Does Dash Cam Record When Car Is off? Here Is Your Answer!

Dash cams have become a staple in many car owners’ arsenal of security devices.

They’re easy to set up and most have easy-to-use apps and software, making them a good way to keep an eye on your vehicle.

But do dash cams work when the car is off? To get the answer, keep reading!

Dash Cam Recording Basics!

Dash cam fundamentals, such as their usability, might play a significant role in buying one.

The goods we sell perform their fundamental functions quickly, conveniently, and with little effort.

The dash cam’s fundamental characteristics are broken down in this article.

Auto-Start & Auto-Recording

Having a dashcam turn on automatically is the basic feature of a dashcam.

dashcam turn on automatically
Source: Youtube

Our products can be powered by the vehicle’s fuse box, cigarette socket, or dashboard battery pack but they will all start recording automatically without the need for any user intervention.

For dashcams with parking mode recording, these dash cams will automatically start recording while the vehicle is in park (or park-to-idle) position.

Loop Recording

The dash cams we carry all come with a microSD card as their default storage medium. These are relatively inexpensive and are easy to swap out if a camera runs out of space.

Most cameras allow for loop recording, which means that the oldest data will be overwritten as the newest data is saved.

footage that is currently being recorded will overwrite the oldest footage on the memory card. That’s why you need to back up your recordings regularly.

Memory Capacity

Memory capacity, as discussed earlier, is solely dependent on the microSD card that’s being used in the dash cam.

microSD card Memory Capacity
Source: bhphotovideo

Almost all dash cams in today’s market can accept up to 128GB capacity which, depending on the model, translates to 12-35 hours of recording time.

There are several reasons why dashcams have become so popular.

For one, they allow users to record footage at higher resolution and also provide additional features, such as the ability to make real-time adjustments to the angle of the camera.

Dash cams are becoming more affordable and there are more options for users to choose from.

See Also: Best Dash Cam Under 50

Reliability has been a huge factor since the beginning, but in recent years more and more users are taking into account reliability in their buying decisions.

Higher capacities of microSD cards simply don’t seem to increase reliability in a meaningful way.

Secure Attachment

Even in a small vehicle incident, the g-forces experienced by those in the vehicle can be very high. This is why having a securely attached dash cam is so important.

As a matter of fact, we recommend dash cams that are mounted to the windshield via an adhesive mount rather than a suction cup mount.

Adhesive mounts are much more secure than suction cup mounts as they allow the dash camera to be flatly mounted against the windshield, significantly decreasing the amount of vibration and general movements that the vehicle experiences when going over imperfections on the road and in car accidents.

See Also: Best Place To Mount Dashcam

Dash cams are great devices. They’re affordable and easy to use, and they help you keep an eye on your children.

However, they do have some drawbacks. Some dash cams come with mounting accessories and suction cups, but those can move or fall off the windshield. It happens to anyone. In fact, it’s happened to me.

See Also: How To Stop Dash Cam Falling Off Windscreen


The trick here is to ensure that your dash cams have a very wide field of view, as this will help with the capture of critical moments in your video.

If you are dealing with the footage of a vehicle accident, then this is even more important.

The field of view is the width of your camera’s lens so make sure that it is big enough for you to see anything.

A wide field of view is needed to give a driver an opportunity to see an incident coming from all directions.

The field of view is typically measured in degrees, and anything larger than approximately 130 degrees will start to get a bit distorted.

Anything smaller and it can become difficult to see what is coming in the sides of the car.

Audio Recording

When you are out and about in public, a digital recorder can be incredibly helpful. You can store and listen to important audio, including important details such as license plates and conversations.

A vehicle’s dashboard camera can be useful in recording events around the vehicle. If the door is open, the window is down, or people are near the car, it can capture audio.

If you’re involved in an auto accident and the other party denies they caused it, having an audio recording to prove otherwise can help your case.

How Does A Dash Cam’s Power Source Impacts Its Recording Capability?

How do you power a dashcam?
Every dash cam typically includes a 3 to the 4-meter-long power cord.

How Does A Dash Cam's Power Source Impacts Its Recording Capability?
Source: cobra

The male adaptor end of the power cord connects directly to the cigarette lighter socket in your car (now referred to as a “12V accessory socket”), while the other end fits into the Dash Cam.

Thus, there are four ways to power a dashcam:

12-volt outlet

A dashcam with a 12-volt power source requires a DC-to-DC converter. This converter allows the dashcam to use a 12-volt power source to power the camera.

Cigarette Socket Power Cable

A dashcam with a cigarette socket power cable is the basic type of dashcam. This is the least expensive option and it will provide a steady and consistent power source.

A dashcam powered by a cigarette socket power cable is the simplest type of dashcam. This is the least expensive option and it will provide a steady and consistent power source.

