Power outlets

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Thread: Power outlets

  1. #1
    Driver's Ed
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    Power outlets

    The power outlets turn on only when the key is in the on position. I there a way to override this and have them on all the time.

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  3. #2
    Aesop
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    Without modifying your vehicle can buy one of these.

    Even a solar panel mounted on your roof to keep it charged.

    Other than that, have to unsnap your console and run a wire directly to your batter or some other always hot wire and use a 25 amp fuse.

    Could trade it off for a 2004 Cavalier, those outlets are always hot, but not an 88 Supra, outlets switch off with the key. These guys must flip a coin to decide whether to switch these outlets off or not, certainly no logic involved.

    Wife's cell phone went dead while I was driving, carried along a DC charger so she could use it. Asked about charging it at our destination, said no, but also brought an AC charger with us. Getting too lazy to make all these changes car after car after car.

  4. #3
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    Before I got my Cruze I had an HHR and the power outlets were always live, but like you guys said the ones in the Cruze are only active with the ignition switch. I suppose there are pros and cons of both. I miss being able to just leave my cell phone plugged in to charge while I'm out somewhere, but then again it's probably not too wise to just leave things plugged in and unattended. Some cell chargers can get very hot. When you turn the ignition off though the outlets stay live for about 10 minutes, along with the radio and other electronics in the car. "Retained accessory power" I think it's called...

  5. #4
    3rd Gear AkotaHsky's Avatar
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    Buy a cheap 12-V Power Block from Walmart. Get an add a circuit fuse. Cut off the cigarette lighter adapter and hard wire it into the add-a-circuit fuse and ground it on a bolt on the the center console. Hide the wiring, run it to the fuse box and find something that is always on like On-Star.

    Probably cost you $20 to do it.

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  6. #5
    Aesop
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    In the instrument panel fuse panel, fuse 6 is the cigar lighter socket, 7 is the power outlet. Have to find which end of those fuse terminate at the sockets. So far this eliminates tearing apart the console.

    According to the shop manual, the high sides of fuses 6 and 7 are tied together and go to a relay mounted on that same fuse panel. A bit confusing as the shop manuals shows that as KR7C, I think that is relay number 3 on top of the same fuse panel. Its solenoid is energized by the BCM, but just as a single set of contacts.

    In theory at least, removing that relay and replacing those contacts with a jumper lead with the same tabs as the relay should keep the cigar lighter and power outlet always hot and still protected by the fuses 6 and 7.

    I never trust this until I check it out with the appropriate test equipment. Not unusual to find gross errors in shop manual schematics.

    But looks like, may be as simple as unplugging a relay and plugging in a jumper wire, and would be fully reversible with cutting any wires.

    Both fuses 6 and 7 are rated at 20 amperes, most I ever plug in is a cell phone charger that barely pulls a 1/4 of an ampere. Occasioning a small inverter to power a computer power supply, that pulls about 8 amperes.

    Have to try this first.

  7. #6
    Aesop
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    Took a look at it, easy modification, but elected not to do it as the battery low voltage sensor circuit would be bypassed. A trade off, getting always hot outlets, or trying to start your vehicle with a dead battery.

    Wife seems to be having a problem keeping her cell phone charged, I got her a spare battery. That problem is solved without modifying the vehicle.
    obermd likes this.

  8. #7
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    I know this is an old thread but I found it recently as I wanted to solve the problem of my GPS not starting until the ignition was turned on and shutting down every time it was turned off and the door was opened. I figured out a simple and completely reversible solution. Upon examining the fuse board I determined that the solution proposed by Nickd was beyond my adventuresome spirit but I also noticed that there were a number of "not in use" receptacles which appeared to be all unswitched. I got 2 add a circuit (sometimes called tap ins) mini fuses (thank you for that idea AkotaHsky) available in Canada from Princess Auto for $4.99, plugged one into an unused receptacle, one into the cigarette lighter fuse receptacle and left the fuse holder connecting the 2 prongs empty on both add a circuit devices. I checked that I was getting power from the outlet wire of the one plugged into the not in use receptacle and no power from the other one, even with the ignition switched on. I then connected the 2 add a circuit outlet wires. I now have constant power to my cigarette lighter outlet.
    NOTE: Do not get the "low profile" add a circuit as they will not plug into the Cruze.

  9. #8
    Aesop
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    Can't explain my GPS operation, maybe Garmin can.

    With my 1450, switch on the ignition, it powers itself up on its own, and goes through all that map reloading stuff, then comes up with that agree sign. Then it stays on by itself and will discharge its internal battery if I don't manually turn it off.

    My 52 does not do this, switch on the ignition, stays off, have to switch it on, when I do, it jumps right to that where to screen, none of this agreeing stuff.

    Just talking to my son on this issue with his new Tomtom going through that long start up sequence when first switched on. But in his new Town & Country has two cigar lighter sockets up front, one is always hot, other is switched.

    Battery in the Cruze has an adjustable partition in it, have to live with the width, but sure can increase the length. Was going to look into this to learn if we can put a much larger battery in it, but haven't yet.

  10. #9
    Formula One Champion
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronsnbrd View Post
    I know this is an old thread but I found it recently as I wanted to solve the problem of my GPS not starting until the ignition was turned on and shutting down every time it was turned off and the door was opened.
    Though I can understand for some devices needing them powered constantly, for a GPS wouldn't this be the preferred way for it to work? I get in and turn on my ignition, My garmin 50LM powers up and allows me to set a destination even before I start my car. When I reach my destination I shut off my car and once I open the door the GPS turns itself off. Basically with the cigarette lighter power being tied the ignition my aftermarket GPS system works seamlessly as though it was built into the car.
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    Lifetime: 9.7 cents per mile @ $3.44 average price over 80K miles. Average 1.1 gallons burned per hour driving.

  11. #10
    Aesop
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    This how my Garmin Nuvi 52 LM works, but have to manually switch it on, when I open the door, a screen comes on saying it will shut if off in 30 seconds unless I hit the keep it on screen, but is running on the internal battery at this time.

    Older Nuvi 1450 is not this way even with the most up to date firmware, it comes on with the ignition by itself, and will stay on, even with the ignition turned off discharging the internal battery, so have to switch it off. Wired hot, will always pull 60 ma from the car battery, but will keeps its internal battery fully charged. Left on, only pulls 200 ma.

    This won't hurt a daily driver to wire it hot, but another way to kill all the power from it, pull the cord from the back of the unit if the car is going to sit for awhile, input current will drop to zero.

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