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How to Troubleshoot a Backup Camera That's Not Working

When your backup camera stops working suddenly, it’s a raw deal. This technology is enormously beneficial, preventing accidents, helping with parallel parking, and more. When it goes out, you’re left with one less tool in your safe driving toolbox.

Luckily, backup camera troubleshooting doesn’t require too much on your part, and most backup camera problems can be diagnosed and solved without too much effort (or too much cash). We’re going to help you out, answering common backup camera problems FAQ style. Let’s go!

Problem solving principles

If your backup camera screen says no signal or shows a blurry black and white image, you may need to do some more troubleshooting to figure out your issue.

Tackling a difficult problem can often leave you feeling that you don’t know what to do next. Especially when it comes to solving problems with your backup camera, the first thing you have to determine is how much control you’re realistically going to have over fixing the problem. If your backup camera problems seem a bit too overwhelming or out of your skillset, talk to a mechanic to get help.

But, if you’re an intrepid DIYer, having the tools and knowhow necessary to understand how car electrical systems work can be essential in your troubleshooting journey. You can also checkout our guide on fixing a foggy backup camera & some quick tips for fixing blurry backup cameras. If it’s beyond the obvious, then here’s a handy guide that walks you through many common electrical problems and gives you the tools necessary to troubleshoot an electrical problem.

Now, on to the frequent questions!

Why is my backup camera not working?

A functional backup camera is essential to your safety and comfort as a driver. It's easy to fix!

Well, the answer to this question requires us to get more specific, which we’ll start to answer in the questions below. But first, to get the obvious troubleshooting steps out of the way, put your car in reverse. What does the display say? “No signal?” Or is it just black? Do you have black and white visual noise? Depending on the answers to those questions, you’ll probably find your answer below. That said, the distance from basic issue to easy fix and then onto finding out your camera has bit the dust can be pretty short.

Why does my backup camera say no signal?

If your backup camera says no signal that may mean it's time to check the fuses or look for a new camera.

There are a number of reasons that your camera might be giving you this message. If it’s a wifi camera, and it was working previously, it likely means that the camera or the display needs a reset. (You can check out some of our thoughts about wired vs wireless backup cameras here) It also wouldn’t hurt to check your fuses and the power cables for the camera (usually located behind the trunk panel of your car. Possibly, a fuse may have blown or a wire may have frayed and become disconnected. (This is probably the best case scenario with these kinds of issues.)

If you have a wired backup camera, wiring is more likely the problem. Again, checking your fuses to ensure everything is connected (and not blown) and going and tracing the wiring and cables from the camera to the display will reveal the problem to you. If your display is embedded in the dashboard, start at the camera and work to the display, as removing a dashboard display can be a difficult process, and you only want to do it as a last resort.

In both cases, before you start troubleshooting the wiring, give the whole system a reset to make sure that it isn’t just a glitch.

Why is my backup camera black and white?

Fraying wires or faulty connections can cause a flashing black and white backup camera. If you're seeing this, it's time to try and do some troubleshooting!

If your backup camera display is flashing or giving you black and white static, it’s likely the case that you have a fraying wire or a faulty connection. Make sure all of the cables and connections in your backup camera system are fully connected and repair any damage.

Why is my backup camera screen black?

If your screen is black the camera may not be set up properly. Try carefully re-reading your installation guide and consider that you may need to buy a new backup camera.

You’re probably starting to sense a theme here. If your display is not powering on at all, it’s likely a problem with the display, not the camera, so check the wiring diagrams for your car. (If you installed the monitor yourself, double check your work. Plugging the camera into the AUX dash cable rather than video feed is a common problem with home installs. ). More likely than not, if your display is not powering on, it’s either improperly connected (make sure that you’ve got the right level of power being sent to the display) or the monitor is damaged or broken. I’ll also add since it has come up before, that many people install their backup camera to only work when the car is in reverse, so make sure you’ve actually given reversing a go.

If the display is powering on, and it doesn’t say that there is no signal, your camera might be the issue. Check it for damage, and replace it if necessary.

What if I need a new camera?

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Camera Source sells a wide variety of backup cameras and other camera products. We can match you with the right camera for your vehicle, be it commercial or for personal use. Browse our inventory, and get in touch with us if you have any questions!