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Unread 11-22-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cigarette lighter and 12V power plug both not working

The cigarette lighter (power outlet near the shifter) and the 12V outlet (in the compartment btw the seats) both are not working in my car. I checked the fuse under the dashboard and there is nothing wrong with the fuse. I know this for sure since I interchanged it with the radio fuse and the radio still worked. Where should I start looking ? I would think it's unlikely that there's something wrong with the outlets themselves since both the outlets are not working. Where do I start diagnosing ? Any pointers would be appreciated.
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Unread 11-22-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Things to ask yourself:
When did this start?
Did something change in the car that caused this to happen? like, Did you install/remove something else?

If you can't think of a cause then try tracing the wires from the outlets back to the fuse box looking for damage. Also, get a volt meter and check everything from the fuse box to the outlet.
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Unread 11-22-2010   #3 (permalink)
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It happened a while ago and I didn't think it was a big deal since I didn't use it that much anyways. I guess I will get a DMM and take it from there.
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Unread 12-06-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Hi All,
Here's what I found so far. I am electrical noob so I need some advice to proceed further

I opened up the receptacle around the shifter and I disconnected the cigarette lighter from the connector. The voltage drop across this connector is zero. Tracing the wire leads to another bigger connector also behind the shifter boot receptacle. This bigger connector splits the wire to the cigarette lighter and the 12 V outlet near the armrest. This bigger connector has more pins and am not sure which are hot and which one is ground. Anyway, neither of them seem to work as the voltage drop is again 0 (with metal beneath the receptacle as a ground)

Any help would be appreciated.
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Unread 12-06-2010   #5 (permalink)
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What Model year car are we dealing with? For the 1999-2006 MY, check fuses F1.9 and F2.1.

F1=BJB=Battery Junction Box-located engine bay
F2=CJB=Central Junction Box-located driver's kick panel

Did you check the ground behind the center console? This ground is shared by a number of devices including the Cluster, GEM, and radio. It is frequently messed up during/after a radio install.

Since both power outlets are affected and they are actually supplied by different fuses, my vote is a bad ground.

Measure the resistance from the outside terminal back to the battery negative. Post.
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Unread 12-06-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmburns View Post
What Model year car are we dealing with? For the 1999-2006 MY, check fuses F1.9 and F2.1.

F1=BJB=Battery Junction Box-located engine bay
F2=CJB=Central Junction Box-located driver's kick panel

Did you check the ground behind the center console? This ground is shared by a number of devices including the Cluster, GEM, and radio. It is frequently messed up during/after a radio install.

Since both power outlets are affected and they are actually supplied by different fuses, my vote is a bad ground.

Measure the resistance from the outside terminal back to the battery negative. Post.
Thanks for the reply.
I have a 3.8 L V6 2003. The manual says that F1 in the fuse panel beneath the dashboard is the one to look at. I have already checked that and even interchanged it with the Radio fuse and it's fine. F2 in the same panel is also 20 A (same as F1), so I will check that too just in case.
The radio works so could it still be the bad ground ? Sorry for a a basic/noob question but how to find/check for the common ground ?

Thanks,
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Unread 12-07-2010   #7 (permalink)
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F1.9 and F2.1 are NOT in the same panel. The first two letters are the panel. The # following is the fuse within that panel.

Will answer any other questions after you post the resistance measurement from the power outlet outside connector back to battery ground. This measurement will answer the question about the quality of the ground without having to take anything apart.

Otherwise, this is just a waste of time.

Just wondering, if you are an electrical noob and presumably posting on the forums asking for advice, why do you suppose that someone would take the time to respond with detailed tests that are are no value?

Consider that Ground G204 located behind the center console is MULTIPLE wires coming together at the same point. Can you not see a situation where some of the wires could be affected but not all?
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Unread 12-07-2010   #8 (permalink)
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I have checked both fuses 20 A beneath the dashboard and 20 A under the hood. They both are good.

