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Dash Cam Installation Guide

The Ultimate Guide You Need to Install a Dash Cam

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Dash Cam Installation Guide

Regardless of vehicle or product type, it’s important that your dash cam installation is set up correctly or you may miss out on important video footage when an accident occurs. Dash cam installation may look more difficult than it actually is, but by following our instructions below, we will make sure your dash cam installation goes smoothly.

Whether you're using a BlackVue, Thinkware or IROAD dash cam, the installation process will be very similar. Where there are any potential differences, we will have built product-specific installation guides that are dedicated to the product that you are interested in purchasing. If you have any questions beyond that, please don't hesitate to contact our in-house product experts. There are several different methods for installing your dash cam, ranging from easy to intermediate. We will take you through each method below.At BlackboxMyCar we strive to provide customers with the best dash cam support possible, and this starts with accessible customer service. Contact us today if you have any questions.

Method #1: Installation with a CLA

Though you may not smoke, the cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle is more useful than you think. Just by connecting your cigarette lighter adapter power cable to your dash cam and into your vehicle, you can have your silent witness running in under 5 minutes. We even have a dash cam mounting guide to show you the best position to place your dash cam.

While this is the simplest and easiest way to plug-and-play the power cable for your dash cam installation, you may miss out on important dash cam protection features such as parking mode, but will still have access to other features such as your smartphone app integration, wi-fi, GPS and full HD recording. Read our plug-and-play installation guide to learn more.

Cigarette Lighter Adapter (CLA)

Method #2: Hardwire Installation to the Fusebox

Hardwiring your dash cam to the vehicle’s fusebox is one of the most common installation methods to power on your dash cam when the vehicle is off, thus offering parking-mode recording for dash cam video (for dash cams that do have parking-mode recording feature).

Hardwiring kits are available for our dash cams and has become widely popular over the years for drivers who want 2-channel front and rear camera protection for their vehicles 24/7. Front windshield and rearview mirror protection included. Your fuse box provides power to your front and rear camera and allow your dash cam to take important video footage to your memory card when your vehicle is not on. By using a hardwire kit, you'll also gain access to important features such as parking mode, wi-fi, GPS, full HD recording and more, right from the convenience of your smartphone integration.

Popular brand-specific hardwire kit options include the BlackVue Power Magic Pro and the VIOFO 3-Wire Hardwire Kit.

Hardwiring Kit

Method #3: Installation with an OBD Cable

The introduction of the OBD cable is great news for customers who are looking for a simpler alternative to the traditional hardwire method. An OBD cable only needs to connect to the vehicle’s OBD port, a small outlet typically located under your steering wheel. Once this is done, your dash cam will be able to receive a parking mode recording for your dash cam video (dependent on the dash cam in use) just as if you were to hardwire to the fusebox. Similar to using a traditional hardwire kit, you'll also gain access to important features such as parking mode, wi-fi, GPS, and more. Rear camera installation will be exactly the same as well.

Not only is OBD found in all vehicles manufactured from the late ‘90s, but OBD is also a universal plug-and-play fit and is much easier to access compared to your vehicle’s fusebox.

Popular brand-specific installation options include the BlackVue Power Magic EZ and the IROAD OBD Cable.

OBD Cable

Method #4: Installation with a Battery Pack

A dash cam battery pack is a highly recommended power supply for those who value parking-mode recording and want the greatest protection for their vehicles. These battery packs do many things, such as: providing greater recording duration onto the memory card, giving you access to the wi-fi and GPS through its smartphone integration for dash cam video 24/7, eliminating wear-and-tear on the vehicle’s battery and allowing a simple connection to just the vehicle’s 12V cigarette socket with a cigarette lighter adapter (CLA) and still achieving full HD parking-mode recording.

We always recommend installing your dash camera with a battery pack as it offers the best form of protection for your vehicle and its battery. Read our guide to learn more. Our most popular battery packs are the Cellink NEO Battery Pack and the BlackVue B-124 Ultra Battery.

Dash Cam Battery Pack

Installation Basics

Here are some additional guides to help you take your dash cam setup to the next level. We'll show you how to mount your dash cam discreetly across your windshield, where you'll minimize your risk of break-ins, and maximize the protection of your vehicle. Don't hesitate to contact our product experts if you have any questions.

Mounting and Removal Guide

A good dash cam installation starts with placing your unit in an optimal location to capture high-quality dash cam video and car audio. We'll show you how and where to install it for optimal video recording quality and protection.

Discreet Setup Guide

A common concern for dash cams is the potential theft of the unit. By setting up your dash cam discreetly, you'll be able to avoid the risk of thieves breaking into your vehicle and stealing your dash camera.

Explore Our eLearning Guides

Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

New to dash cams? Try out our dash cam buyer's guide to start your journey.

Dash Cam Accessories

Get more out of your dash cam! Find an accessory to get more out of it.

Our Best Dash Cams

Make great purchasing decisions with the right dash cam for you.

