While most modern cars come with factory-installed DVDs/TVs, they are not meant to be watched by the drivers while driving. This is mainly because such devices are considered to be a distraction for drivers—can cause them to take their eyes off the road while the car in motion.
As a result, different manufacturers have taken different steps to ensure that this does not happen. In most car models, you will not be able to watch the DVD or TV display while the car in motion. In other models, you first need to stop the car and apply the parking brake to be able to play a video on the DVD player.
Depending on the restrictive measure applied to your car, different methods may be used to bypass the DVD restriction. Bypassing the DVD player allows you to play videos on the display, even when you are driving—this is not safe though.
If the DVD player on your car requires you to apply the parking brake for it to play a video, it is wired to the parking brake. In such a case, you need to disconnect it from the parking brake, then connect the wire to the black ground wire directly, as explained later in this guide.
While this method works on most of the older car DVD players, it may not apply to the newer factory-installed and aftermarket models. The newer DVD player models may require a different bypassing method depending on the make and model, as illustrated later in this guide.
Is it Illegal to Watch Videos on a DVD Display While Driving?
The laws governing the legality of watching a video/movie while driving differ from one state to another. In most states, it is illegal to illegal to install a DVD display—that can play a video while the car is in motion—within the driver’s view.
In other states, video displays inside a car are allowed as long as they are not within the driver’s view. To comply with such regulations, different vehicle manufacturers use different methods. In most cases, manufacturers just connect the DVD player to the parking brake—the display will only work when the parking brake is engaged.
Other manufacturers have gone a step further to comply with DVD display regulations. For instance, Land Rovers manufactured in 2010 and onwards are fitted with a 12-inch touchscreen in the dash. This display features Dual View technology. If you viewed the screen from the driver’s seat, you can only see the satellite navigation system or radio, but never DVD videos.
How to Bypass a Car DVD Player and Watch Videos While Driving
For enhanced safety and compliance, different measures are used to prevent drivers from watching videos on their DVD displays while driving. As such, the appropriate method for bypassing the DVD player differs from one DVD and car model to another.
Discussed below are some of the most effective methods you should try:
Method 1: Ground the DVD Player Head Unit
This method has been proven to work for most of the older car and DVD player models that have the DVD player wired to the Brake Interlock system. In this case, the player will detect when the parking brake is engaged or not, and only display videos when the brake is engaged.
To bypass such a DVD player, you need to disconnect the head unit from the brake interlock system and ground it—connect this wire to the black ground wire instead. This method will also work on the aftermarket DVD models that require you to ‘’connect the parking wire and engage to watch videos”.
To begin with, you need to turn the ignition Off and then use the following procedure to bypass the DVD player while driving:
Step 1: Remove the plastic trim installed around the head unit in your car using the appropriate removal tools. The right procedure differs from one car model to another. Having released the attachment points for the trim, release it from the din slot, and then pull it away from the dash.
Step 2: Next, remove the screws securing the stereo player to the frame and pull it outwards to expose the wires at the back. Now find the 12-volt ground wire, which is black in most models, and the parking brake wire—Often green or pink in color—at the back of the head unit.
You may need to refer to the installation guide for your specific DVD player model to identify the ground and parking brake (PB) wires.
Step 3: Disconnect the PB wire from the brake interlock system or just cut it off mid-length and wrap the remaining end with electrical tape. You need to strip the end of the PB wire coming from the head unit, such that the ends are exposed.
Look for the ground wire connecting the DVD player head unit to the car frame and cut it mid-length. Strip both ends of the ground wire—the one coming from the head unit and the one coming from the car frame.
Note: strip the insulation off the three ends such that only ¼ to ½-inch of the wire is exposed.
Step 4: To ground the PB wire on your DVD player, you need to join the three exposed wire ends together by firmly twisting them around each other. You should then wrap enough electrical tape around the connection such that no wires are exposed.
Step 5: Push the head unit back into place and use the screws you removed in step 2 to secure it in place. Finally, you need to install the plastic trim you removed in step 1, start the car and try playing a video on the DVD player with the car in motion.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, some of the newer DVD players can detect this hack and stop playing videos after some time. If yours worked fine after bypassing then stopped after a while, this is probably the problem. For the bypass to work, the head unit should detect that the ground was engaged before it was turned on.
In such a case, disconnecting the parking brake wire then reconnecting the brake to the ground wire should replace the problem. However, it can be very tedious to repeat this every now and then. Instead, it is advisable to get a toggle switch to bypass such a DVD player as illustrated below.
Method 2: Use a Toggle Switch to Bypass a DVD Player
If method 1 does not work, but the DVD player is relatively old, using a toggle switch can help bypass the player while driving. In this regard, you should get a working toggle switch from your local store or purchase one online.
Now follow steps 1 to 3 of method 1 above to expose the necessary wires. You should then connect one end of the toggle switch to the parking brake wire coming from the head unit and the other end to the two ground wire ends—the one coming from the head unit and the other one from the car frame.
Replace the stereo player and trim cover and secure them in place, such that the toggle switch is exposed and accessible. To play a video while driving, you need to flick the toggle switch off, start the car and drive off, before flicking the switch back on.
You could also use the reverse light, in an automatic transmission car, like a toggle switch to bypass a DVD player while driving. In this case, you need to connect the parking brake wire running from the head unit to the negative side of the reverse light—either at the socket or attaching it directly to the associated wiring.
As such, putting the car into gear will ground the parking brake wire, hence bypassing the DVD player. In this case, though, the reverse light will function like a toggle switch as it will turn on then off as you shift from the Parking position to the Drive position.
