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How to get a stuck charging cable out of the charging port

The EV-dedicated forums and social media groups online are filled with posts about stuck charging cables which cannot be removed, even by force. It seems it is a very common problem amongst electric vehicle owners, regardless of the type of charger or type of vehicle they have been using. This can happen to anybody who owns or operates an electric vehicle, and since it is likely to happen to you, we have few simple solutions of how to get the stuck cable out of the charging port.

Before trying any of the methods below, please ensure your car is unlocked. If you electric car or PHEV is locked, it might be locking the cable into the car. So first task when detaching any electric car from a charging station is to: 

  •  Step 1: Unlock the car using the key, at this stage the ev charger or 3 pin charging cable should still be plugged in and charging.
  • Step 2: Detach the ev charging cable from the car first. This is important also detach from the car before detaching from the wall.
  • Step 3: Detach from the charging station. Once the ev cable has been detached from the car, the pins should no longer be live. So the next step is detaching from the wall.

Push the cable into the car or charging station to detach

It is often the case with the cable that it need to be pushed in before detaching, this will effectively unlock the cable from the car. Allowing you to simply pull the ev cable out from the charging station or the car.

Type 1 Charging Cable

The Type 1 charging cable is used primarily in-home charging systems. It is smaller in diameter than Type 2, and they are often stuck due to failing actuators in the socket. The problem is the device that locks the charging cable in place during the charging procedure. When everything is ok, the actuator should release the cable when you want, but if it fails and it can be a mechanical or electrical failure, your cable will get stuck. As always, you shouldn’t try to use force since it could damage the whole assembly.

The first solution is locking and then unlocking the car from your key fob. If it is just a glitch, it should release the cable immediately. However, if the cord is still stuck, try pressing it further and then pulling it out. In some cases, pressure helped to release the accusatory and free the cable from the socket. The third solution is to locate the manual release, which is often found in the trunk, just behind the charging point. Some cars, like Tesla, have it tucked in upholstery and once you located it, just pull it, and it should free your cable immediately.

Type 2 Charging Cable

Although the problem with the Type 2 charging cables is essentially the same (failing locking actuators), the solution is a little bit different. Since the Type 2 cable has a different shape, its locking mechanism is visible on the top of the socket, and you will notice that a small latch will pop out and lock your cable while the car is charged. When the actuator fails, the latch will stay in a closed position, forbidding removing the cord.

The most effective solution is to use a screwdriver or similar object and manually press the latch back, freeing the cable from the socket. Using sheer force could damage the socket and break the latch, which is very expensive to repair. Of course, you have to be careful and not to use too much force and break the latch itself. Gently press the latch back until it is safe to remove the cable from the socket.

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