Installation Guides

Let us show you how to install your own dash cam & accessories.


Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

How to Install a Dash Cam | How-To Installation Guides

Based on 4383 reviews
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(3735)
11%
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Great battery pack

Easy to install/hide and is awesome with plug and play with dashcams. Took about 5 minutes to hardwire as it comes with whatever you needed granted that you select those options.

Crazy fast shipping

Ordered the wrong spliced wire kit when I ordered the neo cellink battery and quickly bought this. Thought it was going to come in next week and it showed up the next day in the morning of all times. Had plenty of time to install my dashcam

VIOFO A129 Duo

DIY install was straight forward with parking mode working nicely. Extra mounting adhesive is a plus in the event of windshield replacement. The only negative was my understanding a 32gb microSD came with every dash cam sold. My mistake. The front & rear camera video is quire good and the cost was reasonable for the system. Waiting to see how the Texas summer treats the camera.
Overall a good purchase.

Hi Jeff, thanks for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar. Sorry for the miscommunication - this was a limited time promotion and because of the demand for the cards, we ran out of them and had to put a pause on them. That said, we hope you love your dash cam, and do let us know in the future if you have any questions.
Great customer service!

Joseph gave a great recommendation on which dashcam was the best for my car. Jonathan was knowledgeable, friendly to talk to, and had the dashcam up and running in no time! Definitely recommend BlackboxMyCar for anyone looking for a dashcam.

Thanks Matthew for leaving a review. We will be sure to let Joseph know that he's awesome :) and Jonathan too! Come back anytime.
Awesome 😎

The shipping was fairly Quick. The package was as expected.
I would STRONGLY recommended it to everyone, and especially if you bought a new car or fairly recent. You won’t be disappointed!!

Hi there, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad you enjoyed our rocket-fast 1-3 day shipping so that you could get your package so quickly. Come back anytime!
Dash cam

You guys exchange my viofo129 4k for the thinkware u1000 and am happier the service perfect blackboxmycar to the world just give them a try you won't regret it there right on point a head of the game 💯💯💪💪

Hi Junior, we do everything we can to make our customers happy! Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar :)
VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4k

VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K cam was easy to install. It provides a clear front and back view.

Hi Ernest, you're awesome - thanks for leaving a review!
So far looks GREAT

Have not connected the rear camera yet but the front camera shoots wonderful, clear video, even in the evening with low light. I like a lot of the features on this unit and for the price seems a great deal. I do wish there was an option to just record with no time limit for road trip videos, but it does it's job VERY well and I'm satisfied. Shipping was FAST and product arrived well packed.

Hi Mark, thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. Let us know if you need any help connecting the rear camera, but we're glad to hear that you had a great experience with us!
2 Ch THINKWARE Q800 Pro Install

Booked online, seamless process. Install done within promised timeframe. Clean install, courteous and informative staff. Will be bringing in my other car for another camera install.

Hi Dan, thanks for leaving a review. We're here to help - hope to see you back soon with your other car!
Viofo a119 v3

Was debating for a while on a dashcam and settled on a Viofo a119v3. This cam was within my budjet, and after reading reviews I decided on this one.
I also read great reviews about blackboxmy car customer service and purchased from them. The camera itself seems to have great options and video quality is bar none...….only had for a week but very satisfied...Thanks Black box!

Hi Yves, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that our team was able to help you out, and you had such a great time with our support team :) Hope you continue to love your VIOFO - ask us at anytime if you have any questions.
Great for my needs; minor software friction

First let me say that BlackboxMyCar has been fantastic throughout the process of choosing and installing my dash cams. The people behind that chat bubble know what they’re talking about, something I don’t usually expect from first-tier customer support.

Second: Overall I’m very happy with the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo. Video quality is sharp and clear, and it was easy to set up. The front camera is slightly smaller than I’d pictured it, which is nice. I’ve only had it a few weeks, but so far it’s working perfectly. Reliably fires up and starts recording when I get in the car and goes into parking mode when the car is off.

This is my first-ever dash cam and routing the cable through the headliner, A-pillar, etc., was tedious but not particularly difficult. Wiring the cameras into the car’s fusebox was also relatively straightforward, but get the circuit tester if you don’t already have one. It makes identifying always-on vs. ignition-switched a snap.

My only complaints—and these are minor nits—are mostly software issues.

The hardwire kit cable has a cylindrical ferrite bead near the connector, which makes it impossible (in my case) to hide that part of the cable—the bead won’t fit in the seam where I would otherwise stuff it.

Connecting to the camera from the iOS app requires enabling WiFi on the dash cam each time, and stopping the current recording. I’d love to be able to launch the iOS app and have it connect to the camera without having to jump through these extra hoops.

