Ready to install an inverter in your car, but don’t know where to start? You have come to the right place!
While small inverters can be useful when charging small devices, such as a laptop, they are limited by their wattage.
You may have a stove top, microwave or hair dryer, plus charging your laptop and phone.
At this point, your wattage is high enough to connect an inverter to your car’s battery so you don’t end up with a dead battery.
Step-by-step instructions of connecting the inverter
You just plug an inverter of less than 150 watts into the cigarette lighter of your car and you’re done. However, only you can determine the correct size of the inverter, so calculate the power required for the electrical components you want to connect.
Choose where to place your inverter
They can often be found in the glove compartment or under a seat, or mounted on the dashboard. You want the inverter to be in a dry place, but not in a place where it can overheat.
It should also be close to the car battery to avoid wasting precious power. If it is necessary to drill holes in the car, make sure that there are no obstacles on both sides and that it is safe to drill.
Also make sure cables are away from moving parts or hot objects. You definitely don’t want your inverter placed on the ground where it could be exposed to water or melting snow.
Finally, most inverters come with a fan, so you need to make sure the inverter is located somewhere with good airflow.
- Wire (red and black)
- wire cutters
- Measuring tape
- Cordless drill and accessories
- Plastic cable ties (to keep the cable in place)
- aluminum tape
- Circuit breaker (optional)
Map out wires
Now that you have a mapped path for the inverter cables, you need to route two cables (one positive and one negative) through the path. Choosing the right cable for this job is important because the wrong cable can lead to a power outage in the car.
Use zip ties to hold the cables in place, and if you’ve made a hole through the firewall, wrap the cables with aluminum tape to protect them. If the cables go through the car, you must seal the hole with waterproof sealing glue to keep the interior of the car dry.
Mount the inverter in place. Do not rely on glue, but make sure the inverter is securely fastened with screws.
Trim excess wire and add grommets, confirming they are the correct size for the wire and for your particular terminal.
Circuit Breaker (optional)
If you have purchased a circuit breaker, now is the time to install it. Place it on the positive (+ red) battery terminal, as close to the battery as possible, and use sheet metal screws to secure it.
Install grommets on your cables if you haven’t already. The grommets should match the bolts on the battery terminals, so remove the nuts to secure them.
Connect the positive terminal first and then the negative terminal. Cross your fingers to avoid sparks or smoke.
Congratulations! Now you know how to install an inverter in a car! Now you can charge larger electrical appliances without worrying about damaging your car battery!
Emphasis on safety
The advantage of inverters is that you can safely charge a large number of electrical devices without compromising your vehicle’s battery. However, it requires careful maintenance. As with any project, inverter wiring must be done carefully to ensure that power does not rush to supply power to one outlet at a time. That would potentially destroy anything plugged into the outlet. In addition, poor maintenance or installation can also make the inverter a fire hazard, so make sure everything is carefully maintained and connected.
Special features to be aware of
Many inverters have a fan and it needs to be cleaned from time to time to remove debris. If the batteries mounted directly on the inverter leak, they will also cause damage, so it is best to use a battery that is sealed to prevent damage. Finally, an inverter is susceptible to damage from high temperatures or water, so make sure the inverter is not left cold and dry.
Installing an inverter in a car is relatively easy, and following these instructions and any other directions that come with your chosen inverter will ensure easy and safe installation of your car’s inverter.