Installing a dash cam in your vehicle provides an extra layer of security. It allows you to record visual evidence in case of accidents or other traffic incidents. However, the sight of dangling wires can make your car’s interior look messy or cluttered.
Hiding the cables of your dash cam can help maintain a neat and clean appearance in your vehicle while reducing distractions. Here are the things you need to consider and steps you should follow to hide your dash cam wires properly.
Materials You May Need
- Dash Cam
Before installing your dash cam and hiding the wires, it’s essential to first ensure it is ready for installation. Check if it is properly recording and that there are no issues with the dash cam. Attach the dash cam to the windshield in the desired position before you start attaching the wires.
Additionally, check if the dedicated storage is also working. It would be a significant inconvenience if you find out that your microSD card is damaged while you’re already using it. This could lead to corrupted and unusable files.
- Trim Removal Tools
Trim removal tools for cars are specially designed to help you safely and easily remove the interior and exterior parts of your vehicle without damaging them.
These include plastic or metal pry tools that can be used to gently pry apart panels, clips, and trim pieces without scratching or damaging the interior. Clip removal tools are also essential because they help you remove various clips and fasteners used in automotive trim. They usually have a forked or flat end that can slip behind the clip to release it.
There are also upholstery remover tools, which are designed to help you grab and pull upholstery clips or tuck fabric edges. It would help if you also got trim clip pliers because they can help you remove trim clips, particularly those that are difficult to access with other tools. They grip the clip securely to help you pry it out.
- Adhesive Cable Clips
These small devices are designed to secure and organize cables, wires, and other small components in a vehicle’s interior. These clips have adhesive backing, which allows you to stick them to various surfaces in your vehicle. These are great for managing and routing wires for accessories.
- Wire Covers
These are protective accessories that are designed to conceal, organize, and secure the wiring and cables in your vehicle. They prevent wires from being exposed, which helps protect them from damage while making your interior look clean and organized.
When buying a BlackVue dash cam, you get the essentials that will help you install your dash cam neatly: a prying tool, an abundance of cable clips and double-sided tape.
Step-by-Step Dash Cam Wire Installation
- Plan the Wire Route
Before you start hiding the wires, make sure you plan the route you want the wires to follow. A good course of action would be to follow the existing wiring in your vehicle, such as the headliner or door molding. This helps to keep the wires hidden, since they already follow an existing wire route.
If you prefer to follow a different route, make sure you don’t obstruct any important sensors or moving parts. For example, make sure you don’t get in the way of your airbags. If you need clarification on whether a particular route will obstruct any of these, refer to your car’s manual or have a professional check it for you.
- Turn Off Your Vehicle
It can be dangerous to work on the wirings of your dash cam when the engine of your car is on. Make sure that the vehicle is turned off and that the keys are removed from the ignition. This can help you avoid any electrical issues while you work on hiding the wires of your dash cam.
- Remove Trim Panels
Use trim removal tools to carefully remove any interior trim panels that give you access to the area where you want to route the wires. Common areas to access include the A-pillar, headliner, and side panels.
- Route the Wires
Carefully thread the dash cam wires along the planned route, tucking them behind the interior panels as you go. Make sure the wires are secure when you’re doing this step. Gently tug the wire to check if it’s placed firmly. This helps you simulate situations when the wires may come loose while you’re driving. If the wires remain still, you did a good job.
- Use Adhesive Cable Clips
There are instances where the cables aren’t able to fit into the interior panels. To solve this, you can use adhesive cable clips to secure the wires in place instead. This makes sure that they don’t dangle, so you have a cleaner setup. These clips can be attached to the interior panels.
- Hide Wires with Wire Covers
If you have particularly long or visible stretches of wire that can’t be tucked into the interior panels, wire covers can be a great alternative. These can be easily placed over the wires to conceal them and protect them from damage.
- Reassemble Trim Panels
Once the wires are securely in place and hidden, carefully reattach the trim panels you removed earlier. Make sure they are correctly aligned and secured.
- Reconnect and Test Your Dash Cam
Reconnect the dash cam to its power source and run a test to ensure it’s working correctly. If everything is functioning as it should, you can now hide your dash cam wires successfully.
The Importance of Proper Wire Management
Messy, loose wires dangling from your dash cam can be an eyesore. More importantly, wires that are installed improperly pose a serious safety risk by obstructing your view or interfering with airbag deployment in emergencies. Here are the following reasons why proper wire management for dash cams in vehicles is essential:
Ensuring that dash cam wires are properly managed helps reduce distractions while driving. Even a second of getting distracted from driving can have fatal consequences. Dangling or loose wires can obstruct your view, potentially leading to accidents or unsafe driving conditions.
Neat and organized wire management contributes to a cleaner and more visually appealing vehicle interior. It helps maintain the overall aesthetics of your vehicle. After all, if you’ve invested a lot in your car, you want it to look the best it can all the time!
- Preventing Damage
Properly managed wires are less likely to get caught in moving parts, like doors or windows. Having these wires tucked in safely and neatly can help prevent damaging both the wires and other components of your vehicle.
