Is it normal that I cannot charge my iPhone in my car if the screen is turned on?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mcrum23, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. mcrum23, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013

    mcrum23 macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    Hi there,

    Unless I turn the screen off I can't charge my Iphone 3GS through the cigarette plug, the battery will simply level off. I've tried different chargers and get the same issue so I wonder, is that normal or what?

    (I'm using music+GPS+bluetooth is on)

  2. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Definitely not normal.
  3. ugcop macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
    It depends. Are you using the phone at the same time? Pandora or.maps?

    How long are you in the car? What amperage charger are you using?
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Make sure you're using chargers specifically designed to charge iPhones at full rate.

    Full rate is 1 amp for iPhones.

    A lot of the cheap "China special" chargers will only put out 500mA, or even less. The quality control is also lousy in manufacturing and they can damage your phone.

    Get a name brand charger from a trusted company like Kensington that has the "Made for i" logo.
  5. ant1298 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    It's probably a simple case of your charger not supplying enough juice to charge the battery to compensate for the power being removed by the phone running.
    Zorinlynx is correct, get a 1amp charger.
  6. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Yes I'm using the music player+Waze (or google nav) and the bluetooth is on (connected to my ALPINE UTE-72BT). I can stay in the car for hours at a time.

    My ALPINE UTE-72BT is connected to my Iphone via USB cable and is supposed to deliver 1amp. I've tried with some Iphone specific charger but got the same issue.
  7. bjb.butler macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2008
    Southern California
    It could just be that you are using a lot of power... GPS + Music + Bluetooth is a lot of stuff going on. Still, I would look into getting a higher-quality charger and see if that helps.
  8. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    My Alpine is a high quality charger.

    Can't anyone else charge the iphone while doing GPS+music?

    If not, could it be that my battery is just to old?
  9. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    How many amps is it set to put it?
  10. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68010


    Oct 30, 2008
    Excellent answer.

    Cheap, off-brand car chargers can behave as the OP described: enough juice to charge the phone or run the phone but not both.

    Cheap, off-brand wall chargers can be outright dangerous, as a couple of recent headline-making electrocutions have demonstrated. Compare and for a quick lesson in why the "Apple tax" is money well spent.
  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    That should be enough, if it's working correctly.
  13. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    Could it be that my battery is fried or something?
  14. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Well, something else that might be worth trying (if possible) is either to use a different charger in the car to see if it makes any difference and/or to try to use the same charger with another iPhone (hopefully the same model, but not necessarily). One or both of those "experiments" can help figure out what the issue might be, or at least where it is.
  15. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    Just FYI, I do the same with my phone (Galaxy S3) and it does not charge using the car charger. The best it can do is remain level or drain very slowly. The screen plus GPS app is very power hungry with every phone I have used. Add to that playing music over BT and that may cause the power drain faster than it can charge.
  16. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    Thanks, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Btw I don't use the BT for music streaming though, just to make some calls when I need to.
  17. bjb.butler macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2008
    Southern California
    All Samsung phones charge slow as hell, so I'm not surprised by his staying level.

    On my iPhone 5, I frequently run GPS + Streaming music via Pandora and still charge just fine.

    The best thing you can do is simply buy another car charger and see if it can charge your phone while you do all that stuff. If it can charge your phone, then you know it was the charger. If it can't, just return it.
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I ran GPS with the screen on with my iPhone 4S with no problems. I'd try to run your GPS without anything else and see what happens.
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I've had a similar problem with older docking accessories. I have a couple of speaker/radio docks that might've set me back $20 each. They will play music and stuff fine, but they haven't charged any phone since my 3GS.

    As others have said, check the amps. It makes a HUGE difference on the third-gen iPad. A 1 amp plug will charge an iPad 3, but slowly. Less than that (a lot of unpowered USB hubs) will NOT charge it at all or just charge with the display is off. A 2 amp plug, which is what the big white brick that comes with the iPad 3+ is, will charge it fine.
  20. stormchaser macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2010
    Mine was on charge in the car yesterday with GPS and no problems at all. My charger is a cheap one off eBay as the genuine Apple car charger is crap and doesn't even fit my cigar lighter in the car :(
  21. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    Okay guys I just realized my Iphone's battery has a cycle count of over 500 (precisely 505) so I'm gonna replace it and see what happen. If it's still doesn't charge then I'm gonna buy one of those top notch charger and give another try (but I'm skeptic about that since I already got a -supposedly- good charger).

    Of course I'll keep this thread updated, I'm sure I'm not the only one having this nagging issue.
  22. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Does it charge normally with nothing running? How hot does your iPhone get? Heat can cause charging issues.
  23. mcrum23 thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2013
    With nothing running and screen off it's seems to charge normally. The Iphone get hot.
  24. Jaee macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2013

    That is definitely not normal . You should try buying another charger and seeing if you have the same problem .
  25. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    When he 4 came out most car chargers or even USB connections couldn't charge the phones. Needed more power than the cars equipment could deliver

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