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Old 07-10-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
Cobb_Web
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Power Plug Always On?

In my previous vehicle I left my iPhone car charger plugged into the power outlet pretty much all the time. I got into my car the other evening and noticed that the light indicating that power was running to the charger was lit even though I hadn't even put the key into the ignition yet. In my version of the SE (I've seen one other configuration) my power outlet is hidden from view underneath the arm rest...so I hadn't spotted it until now.

So my question is...

Is the power constantly running to the outlet (even with the car off) if something is plugged into it? Is there a way to stop this?

Thanks for the help.

-Cobb


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Old 07-11-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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It goes off after about 10 minutes. Even if it didn't it wouldn't harm anything as long your not powering anything. The LED indicator won't even touch the battery. LEDs use such little power that sometimes they stay lit briefly after unplugging due to the residual power in the line.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Mine doesn't go off. I had my cell phone charger plugged in for an hour this morning while I slept in my car before PT. I just unplug my charger before I get out of the car.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaDnB View Post
It goes off after about 10 minutes. Even if it didn't it wouldn't harm anything as long your not powering anything. The LED indicator won't even touch the battery. LEDs use such little power that sometimes they stay lit briefly after unplugging due to the residual power in the line.
Is that right? 10 minutes?

I have a cell phone charger myself with an LED that I've hated to leave plugged in. My older (dumber) car is a Taurus and it definitely stays on all the time.

It's not that I'm worried so much about the LED draining the battery as some other circuitry in the charger staying active.

I'd love to find out it's safe to leave it plugged in all the time. The location of the 12v jack on the non-SYNC SE cars is such a pain in the ass and for most chargers you have to open the center console box to insert and remove the charger plug. I'd love to just leave mine plugged in and forget about it.

I've left it plugged in overnight before to no apparent ill effect, but I wonder what happens if I don't drive the car for a few days.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsfocus View Post
Mine doesn't go off. I had my cell phone charger plugged in for an hour this morning while I slept in my car before PT. I just unplug my charger before I get out of the car.
If you didn't open the door to get out of the car that would explain it. Like how the radio stays on for a while until you open the door.

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Is that right? 10 minutes?

I have a cell phone charger myself with an LED that I've hated to leave plugged in. My older (dumber) car is a Taurus and it definitely stays on all the time.

It's not that I'm worried so much about the LED draining the battery as some other circuitry in the charger staying active.

I'd love to find out it's safe to leave it plugged in all the time. The location of the 12v jack on the non-SYNC SE cars is such a pain in the ass and for most chargers you have to open the center console box to insert and remove the charger plug. I'd love to just leave mine plugged in and forget about it.

I've left it plugged in overnight before to no apparent ill effect, but I wonder what happens if I don't drive the car for a few days.
Mine has sat for several days (3+) at a time with no problems. I've had my charger plugged in for the entire year I've the car. I know mine goes off. I can most notably tell at night when by my interior isn't glowing blue (color of the LED). I believe it powers back up as soon as you open the door.

Back in the 80s and early 90s pretty much any car's cigarette lighter would work without the car being on. It's the same thing really, so if it does keep power going to it for whatever reason it isn't anything to worry about.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Back in the 80s and early 90s pretty much any car's cigarette lighter would work without the car being on. It's the same thing really, so if it does keep power going to it for whatever reason it isn't anything to worry about.
They kept voltage to the terminals but that doesn't use any electricity if there's nothing plugged in. So that's my only concern.

I suppose I'll just try it sometime. It's worth 6 months off my battery life not to pull the damn charger off every time, if it even amounts to that much damage.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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They kept voltage to the terminals but that doesn't use any electricity if there's nothing plugged in. So that's my only concern.

I suppose I'll just try it sometime. It's worth 6 months off my battery life not to pull the damn charger off every time, if it even amounts to that much damage.
So you're thinking there may be some electrical leak if something is plugged in as opposed to if it's not? If so I still think it would be absolute minimal. Is your 12v plug in the armrest? You kind of lost me about that when you mentioned. I have a non-Sync SE. My socket is right in front of the armrest. If you could experiment and you can see the light on your plug from outside the car, get the power to it then leave it, closing and locking the door, then go back and check it after about 15 minutes without unlocking or opening the door. I'm just curious as to if yours does or does not in fact power off.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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So did we determine whether or not the 12v's turn off?
Edit: just checked. It turns off
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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So did we determine whether or not the 12v's turn off?
Edit: just checked. It turns off
I know. I'm not sure why I'm constantly doubted on this forum. Hell, I think this has even been discussed before.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaDnB View Post
So you're thinking there may be some electrical leak if something is plugged in as opposed to if it's not? If so I still think it would be absolute minimal. Is your 12v plug in the armrest? You kind of lost me about that when you mentioned. I have a non-Sync SE. My socket is right in front of the armrest. If you could experiment and you can see the light on your plug from outside the car, get the power to it then leave it, closing and locking the door, then go back and check it after about 15 minutes without unlocking or opening the door. I'm just curious as to if yours does or does not in fact power off.
I need to check, really. If it powers down then I'm totally happy and the rest of all this is moot. I suspect you're right and I've just never noticed it because I wasn't expecting it to operate under a delay.

Yeah my 12V is right where yours is. Didn't realize yours was non-SYNC. So I'd be shocked if mine -doesn't- turn off, really. This is definitely good news.

Some electrical stuff uses power even when it's off, so that's my concern. Mini USB isn't the easiest thing to get a probe on. :) I've had AC phone chargers that draw current even when the phone isn't plugged into it, and with no LED. Car batteries aren't made to cycle very far down, so my fear is that if it is drawing current, even if the car still starts, it may be hurting battery life. But, again, if the jack shuts down after 10 or 15 minutes it's all good.
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