Model Year 2012 to 2017 New devices blow fuses - Accessory plugs (under center armrest & under A/C controls)

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  1. #1
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    New devices blow fuses - Accessory plugs (under center armrest & under A/C controls)

    I've been using phone chargers / GPS, etc devices for 4 years w/o problems. Recently I purchase a phone charger and an outlet multi-spliter. Both of these new devices quickly blow fuses (plugged in under center armrest &/or under A/C controls - 10a / 20a fuses) with NOTHING being plugged into them. AMP ratings are OK. Both new devices otherwise check out OK. The old devices continue to work OK. What could be the problem? Is there some new type of plug I need to avoid?

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  3. #2
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    Congrats on your first post!

    The design of these things basically hasn't changed for decades and fuses don't blow for reason at all. Typically, fuses blow when the device is drawing too much current and even though there is nothing connected to the two new devices, I suspect that they are doing just that.

    How did you check out the two new devices to confirm that they are OKAY?

  4. #3
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    Hi Richard - Much thanks for your response! The 2 new devices work in other vehicles. One was checked by a pro mechanic (who also has electrical education). They don't have a short / pull 2a. The pro checked the harness & plug - couldn't figure out why the fuses were blown either. He said the devices should work, but to avoid trouble, recommended not using them. I didn't think the design has changed, so good to know. Some of the plugs are very slightly different vs the old (new have more metal contacts), but look like they should work OK. I guess I could spend a lot of time, $, etc to figure it out, but maybe best to just avoid the new devices. But, I am very uneasy that I don't have a solid root cause of the failure. Best - CTB,

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTB View Post
    Hi Richard - Much thanks for your response! The 2 new devices work in other vehicles. One was checked by a pro mechanic (who also has electrical education). They don't have a short / pull 2a. The pro checked the harness & plug - couldn't figure out why the fuses were blown either. He said the devices should work, but to avoid trouble, recommended not using them. I didn't think the design has changed, so good to know. Some of the plugs are very slightly different vs the old (new have more metal contacts), but look like they should work OK. I guess I could spend a lot of time, $, etc to figure it out, but maybe best to just avoid the new devices. But, I am very uneasy that I don't have a solid root cause of the failure. Best - CTB,
    I can understand your feelings on the subject.

    Here's a question that might get down to the root cause - when you plug the device in, is the 12V port energized (ie is the ignition off or is it in accessory/on mode)? The reason why I'm asking, there's a possibility that the metal contacts on the device is actually shorting out the 12V port when inserted OR that it's shorting out once it's plugged in. You can check if the port has been shorted out by removing the car fuse, inserting the device into the port, and using a ohmmeter/multimeter check to see if there any resistence between the power line and ground past the fuse connector (ie did the device short out the port?).

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouie View Post
    I can understand your feelings on the subject.

    Here's a question that might get down to the root cause - when you plug the device in, is the 12V port energized (ie is the ignition off or is it in accessory/on mode)? The reason why I'm asking, there's a possibility that the metal contacts on the device is actually shorting out the 12V port when inserted OR that it's shorting out once it's plugged in. You can check if the port has been shorted out by removing the car fuse, inserting the device into the port, and using a ohmmeter/multimeter check to see if there any resistence between the power line and ground past the fuse connector (ie did the device short out the port?).
    You can also connect an ammeter across the fuse outlet to measure the current draw.
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  8. #6
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    Much thanks for your help! I feel sure it's shorting the port. But, I am puzzled why & especially how to determine which plugs will be ok vs which will short?

    2 good plugs are on the left / 3 bad on the right:


    Good 2 Plugs on left -3 Bad on Rt_4059_edited-1.jpg

  9. #7
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    What about inrush current? Maybe when power is first applied the devices are drawing a large amount of current for a very short time and that blows the fuse. The steady state current would be much lower.

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    Maybe. Devices are not really loaded (phone charger w/no phone plugged in / splitter w/ nothing plugged to it). BTW - Outlet at console storage bin was charred. Thinking the device plug shorts the outlet, but I am puzzled .... Why don't all device plugs short?

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTB View Post
    Much thanks for your help! I feel sure it's shorting the port. But, I am puzzled why & especially how to determine which plugs will be ok vs which will short?

    2 good plugs are on the left / 3 bad on the right:


    Good 2 Plugs on left -3 Bad on Rt_4059_edited-1.jpg
    I'm assuming that all 5 have fuses in them, correct? It would be interesting to see what those fuses are rated at... After all, if the internal fuse of the devices are rated smaller than the 12V port's fuse, then the internal fuse should blow before the 12V port one....

  12. #10
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    2 of the bad do NOT have fuses. The 3rd bad does have a fuse (but it did not blow), but no rating shown.

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