Dash cameras are small cameras that you install in your car. It is a useful car accessory for you to have visual evidence when you encounter an accident or a crime. Most dash cameras don’t come with a power source. It only comes with a wire that you can plug to the cigarette lighter for it to have power. But do dash cameras drain the battery of your car? Even though dash cameras are small and consume a small amount of your car’s battery, can it drain the battery of your vehicle?
Understanding Car Batteries
An average car has a 12v battery to help start the engine, play the radio, turn the lights, and air conditioner on. And a car battery can last up to five years of regular usage. Car batteries can last long if you don’t leave anything on for hours. For example, you forgot to switch off the headlights and left it overnight. It can drain the juice in the car battery, forcing you to remove from the hood and recharge it manually. And do dash cameras drain the battery of your car? The answer is yes. Because it gathers energy from the car battery, if you park your car for long hours, leaving your dash camera on, it will slowly drain your car battery.
How Do Dash Cameras Drain Battery of Your Car?
Leaving your dash camera on while it is getting its power source from the cigarette lighter outlet can drain the battery of your car. Even though it consumes a small amount of energy, leaving it for a long time can slowly consume a considerable amount of energy from the battery. But do dash cameras drain the battery of your car all the time? It depends on how long you leave your car while the dash camera is running. If you leave it for a few minutes, your car battery will be fine. But if you leave it overnight, expect that your car battery will be weak.
Ways to Prevent Your Dash Cam Draining Your Car Battery
It is a hassle if your car battery runs out of energy. You can’t get your car started and bring it to a shop to fix and recharge the battery. But there are ways that you can do to prevent this from happening and still use your dash camera.
A hardwire kit serves as a “piggy bank” of energy for your dash camera. It connects to the fuse box so that the dash camera will have its supply of energy. And even if the car is switch off, it will not use the 12v of energy directly from the cigarette socket. But instead, it uses the energy stored in the kit. Some hardware kits also have an option to set a “Permanent Live” or “Switched Live” supply to save the battery life of the car. The “Permanent Live” sets a limit up to what voltage the dash camera can use. It is to prevent the car battery from being fully drained. While the “Switched Live,” the das camera will switch on whenever the engine starts.
Hardwiring connects the dash camera to the battery. It requires you to set up your dash camera and connect it to the car battery. But the hardwire kit saves some energy to avoid your car battery from draining. Also, the cigarette lighter socket will be open for other usages aside instead of using it as a power source for the dash camera. This ensures that the wires’ installation is correct and that you will not have to worry about battery drainage.
Disable the “Parking Mode”
If your dash camera or hardwire has a “Parking Mode,” disable it. When your dash camera is still running while your car is parked, it can drain energy from your car battery. Some dash cameras have at least 5-15 seconds delay before it switches off. This is to maximize the amount of energy left in its cable.
Use a capacitor or battery
Both the capacitor and battery for your dash camera can help your car battery from draining. These two are like power banks to your dash camera and does not get any power source from the car battery. But the downside of these two is that it will not last long. You will have to recharge them regularly so that it can provide the right amount of energy that your dash camera needs. And having a back-up can help you keep your dash camera running.
When to Change Car Batteries
There are ways for you to identify that your car battery is weak. And when the battery is weak, it is time to recharge them. But there are times when you need to replace the battery because it can no longer give your car the right amount of energy it needs to start. Here are some signs that tell your car battery is weak.
- Dim headlights and indoor lights
- The slow movement of your automatic windows
- Dimmed lights will brighten up when you make a revolution on the engine.
- The engine turns slower than usual.
- The car is not in use for a long time.
- Old batteries
A car battery will eventually drain. This is why checking its voltage from time to time can make you aware if it is weak or not. Also, if you bring your car to a maintenance shop, you can prolong the lifespan of your car battery and prevent it from weakening.
The simple answer to the question “do dash cameras drain the battery of your car” is yes. If you decide to have a dash camera in your car, be sure to have a power source that can help prevent the draining of your car battery. And as much as possible, don’t leave your dash camera on “park mode.” Using a hardwire kit, separate battery, or capacitor will help keep the car battery from draining and still let your dash camera keep on recording. Find out more about Dash Cameras.