Being an employee of Safe Drive Solutions requires a lot of travel. One day you are in Chilliwack and next day you are in North Vancouver. Picking the correct dash cam upgrade for my Kia Soul was crucial. Because when you’re traveling frequently there is always a chance of catching an incident on camera. Protecting myself while driving is important, that is why I selected the IROAD X11 dash cam.
IROAD X11 Dash Camera
I chose the IROAD X11 dash cam upgrade for my kia soul specifically for its 310 degrees of total coverage. The front camera is 2K, night vision, detects motion, impacts, and has a wide-angle view of 155 degrees. Comparing recording time of the IROAD X11 to Thinkware U1000, when using a 128GB SD card. The U1000 gets 4.5 hours of continuous record time while the X11 gets 11 hours. This is due to IROAD proprietary software. Food for thought if you put the X11 dash camera into Time Lapse mode 100% of the time at 1 frame per second you would get up to 64 hours of record time.
Android & Apple Wifi App
The IROAD dash camera supports apple and android Wi-Fi app. I can merely use either device, login into the unit and download videos directly to my phone. This makes it easy to share videos with friends, family, social media or even YOUTUBE. You can also change any of the many settings this dash camera has.
High Temperature Protection
In BC over the summer record high temperatures were set over 46 degrees Celsius. Have you ever touched the windshield of your vehicle during these heat waves? Trust me it is a lot hotter than 46 degrees. Your dash camera is mounted on the windshield, so it is important to have proper protection. To keep the device running stable, IROAD protects its data against intense heat by turning it off to prevent overheating. They also use an all-glass lens to prevent warping.
The #1 question ICBC asks when there is an incident. Do you have the dash cam footage? It is becoming more and more popular. Some of my clients have told me that even when witnesses have shown up to testify, they push it aside and ask for dash camera footage. Therefore, we do what we do. We provide dash cameras with installation so our clients can better protect themselves.
Getting any dash camera, no matter what brand, is still a step in the right direction. Buying a dash camera like the IROAD X11 betters your chances with, improved detail, night vision, parking recording, and Wi-Fi app support. That is why I chose the IROAD X11 for my dash cam upgrade on my Kia.
We want to address a lot of the common questions about dash cams. There can be lots of confusion when playing with new technology. How does it work? Do I have to do anything to it? Where does the power come from? Will it record while parked? So many questions and we are going to take some time to answer some of them.
Do Wi-Fi Enable Dash Cams Work With My Home Wi-Fi?
Often people get confused with home wi-fi cameras. Your home wi-fi cameras hook up to your home wireless network and hence do not move. Automobiles have wheels and an engine and move from point A to point B and leave any range of your home wi-fi. It may sound silly, but it can be confusing when you see wi-fi enable on a dash camera. No, it will not work on your home wi-fi.
The wi-fi enable dash cams create a wi-fi hotspot for you to pair your phone directly to it. These dash cameras will have an app you can download for Android or Apple. There will be a pairing process between your phone and the camera. In turn you can use your phone via the app to download videos, and change settings. Click Here for examples on the pairing process with Android or Iphone.
Where do you install the dash camera?
I am asked this quite often, and the best answer is, it depends on the vehicle. Every vehicle is different, and some vehicles have very big housings in the centre of your windshield. The goal is to have it as high as possible, and as close to the centre. You always want to make sure the windshield wipers cover the area where you mount it as well. If it snows and it’s not in that prime area, your dash cam will record the white snow and defeat the purpose. Below are some examples of different mounting locations.
Will My Car Battery Die from Installing a Dash Cam?
The short answer is no. A couple factors is, how you install it, and how you set the dash camera up. If you have a dash camera without low battery protection, and you do not drive your vehicle regularly. As a result, there is a good chance you will kill your battery. Dash cameras sold at Safe Drive Solutions all have low battery protection. We recommend setting this for 12 volts or higher to protect your battery. For this common question about dash cams, we provide an example below.
Once I had a client say the dash camera killed their battery. After investigating we found out they had been leaving their interior light on for quite a few weeks. There is lots of factors that can kill your vehicles battery, for example leaving an accessory plugged into your cigarette lighter all night. However, getting a bad cell in your battery or leaving the interior light on all night is more common. These types of things happen but getting a dash cam with low battery protection you should be fine. If you are still worried get a backup battery for your dash cam.
How long will my dash camera record?
This is the most common question about dash cams. In short it depends on your dash camera, video quality, and the size of memory card. Firstly, make sure you get a dash camera with a memory card. Most commonly dash cams come with 16gb or 32gb memory cards included in the box. This will give you anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of continuous recording. Secondly make sure the dash camera will support 128gb SD card or bigger.
Lets use a 1080P camera, from Thinkware for our example. If only using 1 camera and a 16gb SD card you get approximately 2 hours of continuous record time. As a result, with a 2 camera system you get 1 hour. For instance if you use a 128gb SD card you would get 16.5 hours in 1 channel and 8.25 hours in 2 channel. Below are some examples of potential record time.
What Does the GPS Antenna do?
Above all, I always recommend a GPS antenna to be added to your dash cam. So, what does this GPS antenna do. Does it secretly send signals to the astronauts in space? No, it does not, at least not that I know of. Basically, it considers the rate of speed your vehicle is travelling and shares that information with your video recordings. That way if you’re going 50km/hr it will show on your recording how fast you were going. I also get asked if you can turn this feature off? Yes, you can, not to worry. Also it will provide your location. If you were on highway 1 going 50km/hr it will show that information on the desktop software.
Some people get this confused with GPS tracking. No this is not a GPS tracking device. GPS tracking does live updates, has a sim card, and data plan subscription. The GPS antenna is used to provide information. If you get into an accident, you can prove your speed and location you were driving. This can either work for you or against you. If you’re driving 100km/hr in a 50km/hr zone, chances are you don’t want to hand that footage over. On a positive note, Thinkware Dash cameras will tell you where red light and speed cameras are located.
Will Getting a Dash Cam Installed Void My Vehicle Warranty?
No car dealer can void your warranty on your vehicle. In fact, most car dealers sublet their aftermarket accessory work to specialty retailers. So why would it be okay for them to do it? But not okay for you. Firstly, car dealers want to use their preferred vendors. Most of the time it is someone they trust. Secondly, it gives them a chance to add some profit to the sale of their car. Who doesn’t want to make more money?
There are some instances where a car dealer can void your warranty. But let’s be clear, they cannot void the warranty on your entire car. For example, you go to a specialty shop and get aftermarket fog lights installed. Two weeks after installing you find your headlight switch no longer works. Book in an appointment at your car dealer and they find the specialty shop wired in something wrong. Leaving you with a bill when you thought you had warranty. The car dealer replaces the headlight switch, and you have full warranty again.
If you get any aftermarket work done, I always recommend reaching out to that specialty shop before bringing it in to a mechanic, or car dealer. Mistakes can happen, fuses sometimes blow, after all we are human. Most professional specialty shops have technical information on your vehicle and will have limited challenges. Think twice before trusting the random guy on Kijiji, or Facebook marketplace that will do it for cash.
In conclusion there are many more questions to answer. We will continuously add to this blog monthly. Send us your questions about dash cams so we can answer them.
Did you know the Toyota Rav 4 has been in production for 25 years? As a result, this is the granddaddy of all cross overs. This vehicle is so popular it is available in an off-road, hybrid, or sport model. I know a lot of clients are having troubles getting their hands on one of these vehicles. People are waiting months due to the supply chain shortage. When you do finally get your vehicle. We recommend protecting your Toyota with a dash cam install.
Which One to Choose
With so many dash cameras to choose from nowadays it can be confusing. I often get asked to install the $69 special from Amazon. A couple things about this camera. It does not come with a hardwire cable, no SD card in the box, and there is no retailer I know of selling them locally. So, getting tech support or customer service is a challenge. Support your local retailer. Look for units with night vision, 1080P resolution, parking mode, speed, and location data.
With so many safety features on this new vehicle make sure your Toyota gets a dash cam install. This vehicle comes equipped with Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. If you start to drift out of your lane, the steering assist function will provide a small correction and put you back in your lane. Should the unexpected happen, this vehicle comes equipped with 8 airbags. Never mind the fact this vehicle also has parking assistance to help back up, back out, or back in. Perfect for all around safety.
Getting a dash cam installed does not need to be a complicated process. Make sure you hire a professional. Our customer in Surrey BC outfitted their Toyota with a QA100 Elite dash camera. During the install we were able to make sure not to interfere with any of the safety features. We hid the wiring in the headliner, a pillar, and under the dash. When we finished, we then explained to the client how to pair their phone, download videos, and change settings.
Anyone can get a deal on a dash camera or just buy one. The true art comes in getting a unit professionally installed and having someone teach you how to use it. Buying a dash cam from Safe Drive Solutions is an experience.
Our client from White Rock, BC contacted us about dash cam upgrade for their Porsche Taycan. Did you know this vehicle set the indoor land speed record of 102.65 miles per hour? The Taycan has 750 horsepower, and can go from zero to 60mph in 2.6 seconds. That is a well-oiled machine, without the oil of course. To compliment this high performance car, we installed a Thinkware QA100 Elite dash camera.
Can You Install A Dash Cam In An Electric Vehicle?
Working on an electric vehicle is not much different than your gas vehicle. There is still a fuse box, 12-volt wiring, and a battery. To some people it may seem challenging, here at Safe Drive Solutions we have access to vehicle wiring info to assist us. I also drive an electric vehicle and have had a dash camera installed for over 2 years now. All our dash cameras also have low battery protection built in, to protect your vehicles battery.
How Will it look?
Everyone always ask us if we are going to hide the wiring? How will it look when finished? Will there be wires everywhere? Will it obstruct my view? Let’s be clear dash cameras are designed to improve your safety. If they were a big video camera on your windshield it would block your view and would be deemed unsafe. Most dash cameras are small and not much more than 4 inches wide. Majority of the time they can be easily hidden behind your rear-view mirror, just like this dash cam upgrade in the Porsche. Try and find the wiring, it is all hidden in headliner, a-pillar, and under dash panels.
The Thinkware QA100 Elite is an excellent dash cam option for your car as it can continue recording when your vehicle is parked. This camera records incidents that are far more likely to happen when you are not around. It ultimately gives you the upper hand in any legal disputes, as well as when dealing with insurance. It is becoming increasingly common for your insurance company to ask for video evidence. And our one-of-a-kind product has already helped multiple clients deal with incidents.
Traffic Camera Notifications
All the Thinkware dash cameras we sell have the capability of informing you when approaching red light or speed cameras. When you have a high-performance car like this, it is pretty easy to step on that pedal and go. It is also equally as important that you are reminded of the speed limit at upcoming intersections. The last thing anyone wants is a ticket.
We installed a polarized filter which gives you superior video quality by eliminating windshield glare and reducing reflections. Moreover, it corrects imperfect or overexposed footage, enhances colour saturation, and improves clarity. If you own a set of polarized sunglasses, you will easily relate.
Super Night Vision
The night vision will allow your dash cam to adjust exposure in low light environments automatically. It ensures your video quality remains excellent in all conditions.
Built-in Wi-Fi allows drivers to adjust settings and download footage via your mobile phone. There is an app available on android and apple operating systems.
Acting as a deterrent to thieves, the front camera flashes LED light to indicate the presence of a dash camera.
A client from Surrey BC recently contacted us to inquire about adding a dash cam to their Honda Civic. The client was looking for a way to monitor when their teenagers drive the vehicle. They recently got their new driver licence from ICBC. The client wanted to use it as a learning tool to educate their teenager and to cover them if an incident occurred.
Red Light & Speed Camera Notifications
Some new drivers tend to have a heavy foot while driving and may be prone to making a few bad decisions. The Thinkware FA200 when paired with GPS antenna will give you notifications of red light and speed camera notifications. Can you imagine driving 70km an hour and then the Thinkware dash cam says, “Red Light Camera in 500 metres, speed limit is 50km an hour.” This will prompt most drivers to look down and check how fast they are going, hopefully preventing some unwanted speeding tickets.
Records Incidents While Driving and Parked
The Thinkware FA200 dash camera separates your video recordings into file folders. They are separated into continuous, continuous incident, motion detection, parking incident, and manual recording.
Continuous- Will constantly record while driving, record over old video footage and continuously record.
Continuous Incident- This feature will record when there is an impact to the G-Sensor while driving. Hard braking, drive over a speed bump aggressively, hit a pothole, or car accidents.
Motion Detection – When this is activated it will record all movement around the vehicle.
Parking Incident – While parked the dash cam will record any impacts to the vehicle.
Manual Recording- Just hit the REC button on the dash camera to save an incident you witnessed while driving.
Download Videos Directly To Your Phone or Desktop
The Thinkware FA200 Dash Cam allows you to pair your smartphone to the unit and download videos directly to the phone. Simply download the Thinkware Dash Cam Viewer App from Play Store or App Store. Follow the instructions for Android or Apple. This makes it easy to share videos via social media, You Tube, Police, or Insurance company. Or simply take the SD card out of the unit and view on your computer.
Feel free to contact us regarding a dash cam for your Honda Civic.