What’s the Best Way to Install an Aftermarket Backup Camera on a Subaru Legacy for Improved Visibility?

April 8, 2024

As the world continues to evolve, technology keeps on advancing, and the automotive industry is no exception. One of these advancements, gears towards improving driver’s visibility, are backup cameras. They are now a common feature in many vehicles, including the Subaru Legacy. In these cars, this feature is often connected to the in-built Eyesight system, providing a clear reverse view on the screen whenever your vehicle is set to move backwards.

However, not all Subaru Legacy models come with a pre-installed backup camera. Should you own one of these, aftermarket backup cameras present a feasible solution. This article will guide you on how to install these cameras on your Subaru Legacy. Let’s dive into it.

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1. Choosing the Right Backup Camera

Before you start the installation process, you must first choose the right camera for your Subaru Legacy. When selecting an aftermarket backup camera, consider the type of camera that will best suit your needs. There are two main types of cameras: license plate cameras and surface mount cameras.

License plate cameras are easy to install as they simply bolt onto your license plate. They are an excellent choice for vehicles with a centered license plate. However, they can be easily blocked by dirt or mud, which can hinder the quality of the view.

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Surface mount cameras, on the other hand, are installed onto any flat surface of your vehicle. They offer a wider field of view than a license plate camera but may not be as aesthetically pleasing.

Besides the type, you should also consider the camera’s view angle, the quality of the image, and whether it has night vision capabilities. Once you’ve chosen your preferred camera, you can now proceed with the installation process.

2. Preparing for Installation

Before you start installing your camera, ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment. These include your backup camera, a power drill, a screwdriver, electrical tape, a continuity tester, and a wire stripper.

Next, familiarize yourself with the Subaru Legacy’s wiring system. Check the forum dedicated to Subaru Legacy owners, where you may find useful diagrams and advice. Remember, the reverse light will be the power source for your camera, so locate the reverse light wires.

Lastly, disconnect the battery before you start to prevent any electrical mishaps or damage to your vehicle.

3. Installing the Backup Camera

Start the installation process by mounting the backup camera. If you have a license plate camera, bolt it onto your license plate. If you have a surface mount camera, identify the best place to install it, drill a hole, and secure the camera.

Run the camera’s power and video wires through your car to the front where your screen is. Ensuring the wires are neatly tucked away not only keeps your car looking clean but also prevents accidents that may happen due to loose wires.

Next, connect the camera’s power wire to your Subaru Legacy’s reverse light wire. This will ensure that your backup camera is powered on whenever you engage the reverse gear.

4. Connecting the Camera to the Screen

Once the camera is powered, you will need to connect it to the screen. Find the video input on your car’s monitor and plug in the video cable from the camera. If the system doesn’t recognize the camera at first, go back and check your connections.

If your Legacy model has an Eyesight system, the installation process could be a bit different. The Eyesight system is Subaru’s driver assist technology that uses cameras mounted at the top of the windscreen. If you want to integrate your aftermarket reverse camera with this system, it may require professional installation or additional devices.

5. Testing the Backup Camera

After you have successfully installed and connected the backup camera, it’s time to test it. Reconnect your battery and start your car. Shift your car into reverse and check your screen. You should be able to see the view from your backup camera.

Remember, the key to perfect installation lies in your ability to pay attention to detail. And just like any other task, practice makes perfect. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Take your time to understand your Subaru Legacy’s system, and soon, you will be a pro at installing your aftermarket backup camera.

6. Final Adjustments and Considerations

Upon testing, the backup camera should be functional and provide a clear vision of what is behind your Subaru Legacy. If the image appears blurry or distorted, adjustments may be necessary. The camera angle may require slight changes to ensure optimal visibility. In case your camera has an adjustable lens, try changing the view angle. Remember, this angle can significantly affect the field of vision provided by the camera.

Most rear-view camera systems also have guidelines that help in estimating the distance between the vehicle and the objects behind it. If these lines are not aligned properly, you might need to adjust them according to your Subaru Legacy’s dimensions.

Additionally, consider the placement of your head unit or display screen. The monitor should be installed at a comfortable eye level, where it can be easily viewed without distracting you from the road. This installation is essential as it allows you to quickly glance at the screen when reversing or parking.

Ensure the screen is clean and free from dust or smudges that may affect the clarity of the camera’s image. Also, remember to frequently clean the camera lens, especially if you have a license plate camera, as it can get easily dirty, impeding visibility.

Lastly, if you encounter any difficulties during the installation, don’t hesitate to consult with forum members or experienced Subaru owners. The Subaru community is often very helpful and willing to provide advice or even hands-on assistance.

7. Conclusion

Installing an aftermarket backup camera on your Subaru Legacy can greatly improve your driving experience, especially when reversing or parking. Not only does it enhance your rear view, but it also aids in preventing accidental bumps or collisions. Whether you choose a license plate or a surface mount camera, the installation process remains relatively straightforward, given the right tools and a bit of patience.

Remember, while this guide provides a general overview of the installation process, variations might occur depending on the specific camera systems and Subaru Legacy model you have. Therefore, always refer to your camera’s and car’s user manuals for specific instructions. Additionally, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re unsure or uncomfortable performing the installation yourself.

In essence, having a backup camera on your Subaru Legacy, whether it’s a WRX STI, Subaru Outback, or Subaru Forester, is a practical upgrade that aids in ensuring your and others’ safety on the road. So, take your time, follow these steps, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of improved visibility in your Subaru Legacy.