How to Convert a Car Electrical Outlet to a Plug-In Appliance

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Although technology has progressed greatly in the 12-volt appliance market, many mobile individuals still find themselves with the need to utilize 110-volt AC-powered equipment such as blenders, mixers, televisions, and other devices that may only be plugged into a wall outlet found in a building. The car's electrical outlets are generally cigarette lighter-styled receptacles, and the DC power of these outlets must be converted into alternating current (AC) to run the desired appliances. Modern technology has progressed in making this car-outlet conversion possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver set
  • 12-volt DC to 110-volt AC power inverter with cigarette lighter adapter end and mounting hardware
  • Determine a location along the bottom of your dash where you desire to mount your power inverter, making sure the mount location isn't too far away to prevent plugging the device into the nearest cigarette lighter outlet.

  • Screw in the self-tapping screws that came with your power inverter. Drive the screws through the mount's screw holes and into the lower dash trim.

  • Insert the inverter's cigarette lighter adapter plug into the 12-volt cigarette lighter receptacle and turn the inverter switch to the on position. Observe the power indicator light to ensure the unit is receiving power. Depending on your vehicle, you may have to turn the ignition switch on to power the lighter receptacle.

  • Plug in your appliance into one of the three-pronged outlets on the inverter and use the appliance as you normally would at home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Car electric outlet inverters are designed for small home appliances only, such as blenders, mixers, small televisions, etc. For power tools such as electric drills, circular saws and others, connect your inverter directly to the car's battery. Convert your car's electric outlet power only for low-amperage devices.

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