Do Dashcams Flatten your Battery?

Do Dashcams Flatten your Battery?

Whether dash cams will drain the automobile battery is common and Truly a valid problem. When you do not use your dashcam properly, there are a few situations that we have seen flatten your battery.

  • When using an always-on cigarette lighter socket (12V adaptor) for a dash cam, the battery may die.
  • When the Hardwire kit is fitted with the dash cams, it will constantly drain your car battery to actively record the parking, resulting in a flattened battery.

With these two major considerations in mind, dash cams have no other trouble to your car battery unless they are poor quality and defective. Also if the car battery is old and no longer holds a charge.

To fully comprehend and solve this problem, you must first study how much power the dashcam consumes.

Power Consumption of Dash Cameras: Do they Drain Your Battery?

I’ve mentioned before that a dashcam can drain a car’s battery, but this is not something that happens to everyone. Dash cams, unlike other car accessories, require little power.

For example, Nextbase Dash Cams are rated to consume 10 to 60 mAh, which is comparable to the power consumption of a typical LED light bulb (0.10 or 0.60 Amps). So, while power consumption is not a major concern, you should be aware of how much dash cam consumes continuously.

Dash Cams Not Always Turned On (Without Hardwiring Kit)

The most common way to use a dash cam is to plug it into a 12V cigarette lighter outlet. However, dash cams do not operate when your car is turned off since the power to the port is cut off. Additionally, if your dash cam is powered by a battery (built-in Li-ion), it will operate for a few hours before shutting down on its own.

In this situation, hardwiring your dash cam will allay your worries about the dash camera not continually recording, since it connects directly to the battery terminal and bypasses the fuse. This makes hardwiring a useful addition to the 24-hour parking mode feature, but it may increase the likelihood of the dashcam draining your car’s battery.

Impact of Continuous Dash Cam Use on Car Battery (Hardwired)

  • Car Battery Rating: A typical car battery has a capacity of around 50 Ah (amp-hours or 600-watt hours). This means it can provide a current of 50 milliamps (mA) for one hour or a current of 1 amp (A) for 50 hours.
  • Dash Cam Rating: Whereas a typical dash cam’s power consumption is between 100 mA and 300 mA, that converts to 3 ampere-hours. But, it may rise for higher-end models because they have more processors, features, and larger image sensors.

According to these figures, a dash camera with a 300mA power draw will drain the car battery of a total of 7,200 mAh in a single day. This is approximately 14% of a regular 50 Ah automotive battery. That is, 7 amps are continually utilised throughout the course of 24 hours.

Even though dash cameras use very little electricity, they are nevertheless powered by the automobile battery. Because automobiles include several devices that demand power, even when a dash cam is in standby or sleep mode or is merely filming upon impact (parking mode), the battery is always being consumed.

Normally, a car battery will not discharge since the gas engine recharges it as you drive. Unless you stop or park your car with a dash for more than two days, there is a risk of the battery losing all of its charge.

Don’t worry, even if you leave your car parked for a few days with the dash enabled, there are ways to keep your battery from going flat. While driving, the gas engine will usually recharge the battery, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it losing power.

However, if you do end up in this situation, there are solutions to keep your battery charged and ready to go.

How to Avoid DashCams from Killing Your Car Battery

Here are our suggestions for avoiding battery drainage troubles when using a dash cam with hardwiring, as well as what to choose when you need security and dependability for your car through the use of dash cams.

1: Use a Good Quality Dash Cam

It is essential to pick a high-quality dash camera that is equipped with high-quality parts and software features. Dash cameras from Nextbase, Thinkware, BlackVue, and VioFo are of the highest calibre and dependable.

You can avoid a dead battery by using one of the quality-grade dash cams that come with safety and power shutdown features. It will manage power consumption automatically without the need for a third-party device.

2: Enable Parking Mode with Low Power

To preserve battery, enable the dash cam parking mode, which lets it record on impact and standby when there is no movement around the vehicle. This not only keeps your car battery from dying, but it also keeps the SD space at a minimum usage.

So you can benefit from recording incidents that occur while the car is parked but decrease the chance of the battery getting flat.

3: Use Minimal FPS Mode or Low Resolution

This is simple, you want to preserve the battery and reduce the consumption. To do so, you can lower the FPS and bitrate for video recording and adjust the recording footage to a lower resolution scale to save power. This approach is used everywhere for longevity.

4: Set the Screen Turn Off or Sleep

If your dash cam has a screen, you can use the power settings to set the dash camera display to shut off after a few seconds or go to sleep. By doing so, you can save a lot of power and ultimately your dash cam will less burden on a car battery.

5: Battery Discharge Prevention Module (Device)

Most high-quality dashcams are designed to use a minimal amount of power and cut off power thanks to the low-voltage signal but it is not common for all dash cams, and you may need to use an external device to save your battery from flat discharge.

You can utilise a device like the “Power Magic Pro,” which is a battery drain prevention module. It may be used to help with parking mode monitoring on dash cams with no integrated power cut safety mode.

It functions to turn your dashcam off when your car’s battery level drops below a low power threshold and to shut off power when the battery health is crucial, preventing a dead battery, and allowing your car to start later when you get back.

You can also set up a custom timer to turn off the power and set certain voltage limits to deactivate the dashcam when it is not needed, such as when you are at home and a car in your garage, safe and sound.

6: Use a Dedicated Battery Pack

Using a dedicated battery pack eliminates the possibility of flattening the car’s main battery in the first place. Your concern will be alleviated when you install the separate power source for dash cameras, which we believe is the best investment of any other option we have researched.

Simply get a portable battery pack that is rechargeable to power your dash cam and also recharges while driving your car. This makes it simple for parking mode to work even when the vehicle ignition is switched off for several days if not weeks.

Final Tip: Regularly Check the Car Battery

By following these technical solutions, you can help to avoid dash cams from killing your car battery. We hope you found our guide useful.

Ben Wells
Ben Wells is a tech enthusiast and expert in the field of auto accessories and electronic household items. With a background as a PC critic and editor for a tech blogger, Ben has spent the past four years writing objectively about home appliances and leisure technologies for BestB. Known for his unbiased coverage, Ben is passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest technological advancements in the automotive and home electronics industries. When he's not reviewing the latest products, Ben enjoys camping and travelling.