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55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2013 Cruze LT with the stock AM/FM/CD player so adding a back up camera and a in dash monitor was out of the question. I was Not about to spend $1000 just for this option.

Things you will need:
A Camera: If you search Ebay, you will come up with many options. On the license plate through a hole, bolt on etc. chevy cruze back up camera | eBayThis is the one I chose:

Finger Glasses Video camera Watch phone Digital camera

It replaces on of the existing license plate light with a mount for the camera and the light. It has a LUX rating of 1.5, Grid or Guide lines, and a 170° field of view, and has the imaged mirrored.Chose a camera with a LUX rating of 1.5 or less. The lower the number the better it will see in the dark. Also get a 170° field of view if you want to see off to the sides better. Without mirrored image what you see in the monitor will be on the wrong side of the car. We want it to show just like looking into the rear view mirror.

A Monitor:
This can be anywhere from 1 inch to as big as you dare. I chose a 3.5 inch monitor

. Cable Technology Electronic device Gadget Electronics

It fits nicely on the right side of my rear view mirror and does NOT obstruct the mirror.
Solder and soldering iron
Trim removal tool set 5 Piece Auto Trim and Molding Tool Set
Flat blade and Phillips screw driver
Socket set
Xacto knife
Electrical tape
Electrician fish tape
Small jewelers screw driver or a nail
Drill with 1/4" and 1/2" bits (OMG I have to drill a hole)
Small file
Aquarium or marine grade sealant, DO NOT USE CAULK YOU DON'T WANT IT TO LEAK OR RUST

Do not hold me, this forum or any forum members responsible if "YOU" mess up your Cruze. No one MADE YOU DO IT !!!
Ok, maybe someone double dog dared you

You may want to read tecollins1 post on how to remove the head liner.
He did an excellent job of explaining how to do it with pictures. I am not going to duplicate his work here.You will be removing the passenger side rear interior quarter panel and front passenger grab bar.

Ok lets get started:
I will assume you have already chosen a camera and a monitor to use.
Open your trunk!!
Disconnect the negative battery cable and make sure it will not jump back onto the battery. I wrapped mine up in an old rag to be sure. Short circuits are prone to sparks flying and lots of swearing.

You did open the trunk first right? If not lower one of the rear seats and pull the emergency trunk release.Remove the inner trunk lid liner. about 12 clips in all.

Vehicle door Light Trunk Automotive exterior Auto part

The cover around the latch pops off, use one of your trim removal tools to help.

Product Technology Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part

The grip handle is held in by 2 bolts.

Bumper Door handle Rim Auto part Automotive exterior

CAUTION: The inner trunk lid liner is very flimsy and easy to crack. Take your time.
Put all the clips and 2 bolts in a safe place where they will not get kicked around or lost.

Remove one of the license plate lights, I chose the passenger side. 2 Phillips head screws

Automotive exterior Rectangle Grille Metal

Pull the light assembly out and remove the bulb by twisting counter clock wise Insert the bulb into the new camera lamp assembly.

Vehicle Car Model car Automotive exterior Auto part

Holding the wires for the bulb out of the way, drill a 1/4" pilot hole in the middle of the open area where the light assembly goes. Be careful not to scratch the chrome molding in the area.Next enlarge the hole with you 1/2" drill bit and slightly elongate the hole.Slip the power and video wire through the hole. It should now look like this:

Automotive exterior Bumper Technology Electronic device Vehicle



55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Continuation 1

The wires will come out on the other side in this location:

Spoke Bicycle wheel Wire Bicycle part Cable

Use electrical tape and tape the camera wire to the license plate bulb wiring.
Use your sealant and generously apply sealant to the hole you drilled. Make sure some oozes out the other side of the hole. this will prevent water seepage and prevent rust in the area.
Replace the assembly and tighten the 2 mount screws. DO NOT SUPERMAN THE SCREWS

Route the wires towards the hinge on the passenger side and secure to other wiring in the area with cable ties or electrical tape.

