My Inverter won't output more than 180W inside my vehicle?

Posted on 4/18/2018 by Justin G. (Marketing)

We're often asked why an inverter, that is labeled at 200+ watts, won't supply the full wattage while being used inside of a vehicle (using the DC or "Cigarette Lighter" Socket).

The answer is actually quite simple.

It is the limitation of the DC socket that the vehicle manufacture uses. Let me elaborate.


Most modern vehicles have at least one DC Socket and it is commonly safety fused at 15 Amps (15A). Since the socket supplies 12 Volts (12V) at the max of 15A, the equation would be 12V x 15A = 180 Watts. Some older vehicles only have a 10A fuse on the socket which only supplies a max of 120 Watts (12V x 10A = 120W). Now you may be asking yourself, "can't I just replace the fuse with a higher Amp rating". The answer is NO!

The reason that the vehicle manufacturer uses that size fuse is it will ensure that the wiring does not overheat causing a fire. If you were to replace that factory installed 10A or 15A fuse with a larger size fuse, you could cause a dangerous don't do it.


Why was a DC plug included with my inverter if I can only use up to 180W?
Convenience. We include the DC plug so that you may use the Inverter inside of your vehicle. For low powered applications this makes sense. Who would want to go under the hood of the car and connect the inverter to the battery just to power their laptop?

What then are my options to get more power inside of my vehicle?

  1. You could purchase a 20A or larger DC socket and the correct gauge (AWG) wire. This would allow you to use 240+ watts.
  2. You can hardwire the inverter directly to the battery and mount the inverter inside of the vehicle - this way the inverter will be inside the vehicle and allow the full wattage potential to be used.

Still have questions?
If you still have questions about this or any other inverter related installation help, call or email our Customer Service Team and they'd gladly help! Click here for email or call 1.800.231.5806


Follow Us
Instagram facebook Youtube Twitter Pinterest


Share this Article: