I am not getting any power to my cigarette lighter or to the fuse in the fuse box. I have a 91' Ford Ranger with around 110k miles so other than that and the air conditioning it runs fine. I was wondering if there is another fuse that I can split the power from (like the instrument panel lights) or something that would have plenty of power to charge a phone from the cigarette lighter. Is this not something I should do? I would just love to be able to charge my phone in my car again lol what would be the best and easiest solution?

  • Did you investigate why you don't get power? If you cigarette lighter is working properly you could just tap on any fuse that is activated with ignition. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 16:04
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    Some people even prefer to have the cigarette lighter work on fuses that are always on. Handy to keep the phone charged even when the car is off. Assuming you don't leave something power hungry plugged in for too long with the car off of course! :-) Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 16:20
  • No i am not sure why i do not have power to the cigarette lighter. So your saying I can use power from another fuse, say the instrument panel or something else that would be ok if it blew while I was driving? and the watt that it would take to charge my phone wouldn't be missed and normally cause it to blow? There is that much padding built into the circuit that it should be ok? The old cigarette lighter may work fine but I would probably just replace it for $5 because there is a lot of crud in there from I guess cigarettes or something. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 17:34

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I would avoid any circuit that is currently under use. Find a circuit that isn't used. Look for a circuit that powers something not installed in your vehicle or not used. Your broken A/C or power window (if not equipped) circuit could be used although they won't work with the ignition off. You want to avoid adding any load to a circuit that if overloaded will make the vehicle unsafe, so stay away from lighting, wipers, turn signals etc. Check at an auto parts shop (Auto Zone, PepBoys etc) what you need is a fuse powertap. Most look like a fuse with a wire pigtailed off the fuse. That wire will be your hot or load side to the power outlet. The other wire of the outlet will need to be attached to a chassis ground.

  • I've used a random 12v accessory line inside the cabin to power the starter motor directly for about 4 years with no issues, The chances of you starting a fire with a low-amperage draw cigarette lighter adapter is very small. Unless you are powering a enormous inverter, but you won't be pulling that from the cigarette lighter regardless.
    – crasic
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 1:39
  • I have seen low load adapters melt wiring. The no brand dollar store variety are prone to shorting if twisted or abused.
    – mikes
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 1:53
  • But when split off with a powertap, its still on the same fuse, you might trip the fuse if whatever is on the circuit is high draw already, but you aren't wiring it up straight to the battery.
    – crasic
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 2:40
  • @crasic: The starter motor or just the starter solenoid? I'm a bit skeptical that you could power the starter multiple times with accessory lines without melting the wire, not to mention that you would have had to bypass the fuse to do it, since the starter takes a lot more than 10-15 amps. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:17
  • @crasic you could and will blow the fuse but it will be on an otherwise unused circuit such as the power window circuit in a vehicle without power windows. The input or line side of the fuse holder will still have power, in most cases the wires will go to the fuse box but the output side wires will not be installed if not needed. The simplest means of getting the power out of the fuse box is with a fused powertap.
    – mikes
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 13:09

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