recently the GPS burned out, I want to know if a loose 12v cigarette lighter receptacle can be the cause. The rental truck I have used for many months had a receptacle that could be moved and jiggled in it's mounting hole. I can't think of any other reason the GPS unit might fail. The dashboard shows the voltage and I never noticed anything abnormal.

I was thinking that maybe if it made and broke contact it might burn out. But I had not seen the GPS act in a way to indicate a power loss.

Thank you for any assistance you can give me.


Yes, it can but it’s very unlikely and would indicate a poor design on the power regulation of the GPS.

A bad contact can generate heat and arcing but it’s not relevant to a car’s lighter socket.

What is more likely is a bad connection with possibly oxydation coming into play; that would act as a resistance and provide a lower voltage for the GPS’ power regulator. This forces the regulator to draw more current to compensate and will generate more heat until the regulator fails.

Now this would take a bad design since most regulators are protected against this, but in this era of cheap Chinese designs where safety features are ommitted to save money, it wouldn’t be the first device where regulation is not down properly.

Regulation at the car level could also be a problem: if a device gets frequently connected / didconnected (we’re talking on a micro scale here, with road vibrations for example) the regulator may over / under shoot when trying to keep its output stable.

So, in essence, it is possible that this caused the problem but it wouldn’t be the most likely cause.


I don't think there's any real answer to this question but I'll give you my opinion. Even if the conductors on the back of the recep. were loose and 12v+ or ground were intermittent I think the GPS unit would still need another reason to die. Giving it power or not only power cycles it, it doesn't "burn anything" up. To let the smoke out of something like that you'd probably need to give it at least 20 volts, but perhaps as many as 48 or more.

TLDR: Your GPS failure had nothing to do with the cigarette plug IMO.


The Power reg on the GPS thinks it is being switched on and off all the time due to the bad connector.The reg is probably a buck converter which is accepted design orthodoxy .The capacitors in the buck reg if it is cheap and nasty wont like being charged and discharged all the time and could fail .The switching devices could also fail due to the repeated thermal cycling caused by the intermittent connection .

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