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dasha1

Repair To Cigarette Lighter Outlet 98-00 Series

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I have a 99 and a 98 LS400, both of whose cigarette lighter 12V outlets in the wood panel beneath the radio had failed. The 12V outlets in the arm rest in both cars worked fine. However, I recently purchased a radar detector and needed to use the outlet in the tray beneath the radio. I had read in another forum that if the problem is not the fuse (which I obviously checked first), there is a fabric washer in the lighter assembly that can be removed to make the outlet work.

Well, I started with the 99, taking off the wood panel that is over the shifter, disconnecting three electrical connections, and then removing the entire panel. I then removed the ashtray itself from the panel. This required removing some small Philips screws. There are two springs on the sides of the tray that just popped out unexpectedly and I thought I would have a difficult time reassembling the ashtray.

The lighter itself can be disassembled by loosening a hex nut (I think 7 mm) at the bottom of the lighter assembly that can only be reached if the panel is taken off as just noted. Alas, I found no fabric washer and found nothing else that looked broken or burnt in the lighter assembly. I was disappointed that I wasted my time and reassembled the lighter and panel. The springs were a little tricky to get back in place, but not a huge problem.

Lo and behold, the outlet worked after I reassembled everything. All I did was take everything apart as just described, inspect the disassembled parts with confusion as to what possibly could be wrong, and then just reassembled everything. The next week I did the same disassembly/reassembly with the 98 and its lighter outlet beneath the radio began to work as well.

If you’re having problems with your 12V outlet beneath the radio and the fuse is okay, you might give this a try.

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If you’re having problems with your 12V outlet beneath the radio and the fuse is okay, you might give this a try.

I have fixed these several times, on Toyota cars and now on my LS400 (1994) once.

The normal fuse down near the driver's left foot area always checks good, and if you remove the center panel that surrounds the shift lever, and then pull/pry out the ash tray, you can gain access to the wiring connector (four wire on my 1994 LS400).

You will have 12v at this 4 wire connector, right at the Ashtray Assembly and now you realize the +12v is being sent TO the Cigarette Lighter Socket, but right AT the Socket is the secret I've learned.

If you really look at the socket, you see where they send the +12v and the ground.

Now, study the +12v side and you will see that on EVERY TOYOTA/LEXUS SOCKET, is a built in "L" Shaped wire, with a rubber coating.

Guess what?

It's ANOTHER FUSE!

Yes, they put one there in case someone drops a coin down in the socket or some other shorting piece of metal and yet we only think there is the fuse near the driver's left foot.

I use a pick and pry the two little crimped terminals OFF this bottom of socket "L" shaped, rubber coated fuse.

Next, I cut and bend a common paper clip, into an "L" shape and feed it into position.

Now I solder one end and then bend the other a little to get it to fit, where the old burned fusible link/rubber coated wire was previously.

It's RIGHT ON THE END OF THE SOCKET.

Now, your outlet will work fine, and the fuse at the driver's left foot area will be the protection in the future.

Hope this helps,

Andy

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If you’re having problems with your 12V outlet beneath the radio and the fuse is okay, you might give this a try.

I have fixed these several times, on Toyota cars and now on my LS400 (1994) once.

The normal fuse down near the driver's left foot area always checks good, and if you remove the center panel that surrounds the shift lever, and then pull/pry out the ash tray, you can gain access to the wiring connector (four wire on my 1994 LS400).

You will have 12v at this 4 wire connector, right at the Ashtray Assembly and now you realize the +12v is being sent TO the Cigarette Lighter Socket, but right AT the Socket is the secret I've learned.

If you really look at the socket, you see where they send the +12v and the ground.

Now, study the +12v side and you will see that on EVERY TOYOTA/LEXUS SOCKET, is a built in "L" Shaped wire, with a rubber coating.

Guess what?

It's ANOTHER FUSE!

Yes, they put one there in case someone drops a coin down in the socket or some other shorting piece of metal and yet we only think there is the fuse near the driver's left foot.

