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6 Reasons Why the USB Port Isn’t Working in Your Car

  • Cars Explained
  • Silas Smith
  • 5 minutes

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USB ports in your car are a blessing in situations where you don’t have a car charger but need some juice on your dying mobile phone. However, plugging your phone or any device into your car’s USB port only to find it not working can be frustrating. Thankfully, fixing it isn’t very tough, and you can do it without much hassle.  

A USB port in your car can stop working due to various causes like fuse problems, cable issues, device setting issues, and even due to debris accumulation inside it. We’ll investigate these causes in detail. 

But before diving deep into the causes behind a faulty USB port in your car, it is essential to understand whether the problem lies with the charging port or the data port.  

usb port not working in the car

USB Charging port 

As its name suggests, a charging port is a USB port solely meant for charging your devices. They do not allow data transfer. However, these are built in a way that delivers a higher power output to enable your mobile phone or other devices to charge faster than a regular charging adapter. These are mostly in the Type-C form.  

USB Data port 

USB Data ports in your car are mostly in the Type-A form, which is the standard form that comes into your mind when you think of USB. This port can help you connect your device to the car system to enable features like navigation using map services like Google Maps, calling, audio and video streaming, etc. Thus acting as a mode of entertainment on the go if you do not have a highly equipped infotainment system in your car.  

USB Port not working in your car: Know the causes 

Blown fuse 

A blown fuse can be one of the major reasons your car’s USB port has stopped working. It can happen due to wear and tear from prolonged use or an electrical surge through the car’s system. It is important to address fuse issues correctly to avoid affecting the proper functioning of your car’s mechanicals. Taking your car to a seasoned mechanic can help identify this issue and rectify it. This is better than repairing it on your own, as a mechanic may fix it without causing much damage to the fuse box and other mechanicals.  


Loose connections/ cable issues 

You need to use USB cables to connect your device to the USB port on your car for charging or data transfer. However, bad cable connections can be one reason for USB ports to work irregularly. Inspect the cable and its terminals for any breakage, and using a different cable can help you identify if the issue is with the cable. Furthermore, using a high-quality cable is the best way to ensure that you get its intended output. Such cables can also save your device from potential damage.  

Device settings issue 

You need to configure your device’s USB connection settings to make it compatible with your car’s computer. This configuration is important, especially if you want to transfer data or use your phone for navigation or audio streaming purposes. Sometimes older mobile phones may not work with modern infotainment systems and vice versa. Therefore, ensure that you have a compatible USB device.  

Firmware problems 

As discussed above, old and outdated firmware on your car computer can be why the USB port on your car is not working with your mobile device. This issue can be too severe in a way that the system will not even be able to recognize your device. Updating the firmware on your car is the only fix for such a situation. Therefore, you might need to connect your stereo system to the internet to check for updates and install them accordingly.  

Debris build-up in the USB port 

Your car can get dirty over time. Therefore, it is only natural for USB ports to accumulate some dirt in their cavities. This dirt can affect the connections and may even lead the system to not recognize your device. Performing a visual inspection of the ports and removing the dirt with the help of a thin object like a toothpick to pull it out. However, ensure that you don’t poke into the port so hard and damage the port, as it can be another headache to replace.  

Damage in the USB Port itself 

The most obvious reason behind the USB port not working in your car is that the port itself has some damage. These components have delicate wirings and connections that can break over time or can be damaged if handled carelessly.  


A USB Port on your car is a useful piece of equipment that becomes useful during emergency situations, like when your phone runs out of charge, and helps you with infotainment features like navigation. However, it can be a headache when one of these ceases to work. Thus, always make sure that you do a regular visual inspection of the USB ports and the peripherals you may use to connect your device to the car. We hope this guide comes in handy in such situations.  

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