DIY mod: add a USB power outlet to your car

Charge USB products using your car engine

In the very near future all cars will have built-in USB ports. Some do now, but until that future becomes a full-blown reality you can either wait or take matters into your own hands with this do-it-yourself mod.

Instructables member rosenberger31, added a USB port to the dashboard of a 2010 Toyota Prius. His DIY mod can power and charge a range of mobile devices, all without the need for those unsightly and bulky adaptors.

Although the step-by-step Instructables guide is specific to the aforementioned vehicle, rosenberger31 says that they should be transferrable to most other vehicles; be it a car, truck, or boat.

To get yourself modded you will need to find the power source for your dashboard's cigarette lighter. Rosenberger31 then added a 12-volt USB adapter and connected it to the power lines. He then fitted the visible USB port into a spare (blank) accessory plate.

Once the mod has been completed, the USB port provides 5 volts of regulated power to any connected device. But a word of warning: With some vehicles you may need to add a switch to the port to avoid power being supplied when your car isn't running, otherwise you risk running down your battery. Oh, and it may be worth checking out how this mod will effect your warranty (hint: It'll probably void it).

Of course if you don't want to hack your car, you can always add USB ports to your power outlets at home.

Like this? Keep on hackin' with these other mods:

* Homemade Lego Printer Says 'Hello World'

* The 10 Best Hacks of 2010 (So Far)

* Hack: Use a Guitar as a Fight-Game Controller

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?