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How to Bypass an Automobile DVD Player's Parking Brake Safety Switch

by Bryan Clark

Obviously, a screen playing a dvd within view of the driver poses a real safety risk, so the manufacturers apply certain safeguards, in this case forcing you to wire your TV to the parking break in order to view the screen. When wired to the parking break, this requires you to be stationary and have the parking brake engaged in order to view the television.

When wiring the dvd unit, you can bypass this safety feature on some models, while others require you to buy additional parts to accomplish this. Most newer models have switched to a system that senses motion and won't turn on regardless of how you wire it. However, some are still possible to bypass the old-fashioned way.

Pull the unit from your dash (assuming it is installed already).

Find the ground wire (-12 volt). In most cars, it is black. For your specific car, you can consult a reference chart (see Resources).

Strip the ends off of the wire that is supposed to be connected to the parking brake, the ground for the dvd player and the ground wire from the car. You only need about 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch of exposed wire.

Connect the three wires by twisting them together and covering them with an end cap if you have one, or electrical tape if you don't.

Place the unit back inside the dash.

Turn the unit on to ensure that the wires didn't come loose as you were placing it back into the dash.

Tip

  • Most newer units need car-specific parts in order to allow you to watch the screen while driving. These boxes relay a chain of events to the screen or DVD player, and tell the brain of your video system that it is stopped and that it is fine to play video. If you do have a newer unit, you'll have to purchase one of these units. Installation varies based on the car, but most are plug-and-play.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Bryan Clark has been a freelance writer since 2002. His work has appeared in "The New York Times," "USA Today" and the U.K.'s biggest paper—"The Guardian," amongst other, smaller publications.

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