There are a number of variables and you hit a combination that causes an intermittent short. Cigarette lighter outlets are considerably different than power outlets. Power outlets are very basic and almost any plug will work in them just fine. Cigarette lighter outlets have a thermal cutout built in to prevent overheating a stuck lighter element, and the metal tabs that hold the element in are "bimetal" which means they relax when heated to let the element pop out. Those tabs are designed to grab onto the element and they're sized to provide the right strength and release characteristics. Because of that, some power plugs for chargers, radar detectors, and things like that have contacts that are fat enough to touch the tabs and the socket housing at the same time and cause a short. Causing a short is another design feature meant to blow the fuse for safety by removing power to it when the wrong plug is used. How they incorporate that shorting feature varies by manufacturer. That's why a plug can work in one car and not in another. It will also depend on the orientation of how you put the charger's plug in. You can look at the outer contacts and always put the plug in with one of those contacts straight up, always at the 2:00 position, or some other orientation that doesn't cause the fuse to blow.
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 3:24 PM