Dash cameras comprise a $1.9-billion market. That number is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2025. With a lot of people installing dash cams, one of the most prevalent problems with the device is that it doesn’t stay in place and falls off their windshields.
What can I do if a dashcam won’t stick to the windscreen? What to do depends on whether you use adhesive tapes or suctions cups: With suction cup mounts, you need to make sure that air pockets do not get into the suction cup. When using tape, be sure that you have the right one for the job.
But what exactly do I need to know? Find the answers below.
How to Install the Common Dash Cam Mounts
There are many types of mounts you can use with your dashcam. However, the most common styles use a suction cup or adhesive tape. If you don’t want to deal with a dashcam continually falling off your windscreen, you should make sure that you install it properly.
Suction Cup Mount
The suction cup is one of the most commonly used mounting hardware for dash cams and other similar devices. You will never have problems installing a suction cup to mount your dashcam.
It’s effortless to install, and it’s equally easy to remove. These characteristics make it perfect for those who use one dashcam for multiple cars. Commercial drivers who cannot put up a dashcam permanently in their vehicles will also benefit from using a camera with a suction cup mount.
What’s more, it doesn’t use any chemical or adhesives, so it doesn’t leave any residues. If you have tints or other treatments on your windscreen, it will not get destroyed by a suction cup.
However, suction cups are often bulky and could take up a lot of space. Some suction cup mounts cause the dashcam to protrude too much from your windscreen, making it difficult to hide the cam behind your rear-view mirror.
There are also times when a suction cup will have problems sticking to your windshield. It can fall off if there are extreme changes to the temperature, or if you install it incorrectly.
How to Properly Attach a Suction Cup Mount
American technology company Garmin Ltd., which manufactures automotive, marine, and aviation devices, has several videos on how to attach different types of mounts for their products. You can learn how to install these mounts properly from their videos.
According to Garmin, the best way for you to install a suction cup mount is to follow these steps:
1. Wipe your windscreen with a cloth and rubbing alcohol. Wipe it dry with a lint-free fabric.
2. Also, wipe the back of the suction cup with rubbing alcohol until it’s clean.
3. Apply some moisture to the suction cup, which helps create a better seal.
4. Push the suction cup onto your windshield. If the suction cup has a lever, open it first and place the suction cup on the windshield and push the lever to lock the suction cup in place.
5. Attach the mounting hardware and the dashcam.
How to Make Suction Cups Stick to Your Windscreen Better
Over time, you can expect the suction cup to fall off. Air gradually leaks into the cup until there’s enough of it to break the seal. And when the seal breaks, the cup falls off.
The good news is that the rate of air leakage is slow on smooth surfaces. But there are some things that you can do to help suction cups hold better.
- Clean both the windscreen and the back of the suction cup. On top of using rubbing alcohol as suggested by Garmin, you can also use vinegar to do the trick.
- Add a little water to the back of the suction cup. Use warm or hot tap water. The heat will soften the suction cup and make it pliable enough to ensure a stronger hold.
- What’s more, the droplets of water will help keep out pockets of air that could otherwise get trapped as you push down on the suction cup. As you push the cup down, the water will push the air out, making the seal tighter.
- Seal the suction cup with oil or petroleum jelly after you install it. Putting oil around the rim of the suction cup will help keep air out. Be careful about using too much oil or petroleum jelly, though. It could have the opposite effect as the cup loses its suction power.
- Press down the suction cup periodically. Air gets into the suction cup over time, so pushing it down now and then will help the air pockets escape.
- Changes in humidity and temperature can make the suction cup less pliable. The lack of suppleness may cause air to seep in and may loosen the seal.
- Over time, the suction cup will fail and fall off. If you are having a difficult time putting it back on and making it stay, this could mean that the suction cup has developed dents or has become deformed.
To fix this, use a heat gun or hairdryer and heat the back of the suction cup. The heat will correct any warping and make the suction cup hold again.
If you are in a bind and have no access to a hairdryer or heat gun, you can use a lighter to heat the suction cup. Just be careful not to melt the plastic material of the suction cup.
Mounting Using Adhesive Tape
Some dash cams come with double-sided tape that you can use to secure the mount to your windscreen. This mounting option is the most reliable and durable.
Adhesives are perfect for those who want a lower profile for their dashcam. A piece of tape is flatter than a suction cup. However, using adhesive tape is a more permanent solution. You cannot easily remove a dashcam that is stuck on with adhesive tape.
As such, if you’re not sure where to place your dash camera, you should first try out different placements using a suction cup. Make sure that you can easily reach the dashcam without it covering the driver’s side or passenger’s view.
Once you decide on the perfect location, you can then use the tape.
How to Install a Mount Using Adhesive Tape
Adhesive tapes work on flat surfaces. Ridges and holes will limit the amount of adherence tape provides.
Regardless of whether you’ll be using a suction cup or a double-sided tape to install your dash cam’s mounting hardware, you will have to wipe the surface area clean. The advantage of using adhesive tape is you don’t need to wet it, and the sticky side is good enough.
After cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol or vinegar, wipe it dry with a lint-free fabric. Stick the double-sided tape on the windscreen, and put the mount on it.
How to Remove a Mount When You Use Adhesive Tape
While the goal is to have the adhesive tape stay on your windshield longer, there are times when you need to remove your dashcam. The problem is that some adhesives provide a strong bond between the mount and your windscreen, so removing them can be challenging.
Well, it doesn’t have to be. This video shows how you can remove a car mount with just dental floss and rubbing alcohol.
What If the Tape Stops Sticking?
