What To Do When The Car Lighter Won’t Heat Up?

A cigarette lighter is an essential accessory in the car these days. The car cigarette lighter sockets are also 12v sockets, which means that you should be able to plug in a cigarette lighter inverter, cell charger, or any other 12v DC accessory into any cigarette lighter socket, in any vehicle, and have it work just fine.

When a cigarette lighter socket stops working, it can be a great deal of heartburn as these days, we are so much dependent on them. If your car lighter won’t heat up there are a few things that can go wrong, let us understand them. 

Reasons Why Car Lighter Won’t Heat Up? 

A car lighter being an electric device, there are multiple things that can go wrong, the most common causes for this kind of problem are as follows-

1. A Blown Fuse

Usually, a blown fuse can be a cause of a minor car electrical problem. It can affect things like interior lights not working, or you not being able to use your radio, losing a turn signal, and other features not functioning properly. A blown fuse can cause the no-start situation to start. so it being the center point of the car electricals, a blown fuse can cause car lighter won’t heat up situation.

2. Obstruction Inside The Socket

This usually happens when the cigarette socket is present in a vertical position in the center console, this approach makes it much easier for the small objects to get inside the terminal. The non-conductive barrier prevents the lighter to contact with the connecting pins and the running of the elements, which causes it to malfunction.

3. Bad/Burnt Cigarette Lighter

you can pull the lighter’s heating portion out of the socket and then check for the signs of burned areas or any burnt debris that may have fallen in. If you see burning signs in the lighter, then it means that it is time to buy a new one. it is generally caused due to short-circuited as it is basically a giant resistor. You need to replace it with a new one. Cleaning it can help in some cases.

4. Car Wiring Problems

Modern cars are designed to heavily rely on electrical systems in order to function properly. The alternator and other electrical/electronic systems control the majority of the functionality of your car. If they begin to fail, you may experience a variety of issues, including car lighter not burning red. The problem with these issues is they can be easily misdiagnosed electrical.

How To Fix Bad Car Cigarette Lighter?

the good news is that the car lighter won’t heat up problem is an easy fix and you don’t have to move your bank balance in order to fix these issues. Here are simple ways to fix this issue-

1. Check The Power Socket Of Lighter

You can do this with the help of a test light or a voltmeter. before doing it yourself, you must know how to use them and in which position they must be used. Also, check for power in the center pin of the cigarette lighter socket and also around the interior of the barrel for ground. In case there is no power, then check for the fuses. In case there is still no power or ground, then the connections to that plug the cigarette lighter socket must be bad.

2. Remove Any Foreign Objects From Cigarette Lighter Socket

It is possible that any object might have found a way into your lighter, in case you find anything inside the cigarette lighter socket, it can be food or toys/coins then carefully remove them. It is very important that you do not reach into the socket with any metal object like a screwdriver as it can easily cause a short and make your life more difficult.

3. Change Burnt Fuse/ Fuse Box

If the cigarette lighter fuse is blown, and it can be a result of a number of different issues. Any metal object that fell into the lighter, can then probably burn it. It could also be a short elsewhere, or you might have plugged something that simply draws more amperage than the circuit is designed to handle. Cigarette lighter circuits should not exceed 10 or 15A.

The easiest way to solve this is to replace the cigarette lighter/12v accessory socket fuse. But even if it blows immediately then you’re dealing with a major problem. 

4. Chase The Wiring Issues

Wiring issues are very common in a car are a root cause for many problems. Bad wiring can cause the cigarette lighter not to work. In this case, you have to find the root cause for the wiring issue. If you do not know much about the car’s electrics, then you should probably let the mechanic handle the job. It must also be kept in mind that the wire that is being replaced is of the same gauge which was originally used, an under gauge wire can still cause short circuits.

5. Install New Cigarette Lighter

The charger/cigarette lighter can go bad, in that case, the only option is to replace it with the new one. The electronics inside the lighter can go bad. The plug that goes into your device can short itself sometimes. The springs in the plug the cigarette lighter socket could have just melted. Sometimes repairing helps, but you should just replace the whole unit.

How Dangerous This Problem Can Be?

The car cigarette lighter not working can be a sign that your car’s electrical system needs desperate attention. It can also cause a major problem in the future. This problem should is serious, sometimes a metal object can start a fire.

Cost To Fix The Car Lighter?

Since it is a common accessory, even if you have to replace it easily. It won’t cost you more than 20$ for good quality stuff. If the fuse is the issue, then just pop in the spare fuse for free!. car electrical issues can be tricky and sometimes the bill can go up to 300$.


So the car lighter won’t heat up problem is not that of a complex problem and can be solved with an easy diagnosis. Also since it is cheap to replace, this problem won’t cost you much. The comment down below if you have any further questions. 

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