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How to charge a car battery through a cigarette lighter

Updated October 29, 2018

An automotive electrical system normally has one or more power accessory points. These accessory points are often cigarette lighter outlets. However, most vehicles manufactured since the 1990s contain dedicated power accessory outlets.

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Many automobiles have their cigarette lighter outlets wired so that the outlets only work when the automobiles are running. However, power accessory outlets are usually hard-wired to the battery, and are always active.

A power accessory outlet may also be used as a means to trickle charge an automobile battery. Some accessories, such as solar battery chargers, are designed to take advantage of the bidirectional nature of a hard-wired power accessory outlet.

  1. Place the solar battery charger, shiny-side up, on the automobile's dashboard.

  2. Plug the battery charger plug into the power accessory outlet.

  3. Allow the battery to charge for approximately six hours, and then unplug the charger from the power accessory outlet.

  4. Tip

    Check the battery every half hour while it is charging. If the battery begins to bubble, or is hot to the touch, unplug the battery charger immediately.

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Things You'll Need

  • Automobile with hard-wired power accessory outlet
  • Solar battery charger with automotive cigarette lighter plug

About the Author

David Sandoval

David Sandoval has served as a trainer and technical writer since 2000. He has written several articles online in the fields of home improvement, finance, electronics and science. Sandoval has an Associate of Applied Science in microelectronics from Northern New Mexico College.

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