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How to troubleshoot a dash cam

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Dash cams are a great way of ensuring that footage of any incident on the road can be shared with insurers or the appropriate authorities, proving that you aren't at fault or helping to solve a crime. But what happens if your dash cam stops working, meaning important footage may not be captured? Here are some quick fixes that could help you to get your dash cam working again.

Powered up and plugged in


One common reason for dash cams not working is a lack of power. This can be as simple as the power cable not being fitted correctly into either the dash cam, or the 12V power supply in your car. Check both ends for loose connections or if the cable needs to be pushed in a little further.

Most dash cams are designed to switch off when the engine isn't running, so don't worry if your dash cam screen goes off or any power lights turn off. If your dash cam has parking mode, then it will automatically record with the engine switched off. As long as it plugged in properly at all times, then all features should work.

Dash cam hardwiring


Getting your dash cam hardwired is an easy way to ensure the power cable won't disconnect, plus it may end up freeing up your 12V outlet for other devices. At Halfords, we can install your dash cam professionally, with all cables hidden away. Visit our dash cam fitting service page for more information.

The right memory card

All of our dash cams use MicroSD cards to record footage, but some MicroSD cards may be incompatible with certain dash cams. The easiest way to get around this problem is to check our which MicroSD card do I need? article to ensure the MicroSD card you're using will work with your dash cam.

There are also a couple of tips to follow when it comes to selecting the right MicroSD card for your new dash cam:

  • For dash cams with a resolution of 1080p, use a 32GB class 10 U3 card
  • For dash cams with a resolution of 1440p, or if a rear cam is also connected, use a 64GB class 10 U3 card.

Connecting and downloading footage


Many dash cams offer a screen that can be used to quickly review footage, but if you need to store footage for later review or send video files to your insurer, then you may need to connect your dash cam to a computer or smart device.

With our dash cams, you don't need to worry about connecting via a wire or having to navigate the dash cam's storage to grab videos. Just download the relevant app for your particular sat nav brand (check the box it came with or search for the brand name on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) and make sure wi-fi is enabled on your phone. If the app doesn't detect your dash cam, then search for it manually in your list of wi-fi connections.

One common problem with certain phone and dash cam models is interference from mobile data. If your dash cam doesn't connect straight away, try turning your mobile data off in your phone's settings while the phone searches for the dash cam.

The suction cup


Many dash cams come with a suction cup holder that allows the dash cam to be mounted on the windscreen. Before attaching this, clean the area and press the cup firmly onto the glass. Try and avoid any textured areas, such as the part of the windscreen behind the rear view mirror that is shaded. Take care to mount your dash cam so that it doesn't restrict your view of the road. Choose a section of the windscreen that is outside the area that both windscreen wipers cover and check that the wire doesn't trail across your field of vision.

If the suction cup comes loose frequently, then a more permanent adhesive patch may work better. Certain dash cam models have a removable suction cup section that covers a separate section with an adhesive strip, so check for this or purchase an additional mount that uses an adhesive strip or magnet instead of a suction cup.

Further issues


If you can't see your particular problem listed or you feel that your dash cam may be malfunctioning, then you can always get in touch with Halfords for further help and advice: