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Consumer Reports: Installing a rear-view camera on an older vehicle

Posted at 8:00 AM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 11:02:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A rear-view camera is a handy safety tool. Evidence shows that those cameras help avoid accidents that involve backing into an object, or worse, a child invisible from the driver’s seat. Research has shown cameras to be even more effective than sensors. But what if your car doesn’t have a backup camera?

“There is a wireless rear-view camera that plugs into your smartphone," says Consumer Reports Car Expert, Mel Yu. "It does have actually a small battery in it so this is a completely self-contained unit.”

The wireless, smartphone option costs anywhere between $22-100. Be sure to choose one that is compatible with your phone’s operating system.

Some dash-cam sets have a screen that straps over your existing rear-view mirror. In addition to being a mirror, it displays video from the rear camera. They cost $40-200.

And If your car has an infotainment screen but lacks a rearview camera, you can purchase an aftermarket retrofit for $50-600.

Hard-wiring a rear-view camera takes some DIY skills and can be time-consuming. CR suggests if you have any doubts, consider professional installation.