Cigarette lighter adapter stuck?

Hi! New to the forum, but not new to CarTalk…

I was using a power adapter in my cigarette lighter yesterday, and when I went to remove it, the base of the adapter broke off in the lighter socket. After several hours of trying to get it out (and several choice words!), I gave up on trying to remove the remnants. At this point, I’ve pulled out the fuse, and am planning on getting the car into a garage to replace the socket.

Should I be concerned about electrical shorts, battery drain, fire, or anything else?

Thanks in advance for any advise!

Since there’s no way of knowing if the remnants are creating a high resistance short, and since the lighter socket is always powered even when the car is off, I’d pull the fuse until it gets fixed. The owner’s manual will tell you which fuse it is and where to find it.

Sounds like I was on the right path. I had already pulled the fuse (the fuse diagram is conveniently on the panel for a 2003 Honda) and have an appointment at the repair shop for next week. Thanks!

Have you tried just fishing it out with a pair of needle-nose pliers? I have a hard time envisioning something getting that stuck in there (the problem with my Honda tends to be things falling out of the cigarette lighter). You may also be able to grab hold of the outer ring and rotate it to get the socket assembly out.

Thanks for the advice. That’s actually where I ultimately gave up. When the adapter broke, the body came out, but the nose cap remained wedged at the rear of the socket. The sleeve within the socket is pinning the nose cap behind it. I tried to screw the assembly back together, but couldn’t get the threads to catch. Eventually, I tried (for quite a long time, in fact) to use a pair of needle nose pliers, but no luck.

I’ve also tried to rotate the socket assembly from the front. Given some of the info I’ve read on the 'net, it sounds like the radio panel may need to be removed, so that the socket assembly can be removed from the rear. I really should pick up a repair manual, to confirm that, though…

With the fuse disconnected you can use any means at your disposal to remove the debris. Hemostats may work, if there is a hole in the middle you can screw in a drywall screw and pull on the screw to get it out that way, once you get the parts out double check there is no debris left in. Sounds easier than tearing out the radio. It will screw back together if aligned properly but make sure the back end does not turn as you try.

Electrical shorts are better than the landing shorts worn by that guy on the airplane. When they say “no smoking” they mean it.