Ben Wells is a tech enthusiast specializing in cameras and GPS devices. He has a keen interest in reviewing dashcams, navigators, and other useful car...
The purpose of a dashcam is to record the view from the front of the vehicle while it is in motion and catch footage of interesting events or odd situations like accidents that occur while driving.
Most dash cams do not run when the car is turned off because they rely on power from the car’s cigarette lighter port, which is only active when the car is running. However, there are dash cams available that offer continuous protection and can run even when the car is turned off, either by using a built-in battery or by being hardwired to the car’s battery.
What is Hardwiring a Dashcam and How It Ensures Continuous Recording
Some dashcams are hardwired into a vehicle’s electrical system, which means that they are connected directly to the car’s battery or power continuously. These types of dashcams typically have a power management feature that allows them to continue recording even when the car is turned off to continuously collect evidence in case of a hit-and-run accident or a break-in.
For example, many hardwired dashcams have a “parking mode” feature that is activated when the car is turned off. In parking mode, the dashcam continues to record using a low-power mode, and it can detect and record any movement or impact on the vehicle. This can be useful for capturing footage of hit-and-run accidents or vandalism while the car is parked.
Find out if your Dash Cam is Draining your Car’s Battery and How to Prevent it!
How Battery-Powered Dashcams Run When Car Off
While most dashcams have a built-in battery (Li-ion) and a parking mode feature that allows them to record when the car is turned off, their limitations are short-term recording using the power stored in the battery; typically 5 to 10 minutes of continuous recording without parking mode, which records few seconds clip only on impact.
Despite the convenience of built-in batteries, the limited capacity of most dashcams is 200mAh to 300mAh, which means they can only record for a short period. However, external battery packs for cars, such as the BlackVue B-124X Ultra and the Cellink NEO, offer longer recording times (up to 35 hours) when hardwired to the dashcam.
Whether a dashcam will continue to record when the car is turned off depends on the specific dashcam and its power management features. Hardwiring your dashcams may benefit from the parking mode function, which allows them to continue recording while the car is turned off (on motion), but battery-powered dashcams may cease recording due to the limited capacity of the built-in battery, but the difference is dependency. You may acquire an external battery pack for continued recording even when your car is switched off.