Does a Dash Cam Need to Be Plugged in All the Time?

Dash cam needs to be plugged in if you want to keep getting recording around the clock due to the risk theft or vandalism ,

so if your car is parked at that kind of a surrounding then keeping your dash cam plugged in so as that it functions well with appropriate power source will work good

if that is not your case of then you do not need to keep your dash cam ON as keeping it ON for extended period of time can lead to draining of car’s battery so it is better to unplug the dash cam as this can help in improving car’s battery life by preventing draining of battery.

Are there any alternative to unplugging

  • You can use the parking mode feature if your dash cam has that feature, as this feature records footages when triggered by an impact while your car is being parked at a place.
  • There is another method to prevent battery draining which is to hardwire your dash cam to car’s battery this can be done with the help of a professional to avoid to type of technical discrepancies.

Does a hardwired dash cam drain car battery?

If you are hardwiring your dash cam wire to be working ON for the parking mode will definitely draw power from your car’s battery which when used for extended period of time can drain the battery.

So, what is recommended as to prevent battery draining as result of being put in parking mode for a longer period of time is to install a dash cam or hardwire kit that comes with built in voltage meter which cuts off the power when the battery drops to certain level.  

These hardwired dash cams can also drain battery if they are not installed properly or at the cost of leaving it on when the car’s ignition is OFF at this scenario they hardwired dash cams can drain battery. Apart from this hardwiring the dash cam can eliminate the need of constantly charging the batteries or replacing the batteries as well.

How much does a dashcam drain battery?

The dash cam can drain battery about 0.3 to 0.5 Ah and on a day, it can consume about 7.2 Ah to 12 Ah.

How do I keep my dash cam from draining my car battery?

There are definite steps to keep your dash cam away from draining battery and these steps include:

  • Purchase good quality dash cam that is battery powered that comes with lower consumption.
  • Make sure to install a dash cam that comes with built in voltage meter that shuts off the battery when the battery when it drops to certain level.
  • By using the hardwiring kit as well as the dash cam’s setting keep the dash cam come to OFF automatically when the car’s ignition is OFF.
  • Make sure to keep a battery monitor to keep a thorough check on the battery’s voltage level.

Can I leave my dash cam plugged into my cigarette lighter?

This set up of plugging the dash cam into cigarette lighter is not recommended as the camera is not given any type of guidance on the vehicle’s battery voltage ,

so at the cost any type of pre existing stress on the car before it is being turned can lead to chaotic scenario of drawing power by the dash cam from the car battery from a level of not safe to the battery life, which can induce the chance of wear and tear along with battery draining.

Does dash cam work when engine is off?

The dash cam to be working when the engine is OFF is not a common feature to most dash cam this feature is availed on the professional dash cams that carries the feature of parking mode which does the surveillance of your car when parked at place ,at the state of where the ignition of your car is OFF.

Those dash cams that comes with this feature comes with WI-FI connectivity which enables you too see live footages of what is happening in your car’s surrounding.

Summing it up

The dash cam needs to be plugged in only at the Cost of getting round the clock footage so as to monitor your car in the area of parking at the threat of theft or vandalism if you need is not this then plugging it in all time can lead to battery draining.

For this particular need you can use parking mode feature in professional dash cam as well.

There are steps to avoid your car’s battery draining which includes getting dash cam that comes with built in voltage meter, along with that you can purchase high quality battery powered dash cams which have lower power consumption rate, there other methods discussed above that will guide you on preventing battery draining.


  • Sattam Malick (Owner)

    I’m thrilled to introduce you to a world of automobiles that has fueled my fascination. As an Automobile Enthusiast and a Qualified Automobile Engineer, I’ve spent years immersed in the intricacies of bikes cars and other vehicles, from their design and mechanics to the latest innovations that drive the automotive industry forward. Now, with Rev Up Motor