How to install a back up camera?

Just purchased an aftermarket car backup camera but don’t know how to install it? Don’t worry, in this post you can learn step-by-step installation instructions for an aftermarket reverse camera.

Though the entire installation for a back up camera is very easy for a professional mechanic, it does require some professional knowledge for installation, so if you still don’t know how to install the camera, we highly suggest you find a shop to install it for you.

Find Out Rear View Camera Cables

If you need to connect the back up camera with an android head unit, firstly you need to check the wiring diagram from the aftermarket head unit. The wiring diagram can usually be found at the bottom of the unit.

Regularly, there are two cables you need to find from the aftermarket head unit which are used for the back up camera. One is a video cable with a yellow RCA connector, the other is a trigger wire with a label of “BACK” or “BACK-VIDEO-IN”.

There’s a wire labelled with BACK(倒车控制), this wire is used to control reversing, which is also called trigger wire. The trigger wire should be connected with 12v reverse light power, if you did not connect this wire, the camera display can not switch automatically after you put in reverse gear.

reverse-trigger-wire

This wire labelled with BACK need to be connected with 12V+ reverse light power.

And this is the rear view video cable to connect the video cable of the camera, usually labelled with “BACK-VIDEO-IN” or “CAMERA-IN”. This cable is with a yellow RCA connector.

backup camera video input

The RCA video cable with a female plug from the head unit needs to connect the camera video cable with male plug.

Wiring Diagram of the Backup Camera

The aftermarket backup camera package includes a camera, power cable, and video cable.

car rear camera package include

The camera replaces one of the car license plate lights. Power cable connects with 12v reverse light. And the video cable connect between the camera and the rear view video input cable from the head unit.

Car backup camera wiring diagram

Some aftermarket android head units have separate 12v reverse wires, but we still suggest you get the power to the camera with your car’s reverse light. The reverse light can only get power when you put in reverse gear. Thus the camera can only get power to work after you put in reverse gear.

How to install the backup camera

  1. Take out your car’s stock license plate light at the back of your car. Either the left or right license plate light is ok.
  2. Fix the license plate backup camera to where the stock license plate light was.
  3. Connect the camera video cable to the extension video cord
  4. Run the long extension video cord from the back to the front dashboard of your vehicle
  5. Connect the other end of the extension cord to your head unit or monitor at front dashboard.
  6. Connect the power of the camera to your car’s reverse lights: red wire to positive and black wire to negative.
  7. Connect the reverse trigger wire with a red loose wire from the long video cable.
  8. Check all cables connections.

If everything is ready, you should be able to see backup video on the monitor when your car is in reverse shift. The display should automatically switch to the camera video after you put in reverse gear.

Backup Camera Installation Experience

We have a customer who installed a backup camera successfully. We appreciate our customers sharing his experience on how to install the backup camera, and would like to share his feedback with anyone who wants to know how to install the camera.

Below is his detailed installation instructions.

This is a ‘must have’ when buying the android head unit. The connections are straight forward, but the install does take some time. First connect one end of the 15’ cable with an RCA plug (and RED wire) at both ends, to the RCA jack (CAMERA-AV-IN) on the unit. The RED wire connects to the BACK wire on the rear of the unit.

Next, lower the steering wheel and unsnap the cover on the left side of the steering wheel. Then fish the rest of the cable over to the left side cover. Then under the door sill cover, behind the floor seat-belt anchor, the rear door sill cover, up under the rubber molding on the back fender well.

Then unhook the upper part of the cover over the little window behind the rear door. Fish the cable over to the rear hatch. Remove the cover on the inside of the hatch so wires and cables are visible. Rather than trying the impossible task of fishing the cable through the boot connecting the hatch to the car, I notched both ends of where the boot attaches.

Then fish the cable up the left side of the hatch to where it will be available to plug into the rear camera. Next I took off the left tail light unit. Connect a 6’ wire to the red and black wires of the backup light. The other end will be fished up behind the little window to the backup camera. The black end of the wire will be connected to the black wire on the backup camera. The red end of the wire will be connected to the red wire on the end of the RCA plug AND the red wire from the backup camera.

To install the camera, remove the 4 nuts from the long cover over the license plate. Then unplug the license plate light.

NOTE: put some sort of tool in the loop where the hatch latches when closed…otherwise, you won’t be able to open the hatch with that light wire unplugged. Then remove the left light. (I did not reinstall the left license light.)

You’ll have to Dremel-alter the camera to fit in the license plate cover. This will take some time and patience. When it finally fits, reconnect the cover with the 4 nuts, replace the left tail light, and any covers that were loosened.

NOTE: All wires should be soldered and taped. Be careful when removing or replacing any covers or panels.

Once you have the backup camera functioning, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it!

Though it’s a detailed installation instruction for the back up camera, please install it carefully. If you still feel not comfortable with the installation, we suggest you asking a professional mechanic to do that for you.

Troubleshooting

  • no signal, or flickering images on the display
    After installation of the backup camera, if your screen display no signal, or flickering, your backup video is not stable, that’s because your reverse light can not provide stable 12V voltage to the camera.
    Solution: you can add a relay to provide stable 12V power to the camera to fix this issue. For more information you can check this post: How to connect a relay for car back up camera?
  • The screen can not automatically switch to reversing image
    This usually happens if you did not connect a trigger wire which most aftermarket head unit has. So you need to check the camera wires connection. At the same time, you can also take some photos for us to check your installation details, so we can know if there’s anything wrong with your installation.
    Solution: make sure you connect the backup trigger wire correctly. Take photos to the supplier of your camera for them to check if there’s anything wrong with your installation.
  • rear view images opposite
    After installation of the rear camera, if you find the rear view images displayed on the car monitor was opposite, then you can check settings > Camera Mirror, set to Normal or L&R Mirror.
    Solution: check camera settings and make any changes if necessary

4 thoughts on “How to install a back up camera?

  1. Hi, the wiring harness on my recently purchased android radio doesn’t seem to have reverse camera video trigger wire, is the wiring on all android radios the same? Many thanks. N

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