When you hear of dash cam, it may sound strange if you are hearing it for the first time. You already know what a camera is. But you are probably reading this because you want to know what a dash cam is and want an answer to the question of – How do dash cams work, right?
This article will go into details on everything you need to know about dash cams like what a dash cam is, how to install one, how much they go for, and how you can buy a dash cam. When you are done reading through, you will have a deeper understanding of how it works and why you need to get one for your peace of mind.
What is a dash cam?
A dash cam, which also means dashboard camera is a device that is mounted on your vehicle dashboard to record or capture what is happening while you drive. The dash cam aims to help you keep track of what happened to your vehicle in the event of an accident or other activities that may be important to you while you are in motion.
This onboard camera comes in either front view camera or back or rear-view camera, or both. Some of these dash cams can take 360 degrees view of your vehicle. It can record acceleration as well as deceleration, steering angle and speed, GPS data and many others.
Some of them record these footage and store in a memory card. The more sophisticated ones can record videos and pictures even when the vehicle is on park. And there is vandalization on the car and automatically send it to the owner using 4G network.
While trying to answer the question of how do dash camswork, do bear in mind that the quality of videos or pictures your dash cam takes all depends on its resolution. Usually, a resolution of 1080p for front camera and 720p for rear camera is the least dash cam to go for if you expect to get clear footage.
While the front camera is often mounted on the windscreen, the rear camera is mounted in the registration plate or the rear window.
How to install a dash cam
There are various ways to install a dash cam. We are listing the basic 4 methods of installing one.
Internal battery option
Some dash cams come with an internal battery that you can easily install and use. For such cameras, there are no tough routes to setting them up and having them running. Some are with replaceable batteries. While some are rechargeable. They usually plug and play. However, relying on a dash cam’s internal battery is not suitable for people looking to cover a great deal of their driving routes and activities.
Internal batteries are for short journeys. It can record about 30 minutes of footage or a little above that. And these batteries, you will need to recharge or replace them after each journey. Internal batteries offer simple and easy installation options as all you need do is set up the dash cam. Switch it on, and it’s good to go.
They don’t record much, but they are very tidy because no wires are involved.
A youtube video on Dash Cam installation is posted below for your better understanding:
USB port or lighter socket option
This installation option is very popular because it doesn’t take much work to have the dash cam running. Here, you have the option to plug in the camera in your USB port or your vehicle’s lighter socket. Just like the battery installation option, the installation can be considered neat to an extent because you don’t need many wires here and there.
But there will be a cable running from the camera to the connecting point. The good thing about this option is that you won’t have to bother yourself with hard-wiring the dash cam to your vehicle’s fuse box or keep replacing or recharging the battery.
The cables, you can route along the headlining edge, down the side of the passenger side pillar, and then across the upper part of the footwell where you can then plug it into the socket. Each vehicle has its variable for installing dash cams to the lighter socket. Still, the essential thing is the power cable that you can easily hide behind interior panels of your vehicle. At no point should you disassemble anything just to run the cable wire?
Hard-wire into fuse box option
This option is the most challenging when you have the question – how do dash cams work.This is because this option involves a lot of wires that have to be hard-wired so that the dash cam can be powered by the vehicle whenever the ignition is turned on.
Hard-wiring a dash cam requires that you get an installation kit for it. The kit contains the cable that has two forks; one is for connecting it to the vehicle’s fuse box while the other, which is a metal ring, is to be attached to the vehicle’s body to keep the dash cam in place.
To begin with, place the dash cam near the center of the rear-view mirror so that it can capture everything happening on the road without blocking your view. The next step is to tuck in the cable wire between the roof lining and the windscreen and then to the A-pillar side. Although vehicles vary, there is usually space where you can house the cable that is between the dashboard and the A-pillar panel.
Then head for the fuse box. It is usually close to the passenger footwell that is located beneath or inside the glovebox. Yours might be behind a plastic panel on the right or left of the footwell that is removable. Find the fuse in the hot start that turns on only when you turn on the ignition. A circuit tester or your vehicle handbook will help you determine the lighter fuse.
Go in with your pillars and fit the dash cam’s plug. Fitting it to the fuse box enables both the dash cam and the cigarette lighter to get power from same socket. Secure the dash cam to the body or metal chassis of the vehicle. Test it by turning on the ignition to see if it powers and goes off when the ignition is off. If everything is working alright, tidy up the excess cable by tucking it in behind the plastic panel covers.
Hire it out option
If all the installation options we listed out confuses you, the more, you can go ahead and hire it out to someone that will help you out. You can find help when you check with your local car dealer or garage. And for a token, they will have your dash cam running in no time.
How much do dash cams cost?
While we are still on the topic of how do dash cams work, you may want to get an idea of how much this essential device for your vehicle costs. There is no set or fixed price for a dash cam. You can get a dash cam for as low as $30 for the very low-end models. Then for the high-end or high-rated versions, you can expect them to cost over $100 to $200. However, whatever your budget, there is always a dash cam that will serve you just right. But do bear in mind that the lower end dash cams cannot offer you more options like the higher end versions.
How to buy dash cam?
This is a very important point because you don’t have to rush off to online store and order a dash cam. You need to first find out what a good and functional dash cam entails. And you don’t have to scout the internet finding such information since we have provided you with an excellent review of the Best 10 GPS with backup camera you should know of. By the time you are through going through it, you will easily find the one that suits what you are looking for.
We have tried our best to answer the question of how do dash cams work. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, imagine what a video that can be captured by your dash cam can do for you. You will be amazed at the incredible things that happen around you while you are driving.
Some people think that they do not need a dash cam because they are very careful when driving. The truth is that dash cams can save you if a reckless driver hits you. And you need something to show that you were not the one at fault.
In the UK, some insurance companies give discounts to car owners that have dash cams. This may not be fully obtainable in the US at this time. Although having some footage from your dash cam can give you that extra proof you need to lay claims to damage. So, this all about how do dash cams work. We hope you found this article enjoyable & educative.
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