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My Lumia 521 won't charge from car USB - when plugged in, an error comes on the audio screen saying check USB. That's ok, bluetooth works fine, but for some reason it won't charge. Android phones charge just fine on the USB.

I don't think it's a problem of not enough voltage/amperage, I'm able to charge the Lumia on an old LG charger that says it's 4.8v, 0.4amp, which is less than most. IIRC this was working fine before the Windows 8.1, possibly it is not charging when it detects incompatible usb?

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Since WP8.1 there is an option under settings -> USB called "Notify me when I connect to a slow charger". Try ticking/unticking that option and check if that helps.

Also you could borrow another charger just to check if that might work for you.

  • I don't see that option on mine, and it's actually really good for charging, the builtin usb even charged an old Samsung that was one of those that are finicky about only accepting >5volt usb chargers. – NoBugs Nov 16 '14 at 22:00
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I can confirm this is a bug in Windowsphone 8.1 with bad detection of the charger.

When I plug in a charge-only cable, it charges fine. When I plug in a normal microusb cable, Windowsphone 8.1 detects it as incompatible, and never shows it charging.

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Try a corded charger instead of the USB cable. There is a better chance that it can provide the power that the phone needs.

  • If by "corded charger" you mean a cable with only +5v and ground wires (aka charger cable), yes, that's what I said in my answer. If the usb cable has data-pins too (4 connections), the car tries to connect and WP decides to not even charge because it's not compatible. – NoBugs Jan 10 '15 at 1:51

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