January 16th 2023

There are many reasons why dash cams cannot last longer than two or three years

Whether it’s buying a dash cams, a car, or grocery shopping, if you don’t have a basic understanding of these things, then other people’s suggestions and comments will make you feel like the agents with blurry memory in “Mission: Impossible”. Fragmented information is worthless. So, I intend to temporarily put aside the product and talk to you about the deeper topics of the dash cams. “Deep” does not mean “difficult”, but “invisible”. But I am not an expert. I have some thoughts after inadvertently evaluated nearly 20 dash camss. If there are any errors in the article, please leave a message for correction and communication.

dash cams

Most people who have bought or want to buy a dash cams have heard of the words “missing seconds” and “break down”. Once they see these negative information, they may directly cross this dash cams from the list. But if you see more dash camss, you will know that there is no perfect dash cams. Even Apple computers often have problems like heated temperature caused by bad heat dissipation, blue screen caused by cable problems or a large number of keyboard failures, which constantly delays my plan to change computers.
Although there is no perfect product, we can at least understand the reasons behind these failures, and then you may understand or know how to face these problems. Just like you just met a girl, maybe she is not very attractive to you, but as you begin to know each other, you may gradually discover her strengths and learn to accept her shortcomings.
No more trash talk, let’s move on to our topic.
In this article, you will learn about the four types of common failures of the dash cams, and how to deal with them, so that your dash cams can “extend life”.
Storage failure,Transmission failure, Power supply failure, Temperature failure

Storage failure

No matter how high-class or high clear your recording is, it would be nothing if you failed to save it.

Recording failure

First of all, you need to know that the picture you see on the screen of the dash cams is different from the video in the memory card. The former is called “real-time preview” and the latter is called “stored video”, so even if no memory card is inserted, you can still see recordings on the dash cams’s display. This is also the principle of “streaming media rearview mirror”.
Why does the video file disappear when the bulk memory card is inserted? First, you need to see what memory card you are using. Common micro sd memory cards have a lifespan, and the memory card of the dash cams has been written frequently, some dash camss do not have a built-in battery, so they use real-time writing to ensure that the video can be saved after the power is off. . In this case, if your memory card is of poor quality, it will inevitably fail.
We might as well regard the micro sd memory cards as a consumable item like a wiper, and stock up one or two cards when there is a big promotion (the capacity is preferably above 32G, but it should not exceed the maximum limit supported by the dash cams), once a failure occurs, try to solve it by change a memory card first? But I found that some dash camss are really picky. A more powerful memory card may not be more suitable for it. It has its own best fit. So, it is best to consult customer service before buying the micro sd cards, or just directly buy the storage card set.
Some dash camss will automatically determine whether the memory card is abnormal, and use screen prompts, indicator lights or voice alarms to notice you. No matter whether your dash cams has this function, it is recommended to check the video regularly (1 or 2 months), and format it when you can, this can also extend the life of the micro sd cards.

dash cams microSD cards

Some people say that bulk micro sd cards have a short lifespan, why don’t I just buy a built-in eMMC memory chip. It is right that eMMC has a long lifespan and fast reading and writing speed. It is a more suitable storage solution for dash camss than bulk micro sd cards. However, eMMC is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be expanded. Once the card broke down, the whole machine needs to be repaired or scrapped. Why will eMMC broken? It can easily be caused by a drop of dash cams, which impact the chip, causing the solder joints to fall off, or even burning down the chip. I once had a dash cams with built-in eMMC. I found a peculiar failure when I wanted to retrieve a video: the video file exist and the storage space was full, but the size of the video was 0KB, and the machine did not report any errors or prompts. Later, I remembered that I had accidentally dropped it. It might have been broken at that time. Fortunately, I got a new one after communicating with the after-sales service. But on the whole, the eMMC are still better than bulk micro sd cards.

