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Is Your Dash Cam Killing Your New Car Battery?

Is Your Dash Cam Killing Your New Car Battery?

Your new car battery keeps dying. You were sure you didn't leave the headlights on. Yes, you have a dash cam with parking mode enabled, but it is hardwired to your car's battery, and the installation was done a few months ago, and you've never had any problems until now. Could it really be the dash cam that's killing your car battery?

Many people are rightly concerned that hardwiring a dashcam will draw too much power and give them a flat battery - after all, a dash cam hardwired to remain on for parking mode recording will continue to draw on your car's battery. If you are hardwiring your dash cam to your car battery, we strongly recommend using a dash cam or a hardwire kit with a built-in voltage meter that cuts out when the battery reaches a critical point to prevent it from going flat.

But say, you're already using a dash cam with a built-in voltage meter - your battery shouldn't die, right?

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

1. Your battery connections are loose

The positive and negative terminals connected to your battery can sometimes jostle loose over time. These terminals may also become corroded. They should be checked for dirt or signs of corrosion and cleaned using a cloth or a toothbrush.

2. You're taking too many short trips

Frequent short trips can shorten your car battery's lifespan. The battery puts out the most power when starting the car. If you're frequently going on short drives, you're shutting off your vehicle before the alternator has a chance to recharge your battery - this could be why the battery continues dying or doesn't seem to last long.

3. The battery is not charging while you drive

If your charging system isn't working properly, 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 keep 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, and you end up in the morning with a car that won't start.

4. It's extremely hot or cold outside

Freezing winter weather and hot summer days may cause problems for your vehicle's battery. While newer batteries tend to resist extreme seasonal temperatures, extreme temperatures can cause lead sulfate crystals to build up. If the car is left in such conditions for too long, the sulfate buildup can adversely affect battery life. It may also take a long time for your battery to charge in these environments, especially if you only drive short distances.

What do to with a battery that keeps dying?

Given that the cause of the battery drain is not human error, nor is it caused by your dash cam, you will need the assistance of a qualified mechanic who can diagnose your car's electrical problems and determine if it's a dead battery or something else in the electrical system. ​​A car battery should last about six years, but that all depends on how you treat it like most car parts. Multiple discharge/recharge cycles shorten any battery's life.

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

Your dash cam will draw power from the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 battery pack instead of your car battery, even if you have hardwired the battery pack to your car battery.

By hardwiring a dash cam battery pack to your car battery, you essentially provide the battery pack a means to recharge. The battery pack is designed only to draw power when you're driving the car. When the ignition is off, the dash cam relies solely on the battery pack for power, eliminating the need to draw power from the car battery completely. Plus, you can always take the dash cam battery pack out and recharge it at home - all you need is a power inverter.

Dash cam battery pack maintenance

By taking proper care of your dash cam battery pack, you can increase its average lifespan or the cycle count (number of charge-discharge cycles). Here are some proven tips to help you better maintain your dashcam battery pack:

  • Keep the battery terminals clean
  • Coat the terminals with a terminal spray to protect them from corrosion
  • Wrap the battery in some insulation to prevent temperature damages (unless your battery pack is resistant)
  • Keep the battery properly charged
  • Place the battery in a secured space to avoid excessive vibrations
  • Regularly examine your battery for any leaks, bulging, or cracks
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