Dashcam installation and A-pillar airbag interference

dashcambuyer2

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From youtube videos and many forum posts, I learned that certain dashcam wiring can potentially block airbag deployment since the wire crosses the airbag.

Ideally, opening an A-pillar and wiring it behind the airbag or along with the original wires next to airbag can avoid this problem.

However, since I have never tried taking off the trim on the A-pillar, I was simply wondering if it is okay to simply put wires to a space between the windshield and the A-pillar.

From the picture I got from the internet (BMW 3 series G20) , it seems like the airbag is close to the side door, and thus putting wires between the windshield and the A-pillar should not block the airbag deployment.

Is this true? I am just wondering if I can avoid the hassle of taking the A-pillar trim out.

Thanks
 

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Kremmen

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The best route IMO is pulling off the rubber door frame surround trim. Once you have, there is a channel where you can put the cable and push the trim back on.

Then you can safely tuck the wire under the very top of the A pillar trim as long as you only tuck it in to hide it, no more than a cm. Certainly do not breach , go any lower, where the headlining ends.

What you should never do is tuck the wire up behind the A pillar trim.

Given you have the trim off you can cable tie to that black wire towards the windscreen.

Another point worth noting is that many manufacturers recommend replacing the A pillar clips with new ones if you prize off the trim, as you have done.
 
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Outbacknomad

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The wire can go anywhere, just make sure it doesn't cross in front of the airbag. In other words not between the airbag and the passenger. Run it alone the top of the windscreen and then tape it to the existing wiring down the A column. Leave some spare slack at the camera end just in case you need a bit more length later.
 

Mtrev

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Is it a G20 you are fitting it to? Never taken anything off a G20 but done numerous previous generations of BMW’s and the A Pillars are usually fairly straight forward although you can safely avoid having to take it off.
If you run the wire from the camera, along the windscreen at the top then stay on the windscreen side of the a pillar tuck the wire behind it down to the dash then you are clear of the airbag, you want to avoid crossing from the windscreen side of the a pillar to the door side at the top of the a pillar because the curtain airbag is there as you can see on the picture, if you crossed at the top you would go over the top of the airbag.
 

CB91710

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I go back and forth on my opinion of the airbag issue.
I've been in a car when the side bags went off, and nothing is stopping it.
The wire is not strong enough to block airbag deployment. What will happen is the bag will rip the wiring out of place, and potentially sever it.

So yes... if you run the wire under the bag across the pillar, it may result in your rear camera, or in the case of the power lead, front camera losing power at the time of impact.
That happened to mine (older Streetguardian), but it had nothing to do with the airbag, as I had pulled power from the sunroof.
The issue was that the 5 year old Streetguardian supercap had apparently failed, and I got literally 3 frames from the accident as the impact destroyed the battery and fuse box.
No matter, as it clearly showed that I had a green light and was following traffic, good enough for the insurance company.

For my Avalon, I ran power to the mirror connector using a factory Toyota part. The rear view camera runs on the "wrong" side of the passenger A-pillar.


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Skylar132

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in my case when installing dash cams when theres an a pillar airbag, i unclip the a pillar, not enough to take it off but so its just loose and i can see behind it, i tape a ziptie to the wire and thread it behind the airbag and up
 

CB91710

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in my case when installing dash cams when theres an a pillar airbag, i unclip the a pillar, not enough to take it off but so its just loose and i can see behind it, i tape a ziptie to the wire and thread it behind the airbag and up
Toyota has to come off completely.
The clips have "arms" that retain the cover so it doesn't go flying when the bag deploys.
You have to pop the cover off, which "extends" the "arms", then you have to disconnect the end of the "arm" from the body so you can re-seat the end of the arm back into the pillar clip. The pillar then snaps back into place.
 

Skylar132

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Toyota has to come off completely.
The clips have "arms" that retain the cover so it doesn't go flying when the bag deploys.
You have to pop the cover off, which "extends" the "arms", then you have to disconnect the end of the "arm" from the body so you can re-seat the end of the arm back into the pillar clip. The pillar then snaps back into place.
In the case of my volkswagen you can pull back and unclip the pillar but it has speakers in it and you have to undo wiring to completely remove it and i dont feel comofortable doing that (wouldnt be the first time ive damaged the car hardwiring a camera) so i just unclip it and pull it back a touch
 

Mtrev

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I go back and forth on my opinion of the airbag issue.
I've been in a car when the side bags went off, and nothing is stopping it.
The wire is not strong enough to block airbag deployment. What will happen is the bag will rip the wiring out of place, and potentially sever it.

So yes... if you run the wire under the bag across the pillar, it may result in your rear camera, or in the case of the power lead, front camera losing power at the time of impact.
That happened to mine (older Streetguardian), but it had nothing to do with the airbag, as I had pulled power from the sunroof.
The issue was that the 5 year old Streetguardian supercap had apparently failed, and I got literally 3 frames from the accident as the impact destroyed the battery and fuse box.
No matter, as it clearly showed that I had a green light and was following traffic, good enough for the insurance company.

For my Avalon, I ran power to the mirror connector using a factory Toyota part. The rear view camera runs on the "wrong" side of the passenger A-pillar.
Wow, that is probably the worst piece of advice I have ever seen given.

It is so easy to avoid going across an airbag that it’s not worth the risking it hopefully being ok. Manufacturers spend millions designing car trims that break in the correct way in airbag deployment and crash testing the cars for very good reason, not just so some bone head can run a cable across them and impede their operation in a crash.
 

Dashmellow

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I've been in a car when the side bags went off, and nothing is stopping it.
The wire is not strong enough to block airbag deployment. What will happen is the bag will rip the wiring out of place, and potentially sever it.

I agree that this is very poor advice. While the dash cam cable probably won't stop the airbag from deploying, the now ripped out of place or severed cable will become a high velocity projectile that has a likelihood of causing severe injury or worse!
 

Outbacknomad

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Agree with others. Wire on the wrong side of an airbag will not stop the airbag deploying. It will be an increased risk of severe injury which is otherwise simply avoidable.

A bit like people who don't bother to use a tow rope or recovery snatch rope correctly and end up with severe injuries or decapitation.

Do right first time... only time!
 

DAP

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Every car is built differently. Go to youtube and search for videos of someone working on the exact make, model and year of your car, and learn where the airbags are. Think about how they will deploy and plan your wire routing to avoid getting in the way of their deployment. If you can, get a service manual for your car. Unfortunately some vendors conglomerate all their model years into one manual which makes them ridiculously expensive.
 

Dashmellow

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Agree with others. Wire on the wrong side of an airbag will not stop the airbag deploying. It will be an increased risk of severe injury which is otherwise simply avoidable.

A bit like people who don't bother to use a tow rope or recovery snatch rope correctly and end up with severe injuries or decapitation.

Do right first time... only time!

Yeah, a cable or piece of cable blasting off the airbag at high speed could easily sever a carotid artery in your neck!
 
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