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2023 Buick Envision Approved Dash Cam and Install

2035 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  zedknepplin
Hello All!

Buick Approved Thinkware 4K Dash Camera w/OBD/PAC/IGN Cables (Bought mine from the Dealer parts department, but saw it later for $100 less on line). AKA Thinkware U1000. I bought it from the dealer at the time of vehicle purchase to insure it would be included under the new vehicle warranty. (Keep Receipts!) They wanted $$$ to install it, so I did it myself. I also added the Thinkware Radar Module later.

You can see details for the kit in the myBuick App:
Home > All Parts > Electronics > Cameras
Product: Ultra 4K HD Dash Cam with ADAS 2K Quad HD Rear Camera $649.99

NOTE: Before you take on this install, check out some install and camera operation videos on line FIRST! This will help, and make sense of these instructions! Thinkware/gmsupport/Echomaster also has 4 page GM Install instructions document on their site, and a 47 page full user guide!

No Soldering, splicing, or wire cutting required for this install. Mainly tucking wires behind panels and head liner. Plus removing some door gasket seals and trim panels temporarily to run wires.

I connected the kit parts together FIRST to make sure everything works before beginning the install! You can plug it straight into the OBD port for testing, BUT the engine has to be ON for testing. Otherwise it goes into sleep mode if the ignition is set on ACC.

The hardest part for me was running the rear camera wire through the grommet from inside the rear cabin roof area into the top rear hatch. I used a long plastic zip tie to do this (See Pictures).

The Kit comes with good basic instructions, and the Thinkware phone support is excellent! The following is how I did it, after watching MANY videos on YouTube on the camera functionality, example installs on various SUVs, and the 4 page GM Install instructions. I got some good ideas on what I was in for from there!

I took pictures of all panels and seals before beginning work so I could reinstall them correctly when done.

I ran the wires the way I did to avoid the air bags as much as possible. (See Pictures) Some of the example videos did not seem to be too concerned about this.

Start from the back and work forwards. For the USB Rear Camera wire, I used the 90 degree end for the front, and straight end for the rear camera. After you tested everything and are ready to get to it:

Start with the Rear Camera first. Remove the Top of the rear hatch trim. To do this:
• Open rear Hatch.
• If you have the security shelf, unclip the 2 rope hangers.
• I used a flat head screw driver to carefully remove the 2 plastic torx hanger screws on the sides. I did not have a torx bit that size. (See Pictures)
• Pry the center rear hatch trim at top by one side edge (glass side), then the other. The center of this top trim piece is connected together, so be careful when prying there that you do not break it. There are clips there and then the trim piece has tabs that hinge a bit. You will see this and it will make more sense when the trim piece is removed.
• Next, pull on the rubber seal that surrounds the rear hatch area. There is some glue there so I used a shop towel to keep it off the head liner. You do not have to completely remove any of the rubber seals, just enough to run wires.
• I wore rubber gloves, and be careful not to get glue or dirt on any of the cloth trim pieces.
• Feed a long zip tie from the hatch side of the grommet into the cabin. (See Pictures)
• Tape the straight end of the dash cam wire to the end of the zip tie.
• Carefully feed the rear dash cam wire through the grommet and pull the zip tie as you feed the wire. I used a lot of tape to secure the cable to the zip tie. Do not pull too hard, and massage the grommet to feed the wire through as there are other wires there, the USB plug is fatter than the USB wire, and it binds on some of the grommet loom.
• Once the wire end is through the grommet, carefully pull more wire through the grommet and long enough to reach the bottom of the rear window where you will eventually secure the rear camera.
• Secure the camera wire to existing wires and be sure to check for areas that can pinch or cut wires. Be sure to keep in mind to wrap wires with felt tape, and look for areas that my cause vibrations, rubbing, cutting, or other noise & hazards to the wires.
• From here, I started routing the rear camera wire to the front driver’s door area. (See Pictures)
• Here, the Rear Camera wire and OBD wires are then routed to the final front camera placement area on the top of the windshield. Be sure the wires are felt tape wrapped or you will hear buzzing on rough roads by the front overhead console. Ensure the windshield wipers can clean the glass in front of the dash camera.

NOTE: At this point, you may want to temporarily connect the camera kit and test that everything works and the rear camera is pointed correctly before you press the final rear camera 3M tape down!

Connecting PAC module:
• Remove 1 Philips screw by the OBD connector to get access to the wires behind the OBD connector. This is the plastic piece over the foot pedals that has the white LED foot light there.
• Remove the 2 7mm? screws on the ODB connector, plug in one end of the PAC module, and reconnect the other end of the PAC module OBD connector in the original OBD connector's place. Reinstall the 2 screws. I did not need the extra plastic ODB trim piece that came with the kit. I tucked the remaining felt tape wrapped wires under the plastic foot well shield - being careful not to block the floor board white LEDs.