I use a pick and pry the two little crimped terminals OFF this bottom of socket "L" shaped, rubber coated fuse.

Next, I cut and bend a common paper clip, into an "L" shape and feed it into position.

Now I solder one end and then bend the other a little to get it to fit, where the old burned fusible link/rubber coated wire was previously.

It's RIGHT ON THE END OF THE SOCKET.

Now, your outlet will work fine, and the fuse at the driver's left foot area will be the protection in the future.

Hope this helps,

Andy

ANDY.... now THAT was very interesting, I have filed this info away in my Lexus file.. thanks.

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I dropped a dime in my cigarette lighter and blew out my lighter. The fuse to the left of the steering wheel blew and I replaced it with the spare from the slot for heated seats. I don't have heated seats so it worked out.

A few days later I plugged a compressor into the lighter and it blew out my lighter but the fuses to the left of steering wheel were fine. So I took apart my lighter and removed the the plastic washer and what appears to be a silver colored paper washer and reconnected. I really screwed up because now my AC and vents along with lighter do not work. Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that the size of the hex nut is actually 9/32.

I did notice that the black wire fusible link did have a small tear in the rubber coating. I felt like I was going to break the cover trying to access the wires connecting to the lighter and was afraid I would do more damage to my car so I just loosened the lighter and unscrewed hex nut while the wires were still connected to lighter. Man, no room to work. I ordered a new lighter and will attempt it when it comes.

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If you’re having problems with your 12V outlet beneath the radio and the fuse is okay, you might give this a try.

I have fixed these several times, on Toyota cars and now on my LS400 (1994) once.

The normal fuse down near the driver's left foot area always checks good, and if you remove the center panel that surrounds the shift lever, and then pull/pry out the ash tray, you can gain access to the wiring connector (four wire on my 1994 LS400).

You will have 12v at this 4 wire connector, right at the Ashtray Assembly and now you realize the +12v is being sent TO the Cigarette Lighter Socket, but right AT the Socket is the secret I've learned.

If you really look at the socket, you see where they send the +12v and the ground.

Now, study the +12v side and you will see that on EVERY TOYOTA/LEXUS SOCKET, is a built in "L" Shaped wire, with a rubber coating.

Guess what?

It's ANOTHER FUSE!

Yes, they put one there in case someone drops a coin down in the socket or some other shorting piece of metal and yet we only think there is the fuse near the driver's left foot.

I use a pick and pry the two little crimped terminals OFF this bottom of socket "L" shaped, rubber coated fuse.

Next, I cut and bend a common paper clip, into an "L" shape and feed it into position.

Now I solder one end and then bend the other a little to get it to fit, where the old burned fusible link/rubber coated wire was previously.

It's RIGHT ON THE END OF THE SOCKET.

Now, your outlet will work fine, and the fuse at the driver's left foot area will be the protection in the future.

Hope this helps,

Andy

That is not a fusiable link in the traditional sense. In reality it is simply a short piece of solder used to protect from too much heat if someone holds, forces, the lighter down after it is warm, HOT, enough. Holding it down too long will result in overheating of the "local" area and thereby melt the solder link to prevent more dangerous consequences

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Thanks for the link. Where exactly is the fuse under the dash for the lighter assemblies? I should check it first.

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Thanks for the link. Where exactly is the fuse under the dash for the lighter assemblies? I should check it first.

It is fuse number 5 middle row 2nd from the left rated at 15A, there should be a location diagram on the inside of the fuse box cover.

Fuse box is located above driver's side kick panel.

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Thank you. I'll be checking it after work today. I did drop a dime into the lighter (by accident). Habit of non smokers to access the "change drawer".

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OK I checked the fuse under the dash and its OK. Should I be looking for the "soldered" link by the ashtray? I also noticed yesterday that the sunroof has no power to open. I usually do not open it when its 95 degrees ouitside. Is there a fuse for this also? I really need the lighter outlet for my GPS.

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