Backup Camera Not Working? Try These 7 Fixes

Backup Camera Not Working

Recently, owners and users of the system have been experiencing problems when attempting to use their rear backup camera.

This issue is common on vehicles such as a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Wagoneer, and Fiat vehicles, though it is also compatible with Honda Civic, Mazda, and Ford vehicles as well.

In this feature, we will troubleshoot these issues and offer informed fixes for them; without further ado, let us begin.

The Problems You Could Be Having

The rear view backup camera is an extremely useful little device that is typically no larger than an American nickel, and it allows you to see a substantial area behind your vehicle.

A rear view backup camera usually hooks up to the reverse lights and is triggered when the car is put into the reverse gear.

Considering that the rearview backup camera is a camera, it can be relatively easy for something to go wrong in its function and or connections.

This especially applies to self-installed backup cameras, as they are not installed by a professional or built into the vehicle’s center display.

Also, considering that the rearview backup camera is a piece of technology, it is susceptible to faulty connections, errors, and glitches.

Remember that the camera provides you with a mirrored image; if it did not do this, you would be responding incorrectly to obstacles behind you.

For example, if there was an obstacle on the left side, and the image was not mirrored, you would turn in the wrong direction to avoid the obstacle. It is also possible that your UConnect system needs to be updated, and you can do this relatively quickly and easily.

You can update your UConnect system yourself, so long as you have a laptop or PC, a UConnect system, and an empty USB drive with at least four gigabytes.

First, to see if an update is available, you will need to go to the website “” then, after that, you will most likely be asked to enter your 17-digit VIN number.

If there is indeed an update available, next, you will need to plug the USB drive into the appropriate port on your laptop or PC and follow any steps given on the screen.

Also, on the website, you can also find a tutorial that will show you how to download the software update using a download manager called “Akamai Netsession.”

Keep in mind that this interface is optional and can help to download large files to the USB drive quickly.

If by chance, you are unable to use the “Akamai Netsession,” or perhaps, you would like to download the file directly to the USB drive, you can click on the link provided on the website page and download the file directly through your browser.

Once the file has finished downloading, you will want to double-click the zip file to extract the software update to your USB drive.

After doing that, you will need to take the USB drive out of the USB port on your laptop or PC, then take the USB drive to your vehicle.

Once you are in your car, you will want to make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area, so if your vehicle is in a garage, you will need to move it out from the garage to open space.

Then plug the USB drive into the appropriate USB port on your car. It is typically found in the center console or on the head unit of the vehicle. Once you have done that (if necessary), you will want to start up your car.

The update for the UConnect will be started, and you will need to remain parked until the update is fully completed.

You should also see a message on the display screen, and you will want to verify that the current software version displayed on the display screen is lower than the software version level contained on the USB drive; then select “Yes” to begin the update.

After a few seconds have passed, the UConnect system will reset, and there will be several notification messages that will appear during the update to indicate the progress.

Remember, during this process, and you do not want to turn off the ignition of your vehicle or unplug the USB drive until the update process has been successfully completed, as the UConnect system may become inoperative if the update is interrupted.

Once the update has been successfully completed, the UConnect system will reset and return to its typical operation state.

When the UConnect system powers back on, you will want to wait approximately 60-90 seconds until you see an update message appear on the screen, where you will need to confirm that the software numbers now match one another.

If they are indeed the same, you will want to select the “No” option.

At this point, the update process is now complete, and your UConnect system is now equipped with the latest software; now, you can safely remove the USB drive from the media hub (USB port).

If, by chance, the software numbers do not match, you will want to select the “Yes” option in order to perform the software update again. If you would like to check for UConnect software updates in the future, you will only need to visit the website


1. Poor Image Quality Reason – There’s Dirt on the Camera

The problem could be with the image quality of the camera, and this particular problem can be caused by a number of issues, the main one being a dirty lens on the camera.

Considering that the rearview backup camera is typically located on the trunk or back side of the vehicle above the license plate, it is very susceptible to dirt, dust, and debris that are always floating around in the open air.

With this in mind, you can literally see how the lens of the camera can become soiled. This particularly applies to cars that often drive on dirt roads, as dirt roads certainly bring on much more grime onto your vehicle and its parts.

