I tend to use my phone for GPS these days, but it drains the battery something chronic.

Rather than having a cable dangling down from the windscreen all the way to the cigarette socket, I was wondering if there's any way to wire a USB connection to the central display (use for radio, clock, etc), which is right by where I want the phone.

3 Answers 3


Rather than connecting it to something in the display, you should run a hot lead down to your fuse panel and tie in there. You'll still need some way to reduce the voltage. Car battery voltage is 12+ vdc. The power which goes out through a USB device is 5vdc. In order to achieve this, you'll need to some how hide the power adapter behind the dash (or up under the dash), using a long USB cable up to where you want your display to sit (I'm assuming mounted to your windscreen via suction cup?). The type of cable you use to attach from the fuse box to your power adapter, will affect exactly how you'd hook it up. What I'm talking about is using something like this:

12vdc cigarette lighter socket from Amazon

Here, you'd attach the red lead to a hot in the fuse box and the black wire would then be attached to a known ground (earth). You could then use a regular cigarette lighter style USB power supply with a straight cable attached. Put all of the stuff you don't want to see up underneath the dash (zip ties are your friend!) with just enough USB cable to get to your device. I believe this will get you what you want without too much trouble. I suggest this route because I believe it would be the most fool proof approach with the least amount of trouble (or possibility of trouble).


If you take a car charger for your vehicle it is possible to buy a female cigarette lighter socket and wire it into an unused accessory fuse in your fuse box. From here, you can run the cable (assuming it is a longer cable) along the driver/passenger side pillars and finally along the roof trim and down to your phone from there. If it is lower on the windshield, then obviously run it along the back of the dashboard. The wire should be very easy to hide.

The most important parts here are going to be

  1. Dropping 12V down to 5V (which is what the car charger will do for you)
  2. Fusing the connection on a CLEAN LINE. Adding a load on any factory circuit can cause bad things to happen. The fuse is self explanatory. Safety first!
  3. Make sure that the fuse that you tie into is an accessory power source meaning that it shuts off with the car. Otherwise the phone charger will have a parasitic drain on your car's battery.

I think this goes without saying also, but just in case, please please please make sure to keep your positives and negatives separate and tape the car charger/cigarette lighter and use proper connection methods when connecting wires (butt connectors / solder).

Hope this helps.


Mobile phone chargers are readily available on eBay for very little money. Connecting any items to the graphic display is a very big no-no. GPS and mobile phones should not be in the drivers field of view because of safety concerns, in doing so it would be "Driving without due care and attention".

  • As I said in the question, I want an alternative to having the cable dangling down to the cigarette socket. I'm not suggesting any placement of the GPS/phone that would be different, just after a way of powering it with a much tidier cable.
    – xorsyst
    Aug 18, 2014 at 9:45
  • Simply by there being no off-the-shelf solution to want you want to do should tell you something. Aug 18, 2014 at 20:08

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