Dash cams can be powered via a charging cable plugged into the cigarette lighter socket and are only then powered when the key is in the ignition and the car is on – meaning the battery is being charged whilst powering the dash cam. However, older cars using this method don’t have a cut out function and this can mean that the dash cam is permanently charging and will drain the battery.
Hardwiring the dash cam into the switchboard of the car is the most common way to power it up.
With a dual wire kit, one wire for power and one for ground, they are usually plugged into a fuse which will charge when the car is switched on. This method won’t drain your car battery as it switches the dash cam off when the engine is off.
Another method to hardwire your dash cam is to use a kit with three wires, one for constant power, one for car battery power and the third for ground. This method could drain your battery as it is powering the camera continuously when the car is parked and switched off. However, our cameras have a choice of parking modes which help to save battery power.
Motion and impact detection, as well as radar motion detection, means that the camera will only use power to record if there is movement to set it in motion. Time lapse is another parking feature as it shoots a still shot every few seconds rather than continuous recording. Time lapse function can switch to normal recording if motion or impact is detected.
Buffered parking mode is another feature where the dash cam can record without writing to the SSD memory card but records continuously, saving the images to the internal memory as cache, all of which saves the battery of the car.
The dash cam can also detect when the battery power of the car is getting low and switch itself off to save the car battery in order to make certain the car can be turned on in the morning.
The main reason you shouldn’t be worried about your battery dying is the simple reason that they don’t use a lot of power. A standard dash cam only needs about half the power of a standard light bulb to operate normally.
So, the answer to the question – does hardwiring a dash cam drain your car battery is yes and no. At Viofo our cutting-edge dash cams are designed to ensure that your battery doesn’t get severely drained.
When you turn on your engine, any power that has drained will be replaced, and as our dash cams are using the newest of technology, any power that they use while parked is minimal, ensuring the long life of your car battery.