car cigarette lighter

First of all, those tempted to provide information about why one shouldn’t smoke need not read any further, please.

New cars don’t come with cigarette lighters. They come with a spot where you can plug in anything else except a cigarette lighter. Now I cannot believe there is not some gadget that can be purchased to plug in there to let me light cigarettes. Does anyone know of such a product?

Huh? As in, does anyone sell car cigarette lighters? Pretty sure I’ve seen them at auto parts stores.

At least in the two newer cars we have, the power jacks certainly look like they would accept traditional car lighters…the cars simply didn’t come with them.

A secondary issue would be an ashtray, which I haven’t seen in a new car in at least a decade (though, when I bought my PT Cruiser in 2001, there was an option for an ashtray), though I’ve seen ashtrays sized to fit car cupholders in various auto-parts stores.

Do you have an example car and model year? AFAIK you can just buy a lighter to stick in there. Standard size, contact locations, and fusing. Should be no big deal.

Here’s what the manual for my 2010 Honda Fit says:

"Accessory Power Socket

This socket is intended to supply power for 12 volt DC accessories that are rated 120 watts or less (10 amps).

To use the accessory power socket, pull up the cover. The ignition switch must be in the ACCESSORY (I) or ON (II) position.

It will not power an automotive type cigarette lighter element."

Hmm. Makes you wonder why they don’t just put a standard socket there instead?

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The outlet that’s in there will NOT take a standard car cig lighter. I need to find another thing to plug into it that will make it back into a lighter. It’s a PITA to need to have matches and/or lighters in the car, plus the electric type is safer. This is for a just off the lot 2011 Hyundai Elantra.

I think its hilarious that they still have the same shape but claim right on the manual that they wont power an actual lighter.

Have you looked for a second outlet closer to the stearing wheel? The 12V auxiliary power outlets usually found on the passanger side are more powerful than the old cig lighter outlets (and too powerful for a heat element). A lot of newer cars will also have a traditional outlet closer to the driver.

No, there’s only one outlet and it’s as described a power outlet that can’t be used for a cigarette lighter. However, you can plug in a phone, or an ipad or lots of other stuff that I would never use while driving.

they have to support all of those gadgets out there designed to plug into that socket (cell phone chargers, etc.) but the circuit might not be able to supply enough current for a lighter anymore.

I believe it’s called a Smoker’s package. Check with the parts department at the dealership.

Can you replace the socket with one of these? Scroll down to the third item. There may be a spare fuse connector, or a fuse that can handle the additional current.
If it is the only device on the fuse, check the wire size and put in a larger fuse.

WAG and caution it is easier/cheaper/less liability to build a socket and housing that doesn’t have to deal with the heat a cig lighter puts out, so it may not be wise to try a standard cig lighter in these new sockets.

A standard cigarette lighter will fit the plug OK, but it looks like (from Googling) the fuse rating for a typical lighter is 15 Amps, and yours is only rated at 10 Amps.

You could try upgrading the fuse, however the wiring may not support 15 Amps.

I think you’re screwed on this one. The risk of fire from the wiring/socket probably isn’t worth it.

This is incorrect. Most actual cigar lighter circuits were 10 or 12 AWG fused at 30A. I have never seen a higher rated power outlet, nor 12V lighter-plugged gadget that needed more than 30A, and mostly they keep it to 20A or so to avoid being on the edge, and overheating a 12AWG circuit fused at 30A. (cigar lighters were only intended for intermittant service, so they frequently skimped on the wire gauge)

If it is 12V it can’t be “too powerful” for a heating element. The element draws current based on it’s resistance, and the voltage, regardless the fuse rating.

Actual lighter sockets have a bimetal clip in the bottom that allows the lighter to pop outward when it is hot enough. Power outlets might have such, or not, and are often fused at 10A or so…many inverters draw more than that.

Looks as though auto manufacturers use 18 gauge for 10 and 15 amperes.

Our 2000 Corvette has both. The manual says if a lighter is used in the power port the wiring will overheat, causing damage to the entire wire bundle.

The last new car I got, also a Hyundai, had a “smoker’s package.” Of course the lighter began to malfunction after about a year, but at least it had an ashtray. That was not an option on this year’s model.

I was hoping somebody manufactured an attachment that would permit the same function, but I guess I am just, as was said earlier, shuck outa luck.

Some anecdotes which may be useless:

I had a 94 Chrysler LeBaron that I drove into the ground, which came with an actual cigarette lighter. I replaced it with a 2009 Ford Mustang, which didn’t have a lighter. I had kept the lighter from the LeBaron, but it wouldn’t work in the Mustang; it wouldn’t stay pushed in.

My wife got a 2010 Dodge Caravan, which also didn’t have a lighter, but the lighter worked in her car. (But you should have heard the shrieks when she noticed it in her car.)