I have a cigarette lighter in my new car, but I don’t smoke. I know, that has become the standard 12v connector in cars these days, but I’m not a big fan. I could plug in a dual-USB charger but then I have to worry about it falling out and I’d rather have something more permanent in my car. I decided to replace the cigarette lighter socket with a dual-USB charger and voltmeter from Amazon.
Disassembly was not hard once you knew where to look, everything was phillips screws and isn’t it wonderful to not have little metal tabs to break, or plastic plugs to have to dig out?. The “gotcha” with this removal is that the radio dials are screwed to the front panel and have to be removed.
I had a look at the cigarette lighter socket and it’s beautiful. Not a scratch, no corrosion, pristine condition. I don’t know if this is new or original, but I couldn’t throw it out. It’s in a bin of 12v parts now.
With that out I had to make the whole a bit bigger. This would have been a job for a step drill but I didn’t have one big enough. I used a dremel and grinding wheel to very carefully open up the circle. The wires going to the lighter socket were very small so I made an extension harness (it needed to adapt from the bullet (screw!) on the old positive terminal to the spade anyway).
This is the part where I get to say “assembly is the reverse of removal” and be done with it. I’m not sure this is of the highest quality, and it may not charge my phones as fast as I would like but I’ll see how well it does. If there’s an issue there are many options to choose from, but I will have to sacrifice the volt meter and get another one somewhere else.
There you go, my first upgrade to this wonderful new car! Stay tuned for more fixes and tweaks coming up.
The home page for this project is here, it has a link to the album of pictures.