Keeping Cigarette Lighter on When Vehicle Turned Off

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Jan 4, 2015
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Tucson, AZ
I'm curious if anyone has a quick fix (or not so quick fix) for something I'd like to change about factory settings with the cigarette lighter. I'd like to make an adjustment so that the cigarette lighter can still charge small items here and there when the vehicle is turned off. Seems like factory setting is that there is no power when the vehicle is off. Any ideas?
 
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Dec 7, 2018
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Cali
On the topic of cigarette lighter, how do I make mine stay in and heat up. I have to hold it in until it heats. There must be a quick fix for this?
 
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Tucson, AZ
Run a new hot line through a dedicated fuse. Drop a switch on the ground side to stay Toyota consistent.
I’ve learned a ton about mechanical items and parts, but when it comes to electrical lingo and direction, it’s a struggle for me. By new hot line, are you referring to going straight from the battery? If it’s a dedicated fuse, is there one that’s stock that’s open that I should drive that hot line to, and if so, what fuse level?...15? What do you mean by drop a switch on the ground side?
 
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Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
198
Location
Tucson, AZ
On the topic of cigarette lighter, how do I make mine stay in and heat up. I have to hold it in until it heats. There must be a quick fix for this?
More so how to do this for dummies instructions would be very helpful.
 
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Jul 17, 2018
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KN4YJE LUGOFF, SC
OK, No Problem
Yes run a new 10 gage wire with a ring terminal from your battery thru a 15A fuse to the back side of the lighter. There is a hole with rubber grommet just under the Brake Booster to snake the wire thru the fire wall. I don't know what kind of terminal is attached to the OEM lighter, but its probably a spade type connector.
The lighter will have a ground wire going to a terminal under the center console (is my guess) that's were the main ground is for the dash stuff.
You can reuse it if it has enough slack or run a new ground wire from the lighter through a switch on the dash. It can be a toggle type a or a fancy type that mounts in an empty switch plate hole.

Ring Terminal
upload_2018-12-19_22-37-21.png


inline fuse holder

Toggle switch and wire
upload_2018-12-19_22-41-52.png



If you think you might want to have more electric things in the future, run a multi fuse buss, like from Blue Sea.
upload_2018-12-19_22-46-33.png

This is the one I chose, its mounted with sst screws to my fire wall.

upload_2018-12-19_22-38-18.png
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
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KN4YJE LUGOFF, SC
On the topic of cigarette lighter, how do I make mine stay in and heat up. I have to hold it in until it heats. There must be a quick fix for this?
Yup, buy a new one at the parts store. They use a bimetalic spring that keeps them locked in, they wear out, and you buy a new one.
 
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Dec 7, 2018
Messages
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Cali
Yup, buy a new one at the parts store. They use a bimetalic spring that keeps them locked in, they wear out, and you buy a new one.
Original owner never used it once...just sitting in the glovebox perfectly unused from factory. So its bimetallic spring is worn out?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Tucson, AZ
OK, No Problem
Yes run a new 10 gage wire with a ring terminal from your battery thru a 15A fuse to the back side of the lighter. There is a hole with rubber grommet just under the Brake Booster to snake the wire thru the fire wall. I don't know what kind of terminal is attached to the OEM lighter, but its probably a spade type connector.
The lighter will have a ground wire going to a terminal under the center console (is my guess) that's were the main ground is for the dash stuff.
You can reuse it if it has enough slack or run a new ground wire from the lighter through a switch on the dash. It can be a toggle type a or a fancy type that mounts in an empty switch plate hole.

Ring Terminal View attachment 1858963

inline fuse holder

Toggle switch and wireView attachment 1858968


If you think you might want to have more electric things in the future, run a multi fuse buss, like from Blue Sea.
View attachment 1858974
This is the one I chose, its mounted with sst screws to my fire wall.

View attachment 1858965
Great insights, and I definitely feel a better sense of how to achieve it. I'm well familiar with the entry on the firewall to push the wire through. Are you familiar with any switches which appear OEM even if they're not to achieve a manufactured look vs. a random switch? One of the links looks like an Amazon product with the stars, any guidance on current specific items would be awesome assistance!
 
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Bay Area, Ca.
A dedicated 15A circuit from the battery is a good idea, but 14 gauge wire is fine, 10 gauge is overkill. And I really don't see any need for a switch.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
454
Location
Chattanooga, TN
On the topic of cigarette lighter, how do I make mine stay in and heat up. I have to hold it in until it heats. There must be a quick fix for this?
If the cigarette lighter heats up while you hold it in but doesn't stay in to heat itself up and then pop out automatically the retainers can be adjusted until it works properly. What commonly happens on these is that the metal retainers relax (due to heat cycling or overheating) or get pushed out by other plugs that are pushed into the socket. When they are stretched/relaxed the retainers either don't hold the inserted lighter at all or don't hold it long enough for it to fully heat up. If you over-tighten the retainers then you can cause the lighter to get too hot before it pops out so it may take a few small adjustments until you dial it in like you want it.