Losing image

When the dash cams works in a high temperature environment for a long time, if the performance or stability of the CPU is not strong, it may stuck during recording or saving video, causing missing second (only personal understanding, not very rigorous). In fact, the situation of missing seconds is much better now. On the one hand, the performance of the processor has been improved, on the other hand, the level of the micro sd memory card has also been improved, the reading and writing speeds are very fast. If you are worried about missing seconds, in addition to choose a Class10 TF card, you can also set the video segmentation to 1 minute, which can reduce the risk of missing seconds.
In fact, as long as the leakage is not much (within 1 second), it will not affect the forensics. And if emergency recording is triggered, most dash camss will store the video N seconds before and after the trigger as a separate video, so you won’t need to worry about missing seconds.

Transmission failure

The dash cams turns the natural light signal into digital signal, and finally storage it as video file. This process seems simple, but it is actually very “bumpy”!

Audio and video are not synchronous

In fact, in addition to the missing seconds, there is a more serious problem that is often ignored – the video picture and the sound are not synchronized, which may cause the evidence to be inconsistent with the facts. Imagine that if there is no sound when the car after yours hits you first, the “bang” sound did not appear after and the shock forces you to hit the car in front of you (the driving dash cams is basically monophonic and cannot tell the sound source clearly)… Isn’t it very easy to be misunderstood?
In fact, all video recording has a delay, but the difference in time depends on performance of the processor. In addition, general dash camss have no delay at the beginning, the longer it is used, the more obvious the delay will be. My Volkswagen original dash cams have to turn off the sound recording function because the reading and writing speed of the memory card may be too slow, and the audio and video are obviously not synchronized. If you want to solve this problem, you can change the card to one with faster reading and writing speed, or buy a dual cameras dash cams that allows you to judge the responsibility only according to the video screen.

Picture delay

Dash Cams picture delay problem

If you bought a streaming media rearview mirror, then the picture delay problem of the rear camera needs to be focused on. There are three ways for manufacturers to achieve ultra-low latency: reduce the resolution, improve signal transmission efficiency, and increase the CPU processing speed. Limited by the cost, manufacturers will generally balance latency according to product planning. For example, the rear-view resolution of 360’s new M310 streaming media is 720P. Compared with the 1080P 360M320, the video signal data is less and the resolution is poorer. However, M310 uses a higher-cost digital signal transmission technology. In this way, it has high transmission efficiency, coupled with a small amount of data, this dash cams naturally achieve ultra-low latency. If you want both high image quality and ultra-low latency, the problem of cost performance and stability will arise again.
In my personal opinion, I think that at this stage, streaming media rearview mirrors are still in the early stages of development. We don’t need to blindly pursue ultra-low latency, because even if there are some slight delays, they are still more practical than the ones with rear view in rainy days. The key depends on how you use it. Tips: When driving on high speed or express road, you must not turn on the streaming media rear view function with obvious delay. It will amplify the error caused by the delay and cause the driver to make mistakes in judgment, which is very dangerous

Power supply failure

Dash Cams Power supply failure

The power supply of the car battery is very unstable. If you don’t pay attention to it, even the mobile phones might get burned, let alone the dash camss.

Frequent restart

I often see that some car owners complain about the frequent restarts of a certain dash cams, which makes it unusable. Mostly, this is caused by the damage of battery or capacitor damage. The battery of the dash cams is only used to store the last video or to store settings and time information at the moment of power failure, so the capacity is generally very small. However, some manufacturers have designed larger-capacity batteries to enable parking monitoring or handheld shooting outside the car even when the power is off. In addition, there are many electrical appliances in the car, and the voltage is very unstable. The battery and capacitor also play a “buffer” role, so that the machine will not be switched on and off frequently when there are instantaneous voltage fluctuations. If the battery or capacitor is damaged and this layer of “buffer” is missing, inexplicable restart may occur, and repair is required for the dash cams at this time.
In addition, the rated input of some dash camss is 5V2A, but you may not notice and just use a 5V1A power supply. Although the machine may work normally, problems will inevitably occur over time.
In fact, we can buy a good quality car charger to power the dash cams, which can greatly reduce the risk of damaging the dash cams due to unstable voltage in the car, and it can also charge your mobile phone more safely. I have a mobile phone battery that was damaged by a low-quality car charger without a voltage regulator protection function. In severe cases, the mobile phone may be completely scrapped. The choice of car charger is also very particular, friends who are interested can read the following article: From 20 to 39$, what is the difference? In-depth evaluation of four car chargers