Will try to find the ground behind the panel and try to measure the resistance as you said and get back with more info.

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmburns View Post
F1.9 and F2.1 are NOT in the same panel. The first two letters are the panel. The # following is the fuse within that panel.

Will answer any other questions after you post the resistance measurement from the power outlet outside connector back to battery ground. This measurement will answer the question about the quality of the ground without having to take anything apart.

Otherwise, this is just a waste of time.

Just wondering, if you are an electrical noob and presumably posting on the forums asking for advice, why do you suppose that someone would take the time to respond with detailed tests that are are no value?

Consider that Ground G204 located behind the center console is MULTIPLE wires coming together at the same point. Can you not see a situation where some of the wires could be affected but not all?
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Unread 12-07-2010   #9 (permalink)
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An update..
So I took a few minutes during my lunch break to look behind the shifter panel. I found a ground on RH side panel and near the glove compartment (probably g204) which seems to be working fine. I couldn't get to G203. I read somewhere that it's behind the radio, so it may have to wait till I can get the radio cover etc off.
The battery ground is too far for me to measure with my multimeter with the cig lighter connector.
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Unread 12-07-2010   #10 (permalink)
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G203 is behind the center console near the radio. Use a piece of scrap wire and extend one lead of your VOM to the battery negative. Set the VOM on it's lowest scale. Touch the other lead to the outside contact of the power outlet. Record the resistance. No disassembly required to make the measurement.
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Unread 12-07-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks wmburns!
I don't have a scrap wire right now so here's what I did quickly.
I had done a voltage test using the the metal plate behind the shifter as a ground and the dome light as +ve and I got a good reading of 12.xx volts which to means that the metal plate is a good ground. So now, I quickly did the resistance test against that metal plate (instead of the battery ground) and the outer part of the cig lighter. And the same again with 12 V power outlet. They both gave readings of < 5. Having the test leads touch each other also gives < 5. Does this mean the ground is good ? Or should i try the battery ground test later ?

Thanks again.
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Unread 12-07-2010   #12 (permalink)
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FWIIW, 5 Ohms is a lot of resistance for what should be a straight wire.

Also, the dome light ground goes through the GEM. Guess where the GEM is grounded? If you said G203, give yourself a gold star.

The circuit is actually very simple. The diagrams attached.

Did you confirm there is +12 volts going INTO the fuse?

If the fuse is good, then you should be able to test +12 volts to the outlet center and a known good ground. If no voltage, then either the fuse is blown, there is a wiring fault, the outlet itself is burned out, or your tester is bad.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf diagram-44-1.pdf (10.3 KB, 469 views)
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Unread 12-07-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks wmburns!
Well, I said < 5 because I did not remember the exact #. But it wasn't significantly different from the # I got having the two test leads against each other. I haven't confirmed the +12 V at the fuse, that was going to be the next step. I will try it tomorrow. And double check everything else. The outlet center and a known ground (the frame behind shifter panel) has no volts. That's true for both outlets and I have checked it multiple times. Will try everything again tomorrow.
Also, I was looking at diagrams from autozone, but the one you have is slightly better.

Thanks again for helping.
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Unread 12-08-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Quick voltage test on the 30 A maxi fuse (F1 9) tells that there's 12 V going in that fuse. And the fuse is good too. Which makes me think that the outlet itself must be bad. It's not clean to begin with. Next step is to try to open the center console and get behind the 12V auxiliary outlet.
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Unread 01-07-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Default Apparently bad ground connection in cig/lighter auxiliary power

Hi everybody,

I have the same problem with both cigarette lighters in my 1998 Mustang. I followed wmburns advice and tested the ground. It is clearly bad...reads infinity between -ve battery terminal and outer ground of cig lighter. The cig lighter fuses are good and I have 12V at the fuse. Any advice about how to access the faulty ground wire? Do I just start digging?

Thanks for this thread. It has been helpful to me.
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