The "retainers" are down in the bottom of the lighter socket. There are two of them, on opposing sides of the socket bottom, and they pinch/grab the rim/tip of the cigarette lighter that you insert. The retainers have a bit of spring to them. To tighten them you can use a flathead screwdriver that you insert in between the outer edge of the retainer tab and the side of the socket. Once the screwdriver is in place twist the screwdriver to bend the retainer in towards the middle of the socket, thus tightening it up. Be sure that the socket isn't powered up or you'll likely short it out and blow the fuse. If you can't depower the socket and have it use a plastic flathead equivalent.

Once you peek into the bottom of the socket and find the retainer tabs and then look at the insertable lighter (with the sliding cover slid back to expose the tip) you will probably understand how it's supposed to work. You should then be able to bend each of the retainer tabs a little at a time until it works with little/time effort.
 

Pin_Head

 
 
 
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No need to run a wire all the way from the battery, which is a PITA and looks ghetto. The wire from the battery wire is already there at the fuse block by the drivers knee. Run a short wire with a 20 amp fuse from the constant hot buss bar of the fuse block to the lighter. You won’t see the wire behind the dash. This is the way Toyota would have done it if they wanted to.
 
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Messages
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Tucson, AZ
No need to run a wire all the way from the battery, which is a PITA and looks ghetto. The wire from the battery wire is already there at the fuse block by the drivers knee. Run a short wire with a 20 amp fuse from the constant hot buss bar of the fuse block to the lighter. You won’t see the wire behind the dash. This is the way Toyota would have done it if they wanted to.
Any specifics on identifying the hot wire from the battery? What would be the best way to tap into it? Splice it?
 

musthave

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No need to run a wire all the way from the battery, which is a PITA and looks ghetto. The wire from the battery wire is already there at the fuse block by the drivers knee. Run a short wire with a 20 amp fuse from the constant hot buss bar of the fuse block to the lighter. You won’t see the wire behind the dash. This is the way Toyota would have done it if they wanted to.
While there are many right answers to the OP's question, this is the correct one. X2 ^ Thanks @Pin_Head
 
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Chattanooga, Tn
I ran a dedicated 40am fused line from the battery to the hump behind the middle console. I have a mini fuse bus panel there and run a few things off it like a 3 port cigarette pod, cb, phone charger, GPS and USB for toycom. Keeps me from having to run stuff through the firewall all the time
 
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tejas
there is a guy greg at this old tractor that sells nice brass ring terminals in small quantities that are crimp type. he’s usually pretty helpful.
 

Pin_Head

 
 
 
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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
15,027
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OC, CA
Any specifics on identifying the hot wire from the battery? What would be the best way to tap into it? Splice it?
1. You could look up its color code in the factory electric wiring diagram.

2. Open up the fuse block and find a fuse for something that is always hot, like the brake lights. Pull the fuse and find which of the two prongs is hot. Attach the new wire to the buss bar on the back side of this terminal.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
7
Location
Cali
If the cigarette lighter heats up while you hold it in but doesn't stay in to heat itself up and then pop out automatically the retainers can be adjusted until it works properly. What commonly happens on these is that the metal retainers relax (due to heat cycling or overheating) or get pushed out by other plugs that are pushed into the socket. When they are stretched/relaxed the retainers either don't hold the inserted lighter at all or don't hold it long enough for it to fully heat up. If you over-tighten the retainers then you can cause the lighter to get too hot before it pops out so it may take a few small adjustments until you dial it in like you want it.

The "retainers" are down in the bottom of the lighter socket. There are two of them, on opposing sides of the socket bottom, and they pinch/grab the rim/tip of the cigarette lighter that you insert. The retainers have a bit of spring to them. To tighten them you can use a flathead screwdriver that you insert in between the outer edge of the retainer tab and the side of the socket. Once the screwdriver is in place twist the screwdriver to bend the retainer in towards the middle of the socket, thus tightening it up. Be sure that the socket isn't powered up or you'll likely short it out and blow the fuse. If you can't depower the socket and have it use a plastic flathead equivalent.

Once you peek into the bottom of the socket and find the retainer tabs and then look at the insertable lighter (with the sliding cover slid back to expose the tip) you will probably understand how it's supposed to work. You should then be able to bend each of the retainer tabs a little at a time until it works with little/time effort.
This is the correct fix for a cigarette lighter that will not heat unless held in. Thanks for this! I used a bamboo skewer to slightly bend the inner tabs. I think using phone chargers and gps chargers tend to get the tabs out of whack.
B8EDEA54-F4A2-4F57-8C18-D8DEE69A1667.jpeg
 
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