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9 Steps to Install Backup Camera In a Car

Author: rushs auto parts

Most of you might already be familiar with the benefits of backup car cameras. They save money by reducing the chances of minor accidents and save lives by letting the driver know what’s behind them when they are about to reverse their car. The second point is crucial.

You can imagine a scenario where children or small animals are just behind the car’s boot, in that exact blind spot that is there between the car’s center and side cameras. Without the aid of a backup camera, it’s likely you may not see them as you are putting your vehicle into the back gear.

With these benefits in mind, let’s look at how to install backup camera for your car:

Before you install backup camera

Here’s what you need to do:

Purchase a touchscreen receiver

A backup camera will be useless if it doesn’t have a screen where it can project the video it is capturing. If you already have a stereo receiver with a backup video input, you can go online and purchase a camera made for your specific vehicle. Make sure that the camera that you end up buying either installs above your license plate or onto it.

However, if you don’t have a receiver that can show videos, you’ve four options:

  1. Get a vehicle-specific solution: Crutchfield offers a great solution if you aim to buy a stereo that was made specifically for your receiver. They ask you to enter your vehicle’s model and make and recommend models whose specs match those of your vehicle’s stock entertainment systems.
  2. Get a new touchscreen receiver: The market is inundated with receivers that offer input from the rearview camera, allow you to activate navigation, play music wirelessly and more. All you have to do is to check your budget range and you can easily find a model within it.
  3. Get a rear-view mirror with camera: This option is for those of you whose car doesn’t accommodate a radio with a video screen. Some rear-view mirrors with built-in cameras go as far as to provide consistent video coverage.
  4. Get a wireless backup camera: Not willing to run a wired connection between your car’s inner equipment and the backup camera? You might do well with a wireless backup camera in that case.

Purchase a backup camera

Most backup cameras are tiny and waterproof but some do features separate the best among them from the riffraff. For instance:

  • Parking lines: The best backup cameras offer onscreen parking lines to help you with parking in a tight spot or when reversing out of one. These lines help you by gauging the distance between your car’s boot and the nearest object.
  • Wide viewing angle: The majority of backup cameras offer a horizontal viewing angle, one that is enough for you to see everything you need to see. If you can afford to spend extra, you can get a model that offers as large as 190-degree viewing angle.
  • Built-in lights: Are you going to reverse your vehicle at night? Of course you do. That’s why we recommend that you choose a camera with built-in LED lights. They will illuminate the camera’s path and make it easy for it to project an acceptable picture in low-light conditions.

Installing a Car Backup Camera

What you’ll need for backup camera installation

  • Aftermarket touchscreen car stereo
  • Mountable backup camera
  • Power and video cords
  • Philips Flathead Screwdriver
  • Trim removal tool
  • High-speed twist drill bit
  • Rubber grommet
  • Pliers or wire stripper
  • Electrical tape

Step-by-Step Guide for backup camera installation

  • Step 1: Remove the license plate and boot’s interior panel

Remove the screws securing your license plate with a Philips head screwdriver. Remove the plate and put it aside. Secure the screws you’ve removed in a safe place as you’ll be needing them in the upcoming steps.

Afterward, open your trunk and notice the panel covering its inner side. This is the interior panel. Remove it by inserting a trim removal tool through the board before prying it off.

  • Step 2: Drill a hole in the license plate area

To determine where to drill the hole, decide where you intend to mount the camera. You can do that by manually placing the camera on the area above the license plate. Then, drill a hole through your car’s trunk. It should be large enough to let your camera’s power and video cable go through.

  • Step 3: Run the camera wires through the hole

Before inserting the wire into the hole, cover its non-splitting end with a rubber grommet. It will prevent leaks and keep the wire in place. Then, enter the splitting end of the camera’s power and video wires through the hole. You should slip the cable in such a way that the grommet on the wire lodges against the hole in the trunk.

  • Step 4: Connect your camera’s power wire with the car’s reverse wires

Your car’s reverse wires are those that connect its dashboard to the taillights. You can easily find them in the space from where you removed the interior panel. After you have located them, strip the wires using pliers or wire strippers. Make sure to separate individual wire strands.

Attach the camera’s power cord to 1 of the wires you have just stripped. Poke the remaining cables through the center of the reverse light wires before knotting them together. Cover the knot with electrical tape for your safety.

  • Step 5: Run your camera’s video wire to the front of the vehicle

Your main goal here is to route the wires as close to the fuse box as possible. Depending on your vehicle, you may have to take out its headliner as well as side panels to pull the camera’s video wire from their location close to the reverse lights to the fuse box.

  • Step 6: Route monitor’s splitter cable into the fuse box

Connect one end of the splitter cable to the monitor and run the other into the fuse box. Some vehicle models may require you to remove the headlights panel to expose the fuse chamber and run the monitor wires into it.

  • Step 7: Connect RCA cable to the monitor’s camera cable

Make sure that it is the video end of the monitor’s camera cable that you’re connecting. Both the RCA cable as well as your monitor’s camera cable may have the same ends. If that’s indeed the case, you’d have to buy a male to female RCA converter cord.

Afterward, you’d have a bunch of remaining wires. Connect them to the monitor’s power cord. Then, take the red end of the bare cable wire and run it into the fuse tap. Follow this step by crimping the 2 cables together with pliers. Then, open the fuse box and plug the fuse tape into one of its open slots.

  • Step 8: Connect the camera to its cables and mount it to the license plate

After connecting the camera to its video and power cables – the ones that will be sticking out of the hole, mount it to the rear plate. You can do that by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Final Step: Re-mount the license plate and trim panels

Place the license plate to the exact area from where you removed it and screw it in with a Philips Flathead screwdriver. Then, if the trunk isn’t already open, pop it open and re-attach the trim panel.


Installing a backup camera for your car is a tedious process that involves a lot of time, effort, and expertise. Most people, therefore, think it best to leave it to the experts. However, if you want to save some money, you can do the installation process on your own using the abovementioned instructions.