Can I run a 1000 lbs winch through the 12 volt cigar lighter of my truck or is it asking too much from the outlet? The wires are heavy gauge.

  • 1
    If the supplied wires are heavier gauge than the wires supplying power to the cigarette lighter then I wouldn't trust the connection to supply sufficient amperage reliably. The best problem would be a blown fuse; cigarette lighter type connections are always fused. There's a big difference between running a winch with no load and running it at its limit pulling capacity.
    – user16128
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:16
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    Short answer, No.
    – Moab
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:17
  • 2
    Don’t do this, if you do you will be lucky if you only blow a fuse.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:18
  • Forgot to ask. Did the winch come with a fused cigarette lighter connector or you going to splice one in?
    – user16128
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:27
  • @SolarMike - People plug coffee makers into their cigarette lighters all the time (a practise I abhor btw). Anything involving heat to boil water uses much more power than a small DC motor geared down to supply a lowly 1000lb pull.
    – user16128
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


Since you really didn't provide any specifications for the motor in the 1000 lb winch you are looking at, I had to do my own research and figure out if what you are asking is feasible. I can tell you without a doubt, it's not.

Here's why ...

I found a few marine winches rated at 1000 lb, but the lowest otherwise was 1500 lb typically used in the automotive realm. That said, the marine winch had a motor which is rated at 1000w. 1000w @ 12vdc equates to 83.3A, which far exceeds the 15A capacity (nominal) of your cigarette lighter outlet. Even the 1500 lb winch with a 70A motor exceeds this. If you want to run this winch in your vehicle, it needs to be direct wired to the battery with the appropriate size of inline fuse for protection.

For future use, to figure out how many watts of power your cigarette lighter outlet can provide, find the fuse for it, which should be in the fuse panel inside the passenger compartment. Once you find the rating for this fuse in Amps, multiply this number by the voltage of the vehicle (usually 12vdc nominal), which will give you the watts. For reference on a 12vdc electrical system:

  • 15A = 180W
  • 20A = 240W

Neither one is ANYWHERE close to being able to provide you the power you need to operate a winch. (NOTE: I'm showing the watts here in case the motor you are using states watt usage instead of Amps. You now have both pieces of knowledge in your arsenal.)

  • Thank you very much Sir, your expertise is much appreciated. What I've done since in to add a battery to the set up and connected the battery to the 12 V. output to keep her charged. Although I've not tried it yet, what do you think of the setup? Apr 15, 2020 at 0:31
  • @MarioHamel - Look on here for questions about similar setups ... there are some considerations. Apr 15, 2020 at 1:00

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