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How to Install a Dash Cam and Why You Might Want One

How to Install a Dash Cam

Curious about how to install a dash cam? Wondering if a dash cam is something you need in your car? It seems like you can’t go online these days without seeing yet another incredible video from someone’s daily commute, or hearing stories about how a camera helped to recover a stolen car. Here’s what you need to know about how to install a dash cam in your vehicle.

Easy to Install

Wondering if you can complete the installation without having to open up your toolbox? Most cameras out there either attach to your windshield using a simple suction cup, or they come with an adhesive pad of their own that lets them use a custom mount. There’s an even split between cameras that require you to plug them in (typically to a 12-volt outlet) and those that rely on battery power, so depending on how cold it gets in your neck of the woods, you’ll have to decide whether you’re OK with occasionally having to replace depleted batteries during the winter time.

Simple to Use

Another bonus of learning how to install a dash cam that connects right to your car’s electrical system through a 12-volt outlet is that most models will automatically turn on once you fire up the ignition. This only applies if your car’s 12-volt plugs are linked to the ignition, of course, but it’s better than having to remember to push a button each and every time. Some dash cams also integrate with your smartphone using an app in order to access more complicated functions, such as the resolution of the video, or to allow you to play back the video without having to remove the camera’s memory card.

Insurance, Insurance, Insurance

Car accident Once the dash cam is in place, you’ll have 24/7 rolling documentation of your driving. This becomes a huge boon when handling an insurance claim involving your vehicle, as it’s no longer your word against that of another driver in the event of an accident. This is especially true when considering accidents in parking lots, as many dash cams come with a feature that automatically activates should the car be bumped, or if motion is detected immediately in front of the camera. Think of a dash cam as a constant watchdog protecting you from a hit and run situation.

There are many practical reasons to put this kind of device in your car, and it’s not all that difficult to do if you choose the right one.

Check out all the ignition & electrical parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to install a dash cam, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.


Benjamin Hunting View All

Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.  I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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