Change Cig Lighter To Switched [Archive] - Forum


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07-16-2008, 11:57 AM
So obviously the cig lighter on our cars is an always on power source. Never been a problem because I never really used mine...until now. I just got a new iPod and bought a car charger/FM transmitter for it. The thing fits so tight in the cig lighter that the first time I tried to unplug it it pulled the dash trim off with it.

I normally will not leave it plugged in because I don't like having things like that visible, but I could at least leave it in when the car is in the garage. However, I don't want it pulling power from the battery all the time.

Has anybody messed with changing the lighter over to a switched source that is only on when the car is on? Most newer cars are like this and I was just wondering if anyone here had done it and if so what you spliced into.

07-16-2008, 12:15 PM
you can do 1 of two things:

1. Go to Autozone and purchase a fuse divider ( i don't know what it's called but it'll be in their electrical section. It plugs into one of the current slots of fuses that you already have and splits it into two. what you do is take out the windshilf wipers fuse from your drivers side fuse panel, and plug in this fuse divider that you got at autozone, and plug the original fuse back in so that your windshielf wipres still work. the divider already comes with another fuse i believe that other fuse now is an additional fused circuit and that pigtail sticking out of it is what being powered by it, you extend the pigatil about 2 or 3 feet to reach your cig lighter. Cut the positive (+) feed of the cig lighter and attach the new feed wire. The end that used to power the cig light should be insulated so it doesn't ground and pop your fuse. If I had a picture, you wouldn't be confused right now. the driver's side fuse panel does not get power until the ignition is turned on. and turns off when the ignition is turned off. found a picture of what I'm talking about

2. you can buy a relay and have it interrupt the positive (+) feed of the cig when ignition is off. the negetive of this is that you'd still have to find a positive when ignition on (so ignition wires, stereo turn on wire) something like that.

I recommend #1, because you're still fused so if there is a short, it doesn't fry your ipod/charger/transmitter.

I used #1 to wire my radar detector so it turned on automatically when I start my car without have wires hangin over my dash and using my one and only cig lighter.

07-16-2008, 01:26 PM
Cool. Ill have to look for one of those splitters. Thanks!