The Garmin Dash Cam Mini works quite well for its compact size and is almost invisible from the outside of the vehicle.

Instead of spending the money on a Garmin Parking Mode Cable, I decided to instead use the USB cable that came with the Dash Cam and power it through a 12V to 5V USB Converter. This was a cheaper alternative, however the only drawback is that the camera won’t work while the vehicle is turned off. If you must have that feature, then these instructions are not for you.

I decided to install a Dash Cam both in the front of my 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as in the rear. This article contains the instructions for the rear dash cam install. The dash cam will be powered through the existing cigarette lighter wiring near the hatch. The following is a schematic of the wiring:

You will need the following parts:

  • DC DC Converter 12V to 5V USB
  • Fuse Holder with a 3A fuse
  • A few solder-less sleeve connectors

In addition, you will need the following tools:

  • Multi-meter to measure voltage
  • Wire cutter / crimping tool
  • Plastic pry bars – auto trim removal tools.

The green line in the below picture illustrates where the USB wire of the dash cam will be installed in the vehicle.

Start by taking off parts as shown in the picture below. Use plastic pry tools or fingers where possible.

Next, run the USB wires through all the gaps so that it runs underneath the roof lining and behind the 2 side trims; you can push the wire underneath the rubber seal that goes around the perimeter. The trickiest part is where you need to pull the elbow shaped micro USB end of the wire through the rubber grommet. For that, use a zip tie and electrical tape and be careful not to destroy any of the wires inside the rubber hose. The wires inside the hose are all taped together, so make sure you run the USB wire in between the bundle of taped wires and the rubber; and not through the bundle itself as the tape is holding it tightly together. It will take a few minutes to get the wire through but it should not be too difficult. You can also feel the micro USB plug inside the rubber hose and help squeeze it through a bit with your fingers. The 2 bends on the rubber hose are a bit tricky to fish the wire through but not impossible. Do not force pull the wire through as you may damage the other wires inside or rip the rubber. Once the wire is through, push the grommet back in place.

The picture below, along with the schematics above, should help you figure out how to connect the DC/DC converter to the Fuse Holder. Use a sleeve connector and crimping tool to make the connections.

The Fuse Holder is connected between the positive end of the converter and the positive connection on the cigarette lighter. The negative wire of the converter goes to the negative pin on the cigarette lighter. To attach the wires to the pins of the cigarette lighter, unplug the connector at the back. It will expose the 2 pins at the back of the cigarette lighter. The middle one is the positive, the one on the edge is the negative end. Simply wrap your wires through the proper holes in those pins, then push the connector back over the pins, including the wires that are wrapped through their holes. The picture below shows what it would look like. Wrap electrical tape over it later, once you have tested all connections.

Now you should be able to plug in your dash cam and test out all connections. It should get power once you turn your vehicle in Accessory mode or start the engine.

Once everything is working, wrap some electrical tape around the exposed parts of the wires behind the cigarette lighter, then push all trims back in place.

2 Replies to “Install Garmin Dash Cam Mini in rear of Hyundai Santa Fe”

  1. Hi.
    Looking at your bixby delete .. you seem like the perfect guy to debug the overheating issue on this dashcam.
    Here’s a great overview of the issue:
    Maybe it only happens with the parking mode cable, maybe only in hot weather.
    Could you figure this out?
    Maybe look at what the updates include?
    Maybe there isn’t heat detection hardware inside?

    1. The problem only seems to exist when your camera is hooked up to a Constantly powered fuse and while alternating between parked and drive mode. The mode change happens each time you turn your vehicle off or on. If your camera is connected to a Switched fuse then you won’t have the overheating problem since turning off your car would also turn off the camera.

      Garmin provides little to no information on what their firmware releases include and it is not clear whether the overheating issue is caused by firmware or hardware, although I am inclined to think it is more likely a firmware issue.

      In my case, I am not using the camera in parking mode and when my vehicle is turned off, the camera is off as well. In this case, there is no overheating issue. If I really wanted to use my camera in parking mode and I had to work around the overheating issue of this camera, I would probably come up with some sort of solution where I would have the camera reboot each time I turned the car on, or off, or both, either by adding a switch that would temporarily cut power to the camera, or by making a circuit that would create a temporary power cut to the camera when it detects the vehicle turned on or off. Considering that the camera still runs for several seconds after you cut the power to it, the temporary power cut would have to last several seconds at the least. It’s a workaround and not a solution, but considering that Garmin isn’t likely going to resolve it, this is the best I can think of.

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