The other oddity that I haven’t really tracked down yet is that recordings using the H.265 codec play fine on my phone, but won’t play correctly when transferred to a computer. On the computer various apps appear to be playing around 1fps (maybe just showing keyframes?). I have yet to find an app that will interpret these files correctly—Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, QuickTime player—apps that otherwise understand and support H.265. The only way I’ve found to get usable H.265 files from the phone to the computer is to import them into iMovie on the phone and re-export them. (All of this could probably be avoided by setting the camera to use H.264 instead.)

Again, these are minor nits and overall I’m happy with the VIOFO.

Hi Ray, thanks for leaving a review - behind those chat bubbles is a great team who's happy to help :) We're glad you love your VIOFO, and we will pass your feedback over to VIOFO to see what they can do. As for the H.265, unfortunately, that's the downside of the file format. It's great for file sizes, but hard for the computer to encode and play smoothly without some adjustments. That said, we did write a blog recently about it where you can learn more: https://www.blackboxmycar.com/blogs/news/h265-the-good-the-catch-and-the-how Let us know if you have any questions!
Satisfied customer

Good dashcam for the price. I am happy with my purchase! Customer support was good. They answered all my stupid questions.

Hi MH, there's no such thing as stupid questions :) Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great cam kit, fast delivery

I had a great experience with BlackBoxMyCar and would happily order electronics from them again! I guess I'll briefly document my journey:
1. Trying to decide which cameras to get, I contacted a support person on the chat. He was very courteous and helpful and did not try to up-sell me.
2. Fast delivery, got everything in perfect condition, tested it out using the lighter power cables, yay!
3. [mostly unrelated to the seller] I decided I am not competent enough to do a good install, so I hired a professional. Post-installation everything works great and no wires are exposed. It is a spiffy setup!

Note: I am not using the cloud features at all.

Hi Snowslider, I'm so glad that our team was able to help you out with everything that you needed. Please don't hesitate to reach out at anytime if you have any further questions regarding your dash cam.
Good camera

I wish it had a button to capture incidents and commit them to a file

Hi Niska, thanks for leaving a review. Our support team has reached out to you directly to help you with this. We will also direct your feedback over to BlackVue to see if they have anything to add.
Peace of Mind

I wouldn't recommend spending a thousand bucks on a dual-channel dashcam, but I do recommend spending within your budget on a solid dashcam. That's what I did, with the Thinkware U1000. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment and the customer service I received from Johnathan/Katrina was great. The installation team managed to get the dashcam installed on my Kona in less than 2.5 hours! If you are unsure of what to get and where to get a dashcam, I would 100% recommend going to BlackboxMyCar! :)

Hi Kevin, thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. We're so glad to hear that our team was able to help you out. We hope you love your Thinkware U1000 - don't hesitate to ask us if you need further help in the future :)
Escort Max 360C Radar Detector

Excellent customer service. Ordered and received
with no issues.

Thanks for leaving a review, J. O.!
Done Right!

I booked appointment online. Got a reminder a couple of days ahead of appointment. Quickly processed at appointment check in. Installation was completed in less time than I expected. Installation has a professional look and I would recommend this business due to the service I received.

Hi Doug, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear your installation was smooth for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Doing the job

The first Dash cam I used had parking mode and although it had a setting to cut off automatically at 11.9 V after a time of about nine months it took it’s toll on my battery. This time around I’ve got a new dash cam also with parking mode but now I have the Cellink Neo battery in between my battery and dash cam and it’s working flawlessly I love the fact that my vehicles battery is not being taxed. Fully charged the Cellink Neo will last for 22 hours and that’s while running a 4K front camera and a 2k rear

Hi Edward, thank you for writing a detailed review for your Cellink NEO battery :) Glad to hear that it's working out well for you!
more then expected

After installation didn’t expect an explanation of the camera function. Made it easy to understand the features.

Hi Robert, glad to hear that the features were easy enough to understand. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Works good

Works good

Thanks for leaving a review, Donald!
Great dash cash well worth the investment!

Have you ever been wrongly cited in an auto accident because of the lack of witnesses or the other party says you were at fault? I purchased The VIOFO A129 Pro 4K dash w/ GPS for both of my vehicles. Now when I'm driving, I feel a sense of comfort and security knowing if something happens I have footage. I highly recommend this product. The company is great and there customer service is excellent! Don't wait until it's too late...

HI Brannan, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to see that you're seeing the value of a dash cam, and we can't wait to see what you capture with it. Feel free to join our Monthly Video Contest if you capture anything awesome! See here to learn more: https://www.blackboxmycar.com/pages/monthly-video-contest
Awesome!

Awesome , super friendly and helpful staff. Will go there for all my dashcam needs.

Hi Steven, thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Cheap. Super fast shipping. Real stuff

Real blackvue quality stuff. Shipping from Vancouver to Quebec city within one day
Thanks

Hi Martin, thank you for shopping with us. Glad to hear that your package got to you so quickly!
GREAT

WORKS GREAT

Thanks for leaving a review, Jeffrey!
convenient

I would come back and buy from blackboxmycar

Thanks Michael :) Your words made us blush. Come back anytime!