'Cigarette lighter' port is dead

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Old 05-23-20, 11:53 AM
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'Cigarette lighter' port is dead

Car is a 2008 Honda Civic.

Most people call it the cigarette lighter but it's used for other things like charging phones. I used it to plug in an air pump to pump up my tires. On the last tire, the pump suddenly shut off. I assumed it was the tire pump. But when I bought a new tire pump, it didn't turn on when I plugged it into the cigarette lighter. I returned it to the store and told them they had sold me a defective pump. But eventually we figured out that it wasn't the pump. There are fuses. Maybe the fuse blew out. The clerk showed me what a new fuse looks like so I could compare it to the fuse that controls the cigarette lighter.

The manual doesn't say which fuse controls the cigarette lighter. I had to call Honda to ask. It's #29. The manual says #29 is 'ACC' which doesn't indicate it's the cigarette lighter. What does ACC stand for? Air conditioning?

The fuse in #29 doesn't look burned out. I pulled out some other 15A fuses and they look the same. None of them look damaged. They look just as good as brand new ones. I replaced the #29 fuse with another 15A fuse and it made no difference.

Honda then told me maybe it's the relay. It's supposed to be a 4-pin box under the steering column. I spent some time looking under the steering column, and there are at least 3 things that could be this 4-pin relay. I can't find pictures of it online. There's at least a hundred wires, hidden in plastic tubes and taped up so you can't see where they go - how am I supposed to know which one goes to the cigarette lighter? Maybe there's something wrong with one of the wires, or maybe it's the relay itself.

If I knew for sure which one was the 4-pin relay, I think I'd be able to replace it and stick the wires in place. I've done similar work before. Maybe that would solve the problem, or maybe the problem is being caused by something else.

Since I don't know, I'll probably have to take it into a shop. But I want to know how to prevent burning out the cigarette lighter again. What did I do wrong with the tire pump? It takes a while to fill up one tire. It gets hot. I gave it 20 minutes to half an hour to cool down before starting the next tire, so what else was I supposed to do?
 
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Old 05-23-20, 11:59 AM
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ACC stands for accessory. Meaning the key must be in the accessory position to operate.

From what I remember.... if it's an always live lighter well.... it's on a 10A fuse.

Finding fuses in a fusebox is a crapshoot. I was in the mobile electronics field for well over 20 years. I always carried a 12v test light with me and would test every fuse faster then it took to look it up in a book. On the end of all those plastic fuses is a little window with a metal tab. Use the test light to check both ends. If it's out on both ends.... it's a key circuit. If it's live on one end.... the fuse is blown.
 
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Old 05-23-20, 12:10 PM
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do you have a voltmeter or test light could check to see if your getting power to the fuse at both sides then check power at the cig power port could just turn the key on and quickly check most fuses very easily using a meter or test light.
acc usually stands for accessory not sure why they would use a relay for it but if they did you probably have another fused power source to check.
would suggest buying a small air compressor so you dont have to use a 12 volt pump to fill up your tires.
 
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Old 05-23-20, 12:50 PM
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do you have a voltmeter or test light could check to see if your getting power to the fuse at both sides then check power at the cig power port could just turn the key on and quickly check most fuses very easily using a meter or test light.
acc usually stands for accessory not sure why they would use a relay for it but if they did you probably have another fused power source to check.
would suggest buying a small air compressor so you dont have to use a 12 volt pump to fill up your tires.]
I have a multimeter. I'm not getting any readings off any of the fuses - I must be doing something wrong. I got a reading off of an item connected to the gas pedal, so the multimeter works, I just don't know how to get it to give me a reading off of these fuses. Ignition is on, touch the contacts to both fuse contacts? Nothing happens. Nothing happens when I stick the multimeter contacts into the cigarette lighter either but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be touching the contacts to there.

A small air compressor costs hundreds of dollars here. For something you might use once or twice a year. And it probably stops working after the warranty expires in 2 years... Do a lot of people have them? A tire pump is a common consumer product for a reasonable price - I'd be surprised if many people are burning out their cigarette lighters by using them as designed. Or maybe I'm wrong and these products shouldn't be on the market.
 
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Old 05-23-20, 01:11 PM
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Measuring across a fuse will show 0 volts, the voltage is across whatever device it is for.
One meter lead must be on ground. Then one side of the fuse will show 12 volts, the other side of the fuse will show 0 volts.

Measuring across a blown fuse will show 12 volts re: the voltage is across the fuse.
 
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Old 05-23-20, 01:52 PM
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Measuring across a fuse will show 0 volts, the voltage is across whatever device it is for.
One meter lead must be on ground. Then one side of the fuse will show 12 volts, the other side of the fuse will show 0 volts.

Measuring across a blown fuse will show 12 volts re: the voltage is across the fuse.


Got it. Fuse #29 only shows a reading on one side. At least 2 other fuses also show readings on only one side, including a 15A I took from another slot to test in #29 yesterday. They don't look damaged like the store clerk said they would.

I took readings on most of the other fuses, and they show readings on both sides. So I took a 15A fuse that has readings on both sides, stuck it in #29, and the cigarette lighter works!

The new tire pump also works. The old one is shot.

This is really useful information and is going to save me time and money. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-23-20, 02:36 PM
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Nice job. Electrical problems are almost as bad as plumbing.
 
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