My Car: Outlets and USB Ports

I like working on my car. Sometimes it’s necessary repairs, other times it’s modifications or upgrades just because I want to.


My car, a 1997 Honda Civic, comes with only one accessory outlet. For an upcoming trip I’m going to need more than that, so I decided to add a second outlet and a USB charger hard mounted into the dash. This is the trim piece under the radio and HVAC controls; you can see where the stock outlet goes.


I got two new surface-mount outlets, as well as two lighted switches. The outlet that replaces the stock on will be turned on with the key like before, but I needed a way to turn the new outlet and the USB charger on and off. I got lighted switches so I can tell if they’re on or not to make sure I don’t accidentally leave them on. The two rectangular holes you see at the top of the picture were the first holes I cut for the switches before finding out that the switches would run into part of the dash structure, so I had to move them down.


This is a four port USB charger from Monoprice. I superglued angle brackets onto the sides so I can screw it onto the trim piece, and I got a non-mountable outlet for it to be plugged into behind the panel.


I spent some of my extra time at work wiring it all up.


The switches came without any instructions so I had to figure out the correct wiring so the lights would turn on when the switch was turned on. I wrote the correct wiring down on the back of the trim piece for future reference.


The new outlets needed a ground point, and there just happened to be a good place to on the dash structure right behind where the outlets go. I could tell that it would be a good ground because there was already a ground wire from something else attached to it.


And there it is, all wired and installed. On an upcoming road trip I’m planning to use most of this, with an FM transmitter plugged into one outlet, a laptop charger into the other, and possibly two GoPros being charged by two of the USB ports.

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2 Responses to My Car: Outlets and USB Ports

  1. Pingback: My Car: Plans for 2017 | Mechanical Malarkey

  2. Pingback: My Car: 2017 Report Card | Mechanical Malarkey

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