Having to plug in your phone each time you want to use Apple CarPlay restricts you from freely using your phone while connected to the infotainment system.
So how can you use CarPlay without charging your phone?
The best method to use Apple CarPlay without charging your phone is to connect wirelessly. Beginning iOS 9, Apple allows iPhone to CarPlay wireless connection through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, your vehicle must support wireless CarPlay.
In this article, I will explain how to connect your iPhone to CarPlay wirelessly as well as how to use Siri to control CarPlay.
I’ll also discuss whether using CarPlay while charging damages your phone battery.
How To Use Apple CarPlay Without Charging Phone
Apple CarPlay is a great way to use your iPhone in the car. You can get directions, play music (off the many CarPlay music apps), make phone calls, listen to audiobooks, order food—the list goes on.
And all while never having to look at or hold your phone, which can lead to distracted driving, increasing the chance of a crash.
It gets better. You don’t have to charge your iPhone every time you want to connect to CarPlay.
With iOS 9 and later and a car that supports wireless CarPlay, you can use CarPlay wirelessly.
The connection relies on both Bluetooth and in-car Wi-Fi.
If your vehicle doesn’t support wireless CarPlay, you have no option but to connect to the CarPlay infotainment system using a USB cable.
And this will mean charging your phone the entire duration you use CarPlay.
How Do I Use CarPlay Without USB?
Now that you know you can use Apple CarPlay without charging your iPhone by connecting to CarPlay wirelessly, how do you do it?
Here’s how: (Compatible Cars Only)
- Press and hold the talk button on your steering wheel.
- Ensure your car stereo is in pairing mode.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings> General > CarPlay> Available Cars.
- Select your car.
- If CarPlay Home doesn’t appear automatically, touch the CarPlay icon on your vehicle’s display.
- Start using CarPlay!
Since the process of connecting your iPhone to Apple CarPlay wirelessly may differ among Car Brands, refer to your car manual for detailed instructions.
The YouTube video below by Honda shows how to connect and use wireless CarPlay on applicable Honda models:
The process will be similar for most car model
If you’re reading this because you don’t want to use cable but still want the ability to charge your phone for longer journeys, you could consider adding wireless charging to your vehicle.
We have a whole article dedicated to: How to add wireless charging to car
This is just one of the many other ways you can charge your phone without a cigarette lighter.
How to Stop Charging While Using CarPlay?
Your iPhone automatically starts to charge when you connect it to an Apple CarPlay charger, such as USB.
But is there a way to prevent your phone from charging when using CarPlay via a wired connection?
You can’t disable USB charging when using CarPlay. As long as your iPhone to CarPlay connection is achieved through a USB cable, as it stands, your phone will always charge.
The only way around it is to:
- Set up Wireless CarPlay – Via the car’s default system, or through a compatible wireless CarPlay dongle.
- Use a Data-only USB cable – While I have tried this. Theoretically, you could purchase and use a data-only USB cable to connect your iPhone to the car, which would pass the data but not charge the phone.
- DIY solution: If you are comfortable with electronics, you can technically modify a regular USB cable to disable the charging pins. By disconnecting the power pins (usually the red and black wires), you can prevent the cable from charging your phone while using CarPlay. However, this method is not recommended, as it may damage the cable or your devices.
Does Apple CarPlay Damage Battery while Charging iPhone?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re concerned that leaving your iPhone connected while it’s fully charged when using CarPlay will damage your phone’s battery life.
But is this really the case?
Using CarPlay via USB does not damage your phone’s battery. Once your iPhone gets to 100% charge, the battery stops charging. With iOS 13 and later, you can enable Optimized Battery Charging, which delays charging past 80% in certain situations.
Optimized Battery Charging reduces the wear on your battery and maximizes its lifespan by reducing the time your device spends fully charged.
It’s enabled by default when you set up your iPhone or update to iOS 13 or later.
The only way to use CarPlay without charging your iPhone is to connect it wirelessly.
However, your iPhone must be capable of running iOS 9 or later, and your car must support wireless CarPlay.
If wireless CarPlay is not an option, you have to plug your phone into your car’s USB port, which will cause it to start charging.
However, this shouldn’t be an issue as your iPhone is smart enough to stop taking in more charge once full.
Another benefit of not charging your iPhone is that it will use gas, although is usually a negligible charge.