Whether you’re on a long road trip or stuck in traffic during a daily commute, a low iPhone battery could spell disaster for the bored driver. At first, it may seem harmless to plug your phone into your car’s USB port. But unless you’re desperate, charging your iPhone during your commute might be a big mistake.
Why? For starters, the USB port in your vehicle probably provides less electricity than your phone really needs to charge. By plugging your phone into a low-power USB port like the one in your car, you allow the device to swallow up power at a rate that’s much too fast for the port’s capabilities. As a result, your phone might stall while it charges, or worse—barely charge at all. This common battery-saving iPhone hack actually hurts your charge, too.
What’s more, charging your phone while on the road could drain your car’s battery, too. While the extent of the damage depends on the type of phone you have and its battery, the odds are high that your device is depleting your car’s battery as it charges. This usually isn’t a big deal for those who own new cars with healthy batteries. But if your car is an older model, you might want to avoid charging your phone through its USB port.