Dash Cam with Cable

Hardwired With A Hardwiring Cable

Dashcam units usually operate via the vehicle electrical system, converting the 13.8V to a 5V USB connector.
Dashcams can be plugged in via the cigarette lighter socket or maybe hardwired directly into the electrical system, freeing up the power outlet for other uses. It is powered by the battery

OBD-2 Cable

OBD-2 (on-board diagnostics 2) is a communication protocol that allows vehicle systems to communicate with the onboard computer.

This can be used to access the vehicle’s diagnostic system and upload and download data.

Some dashcams use the OBD-2 protocol to upload and download data to a PC, or to download data to a dashcam.

Do Dash Cams Come In Multiple Types?

Yes, there are various kinds of dash cameras. Even though they come in all different sizes and shapes, they may be divided into a few different categories.

Dashcams With A Single Lens

The most fundamental kind of dash cams is those with a single lens. Like a typical camcorder, these only record through a single camera lens.

Dashcams With A Single Lens
Source: blackvuenorthamerica

Individuals typically put cameras in their front windshield to record what is occurring in front of the automobile.

Dash Cameras With Dual Lenses

Dashcams with dual lenses are more complicated. These dashcams are capable of simultaneously recording from many camera lenses.

Typically, they use one lens that faces forward to capture what is going in front of the car and one that faces inside to capture what is happening within the vehicle.

 These are especially helpful for fleet or commercial cars because, in most cases, the owner is not the driver.

The dual-lens dash cam records in front of the car like a single-lens model while also using the input from a smaller remote camera (a camera installed in the vehicle’s back – on the rear windshield) to capture what is happening behind the vehicle as well.

Professional Dash Cameras

Professional dashcams are versions made for business use (fleet vehicles, taxi drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers, delivery trucks, etc.) and other commercial, governmental, or municipal applications.

People who want additional peace of mind from employing a gadget of a professional caliber in their vehicle are also drawn to these high-reliability systems.

How Long Does A Dash Cam Record For?

The size of your camera’s SD card capacity, the recording quality, and other factors can all affect how long a dashcam will record.

How Long Does A Dash Cam Record For?
Source: caranddriver

The high-quality recording (1080p) that you can get from a Dash Cam is usually at least an hour in length. Generally for 1080p recording the storage

  1. 8 GB – 55 minutes
  2. 16 GB – 110 minutes (1.8 hours)
  3. 32 GB – 220 minutes (3.6 hours)

Most dash cams don’t just stop recording when the memory card is full. Some have an automatic loop function.

Others require that you manually start and stop the recording process.

However, if you do happen to reach the end of your memory card, or the car’s battery dies, you’ll want to make sure that you have at least a small amount of space in your card or your camera.

A memory card that is both locked and has a self-destruct mode is the common way to go about keeping a record of your travels.

These are usually standard SD cards and can be bought pretty cheaply if you don’t want to splurge on a very large one.

Smart dash cams are growing in popularity and are becoming a standard feature on almost every new car.

Smart dash cams are designed to keep a constant eye on the road, offering both live streaming and recorded video.

The video stream is uploaded to the cloud where it is then saved and shared online or transferred to a smartphone for editing and uploading to social media.

How Can I Tell If My Dash Camera Will Work While The Car is off?

Most dash cams have a high-quality, lithium-ion battery that charges while your vehicle is running.

How Can I Tell If My Dash Camera Will Work While The Car is off?
Source: gpstechnologies

When you turn off the engine, the battery takes over and supplies your dash with power to run for as long as 72 hours for a single channel dashcam, or about 36 hours for a dashcam that records forward and back. It is generally referred to as parking mode.

How to Make Sure Your Dash Cam Records When You Turn Off the Car?

A dashcam with parking modes will operate at a low power mode to conserve energy while your car is parked.

The length of time a dashcam will remain in this mode depends on many factors, including the size of the car’s battery, the external temperature, and the energy-saving capabilities of the device.

The ability to conserve power is a crucial factor when using a dash cam because the device is supposed to operate even if there is no power available.

Therefore, we should check to make sure the device can operate in low power modes.

Some dashcams have a sensor that draws very little power from the battery and records when they detect a motion on any object approaching the field of view. It is called intelligent parking mode.

To Sum It Up!

Dashcams are a great addition to your vehicle, especially if you want to monitor your surroundings when you’re driving.

It is like an extra tier of security added to your car, it helps provide proof in case you’re involved in an accident

A dashcam can help you to document and protect your car in cases like an accident, theft, or even something else. It has the feature to even record when the car is turned off.

Most modern dashcams have alternate power sources that can draw power from multiple sources if required and are smart enough to replenish that source while the engine is turned on.

Do you have any other questions about dashcams? Let us know in the comments below.

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