Dash Cam Memory Card Full. Now What?

Are you starting to stress out that your memory card is faulty?

That can be one reason why you will get this error but before you go rushing out to get a new memory card, it’s important to understand how your dash cam and memory card work together and if there are any other ways you can stop this happening again.

Sometimes you may even get this error when you have just inserted a brand new, top of the line memory card into your camera.

Are you using the right type of SD card for a dash cam?

Some SD cards degrade over time and will eventually fail to record your videos. Your SD cards lifespan is dependent on its brand, age and the number of recordings it has saved.

Most of the newer models no longer have internal memory and rely on external memory cards to store your driving footage. Most dashboard cameras have a memory card in the box, but this is not always the best option. 

Micro SD vs SD card?

Choose Micro SD! They are more versatile and come with come with an adapter to fit the larger SD card slots. There is very little difference in speed or functionality and most cameras now use Micro SD. On the off chance your camera has an SD slot, your Micro SD will still work with an adapter.

Storage capacity?

The first thing you need to do is check the card capacity of your dash cam before you rush out and buy a new memory card. Most dash cams are compatible with 64 GB SD cards, but there are some still on the market that only support up to 16 GB.

Buying a memory card with the wrong capacity for your cam may cause problems for either the card or your camera. We recommend buying a card that is of the highest capacity your camera will support as it will have a longer life and is a good back to make sure you don’t fall short of memory at a critical time.

Speed?

Stick with Speed Class 10 or UHS-I rated cards. UHS offers the fastest data transfer (50MB per  second) but most dash cams do not support it. Cards can be rated as both Speed Class 10 and UHS-I which will work fine in most cameras.

NAND type?

NAND type refers to how the device physically stores data. SLC (single level cell) data storage trumps MLC (multi-level storage) cards by delivering about ten times more endurance, with faster data transfer and less power consumption. The extra money you spend on a SLC Micro SD card is definitely a good investment.

Other things to consider…

  • Warranty – some brands exclude dash cams from their warranty which is a sign they are not going to be a good choice.
  • High endurance or specific cards made for dash cams are the way to go – with the highest capacity you can afford for your camera.
Below are some of the best MicroSD cards on the market for Dash Cams. Choose the best option for your budget and card functionality.
  • Cheap - Samsung Pro Endurance 64 GB
  • Mid-Range price – SanDisk High Endurance 64 GB
  • High end of the market – Transcend High Endurance
  • Best All-rounder – Samsung Evo Plus
  • Another great all-rounder – Samsung Evo Select
  • Best for video (especially 4K) – Samsung Pro+
  • Flagship brand – SanDisk Extreme Plus
  • Value for money – Lexar 1000x

Watch out for fakes when shopping for MicroSD’s!!!

Do your research and be careful of cheap imitations – they will let you down in the end. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is (a fake)! Make sure you do a bit of price research or buy from somewhere you trust.

What next?
If you have the right card, you will be less likely to see this card full error. If you keep getting this error, you can try one of the three fixes below:

Shorten the loop recording time.

When your card fills up, loop recording allows for continuous recording by overwriting the oldest files. Check loop recording is turned on. If it is turned on all you need to do is set the loop time to a shorter option. E.g. choose 1-minute loops instead of 3-minute loops.

Decrease the G-Sensor Sensitivity

If your sensitivity is too high, your camera will save a slight bump on the road as a “protected file” on your memory card. If too many of these starts sneaking onto your memory card, you will run out of card storage fast and start getting that “Memory Card Full” error again.

 

If the first two fixes don’t help, you can try formatting your microSD card using either your dash cam or your PC. Corrupted memory cards can usually be fixed by reformatting – it stops your card being clogged up with partial files and improves the cards performance. Before your format your card, save an important file as your card will be totally wiped clean.
You can use the screen menu in your dash cam to format your card or plug your card into your card reader on your computer and follow the simple steps below:

Right Click on your memory card > File > Format > Deselect or untick the Quick Format
option > Start

Once your format is completed, you just need to right click on your memory card > select
Eject and put it back in your dash cam.

Recommended SD cards for your Dash Cam – Samsung Evo Plus Micro SD card​​

  • The Best All Round SD Card
  • One of the best options for 2019, this MicroSD comes in a wide range of sizes including
  • 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB