In the event of a crash, you could be dealing with costly repairs, injury compensation, and even legal proceedings.
Choosing the right dashcam can be a daunting enough task, with so many models available.
Installing it properly might be another hurdle.
Where to mount Dash Cam?
With this guide, we will show you the full process of choosing, buying, and proper way of mounting the dashcam.
- What is a Dashcam?
- Choosing a Dashcam
- Mounting Your Dash Cam – Front Dash Cam Installation Instructions
- Main things to consider before installing dash cam to the windshield
- Types of Dash Cam Mount
- Removing Your Dash Cam
- Where To Mount Dash Cam: Conclusion
What is a Dashcam?
A dashcam is an easy way to capture footage.
Be it of your road trip or commute, as well as potentially acting as evidence if you ever need to use it.
A discreet Dash Cam installs easily and will record any incident that takes place on the road in front of you.
In this guide, we will explore the different types of dash cams available along with their best uses.
We’ll talk about the pros and cons of each type of cam, how they work, as well as how to connect them to your vehicle.
Choosing a Dashcam
1. Find the right dashcam model
How to choose and install a dashcam?
Video cameras are becoming more and more popular in today’s vehicles.
If you’re looking at purchasing a dashcam, it’s important to first consider your budget and what you’re looking for.
Here we outline the basic features and provide tips on how to choose and install a dashcam.
We’re here to tell you there are a few things you should consider as you shop.
There are plenty of different models out there, and there’s no one-size-fits-all option.
Dashboard camera installation is likewise much easier than ever.
The most effective way to use a dashcam is to have it facing forward on your windshield.
Keep in mind that the item should not be obstructing your view, or maybe distracting while driving.
Mounts for dashboard cameras are available from various retailers.
2. Power source
Many dash cams are powered by the cigarette lighter socket in your car.
There are some that have the ability to be hard-wired directly to your battery.
If you live in a particularly hot climate, you’ll want a capacitor model.
They’re more heat-resistant than their battery-powered siblings.
3. Field of view
Ideally, you want a dashcam with as wide a field of view as possible.
You can see cars not just in front of you, but to the sides, too.
You’ll find 140 to 160 degrees is fairly common, though there are some models that go as wide as 170 degrees.
4. Picture quality and frame rate
The sharper the video captured by your dashcam, the better.
Now you can make out the license plate numbers of other cars on the road.
Resolution is only a part of this equation.
Not all of it though.
You also need to consider picture quality in low light, so you can get good nighttime footage.
5. A number of cameras
At the bare minimum, a dashcam will record video from your front windshield.
Some models have other cameras for other views.
There are some for your back windshield or a camera facing the driver’s seat to capture other people in the car.
This is useful for Uber and Lyft drivers who want evidence of anything that happens on the job.
6. Built-in screens and GPS
While it’s not required, some models have screens on the back of the camera.
That allows you to see the video it’s recording.
It can be helpful during the initial setup if nothing else.
Others have built-in GPS or support for separate GPS modules.
You can then attach your location to the footage you capture.
Some may even offer turn-by-turn navigation.
7. Wi-Fi and app support
Dashcams with built-in Wi-Fi allow you to view and share footage from an app on your phone.
This saves time not having to remove the SD card and inserting it into a computer.
Again, this isn’t imperative, but some people may find it useful.
8. Emergency sensors
Your dash cam is limited by the amount of space on its SD card.
When its storage is full, it’ll automatically erase old footage to make room for new footage.
I suggest getting a dashcam that could detect a collision.
It allows the dashcam to keep the footage from being overwritten as you continue driving.
If your dashcam is wired directly to your battery it might also be able to record collisions that happen while you’re parked, which is a nice perk.
Mounting Your Dash Cam – Front Dash Cam Installation Instructions
The windshield is by far the most popular place for installing a dash camera.
Regardless if you’re using a suction mount or double adhesive, the windshield is a suitable spot for installation.
You need to be careful where you install the camera.
You want to ensure that you aren’t obstructing your view while driving.
It is always best to install your camera in the center of the windshield, and behind the rearview mirror.
For example, you can see in the image above that I have mounted my Nextbase 522gw dashcam right behind my rear view mirror, keeping it out of site yet still reachable.
That specific area is already blocked because of the mirror itself, so you don’t need to worry about blocking your view further.
Make sure that you take the time to install the camera, and test it out before you hit the road with it.
You don’t want to drive with a low view angle.
Make sure that your view covers all of the roads.
Although all dash cams have wide-angle lenses, they should still be mounted in or near the middle of the front windshield.
That gives an even field of view for the sides of the vehicle recorded.
The dashcam lens rarely can be adjusted horizontally, but almost always can be adjusted vertically.
We recommend you mount the dashcam near the rear-view mirror area.
