Fixing a small issue of the cig lighter

On my newly purchased 2003 Chevy Impala I went to plug in my cell phone charger and it appears the cig lighter doesn’t work. What are some things I should check to see the cause and if needing to be replaced what is all involved in that process?

More than likely it’s a blown fuse. It will be listed in the owner’s manual.

Probably a blown fuse, as knifenimore suggested, but of not here’re some other thoughts.

Did you try your lighter to see if that heats up? If it does, you might have a lack of compatibility between the socket and the charger plug. Does your newfound vehicle have a separate power port?

Look closely at the cell phone charger plug, do you see a spring sticking out the side? Sometimes the plastic clip that covers the spring will break off and the spring hits the side of the port. That blows the fuse inside the plug.

Try the charger in a different vehicle, if it works, then its the car. If it doesn’t, there is a knurled ring at the base of the tip of the plug that twists off and there is a tiny fuse just under the tip. It may have blown.

Edit: there are two spring loaded clips or strips, one on each side of the plug. These are the ground contacts. The spring I am referring to is a coil spring like you find in a ball point pen, it should not be visible.

Also look inside the socket. Most have a full round metal barrel, but I have seen a few that have a plastic barrel with metal strips down each side. If you have one of these, the metal strips on the plug have to align with the metal strips in the socket. Also make sure something isn’t in the bottom of the socket blocking contact of the tip.

Not the charger, was working just fine in previous car. Tried using the actual cig lighter and device never got got or poped out like it shoudl

Than check the fuse.

That I will do this weekend since seeing it during the week is impossible since it’s winter and no sun light to see by …;-(

I know the feeling… {:stuck_out_tongue:

Try an extension cable, I have run across situations where cig plugs and power point adapters do not play well together.

I got my Ford Explorer from my dad before he quit smoking. The inside of the cig lighter was nasty with ash and crap. The plug-in adapters all worked intermittently, even after I cleaned it out. We used the aux power port on the side of the dash for a while until I swapped it out for a clean aux power plug. We never used it as a cig lighter anyways.

I had a similar problem with a 2000 Ford Windstar that I purchased new. The most convenient outlet to connect my. cell phone charger didn’t work. For a couple of years I just used another outlet. One day when I was cleaning the van, I decided to figure out why the one power outlet didn’t work. After 10_minutes of troubleshooting, I found that it had never been connected. I found the lead with the connector and pushed it onto the back of the socket and the problem was solved.

I still think it’ll turn out to be an incompatibility between the plug and the socket or a bad fuse,
but you (OP) should know that these things are super easy to replace once you get an “exploded view” drawing of how the console/“waterfall” or whatever is assembled. You should be able to have to dealer’s parts guy print one if you ask nicely. I’ve done that before. The cig lighter is typically just a core that goes through a hole and gets retained by a screw-on outer “shell” which serves also as the ground.

You might consider buying a small, cheap test light for things like this. Available at any parts house or even Wal Mart for a few bucks and worth carrying around in the car all the time.

Probe the center contact in the middle of the cigarette lighter with the test light and the light should illuminate. If not, then check the fuses.
If you do this do NOT allow the probe of the test light to touch the sides of the barrel on the lighter.
Probe straight in.

Depending on where it is located, clean it out too if its dirty. Mine were in such a position where everything dropped in it. Had a gum wrapper fall in it too and blow the fuse.

The cig lighter socket is such an outdated connector these days, especially since so few people actually smoke anymore. Many cars don’t even have ashtrays, but the old socket persists. Surely there can be some innovation here with a better connector, but I suppose all the manufacturers are afraid to leap.

I would try unplugging the cell phone connector, rotate it a few degrees, plug it back in, unplug, rotate, plug back in, and keep repeating this until you’ve made a full circle around the socket or the charger begins working. A lot of sockets are very sensitive about where the side connector makes contact. Also, make sure you’re pushing it all the way in.