How to Make a Car Charger Work With a Wall Outlet

Written by spanner spencer
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How to Make a Car Charger Work With a Wall Outlet
As cars use a battery for power, an adaptor is required to convert mains AC current to DC. (auto lighter image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Car electrical systems have the benefit of uniform power requirements and connections throughout the world, as all cars use 12-volt batteries and come equipped with a cigarette lighter adaptor. Because of this, a huge variety of chargers, adaptors and power supplies are available for cars at very affordable prices, and cover a vast array of different types of equipment from DVD players to cell phones. Being able to use these pieces of equipment in the house requires an adaptor that allows you to connect car equipment to a mains outlet.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Main to cigarette lighter adaptor

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  1. 1

    Check the required current rating of the car equipment you wish to use in the house. It's requirements will be detailed either on the equipment itself, or in its instruction manual.

  2. 2

    Acquire a mains-to-12-volt-cigarette-lighter adaptor that is rated to supply the milliamps-per-hour (mAh) required by the equipment. This adaptor will plug into the wall outlet, and allow you to connect car equipment through its built-in 12-volt cigarette lighter adaptor.

  3. 3

    Insert the equipment's cigarette lighter plug into the socket on the mains adaptor, and switch it on at the outlet.

Tips and warnings

  • Ideally, the adaptor should have a higher mAh rating than required.
  • Be careful not to overload the adaptor if using a dual cigarette lighter adaptor, or a piece of equipment that has more than one power outlet. The sum of the current rating on all the pieces of equipment being powered should be equal to, or less than, the mains adaptor's current rating.

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