How to Fix Cigarette Lighter in Car – The Simplest Ways That You Can Do!

Don’t you hate it when your phone’s battery is low while you’re on the road but your lighter socket is not working? This problem is not actually a serious car issue but can be quite inconvenient when left unrepaired.


Although mainly used to light cigarettes, the lighter sockets are also ports you can use to charge your devices such as your GPS, phones, cams, and many others. But if your cigar light port is not functioning, worry no more! I will teach you how to fix cigarette lighter in a car and you don’t even need to be a car-savvy to do it.

My Cigarette Lighter in Car is Not Working – What’s Wrong?

Sometimes we want to plug all our gadgets at once into the lighter socket without reviewing the specifications of the devices, causing the fuse to blow up. Or due to our careless actions, we accidentally dropped a penny inside the socket, causing obstructions and shorting the circuits inside.

There are only three possible reasons why your lighter socket is not working:

  • The lighter socket fuse is blown.
  • The presence of foreign objects that cause obstructions inside the socket.
  • The socket has no power.

Whatever the reason why your lighter socket is not working, the good news is that you can diagnose it yourself and do a quick fix without spending a lot of money.

Why I Need to Fix the Cigarette Lighter in My Car

In this post, I want to show you how to fix a lighter socket that won’t work without draining your pocket. You don’t even need to learn a lot of technical stuff to do this. However, I will only recommend you the steps and the products which worked for me.

We all have personal reasons why we want that malfunctioning lighter to be fixed as soon as possible. Below, I have listed a few reasons:

  • For convenience (we want to use the socket for our gadgets whenever we needed it).
  • To diagnose possible circuitry problems if you have repeatedly experienced a blown fuse.
  • Avoid expensive repairs from auto shops.
  • Do necessary replacements of bad components (such as blown fuse or sockets).
  • Replace the bad components with the correct specifications to avoid safety hazards.

Speaking about safety hazard, you might also want to check this article why does my car smell like gas now to diagnose any pre-existing issues in your vehicle.

Quick Steps to Fix Your Cigarette Lighter in the Car

Before you proceed, you need to gather the materials needed for this tutorial.

Materials Needed:

1. Multimeter

A multimeter is a helpful tool you can use to diagnose your car’s circuitry by measuring the voltage, current, and resistance. You can also use the instrument to check the connectivity of your car’s internal circuitry.

2. Fuse

If you have later discovered that your problem is a blown fuse, you will need a new set to replace the old one. Just make sure that you refer to your auto’s manual to check the specifications of the fuse before doing any replacements.

3. Fuse Puller


A fuse puller is helpful to remove any defective fuse easily. It will also not damage the plastic case of the fuse you’ve removed, just in case you pulled out the wrong one and need to put it back in the fuse box.

4. Car Vacuum Cleaner


The car vacuum is an accessory used to remove loose debris and dirt inside the compartments of your vehicle.

Now you have everything you need, let’s start fixing!

Step by Step Instruction!

Check First Your Gadgets by Switching to Other Sockets Available


  • If you recently found out that your gadget is not charging when plugged into the lighter socket, check first if the gadget’s charging system is working fine.
  • Plug your device into another socket and see if it works.
  • If it does work, then you know that your device is okay and the lighter in your car is faulty.

Locate the Lighter’s Fuse

  • Check the fuse box of your vehicle where the lighter’s fuse is located. You may find it in the passenger’s compartment or in the engine compartment. You may check your car manual for reference.


  • Inside the fuse box, you can see different fuses arranged for other components in your vehicle. In order to find the fuse for the lighter, you need to read the legends in the map that describe the fuse for the lighter.
  • Right next to the legend or description is a series of number or code. Take note of the code and look for the diagram that presents the arrangement of the fuses in the fuse box.
  • Using the code you found, locate this code in the diagram so you will know where the lighter fuse is located.
  • Once you have located the fuse, go to the actual set of fuses arranged inside the box and check for the lighter fuse.

Test the Suspected Fuse


  • Place the black probe on one side of the fuse and the red probe on the other side (the probes can be interchanged).


  • You should be able to hear the multimeter beep. If it does beep, it means the fuse is normal. Double check again if you have selected the right fuse by repeating step 2. If you are confident that you’ve located the right fuse and the multimeter beeps, it means the fuse is functional and the issue may not be coming from the fuse.
  • If the multimeter does not make a beep sound, it means that the fuse is defective and you need to replace it.

Replace the Bad Fuse

  • If you found the bad fuse (about 90 percent of lighter sockets not functioning is caused by a blown fuse), you need to remove it immediately.
  • Get your fuse puller and gently pull out the bad fuse. Once you’ve removed it, you may see a black mark within the plastic casing of the fuse. This is an indicator that the fuse has been burned or blown.


  • Get a new fuse to replace the old one. Remember that your auto has a specific requirement for a particular fuse. I suggest you check your car manual on this. Based on my experience, most cars would require a 15-ampere fuse.
  • Place the new fuse to where you have removed the blown fuse. Carefully push it down until it is set.
  • Warning!

Do not replace a fuse with a rating different from what your car requires. Otherwise, it will cause circuit problems or heat up the wires and cause a fire.

Test If the Fuse Replacement Solved the Issue

  • Turn your engine on.
  • Plug your gadget into the lighter socket and see if it works. If it does, then congratulations! If it does not work, then you may need to proceed to the next step to check for other issues.

Test the Voltage in the Lighter Unit

  • Turn your multimeter on and set the dialer on a DC voltage range (you can see a straight line next to the letter V). Make sure to set the multimeter on within the voltage range you are measuring. Example, in this tutorial you should expect to measure 12 V, so you can set your multimeter to 20 V.
  • Place the positive probe (the red terminal) on the center side of the socket and the negative probe (the black terminal) on the outer side.


  • Check the display of your multimeter. If the reading is about 12 V, then your socket is fine. If not, then it means it is faulty and you need to proceed to the next step.

Check for Foreign Objects inside the Lighter

  • Check for any debris or objects inside the lighter. Contaminants can cause obstructions inside the lighter and prevent the coils from making contact.
  • Using a toothpick, pick out any dirt or contaminants inside the socket.
  • Remove the loosened bits using a car vacuum.
  • Check again your lighter socket if it’s working. If it’s not working, then your cigarette lighter is defective and needs to be replaced.
  • Check again your lighter socket if it’s working. If it’s not working, then your cigarette lighter is defective and needs to be replaced.
  • Warning!

The presence of burned coils in your lighter socket means the wiring inside have short-circuited. This is a sure sign that you need to replace your lighter.

If you need visual steps on how to fix the cigarette lighter, you can refer to the video below:


Having a lighter socket that’s not working can be a hassle especially when you need to charge your gadget right in the middle of the road. But worry no more! In this primer, I have shown you how easy it is to fix a cigarette lighter in your car.

Do you find this post helpful? Then it would really be a big help if you share this with your family and friends!

Please don’t forget to give your comments below and I’d be glad to answer you to the best that I can!

About the Author Alice Brown

I am just a car girl. Simply interested in the automotive and vehicular world. I started out as an apprentice mechanic working at my father’s garage. I'm hoping my two cents will help you fix a blinking light on the dashboard or that cranking noise that you don’t seem to know where it is coming from.