Will A Dash Cam Drain My Battery? (Top 7 Tips & Answer)

Dash cams are becoming an increasingly popular option for capturing your driving experience. But as these devices become more and more popular, it’s important to understand how much power they use and how that might affect your battery.

A dash cam is an invaluable tool when it comes to recording your driving experience, but how much power does it use? And what impact does that have on your battery?

In this article, we’ll look at how much power a dash cam drains from your battery, and how to reduce the impact of that drain.

Do Dash Cams Drain Your Battery?

Yes, dash cameras do reduce battery life. In short, there are easy techniques to avoid the possibility that a dash camera can drain your car’s battery while parked.

Do Dash Cams Drain Your Battery?
Source: https://dashcam.guru

You can get a dashboard camera with a built-in voltage monitoring system, a Parking Mode hardwiring kit, or a specialized battery pack.

Dash cams are designed to record your journey, and that means they need power to operate, just like any other device.

The amount of power a dash cam uses will vary from model to model. But, in general, dash cams continuously use power from your car’s battery, whether you have your car turned on or not.

A car battery can lose between 5-10% of its charge every day. So, even if you have your dash cam turned off, the battery will still drain.

What Causes A Dashcam To Drain Your Battery?

There are three primary reasons why the dashcam video will drain the battery:

What Causes A Dashcam To Drain Your Battery?
Source: innovateteesvalley

Reason 1.

When you turn on your automobile, dashcams automatically start recording, which uses battery power. If your automobile is running, this won’t be a big deal. However, you risk depleting your battery if you turn your key to the “ON” or “ACC” position.

Reason 2.

Dashcams operate with the light on, which reduces battery life. Once again, if your car is running and getting electricity from the alternator, this is fine. However, there is a chance that your car battery will die if you are only using battery power.

Reason 3.

A third factor is that some vehicles need to be constantly connected to their GPS, which will cause your batteries to discharge considerably quicker than they would without a dashcam.

Where Do Dash Cams Get Power From?

Where do Dash Cams get Power from?
Source: autoguru

The most latest dash cam comes with built-in rechargeable batteries and some dash cams get power from your car’s battery by plugging into your vehicle’s 12-volt socket, the same socket used to power your car’s cigarette lighter.

Dash cams have typically been powered by the cigarette lighter in your car. As dash cameras have developed, you can now purchase them with a USB adaptor in place of the built-in battery, and some even do so.

Another option is to have a dash cam professionally installed and connected to your vehicle’s electrical system.

How To Reduce The Impact Of Dash Cam On Battery Life – 7 Tips

There are several ways to keep your dash cam from draining your power, while still allowing you to use it every time you get behind the wheel. Consider implementing a few of these tips to keep your dash cam running smoothly.

1. Select a Dash Cam that is Energy Efficient

Select a Dash Cam that is Energy Efficient
Sourced: nytimes

To reduce the drain on your car battery, you should choose a dash cam that is energy efficient. With so many dash cams on the market, the first step is to do your research and find the one that best suits your needs.

2. Choose a Dash Cam with Built-in Battery

If you choose a dash cam with a built-in battery, you will reduce the drain on your car battery. These dash cams also have the added benefit of being able to record while your car is off.

That said, there are some drawbacks to dash cams with built-in batteries. The first is that they can be quite expensive.

The second is that they are often bulky, which may make them difficult to install in some cars.

3. Use a Hard-Wired Dash Cam

If you want to power your dash cam with your car battery, you should use a hard-wired dash cam. Hard-wired dash cams have a direct connection to your car’s electrical system.

This means that power will not leak out and you will not have to worry about your car battery being drained.

4. Go for a Low-Resolution Dash Cam

Go for a Low-Resolution Dash Cam
Source: engadget

If you prefer a dash cam with high resolution, you will have to compromise your car’s battery life. The higher the resolution of your dash cam, the more energy it will consume.

If you are just installing a dash cam to record accidents and not worried about the quality of video then choose the device with low resolution as it will be cheap as well as energy-efficient.

5. Choose a Dash Cam with a Parking Mode

A dash cam with a parking mode ensures that the video is recorded in the event of a motion, collision, or movement. It also makes it possible for you to monitor your car if it is parked in a public location.

6. Turn Off the Screen Display

By default, your dash cam will probably have a screen display. The screen will use a lot of power, so you should turn it off.

7. Set up the Motion Detection

Motion detection means your dash cam won’t record unless it detects a moving object (like a car or person)

Is It Safe To Leave My Dashcam Powered By A Cigarette Lighter?

