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Parking Assist Cameras & Monitors

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Parking Assist Cameras & Monitors

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What is the backup camera and where is it located? 

A backup camera or rear view camera is a device that allows drivers to see what’s behind their bumpers.  A small camera is mounted in the bumper, and relays an image to a screen in the camera.  Usually the camera comes on when the vehicle is shifted into reverse.  It might transmit the image over a wire or wirelessly.  Many new cars come with backup cameras already built in.  There are also kits that allow you to add a backup camera system to a vehicle that didn’t initially come with one. 

Why might I install a backup camera?

If your vehicle didn’t come with a backup camera, there are a number of reasons why you might want to add one.  It gives you a different view of what’s going on behind your vehicle.  The backup camera’s position on the bumper, allows you to see from a lower vantage point than your mirrors show.  A backup camera can also make it easier to line up a trailer if you have to back it up.  With the monitor in the cabin, the backup camera might even save you from some neck strain. 

How do I know if my ­­­­ backup camera needs to be replaced?    

If your car came with a backup camera, you might eventually need to replace it.  The camera’s position on the bumper makes it vulnerable to moisture and road debris.  If moisture gets into the camera, it might damage the electronics and stop the camera from working.  The camera lens might also get scratched or cloudy over time, reducing the visibility. 

Can I replace the backup camera myself?  

Replacing the camera that came with your vehicle should be relatively straightforward.  Installing a backup camera on a vehicle that didn’t come with one calls for some wiring work.  If you’re not experienced at wiring, you might want to have your backup camera installed by a professional. 

To replace your original camera, you’ll have to first remove it from the bumper.  This will usually involve removing a bolted-on bracket.  Then you may be able to disconnect a wiring connector or you may have to cut the wires.  If you have to cut the wires, you’ll likely have to connect the new wires with butt connectors and crimping pliers. Once the camera is connected, you can bolt it back into place. 

To install a mirror on a car that didn’t come with one, you’ll have to find a spot on the bumper to place it.  You may have to drill out a hole for the camera.  To power the camera, you’ll have to splice the camera power wire to the wire for your reverse lights.  Then, if the camera transmits the image over the wire, you’ll have to run the wire through the trunk or truck bed and cabin of your vehicle to the monitor.  

Many monitors can be mounted with a bracket or a suction cup.  The monitor may be powered by a 12 volt wire that you can plug into your cigarette lighter, or you may have to wire the monitor to a permanent power source.  

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