A Simple Way TO Fix A Car Cigarette Lighter Not Working

It’s quite annoying when your phone battery is low and your lighter socket is not working properly. The problem is not very serious but certainly inconvenient if left repaired. But there is a question: why is your car cigarette lighter not working?

The possible reasons could be anything such as the lighter’s socket fuse being blown; it loses its power or the presence of foreign objects that are causing a problem inside the socket. 

Whatever the reason, the lighter sockets also offer several useful services such as charging GPS devices, cams, phones, etc.

Why Do You Need to Fix Your Cigarette Lighter?

cigarette lighters not working in car
Car cigarette lighter not working can cause many problems. (Photo: Digital Trends)

Before gathering some ways to fix the socket, first, you need to know why you want to fix it. Everyone can have some personal reasons behind this but below are some of the common ones:

  • To avoid expensive repairs from mechanics,
  • For convenience, (one can use the socket to charge the gadgets anywhere),
  • To use DIY ways to change minor faults such as blown fuse, sockets, etc.,
  • To replace unrepaired components with the correct specification and reduce safety hazards.

Ways To Fix Car Cigarette Lighter Not Working

Now, you are aware of a few reasons to fix it in case your car cigarette lighter not working correctly. Below are some ways to fix the defects.

Let’s have a look!

1. Check The Lighter’s Fuse

car charger outlet not working
Solving the problem of cigarette lighter in car not working may be not an easy task. (Photo: Youtube)

To check the fuse for cigarette lighter, first, you need to test the lighter with the help of a circuit tester. Place the clip end of the test light to the outer frame of the socket. Hold it on if clipping seems difficult. 

Next, use the longer end of the tester and try to touch the back of the socket. 

If the light turns on, it means the lighter has power. In case it does not, the problem lies in the fuse. You have to replace it or repair it in no time.

How to fix the damaged lighter fuse

In many cases, your car fuse blows, which can be the result of multiple failures. The situation can be over if you discover the problem right on that lighter socket. 

If you don’t, there may be an issue elsewhere. Or you may have plugged in an item that consumes more amperage than the design of the circuit

Typically circuits are fused at 10 or 15A, less so in larger schematics. Some inverters don’t keep current demand below that. In that case, plugging in electrical appliances may blow the fuse and cause the inverter to fail.

The easiest next step is to replace the cigarette lighter fuse or 12v accessory socket and observe the results. 

If the fuse blows immediately, there is a failed act somewhere in the circuit. Moreover, if everything was fine initially and then the fuse blew when the inverter was plugged in, you may encounter a failed inverter.

Due to inverter limitations, you may prefer an inverter that is directly connected to the battery board or fuse.

car lighter not working
A blown car fuse can be the result of multiple failures, including the car charger port not working. (Photo: Your Mechanic)

2. Check The Lighter’s Inside

If the lighter’s fuse is working fine, you need to check it from the inside. In this case, the problem may exist inside the lighter. The issue could be due to debris or any other random objects. 

To resolve this, you will need to take out the inner parts and clean them thoroughly. If even after cleaning it properly, your cigarette lighter doesn’t work, then you will need to inspect it further.


3. Lighter’s Inspection

Even after replacing the fuse and cleaning the lighter, your cigarette lighter is not working, which means the cigarette lighter is at fault. Pull the lighter’s portion out of the socket and check for burned areas or any debris issues. 

If you see burning signs in the lighter it means it may have short-circuited and you need to replace it with a new one. Further, also clean debris and other elements to avoid future defects.

4. Remove unnecessary plugged-in devices

Another thing you can do to troubleshoot the problem is to simply remove the unnecessary plugged-in devices on.

Car lighters are 12-volt sockets that can power appliances. While this gadget was designed to enable individuals to smoke in automobiles, plugging a 12-volt DC item into this socket creates an electrical route.

If something unexpected, such as food crumbs, stones, or dirt, goes through the plug, that path might be disturbed. This is especially frequent with upright cigarette lighters. 

cigarette lighter car
Everything is highly prone to falling and being entangled in the plug. (Photo: Way)

5. Test or Replace the lighter socket

Check the cigarette lighter socket with a multimeter to verify whether electricity is flowing. Turn the ignition switch in the automobile to the on position before completing a test, as many cigarette lighters do not operate when the key is turned off.

Check that the multimeter is set to DC voltage. Connect the red wire to the red socket labeled “V” and the black wire to the black socket labeled “COM.” 

Connect the red lead’s metal-probed end to the metallic circle on the bottom of the cigarette lighter socket. Then, place the probed end of the black lead against the socket’s side.

Read the voltage on the multimeter when both probes are contacting the relevant portions of the cigarette lighter socket. 

If the measurement is considerably below 12 volts, the socket is most likely to blame for your lighter problem. You should replace it as soon as possible to avoid any cigarette lighter not working problem.

For this issue, you are expected to pay about $50 to $150, depending on the problem’s severity and your car model complex system.

6. Check if the charger or plug is failed or not

Finally, the plug itself might be defective. Check that the electronics within the charger, lighter, or other 12-volt auxiliary goods are not damaged, and that the springs inside the plug you insert into the socket are not worn out.

Seek expert assistance to repair the socket, and your cigarette lighter will be charging your phone in no time.

Let’s find out more about how to fix cigarette lighter in car with our recommended video from 1A Auto. 


These were a few ways to fix car cigarette lighter not working properly. Although, a defective cigarette lighter is not a very big issue yet it’s extremely useful. 

Rather than spending dollars on fixing it through a professional car service center, it is better to learn some maintenance tips and do it yourself.