This blocks some parts or the whole dashcam from the driver’s field of view, minimizing any distractions.
We always recommend angling the lens slightly upwards.
The video footage should display about 60% road and 40% sky.
This angle offers a good balance of exposure and details.
For dashcams that have wi-fi or a smartphone app, we recommend you view live footage from your phone while mounting the dashcam.
You can select what position and angle you prefer the dash cam to be set at.
Main things to consider before installing dash cam to the windshield
You may want to check to see that your dashcam is not pointing through extra tint or any sun shades on your windshield.
There should be no tint on top of the windshield where the dashcam is installed, and all sun shades should be removed when the dashcam is installed.
Additionally, cables from the dashcam must not touch any parts of the vehicle or they could interfere with regular driver functions, such as wiper operation.
Windshield wiper area
Check to see if the dashcam lens is looking through a part of your windshield that the windshield wipers cover.
You don’t want to have your dashcam installed in an area outside of the range of your windshield wiper coverage.
On rainy or snowy days the camera lens will not be able to capture video
Out of your sight
Sit down in your driver’s seat and double-check to see if the dash camera location will be in your line of sight.
You won’t need to be able to see the dashcam when driving.
It should give you an audible sound when you start and stop your car, so you know it’s recording.
Mount the dash cam up and out of sight as much as possible.
Easy to remove
Your dash cam can slide off the mounting bracket to remove it once the adhesive mount has been “permanently” stuck to your windshield.
Make sure the dashcam has enough room to slide off the sticky pad mount once it’s installed.
If you put the adhesive mounting pad too close to the top of the windshield, you may not be able to slide the dash camera off of the mounting bracket.
Depending on which way the camera slides off the bracket.
Test the way it slides on and off of the bracket before you stick it to the windshield.
Most of the smaller stealthy dash cams that have a tube or wedge-shaped body can often be hidden behind your rearview mirror and left out of sight.
Once a dashcam is installed, you won’t need to interact with it on a regular basis.
It is operating on autopilot and you will only need to access it when there is an accident or event.
For the most part, you will want to mount the dashcam as high up and in the middle of your windshield as possible.
As long as it’s not blocking your view or any of the sensors in your car.
For most of the smaller stealthy dash cams that typically have a tube or wedge-shaped body, these can often be hidden up behind your rearview mirror and left out of sight.
Once a dashcam is installed, you won’t need to interact with it on a regular basis, as it is operating on autopilot and you will only need to access it when there is an accident or event.
For the most part, you will want to mount the dashcam as high up and in the middle of your windshield as possible, so long as it’s not blocking your view or any of the sensors in your car.
Types of Dash Cam Mount
There are two different types of dashcam mount; suction cup and double-sided tape.
Every camera comes with any of these two variations.
We find cameras with suction cups are flexible.
They’re easy to reposition and install according to your requirements.
Most of the standard quality dash cameras with suction cup mounts stay tightly on the surface without any problems.
The drawback of the suction cup mount is that the camera can vibrate when driving.
This leads to unexpected and shaky video footage.
Double-sided tape is not too flexible but the video footage is mostly reliable.
They’re not simpler to reposition and attach to the truck’s windscreen.
You may need to spend some more time and effort to attach it in the exact position.
The correct installation is positioning the camera evenly.
It shouldn’t obstruct the view of a driver.
When you’re 100% sure that the placing is right, mount it with provided adhesive strips.
Useful Things to know
The United States Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that using a Dash Cam can cut the number of rear-end collisions from 90% to 40%.
Although a budget dashcam may seem tempting, Dashcams capable of recording a high-resolution video will offer more evidence if you’re involved in an incident.
Always make sure you read the instructions thoroughly and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Removing Your Dash Cam
Removing a dashcam is often trickier than mounting it on the windshield.
This is because the adhesive on the mount is very strong.
It can almost be impossible to remove with just your fingers.
We recommend using a prying tool to slowly loosen the adhesive.
The best method, however, is to use a blowdryer or a heat gun.
Aim the blowdryer from the outside of the vehicle (inside is ok as well) against the adhesive.
5 to 10 seconds should do, then slowly wiggle the mount back and forth.
The adhesive should be a lot looser since the glue is heated up and softened.
Feel free to use a prying tool here or the blowdryer again if the heat isn’t sufficient the first time.
Where To Mount Dash Cam: Conclusion
Now that you know where to install your dashcam, you can make the choice that is most appropriate for you.
What suits one driver, might not be suitable for you.
Take your time and thoroughly inspect your car.
If you have a suction mount, it’s always best to try out different places.
You can examine multiple views before choosing your final install place.
The positioning of your dashcam is going to play a major role in the footage that you obtain from your dash camera.
You want to ensure that you get it in the right place and at the right angle.