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How to Connect Backup Camera to Head Unit [Step-by-Step Guide 2022]

How to Connect Backup Camera to Head Unit
How to Connect Backup Camera to Head Unit ?

Installing a backup camera is a great way to improve the safety of your vehicle. Whether you’re backing out of a parking space or pulling into one, seeing what’s behind you can help you avoid accidents. And if you ever find yourself in an emergency, having a backup camera can be a lifesaver.

Most of the time, people think that connecting a backup camera to a head unit is difficult. It’s quite easy as long as you have the right cables and know which ports to use. Below is a quick guide on connecting a backup camera to a head unit.

How To Connect Backup Camera To Head Unit

Tools for Installation

Tools required for the Installation of backup camera to car stereo

You will need a few tools to get the job done right. These include:

With all of these tools in hand, you should be able to install a backup camera in just about any car.

Select the location to install the backup camera

Select the location to install the backup camera

The best location to install a backup camera is on the back of the car, near the license plate. This location gives you the best view of what is behind you when backing up.

Installing The Backup Camera

Start by cleaning the area where you will be working and laying out your tools and materials. This will help to make the job go more smoothly.

Using a drill, create a hole in your chosen area to mount the camera. Check what is on the other side of the panel before drilling to avoid any damage.

Installing The Backup Camera

Run the cable from outside your vehicle to inside through the hole you have just created.

Run the cable from outside your vehicle to inside through the hole

Now the backup camera is tidied up in the right place.

give power to car stereo

The next step is to give it power. The reverse light is the best option, as it only comes on when the car is in reverse. You will need to find the positive wire and the negative wire. To test your circuit, you’ll need a multimeter.

To measure DC voltage, set the multimeter to the corresponding setting and then put the leads on each of the wires. 

While your car is in reverse, you should see around 12 volts. If the multimeter reads a negative value, the polarity is reversed, and you need to switch the leads.

car is in reverse, you should see around 12 volts

Once you have found the positive and negative wires, you can make the connection.

For this particular connection, we’re going to be using the method of a military splice. This involves stripping the wire back, poking a hole in the strands to separate them, and taking your wire from your backup camera, in this case, our positive red wire, and inserting it through the separated copper strands twisting it around the wire. We then need to isolate it with some tape.

 isolate wire with some tape

Now that we have made our connection for our positive wire, we need to repeat that step for our ground.

Connecting The Backup Camera To The Head Unit

Connecting The Backup Camera To The Head Unit
Connecting The Backup Camera To The Head Unit

Now that we have our video cable routed up to the front of the vehicle, we need to connect to our head unit. If you want the cleanest possible installation, follow the original factory wiring for your car.

Locate the video input and reverse wire on the back of your head unit. In this particular case, we have a yellow RCA video input and a red wire for our reverse trigger. Now that we have our video and reverse trigger wires running to the back of our head unit, we can make the connections.

Plug one end of the video cable into the back of our head unit into the video input, then take the other end and plug it into our backup camera. 

Now, for the reverse trigger wire, we will use a butt connector. Strip both ends of the wire and then insert them into the connector. Crimp down on the connector until it is tight, and tape up the connection to ensure it is secure. This will complete the installation of your backup camera!

Testing The Backup Camera

Testing The Backup Camera

Now that we have our connections, we can test it to ensure everything is working correctly. Put your car into reverse, and you should see the image from your backup camera on your head unit’s display. You can finish by taping up and securing any loose wires if everything is working perfectly.

And that’s it! You’ve now installed your backup camera.

P.S: If you are looking for new car stereo stereo with backup camera, consider checking this article.

Video tutorial on how to connect backup camera to head unit

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Check all of the connections to make sure they’re tight and secure.
  • Make sure the power cable is connected to the correct wire.
  • If your head unit doesn’t have an AUX input, you can try connecting the video cable to the DVD player input.
  • If you still can’t get the backup camera to work, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or take it to a professional for help.

How to Connect Wireless Backup Camera to Head Unit

Although most vehicles now have some backup camera, it is simple to install one if yours does not. A wireless backup camera is the quickest to set up since there is no need for any wiring. Here’s how to connect a wireless backup camera to your head unit:

Step 1: Mount the camera.

The first step is to mount the camera in a position with a clear view of the area surrounding your vehicle. The ideal location is usually behind the car, near the license plate.

Step 2: Attach the transmitter.

Next, you’ll need to attach the wireless transmitter to the camera, and this will usually involve screwing the transmitter into the camera mount.