Is It Safe To Leave My Dashcam Powered By A Cigarette Lighter?
Source: bhphotovideo

The quick response is, “Yes,” you can. You still have a chance of exhausting your battery, though. One of my friends left his gadget plugged in for 3 days, and his car started without any problems.

Three days was not a major concern because the power of a powered-down dashcam is quite low.

However, it’s usually preferable to unplug all of your electronics, including your dashcam, if you plan to store your car for any time.

Because soon your battery will be depleted by this. Additionally, you will encounter the uncomfortable situation of having a dead battery.


The following are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Use the right tools and installation kit.
  • To install your dashcam, enlist the assistance of professionals if necessary.
  • If your dashcam has built-in safety measures, be sure to activate them.
  • Consequently, you won’t end up with a dead automobile battery.
  • Dashcams should not be plugged in a while not in use to prevent battery drain.
  • Always ensure your dashcam has a constant power source by inserting it into the cigarette lighter of the car as needed to prolong its life.

What Impact Does Dash Cam Have On The Battery Life Of A Vehicle?

What Impact does Dash Cam have on the battery life of a vehicle?
Source: cnn

The fact that dash cams often use relatively little power is the main reason you shouldn’t be worried about your battery dying.

A recent article by Consumer Reports, entitled “Dash Cams”, claims that dash cams, or any type of recording device, can reduce the battery life of a vehicle by as much as 50%.

If you want to keep your car running as long as possible, you need to be aware of this problem, and avoid using a dash cam too much or unnecessary.

When it comes to the power consumed by dash cams, the following must be taken into account:

The type of dash cam – the more powerful the camera, the more battery is consumed. You need a dash cam that’s not too power-hungry to make sure it doesn’t drain your vehicle’s battery.

The type of vehicle – some vehicles have bigger and better batteries than others, which means that they can actually handle a dash cam better. Also, the newer the model, the better the battery experience.

However, it is important to remember that the amount of power used by a dash cam is really low, relatively speaking. Even when a dash cam uses the maximum amount of power (which only occurs when a video is being recorded)

The length of the video shot – the longer you record, the more power is consumed by the dash cam. Keep recordings short in order to save power.

How Much Power Does A Dash Cam Use: Power Consumption

How Much Power Does a Dash Cam Use: Power Consumption
Source: nytimes

A pair of 2-channel (front and back) dash cams typically uses 3W power. While dash cams do consume some power, it’s nothing drastic. Dash cams typically consume 1 – 2 watts of power in standby mode, which is the same as a night light.

To make matters worse, dash cams draw their power from a 12 V socket, which is directly connected to the car battery. They have a small load, so they won’t drain your car’s battery much.

The amount of power a dash cam uses depends on the model you have. The dash cam’s power consumption is measured in watts.

The main factors that determine your dash cam’s power consumption include the following:

  • Image Sensor (larger image sensor = more power)
  • Processor Speed
  • Resolution (higher resolution = more power)
  • Screen (LCD screen = more power)
  • Frames Per Second (higher frames per second = more power)
  • GPS Built-In (GPS = more power)
  • Night View
  • Lens Type (fisheye lens = more power)

Does Hardwiring Dash Cam Drain The Battery?

Does Hardwiring Dash Cam Drain The Battery?
Source: rac

By hardwiring, you may use your dash cam even while the engine is off without being concerned about the battery dying.

The basic objective of a hardwire kit is to continuously power a dash cam without using up the car’s battery. A tool called a hardwire kit is necessary for hardwiring.

It is important to note that hardwiring your dash cam does not necessarily impact your vehicle’s battery.

The battery will only be drained if your vehicle is powered on and running, so speaking generally, you will only drain the battery of your vehicle if you are driving.

Can You Leave The Dash Cam Plugged In?

The simple answer to this question is “yes”. You can leave a dash cam plugged into your car when you’re not using it. It will gradually drain the battery, so you should be mindful of it. Your battery can support a dashcam’s 6–10 Watt usage for several tens of hours.

However, this could actually be quite a bad idea, as dash cams are notorious for draining your battery when you leave them running for long periods of time.

To save your battery, you should unplug the dash cam when it’s not in use and just plug it in when you need it.

Final Thoughts!

The amount of power a dash cam uses from your car battery can vary greatly depending on the model and settings, but generally speaking, it will drain your battery very little if you use it smartly.

We hope now you understand how much power a dash cam uses and how to use it to your advantage. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

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