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4. In-Car Computers > 45. Keep Your Computer on During Engine Cranking

Keep Your Computer on During Engine Cranking

An already booted car PC will reboot whenever you start the car, unless you install the right hardware.

The primary reason cars have large batteries is to turn the starter engine and start the car. When you crank the engine to start the car, the voltage drops—from the normal 12–14V, it can drop all the way to 7V or lower. As soon as the car is started, the voltage goes back up, but in the meantime, your unprotected car PC will hang or reboot.

In many cars, the turning of the ignition switch temporarily cuts power to the radio, the headlights, and the A/C—turn your car on to see if it does this. If so, the other problem that occurs is that the 12V line going to your computer is completely cut off during engine cranking, and your computer shuts down immediately.


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