You will be able to tell if this is the issue since there should not be any lag in the video or any struggle with the signal.

This can happen very quickly since the rearview backup camera is exposed to rainwater, mud, and dust on a regular basis. Luckily, it is typically very easy to clean the lens of the camera.

Fix 1 – Clean the Dirt Off

With the issue of having a dirty lens on your rearview backup camera, luckily, it is relatively straightforward to fix.

You will want to clean it off simply. There are many simple ways to clean the lens, such as using the windshield cleaner at a gas station.

Since the blue solution that is typically kept in the reservoir is almost always an alcohol-based glass cleaner, possibly also diluted with some water, this will be perfectly fine to clean the lens of the camera with.

All that you will need to do is take the squeegee, dunk it in the solution, and grab a paper towel; then wipe the camera lens with the squeegee, being thorough as to get all of the dirt off the lens; after that, dry the lens by pressing and brushing with the paper towel.

Another, more thorough method to clean the lens of the camera is to simply take some window cleaner and spray it directly onto the camera lens then take a microfiber cloth and wipe off the lens of the camera.

The lens should dry relatively quickly from the microfiber cloth wipe and the open air.

2. Image is in Black and White Reason – Fraying Wires or Faulty Connections

As previously mentioned, the connections to the rearview backup camera can become loosened, damaged, and or frayed.

There are a number of ways that this can occur, such as in the scenario that you enjoy off-road adventures with all of the bumps, rocks, dirt, and impacts from the said bumps and rocks.

The connections for the wiring that powers/operates the camera can become loose, separated, or even frayed.

If you possibly live off-grid, you also face the risk of rodents getting into the vehicle and then chewing on the wires, and this can wreak havoc on the wiring. Also, over time the connections for the said wiring can also become loose or faulty.

This can be brought on by all of the little bumps and turns that you run into on a daily basis. Even if you may live in a city and never take your vehicle on dirt roads, over time, this can still occur.

Fix 1 – Make Sure All of the Cables and Connections Are Fully Connected

There are many helpful videos on YouTube and online alike that can show you how to install a rearview backup camera on your car, even if it is an older model and does not come with a backup camera.

With that said, you may have installed the camera yourself if, by chance, you

have installed the backup camera with your own hands and tools; you will want to check all of the wiring and connections to make sure that they are not loose, frayed, or damaged.

Even if you did not install the rearview backup camera and your car came with it installed, as previously mentioned, over time, these connections and wiring can become frayed, damaged, and or loosened, which, of course, is never good.

You will want to inspect the wires and connections to the best of your ability.

Fix 2 – If There Are Any Damaged, Get Them Repaired

While you are inspecting the wires and connections that power and operate your rearview backup camera if you are to run into any fraying, loose connections, or damage.

You will need to get them repaired, which you can do so by taking the car to an auto repair shop or the dealership where you purchased the vehicle.

Depending on the type of camera, the material, the dimensions, and other factors, a typical installation will cost you around $70 to $200. (US) though as previously stated, this cost is approximate and very well could vary.

If you installed the rearview backup camera on your own, you could find the appropriate equipment, such as wiring, plugs, electrical tape, and wire cutters, at an auto repair shop or even some retail stores.

If your car came with the reverse backup camera built-in in the head unit, you would want to look into getting the device repaired at the dealership you purchased the vehicle at.

You can also look into getting it repaired by the manufacturer as it could be included in the warranty for the car; as previously mentioned, you will want to contact the manufacturer to check if this is an available possibility.

3. Camera Does Not Come Up During Reverse Gear, or No Image Shows On the Screen

There is the possibility that the rearview backup camera on your car could possibly be set up incorrectly. This is especially possible if you may have installed the backup camera yourself.

Even if you consider yourself tech-savvy, things can still go wrong, and mistakes can still be made. This problem boils down to human error, which is inevitable and happens from time to time. With that said, this issue can be resolved.

Also, wiring can be a tricky process, and there is a lot of space for error, and any small mistake can impact the entire system. That is why it would be better to have a professional install the backup camera, even if you can do it yourself.

Fix 1 – Check Manual and Make Sure Camera is Set Up Correctly

If you believe that your rearview backup camera could be set up not correctly, you can luckily check the manual for your vehicle to check and see if the rearview backup camera is indeed set up correctly or not.

