A little while ago i decided to take the plunge and invest in a dash cam. I opted for the Blackvue DR650WG-2CH, the reason behind this was due to the front and rear facing cameras with built in GPS & WiFi. However after reading many forum posts on the best way to install this I came across many people having problems such as routing cables, battery error messages and the DAB radio not working (including myself). However after about a month of testing, all is now fixed.
So i thought i'd tackle all the problems in one video / post and show you the best way to install a dash cam in your BMW with parking mode.
First of all is to mount the dash cam to the windshield.
You then want to run the power cable and rear camera cable along the headlining, then tuck the cables behind the trim into the A-Pillar
When you reach the B-Pillar, you're going to need to push the headline lining up with some force to push the cable behind some clips. Without doing this, the cable will be visible.
You then want to run the cable along the top of the window and push it over the headlining, just like the windshield.
You now want to pry off some of the boot trim to give you full access. The photo below shows the locations of 4 screws that will need to be removed. Once removed, you give a firm tug and the trim pieces will pop off. Don't worry, they wont break.
To completely hide all cables, you will also need to pull the rubber weather stripping and rubber sleeve out. Then thread the cable through the rubber sleeve.
Next comes the bit that causes issues with many other dash cam users. You do NOT
want to install the dash cam at the top of the rear windshield.
This is what will cause your DAB radio to have interference and will periodically cut out which is very annoying. The reasonn behind this is that the camera will be located right next to the DAB receiver. To get around this issue, it's to place the camera is at the very bottom of the windshield which is the furthest point from the receiver, plus the camera will be completely hidden in your rear view mirror.
You now need to thread the camera cable through the bodywork to reach the bottom of the window.
Now's the time to attach the camera to the window
Here is the view from the camera when attached.
Time to add power to the camera.
To keep things simple, I routed the power cable along the same side of the car, however I ran the power cable down the A-Pillar and along the floor.
No cables to be seen.
This bit was the easiest of it all, simply push the cable between the trim and the seats, it's nice and deep so no issues of the cable falling out.
You'll then be able to tuck the remaining cable under the boot carpet with enough left to plug into he power source. I wrapped the end of the cable in duct tape to prevent the sharp metal cutting through.
I wanted the dash cam to run when the car was parked. I've seen too may people hit cars and the drive off. However the main way to do this is to hardwire the dash cam to the battery, however the problem most BMW owners will face is a battery drain error, not only is this very annoying, but it means your keyless entry will no longer work.
The way around this problem is to install a secondary battery that's dedicated to the dash cam. A popular choice is the Cellink Battey B, but with limited access within the UK I needed an alternative. I opted for the Lukas LK 570 Power Pack Pro. This turned out to have huge advantages over the Cellink, one being that it can reach its full charge of 25 hours recording time in just an hour. Perfect as many of my journeys are under 30 minuets. Plus the battery will continue to charge for another 20-30 mins until the car enters 'sleep mode', meaning a full battery every time.
Installation was VERY easy. The ground cable attached to bare metal, (I used the battery bracket). To provide power to the battery, you are provided with a fuse piggyback meaning you simply get power from an existing fuse. I used fuse 100 which are the LED running lights.
That's it, now everything is wired in, all you have to do is put the trim pieces back together and admire the stealthy dash cam.
Below is a video guide on the best way to install the dash cam for the more visual users too.
I have used this setup for nearly a month now and I've had no problems with wires being exposed, error messages being displayed or fuses blowing.
If you have any questions regarding this setup, please let me know.
Hope this has helped.