How to install a rear view camera (with pictures)

How to install a rear view camera (with pictures)
How to install a rear view camera (with pictures)

A rear view camera lets you see what's behind your car without you having to turn around. Although this device exists on many recent models, you can install one on your car if it is not already equipped.


Part 1 of 4: Purchase the necessary equipment

Install a Rear View Camera Step 1

Step 1. Buy a rear view camera

Obtain a rear view camera kit suitable for your vehicle. For added security, be sure to purchase a device specifically intended for use as a rear view camera. With a device that exactly matches your vehicle, installation will be easier than with a standard camera. For easy installation, choose a camera that you can mount on the front or back of your license plate.

Look for a camera at consumer electronics stores

Install a Rear View Camera Step 2

Step 2. Obtain an external display

If you want to keep your mirror, wear your choice on an external screen. It’s a small screen that mounts on the board in the same way as a GPS. Although it takes up more space than an internal screen, it is much easier to view and can be easily moved when needed.

If you wish, you can use a standard video monitor, but be aware that the latter may not have the same options as those intended for use with a rear view camera

Install a Rear View Camera Step 3

Step 3. Choose an internal screen

This will allow you to have a more discreet device. The device is a mirror that incorporates a screen behind its glass. Some internal screens are mounted on your mirror, others replace it entirely.

Most screens go off and disappear when not in use, which is a good option if you want to keep the original look of your car

Install a Rear View Camera Step 4

Step 4. Purchase cables and power

This in case they are not delivered with your screen. Most of the time, to install a rear view camera, you will need Y-cables for camera and display with connections for video and power. Either two stripped power cables and an RCA video connector.

  • Usually installation kits come with these cables, but some require you to purchase them separately.
  • Some camera models use wireless transmitters instead of cables.

Part 2 of 4: install the camera cables

Install a Rear View Camera Step 5

Step 1. Remove your license plate

Get a drill and a 5mm bit to pop the rivets that hold your plate. Then remove the plate and set it aside.

Make sure you have new rivet pliers and rivets

Install a Rear View Camera Step 6

Step 2. Remove the interior trunk panel

Open your trunk and look for the interior panel which is at your license plate height. Then, use a tool suitable for removing the trim or any other fairly fine tool and pry up to dislodge the panel.

By removing this panel, you will have access to the rear electrical box

Install a Rear View Camera Step 7

Step 3. Drill an opening

Make a small hole at the location of the license plate. Make sure that nothing obstructs the passage between the location of the plate and the electrical box. Then, drill through the body with a drill equipped with a high-speed twist drill. Line up the holes so that they are positioned just behind where you will run the video cables and power.

  • To know where to drill the holes, position your camera where you want to mount it, then locate where the Y cable will go.
  • Make a hole large enough to pass the video cables and the power cable.
  • If you encounter an obstacle, try to remove it. If you don't have access to it, see if you can break through it.
  • For most of these operations you will need drills between 3 and 6 mm.
Install a Rear View Camera Step 8

Step 4. Place a rubber grommet

Before passing your camera cables through the body, insert a rubber grommet in the hole where the sheath will pass encircling the cables. These small rubber washers are available at most home improvement stores. They will keep the cables in place and prevent water infiltration.

Choose an eyelet just large enough to fit in the hole you drilled

Install a Rear View Camera Step 9

Step 5. Route the cables

Pull the ends of your camera and power Y cables through the hole in your car's trunk. Make sure to tighten them so that the rubber grommet can fit in the hole you drilled.

Your camera cable should run from the outside to the inside of your car

Install a Rear View Camera Step 10

Step 6. Locate the backup light cables

These cables are the ones that connect your backup lights to your dashboard. They are plugged directly into the reversing lights and are normally found in the tailgate or trunk of your car.

These cables are different for each vehicle, if you cannot find them, refer to the manufacturer's manual for information specific to your car

Install a Rear View Camera Step 11

Step 7. Prepare the cables

Strip and separate the reversing cables from your car. Using wire strippers or cutters, remove the plastic protection from the cables. Then, with a screwdriver or a sharp tool, make a hole in the middle of the stripped parts of the cables to separate the strands.

For safety's sake, do this without turning on the ignition of your car

Install a Rear View Camera Step 12

Step 8. Braid the cables

Join the cables of your camera with those of your reversing lights. Connect one of your stripped cables with your camera's power cable. Then, route the stripped ends of these cables through the stripped portion of the backup light cables and braid the assemblies. For safety, wrap the braided cables with chatterton.

