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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 2021 AWD Pacifica Limited.

I've seen a few threads about dash cams, but cannot seem to find the answer to this specific question. Is there a way to have a USB plug that is only on when the car is on? The four USB plugs in the front (USB-A and USB-C) seem to be on all the time so I assume would drain the battery if I plug the dash cam into that.

It seems like the USB in the center console might do what I need, but it's much harder to wire the dash cam there and have it look nice. I'll resort to that if necessary.

The manual says there is another USB that is ignition-only, but I cannot find it. The manual also does not reference the wireless charging pad, so I am wondering if that took the place of the ignition-only USB plug?

Any recommendations? Is my only alternative doing a hardwire solution?
 

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It's a bit of a run of extra wire, but in the center console there is a lighter socket and a USB charger port (charge only, not used for any data). One of them has a battery symbol on it which means it's always powered, the other is only powered at ignition. On my 2018 these were down on the floor but I believe they moved up to the door on top (on my Pinnacle they are under the armrest).

You may have to set a fuse to one to make it always on but when I installed my dash cam I used one for the always on power (for parking mode) and the other for the ACC connection to switch into driving mode. I just pulled out the socketed portions on the back side of each plug and carefully folded the wire into the hot side and shared the ground between them and then plugged it back in (I also had a fuse on the dash cam power lead for safety). Worked great for many years until I traded it for the pinnacle this February and I've yet to do it again but I'll probably do it the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That sounds like an interesting approach. Perhaps a little too advanced for me right now. You are welcome to come do it for me though!

My current dash cam has a battery and always worked very well in my Honda Civic. The battery was sufficient for when the car was off so that it didn't need to draw from the car battery. It only has one power input via micro USB, so I'm hopeful the ODB to micro USB will work for that. I will report back with my success or failure!
 

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2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring
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I’m doing the exact same thing. I don’t like messing with electrical stuff, so the OBD power adapter caught my eye. I won’t get the chance to set it up until sometime this week, but I’ll keep an eye out here to see how yours goes.

Are you going to run wire up through the paneling, or just mount it near the bottom left corner of the dash and point it at a slight angle? Im going to try the latter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you going to run wire up through the paneling, or just mount it near the bottom left corner of the dash and point it at a slight angle? Im going to try the latter.
I’ll probably run wire and hide it, which I did in my Honda Civic. It was pretty trivially easy to do it. I’ll report back!
 

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I’ll probably run wire and hide it, which I did in my Honda Civic. It was pretty trivially easy to do it. I’ll report back!
While I'm sure you are aware as you've done it before, but for the sake of other folks reading this.. make sure you run the wires either behind the A pillar airbag or try to follow and tiestrap them as close to the existing harness as possible. Having an airbag blow with a wire around it can make for a very dangerous situation if you get into an accident.
 

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While I'm sure you are aware as you've done it before, but for the sake of other folks reading this.. make sure you run the wires either behind the A pillar airbag or try to follow and tiestrap them as close to the existing harness as possible. Having an airbag blow with a wire around it can make for a very dangerous situation if you get into an accident.
This is partially why I want to avoid that if I can. I don’t like the idea of messing around with any of that when I don’t really know what I’m doing. If I can get a good enough angle from down low on the windshield, I think that’s the way I’ll go instead. Then I can run the wire up the doorframe somewhere and avoid pulling any panels.
 

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I recently purchased a 2021 AWD Pacifica Limited.

I've seen a few threads about dash cams, but cannot seem to find the answer to this specific question. Is there a way to have a USB plug that is only on when the car is on? The four USB plugs in the front (USB-A and USB-C) seem to be on all the time so I assume would drain the battery if I plug the dash cam into that.

It seems like the USB in the center console might do what I need, but it's much harder to wire the dash cam there and have it look nice. I'll resort to that if necessary.

The manual says there is another USB that is ignition-only, but I cannot find it. The manual also does not reference the wireless charging pad, so I am wondering if that took the place of the ignition-only USB plug?

Any recommendations? Is my only alternative doing a hardwire solution?
The VIOFO 4k front only comes with a usb power cable and the front usb will turn off after a delay eventually when ignition is turned off. A dash cam will not drian battery if not on very long after the van is turned off. I have this cam and its great for the price. See amazon for it.
 