Wire Electric blue Metal
Vehicle door Automotive exterior Auto part Trunk Hood

I used electrical tape to secure the wires to the hinge arm.
Make sure to leave enough slack in things so that the trunk lid can open and close.

Next we are going to remove the tail light assembly so that we can tap into the REVERSE LAMP wiring.

See Chuv's write up about how to remove the tail light assemblies.
Wish I had read it first.
Remove two screws from the light assembly. The little covers pop down just use a small screw driver.

Automotive lighting Red Vehicle Car Automotive exterior

It will take some tugging, but the assembly will pull straight back.

Product Machine Technology Wire Electronic device

We are after the reverse lamp.

Careful that you do not pop out the grommet, but it is very easy to re-install.

Door handle Metal Lock Hardware accessory

Gain access to the other side of the grommet (inside the trunk) by removing the cover.

Ear Metal

Use a nail or other means and poke a small hole into the grommet, run the power wire for the camera through the grommet.

I could have traced out the wires inside the trunk, but then you have to remove the cloth sheath GM puts their wires in. Much easier to go through the grommet and connect near the bulb.
No trying to find a good working position inside the trunk.

Using your Xacto knife, strip the insulation from the center of one of the wires for the reverse lamps. (DO NOT CUT THE WIRE)


Eyewear Wire Technology Cable Electronic device

Use your soldering iron and tin both power leads for the camera.

Finger Hand Chain Fashion accessory Thumb

Tightly wrap the wire around the lamp wire where you have stripped off the insulation and solder.

Finger Fashion accessory Wire Hand Jewellery


55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Continuation 2

Stagger your joints so they can not touch.

Your wires should now look like this:

Wire Cable Technology Finger Coaxial cable

Tape them up individually then tape them up together. Reassemble the tail light assembly back into the car.

You have now successfully completed the power connection for the camera. Now to get the video wire up to the mirror area.

Remove the right rear inside quarter panel from the car. There is a screw under the cap.

If you look down and towards the rear of the car you will see a large opening into the trunk area, feed the video wire up through this opening towards the front of the car.
Using your fingers and one of the trim removal tools, start to work the wire under the head liner towards the top of the rear passenger window. It is semi tedious but you can pull back the seal and let the wire slip under the head liner. Continue working it under the head liner towards the front passenger window. You will have to loosen, but not remove the trim around the seat belt area.

Now for the fun part:

Remove the Front passenger grab bar
Remove the Front dome/map light assembly (2 screws)
Remove the trim around the mirror.

I used an electrician's fish tape to feed from the holes where the map light goes towards the mount holes for the front passenger grab bar. It took several tries but I got it there.
Hook the video wire to the fish tape and pull the wire through.
At this point your video wire should be hanging out one of the holes in the dome/map light assembly. Leaving a few inches of wire to reach to the front windshield, fold up the slack neatly, and tape it up. I hid all my slack wire in the big void above the map light area.

Monitor Electrical connections:

For me it was easier to gain access to 12 volts from the power to the map lights, It is there all the time and plenty of room to work. On the Monitor I have, It will only 100% power up when a video signal is present. Having it powered all the time will not matter. (YOURS COULD BE DIFFERENT)

The power connector for the dome/map light looks like this:

Electronics Product Electronic engineering Electronic component Technology

Now I cheated and traced out the copper traces and soldered my power wire to them. I didn't want to have to cut any wires.
This is the Positive wire, the negative ended up right next to it.

Electronics Technology Electronic component

I put some electrical tape over the top of the solder connections and routed the end of the power connector out towards the rear view mirror.
Again fold up any excess wire and hide it in the dome/map light area.

At this point, connect your monitor, replace the negative battery connector, and start the car.
Hold your foot on the brake and put it into reverse. On my screen, with in 2 seconds the image appears.

Yeee Ha.... it worked !!!!