Make sure you run the positive wire from your camera (usually the red wire) through the positive wire from the reverse light and the negative (usually black in color) through the negative wire from your reverse light

Part 3 of 4: plug in the monitor

Install a Rear View Camera Step 13

Step 1. Pull out the cables

Route the cables through the front of your car. Connect the RCA cable to your camera's cable connector, if necessary. Then, run the cables through your car to the fuse box. Depending on your vehicle model, you can usually do this by lifting your car's roof trim and running the cables along the exposed surface.

  • On some trucks, you may need to route the cables through the frame rails.
  • On most vehicles, the fuse box is located under the steering wheel.
Install a Rear View Camera Step 14

Step 2. Install an external monitor

Install it on the windshield. If you have chosen an external monitor, first install the supplied bracket on the windshield by following the instructions in the supplied user manual. Then attach your monitor to the stand.

Most outdoor monitors use a suction cup mount, however some may come with more complex brackets

Install a Rear View Camera Step 15

Step 3. Install an internal monitor

Attach the monitor to your inside rearview mirror or to the mirror clip. For some internal monitors, you will need to clip your new device over your rearview mirror. For others, you will need to remove the mirror and insert your monitor instead.

Some internal monitors may come with their own mount that you will need to attach to your car's windshield

Install a Rear View Camera Step 16

Step 4. Route the cables to the fuses

Pull the cables to the fuse box. If necessary, attach the video and power cables to your device, then pull the cables from your monitor to the location of the fuse box.

If you prefer, use a trim removal tool to remove the trim that sits just above your windshield. Then, route the cables through the exposed space

Install a Rear View Camera Step 17

Step 5. Plug in the monitor

Connect the monitor cables to the RCA cable. After pulling out the Y cables, plug the video connectors of your cables into the RCA cable of the monitor. Then wrap the connections in chatterton to hold them all together.

If your RCA and video cables have the same connections, you will need to purchase a male-to-female converter. You can find it in most electronics stores

Install a Rear View Camera Step 18

Step 6. Connect the monitor power cable

Connect your monitor's power cable to a fuse holder. Connect the stripped cable you have left to your monitor's secondary power cable. Then, insert the stripped end of the positive wire (usually red in color) into the notch in the fuse holder. Then, clamp the two cables together with a pair of pliers.

  • A fuse holder is a small cable that allows you to make a fuse with an electric wire. You will find it in most car parts stores.
  • If you wish, you can leave your bare cable unplugged and connect the monitor's power cable to a cigarette lighter adapter. Then, plug this adapter into the cigarette lighter socket.
Install a Rear View Camera Step 19

Step 7. Connect the fuse holder

Locate your fuse box and open it. Then, plug the fuse holder into a free fuse slot. If necessary, refer to your car's manual to find out which spaces are free.

After connecting your fuse, remember to tie all your cables together using chatterton so that they do not get in the way

Part 4 of 4: install the camera

Install a Rear View Camera Step 20

Step 1. Plug in your rear view camera

Connect the camera to the video cable and the power cable. Once you've set up the monitor and plugged in all the cables, return to the back of your car. Close the trunk if necessary, then connect your rear view camera to the video and power cables.

Your video and power cables should come out through the hole you drilled in your license plate slot

Install a Rear View Camera Step 21

Step 2. Install the rear view camera

If your camera mounts to the front of your license plate, attach it following the instructions in the manufacturer's manual. If it mounts on the back of your plate, line up the device with the pre-existing holes in your plate.

In most cases, you can attach your rear view camera to your license plate using the same rivets as your license plate

Install a Rear View Camera Step 22

Step 3. Reassemble your plate and toppings

Using riveting pliers, reattach your plate to the back of your car. Once in place, check the sturdiness of the mount by pulling firmly on your plate to make sure it stays in place.

If you haven't already done so, replace the interior trim of your trunk and passenger compartment by pushing them into the locations provided

Install a Rear View Camera Step 23

Step 4. Test your camera

Before hitting the road, test drive in a traffic-free area such as your driveway. If it lights up, place a large, sturdy object, such as a plastic trash can, behind your camera to observe the image distortion. If it does not light up, refer to the faults section in your camera's user manual.

Most of the time, camera problems stem from poor connections or plugging in your cables


While most dealerships or mechanics won't install a self-purchased backup camera, many electronics stores will


Be sure to turn off the ignition before working with the bare wires. If you must handle bare wires with the ignition on, wear a pair of insulating rubber gloves

Necessary material

  • A reversing camera
  • A video monitor
  • Cables for connections
  • Rivet pliers
  • A tool for removing trim
  • A drill with a high speed drill bit
  • A rubber eyelet
  • Cutting pliers or electric wire
  • Chatterton
  • A fuse holder

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