We want to address a lot of the common questions about dash cams. There can be lots of confusion when playing with new technology. How does it work? Do I have to do anything to it? Where does the power come from? Will it record while parked? So many questions and we are going to take some time to answer some of them.
Do Wi-Fi Enable Dash Cams Work With My Home Wi-Fi?
Often people get confused with home wi-fi cameras. Your home wi-fi cameras hook up to your home wireless network and hence do not move. Automobiles have wheels and an engine and move from point A to point B and leave any range of your home wi-fi. It may sound silly, but it can be confusing when you see wi-fi enable on a dash camera. No, it will not work on your home wi-fi.
The wi-fi enable dash cams create a wi-fi hotspot for you to pair your phone directly to it. These dash cameras will have an app you can download for Android or Apple. There will be a pairing process between your phone and the camera. In turn you can use your phone via the app to download videos, and change settings. Click Here for examples on the pairing process with Android or Iphone.
Where do you install the dash camera?
I am asked this quite often, and the best answer is, it depends on the vehicle. Every vehicle is different, and some vehicles have very big housings in the centre of your windshield. The goal is to have it as high as possible, and as close to the centre. You always want to make sure the windshield wipers cover the area where you mount it as well. If it snows and it’s not in that prime area, your dash cam will record the white snow and defeat the purpose. Below are some examples of different mounting locations.
Will My Car Battery Die from Installing a Dash Cam?
The short answer is no. A couple factors is, how you install it, and how you set the dash camera up. If you have a dash camera without low battery protection, and you do not drive your vehicle regularly. As a result, there is a good chance you will kill your battery. Dash cameras sold at Safe Drive Solutions all have low battery protection. We recommend setting this for 12 volts or higher to protect your battery. For this common question about dash cams, we provide an example below.
Once I had a client say the dash camera killed their battery. After investigating we found out they had been leaving their interior light on for quite a few weeks. There is lots of factors that can kill your vehicles battery, for example leaving an accessory plugged into your cigarette lighter all night. However, getting a bad cell in your battery or leaving the interior light on all night is more common. These types of things happen but getting a dash cam with low battery protection you should be fine. If you are still worried get a backup battery for your dash cam.
How long will my dash camera record?
This is the most common question about dash cams. In short it depends on your dash camera, video quality, and the size of memory card. Firstly, make sure you get a dash camera with a memory card. Most commonly dash cams come with 16gb or 32gb memory cards included in the box. This will give you anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of continuous recording. Secondly make sure the dash camera will support 128gb SD card or bigger.
Lets use a 1080P camera, from Thinkware for our example. If only using 1 camera and a 16gb SD card you get approximately 2 hours of continuous record time. As a result, with a 2 camera system you get 1 hour. For instance if you use a 128gb SD card you would get 16.5 hours in 1 channel and 8.25 hours in 2 channel. Below are some examples of potential record time.
What Does the GPS Antenna do?
Above all, I always recommend a GPS antenna to be added to your dash cam. So, what does this GPS antenna do. Does it secretly send signals to the astronauts in space? No, it does not, at least not that I know of. Basically, it considers the rate of speed your vehicle is travelling and shares that information with your video recordings. That way if you’re going 50km/hr it will show on your recording how fast you were going. I also get asked if you can turn this feature off? Yes, you can, not to worry. Also it will provide your location. If you were on highway 1 going 50km/hr it will show that information on the desktop software.
Some people get this confused with GPS tracking. No this is not a GPS tracking device. GPS tracking does live updates, has a sim card, and data plan subscription. The GPS antenna is used to provide information. If you get into an accident, you can prove your speed and location you were driving. This can either work for you or against you. If you’re driving 100km/hr in a 50km/hr zone, chances are you don’t want to hand that footage over. On a positive note, Thinkware Dash cameras will tell you where red light and speed cameras are located.
Will Getting a Dash Cam Installed Void My Vehicle Warranty?
No car dealer can void your warranty on your vehicle. In fact, most car dealers sublet their aftermarket accessory work to specialty retailers. So why would it be okay for them to do it? But not okay for you. Firstly, car dealers want to use their preferred vendors. Most of the time it is someone they trust. Secondly, it gives them a chance to add some profit to the sale of their car. Who doesn’t want to make more money?
There are some instances where a car dealer can void your warranty. But let’s be clear, they cannot void the warranty on your entire car. For example, you go to a specialty shop and get aftermarket fog lights installed. Two weeks after installing you find your headlight switch no longer works. Book in an appointment at your car dealer and they find the specialty shop wired in something wrong. Leaving you with a bill when you thought you had warranty. The car dealer replaces the headlight switch, and you have full warranty again.
If you get any aftermarket work done, I always recommend reaching out to that specialty shop before bringing it in to a mechanic, or car dealer. Mistakes can happen, fuses sometimes blow, after all we are human. Most professional specialty shops have technical information on your vehicle and will have limited challenges. Think twice before trusting the random guy on Kijiji, or Facebook marketplace that will do it for cash.
In conclusion there are many more questions to answer. We will continuously add to this blog monthly. Send us your questions about dash cams so we can answer them.