The car’s manual can typically be found in the glove department or center console; if you do not have a manual for your vehicle, you can purchase one for a reasonable price at an auto repair shop.

Reason 2 – Poor Wiring

In the process of installing a rearview backup camera, there are quite a few wires involved, and it is all too easy to either mix them up or cross them. The video wire could also become kinked or pinched, resulting in poor video quality or even discolored video.

The same could potentially happen to any other of the cables and could result in malfunctions in the system. The wires for the rearview backup camera are there for a reason, the reason being power and video.

Also, if you have a self-installed rearview backup camera, it likely has an automobile auxiliary power connective plug; you will want to check that this wire is not damaged nor kinked, or pinched.

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. As easy as it is to set up these wire connections, it is equally easy for these wires to become disconnected or loosened.

Fix 1 – Check Wiring and Make Sure It’s Connected Properly

As previously mentioned, your vehicle’s manual should be able to inform you enough to check the wiring of the rearview backup camera.

You will want to make sure that these wires are indeed connected to the proper connections and or ports, as these are integral to the system.

Also, it is very possible that a fuse has blown out. Typically, these can be repaired quite easily.

Though, while working on the wiring for the rearview backup camera, you will want to be sure the power wire is disconnected so as to avoid any shorts, shocks, and or an improper power surge.

4. Camera Says ‘No Signal’ Reason – Poor Wiring

When encountering this issue, your display screen for the rearview backup camera may show a message stating “No Signal,” this means that one of the wires connections is either loose or disconnected.

In order for the display screen to show the image that the camera is viewing, all of the wired connections must be connected correctly. See, it is through the video wire that the display screen receives the signal of the camera view.

Therefore, if this wire is damaged and or not connected properly, the display screen will not be capable of showing what is behind your vehicle.

Fix 1 – Check Wiring and Make Sure It’s Connected Properly

If you have a self-installed rearview backup camera, this will typically consist of four wires/cords, including the wire that runs from the camera itself. You will want to be sure that all of these wires/cords are connected correctly.

One cable should be the video cable attached to the camera that connects to the monitor cable via plugs and ports, an interface cable, and the power cord. In the case that you have such a setup, you will want to make sure that all of these cables are securely connected.

With that said, there are some setups that have many cords. In the scenario that you have such a setup, you will want to check and make sure that all the cables are indeed connected and are not loose, frayed, or disconnected.

Reason – Bug

It is very possible that your backup camera and screen display could have an issue with a bug, and we do not mean a literal bug; though that would not be too surprising either, we mean a technical bug.

This problem can take many forms, such as errors, malfunctions, and or glitches; however, there is one constant between all of these, and that would be that they are all considered errors in one form or another.

Such an issue can disrupt a system’s processes, such as in this case where the backup camera is not working as it is intended.

Fix 1 – Reset Camera

In the scenario of having a bug in the UConnect system or any backup camera system for that matter, you will want to basically soft reset the video display system for the camera.

Luckily, the process is relatively straightforward though it can help the system refresh in a way and reset its processes so that you can get back to being able to use your reverse backup camera as you please.

The UConnect system is a very useful tool that is included in many vehicles, such as Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Wagoneer, and Fiat vehicles. A reverse backup camera can make a big difference in safety and visibility in your vehicle.

It is excellent how backup cameras have become commonplace and are available to any vehicle, even if your car is a Ford, Mazda, or Honda Civics.

Only good can come from the cameras being available in so many forms, including self-installation models, this way, everyone, if they are not familiar with camera systems, can easily install a backup camera and have the safety of the system in their car.

Remember, technology is not perfect yet, so it is susceptible and likely to have errors, issues, and malfunctions.

With this in mind, try to have some patience when encountering these issues, as they are just problems that can and will be resolved. With some simple wire checks and, perhaps, a soft reset, your reverse backup camera could be brought back to a functioning state.

Even if your reverse backup camera winds up being broken to the point of needing a replacement, it should not break the bank to get a new one, as there are many DIY installation reverse backup camera systems available on Amazon and at auto repair shops.

We hope you found this article useful and, with any luck, you found an answer to the problem.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here