Plugging your phone or device into your car’s USB charging port and finding it doesn’t work can be frustrating. But a non-functioning car charger or power outlet is often an easy fix. Here are 7 effective troubleshooting tips to get your car charger working again.
Table of Contents
- 7 Steps To Troubleshoot And To get Your Car Charger Working Again
- Why Your Car Charger May Stop Working
- Tips For Maintaining Your Car’s Charging System
- FAQ About Non-Working Car Chargers
7 Steps To Troubleshoot And To get Your Car Charger Working Again
Here is a highlighted steps to resolve your car charger that is not working:
1. Check The Fuse
The first step is to check the fuse that powers the 12V cigarette lighter outlet or USB port where you plug in your charger. The fuse may have blown and needs to be replaced.
Locate the fuse box diagram and identify the correct fuse for that accessory outlet. Remove the fuse and examine it – a broken wire inside indicates it needs replacement. Insert an identical new fuse with the proper amp rating and try charging again.
2. Test Charger On Another Power Source
To isolate whether the issue is with your car’s outlet or the charger itself, test the charger on another power source. Plug it into a wall outlet, different USB port, or external battery. If it still doesn’t work, the charger is likely defective and needs replacement.
3. Try A Different Charger
Similarly, try plugging a different charging cable into your car’s 12V outlet. If another charger successfully provides power, then your original cable is likely faulty. Swap it out for a new high-quality rugged car charger.
4. Clean The Charging Port
Debris, dirt or lint buildup in your car’s USB port can interrupt the electrical connection. Use compressed air to spray out any foreign material. Rub the port with alcohol on a cotton swab. Let fully dry before reinserting your charger.
5. Update USB Drivers
If your car has USB ports built into the head unit, their drivers may need to be updated. This is common in many newer vehicles. Consult your owner’s manual on how to apply the latest infotainment system software update.
6. Reset Infotainment System
On smart vehicle systems, another fix is resetting or rebooting the infotainment unit. Consult the manual for how to do a hard reset. Allow it to fully reboot before retesting your charger. This can clear any software glitches preventing charging.
7. Wiggle & Secure Connector
Finally, inspect the tightness of the USB port itself and give the connector a slight wiggle while plugged in. This can create a better contact. Also check that any retaining clips or mechanisms that hold the plug in place are functioning properly.
In most cases, one of these troubleshooting tips should successfully get your car power outlet or USB port charging properly again.
Why Your Car Charger May Stop Working
There are a few common reasons a car charger or power outlet might stop functioning properly:
- Blown Fuse: The outlet circuit fuse may blow from a power surge or short circuit. Replacing it can fix this.
- Faulty Charger: The charger itself could have an internal wiring problem, causing failure. Test with another charger.
- Dirty Port: Dust, dirt, or debris in the port can block electrical contact. Cleaning fixes this.
- Bad Connection: A loose or wiggly connection interrupts charging. Wiggling and reseating the plug may help.
- Software Glitch: With smart USB ports, a buggy software update may disable charging, requiring a reset.
- Voltage Fluctuations: Bad grounds or electrical issues can cause voltage drops that prevent charging.
With some basic troubleshooting, you can determine the cause of your car charger issues and get it working smoothly again.
Tips For Maintaining Your Car’s Charging System
To minimize issues with your car’s USB and 12V power outlets in the future:
- Use quality cables. Invest in well-made car chargers designed for rugged automotive use. Don’t use cheap, unreliable cords.
- Keep Ports Clean: Periodically spray ports with air and rub with alcohol to avoid dirt buildup on contacts.
- Check Connector Tightness: Make sure ports are solidly mounted and provide a snug connection with chargers inserted.
- Update Software: Apply the latest infotainment system firmware updates as available for your vehicle model.
- Look for damage. Replace any cords with damaged or exposed wiring. Cracked ports should also be replaced.
- Consider Voltage Converters: For unstable power, use a regulated car USB converter to provide steady 5V charging.
Taking preventative measures will help keep your charging system working reliably for the long haul.
FAQ About Non-Working Car Chargers
Why does my car charger keep stopping?
Frequent stops may be caused by loose ports, faulty cords, or an unstable power supply. Inspect connections, test cords, and check grounding and voltage to isolate the problem.
Why does my car charger only work sometimes?
Intermittent function is typically due to dirty or damaged ports, bad electrical contacts, or software glitches. Clean ports thoroughly, check connectors, and reset the infotainment system.
Why is my car USB port not charging my phone?
The main causes include a blown fuse, cord failure, software bugs, voltage drops, or a dirty or broken port. Methodically troubleshoot each possibility to identify and resolve the cause.
Why does my charger not work in accessory mode?
Some outlets may deactivate when in accessory mode and require the engine to run. This saves battery when parked. Check your owner’s manual and start the car when charging.
How do I get my cigarette lighter socket working again?
Check the fuse and wiring connections. Clean out the port. Plug in another device to test. Replace any malfunctioning components. This should restore functionality.
While a non-functional car charger can be an annoyance, the fix is often simple once you methodically troubleshoot the likely culprits. Check fuses, cords, connections, voltage, and software settings to isolate and address the cause. Reliable charging system maintenance will prevent issues going forward. With the proper tips, you can keep your car powered up and your devices charging on the go.