Can Your Dash Cam Drain Your Car Battery?

Date Time: April 11, 2024
Reading volume: 61
Author: ROYIS


Your new car battery keeps running low. You were certain you didn’t leave the headlights on. Yes, you’ve got a dash cam with parking mode enabled, and it’s hardwired to your car’s battery. The installation was done a few months ago, and you never encountered any issues until now. But could it really be the dash cam responsible for draining your car battery?

Dash Cam

It’s a valid concern that hardwiring a dashcam might consume excessive power, potentially leading to a flat battery. After all, a dash cam hardwired to stay on for parking mode recording continues to draw power from your car’s battery. If you’re in the process of hardwiring your dash cam to your car battery, we highly recommend using a dash cam or a hardwire kit equipped with a built-in voltage meter. This feature cuts out power when the battery reaches a critical point, preventing it from going completely flat.


Now, let’s assume you’re already using a dash cam with a built-in voltage meter — your battery shouldn’t be dying, correct?


Top 4 reasons why your new car battery may still end up flat:

1. Your battery connections are loose

The positive and negative terminals linked to your battery can occasionally become loose or corroded over time. It’s crucial to inspect these terminals for dirt or any signs of corrosion and clean them using a cloth or a toothbrush.

do dash cam drain battery

2. You’re taking too many short trips

Frequent short trips can shorten your car battery’s lifespan. The battery expends the most power when starting the car. If you’re consistently making brief drives and turning off your vehicle before the alternator can recharge the battery, it might be a reason why the battery keeps dying or doesn’t last long.


3. The battery is not charging while you drive

If your charging system isn’t functioning correctly, your car battery can drain even while you’re driving. A car alternator recharges the battery and powers certain electrical systems like lights, radio, air conditioning, and automatic windows. The alternator may have loose belts or worn-out tensioners that prevent it from working properly. If your alternator has a bad diode, your battery can drain. The bad alternator diode can cause the circuit to charge even when the ignition is off, leaving you with a car that won’t start in the morning.


4. It’s extremely hot or cold outside

Freezing winter weather and hot summer days may pose challenges for your vehicle’s battery. Although newer batteries are designed to resist extreme seasonal temperatures, prolonged exposure to such conditions can lead to the buildup of lead sulfate crystals, which can negatively impact battery life. Charging your battery in these environments may also take longer, particularly if you only drive short distances.

dash cam draining battery

What do to with a battery that keeps dying?

If the cause of the battery drain is not due to human error and your dash cam is not the culprit, seeking the assistance of a qualified mechanic is advisable. A mechanic can diagnose your car’s electrical problems and determine whether it’s a dead battery or another issue within the electrical system. While a car battery typically lasts about six years, its lifespan depends on how it is treated, similar to other car parts. Frequent discharge and recharge cycles can shorten the life of any battery.


Can a dash cam battery pack like the PowerCell 8 protect my car battery?

If you’ve hardwired a dash cam battery pack like the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 to your car battery, the dash cam will draw power from the battery pack, not your car battery. This setup allows the battery pack to recharge when the car is running. When the ignition is off, the dash cam relies on the battery pack for power, removing the need to draw power from the car battery. Additionally, you can easily remove the dash cam battery pack and recharge it at home using a power inverter.


Dash cam battery pack maintenance

To extend the average lifespan or cycle count of your dash cam battery pack, follow these proven tips for proper maintenance:


Keep the battery terminals clean.

Coat the terminals with a terminal spray to prevent corrosion.

Wrap the battery in insulation to prevent temperature-related damage (unless the battery pack is resistant).

Ensure the battery is properly charged.

Securely place the battery to prevent excessive vibrations.

Regularly inspect the battery for leaks, bulging, or cracks.

These practices will help optimize the performance and longevity of your dash cam battery pack.

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