How do you install a car backup camera system?

What do I do to properly install a car backup camera system? I want to get one to help me with parking but the installation seems kind of complicated.

Answer
It can be a little complicated to install a car backup camera system, but it’s definitely doable!
First, you’ll need to route the cables into your car:
  • If possible, purchase a camera system that’s specifically made for your car. This will make the camera much easier to install since the parts will be made specifically for your vehicle. If you can’t find a product like this, though, just purchase a camera that’s compatible with your car.
  • To install the camera, you’ll need to remove your license plate using a screwdriver.
  • You’ll also need to use a pry tool to remove your trunk’s inner panel, which covers the opposite side of your license plate mounting area.
  • Next, use a drill bit that’s 0.0125 to 0.25 inches in diameter to drill a hole in the license plate mounting area for the splitting cord. To determine the height of the hole, hold your camera in the area you’d like to mount it and make a note of where the splitting cord falls.
  • Place a rubber grommet around the camera cable near the non-splitting end to prevent leaks or and hold the wire securely in place. Then, feed the cable through the hole you’ve created.
Next, connect the camera wires to the reverse light wires:
  • Now, find your reverse light wires. These will hook directly into the taillights in your trunk. If you have trouble finding them, use your owner’s manual to locate them.
  • Using wire strippers or a pair of pliers, strip the wire and separate the individual strands.
  • Attach one of the bare wire cables to the camera cord’s power connector.
  • Then, push each of the bare camera wires through the middle of the exposed reverse light wires. Be sure to push your positive bare wire through the positive reverse light wire and the negative bare wire through the negative reverse light wire.
  • Once the wires are connected, twist them together and cover them with electrical tape.
  • If necessary, connect your RCA cable to the camera cord’s video connector.
Now you’ll need to route the wires to the front of your car:
  • Peel back the headliner and pull the wires through the area near your fuse box.
  • Install the monitor on your dash or windshield. If necessary, install any rearview mirror monitors that came with your system.
  • Next, if necessary, hook up your monitor’s power and video cable. Then, route the cable from the monitor to the fuse box.
  • Connect your RCA cable to the monitor’s camera cable and secure them with electrical tape.
  • Now, connect the final bare wire to the monitor power cord.
  • Push the positive end of the bare wire cable into the open end of a fuse tap, which you can purchase at your local auto parts store. Then, crimp the cables together with a pair of pliers.
  • Plug the fuse tap into an open cell in your fuse box. To find an open cell, take a look at your owner’s manual.
Finally, it’s time to mount the camera:
  • If you haven’t already, connect your camera to the power and video cables sticking out of the back of your car.
  • Most cameras will attach to your license plate. If this is the kind of camera you have, follow manufacturer instructions to attach the camera to your license plate, then reattach the license plate to your car.
  • If your camera attaches in another way, follow manufacturer instructions to properly attach the camera to your car.
  • Be sure to test your system when you’re done to ensure that your camera is properly angled!
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Liz Jenson
Answered on Nov 25, 2021
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