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How to Install a Dash Cam to Your Fusebox with a Hardwiring Kit

One of the Most Common Installation Methods to Power Your Dash Cam and For Parking Mode

Hardwiring a Dash Cam to Your Vehicle's Fusebox

Hardwiring your dash cam to the vehicle’s fusebox is one of the most common installation methods to power on your dash cam when the vehicle is off, thus offering parking-mode recording (for dash cams that do have parking-mode recording feature).

Hardwiring kits are available for our dash cams and has become widely popular over the years for drivers who wants protection for their vehicles 24/7. They provide power to your dash cam, prevents battery discharge, and allows your dash cam to be your silent witness when you're not there.

This is especially true for vehicle’s with an always-on 12V socket (common in domestic vehicles). If your vehicle's battery is older or smaller in build, then we recommend installing a dash cam battery pack instead.

What You'll Need

Hardwiring Kit

Socket Wrench

Essential Kit

Electrical Tape

Needle Nose Pliers

Owner's Manual

Installing with Other Hardwiring Kits?

The following guide is written and designed those installing with a standard hardwiring kit. If you're installing with the hardwiring kits listed below, click on them to learn more.

BlackVue Power Magic Pro

VIOFO 3-Wire Hardwire Kit


Step 1: Locate Your Fuse Box

Consult your owner's manual for the location of the fuse box. If you have misplaced the owner's manual, you may be able to find this information online. Depending on the model of your vehicle, you may need to remove some trim or open some panels to gain access to the fuses. On some cars, these boxes will open simply by lifting a tab or pulling a panel with your fingers, while other vehicles may require prying with a trim tool (included as part of our Essential Installation Package).

This is a sample owner's manual which shows how to access the fuse box in a Mazda 3 and a Mazda CX-5. We recommend using a Trim Tool to pry your fuse box open, included through our Essential Installation Package.


Step 2: Which Fuse Slot Should I Use?

The second thing to do is to understand which fuse slot to use. We always recommend selecting fuse slots that are rated between 10A-30A (in order to properly provide enough power to your dash cam). Always refer to the vehicle owner’s manual to avoid fuse slots that could pertain to certain safety features within your vehicle. For example, avoid fuses that deal with airbags, the horn, stability control programs, etc. Fuses that control certain elements such as the radio, garage door opener, sunroof, etc. are usually safe to use.

For almost all hardwire kits, there are 3 wires that need to be connected: a wire that goes to a constant fuse, a wire that goes to an ignition-switched fuse and another wire that goes to a metal ground bolt. A constant fuse remains on (and thus continues to provide power) even when the vehicle is off, an ignition-switched fuse turns off when the vehicle is off and a ground metal bolt prevents electric shock. You may also come across some hardwiring kits with only 2 wires that include either a constant or ignition-switched wire and always a ground wire.

Use a circuit tester or equivalent to test which fuse is constant and which is ignition-switched. A fuse that is constant will stay on when the car is off and vice versa for the ignition-switched fuse. A proper ground bolt should only be metal and not be attached to other materials such as plastic. Once the proper fuses have been selected, connect one wire from your hardwiring kit to a constant fuse (typically red), whereas the other wire will go into an ACC/ignition-switched fuse (typically yellow). Your last wire (in the shape of a ring or a C) will go to the metal ground bolt. It's best to read the labels carefully prior to proceeding.

Next, to clean up the wires, we would recommend using an add-a-fuse kit (included in our Essential Install Package) for a more professional and clean-looking installation. This common installation method also makes your fuses more secure and long lasting. See the next step for more information. Alternatively, you can also wrap the wires around the leg of the fuse - wrap it numerous times so that the connection is tight and secure. You would then put the fuse back into the fuse slot that the fuse came out of.

This is a sample fuse chart from the owner's manual of a Ford F-150. The fuse slots are all numbered and the chart indicates what features are associated with the fuse.

