Car Cigarette Lighter Not Working? [Expert Advice]

Car Cigarette Lighter Not Working

If the cigarette lighter in your car, also known as a power outlet, has stopped working, it’s usually because of a shorted fuse. Watch the video below or read on to find out why these outlets can fail and how you can possibly fix one.

What Are the Causes of a Cigarette Lighter in My Car Not Working?

Electronic Devices Pulling Too Much Power

The power outlet, previously and still sometimes known as the cigarette lighter, is a 12 volt socket for charging phones, computers, and other devices. Sometimes it’s easy to blow the fuse if a device is drawing too much power, and this can cause a short.

Objects Like Coins Can Cause a Short

Because power outlets are usually located so low to cup holders and other storage areas that commonly end up storing objects like coins, they can short and blow out the fuse if, for example, coins manage to fall inside.

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How to Fix an Automotive Cigarette Lighter That’s Not Working

Fuse panel cover
  1. Locate the fuse panel for the power outlet, which is usually on the lower part of the dash to the left of the steering wheel.
  2. Lift and remove the fuse panel cover
Legend on back of fuse panel cover
  1. Read the legend on the back of the fuse cover and find the location of the fuse for the power outlet, which might be labeled “cig lighter”
Removing the fuse with a plastic fuse puller
  1. Use the plastic tool provided or needle nose pliers and remove the fuse
  2. Inspect the fuse for a broken metal loop which might have burnt or melted plastic
  3. Push a new fuse into the fuse panel
  4. Replace the fuse panel cover

What Does a Broken Fuse Look Like?

Picture of a good and bad fuse
Left side: Good fuse. Right side: Blown fuse.

A broken fuse will have a broken metal loop from being overloaded. To get a better idea of what a broken fuse looks like and some common locations of the fuse boxes on different models, check out the video below. To find other repair videos specific to your year, make, and model, check out 1A Auto’s how-to video library.

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