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Q: Hi I am looking to wire my reverse camera to my cars reverse lights. The first time I tried it, i think i grounded the wire wrong.

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Hi I am looking to wire my reverse camera to my cars reverse lights. The first time I tried it, i think i grounded the wire wrong which the caused my alternator to become defective and cause the check air bag and abs warning light to come on. It also made the Blowers turn off. Do you think this was caused by me because only a week before my car was being worked on at a body shop in which they had left the ignition on for hours without having the actual engine running. I am looking to give it another attempt but am scared because i don't want to dish out alot of money having the alternator replaced again.

My car has 67000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: I can’t say for sure if you were the one th...

I can’t say for sure if you were the one that caused the other issues with your car. I also must assume all these issues have been repaired since you last attempted to install the back up camera. A completely dead battery can result in a failed alternator because alternators are not meant to charge a battery from dead, they are designed to maintain the charge level of a good battery. But before you go blaming the body shop, I will offer you another perspective. An alternator should be robust enough to charge a battery. If it is not, it was already on the way out. The low battery may have only revealed another problem waiting to happen.

As for connecting your back up camera, there isn’t anything at the rear of your car that is designed to carry the current the camera will require. This being the case, you need to use a relay. A relay uses the low current from the back up circuits to turn on a higher current circuit that will supply power to camera. This will require you to run a power wire from the battery all the way to where the camera is mounted.

When you do this, be sure to purchase a generic relay and the corresponding harness. You will need to locate the correct back up light wire and tap into it. This installation will require a wiring diagram for the car and an understanding of how to install a relay.

If you are not familiar with how a relay circuit works, I recommend contacting the YourMechanic customer service to place you with a technician that knows how to do this. It is well within the skill set of the average mechanic, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Good luck!

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