NOTE: This OBD connector supplies 12-24 VDC to the PAC module, then to the U1000 camera at all times. When the car engine is running and Auto Stop kicks in, the camera still records. When the car engine is OFF, a different voltage level tells the camera that the car is off, and you can configure the camera what to do in Sleep Mode. (Sensitivity, RADAR, Power Save, Show speed, GPS coordinates, Sound, Super Night Vision, Flashing power LEDs, and etc.)

Front Camera:
• I wrapped all wires in Felt Tape after running the main rear camera wire. I bought 2 rolls of felt tape, but had plenty left over. You will need some short zip ties and maybe electrical & duct tape as well. I like felt tape because it prevents vibrations, rattles, and buzzing from plastic wires touching metal or plastic panels.
• Be sure to run the 2 front camera wires BEHIND the air bag by the A pillar. I used black duct tape to hold it in place against the A pillar. The A pillar trim pops out and is attached by a short bunji cord. You do not have to remove the A pillar trim to run wires, just pop it loose. It is easier to run the wires there if you temporarily remove the rubber door trim first when you get to this part. Feed the felt tape covered wires under the head liner here as well.

Tips & Tricks:
• You will need the Thinkware App to configure the camera via a Wi-Fi connection to the camera in order to setup and view the Camera videos. You do not have to create a Thinkware App Cloud login to do this unless you want the camera to upload clips and send message (push notification) alerts. I did not need this functionality.
• If you have CarPlay or Android Auto Wi-Fi enabled on the car's head unit already, it will fight for control of the Wi-Fi on your phone when trying to connect to the ThinkWare App. So Temporarily disable CarPlay until you are done with setting up the U1000 dash camera.
• When Placing the cameras, use the App to see what the cameras see (there is some video lag). Be sure that your camera placement will have the wipers clean a spot while recording. (See Pictures) Also, for the rear camera, check that the defroster wires do not block the view when setting the 3M sticky pad for final placement.
• To View videos later, you can use the APP or put the Micro SD card into your computer and use the Thinkware Dashcam PC Viewer program - Free from Thinkware site. The videos would not view correctly on the PC without it for me.
• The Camera settings are on the SD card, so if you use another SD card, you have to re-do the camera settings from defaults.
• The camera is talkative, so I ended up setting volume to 0 after I got it configured. It also alerts about some speed and red light cameras. I did not know that!
• I also ordered the lens Filter to cut down on Glare from the dashboard onto the windshield, so I'll see if that works OK.
• My system has been installed for a month, and I have not noticed any battery drain at all. I was concerned about the sleep mode and recording settings I selected (Energy saving with RADAR).
• Perhaps because of my 20" wheels, when setting driving sensitivity to LOW, the dash cam registered bumps as hits and would constantly go beep-beep while driving. Not only is this annoying, but those video clips are locked (to prevent overwrites), and fill up the SD memory card.
• If you are interested in the RADAR module (for extra parking security only), check out some on line videos to see if you need it. Basically, by default (with just a camera) the camera wakes up if it feels G forces (impact - your car was hit), based on your sensitivity settings. Then starts recording (usually after the car is hit and the perp drives off).
• The RADAR module sees movement in front of the car (within range), wakes up the cameras, and records a 20 sec clip first . The object in the RADAR has to be big enough to pick up (a car-sized object usually). If the car is then hit, you have a clip of the car (or whatever) hitting your car, then the usual drive off from the scene of the accident.

NOTE: Before you take on this install, check out some install and camera operation videos on line FIRST! This will help, and make sense of these instructions! Thinkware/gmsupport/Echomaster also has 4 page GM Install instructions document on their site, and a 47 page full user guide!

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Wow nice setup and write up! I just installed an integrated cam myself today but without the rear camera and parking recording potential that you have.
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Wow nice setup and write up! I just installed an integrated cam myself today but without the rear camera and parking recording potential that you have. View attachment 2330 View attachment 2331 View attachment 2327
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😁 Very Nice! I probably went overboard and paid too much, but I wanted the rear camera!

Is the Thinkware 1000 still as great as when you first installed it? Any disappointments?

Hello John!

The dash cam pretty much just does its thing now. I have not had a need to review footage from any incidents. Once you set it up how you like, you don't think about it any more. No disappointments. Every now and then it alerts to speed cameras, otherwise its quiet and I forget its even there. More for insurance and piece of mind for now than anything else.
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