Will a Dash Cam Drain my Car Battery

by Terry Hu on April 06, 2022

Car battery is the critical source of power for starting your engine every day and it's right to be concerned with the health of this important component, especially when you are in a hurry to start your car to go to work in the morning, the car won't ignite due to a lack of power, then you may have an emotional breakdown. It's a popular saying online that a dash cam could kill your battery. Does dash cams can drain a car’s battery? Well, Not exactly. A dash cam can drain your battery, but it doesn’t have to.


What Are The Benefits Of Having A Dash Cam?

No matter how much experience the driver has, they are also afraid of being hit by porcelain and rear-end accidents. At this time, the driving data recorder will play a crucial role. In addition to providing evidence of accidents, it can even record the wonderful journey on a road.  There is no denying that dashcam has many advantages!  However, if you do not use it correctly, the dash cam will cause irreversible damage to the battery, and eventually lead to failure to ignition the vehicle or spend money to replace a battery.  


Why A Dash Cam Can Drain Your Battery

Car’s battery is what powers your dash cam, so it stands to reason that running the dash cam constantly would have an impact on the battery. However, dash cams generally have a very small impact on your car battery. In most cases, you’ll only see a negligible decrease in battery life when using a dash cam.


What Factor Of A Dash Cam Lead To Drain Car Battery

24 Hours Recording

When dashboard cameras were invented in the 1980s and became really popular in the 1990s, there was only one way for the dash cam to record while your car was parked, and that was for it to be left to record continuously and overwrite its memory. This was a very inefficient way to do things, and an extremely power- and memory-intensive monitoring method. Fortunately,it was eventually got replaced motion detection and parking modes that activate by themselves when some kind of disturbance is detected.


Motion Detection Function

Motion detection is actually a feature that is part of the parking mode. As this mode is a lot more sensitive and can turn on to record even on the slightest change in lighting, which means that when using motion detection, you will consume more electricity and fill up a lot more storage in your dash cam much faster, compare to parking mode. If this function is not particularly needed, choosing the parking monitoring function is enough for many car owners.


Get Power from cigarette lighter adapter

Dash cam has been plugged into the cigarette lighter. Will it continue to use electricity after the vehicle is turned off? Will it lead to power drain of the vehicle? Not exactly. It depends on the car models. It depends on whether there is still electricity in the cigarette lighter after the ignition is turned off.

After some cars turn off, the cigarette lighter is powered off. If the power is cut off after flame out, of course, the dash cam will not continue to use electricity, and the battery will not lose power because of this.

While after some cars turn off, the cigarette lighter is still powered. It is a constant power supply. There is no switch and the power cannot be cut off manually.  If there is still electricity here after flame out, it will continue to use electricity, which is very likely to lead to battery power loss. If the dash cam is not unplugged after flame out, and the vehicle does not run for a long time, it will certainly lead to battery drain.


How Much Electricity a Dashcam Consume?

The primary reason you shouldn’t be concerned with your battery dying is the plain and simple fact that dash cams in general consume very little power. As a point of comparison, a standard 100-watt light bulb in your house consumes roughly 0.9 amps when turned on.

A typical dash cam, even with a wide range of functions such as dual lens coverage, motion detection, and WiFi connectivity, requires less than half the amount of power. Add to that the massive size of a car battery (compared to the tiny amount of power needed by a dashcam) and you have plenty of power under the hood!

Of course, modern vehicles do tend to already have plenty of other electronics and systems in them that consume varying levels of power in the background while the car is parked (alarm systems, keyless entry receivers, automatic software updates, etc).

Another major reason why battery death should not be an issue when using your dashcam in parking mode is thanks to a feature known as “low-voltage cutoff”. Dash cam manufacturers prevent this unwanted dead battery situation by providing battery-discharge prevention accessories or built-in low-voltage cutoff solutions that monitor the car battery’s voltage level and will gracefully shut down the camera if the power drops below an established safety threshold (typically around 12.0 or 12.5v). A healthy car battery should be able to keep a dashcam operating safely in parking mode for at least a day or two, if not more, before reaching the low voltage cutoff level.

Mercylion dash camera has built-in low-voltage cutoff settings when using your dashcam in parking mode. You can think about to choose it.


How to Prevent Your Dashcam from Draining Your Car Battery?

There are a few things that you can do to help reduce the impact of your dash cam on your car battery.


Use A Dash Cam With A Built-In Voltage Meter

Highly recommend using a dash cam or a hard wire kit with a built-in voltage meter that cuts out when the battery reaches a critical point to prevent it from going flat.


Unplugging The Dash Cam If You Don't Drive Your Car Several Days

Several days without driving your car increases the chances that electrical components will drain the battery. If you know that you will not drive your vehicle for several days, you may also consider unplugging the dash cam to prevent further power loss.

If you use the hard wire kit, the hard-wire kit will automatically shut off the power to your dash cam when the battery voltage drops to 11.4V or 22.8V, thus preventing it from draining the battery. But if you are not using the car for several days, we also recommend unplugging the dash cam.


Dash Cam Battery Pack Can Help

A dash cam battery pack helps solves car battery draining issues as it independently powers a dash cam separate from your cars main power source.

These battery packs are designed to power a dashcam whilst the engine is off, and they will recharge themselves using the cars battery only when the engine is on. These can often have many days of power so you can leave your car with parking mode on for whole weekends or even a week at a time.


Do Not Stop Driving your Car For A Long Time

In the hibernation state when the car is turned off, the battery will continue to consume power. Assuming that a car consumes 50mA of power in hibernation, it will run out of power in about 75 days! The car has been parked for more than a month, and the battery has lost power by nearly half, so it is hard to start again.

It is recommended that drivers start the car basically every other week and drive out to charge the battery. If the vehicle is parked for a long time, it is best to unplug the battery connector to protect the battery's power storage capacity. First, remove the negative electrode and then the positive electrode, and install the positive electrode first and then the negative electrode, otherwise it will easily damage the electrical components.


Check The Battery Every Six Months

If you want to extend the life of the battery and maintain the best performance, it is best to go to the 4S shop or repair shop to check the battery every six months to see how the storage capacity is! Do not let the battery work in a state of power loss for a long time, and at the same time ensure the cleanliness of the battery. The battery needs to be charged in time if it is left standing for a long time. Hoping believe everyone can become an old driver who has used the battery for more than 5 years.


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