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12V socket USB charging


Active Member
Aug 31, 2010
milling around
Anyone know how the current is regulated to the 12V (cig lighter) socket on the central console?

I bought a little USB charger that fits into the 12V socket. It has a blue light that is always on, which suggests that there is some power constantly to the socket, whether the key is in or not, and whether or not the engine is running. However, my phone only indicates that it is getting a charge when the ignition is on but the engine is NOT RUNNING.

As soon as the engine is running, the charging indicator on the phone goes off - to come on again when I switch the engine off on coming to rest.

That is totally counter-intuitive to me. Any ideas?


Active Member
Mar 21, 2015
makes no sense, mine cuts off when i take my key out, and ignition is totaly off, correct.
it turns on when key is turned and resets natuly under engine egnition since the starter is taking the amprage to crank over the engine (natuly).

but it does not come off when engine is taken down as long as my key is in the ignition..
thats the procedure on mine Altea FR.

check the fuses and definetly take a look at the relay itself.

I might shoot blanks here, but that is my best guess.
- hMeco


Full Member
Apr 12, 2006
UK, Essex
On early Alteas the 12V socket was wired permanently live - key in or out, ign on or off should make no difference. On later ones it was ignition switched - a more normal arrangement!

Seems as if you have a wiring issue of some sort - has a previous owner been playing somewhere??


Active Member
Aug 31, 2010
milling around
I am the previous owner :( And I've not been messing with the electrics. And it's not an early one, its a facelift.

I'll see what the socket in the rear footwell does...
Dec 5, 2007
N W Leeds
Mine is on, all the time. 2005.
Newer smartphones use and suck ALOT of juice from charger, you need an in car charger rated at least 1A or more. Get GSAM app and you will see that your phone drains at 400-800 mA even at idle!
If you want your phone to charge quickly, switch it to airplane mode (or off)
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