Not all memory cards are built the same and why we think Sandisk should be avoided.
Courtesy of Car Cam Central
What’s the Life Expectancy of a Memory Card?
One of the most important reasons to have a Dashcam installed in a car is to keep it recording in case something unexpected happens. Therefore, you should pay particular attention to your memory card as much as you care about the quality of your Dashcam.
There are numerous memory card brands out there as well as any number of fake cards available from less reputable dealers. We recommend buy from more well-known and reliable Sellers. It is highly recommended to format your memory cards on a regular basis. Most of SDHC/SDXC cards on the market are TLC (Triple-Level Cell) type. They are hugely applied on smartphones, digital cameras, and tablets. Their rewrite cycles (TLC) are limited, lower than MLC (Multi-Level Cell) and also cheaper.
Most people care about the specifications, image quality, and price when it comes to choosing a Dashcam. Usually, when you purchase a Dashcam, the package already includes a memory card. Therefore, the importance of selecting a good memory card is commonly ignored. If you decide to purchase your own memory card, ensure you read the required class (usually Class 10) and maximum supported size (usually 32G or 64G) of your Dashcam first. Also, keep in mind that memory cards have limited rewrite cycles so they are considered as consumables.
TLC memory cards have limited rewrite cycle for about 500 to 1000 times. In other words, after going through the cycle for more than 500 times, the chance of the memory card becoming faulty will be largely increased. Also, memory card will most likely fail after going through the cycle more than 1000 times. Unlike TLC memory on smartphones, memory cards on Dashcams are constantly being written (recording). The higher the read/write frequency, the shorter of memory card life-time. There are more and more MLC type memory cards becoming available now. Users should consider going for higher price MLC memory cards to have a better overall experience with your Dashcam.
Please be aware: memory cards have limited re-write cycles so they are considered as consumables!
Using poor quality memory cards could lead to your dashcam freezing crashing, becoming stuck in the standby mode, or continuously switching off and restarting. Also leading to corrupted recording files.
Memory card health tips:
★ 1. Manually perform a format once a month
Always format your memory card from the Dashcam before you use it for the first time! After using the memory card for a while, the flash storage gets fragmented because of the constantly writing and rewriting. Manually format once a month to help to improve the data writing performance.
★ 2. Avoid direct exposure to the sunlight.
Normally, the operating temperature of memory card is under 60°C (140°F). It is recommended to keep your device in the glove box during summer. Exposing Dashcam in the direct sunlight may lead to damage of memory card and Dashcam as well. Any electronic device should avoid direct sun exposure and high temperatures.
★ 3. Check if your recorded files are broken or in fragments with a computer.
Checking video data in memory through computers to see if all footages records normally. Switch to a new memory card if you find anything abnormal, like damage files, or unable to read from memory cards.
★ 4. Format/Deep-Scan with a computer with “ScanTool”.
This might take some time but performing this deep scan can determine whether your memory card is healthy or not. Please make sure to format the memory card again after inserting back into the Dashcam.
Recommendations and notifications:
★ 1. Replacing with a new card after using the same one for two years.
Memory cards nowadays are almost half of the price (maybe even lower) compared with 2 years ago. The life expectancy of memory cards would decrease because of the increasing number on the rewrite cycles. If you are not sure whether your memory card is TLC (Triple-Layer Cell) or MLC (Multi-Level Cell), please replace it with a new one after one to two years.
★ 2. DO NOT eject your memory card without a safe shut down on your Dashcam first.
If you eject your card while the footage is still being saved onto memory card, file damaga and data loss will most likely occur. In the event of car accidents, make sure the DashCam has been powered-off safely before you eject the memory card from DashCam.
★ 3. Always have a backup memory card in your car, in case the other one fails.
It’s always nice to have a backup, in case of accidents.
★ 4. If you find anything unusual about your memory card or in doubt, replace it with a new one immediately.
Memory cards are relatively inexpensive. Don’t wait to replace it with a new one if you are not sure if your memory card is working correctly or not. Better to be safe than being without valuable footage.
★ 5. DO NOT share the memory card you use on Dashcam with your smartphone or other devices.
The format type of the memory card could be changed when you apply it onto your cell phone due to the operating system requirements. This could lead to malfunctioning with your DashCam.
Our Top Choices
We recommend the following cards which are compatible with our cameras: Kingston, Lexar, Samsung (16GB~64GB max and must be rated class 10 or higher).
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.