Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 2000 Toyota Corolla. Recently, the fuse for the cigarette lighter blew when I put in a car charger. The fuse powers the cigarette lighter as well as the radio and I think the backlighting on the air conditioner panel. I tried replacing the fuse (15W) and it blew again when I put in the charger. This happened once or twice more. There are no aftermarket items here, everything including the radio is original as far as I know. I also didn't do anything differently than in the past. This is not a new car charger, I have been using it for a year with no problems. Any idea why all of a sudden using the charger and radio blow the fuse repeatedly?

share|improve this question
Just to clarify: by “car charger” you mean mobile phone or GPS charger/power supply etc.? – theUg Jul 16 '13 at 7:30
Run new 8gauge wire directly to the battery, run the wire along the fuel lines and make sure you don't fuse them. That way you won't have to deal with any blown fuses. – Mike Saull Jul 16 '13 at 16:52
@MikeSaull: Unfused wires are a very bad idea. If you have a short, the wire will burn through, sending molten copper everywhere. – Hobbes Apr 28 at 9:49

Sounds like the car charger has a short in it. If you really, really wanted to I supposed you could test for low resistance across the charger plug. Or, perhaps try plugging it into a different car and see if it blows the fuse there.

If it was me, I'd try a different device in the car and verify that it's not a loose socket. If it fails that, I'd get the socket fixed and then try the charger again. If some other device worked fine on the car, I'd be looking for a new charger. I'm very hesitant to try a possible shorted device anywhere as I've already had a car electrical fire due to a fuse failing to blow when some wiring shorted out...

share|improve this answer

I figured it out. There was a piece of metal that fell off the tip of one of my car chargers that was inside the cigarette lighter... It kept blowing the fuse but when I discovered it and removed it, the problem was fixed.

share|improve this answer

I've blown three on my 99 Tacoma. A tech told me my Verizon charger was the culprit, as its ground contacts on the side are "longer than most." Everyone I've heard of with this problem is using a Verizon charger.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.