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Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Old 11-29-2004, 03:50 PM
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Default Automotive Electronics Help Needed

I am having problems with my cigarette lighter outlet (if it makes a difference, car is a 1999 Nissan Altima). Seems that there is a short somewhere in that whenever I use the outlet (using the lighter itself OR a plug in such as radar detector or cell phone charger) as soon as I plug anything into the outlet it pops the (20amp) fuse. Any ideas as to where the short might be occuring? Is it possible that its in the lighter recepticle itself? Any suggestions as to how to pin-point the short? I believe the outlet is on a dedicated circuit.

Thanks much.
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:30 PM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

If everything you plug in does it, it must be the receptacle itself.

Just a note: On many vehicles the vehicle's self diagnosis (OBD) system is tied to the cigartette lighter circuit. Its not supposed to be but is on many imports. But I don't think that has anything to do with it. I'll ask about this at work tomorrow if no-one lese chimes in.
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:38 PM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Sounds like you have a short in the cigarette lighter plug itself.

Two screws in the lower dash to remove....use a trim tool and the entire dash piece comes off. Once you remove it, the cigarette lighter assembly can be disconnected. Check and see if there is any exposed wire or if the two wires which feed the cigarette lighter are touching or close to touching.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:21 AM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Got any Kids?
the reason I ask is I've seen where a kid has shoved a penny in the cig lighter hole
then when you try to push a plug in it shorts to ground
the little dot in the center in the very back of the lighter is the + (hot ) end
the housing is the - (ground) anything conductive touching the 2 together will pop the fuse
take a look inside before you replace it
look for gum wrapers, coins, pen parts, you know metal junk
Hope this helps
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:26 AM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Guys:

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 11-30-2004, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Marsh-Mellow,

Kids yup they will do that won't they. but you've got to love the little deepers and their creative minds.
I was over at a friends a while back; he found a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich in his VCR - Mike was pissed, I laughed my head off.
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Old 11-30-2004, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

i would go ahead and replace the socket cuz that's probably the problem.....
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:08 PM
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Our expert mechanics here at work today suggest taking the dime or penny out of the bottom uf the socket (after the fuse has blown) This is apparantly very common with certain cars with the cig lighter in the console near the ashtray or coin tray.. But I think you probably figured that out already by the above responses...
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Well, I just checked again, and lo and behold I DID find something in the lighter recepticle that doesnt belong there. It was a small disk-shaped magnet (loos a bit like a watch battery in shape and size). Took it out and the lighter plug works just fine now. Now I wonder how that there magnet got there.??? Kids?????
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:49 PM
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Nope, not the kids, ask them they will tell you, it was the MAGNET MONSTER...... It snuck into the car at the grocery store and left it in the lighter...... Merry Christmas.......
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: Automotive Electronics Help Needed

Did I ever tell you guys...? I have no children !!
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