The Scary Mistake You’re Making When You Plug Your iPhone Into Your Car

November 29, 2019 by Lisa Fogarty


If you spend a lot of time in your car commuting to and from places, it makes sense that you would rely on your car’s charging port to keep your device powered up.

But it’s important to remember that a car is not a natural charging spot for your iPhone — nor is it the best.

This is the scary mistake you’re making when you plug your iPhone your car.

You Rely On Your Car Far Too Much For Charging

If you are neglecting to charge your phone at home or work because you figure you’ll just charge it in the car, it’s a good idea to get out of that habit. Put simply, your car was not designed with smartphone charging in mind. And it doesn’t have the power that your device needs to charge it fast and fully.

The reality is that your phone is using up more than it is taking from your car in terms of power.

“Many people may notice that on their commute home from work their phone charged very little (if at all) during their 30 to 60 minute commute,” Brad Nichols, a technician at Staymobile, told Reader’s Digest. “This is mostly due to the fact the phone is using more power than the car charger is supplying it.”

Your phone could actually be getting far more power than it even needs, which is especially true if you are using the car’s “cigarette lighter” to charge your phone. This old-time lighter only delivers about 10 amps, whereas most chargers that you use provide one to three amps. That extra charge isn’t necessary and could wind up weakening your phone’s lithium-ion battery.

The best way to charge your phone is to provide a few consistent, shorter charges throughout the day that keep your battery hovering between 40 to 80 percent. It isn’t necessary to power it up to 100 percent, nor is it ideal to wait until it has plummeted to 10 percent. Keep a charging cable at work, charge your phone when you get home, and only rely on your car charger in emergencies or for short charges.

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