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Does a dash cam drain your car's battery?

Hello

I'd like to get a dash cam for my car but I understand dash cams work by being plugged into the cigarette lighter. Does this mean having a dash cam would drain the battery, and if so can anything be done to avoid that? FYI my car is 11 years old.
Original post by playingcatchup
Hello

I'd like to get a dash cam for my car but I understand dash cams work by being plugged into the cigarette lighter. Does this mean having a dash cam would drain the battery, and if so can anything be done to avoid that? FYI my car is 11 years old.

Generally speaking, when the engine is off the dash cam is off. The dash cam would therefore not drain the battery whilst your car is parked somewhere.

There are some models which can optionally remain in a "monitoring" mode even whilst the engine is off. If they detect movement (e.g. your parked car has been hit by someone) they're turn on, record a few minutes of footage, and then go back to "monitoring" mode. Whilst in this mode the screen is off and power usage is at a minimum. If you left your car for an extended period of time, with the dash cam in "monitoring" mode throughout, then it would eventually drain the battery. I have no idea how long you'd have to leave it for this to become an issue.
Original post by DataVenia
Generally speaking, when the engine is off the dash cam is off. The dash cam would therefore not drain the battery whilst your car is parked somewhere.

There are some models which can optionally remain in a "monitoring" mode even whilst the engine is off. If they detect movement (e.g. your parked car has been hit by someone) they're turn on, record a few minutes of footage, and then go back to "monitoring" mode. Whilst in this mode the screen is off and power usage is at a minimum. If you left your car for an extended period of time, with the dash cam in "monitoring" mode throughout, then it would eventually drain the battery. I have no idea how long you'd have to leave it for this to become an issue.


Thanks for your response. I wouldn't be looking for one to monitor the car whilst it was parked anyway (just want it for the driving footage) so that's ok. So if I just got a basic dash cam that recorded whilst driving and was plugged into the socket, for the time I'm driving the dash cam being on wouldn't drain the battery?
Original post by playingcatchup
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Just checking - is your lighter socket active whilst the engine is off? Mine wasn't.
Original post by playingcatchup
Thanks for your response. I wouldn't be looking for one to monitor the car whilst it was parked anyway (just want it for the driving footage) so that's ok. So if I just got a basic dash cam that recorded whilst driving and was plugged into the socket, for the time I'm driving the dash cam being on wouldn't drain the battery?

Well, whilst you're driving the dash cam will be using power from the car's battery - as will every other electrical device in the car (radio, sat nat, air con, etc.) but the alternator will be recharging the battery whilst you're driving. So there will be no issue.
Original post by DataVenia
Well, whilst you're driving the dash cam will be using power from the car's battery - as will every other electrical device in the car (radio, sat nat, air con, etc.) but the alternator will be recharging the battery whilst you're driving. So there will be no issue.


Perfect thanks!
Original post by ghostwalker
Just checking - is your lighter socket active whilst the engine is off? Mine wasn't.

I mean I don't think so but can't be sure as I've never actually used it haha
Original post by DataVenia
Well, whilst you're driving the dash cam will be using power from the car's battery - as will every other electrical device in the car (radio, sat nat, air con, etc.) but the alternator will be recharging the battery whilst you're driving. So there will be no issue.


Exactly
Original post by playingcatchup
Thanks for your response. I wouldn't be looking for one to monitor the car whilst it was parked anyway (just want it for the driving footage) so that's ok. So if I just got a basic dash cam that recorded whilst driving and was plugged into the socket, for the time I'm driving the dash cam being on wouldn't drain the battery?


Having your dash cam able to monitor whilst parked can actually be useful.
I found this out last week when my car got damaged by someone walking by in the middle of the night (my dash cam was set off).
It only starts recording if there is movement (i.e. something knocks your car). In this case, rather than having it plugged into the fag lighter ive got the wires under the roof lining and it is plugged into the fuse box. The power usage is still minimal as it only fires up and records if necessary.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Emma:-)
Having your dash cam able to monitor whilst parked can actually be useful.
I found this out last week when my car got damaged by someone walking by in the middle of the night (my dash cam was set off).
It only starts recording if there is movement (i.e. something knocks your car). In this case, rather than having it plugged into the fag lighter ive got the wires under the roof lining and it is plugged into the fuse box. The power usage is still minimal as it only fires up and records if necessary.

Hmm that's something to think about then!
Original post by playingcatchup
Hmm that's something to think about then!


Its deffo worth looking into.
Plus with that way you havent got wires everywhere like you have if its plugged into your fag lighter.

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