Most dash cams come with double-sided tapes for the mounts. However, in some cases, the tape is not included, or you want to use another kind of tape.
The good news is that you can buy the mounting tape.
But what if the tape you are using doesn’t hold for a long time? Or what if it doesn’t hold at all? According to Echo Tape, you might be using the wrong kind of adhesive.
There are several things to consider when choosing the right tape for mounting your dash cams.
Tapes use different adhesives. Natural rubber is the general type of glue that you find on most tapes. While it has multiple uses, it cannot withstand exposure to ultraviolet light.
Acrylic is a high-performance adhesive that can stick for a long time and will not react negatively to sunlight.
Get a tape that uses acrylic or silicone-based adhesive because it is stable to oxidation and can withstand exposure to sunlight without losing its stickiness. This kind of tape is also resistant to high temperatures.
There are mounting tapes available that are just perfect for dash cams. Some recommended products are:
- ATack Double-Sided Acrylic Mounting Tape
- Gorilla Heavy Duty Double Sided Mounting Tape
- Scotch Heavy-Duty Exterior Mounting Tape
What Can Make Adhesive Tapes Fail?
There are several reasons why adhesive tapes lose their stickiness over time.
Tape sticks best when both the tape and the surface you want to put it on are at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are working in colder temperatures, choose an adhesive tape that is specifically made for such conditions.
Adhesive tapes have the properties of both a liquid and solid. The liquid part provides the stickiness. When it’s cold, the tape will not stick because the liquid component hardens.
Adhesive tapes work best on flat surfaces that are smooth and clean. What’s more, these tapes will not work well with certain materials such as Teflon, silicone, and waxed surfaces.
The sun emits UV light that can make the adhesive in tapes brittle and hard. If you need something that will keep your dashcam in place, choose tapes with rubber adhesives or those that are treated with ultraviolet stabilizers.
Adhesive Tapes or Suction Cups: Which One Is Better?
If you are currently looking for a dashcam, should you buy one with a mount that uses suction cups or one with adhesive tapes? Which one is better?
The short answer is that it depends on what you need. Suction cups are easy to install and remove. You can just clamp it or push it down, and you’re all set. If you want to adjust the placement, you can just pull it out or release the clamp and move the dashcam to a better position.
However, if you live in areas where temperatures can reach extremes, you might find your dashcam dangling from your windscreen more often than you’d like. It can even get annoying.
Adhesive tapes, on the other hand, are more permanent. Once you’ve stuck it on, you will have a difficult time prying it off, which is both a blessing and a curse.
The tape is a definite advantage for those who just leave their dashcam in the car and don’t transfer it to another vehicle. Plus, adhesive tapes make your dashcam installation more discrete because of the lower profile.
Lastly, if you really need to take down your dashcam and set it up in another car or hide it in the glove compartment, consider getting a magnetic mount such as the Garmin Low Profile Magnetic Mount. Magnetic mounts work like adhesive mounts but are easier to remove and re-attach.
Dash Cam Still Falling Off? What to Do and Other Tips
When your dashcam just won’t stick to your windscreen, the suggestions above might do the trick. However, there are times when the culprit is not the adhesive tape or the suction cup.
- Sometimes, you may have just installed it wrong, placing the suction cup or the adhesive tape on the black dots that you find on the windscreen. If this is the case, then you are not getting the flat surface required to get the suction cup or the tape to hold.
- You may have a poor-quality dashcam and mounting hardware. If you bought a super cheap dashcam, you might have a quality issue on your hands.
- Either the suction cup or the adhesive tape is flimsy and poorly made, or the dashcam is too heavy for the suction cup or tape to hold. You may want to consider getting a replacement mount that can better hold the dashcam. Or get a better suction cup or adhesive tape.
- It’s the mount that’s failing. Some people complain that their dash camera keeps falling off, but it falls off the mount, usually at the ball socket or other parts of the mount. Instead of blaming the tape or the suction cup, call the manufacturer’s support and get a replacement if it’s still under warranty. It’s the mount that is the problem.
- You need to consider other mounting options. If you have tried the suggestions above and the suction cup or the adhesive tape still fails to hold your dashcam up, then maybe you should try another way to mount the device.
One example is a rear-view mirror mount such as the Pruveeo Dash Cam Mirror Mount Kit. It can secure your dashcam while using the mirror as a base.
While suction cups and double-sided tapes are the most common ways to install your dash cam’s mount, both of these may not work well during the winter months. As noted, the adhesive on tapes needs to be at a reasonably warm temperature to stick, while the changes in humidity and temperature cause the rubber of the suction cup to harden and become less pliant.
If you live in colder climates, you might want to consider getting a mount that attaches to your rear-view mirror. This type of mount uses screws and bolts to keep your dashcam in place.
Don’t use glue to keep your dashcam in place. Some people use glue to keep their dashcam in place, but the permanent hold of glue makes it impossible for you to remove the mount later on without damaging your windscreen.
Keep Your Dash Cam Properly in Place
It can be frustrating to have a dashcam that continually falls off because the suction cup or adhesive that you used keeps on failing. Not only is it a hassle to have to replace the dashcam where it belongs, but it makes your dash camera very unreliable.
For example, a dashcam installed to record events like a collision might not get the footage you need for evidence when the accident does happen. And it’s because your dashcam was dangling and was recording everything but the crash ahead.
Also, almost all states prohibit having a dashcam that obstructs your view of the road. The problem is that the wording for these laws is not clear, so even if you have placed a dashcam to get a full view of the road ahead, having it fall off your windshield might get you in trouble.
If you are getting frustrated by having a dashcam that keeps falling off, the suggestions above are a sure-fire way to handle the issue.