How to Troubleshoot a Car Fridge Not Working with DC or AC Power Cord

Car fridges are a convenient and essential accessory for road trips, camping, and long drives, keeping your food and beverages cool. However, when your car fridge stops working with either the DC power cord (car charger cord) or the AC power cord (adapter), it can be quite frustrating. This article will guide you through the troubleshooting steps to identify and resolve these issues.

car fridge with power cords

Car Charger Cord Won't Power On

When your car fridge fails to power on with the car charger cord, follow these steps to diagnose and fix the problem:

Replace with Home Power Cord

  1. Test with AC Adapter: Start by connecting your car fridge to a home power cord (AC adapter). If the fridge turns on, the issue likely lies with the car charger cord.
  2. Diagnosis: This test helps determine if the problem is specific to the car charger cord, or if it affects the fridge in general.

Check the Car Charger Cord

  1. Use a Multimeter: Check if the car charger cord is receiving power using a multimeter. This can help identify any breaks or faults in the cord.
  2. Inspect for Damage: Look for visible damage, such as cuts, frayed wires, or loose connections, which might be causing the issue.

Inspect the Refrigerator Fuse

  1. Fuse Check: If the car charger cord is used exclusively in the car, check the fridge’s fuse. A blown fuse can prevent the cord from powering the device.
  2. Replace if Necessary: Replace the fuse if it is blown and see if this resolves the issue.
dc power cord

Adapter Won't Power On

If your car fridge isn’t powering on with the adapter, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Check the Indicator Light

  1. Indicator Light: Verify if the indicator light on the adapter is on. If the light is off, the adapter might not be receiving power or could be faulty.
  2. Ensure Proper Connection: Make sure the adapter is properly plugged into a power source and check for any loose connections.

Test with the Car Charger Cord

  1. Use in Car: Try using the car charger cord in the car’s cigarette lighter socket. If the fridge powers on normally with the car charger cord, it indicates that the adapter is likely damaged and needs to be replaced.

AC power cord

Adapter Not Receiving Power

If the adapter is not receiving power and the indicator light is off, follow these steps:

Replace the Car Charger Cord

  1. Direct Connection: Plug the car charger cord directly into the power source to see if it works normally.
  2. Faulty Adapter: If the car charger cord powers the fridge without any issues, it generally indicates that the adapter is faulty and should be replaced.

General Tips for Maintaining Car Fridge Power Supply

  • Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your cords and adapters for any signs of wear and tear. Early detection of damage can prevent sudden power failures.
  • Proper Storage: Store your cords and adapters in a safe place when not in use to avoid physical damage.
  • Use Surge Protectors: When using an AC adapter at home, consider using a surge protector to safeguard against power surges that could damage the adapter.

Read more: Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions for A Refrigerator 12v Isn’t Cooling

Portable Fridge Frequently Asked Troubles and Solutions


By following these troubleshooting steps, you can quickly identify whether the issue lies with the car charger cord, the adapter, or another component. Taking the necessary actions to resolve the problem will ensure your car fridge runs smoothly, keeping your food and drinks cool during your travels.

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