. If it doesn’t you will have to return and do the steps again and find the mistake.
After finishing the process, if there’s any superfluous wire you can clean it up with some velcro or electric tape.
Remember to reinstall any previously removed parts from the interior, coverings, or panels.
If you followed the steps carefully you will be successful in the installation of the backup camera. Now you’ve added a new feature to your car and increased safety for you and the passengers while reversing.
Video Tutorial – How To Install Rear View Camera
What is the most used viewing angle?
Most of the manufacturers set the standard viewing angle to 120 degrees. It’s the most common angle on most rear view cameras, and it’s proven to be an angle that can provide you with all necessary information while backing up.
Do the cameras function properly in bad weather and rain?
Depending on the manufacturer, almost all of the rear view cameras are waterproof.
Do the cameras work properly at night?
That also depends on the manufacturer and type of camera u purchase. Some of the cameras come with an IR LED vision that will allow you great night vision.
How long will it take me to install the rear view camera?
Depends on your knowledge of automotive parts. If you are a beginner, but you have some knowledge of wiring, the installing of the rear view camera can take a few hours, maybe one to two hours. If you are very handy with these types of installments it will take you a lot less.
What kind of tools will I need for the installation of the backup rear view camera?
You are definitely going to need some tools. Most of them are the basic tools that any household has. You are going to need a screwdriver, electric tape, wire cutters, wire strippers, a drill, and a multimeter. If you don’t have some of these tools you could always borrow from a friend or a neighbor.
Where can I place the monitor from the rear view camera?
The positioning of the monitor from the rear view camera is your choice. You can place it where you find it most comfortable to look at, maybe it’s on the dashboard, on top of the dashboard, or maybe on the rear view mirror.
The benefits of the rear view camera are just too good to be scared of the wiring and installation. So if you are asking yourself how to wire a rear view camera, just follow our instructions, and even as a beginner in installing automotive parts you will get the job done in a few hours. So instead of paying a couple of hundred dollars to a professional, just call a friend to help you out and make the wiring of the backup camera a fun experience.
If you’re on the market looking for a reliable rear view camera, check out this buying guide that we’ve compiled.