The dashboard camera or the dash cam is one of the most useful devices you can have on your car because it provides you a way of recording what your car is seeing in case you find yourself in an accident or you get apprehended for a suspected road violation.
But, as useful as your dash cam maybe, you might be wondering if this is something you could just leave turned on indefinitely.
So, can you leave your dash cam on overnight?
No, there are good reasons why you shouldn’t leave your dash cam on overnight. That’s because of how the dash cam can easily eat your battery power if you leave it overnight. On top of that, there is also a good chance that it could overwrite the previous footage saved in your dash cam’s storage unit.
You probably think that, for the sake of keeping your car secure overnight, you should leave the dash cam on.
While that should be a good idea, there are more harms done when you do leave your dash cam on all night.
As such, we will discuss why it might not be the best choice to leave your dash cam on overnight.
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Should I remove my dash cam at night?
There are plenty of different devices that vehicles nowadays use. The dashboard camera or the dash cam is one of those amazing devices that are capable of recording what is happening in front or even behind the car.
So, when you are driving, your dash cam is the device that you can trust to record what is happening in front or behind your vehicle as this can be proof of a possible road violation or evidence that could dispel any liability on your part in case something happens on the road.
That said, as useful as the dash cam may be on the road, it can also be useful when your car is parked so that you can tell whether or not someone might want to do something to your vehicle while you are away.
But should you remove your dash cam at night or should you just leave it on?
There are some dash cams that have a parking mode feature that will allow them to continue to use your car’s battery even when the engine is turned off and your car is parked.
This will allow the dash cam to keep on recording. As such, in most cases, this might be a good idea especially if you want to keep your car safe because of how the dash cam can serve as the proof that you want in case someone wants to try to steal something in your car or in your home.
Then again, there are more harms done if you leave your dash cam on overnight.
One such harm is the fact that it can actually end up overwriting some of the more important footage saved in its internal storage.
Dash cameras are not perfect because they still have their limits as far as the footage they can save is concerned.
So, if your dash cam continues to record overnight, the new footage may take the place of old footage, and that can be harmful to you because there might be something important in the old footage.
Another thing you need to understand here is that your dash cam might attract unwanted attention overnight especially if you leave your car parked on the street.
That means that, if you live in a dangerous neighborhood, someone might try to steal the dash cam from your car if they notice that you left the dash cam inside the vehicle.
Of course, if someone commits a crime within the vicinity of your car and they notice that your car has a dashcam, they might find a way to cover their tracks to the expense of your vehicle.
Can a dash cam record all night?
All that said, the one thing you need to understand is that, yes, a dash cam can theoretically record all night.
However, we would like to stress the theoretical part of the conversation here because of the very fact that there are some dash cams that may or may not record all night due to one single feature—motion detection.
Most of the time, when dash cams are placed in parking mode and are left overnight, they will only record footage when the sensors on the cams pick up motion such as when someone is moving in front or behind the car.
As such, if there is constant motion around your car, your cam might end up recording all night long.
Then again, if there is no motion all night, then your dash cam won’t even record single footage.
This mode can be a good way of conserving battery power and storage. However, it can also be harmful to the extent that the dash cam might end up recording all night if you live in a busy street with plenty of constant motion.
Does dash cam work when the engine is off?
Going back to what we said about dashcams and parking mode, there are some of them that are not capable of working when the engine is off specifically because they lack parking mode. What that means is that the moment the engine is turned off, their access to the car’s battery is cut off.
So, without access to the car’s battery, dash cams without parking mode won’t work when the engine is off.
They essentially become useless if you leave them in the car all night long but that shouldn’t be a problem if you keep your car in a safe garage in your house.
The problem arises if you leave your dash cam in your car and you parked it on the street.
This is due to how it could possibly attract unwanted attention from people passing by as they could easily be tempted to try to steal the dash cam or even destroy it when they want to cover their tracks.
Will leaving a dash cam on all night drain my battery?
Finally, in relation to leaving a dash cam on all night, there is a good chance that it can end up draining your car’s battery if and only if it doesn’t have battery protection.
Some dash cams that may have parking mode that will allow them to operate when the car is turned off don’t have motion detection. That means that they could easily drain the car’s battery when left turned on overnight as they will continue to record the entire evening.
Then again, even if your dash cam does have motion detection, that doesn’t always mean that it won’t drain your car’s battery overnight.
Remember that motion detection works when there is something moving in front or behind the car. So, when the dash cam picks up something and there is constant movement around your car all night long especially if you live in a busy street, there is a chance that your dash cam would end up draining your car’s battery.
As such, for all those reasons stated above, it is still best to keep your dash cam turned off overnight. If possible, you can remove it or store it in the glove compartment all night long especially if you park it on the street.