Tech Peak » Do Dash Cams Drain Car Battery?

Do Dash Cams Drain Car Battery?

by heatherwhitney
dash cam

Who wouldn’t want to record their driving? Dash cams are a cool piece of technology. However, there is a chance that it could drain the battery, just like with all other electronic components in a car. “Will a dash cam drain my car battery” is a question that will be covered in this article.

Unfortunately, “YES” is the correct response. The good news is that it is possible to stop your battery from being discharged.

But first, let’s talk about why a dash cam could drain your battery.

Why Dash Cam Will Drain Your Car Battery 

The dash cam will drain the battery for three primary reasons:

  1. When you turn on your automobile, dash cams automatically start recording, which uses up battery power. Now, if your automobile is running, this won’t be a problem. However, you run the risk of depleting your battery if you merely turn your key to the “ON” or “ACC” position.
  2. Additionally, dash cams operate with the light on, which reduces battery life. Once more, this is not a problem if your automobile is running and using the alternator to generate power. However, there is a chance that your car battery will die if you are only using battery power.
  3. Thirdly, certain vehicles need to be constantly connected to their GPS system, which also uses up your batteries considerably more quickly than it would without a dash cam.

dash cam

How Do Dash Cams Work

First off, in order to function properly, all dash cameras require an external power source. You can charge them in advance of recording operations or just keep them constantly connected to the power source.

The majority of dash cams are designed to be ignition-controlled, which means they can turn on when you start the car or turn off when you stop it.

You won’t have to worry about turning the dash cam on and off, which is a nice feature.

Types of External Power Sources for Your Dash Cam 

Your dashboard camera can be powered by one of two different types of external power sources: either the cigarette lighter adapter in your car or the hardwire kit.

Hardware Kit

The simplest method of charging your dash cam is by using a hard wire. This method uses two wires—one for power and one for ground—that are typically plugged into a fuse that charges whenever you turn on your car.

The downside of this is that your dash cam won’t function once you turn off your car, but you won’t drain the batteries either.

If you are unsure about parking your car without the dash cam, there is another alternative to using a hardwire kit. 

A hard wire kit is available with three wires: one for ground, one for car battery power, and one for steady power.

However, the majority of the new dashboard cameras use motion sensors, so they only turn on when they detect movement. This method can drain your car’s battery.

If there is regular movement in front of the dash cam, this could deplete the battery, but if you park it somewhere where there is little movement, the dash cam may not even turn on frequently if there is little movement.

Even though your car battery won’t be empty in the morning, a persistent cycle of draining and charging can diminish the battery’s lifespan.

Cigarette Adapter 

It is fairly simple to use the cigarette adapter as an external source. You can utilize the power cord, also known as a charging cord, that every dash cam sold today includes to connect it to your cigarette lighter charger.

Similar to the hardwire kit, the cigarette adapter receives power when you start your car and loses power when you shut it off.

However, some vehicles continue to power the cigarette lighter even after the engine is off.

Therefore, if you choose to run your dash camera off of a cigarette lighter converter, you won’t have to worry about it draining your car’s battery because it will shut off when its power runs out.

The dash cam will receive electricity even when your car is off if you have a cigarette adapter with an always-on button, which will drain your car’s battery.

External Batteries 

The ideal approach to charge the dashboard camera is using external batteries if you want to use it even when the car is parked.

It serves as an outside source of electricity.

You can plug in these extra power sources to your dashboard camera after charging them at home.

There are many different types of external batteries, but the majority of them can supply your dash camera with power for 50 hours.

dash cam

How Do You Stop the Dash Cam From Draining Your Car Battery

It depends on two fundamental factors to prevent your dash cam from draining your car battery.

  1. Whether the dash cam is correctly attached or not.
  2. And utilizing a few dash cam safety measures that are already built in.

Make careful to keep your dash cam unplugged while not in use if you are hooking it into a power outlet. As you are probably aware, the majority of contemporary automobiles have both an always-on and an automatically-switching power socket.

Just pay attention to the outlet you are using. Unplugging your dash cam is the best option if you don’t require it to be powered on. However, if you do require it to be on, option 2 is what you require.

Option 2 necessitates hardwiring your dash cam into the electrical system of your vehicle. Dash cams often come with an installation kit that contains all necessary components, including wiring and a dash cam mount.

Depending on how long it takes you to decide where you want it installed before starting, installing one could take as little as 15 minutes! Now, I’m not going to suggest this to everyone. Before installing a dash cam in this manner, it would be good to have some mechanical competence.

Do your study before hardwiring a dash cam to your vehicle. And perhaps think about getting a pro to do it for you.

Purchasing a dash cam battery is another way to prevent your dash cam from zapping your car’s battery. This will undoubtedly supply electricity from an external source, therefore it might be the best choice for you. Let’s take a closer look at this.

dash cam

What is Dash Cam Battery 

If left connected, a dash cam will draw its power from the vehicle’s battery in order to operate. The power required by your dash cam will be provided by a battery pack.

You can use a battery pack to charge the camera while you’re driving so that it’s always available in case of surpising situations.

The most popular variety of these packs is Li-ion batteries, which are pre-wired with all the connectors needed to go into your dashboard camera. Some battery packs also contain a USB port so you may use it to power or charge other portable electronics like cell phones.

When completely charged, the RunCam Battery Pack offers around an hour of recording time. If you frequently need more power when traveling, you can always have one close at hand.

dash cam


Will a dash cam drain the battery in your car? Yes, it will, but only if you install your new piece of technology without taking the necessary safety measures.

Utilize the right tools and installation kit. To install your dash cam, if required, enlist the assistance of professionals.

If your dash cam has built-in safety measures, make sure you activate them. Consequently, you won’t end up with a dead automobile battery.

Dash cams should not be plugged in while not in use to prevent battery drain. Always make sure your dashcam has a constant power source by inserting it into the cigarette lighter of the car as needed to prolong its life.

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