What is a trigger wire on a backup camera

What is a trigger wire on a backup camera?

Trigger wires are often the most forgotten components of a backup camera. Everyone remembers the camera and the monitor but they forget the trigger wire because most drivers are not aware of where these trigger wires are located and how they work.

What are trigger wires?

The trigger wire is an important part of the backup camera as it transmits signals to turn on the monitor so that it can display the video image that the camera captures. It can’t be used as a synonym for power cables because they are simply used to turn on a device, while trigger wires properly signal the monitor to turn on the display as the driver changes the gear to reverse.

Do all backup cameras have trigger wires?

  • Some backup cameras are wired, that include trigger wires. These trigger wires help the video to be displayed on the monitor.
  • Some backup cameras are wireless and they do not require wires to work. They use signals and transmissions to display the video on the screen.

Pros of trigger wires

  • They help power your monitor and aid the display of the video.
  • They help the monitor go into the video display mode just as the car is shifted to reverse gear.
  • They reduce the chances of not picking up the video from the camera because they are directly connected to the monitor.

Cons of trigger wires

  • Trigger wires are too long and can be too complicated to install by yourself.
  • You can always connect them the wrong way and can cause damage to the vehicle’s electrical circuit.
  • A wireless camera is easier to install as there are no wires that need to be connected properly.
  • Wireless camera don’t feed off the battery of your car and your battery can actually last longer.

Are trigger wires safe?

Yes, trigger wires are a safe option. They come with most of the standard backup cameras in vehicles and you might not even know that they are there. You can check if your car has trigger wires by checking the information option on your monitor. Keep an eye on the reverse signal while you change the gear. You can deduce that there is a trigger wire installed in your vehicle if the signal turns on and off.

Another way to check for possible trigger wires is more difficult as it involves using tools and handling screws as you have to remove the monitor to check for the wire and put it back in place after.

Trigger wire vs Wireless Camera

Wireless cameras have been invented to make the installation and usage of backup cameras easier. Many people don’t know how to work with wires or tools when they need to install cameras.


If you want to shift your gear to reverse and the display does not come on, one of the reasons can be because your trigger wire is not in place. You might need help from an automobile professional as well.