Can You Use a Dash Cam Without a Cigarette Lighter?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to power your dash cam without relying on a cigarette lighter. In this blog post, we will explore alternative methods to provide a continuous power supply to your dash cam, ensuring uninterrupted recording while you drive. Whether you want to eliminate cable clutter or don't have a functioning cigarette lighter socket, we've got you covered. Let's dive in!

How to Power Dash Cam Without a Cigarette Lighter?

If you want your dash cam to continue recording even when your car is off or parked, relying solely on the power cable connected to the cigarette lighter may not be sufficient. While the cigarette lighter provides a convenient power source for many devices, it is often linked to the car's ignition. This means that when you turn off the engine, the power to the cigarette lighter is also cut off, causing the dash cam to stop recording.

To overcome this limitation and ensure continuous power supply to your dash cam, you can opt for a hardwire kit. A hardwire kit allows you to directly connect your dash cam to the vehicle's electrical system, providing a more reliable and uninterrupted power source.

With a hardwire kit, you can tap into a fuse in the fuse box or another suitable power source in your vehicle. This ensures that the dash cam receives power at all times, regardless of the ignition status. By bypassing the cigarette lighter and connecting your dash cam to a dedicated power circuit, you can achieve continuous recording and access advanced features such as parking mode.

How to Hardwire Your Dash Cam?

Hardwiring your dash cam is a slightly more involved process compared to using the cigarette lighter or other power options. However, it offers several advantages, including a clean and professional-looking installation and a reliable power supply. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the hardwiring process for different hardwire kits:

Single fuse hardwire kit

To begin the hardwiring process for your dash cam, start by locating the fuse box in your vehicle. Remove the fuse box cover and refer to the diagram on the cover or consult your vehicle's manual. The diagram will provide information about the various fuse slots and their corresponding functions.

It is crucial to select appropriate empty fuse slots for the hardwire connection. Avoid using fuse slots that are responsible for vital components like airbags, stability control programs, horns, or indicators. Instead, look for vacant slots that are associated with non-critical components such as the AC, radio, sunroof, or boot opener.

Before inserting the hardwire cable into the chosen fuse slot, ensure compatibility between the hardwire and your vehicle's fuse box. Check the specifications of the hardwire cable and compare them with the requirements of the fuse box.

Add-on fuse hardwire kit

Add-on fuse kits often come with multiple variations to accommodate different fuse box configurations. Determine which variation suits your specific fuse box setup. Then refer to your vehicle's fuse box diagram to identify available fuse slots and their corresponding functions. Look for slots labeled with terms like "Accessory" or "Ignition" for the ACC (accessory power) wire connection, and slots labeled "Constant" or "Always-On" for the battery power (BATT) wire connection. These slots will provide the appropriate power source for your dash cam.

Use a voltmeter or circuit tester to determine the voltage output and input sides of the fuse slots. Test each side individually. If a reading of +/-12.0V / 24.0V or a similar voltage appears on your voltmeter, mark it as the voltage INPUT side. The voltage OUTPUT side will display 0.0V because no current passes through it. Make sure to carefully insert the fuse into the fuse slot in the correct direction, ensuring a proper connection. Finally, don’t forget to insert the original fuse into the appropriate slot on the add-on fuse tap.

OBD Hardwire kit

The OBD hardwire kit for dash cams provides a hassle-free solution for continuous power supply and parking-mode recording. With the OBD port found in all modern vehicles, this kit offers universal compatibility and easy installation. Simply connect the OBD power cable to the OBD port, and your dash cam will receive a steady power source, enabling uninterrupted recording and access to advanced functionalities. Enjoy the convenience and simplicity of the OBD hardwire kit for powering your dash cam.

Does Dash Cam Hardwire Kit Drain the Battery?

One common concern with hardwiring a dash cam is the potential for battery drain. However, when installed correctly, a dash cam hardwire kit is designed to draw power from a fuse slot that is only active when the vehicle is running. This ensures that the dash cam operates without draining the battery when the engine is off. It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions and choose the appropriate fuse slot to avoid any issues.


In conclusion, if you want to power your dash cam without relying on a cigarette lighter, there are alternative methods available, with hardwiring being a popular and reliable option. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this blog, you can successfully hardwire your dash cam and ensure continuous power supply for uninterrupted recording. Hardwiring not only provides a clean and professional installation but also eliminates the need for cables and offers a more permanent power solution. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions and consult a professional if needed to ensure a proper and safe installation. With your dash cam powered and ready to go, you can confidently hit the road and capture every moment. Drive safely and enjoy the added peace of mind that comes with your dash cam's continuous power supply.

Related Posts