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Discussion Starter #1
Recently picked up a Mazda 3 with the premium package and I'd like to install my dash cam sooner rather than later.

I'm looking for advice from others who have routed wiring through the dash, up the a or b pillar, and through the headliner. What's the best routing and how can I gain access behind the panels without damaging anything?

A secondary question I have is whether or not the cigarette lighter is a constant 12v source or if it's switched. I'd much prefer my dash cam to remain powered and if necessary I'll go as far as splicing into a constant 12v source. I'm well aware of the draw on the battery, it's not a concern. 24 hours of constant footage is valuable to me.
 

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You already are asking these questions on the 'How To Forum'

So far I haven't seen a single person mention that they routed the wiring through the A or B pillar or headliner, probably because it hasn't been done or they didn't bother to post about it in the 'How To Forum' in the thread dedicated to the process.

In that thread are a couple of options, including mirror tap installation instructions (I added including the PDF link for the OEM Autodimming Mirror installation, so you can see where they tap for power), or the bypass I did to avoid messing with that wiring where that originates in the side pillar.

Otherwise you are going to have to be inventive and figure it out yourself, then feel free to tell others what you figured out.

This is the other thread that 'dead ends':

 

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Yep, I'll go ahead and add value to the forum then and do it myself and report back.

Finding one: Others state the USB and cigarette lighter port are continuous 12v sources (unsure if they turn off on a timer due to RAP or something similar)
 

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So I took a closer look and there's really two options UNLESS the mirror area has constant 12v and not just switched 12v.

Option 1: Use USB in the center console (this one is constantly powered) and run the wire underneath the center console, underneath the dash, up the a-pillar, through the headliner and down to the dash cam. Minimal "electrical" work but figuring out how to run the wire under the center console might be problematic.

Option 2: tap into the fuse box located in the driver side kick panel. Use an open accessory slot and wire the +12v to the fuse and find a ground (might be problematic if you don't want to drill unless a ground is nearby). Use a DC-DC converter to drop the voltage down to +5vDC and splice into your dashcam connector. You could also buy a cheap 12vDC > USB converter online.

I like option 1 because it avoids the concern that the dealership will somehow tie the denial of warranty claims into tapping into 12v. It makes zero sense but dealerships suck sometimes.
 

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Doing research on this subject I found 9 in 10 did not want constant on because it could drain the battery.
I find this hard to believe it would have that much impact on the battery.
Most went for kits that enable one to tap into the fuse system so that the cam starts when the car is started.
There are advantages to always powered if you want to monitor hits etc while parked.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Doing research on this subject I found 9 in 10 did not want constant on because it could drain the battery.
I find this hard to believe it would have that much impact on the battery.
Most went for kits that enable one to tap into the fuse system so that the cam starts when the car is started.
There are advantages to always powered if you want to monitor hits etc while parked.
That's exactly why I want constant power. I've had multiple vehicles with the dash cam on constantly and even after sitting for a week and a half, I had zero issues with battery draining. I should measure the current just for the fun of it but I bet it's <.5aDC of draw at idle.

<$100 you can get a dash cam and 128gb sd card. Set it to 720p and you get ~24 hours of footage. I'm hoping a new model comes out that accepts a 256gb sd card and supports higher compression ratios. 3 days worth of footage would be fantastic.
 

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I purchased and returned an Infiniview lite dash cam from Best Buy because an installer wanted $500CND to install ($360US). I did not want to have wires all over the place in a brand new car.
That's why I'm interested in your post. I would love to be able to install it myself.
 

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I purchased and returned an Infiniview lite dash cam from Best Buy because an installer wanted $500CND to install ($360US). I did not want to have wires all over the place in a brand new car.
That's why I'm interested in your post. I would love to be able to install it myself.
That's way overpriced, but not the first time I've heard of that happening. I've done A LOT of car audio work in the past so I'm fairly confident in my abilities but I also want to take my time.

Do you also have a '19 Mazda 3? I plan on posting pictures of what I end up doing, but if you have any specific questions as I learn what's necessary you're more than welcome to message me directly.

I haven't looked in a few months, but the dash cam I've been recommending to friends and family is the YiCar 2.7k. It accepts up to a 128gb SD card and I simply turn the resolution down to 720p and it's still an excellent video for a dash cam. Samsung makes the best cards for the price although anything else will work due to the recordings being at a relatively slow data rate. With the right coupons on amazon you can get into that setup for <$80US.
 

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I purchased and returned an Infiniview lite dash cam from Best Buy because an installer wanted $500CND to install ($360US). I did not want to have wires all over the place in a brand new car.
That's why I'm interested in your post. I would love to be able to install it myself.
If you're in Toronto, you can go here to have it installed:


$75 for installation
 

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Yep, I'll go ahead and add value to the forum then and do it myself and report back.

Finding one: Others state the USB and cigarette lighter port are continuous 12v sources (unsure if they turn off on a timer due to RAP or something similar)

Different thing, but in this video, you can get a good sense of what's involved in running wiring through the center console.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Different thing, but in this video, you can get a good sense of what's involved in running wiring through the center console.
Thank you for this, that is helpful. It's good to know that these cars are similar in that most of the center console is removed via clips.
 
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