General Question

monsoon's avatar

How many times can I charge my iphone from my car (without ever turning it on) without my car battery dying?

Asked by monsoon (2528points) August 2nd, 2008

I’m going camping soon, and I need to bring an iphone stocked with TV shows (complicated – please don’t judge). I’ll be gone for a week, and I know I can charge my phone from my car without turning it on. About how many times would it be safe to do this without killing the battery? How much power is needed to charge an iphone versus the power in an idle battery?

If all else fails, I can always just jump it right? (there will be lots of other cars around)

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10 Answers

bulbatron9's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

At least once.

AstroChuck's avatar

Seriously, as many times as you like. Don’t sweat it.

augustlan's avatar

Couldn’t you just start the car every now & again, and recharge the car battery?

damien's avatar

12 times.

Why are you watching TV while camping anyway?!

I haven’t a clue and I imagine there’s so many variables involved, nobody could give you a reasonable number. If there’s other cars around, just go for it and jump your car at the end if needs be.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

bring a generator.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Your iPhone will not drain the battery as much as the rest of your accessories. If your car is like mine, the key must be in the radio position for your accessory plug to work. You’ll do best to have your radio and any other accessories off while you’re charging the phone. The charging current is negligible compared to the capacity of the battery, which is typically at least 60 AH. You could charge the phone dozens of times without any cause for concern.

This is really a pretty good question. When my sister and her husband were sitting out Hurricane Wilma and its aftermath, they had no electricity and no other way to charge their cell phones, which were the only ones working for them at the time. There was also no way to buy gasoline for a couple of days, so they didn’t want to run their cars, either. Charging the phones in the car let them stay in touch with the rest of the world.

monsoon's avatar

Thanks Rex. I ended up being able to charge it several times, but was pleased to find that I could play two it three hours of video once I had optimized my power use settings. For those wondering why I’m watching tv while camping, I have very bad anxiety, and being away from home is a sure trigger for an attack. Certain shows that are in my daily routine to watch help aleviate some of this stress if I can take them and know I’ll being doing this routine thing every night.

May seem silly but it works. :)

steelmarket's avatar

@bulbatron is not far wrong. It uses more of your battery power to light your overhead car cabin light for 10 seconds that it does to charge your iPhone. We are talking milliamps for your phone.

Only exception would be if your phone charger developed a short. Then you could run your battery down, but the fuse for your outlet would probably pop before that happened.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Remove the battery from your car, place it on a scale.

Place your iPhone on the other side of the scale.

Post with what you logically conclude based on the scale’s indication.

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