Wires that are secured and protected are less prone to wear and tear over time. They are less likely to fray or break in the long run. This helps prolong the longevity of your dash cam’s wires.
- Reduced Interference
Unkempt wires can interfere with vehicle systems, like airbags, HVAC controls, or steering mechanisms. Neatly tucking them away and managing them can help prevent this from happening. You don’t want your dash cam wires getting in the way, especially during emergencies.
- Maintaining Warranty
Some dash cam manufacturers may void warranties if improper installation or wire management leads to damage or malfunctions. Properly installing your dash cam and ensuring that the wires are neatly kept can help you retain your warranty coverage.
Vehicle-Specific Tips for Hiding Dash Cam Wires
Hiding dash cam wires in different types of vehicles can present unique challenges. This is due to the variations in interior design, available spaces, and construction materials. Here are some vehicle-specific tips for hiding dash cam wires in different types of vehicles.
- SUVs and trucks
In many SUVs and trucks, you can hide dash cam wires along the roof lining or headliner. Gently tuck the wires under the lining. You can follow the existing wiring routes or seams for it to look clean and seamless.
You can also route the wires along the A-pillar using adhesive cable clips. This is the vertical post between the windshield and the front door. Be careful not to interfere with airbags or other safety systems if present.
The rearview mirror and cabin trim panels are also good options for hiding your dash cam wires. You can remove and reinstall cabin trim panels to access hidden spaces for wire routings. Many SUVs and trucks have trim panels that can be easily removed with trim removal tools.
Similar to SUVs and trucks, your dash cam wires can be hidden in roof lining, as well as the headliner, A-pillar, cabin trim panels. You can use trim removal tools to remove and reattach the panels, so you can hide the wires in them. Be mindful and cautious of obstructing airbags and other safety components while hiding your dash cam’s wires.
- Classic or vintage cars
Classic cars often have hidden channels and conduits for wiring. Look for these hidden spaces to route your dash cam wires discreetly. You can also try hiding the wires under the carpet. Simply lift the edges of the carpet and tuck the wires beneath them.
If maintaining the appearance of your classic car is crucial, consider using period-correct materials and routing methods for your dash cam wires.
Convertibles usually have unique trim panels and weatherstripping. You can remove these panels and tuck wires behind them. Ensure that the wires are well-protected from exposure to the elements.
Some convertible models have center consoles, and you can also discreetly run your wires through these. Be mindful of securing the wires to prevent them from interfering with the operation of the convertible top.
Due to the open nature of convertibles, it can be challenging to try to hide dash cam wires effectively. This is why it’s a good idea to consider professional installation to ensure a secure and concealed wiring setup.
Maintenance Tips for Optimal Performance of Dash Cam Wires
Proper maintenance of dash cam wires is crucial to ensure the optimal performance of your dash cam system. It can help you avoid issues like power loss and video interruption and minimize daily wear and tear. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your dash cam wires in good condition.
- Regularly Inspect Wires
It’s good to routinely check the condition of your dash cam wires. Check if there are any signs of fraying, wear, or damage.
Don’t just check the visible wires; make sure to pop open panels and other places where you have wires hidden to see if those wires are in good condition, too. Pay special attention to areas where the wire passes through openings, around sharp edges, and close to objects that move, like doors and windows.
- Secure Loose Wires
If you notice that there are loose or dangling wires, make sure you secure them immediately. You can use adhesive cable clips, or wire covers to neatly tuck these wires away. Loose wires can become tangled or damaged, which can affect the dash cam’s performance.
- Protect Exterior Wiring
If your dash cam’s power cable or video cable runs outside your vehicle, make sure they are properly protected. It is advisable to use wire covers, conduits, or grommets to shield the wires from exposure to the elements, UV radiation, and other physical damage.
- Inspect Connectors
Make sure you examine the connectors at both ends of the dash cam wires. This includes the connections at the camera and the power source. Ensure that they are securely attached and free from any corrosion or debris that may affect the connectivity of your dash cam.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I install and hide the wires without tools?
Yes, it is possible to install and hide the wires of your dash cam without tools. However, using adhesive clips and interior trim tools can make routing easier and give a cleaner finish.
- Is it safe to install wires near airbags?
Airbag safety zones should always be avoided. Improperly routed wires could detach or interfere with airbag deployment in the event of an accident.
- How often should I inspect the installed wires?
It is recommended to inspect the wires thoroughly every 3-6 months for any damage. This depends on how often you use your vehicle. Look for tears, loose connections, cracks, or fraying, as these can cause failures.
Having a dash cam in your vehicle is one of the best ways to add an extra layer of security while you’re driving. It helps you gather substantial and potentially invaluable visual evidence of your journey. This becomes extremely helpful during traffic or legal disputes.
However, the sight of dangling wires can be distracting, which is a potential hazard when you’re driving. Additionally, it makes your car’s interior look unkept and unorganized.
Hiding your dash cam wires can significantly elevate the aesthetics of your car’s interior. Additionally, it can make your driving experience a much safer one because you won’t get distracted by dangling wires. Following the steps above can help you organize your wires and make it look like a professional did them!