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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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Just a note of caution. When using fuse taps, make certain that you have installed them in the correct direction!!!

If you install them backwards, you'll be drawing your power through both fuses, potentially overloading one fuse.
Second paragraph above is incorrect. Looking at the image above, the blade marked "accessory/device side" does not connect to the upper right fuse socket. If you install the fuseholder rotated 180 degrees into the fuse panel, you will not get power flowing to your additional accessory, with or without a fuse installed. Also, no current will flow through the additional fuse. There is no "overloading" of any fuse any more than if the fuseholder is installed in the correct orientation. Easily verified by the continuity function on your meter.

Also, the Lumision instructions for selecting the fuse in step 3 is conceptually incorrect. Sure the fuse has to pass the current required by the accessory, but the purpose of the fuse is to interrupt the current before the current exceeds the current-carrying capacity of the attached wire. The maximum current rating of the fuse is determined by the current rating of the fuseholder and the downstream wiring to the accessory.
 

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I purchased a dual-channel dashcam and external battery shortly before Christmas and am just getting around to looking at getting it installed. I just cut up the wiring and soldered up a couple wiring harnesses today, but will wait for drier weather to put it all into the car. I would not put the wiring into the weatherstripping, because wouldn't that mean any time you open or close the door, you'd be rubbing the wiring? The wiring should be protected, not subject to mechanical agitation. Online you also see people running wires under floor mats or carpeting, right where people put their feet!

If you don't want to be removing plastic trim pieces, you may have to live with some of the wire being visible, or having someone do the install for you. There are adhesive clips that you can stick to the inside of the windshield, and you can stick these along the edge of the windshield and put the wire in there, but the best way to hide the wiring is to take plastic trim pieces off.
 

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it is better if you use some trim removal tools when removing the panels. They won't scratch the plastic
I've never had trim removal tools, but looked at getting some for the dashcam install. The local shops are out of stock of the sets I would want. I could order a set online but I now have my harnesses built and (weather permitting) I'd probably have the dashcam installed by the time the tools arrived, and then I wouldn't need the tools any more.

A friend said this set for $26 is nice


but for $26 he wonders what the quality is like. That got me wondering. If the purpose of these tools is to avoid damaging the plastic car parts, do the tools necessarily have to be made of softer plastic than the car parts?

Looking at that set, I'd probably only ever use 2 or 3 of the tools.
 

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I had a bit of time today so I started looking around to figure out where I'd put the dashcam battery. Under the passenger seat was a candidate but after taking things out and vacuuming I saw how dirty it gets down there, and the battery has connectors and switches on it that aren't really dirtproof or waterproof. So for now the battery is in the glove compartment. The ring terminal for the negative side of the battery charging cable had heatshrink too far up (it came from the manufacturer like that) so I cut some of the heatshrink off. I'll put the dashcam itself into the car in the coming days.

Electrical wiring Gas Trunk Machine Auto part


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting Vehicle
 

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If your dashcam is working and you’re happy with the install, that’s great. But just a bit of a warning here, if you intend to put any amount of time into the installation:

I bought a two-channel dashcam and aux battery last fall and just got around to installing it now. Partly because of weather. I plugged everything in on my desk and the dashcam was talking and stuff was happening. I didn’t understand the details of everything but I saw blinking lights and heard sounds and figured it’s all good and unplugged everything and got to installing.

I ran the power for the aux battery from the fuse panel across the car under the dashboard and to the aux battery in the glove compartment, because I didn’t want all the gunk on the floor getting into the connectors and controls on the battery. I stuck the dashcam on the windshield and ran the power cable and signal cable that goes to the rear camera up through the EyeSight and over the top of the passenger side of the windshield. The power cable went down to the glove box, and the signal cable went over the headliner to the rear. In the rear hatch I installed the rear camera at the bottom of the window instead of at the top because, on my car anyway, that part of the window tends to be cleaner at any given time, and when it’s raining, the wiper wipes that part correctly, compared to the top part where the windshield curves a bit, and there's a part protected from the rain up there so it doesn't get rinsed up there unless you're using the sprayer, and it tends to be the dirty part.

I did buy a set of trim removal tools/spudgers and it came with lots of stuff I’ll probably never use, and it came with an assortment of plastic pop rivet things. The big panel on the rear hatch has two plastic rivets in the corners, under the two pieces of side trim. On the 2018 these need to be unscrewed but I just popped them, so I had to replace them with two that fit from the stuff that came with the tools. Other than that, all plastic rivets are reused.

I used the 2015 service manual (Google is your friend) to see where all the clips are before taking panels off. (Mine is a 2018 but the panels were all the same.) Use caution around airbags, and the sunroof mechanism. I opened and closed the sunroof while pulling down on the headliner to see what was happening so I knew where to put the cable. Secure all your cables so they don’t move. On my car, it looked like I was creasing the headliner but once I put it all back, it looks pristine. I took my time and did a proper install, no shortcuts.

I didn’t want to be sliding a fish tape around on painted parts or worrying about the sharp edge of the tape against wiring or whatever, so I got a fibreglass fish tape, that also glows in the dark. The fibreglass is safe against car parts and the glow in the dark property came in handy later.

After about a week playing with the dashcam and still trying to figure it out I decided that the battery was getting way too hot in the glove compartment on sunny summer days. I didn’t want to worry about it being degraded, or melting the plastic glove compartment. So, out it came and I did some more install, and the aux battery is now under the passenger seat. The fish tape was fine but when going under the carpet to get to the space under the passenger seat, the glow in the dark feature lets you work without having to go and get a flashlight. But the dashcam still wasn’t working the way I expected it to. I called tech support and they wanted me to use the computer method to update the firmware, even though I did it online through the smartphone connection. The tech thought I might have corrupted firmware. So I did all the prep of the memory card including a complete format of the 256 GB card, which takes HOURS. Now when I got back to the car, things got worse. The dashcam wasn’t even powering up now.

I spent some time questioning my work, questioning my understanding of things. What was going on? Finally I measured the voltages at the connector of the power cable going into the dashcam. And it wasn’t right. My dashcam can use BATT+ and ACC to determine when it should be in parking mode and when it should be in normal mode, but you can also tie those together and let the dashcam use vibration/impact sensors to figure out when it should be in each mode. And BATT+ wasn’t coming through the cable. I went back and checked the stuff I soldered and it was all fine. I checked an extra cable (the dashcam comes with both hardwire and cig plug cables) and all the connections on the extra cable are what I thought they should be. I checked the cable in the car again and the ACC line was fine but the BATT+ one was intermittent and usually about 22 megohms. So all that work and troubleshooting and then I find out there’s a problem with the stupid factory cable!

Since I’m familiar with all the interior trim panels now, I took that cable out in record time and with a minimum of tools. I’ll cut and splice the extra cable in and then go out and do even more install. And then it should work.

Lesson: Just because things “power up” doesn’t mean that all the connections in the factory cable are okay! I’ve also received faulty cables direct from Apple, that came with an iPad. Yes, brand-new stuff can be faulty. Check everything before you spend your time running wires around in the car, so you don’t have to install things multiple times.
 
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