Updated on December 16, 2022
If you’ve ever tried to charge your phone or plug in a device with your car USB port only to find that it’s not working, then you know it can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to troubleshoot the issue and get your USB port up and running again.
The most common reasons for a car’s USB port not working is due to cable problems, a blown fuse, and debris stuck in the USB port, or a faulty USB port. Another reason why your USB port might not be working is that your car simply doesn’t have the data and the charging functionality in the USB port.
Data Ports vs. Charging Ports
First, we need to be clear about what you mean when you say, “USB Port is not Working.” Are you saying your phone doesn’t charge when you plug it in or that the USB port isn’t connecting with the device?
Most modern cars have the possibility to charge and transfer data with a USB port. Some older vehicles may only have a charging port or a data port.
Data ports allow you to connect your device to the car’s computer system, allowing for features such as hands-free calling and navigation via an app like Google Maps or Waze. These data ports also support audio streaming from your device, so you can listen to music or podcasts from your favorite apps while driving.
Charging-only ports, on the other hand, do not allow for any type of data connection; they are simply used for charging your device’s battery. The upside is that these charging-only ports usually have a higher wattage output than data ports, meaning they can charge your device faster than a regular wall outlet charger would be able to do. For example, my 2014 Ford Fiesta only has a charging port (which is quite bad, to be honest).
Most Common Causes of the USB Port Not Working
Sometimes, the problem lies within the fuse box that powers the USB ports. It’s possible that either one or more fuses have blown due to an electrical surge in power through your car’s system or simply because they’ve worn down over time due to regular use.
To diagnose this issue correctly and replace any blown fuses correctly, you should consult a professional technician who can open up your fuse box safely and efficiently without damaging anything else in the process.
If your car USB port isn’t working, then it could be a simple cable issue. If the connection between the port and your device is loose or faulty, then you won’t be able to get any kind of charge or data transfer.
To fix this issue, try using different cables (if possible) or double-check that the cable is firmly connected to both the port and your device. Yes, we know this is quite obvious, but we have to mention it.
Even though it is increasingly rare, some cables can only charge or only transfer data. Double-check the cable you’re using and make sure it is fully compatible with your device. If not, you will, of course, have to buy a new one.
In some cases, the problem may be related to outdated firmware on your car’s computer system. This can prevent devices from connecting properly or even cause the USB port to malfunction entirely. To update your firmware, you’ll need to update your car’s stereo drivers, which can be done fairly easily. Here is a YouTube video showing you how it is done:
Unconfigured Device Settings
If your device is not connecting properly with the car’s computer system, then it may be a configuration issue. More likely than not, connecting your device to the car’s USB port will prompt you to configure certain settings.
It’s possible that these have not been set up correctly, so make sure to double-check them and ensure they are correct. You will most likely have to choose whether to transfer data or charge only.
Debris in the USB Port
If none of the above solutions work, then some debris may be stuck in the USB port. This is more common than you might think and can easily cause a connection issue between your device and the car’s computer system. To ensure this isn’t the problem, take a look inside the port (using a flashlight if necessary) and make sure it is free of debris. If there is any debris stuck inside, use a small object like a toothpick or paperclip to carefully remove it.
You can also use a soft brush or a can of compressed air to blow out any dirt or dust from inside the port. Be careful not to damage the USB port with any of your tools.
A Faulty USB Port
Finally, the issue could be a faulty USB port. This is usually the case if none of the previous solutions work, as it means that the hardware or wiring inside your car’s port has been somehow damaged. If this is the case, then you’ll need to replace the USB port itself.
How to Replace the USB Port
Before you start replacing your car’s USB port, you’ll need to gather all the materials that you’ll need for the job. This includes a new USB port (preferably one that is compatible with your vehicle model), a Phillips head screwdriver, and some electrical tape or wire connectors (depending on the model). Once you have all of these items on hand, you are ready to move on to the next step.
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- Before doing any type of work on your car’s wiring system, it is important that you disconnect the battery first. This will prevent any electric shocks or short circuits while working on the wiring system.
- Make sure that both cables are disconnected from the battery before proceeding with any further steps.
- Once the battery has been disconnected, locate the old USB port and unscrew it using a Phillips head screwdriver. You may need to use force depending on how well it is secured. Some USB ports might not be connected via screws but via two pins, which you will have to push and lift up slightly before taking the USB port out.
- Once removed from its mounting bracket, carefully disconnect all of its wires from its terminals and set them aside for now. Be sure not to mix up any of the connections, as this can cause problems down the line.
- Once all wires have been disconnected, remove the old port from its mounting bracket and discard it properly.
- Now that everything is disconnected from your old port, it’s time to install your new one in its place. Carefully connect each wire coming out of your new port to their respective terminals using either electrical tape or wire connectors (depending on which type was used previously). Make sure not to mix up any of these connections, as this could lead to problems down the line.
- Once everything is connected securely, mount your new port onto its mounting bracket using the Phillips head screwdriver provided earlier. Make sure it is tightly secured with no loose wires hanging around anywhere near it.
- Finally, reconnect both cables back into their respective terminals in your car’s battery unit and turn your ignition key so that power flows through once again.
However, the far easier solution is simply purchasing a new USB port that can be plugged directly into the auxiliary power outlet.
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No matter what type of car you drive or what device you’re trying to plug into, having a working USB port is essential for keeping all of our digital devices powered up while we’re on the go! Fortunately, most car USB issues are fairly easy to diagnose and even easier to fix.
Whether it’s a loose wire, a faulty port, or some dirt that needs to be cleared out, you now have all the information you need in order to fix your car’s USB port and get back to listening to your favorite tunes on the road.
Here are some other articles to read:
Why Is My Aux Port in Car Not Working?
Where Is The Honda Accord Auxiliary Port Location?
Car Cigarette Lighter Not Working – Fuse OK