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Ok to leave chargers plugged in all the time?

My partner and I have a disagreement about phone chargers in the car. She leaves hers plugged into the lighter jack all the time, whether it's being used to charge the phone or not.

I say she should only plug it in when in use. It seems to me that it can?t be good to leave it in all the time, even when the car is parked over night, etc.

She only charges the phone once a week this way anyway.

Who has the right idea here?


  • edited February 2008
    My personal belief, is that one should put their toys away when they are done playing. Leaving you phone charger out simply advertises, "Hey valualble stuff here, what else have I left laying about?"
  • edited February 2008
    It is not likely to hurt the charger or the car, although it would not be a good idea to do when you are going to leave the car parked for several weeks.

    bejindy is right about the risk of having some break into your car. If for no other reason that is a good reason to put it away.
  • edited February 2008
    Your partner is. Not a worthy arguement IMHO.There is no issue leaving it plugged in all the time, the draw is barely anything when not charging and little when charging.
  • edited February 2008

    Your friend's way is totally harmless. Perfectly all right. Whatever gave you the eccentric idea that this is a bad habit? Offer your apologies.

  • edited February 2008
    there are actually two answers.

    most newer cars have the cigarette lighter keyed on to power up ONLY when the key is on.

    some cars have a second power outlet which is on all the time.

    check which type (or both) you have and leave the plug in the 'keyed' outlet, that way theres NO worry about discharging the battery.

    if you have a car which has one outlet which is powered on all the time (with no difference to key position) then the only reason to unplug it would be if you were leaving the car for over a week, or more)

  • edited February 2008
    There is no harm in leaving it plugged in while the car is off. The power to the outlet is probably cut off when the key is removed from the ignition. Leaving it plugged in might lead to a miniscule amount of fuel use, but it isn't worth worrying about. In fact, it is a good way to keep track of the charger. It is always in the right place when your partner looks for it. There are more important things in life to worry about, like which way to hang the toilet paper roll.
  • edited February 2008
    Most chargers keep on drawing current even when they are off and DC is a constant fire hazard. Be safe.
  • edited February 2008
    Doesn't the fuse offer protection against the circuit being overloaded? What do you mean by "DC is a constant fire hazard"? What kind of deathtrap do you drive?
  • edited February 2008

    I've owned cars for 35+ years....and the last car I owned that DIDN'T disable the lighter jack was my Vega. Every car I've owned since then...when car is off...lighter jack has no power.
  • edited February 2008
    My car has one of each; one stays powered all the time, the other is powered only when the car's on. They're about 6" apart from each other.

    The power draw is so low that removing it for that reason isn't really logical (within reason; come back in 2 weeks, and you probably have a dead battery). But I'd still remove it, so you're not advertising.
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