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Tips to Install a Reverse Camera in Your Car

by Dutch Silverstein January 10, 2017

Most new vehicles now come equipped with backup cameras; cameras that are installed in the rear of the vehicle to help you when backing up in any situation to avoid blind spots and minimize the risk of rear ending something either when you’re leaving a parking spot or just reversing to parallel park. They’re becoming more and more popular as a step to eliminate “backover” as well which is when a driver accidentally backs over a person behind the vehicle that the driver is unable to see. On average, there are over 50 children are backed over each week with two of these incidents resulting in fatalities every week. If you drive an older model vehicle or your vehicle just didn’t come with one included, there’s still an extremely good chance that you can install one in your car. Should you decide that you want to install a backup camera on your vehicle; here are some tips and steps to take into consideration to help make the installation process as smooth and as easy as possible.

    • If You Can Wait, They’re About to Be More Common– Legislation was just finally passed that states that backup cameras must be on every vehicle that weighs under 10,000 pounds beginning in May of 2018. This means that if you’re still unsure about if you want to spend the money to either have one installed or to install one yourself, they will become standard on all new vehicles in just a few short years which can save you the expense of retrofitting your current vehicle with an after market camera and potentially an entire display screen should your vehicle not have one already.
    • There Are Dozens of Camera Choices Available– When considering what may be an overwhelming amount of options, it’s important to take things into consideration like your budget and just exactly what type of camera is best suited for your car. It’s best to start with whether or not your car already has an in-dash screen. For those vehicles that do already have a screen, cameras can range from $100-$400 with labor and installation costs anywhere from $400-$600 usually. For those vehicles without a screen, it will be significantly more expensive for an entire retrofitting, usually about $200 for just the screen and then anywhere between $500-$1500 for a new head unit with a screen included as well.
    • You Have Options for Camera and Display Mounting– Deciding where to mount the camera is a big decision to make no matter what type of system you choose and even more important is deciding where to install a separate viewing screen if your car doesn’t already have an in-dash monitor. Since backup cameras are small and compact they are easy to place in several locations on the rear of your vehicle. Most professional auto mechanics know the best locations for maximum clarity and ease of installation and can help you find the best possible solutions for installing both the display screen and the camera itself.

In-Dash Screen

  • Make Sure the Picture is Clear– One of the biggest concerns when buying an aftermarket back-up camera is the visibility the camera gives you, more specifically how much and how well you can see behind your vehicle. The clarity of the image will depend primarily on the resolution of the camera and the screen along with the size of the screen. In all cases related to clarity; the size of the screen, pixels and viewing angle, the higher the number the better the picture quality will be. One rating to look for is the lux rating, which measures the performance of a camera in low light conditions, the lower the rating the better your camera will see in the dark.

Final Thought

While there are numerous steps to take and websites to refer to for do it yourself installation, more complex installation processes involving installing a display screen can be tricky and may be better left to the professionals who are familiar with the best possible locations to ensure your back-up camera system is as effective as possible. Cutting down the risk of incidents is always a good idea and with so many choices for all types of vehicles, there’s plenty of possibilities to make your driving even safer.

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