There’s a certain art to installing a dash cam properly. While on the surface it might just seem like a case of sticking the mount to the windscreen and shoving the charger into your 12V socket, the truth is that there are a number of fitting fails that it’s easy to stumble into.
Here are our top four for your reading pleasure – and how you can avoid them.
1. Going, going, gone
It’s easy to picture the scene. You’re driving along, eyes on the road, head bobbing in time to the radio, dash cam merrily recording away when – crash. The adhesive gives way or the mount slips and the tech you’ve invested your hard-earned money in ends up clattering to the floor, probably shocking a few years off your life at the same time.
If you’re lucky, the dash cam will bounce off some nice soft upholstery and there won’t be any damage (to the camera, you or your car). If you’re not – well, it could be one expensive fail. Why take the risk?
2. A tangled web
Wires have an annoying habit of wrapping themselves around everything. Ankles, gear stick, pedals – give them any opportunity and they’ll take it. Trailing wires are a hallmark of a home dash cam installation and they’re not only ugly to look at and irritating to deal with, but they can be dangerous too. The last thing you want is to by trying to change gear and accidentally knock your dash cam loose at the same time. (Just see entry one for the knock-on effect of that.)
The chaos of trailing wires is even more of a fail when you’ve got a rear dash cam to add into the mix. Most rear dash cams need to be connected to their front counterparts with, you guessed it – wires. By the time you’re finished, you run the risk of a car that’s starting to look a bit like a ball of string. Not to mention what anyone who sits in the back will have to contend with…
3. Out of juice
Unless you’re super-unlucky, you’re probably not going to need your dash cam footage very often. But on the odd occasion that you hit an awkward pothole, or someone doesn’t brake in time, the last thing you want to see when you go to collect your proof of the incident is the dreaded ‘0% battery’ symbol (or, more likely, just a blank, unresponsive screen).
Maybe you knocked the cable loose at some point in the past. Maybe someone unplugged it because their phone was about to die and at the time, that was more urgent. Whatever the reason, a sneaky flat battery can strike at the worst possible moment – and leave you bereft of the footage that would prove your case. It’s the ultimate epic fail.
4. Poor positioning
We’ve all been there. You take the perfect photo, scroll eagerly back through your gallery to take a closer look… and realise you had your thumb over half of the camera lens. Or how about positioning your camera to take the perfect group shot, setting the timer, posing… and realising you’ve cut off everyone’s heads?
Dash cam footage is only as good as the angles it covers and how clear the windscreen is that it’s been recorded through. It’s all too easy to set yourself up for a fail here and only realise your mistake when what you really needed the camera to capture is just out of frame. Or obscured by water and dirt, because your camera’s outside of the area that’s cleaned by your windscreen wipers.
Okay, so those are our fails – but what about the solution? Easy. Let the professionals do the hard work for you.
Professional dash cam fitting
Here at Halfords, we offer full dash cam fitting for both front and front-and-rear cameras. This involves hardwiring the dash cam into your car, which eliminates the problems of trailing wires (they’ll be hidden under your car’s partitions and trims) and flat batteries (the dash cam will be directly connected to your engine, turning on and off with the car, and charging automatically).
One of our experienced technicians will also ensure that your dash cam is positioned and secured properly, so that you don’t have to worry about the quality of your footage or your camera escaping from its mount.
Appointments can be booked online or in-store, and you can find out more about our fitting service here.