Toyota Tacoma: Why is My Cigarette Lighter Not Working?

Did your cigarette lighter stop working? There are a few things you can do to fix it before taking it in.

By Bassem Girgis - January 20, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (2000-Present).

Whether smoking is good or bad for your health, having a working cigarette lighter is a right of yours. There are a few reasons why your lighter would stop working. Learning how to diagnose such a small issue can save you a lot of money on unnecessary labor. When you press your lighter in, it's supposed to stay in for a few seconds, then pop out when it's ready and hot. If your lighter fails to get hot, then this guide is for you. Read on to learn how to diagnose your faulty cigarette lighter in your Toyota Tacoma.

Cigarette lighter
Figure 1. Cigarette lighter.
Toyota Tacoma Why is My Cigarette Lighter Not Working?

Materials Needed

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Fuse

Step 1 – Check the fuse

It could be blown.

The fuses are the first thing to look at when it comes to failing electrical components. The interior fuse box is located under the driver side's dashboard. When you open the cover for it, on the cover you'll see the diagram for the fuses, which will guide you to the cigarette lighter's fuse. Pull the lighter's fuse and inspect it. If it's blown, replace it with a new fuse, and that should solve your issue. To inspect a fuse, look inside of it, and if the metal line is broken, that means it's blown. You can also tell it's blown if it looks brown or burnt.

Cigarette lighter issues
Figure 2. Interior fuse box.

If the fuse is in a good condition, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Check inside lighter

It could have debris.

If the inside of the lighter has debris in it, it could prevent it from working properly. Check the inside of the coils for any dirt, debris, or any foreign objects. Clean it as much as you can, and make sure it's all even and clean. Be sure to inspect both the lighter and the lighter socket.

Cigarette lighter issues
Figure 3. Clean up the lighter.

If the lighter is clean, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 – Check the lighter socket

It could be faulty.

Inspect the socket where the lighter goes in. First, be sure it is clean from any debris, then inspect the metal pieces on the inside of the socket. Overtime, they tend to move farther to the outside, but they need to stick to the inside so they can make contact with the lighter. Use your flat head screwdriver to move them to the inside so they can make more of a contact with the lighter.

Cigarette lighter issues
Figure 4. Ensure metal pieces make contact with lighter.

Pro Tip

Th last thing that can go wrong with your lighter is the wiring going into the socket. If you don't have a lot of electrical experience, this is best left for the professionals.

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