Damaged battery

Dash Cams battery power supply

As mentioned earlier, some dash camss support their own battery power supply to realize parking monitoring, in fact, the general duration is not too long (3 or 4 days top). Therefore, if you want to realize long-time parking monitor, you still have to get electricity from the car’s battery.
lower-voltage line with battery and low-voltage protection device

There are generally five ways for dash camss to get electricity:

In-car cigarette lighter – most of them will not damage the battery
Take power from the ACC fuse in the fuse box of the car ( when driving) – no damage to the battery
Take power from the normal electric fuse (always charged) of the fuse box in the car – there is a risk of battery damage
Take power from OBD – there is a risk of battery damage
Take power from reading light – there is a risk of battery damage
Whether there is any damage to the battery depends on whether it takes “constant electricity”. Among the five ways to get electricity, 3, 4, and 5 are all constant electricity, but in fact, the first type using cigarette lighter also has a ” constant electricity “, and the fourth type can also not take constant electricity. The advantages, disadvantages and precautions of the five ways of taking electricity will be explained in detail in the next article. This article only talks about the key points to prevent damage to the battery when taking power from “constant electricity”:
Be sure to buy lower voltage line from a brand manufacturer, and make sure it has a “low-voltage protection device” with battery voltage detection and automatic power-off when the voltage is too low. Otherwise, long-term parking monitor will definitely cause the battery to over discharge and cause the vehicle fail to start. Frequent over-discharge of the battery will cause a sharp drop in battery performance and early retirement.
Even if the first term is met, try not to use the parking monitor function for a long time. Although the power consumption is very low, it can’t stay up for a long time. It is recommended to unplug the power cord of the dash cams if you won’t use the vehicle for over a week and the battery or the car is old; if the vehicle will not be used for over a month, it is recommended to unplug the power cord now matter whether it is new or old car.
In addition, generally speaking, the performance of the battery will drop significantly after more than 4 years, and it should be replaced. Also, many people like to listen to songs in the car after turn off the flame, and they listen for one or two hours. This may cause your battery to break down within 2 years. Don’t let the dash cams take the fall.
Let’s expand a little bit and talk about why the battery may lose power? And what should I do if it really loses power?
The engine cannot drive the generator to charge the battery when parked. If the battery is only discharged but not charged, the voltage will become lower and lower, that is, “over-discharge”. When it falls below a certain value, the battery will generally protect itself – no more discharge. Thus, the vehicle cannot be started. By externally charging the battery, as long as the battery is not completely empty, not only can the vehicle be started smoothly, but the battery can be restored to normal after the generator start to charge again (the battery will be seriously damaged if the battery is over-discharged too many times). It is costly and time-consuming to find someone to replace the battery with a new one if it only fails to start occasionally! What’s more, how is the quality of the battery replaced? Does it match your car exactly? There are lots of tricks. Therefore, whether you have a new car or an old car, I suggest you back up with an emergency start-up power supply for emergency or even charge your mobile phones in the car. This can reduce the load on the battery.

Temperature failure

Any electronic product has a setted “working temperature”. Have you considered its working temperature range when you bought the dash cams?

Stuck when overheating

The dash cams is generally fixed on the front windshield, and the front windshield must ensure a high light transmittance, so there is no UV or infrared barrier, all kinds of radiation directly irradiate on the dash cams. Even if the front windshield is filmed, if the exposing time is too long, the temperature inside the car will be the same as that of a car without a film, because heat is conducted in the body from everywhere.
If the working temperature of the dash cams is too high, the performance will decrease, and all kinds of strange little problems will follow, it may even go on strike. In severe cases, the internal components will be damaged and the dash cams will be scrapped. In fact, regular dash cams manufacturers will do various extreme tests to ensure that the product can withstand the harsh working environment in the car, but if you buy a product with poor quality control, you will receive a “weak chicken”. It may be normal at the beginning, but after a long time, the dash cams can’t hold it.
When we buy dash camss, we must look at the operating temperature in the parameter configuration, and try to choose products with big brands and quality assurance. In addition, when parking in the summer, it is recommended to temporarily remove the dash cams and put it in a dark place to avoid direct exposure to the sun, and install it before driving. Generally, dash camss have a base or stand, some are easy to take off, some are tighter. In contrast, the rearview mirror dash cams is relatively far away from the front windshield and is shadowed by the rearview mirror, so it avoids direct sunlight. Its larger volume also helps with internal heat dissipation, and the theoretical stability will be better.

Can not turn on in low temperature

When the temperature is too low in winter, let alone the dash cams, sometimes even the car can not be started. With such advanced technology, isn’t there a dash cams that can still be used in extremely cold regions? Of course there are, but the price must be unattainable. However, if the temperature is not too low but the dash cams cannot be started, it might be that the dash cams battery loses electricity at night when the temperature is low, just start the car first. When the temperature inside the car rises, the dash cams can be restored to the charging state and can be turned on. It’s the same as charging the iPhone with a hot water bottle in winter.

Device falls off

If the dash cams falls off, in addition to directly causing damage to the internal chip of the dash cams, it may also damage the instrument panel. The risk of falling off during driving is even greater – shocking the driver may cause muscle conditioned reflex to make unnecessary actions, which may cause serious accident. An old driver who used to work as a test drive with me editor hit the guardrail due to a simple sneeze.
If your dash cams is fixed with 3M glue, improper sticking, low temperature, and fogging of the front windshield may cause the dash cams to fall off. How can you prevent it from falling off?
Before installing the dash cams, don’t rush to paste it. The first step should be turn on the screen (connect to a phone to view the real-time preview if there is no screen). Some dash camss may have a cross mark appeared on the screen when turned on for the first time. This is for you to adjust lens angle. Determine the best position, wipe it clean, and then tear off the 3M adhesive sticker. Touch one edge of the glass fisrt, and then press the other side, try to ensure that there is no air between the glue and the glass, so the stick will be very firm. The most important thing is that 3M glue cannot be used repeatedly, and the viscosity is worse each time used.
The general suction cup bracket is the easiest to fall off. Now few new products still use the suction cup bracket design. Even if the suction cup bracket is used, the suction cup is generally improved, but limited by the cost (some good rubber brackets are very firm), they are still not as firm as 3M glue. So, the easiest way is to pull it off when you can (at least once every 2 months), wipe clean the glass and the surface of the suction cup, and then suck it up again.
There are still many knowledge points about the dash cams. In the next article of this series, I will talk about the installation of the dash cams, including the pros and cons of various power-taking methods when using parking monitor function, the best installation plan of the rear camera, etc. , with full and thorough knowledge, welcome to follow me, so that you can receive the post as soon as possible.

Summary – about stability

The stability can be improved by lowering the resolution, lowering the frame rate, or cooling the device, but these are all compromises to stability. We all hope to buy products with strong performance and good stability, even if the price is more expensive. It’s still cheaper than changing a dash cams every year. The so-called cost performance must not only consider temporary price, but also look at the durability. The above common faults of the dash cams may not help you solve any practical problems, but after understanding these knowledge points, I believe it will be helpful for you when choosing a dash cams.

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