In the know: Reasons why your car's 12-volt outlet is not working

2021 Honda City RS CVT

In our last article, we covered a few essential car accessories you could plug in your vehicle’s 12-volt socket, proving that your car can now power a host of gadgets and gizmos that could make one’s life on the road a tad bit better.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the possible reasons why your car's 12-volt outlet has stopped working?

    Common reasons for a car's 12-volt socket's failure include obstruction, faulty power cords, and a busted fuse.
  • Where can you find the fuse of your car's 12-volt socket?

    The fuse of your car's 12-volt socket can usually be found behind the dashboard, although we recommend checking your owner's manual for more information.
  • But what if that 12-volt socket suddenly stops working? On that note, we’re going to take a look at some of the possible reasons why your car’s 12-volt socket stopped working.

    Xpander Cross

    1. Obstruction

    One of the common causes of non-working 12-volt sockets is an obstruction in the metallic contact. Over time, small debris can get trapped in the ports, especially if the socket is not covered. As dirt, lint, and dust accumulate, the contacts that create the connection between the 12-volt outlet and the device that’s supposed to go in it could get blocked preventing any electrical accessory from working.

    In this case, make sure to lightly clean the socket of any debris.

    2. A faulty power cord

    Sometimes, the fault lies not within the socket but within the actual cord plugged in it.

    Check the power cord or charging cables of your devices, it’s not uncommon for these wires to break due to wear and tear. You might want to physically inspect the cable for cracks and any form of damage. It would also help if you can take a sniff as a burnt smell could mean that the cord is busted.

    You might also want to try the cable on a wall outlet, if you can find one, or a portable powerbank if you’re out and about.

    3. Blown fuse

    Your car’s 12-volt socket comes equipped with a fuse. Should the outlet encounter a short circuit, the fuse would blow and eventually would require replacement.

    If you’re confident in your abilities to handle your car’s electrical components and replace the fuse, you can always take a DIY approach to solve this problem. Having your car’s owner’s manual can help guide you through the process — pretty much like following a YouTube vid or reading a how-to blog.

    However, if you have no clue about what to do, we recommend calling a pro.

    Photos from Ruben Manahan

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