"Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries! - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

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Old 04-17-2009, 10:07 AM
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Default "Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries!

This is the stranest thing I have ever seen. I had a Sirus sat radio plugged into my Cigarette Lighter 'power port' in my HCH I for about a year without any problems (it blew a fuse once but that's no big deal). About a month ago it stopped working. I tested the Sirus headunit with the power adapter in a friends car and it worked fine, indicating to me that my power adapter was bad. I had been meaning to get another one but hadn't gotten around to it. My wife had to take the car on a trip to upstate NY and plugged her GPS unit into it. It was fully charged and can usually get about 3 hours on a charge. Within 30 minutes the GPS gave a power warning and shut down. The battery was drained. She figured the GPS battery had gone bad and disconnect the power adapter and plugged in her cell phone charger. Her phone was also fully charged and can go a day or two without needing a recharge. It was dead in about an hour.

This morning I unpluged my Cell phone from the house current (fully charged, 4 bars), got in the car and drove 45 minutes to work. When I arrived the battery was showing only one bar. I just recharged it using my desk charger and the battery is fine.

Has anyone ever heard of a Cigarette Lighter actually discharging devices? I know you can jump start a car by plugging a power source in the cigarette lighter, so I guess it is possible. I'm taking my car's 12v battery into Advance Auto to get it tested this weekend. My car still starts fine though. No clicking or slow turnover.

Last edited by Neil; 04-17-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: "Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries!

Weird--this just happened to me last week. My phone was at 2/3 power so I plugged it into the center consile power outlet to top it off. When I got to work, the phone was in the red zone (1/3) so I shut it off the rest of the day.

I wrote it off thinking that maybe it was closer to red when I plugged it in, but maybe it wasn't. I usually use the front plug for my iPod, and have never noticed any drain there--however, I don't usually check the battery charge since I use it in the car 95% of the time. I'll do a little more testing and see if I can repeat this.

On a most likely unrelated note, my traction battery crashed that day on the way to work. This isn't an unusual occurance for my car, but now I'm wondering a little...
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: "Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries!

I just got this reply from Pat Goss - he has an automotive TV show on Maryland Public Television and News Channel 8 (DC area Cable) as well as a call in Radio show.

Hi Henry:

Check the lighter socket for shorted contacts. Based on your description I suspect you will find the contacts shorted together so that it represents a load to the device. If the socket is okay check for a short to ground in the wiring and of course check for power at the socket.

Pat Goss

News Channel 8
Washington Post.com
Goss' Garage Radio WJFK 106.7 FM
Saturday 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Stream www.wjfk.com

Goss' Garage
9421 Smith Avenue
Lanham-Seabrook, MD 20706-4045
[email protected]

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Old 04-17-2009, 08:20 PM

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Default Re: "Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries!

The power sockets at the bottom of the junk boxes seem to attract coins. Copper (sort of) coins.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Default Re: "Power Port" (Cigarette Lighter) is draining batteries!

I had that happen with my regular 2006 Civic sedan - it severely decreased battery life just because I was plugging in my cell phone to charge or iPod charger. My car isn't yet three years old, but I had to replace the battery a little over a month ago. We checked it out for shorts, etc. and were assured by the dealer that the port does not charge devices when the engine was off - but it does. Needless to say, I plug everything in at home or work now to be on the safe side until they solve this discrepancy. I don't keep any change in that area, so it just doesn't make sense. To prove it to them, I took my car for an oil change and showed them that the cell phone was completely dead - wouldn't even turn on. They turned on my car just to park it in the garage, reset the readings, and drive it back. In an hour, it was charged enough to turn on. I have been told that Honda is investigating this. I hope!
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