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I've got a 2016 Chevy Traverse and recently got a dashcam. When I plug in the dashcam to the cigarette lighter, the dashcam turns on even when the car is off. I plugged the dashcam into the front USB port (right next to the cigarette lighter), as well as the cigarette lighter port inside the center console / armrest, with the same results. I turned the car off, went inside, and came back out 30 minutes later and the dashcam was still on. It didn't turn off after 10 minutes like the radio and lights.

I don't want to come back out to a dead battery, so is there somewhere to plug in a dashcam? Or is my only option to hardwire it?

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Not a full answer to your question regarding the cigarette lighter drawing power constantly as I'm sure that varies vehicle to vehicle. But there are USB adapters that plug in to your ODB port that are configurable as to how long they remain on after turning your vehicle off.

Anecdotally - I use the Garmin Constant Power Adapter (~$50) which plugs directly into your ODB port. It has configurable timeouts as to when the USB ports stop drawing power after the car is turned off, for example I have mine set to 10 minutes. So after powering my car off, the dash cam will run for 10 minutes full recording before switching to parking guard which does not need constant power. I've had this setup for several years in 2 vehicles and never once had a battery issue.

The advantage of this setup is you can easily hide the dash cam wire along the edge of the windshield and then run it down through the dash on the side.

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