Use a Circuit Tester or equivalent (included in our Essential Install Package) to test which fuse is constant and which is ignition-switched. A circuit tester will light up when poking into the ports on top of a fuse.


Step 3: Use an Add-A-Fuse Kit for a Cleaner Installation

Once you've determined which fuse slots you need to use for your hardwiring kit you can crimp your hardwire kit onto the Add-A-Fuse Kit (included with our Essential Installation Package). You should be able to crimp the fuse kit with a standard needle nose plier. We also recommend using electrical tape to further secure the wire.

Note: If you are using a fuse slot that has an existing fuse in it, put that fuse in the lower fuse slot of the Add-A-Fuse and plug the new setup into the fuse box within the correct orientation. Read our guide to learn more.

Depending on your vehicle, you may need to decide which add-a-fuse kit is right for you. Variations include ATO, Mini, Low Profile and Micro2. Consult your vehicle owner's manual to figure out which fuse is right for you. To learn more, visit our Add-A-Fuse guide.

Add-a-Fuse Kit (2 Needed Per Vehicle)

Fuses (Connects to Your Add-a-Fuse)

Crimp your hardwiring kit onto your Add-a-Fuse Kit (included in our Essential Install Package), and use electrical tape to further secure the wire. This will make your dash cam installation very clean and professional.

Connect your Add-a-Fuse Kit (included in our Essential Install Package) to the fuse slot that you have chosen in the correct orientation before testing.


Step 4: Ground the Hardwire Kit

Once you've connected the power of your hardwire kit, you can connect the ground wire (usually in the shape of a ring or a C) to slip under a metal bolt or screw in your vehicle. You will typically need a socket wrench set to loosen the nut or bolt that you choose to ground with. The most common sizes in our experience are 10mm and 12mm, although some German vehicles may require a Torx (6-pointed star) bolts. To attach the grounding terminal, loosen the nut or bolt enough to slip it in and tighten it back up afterwards. A loose ground can result in power issues for your dash cam.

It's best to ground with a bolt on unpainted bare metal. If a bad ground is chosen, it may cause your dash cam to restart when the current is unable to flow consistently. Even if the bolt is metal - if the grounding terminal of the hardwire kit is fastened onto a plastic surface, you may come across issues. If you can find a factory ground, this is an ideal grounding spot for your hardwire kit.

Use a socket wrench to loosen the nut or bolt that you choose to ground with, then plug the ring or a C of your hardwire kit under the bolt or screw.

We recommend grounding your wire to a bolt on unpainted bare metal. Avoid grounding on plastic surfaces as you may come across issues as a result.


Step 5: Test Your Dash Cam

Once you've hooked up the power and ground, plug the kit into your camera and start your vehicle to see if it works. If it works, you can run and tuck all the wires in to your car, we recommend taping or zip tying the excess wires out of the way (included in our Essential Install Package) in your vehicle so it doesn't block any access to your fuse box. Make sure wires are not loosely dangling where they may be kicked when you are getting in and out of the car as this can cause damage to your hardwire kit or vehicle.

Note: We recommend you not to wait until after you've tucked away all your wiring to plug in and test your camera as it will typically be easier to troubleshoot when the wires are readily accessible.

Once you've completed and verified all these steps, give yourself a pat on the back as you've successfully installed your hardwire kit!


Installation Videos

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SUV 2-Channel Installation

Troubleshooting Guide

If it's your first time hardwiring a dash cam, there are a number of common mistakes that you may come across where your hardwiring kit doesn't work as expected. If you are experiencing issues that aren't listed below, then our in-house product experts are to help. Contact us with your questions today and we'll get back to you in under 24 hours.

  • Reversed orientation of the accessory and ignition switched wires: The dash cam will behave abnormally if the wires are switched and in some cases even result in battery drain. Please double check with your specific hardwire kit for the wire orientation and don't go off other guides.
  • Bad Ground: When an incorrect ground is used the camera won't get power. A loose or weak ground may result in restarting when the vehicle hits a bump.
  • Add-A-Fuse Incorrectly Set Up: If you don't put a fuse into the top fuse slot of the add-a-fuse, it will not feed power to the hardwire kit.
  • Blown Fuse: If the fuse on the add-a-fuse is blown, the kit will not receive power. There might also be inline glass fuses on the cigarette cable or hardwire kit that can also be blown. If this happens, please contact us for a replacement.
  • Loose Wire in Add-A-Fuse - On some hardwire kits, the wire is much thinner than the socket on the add-a-fuse. Because of this, they may wiggle loose in the add-a-fuse leading to an inconsistent current. Make sure that the crimp is tight and the wire is held in tightly.

Commonly-Asked Questions

Over the years, our product experts have assisted our customers in installing dash cams into a multitude of vehicles, ranging from hatchback, SUV, pickup trucks, and even electric/hybrid vehicles. We have created blogs dedicated to each of these vehicle types to guide you in your installation.

Customer Stories

Hearing our customers' success stories brings smiles to all of our product expert team! We love it when our customers tell us that they had a successful installation. And even better if when they shoot a video to tell us as well! If you have a success story and would like to get featured on our website, then please contact us!

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Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

New to dash cams? Try out our dash cam buyer's guide to start your journey.

Dash Cam Accessories

Want more out of your dash cam? Find an accessory that's right for you.

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Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

Installing a Dash Cam with a Hardwire Kit | Dash Cam How To Installation Guides

Based on 4268 reviews
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BlackboxMyCar Add-A-Fuse Kit

Hi Brian, thanks for leaving a review!
VIOFO A119 12V Auto Hardwire Kit

Quality hardwire kit with reasonable length to the A119 and to the 12V battery source. Voltage reducer is small enough to fit in small spaces with rounded corners for ease of fishing into place. Fuse holder streamlined but difficult to open at first, 2nd time ok.

Hi Chester, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you were able to figure it out and install your VIOFO. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
the ONLY place I can find this replacement part online

Blackboxmycar is the only place I could find that sells the cigarette socket power output cable for the Cellink Neo.
Fast shipping. Item as described.

Hi J. Kim, we're glad to hear you were able to find what you were looking for at our store. Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great Kit- Everything you need

Our techs were able to install the dash camera and the Power Magic Pro with no problem by using this Essential Kit. We've bought 13 units so far. Very pleased.

Hi Jennifer, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that you have found everything you need in our Essential Installation Kits. Thanks!
Suction Cup add-on

I bought this suction cup mount to move and use quickly my A119 V3 from vehicle to vehicle.
After receiving I must say its smaller and lighter than expected compared to the picture but still functional and we will see how long the suction cup lasts over time.
I also saw a video of using this suction cup to turn the A119 around and take video of driver with commentary about area or something else which I plan to edit into my video at a later time.
So its a nice feature for the video I plan to make while on vacation.
Cool!

Hi John, thanks for your feedback. Let us know if the suction cup mount doesn't work well for you over time and we'll try our best to help. Thanks!
Blackbox My Car is the Best!

Sorry BB team for taking so long before writing a review, but the 2 Viofo a129 duo dashs were xmas gifts and I wanted to wait for your professional installations to be done first.
I have purchased dascams from BB before and have had nothing but a great experience for both service and products.

Both Viofo cams are working great and the installation service was the best. The team was awesome and answered all my questions without hesitation. Your waiting area and amenities are first class. Most car dealerships could learned a thing or 2 from how you operate!

Thank you again!

Hi Ken, appreciate your compliments and thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that you enjoyed our facilities and that the installation and the dash cams worked out for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out at any time in the future!
Very pleased with the A119V3 and with customer service

After researching a number affordable dash cams I settled on the Viofo A119V3 and Blackboxmycar as the vendor. I chose Blackboxmycar because of its customer service. This is my first Dashcam and I had a number of questions all of which were answered promptly and to my satisfaction by Katrina. Other vendors offered a slightly less expensive final cost but Katrina's service swayed my decision.