OK: Reassemble the passenger grab bar, quarter panel, trunk liner, and anything else you may have removed.

Now where to mount this thing??
For me it ended up right next to the rear view mirror.

Vehicle Automotive exterior Car Auto part Technology

This picture is deceiving, the is plenty of room behind the monitor and the mirror. The distance lines are measured as follows:

RED = 8 Inches from the bumper
Remeasured on flat ground

When it gets day light tomorrow I will post some better pictures of the screen.
So far I love it, The resolution is terrific, you can clearly see 20 feet behind you and even better up close. I can see a car beside me even though it is in the blind spots of my mirrors.
Best part of all, this only cost me $50 and 2 hours of my time.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Chevrolet cruze Vehicle registration plate
Display device Screen Technology Electronic device Multimedia

Hope you all enjoy:




99 Posts
Yeah thank you, I have been deciding between this route or an aftermarket deck, this was good to see which way I might want to go

49 Posts
Very cool write up, definitely a nice option to spending a G on the factory equipment.

Word of note though - I did not see if you put the bulb back in for the other plate light. I'm assuming that you did not. If you live in NYS, you need to be careful with this, consider mounting the camera in a different spot. New York State inspection guidelines state that for however many lights there are for plate bulbs, they all need to be operating to pass inspection. If you remove or modify them so that only 1 works, you can potentially fail a NYS inspection.

As for taping the wires once you have done a nice job soldering them, don't. If you're gonna go that far, shrink wrap them. It's cleaner and less of a tacky/hack install.

Other than that, great job.

55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You remove the existing bulb from the OLD license plate reflector and instal it in the new camera/license plate lamp holder.

Vehicle Car Model car Automotive exterior Automotive lighting

Could not use shrink wrap because I did not cut the wire, no way to slip the heat shrink over the wire. I did slather mine in sealant before taping them

49 Posts
Ahhh ok. Missed that somehow, even though I looked right at it, lol. Well done

13 Posts
I have done almost the same thing recently, but I routed the video cables from the camera under the driver's side floor paneling and up into the dash. I have the exact same monitor you do, but it is temporarily mounted to the left of the wheel and above the vent. I was looking into mounting it by the mirror on the overhead console somehow (or ideally make it so it can retract out of the console where the mic is). How did you get it mounted? Did you have to drill holes? The adhesive on the bottom of the monitor's stand wasn't enough to hold it to the dash for me.

55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Right now mine is just tucked under the frame for the map lights just to the right of the rear view mirror.
I intend to relocate it to the wind shield on the drivers side. It will be our of the way of the sun visor, and not really block my field of view. The oil change guys will have to find a different place for their sticker.

3 Posts
Quick question, installing right now actually. Only difference is I'm using a rear view mirror with the monitor in it. I want to power the monitor like you did with the wires in the dome lamp area. I know the monitor works, cause I've connected it directly to the battery, but when I connect it to the 2 wires you pictured as positive and negative, I get nothing. What am I doing wrong?! haha. You wouldn't have a picture showing where you attached your negative wire to would you?

3,797 Posts
There are all kinds of options these days.

I think I'd put mine around the rear view mirror area though. Specially with all manufacture installs in that area.

I don't think I'd mount it to the outside mirrors for it to get ruined in the weather. Specially when it snows and covers it up so you can see it. Or freezes and breaks apart.

14 Posts
Does anybody know how to reset the radio to factory settings. I tried the reset button on the left of screen and didn’t work. I can’t use the screen at all so, I’m not able to do anything with the screen at all. Thanks

2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
13,262 Posts
Does anybody know how to reset the radio to factory settings. I tried the reset button on the left of screen and didn’t work. I can’t use the screen at all so, I’m not able to do anything with the screen at all. Thanks
You do realize this is a thread about a Back-up camera right? You would be much better off creating your own thread in the Gen1 Audio & Electronics.
Make sure you include the year, trim level and preferably the RPO code for your radio.
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