What is the Cigarette Lighter
The cigarette lighter (now known as a Power Socket) is a very simple device that has two basic components. There is a socket that is connected to power and ground and an outer shell made of either plastic or metal that contains a flexible metal strip. The cigarette lighter / power socket was used mainly for lighting cigarettes however once technology became more mainstream it became a 12 volt power socket and anything that can charge via 12 volts such as USB can be plugged in using a simple adapter. The cigarette lighter / power socket is usually located in the dashboard at the front of the car or in the center console. Most cigarette lighters output 12 volts on cars and some trucks can output 24 volts. Therefore you need to be careful not to damage 12 volt equipment by plugging into a 24 volt cigarette lighter / power socket.
Why has my Cigarette Lighter Stopped Working
Your cigarette lighter is connected to a fuse that acts as a protection for the cigarette lighter. There are several possible reasons why your cigarette lighter stops working, the most common is the fuse is blown which can be caused if there is a foreign object that is shorting the circuit or to much power is drawn to quickly. An object such as a coin or a paperclip inside the cigarette lighter holder can bridge the ground and power which can blow the fuse and maybe the reason your cigarette lighter has stopped working. Another reason for the fuse to blow is if something is drawing more amperage than the fuse can handle which causes it to blow to protect the other electronics of the car.
How to Check if My Fuse Is Blown
Sometimes there are two fuse boxes one which is usually in the hood of the car and is a black box that has FUSES written on it and the other that is underneath the dash often to the left of the steering wheel. The cigarette lighter fuse is sometimes labeled “LTR” for “lighter” and is in the box labeled fuses under the dash of the car. After you find this fuse look at is to see if there is a dark smear inside the fuse or there is a visible gap between the two wires. If there is a gap or a smear then the fuse must have blown and to get your cigarette lighter working you have to replace it. Make sure you replace the blown fuse with the correct type / size of fuse otherwise, the new fuse is likely to blow straight away once you plug something in.
If your fuse keeps blowing click here: Why does my cigarette lighter fuse blowing
Cigarette lighter repairs Hamilton
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