Updated on February 11, 2023
Dash cam installation is fairly straight forward if you stick to a few golden rules and guidelines. Aside from reading the device manual and having a hands-on play, the below tips are often overlooked. Whether you already own one or are looking to buy, follow the below simple advice for perfect results on how to install a dash cam:
Some Simple Yet Effective Advice
1. Choosing A Memory Card
The memory card (in most circumstances a Micro SD Card) is the primary recording medium on your car DVR, a.k.a dashcam. When installing or before turning on the ignition, after installation, make sure that you have a freshly formatted SD card installed. The bigger the storage capacity the better so you can save more data and in higher resolution before the data is overwritten during the standard loop recording process (if the feature is enabled). However not all devices support the larger/largest Micro SD Cards. For example, there are 128 GB cards out there, but devices like the Black Box G1W is only capable of supporting up to 32 GB. Therefore it’s important to know the maximum supporting figure of your device if you plan to buy an upgrade or if yours didn’t come with one included in the original purchase.
2. Having The Right Mount
When you buy a dashcam, it will almost certainly come with some type of mount provided as part of the package. There are both 3M adhesive and suction mount types available on the market. I personally don’t prefer any one over the other. Either way, you must ensure that the mount is secure and there is absolutely no chance of the dashcam coming off while driving. If yours has come with a 3M type and is proving unworthy, you can often buy a replacement suction type instead to see if this works better for you.
3. Find A Mount Position
Choose the mounting position of the dashcam carefully. You don’t want to block your view through the front windshield. The positioning of the dashcam should be as discreet as possible. Ideally, you don’t want to give it away for potential thieves or unruly drivers to detect. Some people prefer to have them blatantly on display, this can be considered good or bad depending on your standpoint. However, when an accident happens, the dashcam footage recorded is your one solid piece of evidence, provided that you yourself were not at fault. So the positioning should ideally be one that allows an unobstructed complete view through the front windshield. Ideally, it should be positioned behind the rearview mirror around the middle of the front windshield to capture a wider and central view from within the vehicle.
4. Dealing With Installation & Wiring
Ensure that the wiring running from your dashcam and then connecting to power output on your car should not come in a way of your driving position or obstruct your view. Hiding your dashcam wires is essential for numerous reasons. Ideally, you don’t want loose wires sticking out here and there because this can be extremely hazardous. You don’t want your feet getting stuck into one of those while driving. Neither do you want the wire to get caught on the door. If at all possible, try to tuck the wiring somewhere neatly around the dashboard or A-pillar, and perhaps secure in place with tape. Better still, if you have the time and money, visit an independent garage and see if they can run the wires underneath the dashboard or via the roof lining; this may be costly, but it’s worth getting a quote in the first instance.
5. Customizing The Features
One thing you don’t want to be doing is playing with the dashcam whilst driving. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but it can be very annoying too. The ideal thing to do is to know and learn about your device and its features by reading the supplied manual or breezing through the menu system. Learning about all the possible options will give you an idea of how you’d like it to work. Once you’re comfortable with this, go through all the settings and customize it to the point where it doesn’t need you to tinker with it later. Depending on the type of dashcam you have, the features can differ tremendously. Such options could be enabling/disabling voice recordings from within the cabin, or enabling/disabling GPS functionality, or setting the desired resolution. Alternatively, you may want to change some settings from time to time once the device is already in place; this is fine but please ensure you’re parked up when doing so.
With more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, Ash possesses a deep understanding of the diverse needs and challenges faced by drivers on the road. His relentless commitment to road safety and ongoing research is fueled by a genuine desire to create safer environments for all drivers.