As to the camera itself I am very happy. In the last few days I have used it in temperatures of about -28ºC and it has performed flawlessly. The video quality is excellent with the CPL: clear, sharp and with good colours and contrast. Files are around 1.15 GB for 5 mins using 2560x1440 @30 fps H.264 or around 950 MB using H.265. The audio quality is quite acceptable.

Once you get the hang of using the Menu system it is quite easy to choose or change settings.

Also impressed with Viofo in that they seem to have thought of everything. The item included everything I could possibly need to mount and operate the camera even down to string to help remove the mounts in future if necessary.

Presently I am powering the camera via the cigarette lighter but am seriously considering hardwiring or using a portable power bank. I will then try the parking modes.

We have two cars and I had thought of moving the camera from one to the other so I purchased an additional GPS mount, that I have not yet tested. However I am now leaning towards buying 2nd A119V3 to avoid the hassle and to have a permanent neat installation in both cars.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that Katrina was able to help you out, and that the VIOFO A119 V3 was exactly what you were looking for. If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to let us know!
Easy install/ plug and play

Great product, works as it should so far. Easy installation

Hi Louie, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that the Power Magic EZ worked for you :)
Cellink Neo 6

i got this battery pack recently and everything run smoothly. now i have peace of mind leaving my car on parking lot and this battery charge faster if you're using cigarette socket for charging if you chooses not to hardwired it. overall customer service was great and they will go extra mile to make sure you are getting the right product you wanted to and give you detail...

Hi whatme, thanks for the review on your Cellink NEO. We're glad to hear that it works well for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Great Product

Fast shipping, easy installation, works good. Used chat feature for recommendation to make sure it met expectations and was spot on with what I was looking for. Thanks

Hi Robert, thanks for chatting with us and leaving a review. I'm glad to hear that our team was able to help you out with what you're looking for :) If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Dope service!!!

Could not be happier dealing w Blackboxmycar!! Do yourself a favor and just buy from them!!

Hi Lorenzo, dope review! Thanks for leaving a review and purchasing from BlackboxMyCar :)
IROAD Power ODB-ll

Just what I was looking for,very easy to install
Just plug and play,very good product
A bit expensive though.

Hi Luis, thank you for leaving a review! We hear you - we try our best to keep our prices as competitive as possible, so we will pass your feedback to our vendors for you. Thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
My Thoughts

Good so far. Hope all works out in the future. Thank you

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review!
Best Site for the Best Dashcams Around

My 2nd purchase from Alex and 2nd Blackvue camera purchased. Blackvue is my favourite dashcam because of its sleek and unobtrusive design and extremely high quality recordings. Easy to download recordings with the app now, will continue to recommend Blackvue's to everyone.

As for blackboxmycar.ca, great selection of the best Dashcams out on the market. Extremely informative website with an abundance of information and comparisons to make the right choice. Fast shipping and great customer service, this is the way to go to buy a dashcam over the cheaper but inferior choices on Amazon or anywhere else.

Hi Wesley, thanks for your review. We're glad to hear that you're loving your BlackVue dash cam as much as we do! Hope the DR590W-1CH treats you well :) If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.
Power output cable spliced for Thinkware

These cables were well made and of great quality. Shipping was fast and customer support went above and beyond to help me understand how to DIY my first dash cam. Very much value added support!

Hi Jye, thanks for leaving a review! I'm glad that this and our team was able to help you out. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our team in the future.
Viofo A119 V3 Dash Cam

Excellent sharp video. Easy install and set up.
Used internet to find best suggested settings.

