Your car is not an endless source of free power, but even standard generators are capable of producing at least a little more juice than the components require. This extra juice is available through your cigarette lighter or dedicated 12-volt accessory socket and you’ve probably used it before, even if you were just charging your cell phone. But this modest little cigarette lighter socket is capable of more, and therefore much more. In fact, here is a list of the top ten appliances and accessories you can plug into your car. Just don’t overdo it.

01
out of 10

Personal electronics

Семья с помощью электроники в машине

Sam Edwards/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: No.

It’s the gold standard, so it all starts. Since the advent of cigarette lighters, they have evolved into the de facto power socket for cars, leading to the general industrial adoption of the cigarette lighter socket as mobile power supply for personal electronics.

If you have a modern cell phone, chances are fit with him any cigarette lighter charger with a mini USB connection, and other personal electronics will often be powered by universal 12-volt USB adapter without any problem.

02
out of 10

Electric heater

Крупный план нагревательных змеевиков

Giuseppe Tiberini/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: not technically, but you should.

There are many reasons why most cars use heaters that rely on engine coolant. It’s an incredibly simple process, the heat is there anyway — so it’s just wasted otherwise — and using just about any other method would just complicate things unnecessarily.

However, if your heater is flashing, connecting an electric heater to the cigarette lighter could be a much more affordable option. The heat output won’t be the same, but it might be enough to get you to your next paycheck.

03
out of 10

Electric defroster

Размораживание стеклоочистителей на авто

Lissart/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter.
You need an inverter: No.

The rear window defrosters are already electric, but they break, and rear defroster mesh repair often very expensive . The front defrosters can also break if the blower turns off or the heater and air conditioner fail, in which case the 12 volt defroster may be a better solution than oiling the window with shirts every morning.

04
out of 10

Heated seats

Использование смартфона за рулем

Odilon Dimier/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or direct wiring.
You need an inverter: No.

Some vehicles come with built-in heated seats but for the rest, we have portable devices that can be plugged into a 12-volt outlet. While they may not do much to actually warm you up, a couple of hot crossed buns can really do wonders for your perception of how warm you are on a particularly cold commute.

05
out of 10

Heater

Человек за рулем своего автомобиля и пить кофе

Alena Paulus/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: device dependent.

Portable food warmers There are different configurations, but they are all designed to serve the same function: providing you with homemade food on the go. Like.

The main units are the boxes that heat up your food. A little. Maybe if you’re lucky. Other devices are portable 12-volt ovens, pots, or even microwaves . Of course, higher amperage devices sometimes require a more reliable connection to the battery than a conventional cigarette lighter outlet.

06
out of 10

electric cooler

Крупным планом руки девушки, держащей конус тающего мороженого

Eric Raptosh Photo / Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: device dependent.

On the other end of the spectrum you have electric coolers . These units are not true refrigerators, and are often not as good at taking warm clothes and chilling them.

Others do the job just fine, and some are specifically designed to cool cans. Of course, you can also find a cooler/warmer combo if you want to hit two birds with one stone.

07
out of 10

Electric fans

Зеленые ленты летят на электрический вентилятор

Geir Pettersen/Getty Images


How it connects: cigarette lighter, direct wiring or inverter.
You need an inverter: not unless you really want to.

So portable air conditioners cigarette lighter powered ones aren’t really on the cards, but 12 volts can do a great job of moving air around in a car without breaking windows. In some situations, electric fans can also be helpful in defrosting windows.

08
out of 10

portable vacuum

Ручная уборка автомобиля с помощью пылесоса

Ponsulak Kunsub/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: No.

Whether you’re looking for a miniature dirty devil or dust collector, or a small canister vacuum cleaner — more your style, nothing does cleaning your car lighter than a portable vacuum cleaner.

These devices are usually less powerful than non-portable vacuum cleaners, but are much easier to use than plugging a power cord into a curb.

09
out of 10

hair dryer

Крупный план фена на столе

Meret Svarstad Eg/Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or inverter.
You need an inverter: yes, if you don’t want to take forever.

A hair dryer needs a lot of juice to run, so devices designed to plug into lighters tend to be pretty anemic compared to what you’re probably used to.

However, something is better than nothing, and you can always pick up an inverter if you absolutely need to dry your hair right now.

ten
out of 10

inverter

Автомобильный инвертор

smartie12 / Getty Images


How to connect it: cigarette lighter or direct wiring.
Does he need an inverter: it’s an inverter!

If you want to plug something into your cigarette lighter and can’t find a version specifically designed for that, then you need a car inverter.

Small appliances and electronics can be used with inverters that connect directly to the cigarette lighter, while heavier loads require larger inverters that connect directly to the battery.

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