Tesla vehicles have often been tricky to install dash cams in, but the Model 3 poses a new challenge not previously seen with the Model S or Model X. There is no accessible fuse box and the only place to get accessory power is through the center console 12V socket. That being said, this power port offers only switched power, so what can you do if you want parking mode recording to capture hit and runs as well as vandalism incidents?
For this application, we used the Cellink NEO battery pack which we hardwired behind the 12V socket in the center armrest. With the center console side panel removed, you can mount the Cellink on the floor behind this panel. (yellow tag in picture below). This battery pack works by charging under accessory power and then providing constant power to the camera once the car is switched off.
This does not result in any error codes as there are no unexpected drains on the battery while parked. It also provides longer recording time (on a full charge) than typical 12V car starter batteries. As the power is tapped through the 12V socket, you would also avoid warranty issues since this behaves exactly the same as plugging an accessory into that socket. If you are nervous about hardwiring or are not confident soldering, the Cellink NEO does come with a 12V cigarette charging cable. Do note that this cable does not allow for high speed (9A) charging.
This customer opted for a Blackvue WiFi dash cam set up with two separate 1 channel dash cams. The benefit to this kind of setup is that the video quality is better than traditional 2CH dash cams. You also get two separate memory cards so it can be a bit of a failsafe in case one dash cam doesn't work. With a standard 2CH dash cam, if the front fails, the rear will also fail. The downside to this setup is that you have to connect to the front and rear dash cams through the app separately. The power consumption is also higher than a standard 2CH system so parking mode recording time is reduced.
We install more dash cams than anyone in the Lower Mainland, if you have any questions or want to book an appointment, please contact us here!