Parking Mode on Dashcams : All you need to know

Typically found only in premium dash cameras, Parking Mode is a fancy term for any recording done while your engine is off and your car is parked. The Parking Mode on Dashcams provides around-the-clock protection and surveillance for the vehicle. This is a very useful feature to have if you are worried about hit-and-runs or vandalism on your parked vehicle.

A dash cam with parking mode stands out from basic dash cams because it has the potential to record incidents that wouldn’t be recorded otherwise. While dash cams may be valued primarily for their ability to capture car accidents, they can also be useful for other non-collision incidents that may occur when your vehicle is parked.

Modern dash cams provide various levels of parking protection: The more expensive models support connecting remotely to your camera over the cloud, so you can see video and receive an alert on your phone when something happens.

How Does the Dashcam Record in Parking Mode?  

A dash cam with parking mode is designed to go into a state of hibernation when your vehicle is parked. This helps to save energy and minimizes unnecessary recording time. When the camera detects movement in front of the lens or an impact or vibration is picked up by the dashcam’s accelerometer, it turns on and begins recording. This feature can come in handy in a variety of situations, including:

  • If someone dings your car with their car door
  • If your vehicle is involved in a hit and run while parked
  • If someone vandalizes or attempts to steal your vehicle
  • If you’re given an undeserved parking ticket or other traffic violation citation

Parking mode can be motion-activated or impact-activated, depending on the type of camera you buy. Those activated by motion may be a bit more reliable than those activated by impact because they are more likely to record the events leading up to and away from the incident. Impact-activated cameras, on the other hand, are less likely to capture the events before and after the point of impact.

What are the advantages of Parking Model over Normal Mode ? 

In Parking Mode, the Dashcam would only record footage when it is triggered either by movement or impact. Hence the risk of overwriting important existing footage is reduced and it also reduces the stress on the microSD card as it is not continuously active. Battery consumption in Parking Mode is also reduced as the GPS is generally turned off. 

Can the Parking Mode be turned off ? 

Yes, generally the Parking Mode can be deactivated in the camera’s settings. Once deactivated, the Dashcam will continue to record in Normal Model when the Vehicle is tuned on and running. 

How do you install a Dashcam with Parking Mode  ? 

Most Dashcams come supplied with a cigarette lighter adaptor or USB cable to power it. However these ports are usually not powered when the Vehicle is turned off and parked and hence Parking Mode would not work.

Hence in order to have parking mode working, you would need either a Hardwire Kit or a Battery Pack.

The Hardwire Kit connects to the vehicle’s power supply through the Fuse Box and is tapped to a fuse which is “Always On”. This allows it to record footage when the Parking Mode is activated.

Many Hardwire Kits also have a low battery cut-off feature. This feature continuously monitors the battery voltage and cuts off supply to the dashcam, should the car battery dip below a certain voltage threshold. The low battery feature is a valuable one to have as it will save you from an unpleasant experience of a dead battery when you return to your vehicle. 

Battery Packs : Alternate Solutions to Hardwire Kits

Simply hardwiring your dashcam with a Hardwire Kit sometimes carries the risk of depleting your vehicle’s battery with long Parking Mode sessions. With an external Battery Pack,  your Dashcam is powered as long as your battery maintains sufficient voltage to start your vehicle. When voltage drops below cutoff value or the timer expires, the Battery Pack stops powering your dashcam to preserve your vehicle’s battery.

For users who are not afraid to work with the fuse panel of their vehicle, an external battery pack is a great accessory that enables Parking Mode with a lot of control. With a bit of planning, a Battery Pack allows for a very stealthy installation, with no visible cable. You can also have advanced configurations or settings like, set a timer from  hours to infinite and also set a custom cutoff value which is usually 12V by default for your external Battery Pack.

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