Method 3: Use a Relay to Bypass the Parking Brake in a DVD Player
The grounding tricks discussed in methods 1 and 2 above only work on older DVD layers. They will not work on newer Pioneer models, such as the AVH P4350. For such DVD players, you need to install a relay to bypass the parking brake restriction while driving.
Before starting, you need to get an appropriate relay switch, but do not use the installation instructions on the packaging as they may not work. Instead, use the following steps to install the relay switch and bypass your DVD player while driving:
Step 1: Split the remote signal wire that connects to the amplifier and connect it to the power pin (pin 86) on the relay. Next, you need to run a ground wire from the other side of the coil (pin 85)—ground connections are wired to the car frame.
Step 2: Run another ground wire from the normally-open contact (either contact 87 or 87a as illustrated in the diagram below).
Step 3: Finally, you need to connect the green/pink parking brake wire coming from the head unit to pin 30 on the relay switch, as illustrated below:
In this diagram, the blue wire is the remote wire 86 the green is the handbrake wire 30, and the blacks are the ground wires 85 and 87. Normally, 87a is an open contact.
This type of connection remains an open circuit until the DVD player is powered on. Once the unit is powered on, it will first check the PB wire and then engages the remote power only after it boots fully. This, in turn, powers the amp on and trips the relay switch.
When tripped, the relay switch throws ground onto the PB wire. This being the case, the DVD player will automatically bypass the parking brake sensor every time it is turned on.
Method 4: How to Bypass DVD while Driving by Model
Some of the leading DVD models, require a unique procedure to disable the parking brake restriction while driving. Such models include newer Pioneer, Jansen Flipout, and Alpine DVD players. Here is how you should go about it:
How to Bypass the Parking Brake in Pioneer z110bt
Turn the RCA harness for the head unit such that the wires are facing you and the clip s at the top. In such a case, the wire in the top-right most position is the mute wire. You need to Jimmy the pin for the mute wire from the RCA connector—you will need a pin or Jewelers screwdriver to do this.
Next, move the pin you just removed and insert it into the open pin towards the left. Finally, you need to ground the wire you just moved along with the PB wire, as described in method 1 above to bypass the DVD player while driving.
How to Bypass the F and X series DVD Players
The F and X pioneer DVD models, such as the X910 and the F90bt also require a unique procedure to bypass the parking brake restriction. In this case, you need to unplug the RCA harness’s from the heading and position them such that the wires are facing you and the clip is at the top.
In this position, the mute work is the yellow wire at the top-left corner. Jimmy this wore out of its pin by lifting the tab using a Jeweler screw. Next, move the wire to the bottom row—the fourth pin from the left to be precise.
Now ground the wire you just moved along with the parking brake wire—connect them to the ground wire. This should effectively bypass the parking brake while driving.
How to Bypass the Parking Brake on a Jensen Flipout
If the grounding method does not bypass the parking brake restriction on your Jansen Flipout player, you need to go a step further. In this regard, you need to twerk the programing on the DVD player a bit. To do this, you need to repeat this sequence: p>n>p>n>p>d
If this does not work for you, insert a DVD into the player and wait until the display gets to the blue screen. Using the remote that came with your DVD player, press buttons 1,2,6,4 in quick succession. On the joystick, press Down, Down, In (at the center of the joystick), and then press the ‘SYS SETUP’ button twice.
If successful, you should be able to see a menu that allows you to re-enable the bypass. This menu may also be used to disable the macrovision feature—in order to play burned or incorrect-region DVDs on the player. If this does not work, replace the batteries on the remote and try again.
Dual DVD Bypassing
This method may also be used to bypass the parking brake while driving in some JVC DVD models. To begin with, you need to ground the parking brake wire—often the yellow wire with a green stripe on Duals, as described in method 1 above.
Next, you should insert an audio CD into the DVD player and press the Play button on the remote. Alternatively, you could just insert a DVD and wait for the audio to come on. With the audio laying, press the Stop button on the remote twice followed by buttons 2, 6, 6, 0, 4, and then Enter in quick succession.
How to Bypass Parking Brake in Alpine DVD Players
The above-described methods will not work on most Alpine DVD players. To bypass the parking brake restriction on an Alpine DVD player, you need to install such a relay switch as the PAC tr7. The TR 7 comes with the installation instructions and diagrams to follow.
Basically, here is how you can use the PAC TR7 relay to bypass Alpine DVD players while driving:
Step 1: Connect only the ground and power wires to the TR7, as illustrated on its installation guid, and then flip the Programming switch On.
Step 2: Turn the TR7 on and pulse the brown wire to the ground wire r car frame 17 times. After 3 seconds, the LED light will flash, up to the 17 times you pulsed the brown wire. Now pulse the brown wire to the ground one more time to start Timer Programing on the unit—the LED will flash once.
Step 3: Do not do anything else, just wait until the LED light flashes twice before continuing. After the LED has flushed twice, pulse the brown wire to the ground once. After 3 seconds, the LED will flash once to confirm this operation.
Now ,wait until the LED light flushed three times before continuing. Next, leave the unit as is until the LED light flashes four more times. Again, you should do nothing after this. After a short while, the LED will flash rapidly several times before going off.
Step 4: Power the TR-7 off and then flip the Programming Switch to the Off position. You should then proceed to connect the remaining wires, as illustrated in the diagram below:
While different methods may be used to prevent the driver from watching a video on the DVD player display while driving, the parking brake connection is the commonest. It is possible to bypass the connection between your DVD player and the brake interlock system on your car.
However, the right procedure for bypassing the parking brake connection differs from one DVD player model to another. This guide will help you bypass the leading DVD player brands, including Pioneer, Alpine, JVC, Jansen Flip, and most Dual DVD players, while driving.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.