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Best Dash Cams for High Heat Environments - - BlackboxMyCar

Best Dash Cams for High Heat Environments

Summer’s here, and as the mercury rises, so does the risk of your dash cam melting. While it’s hot outside, let’s say when temperatures range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172. The trapped heat warms the air inside the car, and since the car is relatively air-tight, the warm air stays inside like one big, portable oven. So yes, it’s pretty dangerous not only for your gadgets, but for the passengers as well. Now, what more if you’re living in desert areas, or states like Arizona and Florida?

Heat is a killer for tech, but thanks to innovation, modern dash cams began adding features that help with heat resistance. So, in this blog, we will share with you our top recommended dash cam models while discussing the main features that make them the coolest, literally.


Why does your dash cam need to be heat resistant?

Choosing a dash cam that can withstand the heat has several advantages. First off, you're looking at a longer lifespan and durability. If your dash cam is heat or temperature resistant, it will not turn off on you in the middle of the summer or freeze up in the dead of winter. So, you maximize its recording benefits and it keeps your journey protected, whatever weather.

While heat can be a concern in the short term for recording footage, the primary concern when it comes to weather is longevity. Repeated exposure to extreme temperatures can result in the camera giving out internally, the internal circuitry melting or otherwise, resulting in a camera that does not power.

What makes the dash cam heat resistant?

We have tested hundreds of dash cams, and not all of them are heat resistant, especially those built with lithium ion batteries and other dash cams you see on Amazon. Some of them get real hot in just a span of minutes, which reminds us of our testing on how smartphones can’t be used as dash cams.

Based on our observations, there are 4 things that make a dash cam heat resistant – design, battery type, temperature range, and mounting position.

Design

Just like any other device, dash cameras will naturally generate some heat when in use, and they will also absorb some of the heat from the sun. This is why appropriate cooling vents are critical in their form factor, as they aid in regulating the temperature of the cam to a safe level, safeguarding the delicate internal components.

Some dash cams even come with cooling mechanisms and fan systems, like mini air conditioners for your device. Among the dash cams we tested, we noticed that the Thinkware U3000 has considered this thoroughly. Compared to other dash cams, the Thinkware U3000 is designed with a crossed ventilation grill design for better cooling, and we find this super efficient in heat resistance.

Units that emphasize very compact and discrete designs generally are lacking in proper ventilation, and the space for the camera to really breathe. Heat resistance and compact design? It’s a difficult balancing act.

Battery Type

Dash cams are powered by either lithium-ion batteries, or the more advanced supercapacitors.

When compared, lithium-ion batteries deliver poor results when it comes to charging and discharging speeds, and are unsafe for warmer temperatures. There are instances where the lithium-ion battery dash cam itself overheats, to the point where it started emitting smoke and potentially sparking fire inside the car. If you have a portable fire extinguisher [embed Element once done], this can easily be resolved. But for some cases, this could be the start of a serious fire emergency on the road. Overheating, leakage, and possible explosions? You’re a step closer to experiencing these if your dash cam is still lithium-ion battery-operated.

On the other hand, supercapacitors are extremely safer to use. They do not contain highly flammable liquid combinations, so they’re less likely to explode and overheat. Moreover, they can cycle hundreds of thousands of times, whereas batteries fail after a few hundred of charging and discharging cycles. Proudly, all the dash cams available in BlackboxMyCar such as VIOFO, BlackVue, and Thinkware are already equipped with supercapacitors, so when you choose any of them, you’re making a safer choice.

Temperature Range

Another consideration when choosing a dash cam is its temperature range. Dash cams are intended to perform effectively within particular temperature ranges. When used within their respective ranges, the dash cam performs as expected, offering quality video capture, dependable operation, and precise sensor readings.

If your dash cam can cover ranges like -20°C - 65°C (-4°F - 149°F) like the VIOFO A229, then it’s a great performing dash cam for both heat and cold. When most reliable dash cameras exit their respective temperature ranges, they will shut down and stop recording to preserve their system integrity. It will return to standard operation once the unit returns to normal temperatures. If temperatures exceed the temperature range too drastically or for too long, permanent damage to the unit is possible, such as internal components melting, rendering the camera inoperable.

Mounting Position

This one is more about how you mount the camera, than it is about the dash cam itself. Because it's preferable to keep them out of direct sunlight, we recommend installing your dash cam near the top windshield. With most windshields, the top portion is naturally tinted to protect the driver's vision, in what is known as a sun visor, ideal for reducing heat absorption. Beyond that, many vehicles have a black dot-matrix on the windshield, this is an ideal mounting location. This keeps the camera out of direct sunlight, preventing the mount from directly absorbing that heat.

For this, what we recommend is the BlackVue DR770X Box. This dash cam is built differently as it includes small front, rear, and interior cameras that also come with a Box main unit. The Box carries the dash cam's processor, power cable, and memory card, and can safely be stored under the seat or in the glove compartment. In this way, it’s much cooler than having a dash cam installed on the windshield. This is also highly recommended for RVs who typically travel from state-to-state.

And let's not forget about the smart use of heat-resistant adhesives and mounts like the Thinkware Heat Blocking Film. Available with the Thinkware U3000 and Thinkware Q1000, this sits between the windshield and your camera’s adhesive, preventing the adhesive from absorbing all that heat and falling off, while dissipating the heat through your windshield. It’s applied a lot like VIOFO’s static sticker, keeping your dash cam firmly in place without risking fiery temperatures.

Which dash cam is the best for beating the heat?

For us, the Thinkware U3000 is the coolest dash cam you’ll ever meet, especially when it comes to beating the heat. While its predecessor, the Thinkware U1000 has reigned as the most heat-resistant dash cam, the Thinkware U3000 has finally outperformed it with its new features.

Earlier, we mentioned that the Thinkware U3000 has new cross-grill ventilation that assists in improving the airflow and cooling of the unit. It also comes with heat-blocking film to dissipate direct sunlight. But aside from these physical upgrades, the Thinkware U3000 also included internal heat-resistant features such as the Smart Parking Mode. This one is designed to protect your vehicle and during high-heat situations - reminds us of that AI Heat Monitoring feature in the FineVu GX1000 that we thought was extremely innovative and useful.

So, if the temperature inside your car becomes too high or too low during Parking mode, the U3000 will automatically switch to a low-power mode. If the detected temperature is too high, thermal sensors will activate a self-protection system, causing the device to shut down and proclaim "Shutting down due to Thermal Protection." It will only record incidents triggered by impacts until the temperature is safe to resume Motion Detection or Timelapse Parking mode.

An honourable mention goes to the BlackVue DR770X Box, due to its unique head unit, which can be kept in a more shaded environment where it isn’t directly absorbing heat from the sun. Beyond that, the head unit of the Box provides plenty of extra space and ventilation for cooling the unit, which is a large contrast to the very tight and compact design of other BlackVue models. The DR770X Box boasts a temperature range of -20°C - 80°C (-4°F - 176°F).

Thinkware U3000 - the Chillest, Coolest Dash Cam for the Heat

Thinkware has always been top of the game when it comes to heat resistance, but showing that their units are smart enough to maneuver around the temperature really shows how much they care. If you want the best dash cam for the heat, for parking mode, and for video resolution, the coolest is the Thinkware U3000, available in Exclusive Signature Bundles for maximum dash cam protection. Shop yours now, only here at BlackboxMyCar!

 

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