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The VIOFO 4k front only comes with a usb power cable and the front usb will turn off after a delay eventually when ignition is turned off. A dash cam will not drian battery if not on very long after the van is turned off. I have this cam and its great for the price. See amazon for it.
Lemme second that! It's an amazing setup for the money.. you can also do a motion based parking mode (but it doesn't work that great) but they do sell a hardwire kit which enables a true parking mode. The kit also has a setting for minimum battery voltage so it will auto shut off if the battery gets too depleted. I've never had that happen in my Van, however, using the dual cam setup.

I also recommend Dashcam Viewer if you want to be able to easily view both front a rear feeds simultaneously as well as plotting on a map via the stored GPS. As well, it gives you G-sensor data and speed so could be very useful in an accident. Works and Mac and PC to boot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I'm sure you are aware as you've done it before, but for the sake of other folks reading this.. make sure you run the wires either behind the A pillar airbag or try to follow and tiestrap them as close to the existing harness as possible. Having an airbag blow with a wire around it can make for a very dangerous situation if you get into an accident.
I had previously done it on the passenger side in my Civic and it was actually much easier to figure out how to avoid the airbag. Also, the A pillar does not have the word "airbag" on it in the 2021 Pacifica Limited as far as I can tell, but I assume that is still where it is located?

Are there any instructions for removing the A pillar cover on the 2021 Pacifica? I can't seem to find any. Now that I actually am about to do the wiring I am realizing it is not as clear cut on this car, though I expect I'll be able to make it work eventually.
 

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I had previously done it on the passenger side in my Civic and it was actually much easier to figure out how to avoid the airbag. Also, the A pillar does not have the word "airbag" on it in the 2021 Pacifica Limited as far as I can tell, but I assume that is still where it is located?

Are there any instructions for removing the A pillar cover on the 2021 Pacifica? I can't seem to find any. Now that I actually am about to do the wiring I am realizing it is not as clear cut on this car, though I expect I'll be able to make it work eventually.
Courtesy @stop-eject from this thread: https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7iwzgauw...-Pillar TrimRemoval and Installation.pdf?dl=0

This shows the passenger side that has the handle, but on the driver side there is also a plastic piece that pops off with a bolt behind it. I'm fairly certain all Limiteds have an airbag in the A pillar, but I could be wrong.. My 2018 PacHy limited did.

You can also pull the trim piece on the side between the door and the dashboard fairly easily to help route the wires down and under the dash. I'll take some pictures a bit later today when I get a chance.
 

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Just to add to this, I installed a dash cam tonight and running the wire was very easy. I used an OBD-2 to micro usb power adapter, and ran the cable up the side of the dash, to the windshield, then up where the windshield meets the headliner. I had maybe a foot of slack that I simply twist tied up behind the mirror. I didn’t get any photos due to poor lighting, but it’s very straightforward.

In case anyone is curious, this is the adapter I used. It came with a little plastic tool that made tucking the wire in behind the panels easy.

OBD2 OBD Power Cable for Dash Camera, Ssontong OBD to Mini USB OBDII Adapter Hardwire Charger Cable 24 Hours Surveillance and Acc Two Mode https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RXTJK4...abc_7EBQF1P40TB872Z5474B?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to add to this, I installed a dash cam tonight and running the wire was very easy. I used an OBD-2 to micro usb power adapter, and ran the cable up the side of the dash, to the windshield, then up where the windshield meets the headliner. I had maybe a foot of slack that I simply twist tied up behind the mirror. I didn’t get any photos due to poor lighting, but it’s very straightforward.

In case anyone is curious, this is the adapter I used. It came with a little plastic tool that made tucking the wire in behind the panels easy.

OBD2 OBD Power Cable for Dash Camera, Ssontong OBD to Mini USB OBDII Adapter Hardwire Charger Cable 24 Hours Surveillance and Acc Two Mode https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RXTJK4...abc_7EBQF1P40TB872Z5474B?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
I did the same thing and it seems to be working well. I similarly hid the excess cable by wrapping it around the rear mirror. I have it set to turn off 5 minutes after the power shuts off in the car. If accessory mode is on then it will continue to run. I tested it and my dash cam turned off about 6 minutes after I pressed the ignition button, probably because the accessory power remains on for a minute or so.

Just to clarify for those who might click your link, you wrote in your text that you used a micro usb adapter, but the Amazon link is for mini USB. The link I posted earlier is for micro USB. People just need to make sure they are using the correct type of plug.
 
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