Hi John, thank you for leaving a review! Don't hesitate to reach out to our Support Team if you have any other questions.
1st time buyer from BlackBoxMyCar.com

Review Title
I have done a lot of research on finding my second dash cam and decided on a VIOFO A119 V3.
I have seen some video of reviews of the camera and compared to my 1st Dash Cam A119S V2 and figured that VIOFO was a good choice again. I have seen Alex the CEO of BlackBoxMyCar do a review video on the A119 V3 in 2019 and went to his website and decided it was very professionally designed and easy to use. Not only did I buy the camera I found some accessories.
I ordered then noticed they offered first responders and military a discount and sent an email if I could get this discount. Quick email reply from Paul who I sent documentation on proof and he who forwarded my request to get a refund on my purchase. Thank you.
Now I did order my camera knowing it was back ordered as well as this was Christmas and New Years week so I wasn’t expecting to see the camera until Jan 2020.
It did arrive in a box and was properly packed. I had numerous email from FedEx where my package was and when it would arrive and someone must be home to signature for it.
Between the initial purchase and receiving my dash cam BBMC has been above and beyond what I expected and under the leadership of Alex I see why this company is so successful.
Thank you everyone for a great purchase and plan on additional future purchase from me.
John I
Surprise, Arizona

Hi John, thank you for the kind words and the detailed review. We're glad to hear that we were able to help you find what you're looking for. We will pass on your compliments to Alex who will absolutely be delighted to read this. Thanks again, and do let us know if you have any questions.
Delivery Needs To Be Improved

I ordered it on Dec 28 with Rocket shipping and it arrived Jan 6 but I had to constantly contact them about the status of the order as it was stuck for many days with no updates. I give this service 1 star. The product itself is excellent, well made (except the App), easy to install, etc which deserves 5 stars. Overall 3 stars.

Hi Bill, thank you for leaving a review. We do want to apologize for that, and thank you for your patience. This holiday season was quite a busy one for our team, and we had some inventory delays with the unexpected surge in demand for our battery packs. We are working on smoothing that out moving forward so that we don't have this happen again. From a communication standpoint, we will absolutely work on fixing that moving forward to make sure our customers are aware of any delays. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar, and if you have any questions, Bill, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.
Great for extended parking mode!

Before purchased and installed the Cellink Neo I was using my Thinkware Q800Pro hardwired to my car. However, my vehicle stays parked for days on end without me having to drive anywhere. I get about 40 hours with a dual camera setup, and I couldn’t be happier to have an extra piece of mind. The installation was very easy, as I did it myself (hardwired) and mounted it under the driver seat. This would be a worth while purchase.

Hi Brandon, we're glad to hear that your new battery pack worked out for you! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us in the future.

Although my dash cam was on a backorder after Christmas, it delivered right the way I wanted it. I like the dash cam is tiny. The video is very clear.

Hi John, thank you for leaving a review. We had some inventory delays during the holiday season with the unexpected surge in demand for our dash cams, but we're glad that we were able to deliver your dash cam in time. Thank you for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar!
Great product to reduce glare!

Does what it says to reduce windshield glare, it’s easy to install

Hi Brandon, thank you for leaving a review! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us in the future.
Amazing Product - Worth Buying

This product helped hardwiring my dash cam so much easier as there were no wires that needed to be spliced. The trim tool made it convenient to tuck the wires inside the car and only show minimal wires. All in all, this all-in-one kit, made hardwiring my dash cam so much easier.

Hi Sai, thank you for leaving a review and for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. Glad to hear that this worked out for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you have any more questions.
Driver

Great dash cam and you guys where very helpful.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks guys

Hi Andy, thank you for leaving a review and for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. We're glad to hear that our team was able to help you out! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you have any more questions.
As described

Very pleased with my purchase. Blackboxmycar is the go to place for dash cams. This VIOFO exceeded my expectations.

Hi Mike, thank you for leaving a review and for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you have any more questions.
Great Radar

Works as advertised with U1000.

Hi Kirk, thank you for leaving a review! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us in the future.