How to Install a Third Brake Light Camera? The third brake light camera can be installed to not only get a rear view behind your vehicle but also to keep an eye on the cargo in your transportation vehicle. When it comes to choosing the camera system itself, you will have to consider a number of things. This includes not just the camera, but also the monitor’s size, where to install the cam and the display, how the cam will get activated, any additional modification you may want. If you are looking to install a 3rd brake light camera in your car, truck, van or trailer, this guide is for you.
Tools & Materials Required
You will need the following tools and materials to install a third brake light cam in your vehicle:
- Flat blade screw drivers
- Trim tools
- Wire strippers
- Hex & star sockets
- Heat shrink
- Soldering gun & solder
- Electric tape
- Wire ties
Install the Wire
Remove the third brake light assembly and fish the camera cable through the opening and pull the wire all the way through. If you are installing the cam in a truck, the wire will need to be fished through the opening in the back of the bed. This opening can be found between the truck’s bed and the tailgate.
Connect the Camera
Connect the camera to the cable and fix it properly in the third brake light assembly.
- Insert the black and yellow video wires into the connector.
- The terminal lock should be replaced
- Cut and remove the sheathing on the wire to pair the video wires with the main harness. Cover the video wires using black trim cover
- Depending on where you want to route the wire through, remove the A-pillar cover using a tug (you will have to first remove the bolts if there is a handle).
- Then remove the dash-side panel
- Route the camera’s power and ground wires along the A-pillar’s rail
- Connect the RCA into the RCA input in the mirror. You can tuck it along the headliner and the A-pillar glass.
- Route the third brake light camera’s power wires to the upper center console area. Same should be done to the ground wires.
- Find the reverse-activated power wire within the mirror pane.
- Connect the red wire in the camera with the reverse-activated power wire using a tap splice.
- Connect back the cam to the black wire that belongs to the stock factory connect.
- Then splice, solder and wrap all the connections.
- Then tuck the power and ground wires between the glass and the headline.
- Use a strong tape to secure the wires to the A-pillar and fix the A-pillar cover back.
- Fix the mirror back, but it will be better to test the 3rd brake light cam first.
- Start the vehicle and then place it in reverse to test the cam. The display should show the video from the cam.
- Put the wires back in overhead and fix the trim panel back within the headliner (make sure the headliner is fixed back properly. It will usually take a number of tries).
If there is no hole already, you may have to drill one to mount the cam. It is recommended to mount the camera as close to the center as possible. The cam is going to replace the third brake light and once it is properly installed, it will look like a factory install. This is among the best ways to install a rear view cam. You can find cameras that can provide up to 170-degree viewing angle.
Advantages of Installing a Third Brake Light Camera
There are many advantages of installing a 3rd brake light camera in your vehicle.
- It is relatively easier to install third brake light cams. This is especially because the cam is integrated right into the 3rd brake light’s housing.
- A 3rd brake light camera is a valuable safety addition to your vehicle.
- You can get a wide view based on the camera you choose. Some of the best cams can provide you up to 170 degrees of viewing angle. The usual average ones start from 120-degree viewing angle. Thus, you can have a rear view from one edge to another ensuring that your vehicle doesn’t touch anything when reversing.
You can wire the camera through the ignition, reverse lights or using a separate switch. Whichever option you choose, the wiring will have to be routed through the vehicle to the head unit. If you cannot go through the process of wiring, you can also choose a wireless third brake light camera.
When it comes to the display, there are multiple options for you. The choice should depend on what is more convenient. This includes:
- Mirror screen
- Dash screen
- Separate display
It is worth noting that the choice of the display is going to affect the complexity of the camera’s installation. Some of these systems can also feature parking guide lines. The guide lines within the video can help when backing up your vehicle. A high quality cam will have waterproof features and can be used without worrying about water entering the unit.
The rear view camera is among the most important safety accessories in your vehicle. And a third brake light camera is unique and can be installed for different purposes based on the type of vehicle you have. You can install it not just for rear view, but also for keeping an eye on your cargo. It is best to choose a cam with the widest possible viewing angle. If you can extend your budget, you should choose a 3rd brake light camera system with the highest possible features. There are many additional features that can help enhance the level of safety.