Does Dash Cam Work When Car Is Off?

VehicleSprout
VehicleSprout
6 Min Read
Does my dash cam work when the car is off

No, a dash cam is powered by a 12V DC supply within the car. And that means when your vehicle turns off, the power supply to the dash cam is also terminated at that very moment.

Resultantly, your dash cam will turn off.

But what happens when you need the aid of the dash cam while you’re away from the vehicle? 

Does the dash cam become useless in such instances?

The good news is that the dash cam can still be functional regardless of whether turning off the engine. In such cases, you can, fortunately, use your dash cam as a surveillance camera and have all the video footage recorded while you’re away.

Most high-end dash cams feature a parking mode or surveillance function that allows the dash cam to record even when the car is turned off.

Do dash cams record all the time?

Dash cams usually have a continuous recording feature that allows them to record all the time your engine is running.

Whenever the dash cam runs out of memory, it starts overwriting on the oldest recordings so that you don’t lose recent footage. 

If you want your dash cam to remain functional even after the engine is turned off, try parking surveillance mode that will record every time it detects motion around your car.

Do dash cams turn on automatically?

Yes, dash cams do turn on automatically whenever a car engine is turned on. Dash cams are linked to the ignition switch of a car.

Therefore, they have turned on/off automatically each time a car’s engine goes on or off.

There’s no need to turn on the dash cam as long as it’s connected to a power outlet, usually a cigarette lighter in a car.

Read More: Best Dash Cam For Hot Climate

What is parking surveillance mode on a dash cam?

A parking mode or parking surveillance feature is found in most high-end dash cams that allow the dash cam to record even if your car engine has been turned off. 

A dash cam that supports parking mode starts recording whenever it senses motion inside or around your car or impacts, as in a hit-and-run driver, incidents, or any accidents in general.

Now the question is if the parking mode activates automatically or not.

Some dash cams support automatic activation of the parking mode. They do so by a specialized G sensor that detects whenever your car has been motionless for a while. The parking mode is then activated. 

The dash cam keeps track of everything around your vehicle in standby mode while only recording when the car experiences a sudden impact or motion. 

Contrary to that, there are dash cams that do not support automatic activation of the parking surveillance, and you’ll need to turn it on/off every time you leave/enter the car.

Read More: Best Dash Cam For Rideshare Drivers

What is the function of parking mode on a dash cam?

This parking mode has been designed to save the dash cam’s memory.

Moreover, it also saves your car’s battery, which would otherwise be entirely drained if you leave the dash cam or engine running. 

Parking surveillance allows you to access footage of any malicious activity happening around your car while you’re away.

It is important to note that even though a parking mode minimizes power consumption, it cannot function without a power supply. 

To make use of parking surveillance of a dash cam, you’ll need to hardwire your dash cam using a hardwire kit.

Alternatively, you can also use an external battery pack to have your dash cam functional at all times. 

Does a dash cam drain your car’s battery?

A dash cam does not drain a car’s battery as long as it is installed in a vehicle driven regularly and houses a healthy battery.

Dash cams utilize negligible power, so you don’t need to worry about having your battery drained. 

And even if the dash cam is hardwired to the battery (i.e., it draws continuous power from the battery even when the engine is turned off), it will not cause drainage as long as it functions on parking surveillance.

Read More: How to charge a car battery using home electricity

How long does footage stay on a dash cam?

It varies according to the memory available on the SD card, the picture resolution, and the quality.

The footage can stay on a dash cam anywhere between 4 hours to 24 hours.

Once the SD card runs out of memory, the dash cam starts recording on top of the oldest footage. 

Read More: Best Dash Cam For Truckers

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