Dash cams, nowadays, are very common and you may see some amazing videos by different users while they’re driving. A video captured by a dash cam might be a crucial evidence to protect you in a bad accident or from an insurance fraud. Sometimes, you will also be lucky to capture a rare footage on your dash cam which can be viral on social media channels.
These dash cams are supposed to capture and store live recordings while you were driving or were parked up. But, what if it drains out your car’s battery? To answer this question yourself, start by taking things down to the basics. Once you purchased a dash cam that has a parking mode option that requires you to hardwire the DVR into your vehicle, you would probably consider a battery discharge prevention device.
How does a typical dash cam works?
A typical dash cam works like this- you plug the power adaptor into your car accessory socket. When you start your car engine, the power is supplied to the accessory socket which then turns on the dash cam that automatically starts recording. While when you park up and turn your car engine off, the power gets disconnected from the accessory socket and the dash cam stops recording.
Ok, that’s all well and good. But what if you wanted to record what was going on while your engine was turned off or while your car was parked, for example. Well, you might have a car that’s going to continue its power to the accessory socket, and if you have, then the dash cam wouldn’t have stopped recording. When you turn the engine off, it would just keep recording continuously.
However, if you don’t have a continuously powered accessory socket, you could always put in something like a hardwire kit, which goes into your fuse box and powers the dash cam continuously if you put it on to the right fuse in the fuse box. But then again, you might be concerned that continuously powering your dash cam would eventually run down your car battery. Probably, you don’t know how likely that is to happen, but it depends on how much you drive your car and how long you leave the dash cam running while your car’s parked up. So, if you were concerned about that, you can get a battery discharge prevention device.
What is a battery discharge prevention device?
Battery discharge prevention device, which goes by different names like uninterrupted power cable and power magic, is connected to your dash cam’s power supply and hardwired into your vehicle. By what its name implies, it’s a device that can prevent the discharge of the vehicle battery by blocking power to the dash cam if the voltage drops below a configured value or if the configured time has passed.
There are different battery discharge devices out in the market today. What one of those model of battery discharge devices does is monitor the battery in the car, and if the battery in the car is getting too low, it will stop supplying power to the dash cam. Therefore, preventing your car battery from going flat.
Another option is a battery which goes between your car power supply and the dash cam. It charges up a lot quicker than the battery in your vehicle and it can power a dash cam for a long time after just a short amount of driving. For example, if you drive for fifteen minutes, it will charge the battery up enough to power a single dash cam for seven hours.
Is it essential?
Most people would argue that a battery discharge prevention device is essential. However, it actually depends on two factors. The first one is how often you drive your vehicle. Do you drive it daily? A typical dash cam will not drain enough power from an average car battery for a problem to occur. In fact, many people have left their vehicles for two or more days in parking mode without any problems with battery discharge.
The second one is considering your car battery’s condition. The dash cam will unlikely drain the battery for numerous days if it is a newer battery in good condition. On the other hand, having a battery that is not in good condition will likely have the need to be replaced anyway. If that’s the case- that your battery is not in good condition, a battery discharge prevention device will just delay the unavoidable replacement for a few weeks.
But, provided the relatively low cost of a battery prevention device, many people would rather not face this battery discharge risk. Generally, it’s a reasonable device to consider but not a hundred percent essential depending on your driving behavior and battery condition.
What’s a good setting for a battery discharge prevention device?
Since there is a risk that your dash cam will eventually drain your battery if you leave it running too long, some dash cam manufacturers offer battery discharge prevention devices. These devices ensure that power to your dash cam will be cut off after a specified amount of time, or if your battery’s voltage drops below a specific threshold.
A good setting for a discharge prevention device would be to cut off power if the battery’s voltage drops below twelve voltages, and additionally set a timeout of one to two days. The reason why you need a timer is that at twelve voltages, your battery will already be partially depleted. While it may not be a huge problem itself, you should not let it happen too often, because it could significantly reduce your battery’s overall life span.
Can a battery discharge prevention device work with any dash cam?
Most people that use dash cams are happy with them just recording while their driving. They are not interested in recording while their car’s parked. But those people tend to use a dash cam with motion detection. The benefit to using motion detection is that the dash cam will not record when you’re in an area with no activity or movement.
Please note that any battery discharge prevention device will work with any dash cam. The idea of using this device is, of course, it enables you to record continuously on your dash cam, whether you’re driving or whether you’re parked up. Now, you might want hours and hours of overnight footage of your vehicle when it’s in the garage. So perhaps, you’ve got a dash cam with motion activation mode and then it will only record when things are moving in front of your car, as long as you put it into that mode, of course.
Wrapping it up…
To summarize, a dash cam in itself is an independent device and can run on its own. However, to ensure that your dash cam and the videos that it records are safe, a battery discharge prevention device is one of the most essential things that you must have. With your dash cam running in parking mode, it draws power form the battery of your car. Now, a dash cam won’t need a lot of power to run and your car battery can last for a few days. But if you happen to leave a dash cam in parking mode for a longer period of time, it’s definite that your car battery is going to be dead.
A battery discharge prevention device will turn off the power supply to dash cam if the voltage of the battery drops below a specific level such as twelve voltages, or after a specified amount of time such as three days.