Step 3: Plugin power.

The transmitter must then be connected to the power supply, and this is usually accomplished by connecting it to the car’s backup light wiring.

Step 4: Pair the transmitter and receiver.

Once the transmitter is powered on, it will need to be paired with the receiver, and you can usually do this by pressing a button on each unit.

Step 5: Mount the receiver.

The final step is to mount the receiver conveniently inside the vehicle. The best place is often near the head unit. Once the receiver is in place, you should be able to see the camera’s view on the head unit’s display.

Step 6: Connect the receiver to the head unit.

The final step is connecting the receiver to the head unit, which is usually done by plugging the head unit’s aux input. Once everything is connected, you should be able to see the camera’s view on your head unit’s display.

Video tutorial on how to connect wireless backup camera to head unit

FAQ’s

Where do I connect the power to my backup camera?

The first thing you need to do is find a power source for your camera. The cigarette lighter in most cars provides power to plug the power cable for your camera into the cigarette lighter. If your car doesn’t have a cigarette lighter, you can tap into the car’s electrical system. You’ll need to consult a professional for this, as it’s not something that someone with no experience should attempt.

Once you have a power source for your camera, you need to connect the video cable from the camera to the head unit. The head unit is the display screen in your car that shows you the radio, navigation, etc. There will be a spot on the back of the head unit that says “video in” or something similar. Connect the video cable from the camera to this input.

Where do you connect the reverse wire?

There are two ways to connect a backup camera to a head unit. The first is by connecting the power wire to the reverse light, and the second is by tapping into the vehicle’s 12-volt battery.

If you’re connecting the power wire to the reverse light, you’ll need to remove the taillight assembly to access the wires. Once you have access to the wires, you’ll need to identify the wire that powers the reverse light and splice it into the camera’s power wire.

If you’re tapping into the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, you’ll need to remove the negative terminal from the battery to prevent sparks. Once the negative terminal is removed, you can splice the power wire into any positive wire connected to the battery.

Once the power wire is connected, you’ll need to connect the ground wire to a metal surface on the vehicle, ensuring that the camera has a proper ground connection.

After the power and ground wires are connected, you can connect the video wire to the video input on the head unit. Once the wire is connected, you should see the image from the camera on the head unit’s display.

How do I install a backup camera in my SUV?

The first step is to remove the taillight assembly to access the wires. Once you have access to the wires, you’ll need to identify the wire that powers the reverse light and splice it into the camera’s power wire.

If you’re tapping into the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, you’ll need to remove the negative terminal from the battery to prevent sparks. Once the negative terminal is removed, you can splice the power wire into any positive wire connected to the battery.

Once the power wire is connected, you’ll need to connect the ground wire to a metal surface on the vehicle, ensuring that the camera has a proper ground connection.

After the power and ground wires are connected, you can connect the video wire to the video input on the head unit. Once the wire is connected, you should see the image from the camera on the head unit’s display.

Can you install a backup camera in any car?

Backup cameras can be installed in any car, provided with a power source and space to mount the camera. The most difficult part of the installation process is running the power cable from the camera to the head unit, and this requires drilling a hole and running the wire through the engine bay or underneath the car. If you are not comfortable doing this, we recommend taking your car to a professional installer.

How do you install a backup camera without a drill?

If you’re looking to install a backup camera without drilling, you can use a few different methods. You can either use adhesive or double-sided tape to attach the camera to your vehicle or purchase a wireless backup camera that doesn’t require any installation.

Installing a backup camera is a great way to increase your safety while on the road. Read on for some tips if you’re not sure how to install a backup camera without drilling.

Adhesive or double-sided tape:

If you don’t want to drill into your vehicle, you can use adhesive or double-sided tape to attach the camera. This method is generally very easy and only requires a few minutes to complete. Clean the vehicle’s surface where you’ll be attaching the camera, then peel off the backing on the tape and affix the camera in place.

Wireless backup camera:

Another option is to purchase a wireless backup camera. These cameras don’t require any installation at all-you. Attach them to the back of your vehicle, and they transmit the image wirelessly to a display unit inside the car. This is a great option if you’re not comfortable drilling into your vehicle or renting a car and can’t make any permanent changes.

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All Images in the Posts is from: Sonic Electronix

I am Miles Walker, founder of CarAudioWise.com. I'm a car audio enthusiast who loves to help others learn about car audio and installation.

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