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Old 07-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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Third Prong on Cigarette Lighter?

So I've been working on fixing my Cigarette lighter recently. Power is running to the lighter, all fuses are good...no problem there. But my Cigarette lighter won't charge anything. Shouldn't it be able to even if it's not an accessory outlet? And also, I've noticed that there is only two wires leading to the cigarette lighter even though its three pronged. Do I need a third wire for the third prong in order to use my cigarette lighter to charge things? And if so, what would that wire be?
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #2
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The housing is the ground side, the center tab(s) are the hot side.

Carefully probe the center tab(s) in the bottom of the housing, with a test light hooked to a known ground. It should light up. If it doesn't you don't have power to the tab.

Now take the lead off the known ground and touch it to the housing while the probe is touching the center tab(s). It should again light up. If it doesn't, and you had a light before, you have no ground on your housing.


Simple as that.


Whoops, almost forgot, the lighter will only work if the key is in the on position.

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Old 07-30-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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I've already done that. Honestly, there's no good reason this shouldn't be working. There's power running to everything. Even the guys at autozone didn't understand why its not working.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:15 PM   #4
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OK, if you got power and a ground at the proper places, only thing left if the lighter itself works, is the plug on your accessory items.
They sometimes don't mate up well with the lighter housings. Either the center pin on the plug won't allow the side terminal to ground, or the pin has too much spring pressure and pushes the plug part way back out, or the side terminal on the plug doesn't make good contact.

If it comes down to it, and you have to replace the housing, it's no biggie. The housing is two piece. Outer housing screws to the inner housing.
Unscrew the back, after removing the wires, and pull the inner out from the front.

New one goes in opposite, inner housing goes in through the bezel from the front, outer housing screws on from the back to lock it all into place, plug in your wires and you're done.

And yes power outlets and cigarette lighter outlets have a different design, on the inner housing, it could be that your accessories just aren't mating up well with the lighter version.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #5
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And if you haven't tried it yet, try a different accessory's plug. It could if it's only one that is acting up, it itself could be bad. I know on ours I've run both the GPS and/or phone charger with no problems.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinb View Post
I've already done that. Honestly, there's no good reason this shouldn't be working. There's power running to everything. Even the guys at autozone didn't understand why its not working.
Well if the guys at Autozone can't figure it out you may have to sell the Jeep!

But seriously, if you have power going to the socket and it doesn't work then it has to be a bad socket no?
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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I've tried different sockets on it...yet it still doesn't work..
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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Just a Tid bit of advice: to work at autozone it requires no vehicle knowledge. I had a guy look at a torx bit and he said I've never seen one of those
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by erinb
I've tried different sockets on it...yet it still doesn't work..
So the third tab does it have a little number by it? (1,2,3) and there should be a tab on the casing side that is grounded.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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By socket I mean the receptacle, the part in the Jeep.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:39 PM   #11
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It is possible that you have a badly corroded or worn out lighter socket... If the lighter doesn't work and you can't power up any accessories (with the key on), I would look at replacing the socket.

From the FSM: "The power outlet receives battery voltage from a fuse in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) through the accessory relay only when the ignition switch is in the Accessory or On positions. See Accessory Relay in this group for more information.
Two small spring-clip retainers are located on either side of the insulated contact inside the bottom
of the receptacle shell. These clips engage and hold the heating element of the dealer-installed cigar
lighter against the insulated contact long enough for the resistor coil to heat up. When the resistor coil
becomes sufficiently heated, excess heat radiates from the heating element causing the spring-clips to
expand, releasing the heating element."

It is the spring clips that will wear out and cause the lighter or accessory plugs not to make good contact. If the cigar lighter/power outlet needs replacing the part number should be 56007314AC.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:56 PM   #12
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I got a similar issue with mine, when I gently put it in it works right. It must be a jeep thing!
Does anybody knw how much it wld cost for a new one, I'm curious
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:06 AM   #13
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havent pulled the lighter out of my jeep but recently added one to my camaro and i would imagine they are all the same, like stated above the housing itself was the ground, the top prong was the 12V+ power for the lighter and the other prong was the 12V+ for the light inside of the socket
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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I've tried different sockets on it. I took one out of our chrysler van(that works) and (it fit in the jeep), and it didn't work. Ugh......could it be possible I need a bigger fuse? I have a 20 in right now and I tried a 25 in it but still nothing...
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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When you plug in your phone charger / GPS / whatever it is, have you tried turning it inside the socket?
My phone charger only seems to work in a couple of positions, so when I plug it in, I just twist it slowly, till it lights up.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:07 PM   #16
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Does your phone charger work in other vehicles? If it does not work in others then maybe your charger is bad, some of them have a fuse in the end that blows.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinb
I've tried different sockets on it. I took one out of our chrysler van(that works) and (it fit in the jeep), and it didn't work. Ugh......could it be possible I need a bigger fuse? I have a 20 in right now and I tried a 25 in it but still nothing...
Does it keep blowing the fuse? So you have the wire grounding it attached to the casing, can you trace it?
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:39 PM   #18
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I've tried twisting it around...and yes the charger works, and no, its never blown a fuse
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:39 PM   #19
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My money is on a flaky ground. Works when the test light is inserted (low power) and fails when an accessory is plugged in (higher load).
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:59 PM   #20
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Hmm sounds like my problem. Do you know where it would ground at?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinb
Hmm sounds like my problem. Do you know where it would ground at?
You should be able to trace the ground pretty easily. Just follow the wire and it will screw into the frame somewhere
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:33 PM   #22
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You should be able to trace the ground pretty easily. Just follow the wire and it will screw into the frame somewhere
Alright, ill probably give that a shot tomorrow. So if its faulty ground, how do I do about fixing that?
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinb

Alright, ill probably give that a shot tomorrow. So if its faulty ground, how do I do about fixing that?
Just find a good part of the frame (around the cig lighter is a lot of metal that you can ground too) and use a trouble light that will show a ground. And put screw in it with a round connector.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:05 PM   #24
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Is your ignition switch on when you are trying to get your cigarette lighter receptacle to work? It only works when the ignition switch is in the On or ACC position.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:43 PM   #25
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Is your ignition switch on when you are trying to get your cigarette lighter receptacle to work? It only works when the ignition switch is in the On or ACC position.

Yeah, I have.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:46 PM   #26
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Just find a good part of the frame (around the cig lighter is a lot of metal that you can ground too) and use a trouble light that will show a ground. And put screw in it with a round connector.
Alright, thanks. Ill work on my Jeep tomorrow and we'll see what happens..
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:50 PM   #27
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Alright, thanks. Ill work on my Jeep tomorrow and we'll see what happens..
Don't shock yourself
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:27 PM   #28
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when redoing the ground, strip down to bare metal before putting the screw in.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 PM   #29
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when redoing the ground, strip down to bare metal before putting the screw in.
Yes. It SHOULD already be bare metal but make sure. If it's got paint or anything it won't conduct
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:26 AM   #30
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It will only works with the ign on because of a relay that goes open when the ign is off, if the relay is bad then it may be staying open all of the time and no power will be going to the lighter. Check the relay which is located under the dash near the big wire connector to the left of the steering collum.

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