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Can't find switched/accessory power line for installing dashcam

357 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Goblinski
Hi everyone - got a good deal on a dashcam, and went to install it using this guide. However, when I opened up my map light/sunroof motor area, there is no green/yellow wire to be found in my car (see attached photo).

I see in the original guide they have/had a 2008 (so LCI) and mine is a 2006 (pre LCI). I am wondering if it's the LCI that makes a difference, or is it maybe if you have an autodimming mirror optioned from the factory - I presume that runs on switched power so as to prevent battery drain.

Any other suggestions for hardwiring a dashcam in? I see Viofo sells a hardwire kit but I feel like it'd be easier to pull power from the map light/sunroof motor area than having to pull the A pillar and route down into the fusebox itself... Thanks for any insight you can share.

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I would either go for the fusebox or try to tap into the wire that goes to the cigarette lighter (plug).
You need a volt-meter 馃憣
As it should only power on when key is in ignition.
There is a cigarette lighter outlet under the glove compartment. I would use that rather than trying to tap into a line. You don't need to pull the A pillar completely, you can route the wire along the door molding.
Are you sure you have the right wire bundle? In that 5series.net post...is is the wire bundle for the electrochromatic mirror. I had a look at the 2006 wiring diagram and it appears to be the same pre-LCI and LCI.
Hi everyone - got a good deal on a dashcam, and went to install it using this guide. However, when I opened up my map light/sunroof motor area, there is no green/yellow wire to be found in my car (see attached photo).

I see in the original guide they have/had a 2008 (so LCI) and mine is a 2006 (pre LCI). I am wondering if it's the LCI that makes a difference, or is it maybe if you have an autodimming mirror option (I imagine that is a switched accessory so as to prevent battery drain).

Any other suggestions for hardwiring a dashcam in? I see Viofo sells a hardwire kit but I feel like it'd be easier to pull power from the map light/sunroof motor area than having to pull the A pillar and route down into the fusebox itself... Thanks for any insight you can share.
Sorry, to be clear, are you saying to disconnect the wiring leading to that 12V socket and then use that for the power?

I think if I have to go down beneath/in the dash I'd just get the full wiring kit that pulls both constant and switched 12V so I can make use of the parking mode the dashcam has.
There is a cigarette lighter outlet under the glove compartment. I would use that rather than trying to tap into a line. You don't need to pull the A pillar completely, you can route the wire along the door molding.
Thanks for looking into the wiring diagrams (something I couldn't seem to locate, nor would I be able to easily decipher them, I'm sure...)

I'm pretty sure since it's what leads into the mirror. Unfortunately I do not have the autodimming mirror, so I am wondering if that is an option one would need to retrofit wiring for - I went to install an autodimming mirror in my e46 a few years back and found that it was lacking the pins/wiring for it, so I am assuming the same here - the car needed to have it optioned from the factory to have that wire in the loom.
Are you sure you have the right wire bundle? In that 5series.net post...is is the wire bundle for the electrochromatic mirror. I had a look at the 2006 wiring diagram and it appears to be the same pre-LCI and LCI.
I was thinking only use the switched 12V by plugging into the cigarette lighter (you have to buy a plug). I only splice into the wires as a last resort.
Ah - totally appreciate the suggestion but am looking to do an install with little to nothing showing in the cabin, and no ability for feet to kick the power source loose.
I was thinking only use the switched 12V by plugging into the cigarette lighter (you have to buy a plug). I only splice into the wires as a last resort.

If you get something like this and hide the wire above the lower dash panel, There is very little chance of someone kicking it loose.
Ok, that's why it doesn't match the guide.
Thanks for looking into the wiring diagrams (something I couldn't seem to locate, nor would I be able to easily decipher them, I'm sure...)

I'm pretty sure since it's what leads into the mirror. Unfortunately I do not have the autodimming mirror, so I am wondering if that is an option one would need to retrofit wiring for - I went to install an autodimming mirror in my e46 a few years back and found that it was lacking the pins/wiring for it, so I am assuming the same here - the car needed to have it optioned from the factory to have that wire in the loom.
Well...shoot. Glad if I am not just stupid or missing something...

I guess fuse taps it is, then!
Ok, that's why it doesn't match the guide.
Can't picture it in my mind (newbie here) - do you still use the A pillar to route the cable, or is it a different path ?
I had to wire a dashcam on my econosuv and removed the A-pillar cover completely (was a bit aprehensive as it had that special clip with a sliding piece that retains the cover rather than let it fly in your face if the A-pilar airbag deploys), in order to route the cable neatly behind the A-pillar airbag.

Simply tucking the cable under the cover can make it snake anyhwere, including in front of the airbag, which can be endless fun if/when it deploys. Thks
...You don't need to pull the A pillar completely, you can route the wire along the door molding.

This video shows you can run the cable along the A-pillar next to the door seal.
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You can surely run it, and it most likely will be safe, but the way the guy tucks it in this video is exactly the way I didn't dare doing it on my (non-bimmer) econosuv.
That's why I asked, in case it's done differently on bimmers.

On most cars the A-pillar airbag sits closer to the window, like this (screenshot from random youtube video on a Toyota) :

Mirror Cloud Automotive side-view mirror Sky Automotive mirror


Tucking the cable the way the guy from the previous video does it, there will be little, but not zero, risks of the cable going in front of the airbag.
So I was wondering if on bimmers the airbag sits more towards the windshield, or in the middle, where the cable would have much less risks of ending up in front of the airbag.

Edit:
And, I have the answer to my own question, looks like on the E-60 the A-pillar airbag is more in the middle and much less of a risk. Other screenshot from random youtube video:

Window Vehicle Building Hood Motor vehicle
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