In today’s busy world, most of us are surrounded by a plethora of electric or electronic devices. Phones, pda’s, laptops and even mobile coolers are often needed to get us through the day. Without them, our productivity (or our lunch) goes to hell in a lunch basket. Of course, when the batteries begin to drain we all scurry to the closest power source. Often that is the 12 volt socket of the car. Didn’t we used to call that a lighter socket? When our stuff won’t charge, we get seriously inconvenienced not to mention more than a little miffed. What do most people do? They run to their car dealership and bitch that their power source doesn’t work.
I have a short personal tale on this topic: My phone charger works in my 2000 Nissan Xterra. It does not work in Mrs. G’s 2002 Mazda. It has not worked in a single media fleet vehicle over the past 2 years, including Nissan products. In other words, my charger is a poorly engineered piece of garbage. There has been nothing wrong with the 30 or so vehicles I’ve tried it in.
Having worked in the repair end of the auto industry since the dawn of cell phone chargers, you would not believe how many times I have tried to convince a consumer that the reason their phone won’t charge has nothing to do with their 40 thousand dollar car and everything to do with their twenty dollar phone charger. People just can’t seem to grasp the concept that their cheap ass, Made in China, phone charger might not have been engineered to work with their specific vehicle. The answer is always the same: “it works in my other car…”
The problem folks is that there are no standards for 12 volt socket insertion devices. Nor I suspect are there set standards for automotive 12 volt sockets. Everyone tries to mimic roughly the same size, but they are all just a tiny bit different. If your car’s 12 volt socket has power & ground, then it works. Case closed. Your phone still won’t charge? Try another brand of charger! Please, don’t freak out on your service department because they say there is nothing wrong with your car.